Alternative Content Warning: This story contains scenes of an alternative nature between two women. This story is not for those under the age of eighteen.
Uber Warning: This story is an uber.
Authors Notes: This is the second installment to my Panther series. All POSITIVE comments are welcome. Negatives I will simply ignore. Let me know what you think. Send your thoughts to email@example.com .
It was about two in the afternoon when we headed down river. I hated to travel in a boat. It was so boring. Luckily my Walkman had survived the crash, so I was able to entertain myself. The rain had dulled down to a light drizzle, but the river was a dark brown from the previous flood. My annoying cousin Darren was along for this trip. He and I have bickered like five year olds all our lives, good naturedly of course. My uncle tapped the side of my head. I lowered my headphones to my neck. "What?"
"Ive been thinking." I suppressed my need to congratulate him. "About your friend."
"What friend?" Darren asked.
"What about her?" I ask.
"I can try and find out who she is if you want. Theres another Pawaw village down river from base."
"Thats okay." I sigh. It really doesnt matter to me who she is. All I know is I miss her.
"What friend?" Darren asked.
"Nobody you need to worry about." He made a rather stupid face at me. I just stuck out my tongue in response.
We began to see the beginning of the base. I have been here twice before, but always by plane, not by boat. Their funding from California was quite apparent. The buildings were almost modern in appearance. Jeeps, boats, and motorcycles were the mode of transportation. I jumped off the boat onto dry land, my backpack strapped on. "Eric!" My mom came towards me with a huge grin on her face. She and Darren are the only ones that call me Eric. I rather like it.
"Mom." I smiled as she grabbed me in a fierce hug.
"Are you okay, Sweetie? Ryan told me what happened."
"Im okay, Mom." She took a moment to run her fingers through my hair.
"Well go on up to the house." I began my trek up to my moms house. With the generators the only thing we lack is television, the one true life necessity. I sat in my moms chair and turned on the T.V. to watch whatever movie was in the VCR.
My mom came in before I could begin to enjoy technology again. "Can I talk to you, Hon?"
"I guess so."
"Are you sure youre okay? You havent been sick have you?"
"No, why? I had a temperature for a few hours, but that was days ago."
"You just look a little pale thats all."
"Well being lost in a rain forest can do that to a person." I joked.
"Ryan said you met someone that helped you?"
"Yeah, Orie." I smiled.
"Eyes of Water. Interesting name." she commented.
"I know about what you said to her."
"Figures, Uncle Ryan cant keep anything to himself." I sighed.
"What makes you think you love her?"
"I just do."
"What about Donna?"
"D-ddonna." I stuttered. "I uhhhh....."
"Erica, what on Earth makes you think you can keep something like that from me?" Her favorite line. As usual I say nothing. "Im not going to give you a lecture about what I think, but I am going to tell you this...there is no way for you to be with her so forget it."
"Forget it?" I said agitated.
"Yes. Eric, she lives in the middle of a jungle. Is that the way you wanna live?" I stood and walked back outside, not knowing what else to do. I just knew I didnt want to hear that. The sun was beginning to set. I watched as the light began to fade. "Erica, come back inside." My mother rubbed my shoulder. I moved away from her. "I was just stating the obvious, Eric."
"I know." I turn to her. "I love her. I dont why, but I do. Ill find a way." I left her to finish the sunset.
Three weeks..oh gods....How in the world have I survived here for three weeks? Orie is in my mind and in my dreams. Those two nights we spent sleeping close together are burned into my mind. I do nothing all day but, sit at the riverbank or in the house. Mom has begged me to do something with her, which means something boring for the project. The only time I showed any interest in anything was when three Pawaw warriors came to see one of our guides, but my uncle kept me busy so I didnt get to talk to them.
Now here I am chucking rocks. Im up to five skips with one rock. Just as I hurled another one, I was hit by a small rock from behind. I turned around, expecting to see my cousin. There was no one behind me. I turned back around and waited. I was hit again. I turned to see Balla at the edge of the trees. I quickly looked around. No one was looking in my direction. I jumped up and followed Balla into the forest. We didnt get far before Orie stepped out from behind a tree. "Orie." I smiled. I noted before she hugged me that my necklace still hung around her neck. She had shortened it into a choker. "I missed you." She smiled.
