The trip of a lifetime….

I finally heard it, ‘flight TM7364 is now boarding at gate number 32,’ Sharon and I squealed as we grabbed our rucksacks and ran towards the gate. We were two eighteen year olds on an adventure to South America, first stop, Sao Paulo.

Twelve hours later we landed in the main international airport. I was shocked at how clean the airport was, I thought we were going to a third world country. As soon as we stepped into arrivals we were bombarded with locals providing taxi services, bus services, car services, hotels, trips around the country, the list was endless but it was the trips that caught our attention. We wanted to see and do as much as possible inside the four weeks we had.

Sharon headed for a guy holding up a “trips see everything!” sign. He looked dark, sultry and confident, just Sharon’s type.

‘Are you looking for adventure ladies? Cheap trips for beautiful ladies,’ he said to us in broken English as his long eyelashes blinked and stared at us admiringly.

‘Let me handle this,’ I whispered to Sharon, I didn’t want hormones to get in the way of a good deal.

‘Hi,’ I returned. My smile wavered as his piercing black eyes looked at us up and down, like a human x-ray.

‘Welcome to Sao Paulo, we offer trips to Hopi Hari, Bonespa building and more.’ I looked at him and he continued to speak enthusiastically ‘what do you think ladies’ he gave us a wink.

I looked over at Sharon, she had a dreamy dazed looked in her eyes, uh oh. I didn’t have a good feeling about this guy but she wouldn’t take no for an answer.

He was shifting his weight from left to right, right to left, he looked extremely uncomfortable yet had this amazing smile plastered to his face, the two didn’t seem to match.

‘Let me escort you to your hotel ladies,’ he offered. I suggested to Sharon we should shop around and make our own way there but she grabbed my hand and yanked me so hard my bag fell off my shoulder. He was quick to pick it up and start walking towards the car park. I walked close behind him to make sure my bag was safe. I was relieved that I had my passport and money on me, one good piece of advice from my mother.

When we reached his rusty silver jeep he opened the back seat and threw my bag inside. I hesitated, all my belongings were in that bag. I scrambled in behind it for fear of losing everything. Maybe I was over reacting, he was just a friendly local, right?

As he drove us down street after street he kept saying ‘not much longer now.’ I’m sure the Lonely Planet guide said it only took 10 minutes to the hostel but we had been driving for 20 minutes at least.

I looked at him through the rear view mirror, he looked very smug. Danger flickered in his eyes as he swerved and honked his way around the city. Something was definitely off, even Sharon could sense it now.

‘It’s ok, you can drop us off here,’ I said. All I got back was an empty glare. His hands seemed to grip the steering wheel harder until his knuckles started to get red.

He pulled over by an abandoned building. ‘We’re here’ he deviously chuckled to himself. I didn’t even have time to open my mouth, both back passenger doors flew open and two huge guys on each side grabbed Sharon and I from the jeep and into what looked like a warehouse.

I was shocked but took a moment to get my bearings and clear my head. I realised our bags were still in the jeep and all of the men were in the room with us. They weren’t after our possessions then. This was serious.

‘What do you want?’ I shouted. I shouted it loud so I wouldn’t sound terrified. The guy who we met at the airport looked like the ringleader and he responded first.

‘Girls,’ he said with a sly smile, ‘I hope you have a couple of kidneys to spare.’ Again he chuckled, more like the devil this time.

I was confused, kidneys? What did he mean by kidneys? We were pushed into another room which had a scalpel and other blunt instruments lying on the floor on a red towel. Blood decorated the floor and walls and there were two buckets of ice on the side. I then realised the towel was a light colour it was just stained with blood that gave it its rich red.

Sharon and I started screaming, kicking and shouting. We realised he really did want our kidneys. It was too late. I started thinking about my family when I felt a heavy blow to my head. I heard the devil chuckle for the last time.

Roopam Janda


online creative writing school


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