It is through this blog that I will be post small stories I write or ideas I cannot seem to shake. Basically any old crap that comes to mind and interests me. Please, take a peak at current and older post. Leave me some feed back and be brutally honest. Cheers
The weathered man sat, face down cast, asleep with his back against the cold steel of the strange vessels hull. His battered stetson caked so heavily with brown dust that its true colour had been swallowed up in the ether of his past. Small plumes of the fine powder would shake loose from the his well loved duster coat when ever the turbulent winds outside would buffet the airplane about. Accompanying the man in the cramped confines of the cargo hold where several crude wooden crates housing half a dozen sows and several dozen poorly fed chickens.
The only other human passengers on board where two men dressed in the finest cuts of cloth New York had to offer and a young woman no more then twenty years old also dressed smartly. The slim man in the fine cloth seemed transfixed with the young lady, whom herself seem only concerned with keeping the contents of her stomach firmly where it was. The second gentleman, the thicker set of the two, seemed unable to draw his attention away from the earth baked man.
He watched as the man slept and wondered with wild fancy at the mans past. He guessed him to be somewhere between fifty or sixty years of age. However even that estimate is being rather generous thought he. The years had not been kind to this weather beaten fellow. As he pondered his fellow cabin mate the plane was shaken by yet another violent up gust, behind him he heard the girl retch but the dusty man slept on unperturbed. As the airplanes engines overcome their tribulations and their high pitched whine returned to a gentler note he heavy set gentleman noticed that the mans duster had fallen away at his hip. He could now see the old Colt Peacemaker tucked firmly into its holster and the belt laden with ammunition. There seemed to be another belt that crossed the first and the Heavy Gentleman's mind could easily fill in the picture of the other pistol sitting at the mans other hip. The man is a relic.
The Heavy Gentleman had heard tales here and there of old gunfighters from out west. Men that had been unable to adapt to the civilisation the rest of the country had bought them across the Appalachian's and Mississippi. These lost men would usually dissolve what remained of their lives, seeking their final peace, in the bottom of a bottle. However this old throw back to the 'wild' days gave no smell of such a lifestyle. Unlike the stench most men that followed that path gave off.
What is this man doing here, wondered the Gentleman. Their airplane was bound for Pakistan hailing from Bangladesh. How had this man come to be here? So far from the country he would seem at home.
A sharp flash of light broke through the Gentleman's thoughts as well as the those of the other two better dressed passengers. However it was not until the thunder broke around the aircraft that the Weathered Man stirred. Suddenly his face was no longer hidden by his hat, his pale blues eyes where wild and alert.However old the man had appeared at first, was a pale estimation of the age that some how existed behind his tired eyes. Yet the Heavyset Gentleman, still peering through stunned eyes, took note, no matter how old this man may appear, God seems to still favour him with some measure of vigour.
Towards the rear of the airplane the Slim man could be heard comforting the Girl. Flight was still a new experience to most and many found the sensation unpleasant and some what disconcerting. The Heavy Man had turned his back on the Weathered Man only briefly to see if the Girl was alright, when he again turned around the Man in the duster was now gazing out the small window in the hull, his look steely, he gave nothing away, except maybe an underlying sense of sadness.
There was another flash and this time the thunder came rolling all around them within only a fraction of a moment. The Weathered Man's face seemed to be growing dark and ominous before the Gentleman's eyes. It was then however that he realised that it was not the Man's face that was growing dark but the sky beyond the glass.
As the cabin was again enveloped in another tumultuous clap of thunder the co-pilot burst through the door that lead to the cockpit. The look on the man's face was did nothing to instil those present with any sort of confidence as he spoke:
' You fine folks better wedge yourselves into some nook or cranny. Otherwise hold on to something dearly tight.' The flustered co-pilot could barely breath, however he managed to take enough air to follow up his initial statement with, 'We are caught in one of the worst looking storms its ever been my misfortune to come across.' Out side a terrible scream broke out, burrowing into the passengers ears. 'And by the sound of it, we just lost an engine.'
