“Don’t be silly Jen, it’s fine. Lets just look around a little more. We’ll head back soon.”
She felt very uneasy but moved forward cautiously past an overgrown chain-link fence and deeper into the island’s jungle.
As she walked along the fence she noticed an old sign had slipped down at an angle half obscured by greenery. The holes in in the corners seeped rust and made her think of bullet holes. A skull and crossbones peeked up from the vines. She shuddered and walked closer to the sign.
Tony picked up a stick from the ground and tested it for it’s strength and durability by swinging it through the air a few times in a childlike way. He breathed the fresh air in deeply and looked up at the blue sky, tinged with orange as the sun made it’s way down to the horizon. He stopped and stood still for a minute savouring the fresh breeze. It was deathly quiet, he couldn’t even see or hear any birds. The faint lapping of the waves was lost to them now too, numbed by the twisting jungle.
He suddenly realised he’d lost sight of her.
“Jen?” he shouted into the leaves.
She stepped closer towards the sign. It was mesmerising and she moved forward to sweep away the branches.
“Jen?” he shouted again, moving backwards in the direction of where he last saw her. Taking a few steps into the jungle he thought he could just make out her form kneeling down.
“What are you doing?” he whispered to himself.
She scratched the sign clean and gasped.
“Oh my god,” she said with a sharply inhaled breath, dragging her palms together as if in prayer, her fingers touching her mouth and her eyes wide with fright.
“Jen? What is it?” he said moving faster towards her, slicing through towering vines and ferns with his stick.
“Tony, STOP! Don’t move,” she screamed.
“What?” he said, slowing down.
She took a step back and heard a click under her foot. She stopped dead in her tracks and started to shake.
“What is it babe?” said Tony.
“Oh my god,” she said again starting to hyperventilate, “It’s a minefield,” she screamed.
“Tony, I … I’m … I think I just stood on a mine.”
“Jesus Christ,” said Tony finally coming to a stop.
Jen started to shake, “Oh my god Tony, help me. I’m going to die.”
“Shhh, babe, babe, don’t worry, just… just try and stay calm. You’re going to be fine.”
She didn’t say anything. She just stood in place with her hands wrapped around her mouth.
“Ok, Ok. Look, this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to make my way over there -”
“No! Tony you can’t, we’re -”
“Jen, please just try and stay calm. There isn’t anything else we can do. It will take too long to go back for help and I’m not leaving you here. I’m going to come over…”
Jen made a whimpering sound like a dog who’s tail had been stepped on by mistake.
“… slowly, Ok sweetheart? I’m going to come over real slow and then when I get to you we’ll put a rock over your foot and pull it away ok. Like Indiana Jones. Ok babe?”
Silent tears ran slowly down her cheeks and she managed the faintest of nods.
“Ok, I’m coming over now.”
The explosion rocked the ground. The noise was deafening and shattered the silence, trees lurched and twisted as a thin pink mist pattered against leaves.
“Tony! she screamed. Unable to remain still she ran towards the beach screaming in utter panic, a snapped twig remained on the ground, the only sign that she’d ever been there.