The Ink Well Prompt #22: Fireworks/ ADVENTURE ON A STARRY NIGHT

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The collage is of my authorship (María del Carmen Sánchez)

For this I used the photos free of copyright. Here is the link to them:

My story narrates the experience of a group of young people who go to the jungle and get lost. They are rescued thanks to the fact that in the sky the rescuers observe the frameworks.

Now let's get started

The McKenzie, Taylor, Miller, and Moore families had known each other since their teenage years; they always used to go on vacation, with their children, to areas little known to most of their friends. But their favorite camp was Starry Night, located near the jungle. There they enjoyed spectacular waterfalls, crystal-clear rivers, jasper-like streams and amazing mountains.

The year was 2000. During that year four of the children of these families graduated: Peter in Medicine, Helen in Chemistry, Ernest in Biology and Dave in Literature and Philology.

Each of them had outdoor livelihood experiences, but they also remembered the New Year's Eve celebrations, complete with fireworks, that they had in the town where they lived when they were children. So they decided to celebrate their college degrees with their families, but in a different way.

They planned to go to Starry Night Camp again, but this time they would be accompanied by their friends. The stay would be for two weeks, enough time to explore the area and gather new experiences.

The graduates, apart from their university degrees, were also amateur researchers, so they would take advantage of this trip to venture off the beaten path. Ernest would collect plants and butterflies, collaborating with his professors Hanson and Ashley, who were specialists in taxonomy (the science of classifying plants and animals). They were too old to make the original trip.

Helen and Peter, excellent photographers, would collaborate with Ernest to make the respective visual information; while Dave would investigate with the natives of the area, if they knew the plants and butterflies collected, as well as their uses and names.

Even his friends agreed to participate in such a laudable undertaking, so they would collaborate with them in everything that was necessary.

With everything planned, they shared it with their parents, who were fascinated with these ideas.

The women of the family would be in charge of bringing the food that would be consumed on the additional excursions, which were not included in the camp costs.

The men decided to take care of the tents, sleeping bags, fireworks, firecrackers and sparklers. Since they would be outdoors they could reminisce about the old days of celebration........

In mid-July, the scheduled departure date, they all caravanned to the camp. It would take 8 hours to reach the city, where they would spend the night, leaving the cars in the parking lot. Later, at 9:00 a.m. the next day, they would be transferred to the camp by helicopter.

When they arrived at the camp, a torrential rain began. Never before seen by them. All excited Mr. Kent McKenzie rushed to film such an unusual spectacle.
After this everyone settled down and rested. Lunch would be served at 2:00 in the afternoon.

Ding dong ding ding dong.... rang the bell to announce that lunch was ready. It was self-service and consisted of pickled river fish, stewed turtle, fried yucca accompanied by an exotic bachaco culón sauce, chicken salad and pumpkin soup. For dessert a simple but exquisite flan of tender corn with guava syrup.

The adults were very happy with the lunch, but not Helen's friends, who whispered among themselves. The boldest, Claire, commented without remorse:

  • Helen, you didn't warn us about this kind of culinary adventure......... I don't like to experiment with new flavors, I prefer the usual classics.

Rose immediately intervenes and clarifies:

-But you had a choice, and the dessert was delicately prepared.

  • Don't worry, we'll solve that little detail for dinner," Helen added.

After the clarification they decided to observe the landscape while the men went to sleep.

The next day they would begin their excursions. The first one would be a boat trip on the river. There they decided to approach the riverbank, where some crocodiles were sunbathing. They tried to take pictures of them, but the movement made by some of the girls woke them up. There were several of them and they tried to attack the group. So they all fled in panic towards the boat. Once seated, they were calmer and resumed their return trip. Enough excitement on the first excursion.

The second day was spent resting and forgetting about the scare. The young people met in the evening and, in the warmth of the campfire, decided to undertake the research excursion that same week. The next day they would tell the others about it. That night they would sleep in hammocks to watch the stars; Richard would film any unusual occurrences. But only the croaking of frogs broke the silence of the night..........