"I have...a.." She thought about the word she was needing. I waited patiently. "sur-surprise?" she asked. I smiled.
"You have a surprise?"
"Yes. For..you." She carefully moved to the edge of the camp. "Can you..go with..me?"
"No, later. To--tom...."she gave up after the second try. "derca(Tomorrow)."
"I can try. How long will we be gone?"
"It is..your choice."
"Ill meet you at sunrise." She smiled.
"Eric?" Darren yelled from the bank.
"Go." She caressed my cheek before I walked away.
"Where were you? Taking a dump?" Darren teased.
"Up yours." I shoved him out of my path and continued on to the house.
I scribbled out a note about going swimming and was out the door. Orie met me in the same spot I saw her yesterday. Balla followed close behind as Orie led me somewhere. I dont know how long we walked exactly. Maybe two hours when Orie stopped. "Close your eyes." I did, though I was really curious as to why.
"Okay." She led me several more feet before she said I could look. "Oh my gods." I gasped. "How did...." I looked up to a big tree house. The design looked straight out of the Swiss Family Robinson or something. I did recognize the Pawaw design to the structure. It had four walls and everything. I turned to her, completely speechless.
"Where did this come from?" I pointed.
"I made." I blinked.
"You made this?"
"Hasama, you stay in a big hut at home. You stay in a big hut with..me.....You dont like it do.." she started to say.
"No, no. Its beautiful Orie." There was that head gesture again. I have come to the conclusion it means curiosity or confusion. I choose the ladder in this instance. "Orie, you want me to live with you?" She nodded.
"I want to be gamana."
"Gamana." I repeated.
"Yes." It was a beautiful admission. Gam means life, ana means mate. She wanted to be my wife. When I didnt answer right away, her face contorted. "You do not."
"I love you Orie, but I cant be gamana to you....not yet anyway."
"Why?" Oh how could I convince her I didnt want to stay with her, when I knew in my heart I wanted to?
"Because I cant just drop my life and run off into the woods." I smiled. Puzzlement spread across her face. I forgot her lack of knowledge in the humor department.
The guilt I felt weighed heavy on my mind as she took me back home. The house was gorgeous and she obviously worked hard on it, but Im sure she had help though. When I could, I would sneak in a caress to her back or arm. She would respond. Her Pawaw nature shined through. They were an affectionate people. When I would stop to rest, she would allow me to sit on her lap. Her nose would rub lovingly across my face and if I were luckily that warm tongue would give my neck an occasional lick or nip. I was relieved that she still loved me.
I was about to say my good-byes to Orie when my mother moved towards us. Balla remained out of view. "Erica?" Oh shit. Ories eyes grew wide as my mother locked eyes with her. "Hello." she waved. "I mean, kada."
"She speaks English, Mom." I sighed. My mom moved to me. Orie suddenly stood in front of me. "Its okay, Orie. This my mom. She wont hurt me." I stepped around her.
"This is Orie." Mom smiled.
"Mom, how many blue eyed white women do you see wandering around the jungle?"
"Oh very funny. Come on, Orie." she motioned. I took her hand and we followed behind my mother. We all stopped as my uncle and Darren pulled up to the shore on a boat. My uncle jumped out and approached us.
"Hello." He flattened his hand over his chest. "Ryan." He even did
a slight head bow. Orie nodded her head in acknowledgment. "Can I speak to you
two?" he asked us. Mother moved away with my uncle and I turned to Orie.
"Stay here. Okay?" She nodded her head. I turned and joined them.
"Okay what are you planning on doing with her Dana?"
"Look Ryan, Eric obviously adores her enough to tread off into the woods all day. The least we can do is help this poor thing. Maybe find out who she is." My uncle sighed.
"Are you sure you want to take on this responsibility, Erica?"
"I love her Uncle Ryan."
"I know you do, but are you sure she wants to be here?"
"I dont know, but doesnt she deserve better than living in a jungle if she has a family?"