The clock on the wall shows midnight as the laden gurney is wheeled down the sterile white and grey corridors. The stark lighting drains what ever warmth these sickly halls may have once held. Screams echo down the passage way as the man strapped to the trolley struggles to break his bonds, his bandaged wrists pull against the leather straps. His level of desperation is conveyed with each new bone chilling cry he lets out. As blood starts to seep through the white cloth bound to his forearms, the largest of the orderlies pins the mans arms to his side, another places one large hand on the mans chest and forces his arching back down onto the padded cart. The mans already panicked face contorts further and he cries out 'No' at the top of his lungs as he is wheeled towards his new quarters.
Their not taking me again, Christ! Please. The lights in the ceiling above flash in my eyes and my mind races towards a sickening madness. A fever pitch. I cannot take this again, not again. I feel them coming every time. My skin feels like I have worms crawling beneath it when ever the time draws near. The lights above assault my mind like fists of cold ice. Each one piercing the mental barriers I place between myself and my unbearable memories, my terrifying reality. Images rise up before me, blinding lights, metallic sounds. But it is the feelings I remember most vividly, memories that plunge me into the depths of blood curdling lunacy. Feelings of cold metal in my mouth, chipping, carving. The pressure in my head is incomprehensible. Why will no one listen? I am screaming out for help but they don't hear me. I scream out 'no', I might as well be speaking another language as they fit the jacket and wheel me into my cell. The locks click and I am left to scream into the darkness. I scream because I know, the locks wont keep them out.
Jesus it's cold up here. Sorry, My names Nic by the way and I currently sit, perched, in what I think is an absolutely perfect gothic pose, on top of one of the tallest buildings in the city. The wind whips my hair into my eyes. I am pretty sure I look friggin' impressive right now, even if I can't see shit with my hair blockin' my view. Note to self, purchase hair tie or some thing like it. I know the wind is billowing, what is left of, my cape out behind me adding to the drama of the scene. Okay, so the cape is a bit much and so far has been a nightmare to deal with. There's not one corner of this building that the bloody thing didn't get caught on getting up here. Note, additional, scrape fuckin' cape.
So yes, obviously it's my first night on the job and it has not been easy. Let me tell you something, in those old comic book and hero movies of the 00's, you may have seen the hero hunched hauntingly on the side of skyscraper, looking like they owned that shit. But what they didn't show you was how the poor bastard climbed up there. Note, additional additional, purchase some kind of grappling gun. I'm stuffed.
Actually I am not exactly sure why I am up here. Nice view I guess. I always figured Batman would climb the buildings to spy out the crime in the streets below. However those 'good' people, nearly nine hundred metres below me, walking the night time streets, look like ants from this far up. Why the hell did I climb this high in the first place? And how the hell am I going to get back down when the shit hits the fan? Note, additional additional additional, find smaller buildings to climb and buy a bloody note pad.
I gotta say though, apart from the cape the costume I've put together looks pretty awesome. I have gone for a functional approach as I've had little training in combat. Okay so thats a lie, I have had no combat training but surely a guy can score some serious points for effort? However, I am not a complete tit and as I said my costume is functional. Using my credit chip I have purchased only the best in light weight flexible armour.
Let me tell you about some of the features on my sweet threads. First off, gloves, okay they might look like oversized black retro ovenmits but let me tell you, these things are the business! They are flexible, high grip underneath and in the fingers. Turn over and on the back of the hand, running almost all the way up to my elbows, the gloves house a high density ceramic plating. Should be great for back handing some H.Y.P.E scum bags. What's that buddy?... oh I broke your jaw? That's a shame, remember it next time you think about floggin' grannies purse. Sorry, off topic. Where was I? Oh yes the gloves are great and I have a similar deal going on with my boots. The high grip soles make climbing some what easier, thank christ! The rest of my costume is varying sorts of armor, patched together, coated in a snazzy red frictionless sealant and then sewn or glued onto a red wet suit.
Don't be fooled, I am prepared for this. I went through my old vintage comic collection looking for pointers. It seemed that a fair few heroes would wear symbols on there chests, where they had the most protection, to draw criminals gun fire. After three weeks I was shit out of ideas, no symbols rose up out of caves, crawled across my hand and bit me and I sure as hell was not going to wrap myself in a flag like some idiots. So I went straight to the heart of the matter and embossed a nice yellow target right on the center of my chest. Why stuff around?
