Welcome to Brazil!

Welcome to Brazil!

A Story by bba

A vacation to one of the most beautiful places in the world: Brazil.


I woke up in a bathtub filled with ice in a small dingy bathroom. My throat was dry, and my mouth tasted blood. My head felt as if it was being split in half but the rest of my body was numbed. There was a thick mass of blood slowly seeping through the ice.

My kidney would be put down the black market and would probably be on in its way to surgery in a day or two.

I could only wish that that would be what my police report would say.

I didn’t know if anybody would believe me if I told them the truth.


It all happened in Brazil.

I had cashed in the cheque for my last college loan. I didn’t actually need the loan but I needed money for my vacation. What do you expect? I was in my last year in college and I wanted to end it in a bang.

And what a bang it was...


I was sitting in a small rusty bus that God only knows how old it was and how long it had been traveling the rough back-alleys to Rio de Janeiro. Beside me was José, another backpacker I’d met at the Freyre International Airport in Recife, northeast of Brazil.

José had just been to Thailand and told the craziest stories about the Walking Street of Pattaya - the cheap sex, accessible drugs, over-flowing booze, and how he realized that life could end quickly.

On his first night, he witnessed two Americans, US Marines on an offshore visit, got killed. While they were groping at the two prettiest girls in the bar, the man across their table stood up, drew a hatchet from his belt, and swung at the faces of the Americans. Then the man walked casually out of the bar. Nobody dared to stop him.


We partied in Salvador where the beaches were extraordinary. The clear blue sky held a spell on everybody that walked on the foot-friendly sand or lolled under their colorful umbrellas. There was always an affable game of beach volleyball under the scorching sun that amused everyone. And the beautiful native girls we’ve met were angels sent down from heaven, flashing their perfect smiles, dancing, and making sure every man gawked at them. I thought I died and went to heaven.

José wanted to meet more women, get drunk, and get high. But I wanted to climb the Corcovado Mountain and see Christ the Redeemer along the way down south. He agreed to see the great statue and take some pictures before crashing to any beaches. So we took a ride from Salvador to see the beaches of Rio de Janeiro and the coast of Espirito Santo.


The ride, however, was at variance with the beautiful scenery, the high yellow sun shining brightly on the floras, and lovely countryside scent carried by the warm wind. It was as comfortable as sitting atop a buckling rodeo horse. The bus trundled down the roads, ignoring every pothole and crevice, and swerving past other vehicles and commuters across its path like a bike being handled by a kid just learning to ride.

You’d know who had taken this ride before by looking at their faces. Everyone stayed calm as the bus flew off the damned road. But me, José, and a couple of foreigners, our faces white as sheet, clutched the handle bar and hang on for dear life.

And when we thought that nothing else could go any more wrong, the raging bus drove into what it seemed like the largest pothole on the road.

The front wheel exploded.

The bus moved a few more feet and stopped.

The bus driver shook his head, stood up and headed out of the bus.

Then all of the passengers stood up, grabbed their things and went after the driver without a word as if what just happened was the most natural thing in the world.

José and I looked at each other, a disbelieving expression on his face, and shrugged.


The heat of the sun remained high and unchallenged. The high noon brought out the locals from their houses to loiter on the streets. And the explosion of the bus’s wheel gave them a new source of entertainment. They gathered closely around the bus to see the damage, exchanged their opinions, and nodded their heads. José tugged me away from the other passengers who scrambled out and walked to the middle of the street to catch a new ride.

Looking at the favela was like looking at Lego blocks stacked hither and thither atop one another. Most of the houses had gray colorless walls, while the other houses had red. I began to wonder if those red houses were the ones people should keep out.

There was a white VW Kombi van parked a few feet in front of the broken-down bus. José’s eyes twinkled with mischief, and before I knew it, he was briskly walking toward the van.

“Rent a van!” he shouted over his shoulder, and he raised his fist and extended his thumb upwards. The driver of the van greeted José, and I followed.