"Alright." he sighed. "There are two possibilities: One shes been here since she was a baby and doesnt know anything of...civilization." he smiled. "or she was a child when she got here. If thats true. We should be able to pick up on it."
"How?" I asked.
"Things around her will trigger memories and she may be able to tell us how she got here, what her name is, stuff like that. Take her into the house, Erica." I walked back to my friend and took her hand. I opened the door and led her inside. My uncle and mom werent far behind.
She submitted to whatever I asked of her. She is now sitting on the floor, she refused to sit in a chair, so I sat with her. She wore one of my moms denim shirts and a pair of black sweatpants. She looked so different now in modern clothing. She sat cross-legged on the floor. "See that, Orie?" She nodded. "Thats a T.V." She mumbled something that at first, I couldnt make it out.
"Little buddy." At first I didnt believe thats what she said, but she repeated it twice. She stared at the blank T.V. screen.
"Little buddy? What does that mean?" my mother asked.
"Gilligans Island." Our heads snapped around to Darren. "You know...the skipper called Gilligan that." he said nervously. I jumped and searched my moms videos until I came across the one I was looking for. Uncle Ryan turned on the television as I put Rescue From Gilligans Island in the VCR.
We watched her as she watched the movie. She remained completely silent. You could see those wheels turning in her head. Uncle Ryan and Mom joined us on the floor, one on each side of us. "Orie." My mom caressed her shoulder to get her attention. "Whats your name?"
"That is your name now. What was your name then?" she pointed to the television. Just as I thought, the head gesture. "What did your mom," she pointed at Orie, "call you?" She looked at me with uncertainty. She reflexively moved closer to me. I wrapped my arms around her.
"La...La." She was desperately trying to form a word. I stroked her hair softly as she began to cry. "Lon-nie....Lonnie." she repeated. I smiled at my mom. Now we had a name to go on. My uncle stood.
"Erica, why dont you take her to bed. She must be tired by now." I stood with Orie still holding me. My uncle unbuckled his belt and pulled it out of loops of his pants. The sudden sound made Orie curl around me.
"Shhhh. Its okay." I was surprised that such a small sound like that could scare her. We all exchanged glances before I led her off to my room. I saw my uncle gesture for me to come back.
After I settled Orie in my bed, I returned to the living room. My uncle was on the phone. "Yeah....Shes about in her late twenties I guess. Caucasian, blue eyes, black hair. She says her first name was Lonnie.....Thanks, Jake....Alright...Bye."
"What was that?" I asked.
"Oh. I have a friend at the immigration office in Brasilia. If Orie wasnt born here, but in the states, hell probably be able to tell us her full name."
"What do ya mean?" My mom asked.
"I mean why. Who cares what her name was? Shes Orie now and her home is here."
"I thought you wanted her to find her family."
"I dont know anymore." I sighed. "Im in love with Orie, not Lonnie Uncle Ryan." I decided to make an exit and check on Orie.
I opened my bedroom door and stepped in. When I turned around, I saw an empty bed. "Orie?" I look around and see that my window is open. I stuck my head out. I saw her lying on the ground, on her back. Balla was curled up next to her. I had to smile. I walked over to the bed and pulled the blanket off of it. I climbed out of my window and walked over to them. She looked up at me.
"Be-tter out here. Dont like inside much." I draped the blanket over her. "You stay?"
"Sure." Despite the hardness of the ground, I felt comfortable with my head resting on her chest.
My mother woke us up early and she had news from Uncle Ryans contact. We both moved toward the house. Orie saw Darren trying in vein to cast a fishnet. She moved to him and said, "You do wrong throw."
"Huh?" he said. He handed Orie the net when she gestured for it. She proceeded to throw it perfectly into the river. She started to show him how to pull the net in. I wanted to join them, but Mom stopped me.
"Shell be okay with Darren."
"Are you sure?" I chuckled.
Uncle Ryan was sitting at his desk in the living room when we entered. "What did ya find?" He spun around in his office chair to face me.
"Sit down, Eric." Oh this is not a good sign. He picked up a piece of paper. "Jake faxed me this last night....Its a very strong possibility that this is her because he said this was the only Lonnie that matched her age that visited Brazil."
