THE REDHOUSE EFFECT
Oh God. What’s going on?
(the rabbit thumps its foot on the ground two times and then turns and speeds back into the bush. ABI runs in the opposite direction)
INT. THE JUNGLE – DAY
(A drumroll. ABI runs while breathing feverishly. She can hear noises in front of her growing louder and louder gradually. She is a kilometer away from the village when suddenly begins sweating. She grimaces in discomfort yet continues running. Almost instantly, she is startled by various animals and birds fleeing past her with panic cries. Bewildered, she does not pause but continues till she is almost at the village. She hears a commotion ahead, and that is before she bumps into a tall buff man in green uniform)
Hey! Stop right here, kid!
I want to see my father!
Stay right here! It’s not safe anywhere else. Emergency crews only just arrived.
Emergency crews? For what?
(one of the young girls standing among the excited villagers comes over)
Abi! Are you okay?
What’s really going on, Mimi?
Can’t you see?
(it is then ABI slowly raises her eyes to the hillside and see that it is still glowing red as the fire is spreading rapidly. The whole surrounding is lit red, and the atmosphere is now filled with a dense cloud of dark smoke, almost completely blotting out the sun. ABI opens her mouth wide in horror and that is when she hears the blaring of the sirens of emergency fire crews who are apparently struggling to battle the fire. ABI quickly turns to the tall buff man)
Please I need to get over there.
What?! Are you crazy? What are you going to do over there?
You don’t understand! My father is over there!
What’s your father’s name?
Jo…Joseph Sackey, sir.
Um, I see. I believe he’ll be okay. What…what’s going on… (the man turns and hurries back to where a group of villagers have formed a temporary medical unit, bringing in the wounded and the unconscious from the fire and attending to them. One young man with badly scorched clothes is narrating an incomprehensive incident as the crowd gasp and exclaim at the right moments. ABI meanwhile looks at MIMI.)
We can’t just stand here! We need to do something.
Of what? Why don’t we hear what they are saying first?
(the two girls inch closer, past the wounded and the sick to where the narrator is still blabbing)
…spreading so fast than we could ever imagine! It ravaged most of the western part of the forest in just a few minutes. Soon, it will be upon us. We need to evacuate to safety immediately!
Let’s get to work then!
Wait, but what about the workers?
Fate unknown. The firefighters are struggling to get further close due to the immense heat. But I believe some people are trapped in there somewhere…
(that is enough for ABI as she turns and runs)
( ABI pays no heed as she runs with all her strength. As she nears the hillside, she can feel the intense heat, making her grimace in discomfort. She can still hear the shoutings of the fire crew as they struggle to battle the inferno.)
(ABI reaches the hillside, just opposite the Lake. The shoutings and screaming are nearer now. She is now drenched in sweat, and can barely open her eyes. She coughs vigorously and then gets alerted by a movement far off in the inferno, just within the trunk of a huge tree.)
(she is about to run towards the place when she is suddenly alerted by a snapping noise above. She looks up and sees a huge bough falling. Quick as a striking krait, she rolls out of the way just seconds before the branch hits the spot she had been standing on with a loud CRASH! She gasps in trepidation as if wondering how she is going to get past this obstacle. By this time, her whole body has been drenched in sweat and her clothes are beginning to singe. She tilts her head to one side as she appears to be thinking. Slowly, she turns to face the Lake as she has gotten an idea. She speeds towards the Lake, removes her slippers and her wristwatch upon reaching it, and then wade into the very cold water till only her head is out. After a few seconds, she turns to face the bank as she is about to get out, when a mild breeze sets off on the water, its current drawing her farther in. ABI screams in terror as she struggles to paddle forward.)