Planeta Proibido Part 2

2 Years Later

Somewhere out in the Amazon

Out in the far reaches of the Amazon Rainforest, dozens of men and women are trekking towards 

a treasure. One which holds a promise of riches to live out a full life and dare say a second. It is 

midday and the temperature is scorching hot. Aggressively pushing beyond 95 degrees, the 

temperature is far from ideal for a long expedition. Yet, these men and women are not only devoted but determined to reach their prize. Surrounded by lush green pastures north, south, east and west, they continue on marching. The forest is brimming with life. Home to over forty-thousand plant species, three-thousand freshwater fish species and more than three-hundred and seventy classifications of reptiles, it is the embodiment of mother nature. As the men and women march forward, you can hear the melodic sounds of birds, the grunting and squeaking sounds of emperor tamarins and goeldi monkeys. 

Suddenly, a man sporting brown camo pants, a white shirt, a machete at hand and a very dense backpack says in an South American accent: “Minha Amiga, how do you know this Planeta Proibido survived the fires?”

“Amiga, they say the plant is the heart of this forest. It can survive any disaster.” replies a man wearing a black t-shirt with a thick accent as he leads the trek. 

“And how do you know this plant will do what you claim it does?” curiously questions a middle aged woman with brown silk hair.

The man leading the trek wipes the dripping sweat off his forehead and narrates with a dense accent: “Once, I was coming from an expedition out of Chile and ended up in Bolivia. I was paid to retrieve a special plant for someone. While in Bolivia, I stayed at this cidade pequena – very small country town. While there, rumors of a witch doctor who cured all types of diseases traveled to my ears. I wanted to see for myself, so I went to look for her. She lived in this remote side of the small town where people visited her only if they were dying and needed a cure. Outside of that, everybody was scared of her.”

Unexpectedly, someone from the group interrupts him and asks: “And you were not afraid of this witch?”

The man leading the trek regains control of the conversation and replies: “Absolutely not Minha Amiga! I do this my whole life. So, I went to see her and she turned out to be very, very old. Older than one hundred years if I had to guess. She had all types of plants in her house. Plants I have never seen before. Some of them even looked alive, like, they were moving. She told me of the Planeta Proibido. She said it cures HIV.  She said if I ever found it, I should bring her a heart.”

“A heart?” replies a man.

“What do you mean a heart?” inquires the middle aged woman with silk hair.

“Yes a heart. She said the Planeta Proibido all have a heart of their own. Apparently, the plant has provided life to this forest for many years.” explains the man leading the trek.

“This is madness!” exclaims another man. “Nobody told me we were searching for plants with hearts. What the fuck kind of shit is this?” he further adds.

“Amiga, you said you only wanted to be paid right? Well, here is your chance my friend.” states the man leading the trek.

“Did this witch tell you anything else? How does she even know about it? Has she used it before? And are there any repercussions if we remove this plant from the ground?” wisely asks the woman with silk hair.

“She said the plant has been around way before her ancestors. She said once her ancestors used it to cure a deadly plague which almost wiped out her people.” replies the man as he continues to march forward.

“You didn’t answer the last question.” points out the woman with silk hair.

“All she told me was – careful of what you forcefully take from mother nature. She has an unpleasant way of returning the favor. That’s what she said when I translated it to english.”

Upon hearing the witches revelation, everyone pauses and stares at one another. Suddenly, the sense of adventure and excitement slowly dissipates from their bodies. Completely frozen in place, they deeply ponder within. Out of the blue, the sound of a macaw shakes them out of their paralyzed state of mind. By the time they all turn around, they notice the man in the black t-shirt had slightly left them behind. Panickingly, they all sprint ahead to catch up.

“C’mon my friends, we can’t slow down. I can’t slow down. We are on the clock. The Planeta Proibido is waiting.” states the man leading the trek.

A Random Evening (Jason’s short Story)

The time is thirty minutes past four in the afternoon. Not an ounce of quiet can be found in these bustling streets. Heading north on Main street, vehicles begin to align bumper to bumper. On one side of Main street, heading south, the public bus stops to drop off and pick up a handful of passengers.  On that same exact side of the street, a mob of teenagers on their bicycles are gunning down the sidewalk while trying to outmaneuver through a dense crowd of bystanders. In the process, the teenagers arouse within a few bystanders a feeling of frustration. Parallel to that street, its sidewalk portrays the same traits. Crowded and busy. Some are walking in and out of stores, while others are making haste to get to their next destination. Suddenly, the sound of a siren echoes down Main street alerting everyone in the process. It’s faint at first but with every passing second, the siren elevates in volume. As the drivers begin to maneuver to the side of the road, another vehicle unexpectedly zooms down North of main street. Unable to slow down due to traffic, the driver crashes into another vehicle causing a catastrophic chain of reaction. Everyone panics! The perpetrator immediately exits his car and runs off like a madman. He takes off pushing every pedestrian in his path without a care in the world. Meanwhile, the siren finally rings in its full glory revealing a decked out police car. Realizing the mess the perpetrator had left behind, the officer rapidly exits his vehicle in pursuit of his target. A few feet ahead, the perpetrator resumes his rampage to escape, shoving an innocent woman in the company of her child. Completely and utterly unprepared for such a violent interaction, the woman’s body ragdolls in the concrete wall while unintentionally smashing her head in. The crowd screams! The child begins to cry and the perpetrator once again escapes. A few seconds later, the officer runs by the victim. He gently injects her and presses a button on his utility belt. 

