Run to the Jungle

Port Kaituma, Guyana | Martin Samaroo, Google Maps

There are moments that unfold like hours, and then there are those that hold a lifetime.

“Get in the jungle,” her father screamed from the stairs of the plane.

She looked down. Her mother’s body lay lifeless on the tarmac, a pool of blood where her trademark dandelion puff of blond hair should be. Her mother; a deck of images flashed through Tracy’s mind: the church in Charleston, the lemon cake Mom made for birthdays, her singing hush, little baby; her mother, gone. The men and their guns out of sight for now.

“Run.” His face was frantic. She turned. Her sister was running into the thick of it—the jungle that had seemed so frightening when they got there—the jungle full of centipedes and snakes and jaguars. The jungle as thick with danger as it was with darkness—even during the day.

It was the safest place to be.

151 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt, click here.

Inspired by Childhood Jonestown Survivor Recounts Desperate Escape into the Jungle as Cult’s Mass Suicide Killed Over 900


  1. Would make a good short story or novelette. Think about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading–that would be interesting for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I wondered if someone would cover that. Yea, not good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such a tragic event. So many sad stories from this one.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yea. Our hearts go out to them.


  3. I found that story authentically scary. When you highlighted the frightening jungle to be the safest place to be, I went “Brrrrr!” Excellent writing, Karen.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much Penny–I was trying for that! Glad you found it scary.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. […] to Karen and Josh for facilitating this […]

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Karen,

    Chilling story well told. I’ll never forget the picture on the cover of Life Magazine and wondering how so many people could be led into a massacre like that. Frightfully good bit of writing.



    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Rochelle. I too remember when this happened. It was so hard to believe than and still hard to believe now.


  6. Heart in the mouth writing. That description of mother, her hair, her baking, her singing – so devastating. And no time to mourn, just moments to flee into a terrifying jungle. Such good writing, so well done. As Kindred Spirit says, could be longer, but it packs serious punch as it is. Wonderful

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Lynn, that means a lot!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Always my pleasure 🙂


  7. Superb camera work here. You really put us in the middle. What a terrible thing to witness.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you J Hardy. There were so many terrible sad stories that day.


  8. What everyone else said. Thank you for a heart-wrenching story. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lish. It’s great to see you this week!


  9. peterkirsch

    You captured the fear and desperation exceptionally well.

    The horror…the horror.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Peter–thanks for reading.


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