Writing prompt: unexplored wilderness

Time: 7 minutes. Click here to go to my list of prompts.

“Unexplored wilderness”

The sweat dribbled down Aaron’s back. The containment suit was unbearable and yet necessary. The lush jungle spread before him. He was the first human ever to set foot in this place. Bugs swirled around his covered face, perhaps sensing his warmth, even if they could not reach it. They gleamed in gold and emerald and sapphire. One appeared, only to be chased off by another. Their reflections filled the air, off into the distance.

As on Earth, the jungle floor was mostly covered with debris, only a small trickle of light permeating this far. Here and there lay a fallen log, covered with new fledgling trees. The flora was full of surprising colors, including whole sections of white, fern-like plants. Perhaps they functioned on a non-chlorophyll system. Somebody would look into it later. Now, he was the first visitor after the rovers. He stepped slowly through the brush, carefully placing his feet.

In the distance, he saw an animal. His first animal. Now he realized that he heard no birds or rodents. He didn’t know if it was for a lack of them, or because he had spooked them. This animal stood on its hind legs, with small forelegs, a little like a kangaroo. Unlike a kangaroo, it was pink, with an enormous prehensile tail. He hastened to see it. He couldn’t take his eyes off of it. He stepped forward.

Riiiip. He looked down. He had torn his containment suit. One of the sapphire insects buzzed past.

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