Basil leaves, tree sap, and eucalyptus leaves. Basil, sap, and eucalyptus leaves. The process repeated. I was exhausted by sundown. My village was plagued by the Red Death. Carried by carnivorous plants, this rare disease was torture. Bruised skin and red clots veiled the skin. Luckily, my parents were doctors hoping to save the village. They had discovered that the combination of various leaves and tree sap slowly, but effectively, cured the illness. My brother, Jack, came running toward me thus, interrupting my thoughts.
“Hey big sis! Whatcha’ doin’?”
“Nothing really…just the usual trip to the forest.” His face brightened up, and he asked if he can join me. Like always, I agreed.
We lived about a mile off the desert. After a long walk in the scorching sun, we finally reached the end of the forest.
“Okay Jack, you can watch the koalas till I come back. No goofing off!” I informed. Jack loved learning about animals. At home, he would collect animal souvenirs. A quill from a porcupine, or a feather from a peacock. Distracted by my thoughts, I unknowingly wandered away from Jack.
Sometime later, after I found about a dozen eucalyptus leaves, I turned back to head to Jack. However, I had no idea where I was! It was roughly thirty minutes away from sundown. I had to find him! I tried to walk in the direction of the desert. Soon, I found the boundary. No Jack. I searched everywhere he could possibly be. I saw the big boulder we parted ways at. But still no sign of Jack. I sat on the rock and hugged my knees as tears started to grow in my eyes. In the midst of the calming whoosh of trees and my soft cry, I heard a whistle. I wiped the droplet of moisture off my cheek and ran to the whistle. I took a deep breath in and stopped. A cute, young boy, Jack, was bent over examining a delicate, purple flower. All of a sudden, a recent conversation’s flashback occurred. See this flower, Maya? Never, ever touch it! This is the main root of the disease. Its beauty is deceiving! My Dad said. Never, ever touch it! A wave of realization slammed into me. I urged my mouth to speak, for my legs to move, but I was frozen in my tracks. “JACK! STOP!” I ran toward him as fast as I could. My arms engulfed him. I told him about the dangers of that carnivorous plant. He nodded when he understood. For a nine-year-old, Jack was pretty smart. He took out his pocket knife, stepped on the plant, and cut it off by its stem.
“Well, that should do it,” he said.
“Okay little brother…now let’s go home!” And then, we walked towards home to save some more lives.