"Well?" I was beginning to get impatient.
"Lonnie Ann Berke. Born 1971. That would make her twenty-nine." I nodded unconsciously. That seemed about right. "She entered the country in 1976. Age five. Parents Henry and Anne Berke." He sighed heavily.
"It seems her parents worked for some sort of animal trade company."
"Well they were investigated and cleared...on that."
"What else were they charged with?" He locked eyes with me.
"Child abuse and neglect."
"What?" Mom gasped.
"Apparently they fled here, with Lonnie, when the U.S. charged them with child abuse and child neglect. Her father must have remarried because Lonnies mother is listed as a Tonya Berke. She died in 1971. Right after Lonnies birth. Complications."
"So, how did she get into the jungle?" I asked.
"Ive been thinking about that." Uncle Ryan turned around and grabbed another piece of paper. "They entered Brazil on March 16th of 76 and left on April 3rd of 76." He looked up at both of us. "Without Lonnie."
"You mean that they just abandoned her?" Mom asked. My uncle shrugged.
"It would seem so. I have my contact looking into where they were when they stayed here. We should know something soon."
"DAD!" Darren yelled from outside. I was the first one up and out the door.
Darren came running up from the river. "Whats wrong?" I asked.
"Vern fired the rifle and Orie took off. Shes in a tree by the river."
"Oh crap. Dont you know thatll scare her! You should have stopped him." my uncle chastised before he headed with us to find Orie. Darren followed behind us.
"I tried to get her to come down, but she wouldnt." He took the lead to show us where she was.
Sure enough, she was in a tree. "Give me some room." I gestured for them to move back. They did. "Orie?" I called up to her. She did not respond to my voice. "Orie, come down." She didnt move an inch, except for the shaking as she clutched the branch next to her. "Orie, Towa ua na.(Come to me)." I saw her eyes blink. "Ranay(Please)." Her arms released her hold on the tree. "Som si lam kima ke(No one will hurt you)."
"What the hell is she saying?" I heard Darren whisper. He never bothered to learn anything other than English. I watched as Orie slowly moved to the trunk and start to climb down. When she reached the ground, she moved away from them and went to me.
"Come here." I enveloped her in my arms. "Its okay."
I took her into the house and she immediately sat on the floor. I sat with her. Mom handed me a mug of water. I took Ories hand and placed it around the handle, showing her how to hold it. She drank gratefully. When my uncle came in, I knew he had more news by the look on his face. "While we were gone, I got this. Well read it later." he said after seeing the state Orie was in.
It didnt take long for Orie to develop a fascination with the television. Her speech was improving, somewhat. She still stutters and doesnt remember certain words for things, but it is not slow. It actually sounds like shes getting her American accent back, probably from watching the movies. I dont think the animalistic gestures will ever go completely away. Somehow they seem a part of her, not something that was learned. Maybe thats why shes a Mosa to the Pawaw.
I have seen glimpses into Lonnie. Apparently, she liked peanut butter and jelly. Mom has made seven sandwiches today. Only one was mine. Keeping with her love for me, she still offers her food to me. I gave in a took half of her third and fourth sandwiches, which made her happy. She watched Gilligans Island on T.V. as a child. It was now getting late and my uncle came into the living room from outside. "Hey Eric, Orie." he smiled. He unbuckled his belt and pulled it from his trousers. Orie crawled away from him into the corner.
"Orie, its okay." This time she curled herself into a ball and wouldnt look at anything but him. "Uncle Ryan, its your belt. Put it where she cant see it." He immediately tossed it into his bedroom.
"Orie, I wont hurt you." he said in a soft tone. It took several minutes, but she finally understood that my uncle was not going to hit her.
After Orie was asleep, on the floor of my room, I joined them all in the living room. "Eric, she must have beaten with a belt." she said sadly. I nodded in agreement. "What did you find out, Ryan." Mom asked.
"They stayed in a town that holds the office to....Crazy Creatures. Its a legit company that deals in pet shops and stuff. Anyway, the town is about fifty miles from here. Further down river. There is a Pawaw village near there. I believe its Chief Reds tribe."
