Kennedy Elias – Shadows in Paradise

The Beginning

Bethany took off her AirPods as the helicopter made its smooth landing. Her stomach formed butterflies as her palms sweated. But as soon as they appeared she shooed them away. The barren landscape left her speechless as she set her sights on her temporary home: the Amazon Rainforest. She was about to be featured on a new show: Survivor. She had dreams of how she would become famous and marry rich. But she never expected that it would be through reality TV. One of the members of the film crew attached a microphone to her shirt, as another filled her in on what she was getting into.

“So we technically cannot tell you much. However, you should know that the other survivors are in various locations in the rainforest”.

“Like, so how do I look for these people?”

“We can’t tell you that….”

Bethany pouted as she heard the news. Her best friend Brithany had also tried out for the show, and she was excited to meet up with her. The crew gave her a slight nudge into the forest and before she could protest, she was alone. The forest was dark and deep, casting shadows along the forest floor. Bethany jumped at the sound of a bird flying out of the bushes. Surely she was fine…right? She missed home already. Her phone, her mansion, her Best Friend….they were all left behind.

“Oh how I wish I had a latte right now.”

“Same here,” A voice said as it emerged from the forest.

Bethany felt her heart jump as she saw a girl emerge. Bethany looked, and one thought crossed her mind, The girl looked disgusting. She was wearing only dark colors and had on a Elmo-T shirt. This was far different than Bethany’s pastel pink shirt with exercise leggings and bedazzled acrylic nails. Her hair was a strawberry-blonde color that seemed pale against Bethany’s rich blonde.

“OMG hey!” she said as she ran and gave the girl a fake hug. Her motto was keep your friends close but your enemies closer.

“Hi. Am I the only person that really does want to be here?” She said sarcastically, “Oh and my name’s Emmy.”

Emmy looked like one of these ‘quirky’ girls that claimed to be different and “not like other girls”. But when it came down to it, was really more basic than everyone else. She also looked like one of those girls that thinks liking food is a personality trait.

“My name’s Bethany. And yes, you probably are. Why though?”

“I believe that this is the secret sight of a lost alien city. And for some reason no one believes me. Can you believe it?”

“Yes,” she said blatantly, thinking ‘this chick is crazy’.

“I take it your thing is conspiracy theories,” she said to Emmy sarcastically.

“OMG yes! Do you watch Shane Dawson?” Emmy exclaimed as her eyes lit up.

“No. Everything is a hoax on the internet.”

“And shows like Keeping Up with the Kardashians aren’t?”

Bethany fumed. This girl was the most irrational person she has ever met. Of course Reality TV was real, They were on a reality show at that moment. And Bethany was sure that  aliens were not real.

“We should get going and find the others so we can have a game plan.”

Bethany sighed as Emmy dragged her through the forest. Emmy seemed to be lost in thought and was taking them in a circle.

“Hey! Is anybody there?” Emmy yells.

They jumped at the sound of a loud booming voice.

“Shhhh. It’s the aliens,” Emmy said with a worried voice.

“No it’s not, stupid.”

Three people emerged from the forest. Two guys who looked like they had just rubbed dirt on their faces and a girl who looked like she had no idea what she was doing.

“What on earth happened to you?” Emmy says in shock.

Bethany could tell what Emmy was thinking. Of course she though the people were aliens. Emmy smiled as a proud look appeared on her face. She obviously thought that she was right.

“Well….,” the first dude began to say just as the other interrupted

“I challenged Peter here to arm wrestling.”

“And Aden won,” Peter said defeatedly. Peter looked like someone that never left his basement. His eyes were baggy from playing video games all day and his hair hadn’t been washed in weeks. Aden, on the other hand, was a tall, average guy. And at that point normality was a blessing on the island full of psychos.

“I saw you roll your eyes,” The nameless girl locked eyes with Bethany with a sickening glare.

Emmy started whistling, as if she noticed the tension in the air.

“And what might your name be?” Bethany said through an obvious sigh.

“Mia.”

Mia was definitely a “Horse Girl”. She was proudly sporting a derby shirt with ripped jeans and cowboy boots.

“How embarrassing,” Bethany thought, “I wouldn’t be caught dead in that.”

But the  most important thing was how Mia looked at her. It was as if daggers were shooting out of her eyes.

“So what’s our goal, plastic?” Mia said sarcastically.

Bethany straightened her pencil skirt as she frantically decided on a plan. The forest looked thick and deep, and Bethany had no plan.

“I don’t know. Who spends the most time in nature?”

“Definitely Aden!” Peter said

“Not really, but I think I have an idea”

The Harsh Reality

After walking for what seemed like hours the group had found what they were looking for: a lake. The shadows of the trees created a deep gloom on the water, and the sand looked like a pile of flames. Bethany had ditched her stiletto heels, and the rest of the group also seemed to have lost their shoes. Exhausted , they all collapsed in unison on the burning hot sand.