So here I am ready for action. Why am I doing this you might ask? Well a few reasons. To make a difference? Hmm not so much. More the fact that in the real world, no one has ever tried and I cannot figure out why? We have people copying serial killers they watch on T.V. So why not heroes? Can it be done? Well I am about to find out. True I have no powers to speak of, as they don't exist in reality, but I have one hell of a can do attitude. Not to mention my Dad filling my bank account with more allowance then I no what to do with at the age of sixteen.
So, there it is! Complete! If you have not read it all the way through yet, please do. I would love some feed back.
I started this 10 Part story a month and a half ago. It was primarily inspired by a song I had been listening to at the time called Sunrise by a group called Yeasayer. If you haven't heard of them check them out, top stuff. If you have heard of them then you know what I am talking about. The song itself conjured up images in my mind of a primordial land with a red and orange sky, pillars of smoke and adventure. I am not sure what the song is about exactly but for me I get a strong sense of evolution from its lyrics.
My secondary reason for writing this story was practice. I have had a story in my mind for the past five years now that is dying to get out. However I have no idea how to right it, as I originally conceived of it as a graphic novel. It has since grown beyond its humble conceptual beginnings and needs a bigger frame work to house it. Namely, a series of novels. So I wanted to play around with writing some thing in the first person as a comic allows you to write in a similar manner. The story is called ZEN and hopefully one day I will get it all out.
So I hope you enjoyed my wee story, if so let me know. If not, please, also let me know.
Out of the darkness in the center of the sphere, the eyes continued to stare, unblinking, they seemed some what familiar. I suddenly felt it wise to take a step back, I was feeling a little to close to whatever housed those all seeing orbs. As I tried to move I found I could not, my feet had some how rooted themselves to the matted grass floor. I looked down to see some type of vine rapidly wrapping itself around my legs.
"What the hell!" Rose had apparently noticed this as well.
Before I could even think to free myself the vine had worked its way to my waist and I was being lifted into the air. Rose, rising along side of me. As the strange plant brought us closer to the eyes it began knitting together beneath us. By the time we were bought to a halt we were comfortably sitting in something resembling a wicker chair, some meters off the floor.
From the direction of the eyes came a serious of grunts and low growls. The noise was both soothing and yet startling. Then the room went quiet again. I had the strangest feeling we had been asked a question.
"Where are we?" I ventured into the dark.
As if in response to my question, a smaller vine grew out of the arm rest of our bizarre chairs. The new vine curled its way up our right arms then wrapped itself once around our necks.
"Woah, woah, hold on!" There was a panic pitch to my voice.
But before I could protest further the thin vines appeared in front of our faces and from their ends grew two flowers. Both of which were then forced into our mouths. I heard Rose gag next to me then go silent. The flower in my mouth had a rather sweet flavour and I began to realise just how hungry I was. The taste grew stronger and my sense of unease dissolved as I began to chew. Poison or not, the petals were delicious.
Once both myself and Rose had finished, we sat there in silence for a moment. Then the low rumbling growl from before began again. However this time I seemed to be able to make sense of the noises.
"Can you now understand my speech?" The deep voice was asking.
We both sat still, a little stunned before Rose offered the shadowy figure a reply.
"We understand." Her voice only quivering slightly.
"Good, the flowers you have just ingested work quickly."
"The flowers? That's how we can understand you." I asked.
"They are very useful when trying to communicate with various forms of life."
"Various forms of life? Who are you? What is all this?" There was a demanding edge in Rose's voice as she said this. A tone I would not have dared used.
"I will answer your questions. However I must have mine answered first. This time you will understand. How did you come to be here?"
"We came across a crop circle near where we live." I began, "There was a blue light, an explosion and we found ourselves in the past, prehistory..."
"Crop circle? I do not understand this term." The voice was some what similar to our English teacher, very proper.
"It was a pattern in the grass." I explained.