“Medic. Code 098. Temporary aid needed at my pinged location. Victim – Woman, brown hair, light green eyes. Age – early forties, bleeding on the right side of her head.” shouts the officer through the comm attached to his hand. 

Then, he urges the witnesses to keep the victim company while the medics arrive. The officer then resumes his chase. Standing at the entrance of his Dojo, Jason drops both of his grocery bags on the ground and urgently takes off after the maniac responsible for committing such a monstrous act. On the way, he stops to check on the injured woman and her child. He puts his best foot forward and tries to console the child to the best of his ability. In the spur of a moment, a drone arrives at the scene. 

“Scanning pinged victim.” announces the drone in a very pleasant programmed voice.“Pinged victim identify. Administering temporary med-aid.” says the drone.

Witnessing the drone administer medical aid to the injured woman, Jason feels a bit indecisive. He’s unsure whether he should remain at the side of the victim and her child or chase after the person responsible. After all, is it ethical to place the life of an injured woman at the hand of a mechanical drone or to allow such a maniac to run amok without restraint? In a crouched position, Jason looks to his right, then to his left. He grabs the nearest person and instructs them to look after the child. He stands up and instantly accelerates North. He runs block after block. Those rigorous training exercises and experiments he was put through at A.R.C were paying off. Being in the best shape any man would dream of, he sprints. Following a brief minute, he finally catches up to the officer. Jason slowly looks over his shoulder and notices the sweat and fatigue painted all over the officer’s face. “Poor old man.” thinks Jason. Not wasting another second, he overtakes the officer in pursuit of the perpetrator. After multiple turns and weaves, Jason begins to feel just sick and tired of this maniac’s destructive behavior. He notices the perpetrator forcefully yank a man away from his car illegally parked on the side of the road. He gets in and sinks his foot on the gas pedal. Unaware of incoming traffic behind him, he lags to close the driver’s door and gets it wrenched off by an incoming truck. Not a bit unnerved by the incident, he drives further North and then takes a left turn. Aware of all the streets and intersections in the area, Jason decides to cut this chase short. “He’ll hit traffic in less than a minute. The road he turned into is a one way street. He’ll have no choice but to head upI have to catch him before he crashes into any more people.” says Jason. Resuming his chase, he zooms North to intercept the maniac. Just as he planned, a few miles north of the one way street, traffic was indeed in session. Horns are blowing non stop. Jason analyzes the area and notices one horn blowing particularly irregularly. He pinpoints the vehicle and in a stealthy manner chases after it. Finally at the end of his mission, he slowly and quietly creeps up on the perpetrator. Completely caught off guard, the perpetrator is ambushed. Jason knocks him out cold and removes him from the vehicle. He carries him away from the street to the sidewalk. With the perpetrator tied to a lamp pole, Jason quietly remains seated next to him as he patiently waits. A minute goes by and no one shows up. Two minutes, not a soul in sight. Three minutes, all you can see is a collection of vehicles stuck in traffic with drivers trying their best to stay sane through this ruckus. Suddenly, sirens break loose. “About time they showed up.” Jason expresses out loud. 

“Wake up!” says Jason while showering the perpetrator with a few slaps to the face. 

The perpetrator wakes up to find both his hands burdened by a rubber cable. 

“Who the hell are you?” asks the perpetrator.

“The face you never want to see again.” answers Jason in a cold tone. 

“What the fuck!” yells the perpetrator. “I have rights. You ain’t no cop!” further adds the perpetrator.

“You had rights.” replies Jason.

“Man, if you don’t…..” exclaims the perpetrator, but Jason wouldn’t let him finish.

“Shut your damm mouth!” expresses Jason. “You hurt a lot of good people today. Shut your mouth!”

Ensuing a few moments, a few police vehicles arrive at the scene. The officer Jason overtook earlier steps up to the curb. Completely out of breath and drenched in sweat, he states in an animated tone : “Boy, you didn’t break a sweat. You must be a track star kid. Oh I’m sure of it, you definitely are a track star.”