"Is it me or are there always Pawaw villages near towns?" Darren commented.
"The villages were there first, Honey." Mom said. "The Pawaw are a very friendly people and building a town near them insures safety."
"Oh, so are you going there?"
"No need. Well have Serik contact the local tribe to send us their Gonman."
"Their what?" Darren asked.
"Gonman. Its the person in every tribe that can tell all the stories, legends, and info." my uncle said.
"And were in luck because the Gonman from this village speaks English." Mom added.
By the time we were up and had breakfast, the Gonman was here. He approached us and dropped to his knees. "Kada, Mosa.(Greetings, Animal God)."
"Cool." Darren said. I elbowed him in the ribs.
"Coka(Rise)." He did instantly.
"Orie. Could you show Darren how to get the canoe down the river to the Farn trees?" she nodded. "Great." We watched them as they headed off to the river.
"Uncle Ryan, its not fair sending her off like that." I gestured.
"I know, Eric. We need to find out more." He gestured for the man to sit.
"We need to you know about, Orie."
"Eric, is wanting to seal their love and be Gamana." Well I really wouldnt mind that, but Im sure hes just saying that to get the information.
"Hasama." he bowed. Wow. News travels fast around here. "Orie was adopted by the Shaman of the next village." He pointed down river. "He found her on a hunting trip and brought her home. His daughter die, he make Orie his daughter. The shaman die eleven years ago. Orie was made one with the panther."
"I dont understand." I said.
"Orie is panther. They are same."
"Why does she live in the jungle?" I ask.
"She choose. She doesnt like village. Panther cannot live in cage." I was beginning to understand her solitude.
"Thank you." he stood, bowed to me, and left. We all watched as the man joined two others and headed away.
"So, what are you gonna do with Jungle Jane?" Darren chuckled as he walked back up to us. I turned around and punched him across the face, sending him down.
"You asshole!" I screamed. "Dont call her that!" Before my uncle could intervene he jumped up and shoved me roughly.
"It was a joke okay! Lighten up." He shoved me again.
"Hey you two! Knock it off!" Mom yelled. Just as Darren was about to push me again, he was propelled backwards landing several feet away. Orie had literally grabbed his shirt and yanked him backwards onto the ground. She placed herself between me and my big mouth cousin. Like the idiot he is, he jumped up and charged her. She braced herself. Darren tackled her, but she was immovable. He crumpled to the ground, not moving her an inch. Deep within her throat, I heard the smallest of growls, sounding exactly like a cat. As Darren opened his eyes, he saw blue eyes staring down at him. He turned over on his side and came nose-to-nose with Balla. Even standing there, none of us knew where that cat came from. Without warning the big cat screamed right in his face.
"Ahhhhhh!" He jumped and ran for the house. Balla didnt follow. Instead, she walked over and placed herself on Ories right side. Orie reached down and brushed her hand over Ballas head.
Before any of us could say anything, Orie stormed towards the house. Fearing for Darrens safety my mom and uncle followed. I did too. When we got into the house, the clothes Orie had been wearing were strewn on the floor. "Orie?" I moved into my room. She had just finished putting on her old clothes. "What are you doing?" She didnt answer. She grabbed her weapons and stepped around me. "Orie?" I followed her back outside. We all did, including a sore Darren.
"Orie,.....CAN NOT STAY HERE!" she gestured. "CAN NOT BE LONNIE!" she yelled. I was scared. She hasnt yelled like this before. All of our guys that were within earshot moved towards the commotion. "NOT LONNIE!" Clearly what happened with Darren was all she could take of civilization. "NE MA ORIE(I am Orie)!" She threw both arms into the air and screamed at the sky. "NE MA MOSA!" Every man that was Pawaw hit their knees. It was an awesome sight. My family and I stood with mouths agape. "NE MA SOME LONNIE!(I am not Lonnie)!" She dropped her arms and turned to us. She walked back towards me. "Ne bosa ke, Hamasa." She held out her hand. "Towa nae Orie(Come with Orie)?"
To Be Continued......
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