The run-down Kombi was parked in front of a red house. On the doorway, a small boy sitting on a makeshift skateboard was staring at the van.

“Hurry, man! Rent a van!” José said with his thick Mexican accent as he waved at me enthusiastically.

The boy on the skateboard turned and looked at me. I thought there was something wrong with him before. And now that I’d seen his face, I could see what it was.

He was not a boy at all.

His face looked worn, and set with deep baggy eyes and frown lines on the forehead. His blonde hair was short and greasy. He wore a once-white I-heart-NY shirt, and washed out jeans sewn halfway to cover severed limbs that now lay stretched across the skateboard, useless like a discarded doll’s. Both his arms were nothing more but an ugly stub above the elbows. He had sunburnt skin. And his eyes, his bright blue eyes, stared at me with a startled expression.

I averted my eyes from the quad-amputee and looked at José and the Kombi with its rusty hatch weeping rust-red tears.

“Look out, man! He will get you! He will get you!” José pointed pass me and laughed hysterically. I looked back and saw the man waving his stub-arms, shaking his head, and making incomprehensible sounds.

The door of the red house opened, and a shirtless Brazilian man came out. He was tall, dark, and muscular. He grabbed the man on the makeshift skateboard on the shoulders and started pulling him in the house. The quad-amputee struggled to get away, but all he could do was wave his stub-arms and scream wildly. Then the shirtless man raised his right hand and smacked the struggling man loudly on the side of the head.

“Hey, man! Take it easy!” I said before I could stop myself.

The Brazilian raised his hand again - this time he had his fist clenched. I thought he was going to hit him again, but all he did was slap his fist on top of his other hand.

I felt José tugged at my shirt.

“That means screw you, man,” José said and led me inside the Kombi.

The Kombi roared and sped off leaving only black smoke behind. And as the red house slowly receded from my sight, the man on the makeshift skateboard with his I-heart-NY shirt, his blonde hair, and his bright blue eyes stayed on my mind.

He was an American.

And the sound he was making that I thought made no sense, the noise he made over and over until he was shut inside the red house, was the word No.


The ride on the Kombi was considerably smoother than the bus ride earlier. The driver steered clear of the potholes and drove just within the speed limit. So our butts were spared the torment from bouncing and bumping on a hard seat.

José stared at me wide-eyed, grinning as if he had discovered a terrible secret, then slowly he reached inside his shirt pocket and took out two joints.

“You’ve read my mind, my friend,” I said as I reached for one.

A couple of drags sent me to wonderland.

Outside, the favelas had become a rendition of Van Gogh’s painting. Everything was bright and colorful, the clouds in the sky swirled and fluffed like marshmallows, and I saw sunshine thickening and beaming down everywhere like strips of lasagna falling down from heaven.

“Strong s**t, man!” José’s words crawled out of his lips. I laughed idiotically upon seeing his distorted face.

“You boys want something crazy to smoke?” The driver peered through the rear-view mirror; his face throbbed as he asked the question.

“Sure s**t, man! Yeah!” It took time for José to answer. My jaw felt like jelly so I just nodded and laughed some more.

The driver stuck his hairy hand between the two front seats and held out a joint that was rolled in a brown paper. José reached slowly for the joint and carefully plucked it like a delicate flower with his index finger and thumb.

He placed the brown stick on his mouth and flicked his lighter. The fire danced on his faces as he held his lighter close to the brown stick. Half an inch away, José stopped and looked back to the driver.

“How much, man?” José asked.

“Sixty dollars,” answered the driver without looking up at the rear-view mirror.

“Sixty? You crazy, man!”

 “You can’t find that kind of smoke anywhere in the world. That’s a strong smoke. Only in Brazil!” retorted the driver.

José looked at me. I lifted my shoulders and raised my eyebrows.

“Okay. Have a try first then pay me sixty dollars,” said the driver.