"Hmm I understand, please continue."
"We went in search of another of these energy domes hoping to get home. We found one just a moment ago and here we are now."
The figure in the dark made a deep thoughtful noise. Rose was still holding out for answers.
"Oi! Your turn, what is going on here?"
"I must apologise, it would seem that your current situation is my fault. It was however an accident that I will be happy to rectify."
"You fault? Why did you bring us here?" I asked.
"Yes, my vessel has been damaged and as such has not been functioning as per usual the last few years."
"So the patterns in the grass they are a result of your damaged vessel?"
"Not exactly, normally our vessels leave these patterns in their wake and normally they are harmless and would not have the effects you experienced. However, as I mentioned my vessel has been damaged."
"Yeah, I heard! For years apparently, why haven't you fixed the bloody thing then, if you have had all that time. We were almost killed on several occasions." Rose's temper seemed to be rising.
"This is a time machine, isn't it?" I interjected.
"Let me explain and things may become easier to understand." The voice offered, "Firstly, no this is not a time machine. Although I see why you may have made that assumption, given the location in which I just picked you up and the your original starting plane."
"You may understand this term better as, universe?"
"Hang on, we traveled to another universe? But there are freaking dinosaurs out there." I was confused now.
"These were creatures from your universe's past, yes?"
"You traveled to a universe where time moves slower then that of the universe you call home. The universe you just left has simply not reached the time frame you are familiar with. This is why my vessel has been broken for some time. Time dilation makes repairs time consuming and difficult. I do apoligise for the inconvenience." Whether some thing was lost in translation or our new friend could not sympathise, his apology seemed hollow. That really pissed Rose off.
"You almost got us killed! Our families are probably looking on the bottom of a lake for our bodies by now. How do you think they feel? How do you think we feel?"
"I know all to well how it feels. I have been trying to get back to my home for the past fifty years. Every universe I have had to pass through has suffered from severe time dilation. By the time I arrive home I will have been gone some five thousand years. We are a long lived species. But not that long." The low voice seemed filled with sadness.
"...I am sorry." Rose said.
"You were not to know."
Some thing the voice had just said had sent a chill down my spine, we are a long lived species. "What are you?" I said quietly.
Slowly the faint phosphorescent glow in the sphere became brighter. There sitting in a chair, much like our own, was a gorilla. Although the figure looked very much like a large silver back there was some thing off with his appearance. Then it hit me, it was the way in which this gorilla sat and moved, carried himself in general. There was something very human about it all.
"You're a gorilla?" Rose asked.
"I do not recognise this title however I am aware that you have tribes resembling our forefathers in your plane."
"Wow. Like planet of the apes or something."
"This guy is our way home... so maybe try not to offend him."
"I doubt he has seen the bloody movies Matt."
"Good point. Good point."
"So are you able to take us home?" Rose queried the Gorilla.
"We are already here, I was on my way back through your plane when my vessel collected you." As he said this grass on the floor seemed to part and through the hole we could make out moon lit grass bellow. Slowly the vines began to lower us down. I turned to look back at the strange traveler.
"I hope you find your way home soon."
The Traveler smiled gently, "I am sorry you wandered into my vessels damaged wake."
"It's okay, some of us enjoyed the experience."I said and laughed.
Rose punched me in the arm as we were place on the ground, she was smiling. The vines retreated back into the round ship and we started to walk back in the direction of the road. We were so focused on finding the fence that we didn't see the departure of the ship just a bright blue flash that cast our shadows before us.
"There it is!" Rose had spotted it.
We climbed the fence and took to the road. In no time we could make out the lights of my house in the distance. We walked in silence most of the way, until I finally broke it.
"As first dates go, how did that rate?"
"You're a dick head." She said smiling.
"But impressive none the less right?"
She reached out and grabbed my hand, "Pretty impressive."
As we turned finally turned down my drive way the first light of the day hit my house. There was something odd about being home. The paper boy had already been and I scooped up today's news.
"Maggie is going to be pretty pissed." I said.
I twisted the door handle but it was locked. I knocked and we waited. Eventually the door was opened but it was not Maggie. A man who looked to be in his sixties was standing there staring at us, in his pyjamas.