“What’s a track star?” confusingly asks Jason.

Baffled by Jason’s comment, the officer looks at Jason, laughs and rhetorically asks: “What’s a track star? Are you not from planet earth kid?”

“You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you where I was from.” answers Jason.

“Try me!” says the officer.

Amazed at the officer’s curiosity, Jason springs forth a light smile.

“C’mon, try me!” insists the officer.

“Not today sir. Not today. How’s the woman doing?” asks Jason. 

“She’ll be fine. She’s on her way to the hospital. Thank God for those drones uuh. As you can tell, I’m an old fashion guy. Technology isn’t my thing. But I gotta admit, those drones are God sent. Now we can be in multiple places at one. It’s a goddamn miracle some genius invented those things. ” explains the officer.

Not wanting to prolong the interaction any further, Jason decides to walk away leaving the rest of the work to the police officers on site. 

“We could use a man like you on the force!” proposes the officer to Jason as he carries away the perpetrator.

“I’VE SEEN YOUR FACE!” yells the perpetrator as he’s forcefully being put inside the police car.

“Shut the hell up and get in!” says the officer to the perpetrator.

Jason ignores it all and doesn’t reply. He continues walking down the busy and crowded street. With his back turned away from the scene, he waves his right hand at the officer. 

“See ya around kid.” states the officer.

The Game We Play- A Short Story

It’s the year 2018

The court room has no more than twelve participants out in the stands. Small chatters run rampant as the jury mulls over their decision. Meanwhile, located to the left of the room sits the defendant with his lawyer. A middle aged man, skinny in stature with pale skin and short spiky hair. Sporting formal attire, the defendant sits with his right leg crossed over to his left.  Every so often, he turns around and gazes at another young man sitting in the crowd. His expression towards the young man is nothing short of disappointment. To the right sits the plaintiff with enough physical bruises that would cause the faintest of hearts to skip a few beats. A swollen upper lip and lower lip, a black eye accompanied by small patches of unhealed bruises all over.

“Shall the defendant and plaintiff please rise.” announces the bailiff. 

Both parties did as instructed.

“Members of the Jury, have you reached a verdict?” asks the District Judge. The Jury spokesman stands up and replies: “Yes, your honor. We have. Your honor, the members of this jury find the defendant GUILTY!”. Upon hearing that statement, lips were sealed and salivas were swallowed all around the room. 

The judge in turn takes very little time and announces: “Mr. Kettleman. You were found guilty on a charge of 3rd degree aggravated assault. You will be sentenced to one year with possibility of early parole if said parole conditions are met.” After hammering down his final verdict, the judge proceeds to adjourn the court. 

Without a fuss, Mr. Kettleman accepts his faith and allows himself to be escorted out of the courtroom. Halfway through the aisle, he once again stares at the young man sitting in the crowd. “You’re gonna be alright.” the young man sympathetically expresses to Mr. Kettleman. Deep down however; that sympathy might have been masked to hide something veritably dark. 

Mr. Kettleman does not speak and makes his exit while mentally preparing for his one year sentence. 

Later that night, somewhere deep inside an underground facility 

The District Judge sits at a round table in the company of others in his domain and many others with pay grades higher than the mind dares to count. Their weekly meeting carries on as usual until its abruptly interrupted by a messenger. “ Sir, someone’s here to see you.” the messenger relays to the District Judge. A bit flustered by the interruption, the District Judge politely excuses himself off the table. “Gentlemen, will you excuse me.” announces the Judge. He makes his way out of the securely guarded double doors. He heads down the hallway and takes the elevator up to the garage. There, a man awaits him. The Judge greets him and says: “What do you have for me?”

The man in turn replies as he hands the Judge a yellow sealed rectangular envelope: “From Mr. Kettleman. $250,000 in advance for said conditions. An additional $250,000 will be delivered to you upon Mr. Kettleman’s release.” 

“Inform your client that from now on, the advances have doubled.” says the District Judge as he returns to the elevator.

Half a year later

Zan, a tall and light skinned young adult walks out of his vehicle. Lacking confidence due to a deformity in his eyes, his unsteady hand wobbles a bit as he uses the key to lock the doors to his vehicle. Out in an abandoned parking lot, Zan stands near his car as he awaits for his long anticipated meeting with one of the biggest names in his town. A meeting with The Pin! Following a few minutes, a luxurious white Bentley with tinted windows slowly drives into the lot. Zan immediately fixes his posture upright and takes in a deep breath. The white Bentley comes to a full stop, parked parallel to Zan’s outdated and worn out red Buick. The driver’s door to the Bentley springs open and a man steps out. Obesed and quite short, the man propels himself out of the vehicle onto his two feet.

