You can read the previous post in this series here: Part 5

*****

Welcome to the Jungle

“Sage?” Livia asked. 

“Thank heavens it’s just you! I thought it was some wild animal coming to get me.”

“Sage, I’m glad to see you for once.”

“Where are we, anyway? I can’t see anything other than trees.” 

“I don’t know!” Livia exclaimed, “I waited here in case you showed up. This place looks dangerous, and I don’t want to be here alone.” 

“This jungle is scary. There, your wish of getting transported to a jungle has come true! Happy?”

“If you don’t want to be eaten up by wild animals, shut up now! Let’s find a way out of here,” Livia snarled. 

“First, we must survive here. It’ll get dark and eerie soon. We can figure out the rest tomorrow morning.”

“What do we do?”

Sage looked around. “Maybe we should find a big cave. That could help us tonight.”

“No! Wild animals live in the caves,” Livia replied.

“What a revelation! Well, what else can we do? Do we have a choice?”

“We can build a simple treehouse. We’ll have some shelter and be safe from most animals.”

Sage snorted. “What’d you think this is? Some cheesy video game? Everything works in fantasy, but real life is different. I suppose you’ll ask me to make a wooden pickax next.”

Livia turned beet red. “Well, real survival has to be slightly similar. Right? You’re the self-proclaimed expert! You tell me.”

Sage looked around again. “We can’t just jump into making something like that. We have to find a shelter first.” 

“I’ll find a good tree, and you make tools. Then we can make a treehouse,” Livia insisted.

“You know what? You’re hopeless. Fine! We can try, but I’m not responsible if we both die because you’re insane,” Sage stormed off into that dense and dark forest, looking for ways to make tools. 

Livia followed him. “Sage, it’s okay. We can dig a hole and sit in it all night. Maybe we can use some blocks to cover it.” 

Sage laughed, “You play too much of those dumb video games. That’s the secret of your stupidity! If we dig a hole and close it from above, we will suffocate to death. Or, some animal will fall in and kill us. Your silly treehouse idea sounds better than this.”

“Thank me! At least I gave you an idea. You’ve done nothing but rebuke me! There, that tall tree looks perfect for a treehouse. That’ll keep us safe,” Livia proposed pointing towards a tree.

“My brilliant designer! How do we climb there to make your dream treehouse?” Sage said with a smirk.

“We can use some vines.”

Sage snickered. “Heavens, save me! Trees aren’t that easy to climb. Those video games are killing you. If you don’t slow down, you will go nuts.”

“Wait! Shouldn’t we be digging—,”

Sage interrupted her, “Livia, just stop. Don’t panic!”

When Livia had quietened, he looked around and picked something up.

“Let’s smash a hole in this sharp rock and fit a stick in there. To tie the ax-head tightly to the handle, we can use one of those vines,” he pointed at a vine hanging overhead. “When we’re done, we can make a clearing to see if there’s any drinking water beyond those vines.”

Sage started working on the tool while Livia stood there watching. “Now, make yourself useful. Walk around and see if you can find if there’s someone nearby.” 

When Livia started walking, Sage added, “Don’t go too far. We don’t want to lose each other.”

After a while, Livia returned with no luck. Sage proudly held up his rock. “Pretty good,” he said while inserting the big stick into the rock. He tied the stick carefully to the stone with a vine. “Now we have to sharpen the head. Ta-da! We have an ax.”

“Good job,” Livia said, not believing what she just uttered.

Livia sharpened the rocks slowly, and Sage fastened the vine to the ax. Livia took it from him and swung it hard at a tree.

“Wait!” he yelled. “It’s not ready yet!”

The ax broke cleanly in half, with the head flying away. Sage shook his head. This was going to be one of the longest days of his life.

*****

Note: This is a collaborative effort with Rishi Sridhar.

*****

You can read the next part in this series here: Part 7

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