"Can I help you? It is rather early." He said.
"Excuse me, but I where is my sister?"
"How should I know kid?"
"This is my house."
"If that were true, you would be the one answering the door."
"Maggie Bennett, she lives here." I was starting to panic.
The old man just stared at me for a moment, looking puzzled.
"Old lady Bennett? Maggie Bennett? Your sister?" He said.
"Yes that's right! Where is she?"
"That's ridiculous, Maggie Bennet died fifty five years ago. My family bought this house at the auction after she passed. I remember a rumour at school, back then, that her brother had gone missing when she was a lot younger. Just disappeared one night. How'd you know about that?" The old man just stared at me as I back down the path and out of the yard, stumbling.
"Matt?" Rose was trying to stop me, "The traveler made a mistake, that's all. We can fix it, we are just in the wrong universe. We can find him again and he can take us home."
I stopped moving eventually and my eyes locked with Rose's. I felt like I was looking through her. The Travellers own words were playing over and over in my mind. You traveled to a universe where time moves slower then that of the universe you call home. This was our home alright, we were back.
The events of October 5th 1998. As cliche as this may sound, I remember it as if it were yesterday...
Because for me, it was. For the world I left behind, it was eighty six years.
The orange sunset gave way to a black sky thick with stars. Rose curled up next to me, trying to get warm, while I tried to think. "You're thinking that's another crop circle? Except under the water right?" She was right, "Yep, I am just not sure how we get at it, with those guys down there in the water." As if in response to my comment one of the raptors let out a startling cry. I crawled forward and peered over the ledge. In the pale star light I could make out their heads bobbing above the surface, treading water. How long could they honestly keep that up? More importantly, how long would the new 'water' circle last out there. It was the closest thing we had to a way home. "We need to get out there some how!" I reiterated to myself more then Rose. "The raptors seem to be able to swim a lot faster then we can Matt. We are just going to have to wait the out." "I don't know that we can afford to do that. We have no idea how long those circles last or when or if a new one would form." I glance up at the sky, hoping the clear night would some how clear my foggy and tired mind. Rose stood next to me looking up. "You know Matty boy, I might just have an idea." She was looking up at the cliff. "There is no way I would make it up there Rose." "No, YOU wouldn't, I on the other hand..." "What and just leave me here?" "Shut your mouth for a moment Brains and give me a leg up. Don't argue." "Fine." I interlaced my figures and Rose used them to lunge upwards, at first I thought she had slipped and would fall backwards down into the waiting raptors. But she clung tightly to some unseen hand hold above the over hang of our ledge. There she remained for a moment, just dangling. Then with a grunt she heaved herself up and caught herself another hold with her left hand. Fairly quickly, she made her way upwards and then abruptly disappeared. "Rose?" "Yeah, I'm okay, do me a favor and get back against the wall!" I had barely obeyed her request when I heard a loud grinding noise followed by a sharp crack. "GET BACK!" Was all I heard as a landslide of huge rocks came tumbling down the cliff, not a meter from where I stood. I heard the rocks hit the water with an almighty crash that sent a few of the dactyls above screeching out into the night. Then just as quickly as the rocks had come, silence settled over the lake. "Did I get the bastards?" Came Roses voice from above my head. I peered over the edge and was immediately impressed with Roses stroke of genius. Bellow floating on the surface of the water, were five very dead looking raptors. I stared in wonder a moment to long. "Well?" "... Yeah, you got 'em! Remind me not to piss you off any more." "There dead then? all of them?" "I am surprised there's anything left of them." "Great! Heads up!" And with that I looked up to see Roses silhouetted form leap out from the cliff. She plunged into the water a good five meters out from the bass of the rock wall. "Coming?" She asked. I stepped back from the ledge then rushed forward, diving out. I may have been showing off a little but, I mean the girl had just killed five dinos to my one. I entered the cool waters of the lake cleanly and come up right next to her. "Shall we?" She smiled and we began swimming in the direction of the water circle. I was not nearly as far as I had first thought, after about ten minutes we noticed we were getting close, even if we could not see the thing. It was also about then that I came to notice a major flaw in our simple plan. We knew we were drawing near because we had become aware