“So…what’s the next step, cap?” Mia said to Aden

“We need some sort of shelter. And let’s not forget food.”

“Fishing is too difficult,” said Bethany.

“I’m not hunting,” said Peter.

“Well then, how do you plan on surviving?” Mia screams.

“The camera crew will just swoop in and save us if we need help…that’s how TV work…right? Like that’s how it works on other shows. Discounting that the other shows were “Real Housewives” And the “Kardashian’s” Bethany said as she crossed her arms.

“Or we can focus on finding the aliens” Emmy chimed in

“FOR THE LOVE OF GOD-“

“OK STOP”

Peter walks into the middle of the circle as they all start to go quiet. The yelling had subsided so that all they could hear was the sound of bugs.  

“Ok. Since everyone can’t decide what we are going to do, I’ll do it for them”

“Emmy your on shelter building dudy. Same goes to Peter. Bethany and Mia. I think it’s best to keep you as a team. You ladies are in charge of making weapons and other useful items, and I will go find food”

Before they were to object Aden had already disappeared into the greenery. Vlogling as he went through the forest. He kind of looked like a YouTuber with his extravagant hand gestures. But as soon as he had disappeared Bethany had been brought beack into the harsh reality.

“So Biscotti”

“It’s Bethany Mia. B-e-t-h-a-n-y”

“Ok Blithany we should probably start making some useful items”

Unable to object Bethany grabs a coconut and starts to pound it on the sand. She makes a face of confusion when it doesn’t even break. It should…right. That’s what always happens in the movies. Mia snickers as she proceeded to sit and “supervise”. Bethany looks around to see if the others were doing any better. Emmy and Peter are struggling to move some branches as they talk about the latest alien video games.

“We’re doomed”

As the sun started to set Bethany started to feel her stomach rumble in pain. It turns out that one shouldn’t keep up a diet in the wilderness. The entire camp was eating a fresh snake as they bragged to the camera about their catch. Her stomach was aching and she knew what she had to do.

“I’m so sorry” she said to the snake before eating

“Sooo…this is supposed to be our shelter”

“Yep me and Emmy tried out best”

“I see…”

Bethany gazed at their “shelter”. If one could even call it that. It was two sticks propped against a tree with some palms as the only windbreaker.

“It’s great, huh” Emmy says as she makes jazz hands

Mia puts on a fake smile as she nods her head. The rest of the group follows suit as they all try to get comfortable in the small abode. Bethany had just happened to lay down next to…Emmy. GREAT.

“I wonder where the aliens are right now”

“Non existent”

“Hah, good one”

“Why do you believe that. I mean anyone can fabricate evidence”

“Why do you think that reality Tv is real” Emmy says with a smirk

“Bec- ughhhh”

“Got you there huh”

Bethany’s face truned red as she tried to think about a good response. But to no avail.

The rest of the night all of their oices drowned out, to the sound of the flickering fireflies and animals creeping in the shadows of the brush.

A Way Home

Bethany awoke to everyone packing up camp. If one could even consider it a camp. The “camp” consisted of handmade tools and nothing more. That’s literally all they could carry as they started walking to their extraction point. The forest was thick and Mia and Aden was struggling to cut through it. To Bethany’s shock Mia was presenting herself useful. They all were…Peter was really good at navigating and said that it was because he plays video games. Emmy was also helping everyone become distracted from their current situation in the only way she knows how. Aliens.

“Hey are you going to help us out” Mia shouted from up ahead

“Nope”

Bethany was not going to waste her time and image to even THINK of how to help others. This was totally their problem….right?

As the day went on the hot sun scorched her skin. The group looked fatigued. All panting and sweating, ew. Mia collapsed and Emmy started crying. The helicopter was here. Peter struggled to look confident as he was also on the brink of tears. This was definitely rough for them. The crew helped them on the helicopter and Bethany had the best meal she had ever tasted. Despite that Mia said that it only tasted good because they had eaten coconuts and snake. Gosh it was good to be back.

Bethany had not thought that being on tv would be so fun…that’s definitely the wrong word. Painful sounded better.

“Even though you did nothing”

“Shoot I said that out loud didn’t I”

“Yes” Mia said as she started to look at her phone.

“Hey….Thanks for putting up with my amazing personality”

“Yea sure Bedazzle. Let’s keep in touch”

“Deal”

Bethany looked out at the serene landscape. The dense jungle looked so small as the helicopter flew above the clouds. Her stomach formed butterflies as they neared home. And yes, she didn’t find her future husband on this trip…but there’s always next time.


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