“Mr. Pin. How are you?” greets Zan as he analyzes the lack of breathing room left by Mr. Pin’s tight blue suit. 

“Zan! My son. Good to see you!” excitingly replies Mr. Pin as he walks towards Zan with open arms. Mr. Pin then pauses and takes a quick look at Zan. Ensuing a quick warm manly hug, Mr. Pin says: “Come, come meet my family. My daughter is so excited to see you.” 

Mr. Pin walks to the passenger seat and opens the front door. A woman walks out of the passenger seat. A bit older she is with wrinkles to show but not enough to come to the conclusion that she was beyond fifty. The shining jewels around her neck and ears definitely complemented her light blue outfit. “This is my wife.” points out Mr. Pin. With nothing else to say, not even a few words of compliment or encouragement, he resumes his tour and proceeds to open the back passenger door.  Out came an invigorating and stunning young woman. The white dress and pearls around her neck has Zan jaw drop in utter suspense. Noticing his reaction, Mr. Pin carries on and gently grabs her by the elbow. Unexpectedly, he greets his daughter with a light and quick passionate kiss to the lip. Zan does not find any kind of joy in seeing such an interaction between Mr. Pin and his daughter. Feeling belittled, he suddenly becomes tense. 

Mr. Pin walks the young woman over and says: “Zan. Meet my daughter, Angel! She’s my precious jewel. I trust that you will treat her like the rare diamond that she is. This merger is progress. Not just for you both, but for both of our families. And if you ever need anything, I mean anything, you know where to find me.” 

“Of course.” replies Zan. 

“By the way, how’s your father?” asks Mr. Pin.

“Never been better.” replies Zan.

“Tell him we’ll be seeing each other soon. We’ve got lots to discuss. Great things are on the horizon. Great things! I send him my regards.” adds Mr. Pin as he returns to his white Bentley and dries off leaving his daughter in the company of Zan. 

One month later

Blood spills all over. It continuously drips as it finds its way between the cracks of the ceramic floor.  

Mr. Kettleman stands firmly over his victim with a bat at hand. He’s breath seems heavy and his heart beats at an abnormal rate. He swings once more with enough force to break any firm bones. Realizing he might have pushed the limits with his punishment, he takes a step back and swings the bat to the farthest corner of the room. “I will no longer take the blame or serve anymore jail sentences for your reckless behavior. From now on, you will own responsibility for all of your hideous messes. Now get up!” Mr. Kettleman demands.

The victim does not respond. Mr. Kettleman demands once more: “ Dammit! Get up! Get up Zan!”

Not a sound. 

“Zan! This isn’t the time for your foolishness.” adds Mr. Kettleman. He leans over to grab his son and realizes he had just created his worst nightmare. He immediately breaks down mentally. Tears swim out of his tear ducts faster than he can control them. He wipes his eyes and in the process stains his face with the blood of his son. “ZAN! ZAN! WAKE UP!” yells Mr. Kettleman. He cries and cries. “ZAN! I WAS JUST TRYING TO TEACH YOU A LESSON! GET UP!” 

Nothing Mr Kettleman had to say would bring his son back.

Two Weeks Later

Sporting formal attire, the defendant sits with his head down.  Every so often, he turns around and gazes at an empty seat in the crowd. His expression is nothing short of regret and sadness.

“Members of the Jury, have you reached a verdict?” asks the District Judge. The Jury spokesman stands up and says: “Yes, your honor. We have. Your honor, the members of this jury find the defendant GUILTY!”

The judge in turn takes very little time and announces: “Mr. Kettleman. You were found guilty on one charge of 3rd degree aggravated assault and first degree murder. You will be sentenced to life in prison without parole.” After hammering down his final verdict, the judge proceeds to adjourn the court.

Somewhere out in the 50th floor of a penthouse

“Was it all worth it?” asks the woman as she watches the news unfold detailing Mr. Kettleman’s trial.

“Yes it was. I don’t blame you for being blind to the bigger picture. You’re so small minded.” answers Mr. Pin as he sits as his large glass desk overlooking the city behind him. 

“The boy beat our daughter pin! Angel is now paralyzed from the waist down. How could you say it was worth it? How could you say such a thing!” the woman adds before breaking into tears.

Mr. Pin stands up from his leather chair, walks over to the glass window, places both hands in his pockets and expresses: “ With one trojan horse, I was able to take his entire kingdom.” Mr. Pin pauses, takes a deep breath, smiles and ends with: “Now I own 75% of downtown. It’s the game we play. The game we play.”



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Disturbed Mind of A Millennial

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