of a current in the water which began to sweep us around in a wide arc. "Balls! I this was not thought through so well." Rose looked at me as if to ask why, then it sunk in, "Shit!" "Definitely." The current was becoming faster with each passing second. Each passing second... Funny now I think back on that! As the speed increase the size of circles we were being swept around in shrunk. Rose started trying desperately to brake free of the currents hold but it was futile. We were going in. "Come here!" I grabbed Rose and held on for dear life. Our speed kept on increasing and our circles became sloped as we entered the while pool. As we spun down wards towards the bottom of the lake at a sickening rate of knots I could make out something familiar racing up to meet us. Below a bright blue dome of light could be seen, growing in intensity as we fell. The water seemed to be rushing around the dome, the dome responsible for the plug hole effect. It was nice to at least be proven right before you died. We hit the blue light of the dome and with out warning the spinning stopped. We didn't die. Instead we were left laying inside a ring of dry lake bed. I stood up as energy crackled across my wet skin. Next to me Rose only managed to make it to her knees before she threw up. The light grew brighter. We might be going home. However something was different this time. As the light reached a blinding intensity it began to flicker. At first it was like being inside a room as some one flicked the lights on and off. The flickering came faster and faster now and I began to be able to make out details around the dome. It appeared as if what ever wanted the lights off was starting to win out and as it did more details became clearer. Suddenly the light show was over and I felt myself fall several feet to land on a hard surface that felt nothing like the bottom of the lake. Rose landed beside me in a heap and moaned quietly. It was difficult to see now the lights were completely out but slowly my eyes adapted and I could see our new surroundings. We now stood, as best as I could make out, inside a large sphere roughly the diameter of the energy dome. The walls were very strange indeed and seemed to be made out of some variety of matted grass. The grass itself glowed a faint blue green, giving the room it's only light. At random intervals around the sphere odd branches, like that of a very old tree, reached out from the walls towards the center of room. It was at the center of the sphere that my eyes stopped dead. There seemed to be some sort of chair knitted together out of the ends of the branches. It was from within this dark space, that surrounded the chair, that a pair of eyes peered out at me and kept me frozen where I stood.
We swam to the left of the spit of rock, trying to move silently through the chilly water. At first we would take deep breaths and glide underneath the surface of the lake, in hopes of not attracting to much attention from watching eyes. However the temperature of the water made this tricky and we eventually gave it up. We had swam nearly eight hundred meters, making for the area where the valleys encircling cliff came to meet the water and run around the lakes shore. As we reached the rock wall we became aware just how high the cliff was. We had no hope of climbing all the way up it. However, not twelve feet up the side of the cliff, there appeared to be a little shelved recess set back into the rock. Further more, it seemed that the only way to reach this recess would be by climbing up from the water, providing some safety. "We need to get out of this water and rest. I think that shelf is about the safest place we are gonna find around here." "As long as the raptors can't get us, I don't mind a bit of climbing." With that Rose swam over to the wall and started pulling herself up the rocks. It was difficult going, the rocks were wet and covered with a slimy yellow, green moss that broke away from the wall when you thought you had a hold. Above me I saw Rose go over the lip of the recess and then reach down to me. I took her hand and she helped me the last of the way. We both collapsed on to our backs and lay there for the longest time not making a sound. The rock was delightfully warm from the midday sun and helped to dry us out in little time at all. Eventually Rose rolled over on to her stomach and peered off to the left, her gaze running back along the cliff towards the valley. "They're still there." She said softly. I crawled over and lay next to her and followed her line of sight. Sure enough the five remaining raptors were all standing at the point where the shore met the cliff, jumping up and down excitedly. "Matt, do you think they will leave? Lose interest?" "I wouldn't count on it. They seem pretty determined." I didn't think it was worth mentioning that I thought they may very well know how to swim. "Well, what do we do?" I reached into my back pocket, happy to