“You’re a good man!” He lit up and took a long hard drag. Then he closed his eyes and extended his hand to me.

I took the brown stick. It was hard as tobacco, and the skin was not brown paper as I thought but some kind of dried leaf. The smoke did not smell like the fumes that come out of a joint. It was sweetly fragrant with a little tang of some herb - thyme and basil perhaps.

I placed the stick on my lips, and it tasted just like how it smelled.

I took a drag.

I held the smoke long and deep. And puffed it out.

As the smoke escaped from my lips, the color of it began to change. The blue smoke turned red, then green, and it faded away toward the open window. I laughed again but the sound came out differently, muffled as if by a pillow.

José had his head tilted back and propped up on top of his seat. His Adam’s apple bulged like some alien mountain. His eyes were still closed but his mouth gaped open. And he was making a gargling sound. At first I thought it was just the sound of the Kombi, but José’s head was quivering as he made the gargling sound.

And then he changed.

His cheeks slowly sagged down…sagging, and sagging down like melted butter… until his jaw dropped down to his neck, exposing the insides of his mouth. The gargling sound grew louder. I threw myself away from José with my back against the door.

Then I saw something poked out from his mouth. It was a fleshy thing. I thought at first it was José’s tongue but when it protruded out a couple of inches more…

I screamed.

I screamed as loud as I can. But no matter how hard I screamed, my scream came out muffled.

I looked at the driver but the driver was not our driver anymore. His curly hair thickened like gnarled roots. His eyes glowed red and hot like burning coals. His nose dipped down, the nostrils looking like two screaming mouths. And his dark skin became mottled and gray.

“What’s the screaming about?” he said. His voice became deep and soulless.

I scrambled to open the door and after a few hard nudges, the rusty door of the Kombi gave in. Then I jumped out of the moving van and ran.

I ran away from the driver and the stub arm coming out of José’s mouth.

The asphalt felt hot under my shoes. The Kombi had stopped, and the driver ran after me, screaming with his soulless voice.

The road appeared long and endless. I knew five minutes away I would reach one of the favelas we passed earlier. The trees on the side of the road swayed and trembled. Their leaves stretched down from their twisted branches like hundreds of long fingers…or hundreds of stub arms.

Then out of the sky, a thick column of gray stone slammed down the road. It smashed the asphalt underneath, sending thousands of pieces of rocks scattering everywhere. The ground trembled and then was covered with a thick cloud of brown smoke.

I looked up and saw Him.

Standing one hundred and thirty feet, His head tilted down at me. His eyes were black as the pit that leads down to hell. His arms were raised in a welcoming gesture for the sinful and the lost.

Christ the Redeemer.

He came to get me.

He opened His big gray mouth then came out the loud sound that echoed to the mountains and on the ground. I covered my ears and felt the thick blood coming out of them. Then the shadow of His arm fell on me as He bent down to reached me. My gut lurched as He lifted me up from the ground.

I saw the true beauty of Brazil from this height. The blue coast glittered from sunbeams like gems spread on the beach. The favelas on the face of the mountain were alive and buzzing with life, and the trees all around waved a cordial wave. The Corcovado Mountain was surrounded with thin white cloud. But it stood empty. The platform on top of the mountain was unadorned, standing like an empty throne. And the great statue that stood up there looking down the city was now here looking at me.

I felt the air vibrate from the booming sound that came from the statue’s gray mouth.

And the statue brought closer to His mouth.

And closer.

And closer until I was completely inside the mouth.

Then He swallowed me.


I didn’t know how long I’d been in this tub. I didn’t know where José was. I didn’t know where I was, or what time it was, or what day.

A single streak of yellow shone from the square window. Outside, the sun glared angrily down on the mountains, and the beaches, and the people of Brazil.

Pretty soon the ice in the tub would melt, and I would sink and drown.

I knew there was no use calling for help - my screams would only come out as incomprehensible noises, for I could feel that my tongue had been cut off.

