Plastic Jungle

By: Sebastian Iturralde

Plastic Jungle

Little Tomas smiled while carefully placing some of his toys inside a colorful backpack. His room had the peculiar scent of manna-scented vacuum. The morning chill crept in through the slightly opened window.

The other members of the family were sleeping when Tomas closed his backpack, and very carefully walked out of his room. He didn’t make a sound to pass unnoticed. Imagining the adventure he was about to enjoy. Surely this would be the day that his dreams came true.

When he got to the kitchen, Tomas took a couple of fruits and left his house. The cold was bearable, especially for a boy who knew what to expect on his adventure.

Tomas stopped a few steps towards the garden of his house. He was able to see the immense forest of the national park. It was a matter of minutes until he reached hostile terrain. The place he liked to travel to when he needed treasures.

“You have to be brave,” Tomas said, placing his toys on the ground around him. “We are looking for a story to share. I cannot promise that we will not fail again. The light animals have been too fast for us to catch—I ask that you follow my lead and trust your senses.”

The small toys came to life: slowly standing upright.

“We have to share their secrets with the world,” Tomas said.

The lights of the three toys came on, and they raised their arms before transforming into small all-terrain vehicles.

“Be careful,” Tomas said, “I’m not losing any of you.”

The toys began to run in circles.

Tomas crossed the garden and entered the forest. Immediately, he was covered in darkness and a dense fog rendered him. It became almost impossible to look into the distance: the flashing red lights of his companions helped him navigate through the shadows.

Just a trace of the elusive creatures he’s been searching for was enough. Tomas raised his plastic pistol and continued into the unknown.

Before long he heard a peculiar sound. Different from the constant chirping of birds. Other hunters, perhaps. Tomas had never met others like him on his expeditions.

He clearly heard the distinctive raking of a weapon. “We have one…”

As he got closer, Tomas noticed that the hunters captured one of the creatures alive. Its bright colors flashed. Its fur moved as if the animal were underwater—it was impossible.

“Who’s there?” said one of the hunters, noticing the presence of an intruder.

Tomas raised his hands and approached them.

“What are you doing here?” asked the second of two hunters.

“Looking for animals of light,” Tomas said, lowering his weapon.

One of the hunters lowered his backpack and took out a small black cube. He placed it on the ground, its structure changed, growing into a large safe.

The hunter holding the light animal began to turn the knob to find the safe’s combination. “We have seen you hunting these lands.”

Tomas frowned.

“You will no longer be able to take away the secrets of the forest,” said the hunter, as he opened the safe. “This little animal will go with us.”

Tomas watched the hunters place the brightly colored animal inside the box, then they closed it. The box began to get small and Tomas worried about the creature’s safety. “What are you going to do with it?”

“That’s not your problem,” said the hunter who had an eye patch. “You will have to find another place to get ideas.”

Tomas’s hunt only led him to find traces of the light animals. This was the first time he had seen one of the creatures in danger and he decided to face the hunters.

The metal-armed hunter took the small black square off the ground to put it in his backpack.

Tomas raised the pistol and fired.

The ammunition destroyed one of the hunter’s metal arms. The small black cube fell to the ground.

“You can never get him out of there in time,” said the eyepatch hunter and fired his weapon.

One of Tomas’s robots transformed and leapt to catch the cube before it hit the ground. Then the robot began to study cubes to find its secrets.

Tomas threw himself to the ground, avoiding being shot, and fired.

The hunters hid behind trees. “You’ll never get away with this,” said one of them.

The robots teamed up behind Tomas to find a way to rescue the trapped little light animal.

“Give back what doesn’t belong to you,” said the metal-armed hunter, as his arm became a bazooka.

“Hurry, open that box,” Tomas said, and shot the hunters.

Eventually the box returned to its natural size, one of the robots began to manipulate the lock, while the others cut the metal with lasers.

“Give back our trophies and no one will get hurt,” said the metal-armed hunter before firing.

The energy ball slammed into a tree, knocking it over with the explosion. Tomas felt the nearby heat and the characteristic smell of burnt wood.

“Hurry up,” said Tomas, “we have to get out of here.”

The robots managed to open the safe and the light animal jumped out. Tomas couldn’t believe the beauty of the creature. The colors changed with the movement of its fur.

The animal jumped on Tomas’s shoulder, and he felt the energy of the forest within him; ideas and information came faster than he could have imagined.

Tomas got up…somehow, his plastic pistol became an assault rifle. He turned his head to look at the animal on his shoulder and fired. The bullet glowed brightly, leaving a trail of light.

The hunters began to flee after the first explosion of light.

Tomas paused and noticed that the creature was still on his shoulder. “Do you want to be my friend?”

The light animal looked confused and tilted its head to the side. Then it jumped into the forest and disappeared.

Tomas returned home with new stories to share with his friends.

SEBASTIAN ITURRALDE

Fiction blogger—citizen of this beautiful planet, eternal lover of artistic creation and literature. Certain that the creative energy comes from nature.

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