still find my compass there, I took it out and we studied the needle. The little metal hand pointed with surety out over the water. "Crap!" "What? Are we going to have to walk around the lake?" "Mmm maybe." I was not so sure about that, "I think we should sleep on it." "I'm getting pretty thirsty." Rose said. "You what? Thirsty? We were almost drowned an hour ago, you can't be serious. Why didn't you drink on the swim over here." "Get the hell out Matt! I had a few other things on my mind. Dinosaur slaying maybe all fun and games for you buddy but I am most likely going to be in therapy for the rest of my days. If we ever get out of here that is." "You're right, I'm sorry. Well I will just climb down and..." "I don't think that's going to be such a good idea." Rose was looking back along the line of the cliff where the raptors were slowly wading out into the water. "Balls! I thought so." I said. "You thought what?" "I thought they might be able to do that." "What? swim? Jesus." "Yeah, well I doubt very much they will be able to climb up here from the water. So maybe if I am quick I can go down..." "The hell you will, that's a retarded idea." I had to agree, I was not the best climber. "Well you're not going down there either so don't even let that enter your head love." Rose smiled at me when I said this and I was not so sure why back then. "Okay I have an idea. Take off your belt." She just stared at me and raised an eyebrow. "I still think this is only classed as our first date buddy." "Look, maybe later," I smiled, "But for now would you just give me your belt?" "Maybe later? You're lucky you killed a dinosaur for me Matty boy." She said half under her breath as she removed her belt. "Oh and your shoe laces." I added as I removed my laces and belt. Once I had them all in front of me I began to tie them all together. The resulting length still was not long enough to reach the surface of the water. So I tore one of the sleeves off of my long sleeved t-shirt and began to tear it into ribbons. After I had knotted these on to our make shift rope its length made it to the water with a foot to spare. "This is great and very clever but we don't have a bucket." Rose said. "I know how this will sound but... can you take off your shirt?" "You are kidding right?" "look, trust me would ya? You don't want to drink out of mine do you? The thing is soaked in blood" I had checked and the bleeding had stopped once we were out of the water but the t-shirt was still covered in the stuff. I hadn't looked at the cuts yet however. "You're smooth Matt." "Hardly. Are you thirsty or not?" "Fine." With that Rose pulled off her t-shirt and handed it to me. "Mind on the task?" She said and i realised I was staring, hey I was fifteen. "Ah yeah, sorry." I took the t-shirt, bunched it up and then tied it to the end of the rope. The Raptors were now half way from the shore to our shelf, still plenty of time. I lowered the shirt down and let it sit on top of the water. Slowly it sunk beneath the surface and I felt the weight increase slightly on the line. After a few moments I quickly pulled the shirt back up. "Head back." I said and Rose tilted her head back. Taking the shirt I wrung it out over Rose's mouth and she managed to get a decent drink. "Not bad Matty." She said smiling. We repeated the process a few more times and we both eventually drank our fill, the water tasting ever so slightly like Rose's perfume. Afterwards we lay her shirt out on the rocks so that it could dry before the sun went down. A cool breeze had started blowing in from across the lake and we retreated to the corner of our shelter. We put our backs against the, still warm, shelf wall and I pulled Rose close. He bare skin feeling much to cold. As the sun finally set the sky turned a brilliant orange, some where across the water a pillar of smoke was rising into the twilight sky, smog black against the many shades of orange. "Look!" Rose whispered pointing into the fading light. Above us, gliding on the last warm air currents of the day, where three pterosaurs. Each with huge wingspans. They circled nearby a few times then settled on to the cliffs some where over our heads. "I don't think they will bother us tonight." I tried to reassure Rose. But she wasn't listening, just staring fixedly out at the water. The last rays of sun had hit the water making it look like one big orange sheet of reflective tinfoil, dazzlingly bright. Except in one spot about two hundred meters out from the cliff. Here there seemed to be a hole in the surface of the lake around which the water swirled down like water running out of a plug hole. I pulled out the compass again. The needle pointed directly at the strange anomaly. Just as I had thought, it didn't look like we were going to need to walk around the lake after all. Bellow our ledge, our old friends had arrived. We could hear the raptors splashing and chirping at the base of the cliff as the last light faded.