And there was no use flapping my legs, or trying to stand up, or holding the sides of the tub to get out.

I knew all my limbs were nothing more now than ugly stubs.


The End

© 2011 bba

Author's Note

I've never been to Brazil but I know it's a beautiful place (and I hope someday I'll visit it XD)
And I blame the B-movies I've watched for making Brazil a fightful place. XD

My Review

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Featured Review

*writes down on a small square of paper* "Note to self: DO NOT smoke the good s**t in Brazil with some dude named Jose" *puts down paper and pen and finishes rolling the not-so-good-s**t".

*sigh* I have really, really been wanting to sit down and read your work...only to be distracted by meaningless things like a job and the like. I have to say that I'm sorry I started...This IS the chip conundrum. I can't have just one...I can't stop here! WTF??? Now I'm going to be up long hours and sneaking coffee breaks to read more of your work.

LOL, in all seriousness, this was a fantastically gruesome story. I loved every minute of it...and will definitely work some magic in reading more of your schtuff. Brilliant...just brilliant.

Posted 12 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.


Incredibly gruesome, but very enticing! I couldn't stop reading it! At first I thought it was another "my kidney got stolen story" and was totally surprised by the ending. The one criticism I would have is to watch your transitions between thoughts. Great story!!!!!

Posted 11 Years Ago

I actually lived in Rio De Janeiro Brazil from November of 67 until June of 69. I had a really good time. I lived in Copcabana and went to the Beach there. I attended the American School there.
BTW: Congratulations you won the third prize in my writing contest. Thanks for entering. Lucie

Posted 11 Years Ago

hmmmm..well thought out and written...suspense built and carried me... just enough divergence to keep Me interested...note to Self:..dont get stoned on native weed in Brazil..unless you have the key to your room in your hand and there are no windows....and a bottle of Tequilla would be nice for Mellow...

Posted 11 Years Ago

this was great i love how you wrote it a unique story.
i want to know what was in the joint he smoked lol.

Posted 11 Years Ago

Wow.. I just love this so much. Kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Hororific! You write with pure ease. Great characters, wonderful details to scenery, and awesome dialogue.

Posted 11 Years Ago

Creepy, creepy, creepy. Nice punchy writing, and I could almost hear Jose speaking in my head.

However, there's one fact you got wrong. You don't need a tongue to scream. The only way to prevent screaming is to block the airways or sever the vocal cords.

Posted 12 Years Ago

It definitely reminded me of movies like hostel and urban legend kinda thing. terrible way to die, I wonder why the other guy with the skateboard wasn't left to die, though you don't really tell us if he is pulled out of the water or not. It read really quickly and the details were great.

Posted 12 Years Ago

This has the feel of the movie 'Turistas' that I watched at one point. I really enjoyed the drug trip your protagonist took. Only thing that got me in this was that he awoke in the tub thinking he lost a kidney, but at the end he lost his arms and legs. Good bit of foreshadowing with the guy on the skateboard, but I can't help think he would've realized right away that he was missing his arms and legs, and not his kidney. I enjoyed the read.

Posted 12 Years Ago

That was a good read, it reached the heights in places..the second half of the story became quite gripping and gained momentum. Fascinating but also quite scarey. Thankyou.

Posted 12 Years Ago

This was very well written, and the detail was amazing! Every word that you wrote counted in the whole "picture" that the story made. Details that at the beginning seemed insignificant ended up tying together nicely. Good work!

Posted 12 Years Ago

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20 Reviews
Shelved in 4 Libraries
Added on January 15, 2011
Last Updated on January 21, 2011
Tags: Horror, Short Story, Fiction, Brazil, Christ the Redeemer, Favela, Bathtub, Quad-amputee, Travel, Joint, VW Kombi Van, Brian Ayson, I really don't know how to tag m




I write short stories mostly, somewhere within the realms of horror, fantasy, drama, dark fantasy. Please feel free to read and write a quick review of what you think of my stories. Any comments gr.. more..

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