The Jungle

December 6, 2009
Libby Lane lived a normal life. She would go to school, come home and do homework, and then go to bed. Her life was bland and she yearned for an adventure. Every night, before she fell asleep, she would read a few chapters of an exciting novel. The tales would enchant her and make her feel like she was in the story. Libby was an avid reader and had read almost every volume in the library. Her books were the only sense of adventure in her life.

Her daily routine involved a visit to the public library. She would spend hours in the small, dusty rooms searching for the perfect reading material. Libby had come there so often that she had befriended the librarian, Mr. Linden. Mr. Linden was also an avid reader and loved helping Libby find a new novel every time she came.

One day, Libby made her daily stop at the library to search for an adventurous book, something she had never read before. She walked over to the dusty shelves and scanned the colorful covers, reading each title aloud. After checking four rows of shelves, Libby concluded that there was not a book in the library that she had not read. Libby was about to give up her search when she saw a green leaf protruding from the side of a novel. She pushed away the books in front to see where the leaf came from and discovered an ancient novel covered in vines.

Libby gently pulled the novel off of the shelf and pushed away the vines enveloping the cover. The title was written in a series of symbols and resembled prehistoric hieroglyphics. As Libby carefully opened the manuscript, she skimmed the pages and discovered that the story was about a girl who was stranded in a jungle and was attempting to escape. Libby closed the novel and started walking to the front desk to borrow it; this was the adventure she had been waiting for.

Mr. Linden was thrilled to see Libby at the library again. As she handed him the book, his kind expression turned into a look of worry and he glanced at Libby. “Libby, are you sure you want this book?” She nodded her head and asked him why he was resistant. The librarian told her that the novel was known to do dangerous things to the reader and once, a girl was found in the library after reading the book and had gone insane. She was taken to a mental asylum and had never been seen again.

Libby laughed at this idea and told Mr. Linden that she was sure that she could handle the book. She grabbed it from his hands and thanked him, skipping out of the front doors.

That night, Libby laid in bed and opened the strange volume. The pages were a musty yellow and appeared to have had much handling in the past. It was a thrilling story, full of suspense and adventure, just the type of journey she desired. After reading the first few chapters, Libby felt her eyes closing and her head drooping. She fell fast asleep with the book open beside her. There was a mysterious vine poking out of the center of the page.

Libby slowly woke up after a peaceful sleep and glanced around her room. She screamed and sprang out of bed. The girl was no longer in her room, but a jungle filled with dense trees and a dirt floor. Her bed was still there, but no doors or walls could be seen. Frantically searching, Libby sprinted through the thicket, fiercely pushing away the branches that slapped her in the face.

She jogged for what seemed like hours and could not find a way out of the jungle. Libby passed by a small river that flowed through the heart of the forest and stared at her reflection. Her hair was a mess and had twigs embedded in it; her face was covered in scratches and mud from the vines hitting her. Libby pinched her arm and tried to convince herself that this was a dream, but she did not wake up.

Suddenly, a low rumbling came from the ground and the river appeared to have steam rising from the surface. It started to swirl and large amounts of water were splashing onto the bank. Libby was terrified and dashed into the trees once again, trying to escape the gigantic wave of water that was forming.

The rumbling became louder and Libby could see a colossal wave coming her way through the forest; it was a tsunami! Libby began sprinting as fast as she could, but with the ground shaking and the dense vines in her way, she could not escape the wave. She grasped a vine with all of her strength and closed her eyes, waiting for the water to take her down.

It came closer and closer and all of a sudden a vine wrapped tightly around Libby’s waist and started pulling her away from the tsunami. Libby was frightened and began to scream. She knew that this may be the end, either the plant was going to strangle her or the tsunami would suffocate her.

The water was approaching quickly and was now a foot away. Libby held her breath while trying to unlatch the vine from herself. As the wave covered the girl and the vine continued to drag her backwards, Libby blacked out.

Libby slowly opened her eyes and glanced around the room; everything was back to normal. There were no vines, no river, and certainly no tsunami. She must have been dreaming. Libby glimpsed at the novel and noticed that it was now closed. The cover was glowing a bright gold and the vines looked a deep green. Libby laughed and decided that she had had enough adventure to last her a lifetime. She concluded that it was all a dream, but wondered what really happened as she found a brown twig tangled in her hair.

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