Curupira – Chapter 7

Chapter 7

embraer-170Things were coming along just as José wanted. The school principal, besides being a wheeler and dealer was a go-getter; he got Embraer and a new airline company, which didn’t even have a name yet, to offer their Embraer 170 airplane, with a capacity for 80 passengers, for the trip, which was supposed to be a promotional one that would launch the airline in great style, so the school would have to pay very little to charter it.

They could have taken a commercial plane the regular way to get to Manaus, but everything contributed to chartering a plane after all. The idea was to get to Manaus and then go into the jungle on a shuttle bus. What made the trip exciting was the notion of spending some time in the jungle, just going to Manaus would be like going to any other city. At least, that was the general idea.

sadiaThen a group of missionaries offered a contribution to help pay the plane charter if 3 of its members went along, but since Embraer and the airline company were practically offering the plane for free, the school used the money to send one more teacher along and for a big party and a lot of other extras. And then Sadia, a Brazilian food company, offered to provide the airplane food.

So things couldn’t be better.

aeroporto-de-congonhasEverybody was excited, the trip was going to take place the following Saturday. They’d leave from Congonhas Airport, not Guarulhos, go to Manaus, stay 2 or 3 days there and then get on a bus to explore the exotic Amazon. The plan was to get there around 10 pm and everybody would sleep so as to get up early and refreshed to go sightseeing around Manaus first.

Jairo had another nightmare and talked to Marcia about it, she said she was having nightmares, too. Was it a bad omen?

They discovered other people were having nightmares, too. But people thought that was only natural since they were about to embark on an adventure, “But, come on,” Marcia said, “the Amazon is not exactly the unexplored jungle it used to be. Of course there are Indians and animals and exotic stuff, but there are cities and towns there. It won’t be much different from going to Bahia, Rio, or any other place for that matter.”

All that talk didn’t manage to allay the uneasiness Jorge felt. He had never been prone to nightmares. The first time Bichano could have been the culprit, but he’d been feeling a presence and had had nightmares practically every night, and discovering other people were experiencing the same thing didn’t help at all.

two-planes-hittingBut Marcia said, “I think since most of you have never traveled by plane before and taking into consideration the recent plane crashes in Brazil, is it any wonder people are on tenterhooks?”

What Marcia said made a lot of sense. He usually went to Bahia by bus, actually, he had gone by plane just once and he did get very agitated.

After talking to Marcia, he took his motorcycle and went home, took a shower and started for the snack bar for dinner. He was walking down the sidewalk, without actually paying attention to his surroundings, when somebody bumped bruskly into him. He was nearly pushed against a wall and on to the ground, but he broke his fall by holding a gate nearby. He screamed in pain because he had grabbed the tip of a nail and pierced his thumb. He swore under his breath, raised his head and  surveyed the vicinity, but his eyes met nothingness. There wasn’t a soul to be seen.

macbeth-401x522That made him think of a line from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, “By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this ways comes”. But in their case, the wicked thing was not coming; it seemed they were going towards it of their own free will and at breakneck speed, and its stench was blowing all the way from the Amazon into their nostrils, filling their brains with nightmares. He felt a chill up his spine and wondered how many of the others were having this kind of forebodings.

He shook his head vigorously as if to get rid of all his willies. He was no scaredy-cat, he’d never been.

“Can’t you see the writing on the wall?” A voice warned from deep inside his mind.

It seemed these omens had sunk their teeth deep into his brains and wouldn’t let go that easily.

Go to Chapter 8

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