Slice #4: Jungle Meets Concrete

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is a populated, thriving city in which the jungle meets concrete. For the most part, its wild-life lives in harmony with its residents, but occasionally, paths cross…

“Shut the door! Shut the door!”

The panic in my husband’s voice is palpable. I’m certain we have just become another KL robbery statistic. Knowing my husband, ever the protector, is placing himself in harm’s way to secure the safety of the family, I take action. Clamouring down the stairs to carry out the command, I suss out how I am going to shut and lock the door simultaneously, while running through self-defense techniques should the intruder succeed in getting past my husband. I realize the defense workshop offered at school a while back would have come in handy right about now.

Reaching the first landing, I grab hold of the bannister, swinging round to the second flight of stairs without losing any momentum. The open door threatens to let the intruder in any second now. I hit the floor, extending my arm to fling the door shut, when suddenly I detect a movement to the side of the door – the intruder had broken through the perimeter and was in the house.

We lock eyes as he scrambles towards me. Now it is my turn to shout. Afraid to break gaze with his beady black eyes, I inch backwards feeling for the stairs with my toes. If only I can reach the first landing before he uses his powerful legs to heave his massive body at me. My toe touches the first step, just as he raises his chin, releasing his forked tongue to detect the scent of his prey and plot his next move.

Before he can flail his potent weapon at me, I pivot and sprint up the steps shouting for help as I go. I convince myself that this sizeable, yet short legged, prehistoric monster would be unable to pursue the chase up the stairs as his claws would slip from the wooden steps. Reaching the first landing, feeling somewhat relieved that I am safe from this height, I turn to assess the situation – only to realize the beast is not to be stopped and is beginning his ascension. I panic.

Panic quickly subsides as the calvary arrives, diverting attention away from me as they surround the enemy. One of the soldiers had already saved the family from the venomous fangs of a cobra, so I knew I was in good hands. Armed with a broom, my husband, the captain, flies through the door and the battle to remove the intruder ensues.

Minutes later, after much shouting, barking, swinging, and to my chagrin, the shattering of glass (the broom against the window), the monitor lizard flees the scene to the safety of the drain, to gladly return to his carrion eating ways.