They got up in high spirits to meet for breakfast and share their decision with the elders. The parents supported the decision. But during the same Helen surprises them by saying:

-I'd rather stay with the elders.

-and so do I," says Martina, the Taylor's youngest daughter.

After breakfast, the youngsters set out to gather the tents, video camera, camera, sleeping bags, food and of course the flares, fireworks and firecrackers. The local guide, who would accompany them for the duration of the expedition, suddenly became ill and could not go with them. Even so, they decided to undertake the adventure. Fate would teach them that everything can change in a moment.........

The eager young men remembered very well the path that would lead them to collect the famous carnivorous plants. They set out on the hike, as it had rained heavily and there was a lot of mud in the area. Kamala, Dave's friend and the hippie of the group, takes off her shoes and decides to walk barefoot. Seeing her, Peter warns her:

  • I am the doctor of the group and I suggest you walk with your shoes. There are snakes here and some of them, unknown to us, can be poisonous.

But Kamala ignored Peter. They continued on their way.....During the walk they saw spectacular birds, which sang like angels, according to Robert, Peter's friend. They also collected samples of unknown plants. They had already been walking for 4 hours when they came across a landslide area. They had to take an unknown route, but that didn't stop them. So they did.

At that moment, butterflies suddenly appeared, flying. Alice, Ernest's friend, took the net to capture them and went after them; she only managed to catch one. Then she was astonished to see how the others were caught by the carnivorous plants.

Still they went deeper and deeper into the jungle, feeling disoriented, so Dave looked for his GPS.

-Oh my God! I left my GPS at the camp," Ernest shouts.

Still upset that no other member had thought of carrying a GPS, Kamala is heard shouting:

-Ouch ouch something bit me.-

Dave runs out, the examiner says:

-Leave the fear it was a jungle bug. I'll cure it and hope it doesn't get infected. Now put on your shoes, please.-

-All right,- Kamala replied.

They all decided to have lunch to continue on their way and then spend the night. Unfortunately they didn't realize they were lost until nightfall......... They took out their cell phones to communicate. There was no signal.

Stefano, Dave's brother, was fond of astronomy and when he saw the sky he realized that they were in a different place from the planned route. He decides to address the group and suggest them:

-It is risky to stay here too long, we don't know the place and I fear another landslide could come. Besides, our parents do not know where we are. I propose that we stay only two nights here to recover from our fatigue.-

Everyone agreed. On the last night, when they were more rested, it occurred to them to detonate one of the firecrackers. Everyone was fascinated. The moonless night contrasted with the multicolored lights of the rocket. They slept more peacefully. They would leave on the third day to return to camp.
When they woke up, they inspected the way back, but they noticed that there was a huge fallen tree blocking their way.

-What do we do now?- asked Harris, Peter's friend.

-Remember that the elders would be pending. ....... I think we should use the firecrackers as an alarm,- says Kamala.

Later that day the parents had a late breakfast at the camp and heard the detonations far away. It seemed strange to them because they had agreed that the night the young people decided to return they would use the firecrackers and fireworks, as a signal to return.

Mrs. Ciara Moore is very sensitive and comments:

-I don't like it, I don't like it, I get the impression that something unexpected happened to them. We have to be alert.

Her husband calms her down but she insists:

  • If we have no news in the afternoon, we will inform the authorities.

They all decided to stay in the camp. They had lunch and went to rest for a while. At about 4:00 p.m. they decided to report to the authorities to start the search. A helicopter would fly over the area to see if they could find them. It started to rain and it became more complicated ...... It was getting dark.

The boys decided to light the firecrackers and the fireworks again and launch them. The contrast of the night with the lights made them identify the area where they were. Due to the rugged terrain they could not rescue them. They were told by loudspeaker that they would return the next day. And so they did. They all returned happily to the camp. There, during the Starry Night, everyone celebrated the Adventure with firecrackers and fireworks .........

Note: for "bachaco culón" I couldn't find the right words to translate it.

The bachaco culón is a kind of big ant used, in some South American countries, to prepare spicy sauces. The indigenous people of some of these areas attribute aphrodisiac powers to it.


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