Rudy had never felt so trapped in his life. Here he was, buried under a landslide of rocks and rubble, and powerless to do anything. His body and arms couldn’t move, save for his neck, head and tail. The earthquake had taken him completely by surprise and it seemed to be a miracle that he was still alive.
But now he was trapped under a rockslide and there was nothing he could do to free himself. If he struggled too much, he would only make the situation he was in worse. His neck and head could still move, but that seemed about all he could do. He thought about roaring for help, but changed his mind.
No dinosaur in the underground world would ever come to his side to help him. Nobody cared about him and nobody loved him or had done anything to make him feel wanted. Even his own mother neglected him when he was a hatchling. Just because he was bigger then his brothers in the nest, he was always alone.
He always knew was different then his siblings because his scales were white and gray and his eyes had a dull redness to them that made him look evil.
He wasn’t evil. He was born that way, but his mother and nest mates treated him like he was a bad carcass in their way. It was a hard life for Rudy to endure and it only got worse. Once, when he was full-grown, he was hunting for food and carelessly had his face engulfed by a cloud of ash from lava falls. This caused his eyes to go redder and his head to hurt from squinting in the bright light in the mornings. From then on he hunted during the evenings and nights, to spare him from his head pains.
And then there was Buck. The very thought of that miserable little weasel made the pain of the hole in Rudy’s mouth hurt and sting more every time they met. It was a pure insult to have to fight a mammal that was smaller then you. Rudy felt that that weasel was the cause of his mouth hurting him. The hole were his tooth used to be caused him lots of pain whenever he ate or drunk from the river. Rudy raged and fumed whenever he met that little one-eyed mammal.
He still remembered the night when it happened. It was raining and he was hungry. He waited in the darkness for pray to come by so that he can ambush it. And then his eye found one, a tasty little mammal. He remembered taking a swipe at the little animal, only wounding its eye. And then it took to the trees to escape. But he was ruthless and was determined to eat that weasel.
He finally got his chance and gobbled up the weasel with one bite. But before he could consume him, the weasel crawled back up his gullet and grabbed something at the back of his throat. He tried swallowing but nothing happened. And then it happened. He felt the weasel shoot out of mouth and felt immense pain on his gums and felt his own blood flow from his jaws. He remembered bellowing in pain and clutching his jaws with his clawed hand and feeling the hole in his mouth were his front tooth used to be.
From then on, Rudy vowed to devour that mammal and make him pay for the pain he caused him and for taking his tooth, too.
Josiah and Shelly were frozen, gaping in terror at the albino baryonyx that was berried under the pile of rocks and rubble. But then Josiah smiled at their good fortune. With Rudy trapped like a rat, there was no way for him to harm him or Shelly. He moved out into the open and sneered up at Rudy. Upon seeing the two-leg enter the clearing, Rudy growled and tried to move but that only made more rocks fall all around him. He roared and growled in frustration as the rocks hammered him in the neck. He felt beaten and weak and now this…this…two-leg was smirking up at him like Buck.
“What’s the matter, Rudy? Can’t you move?” Josiah brushed himself off and stared the dinosaur down. “Not so tough now, are ya’, Snowflake?” he sneered tauntingly.
Fallen or not, this was too much for Rudy. It was bad enough that the two two-legs were still alive after he sent them falling into the chasm…now; he was being insulted by one of them. Glaring, Rudy turned away from him with an aggravated growl. If he could not devour this little two-leg, he would just have to ignore him.
Smirking, Josiah waved for Shelly to come out.
Pale with fear, Shelly said, “I’m not coming out,”
Josiah said, “He’s trapped, Shelly! There’s a whole mountain of rocks piled on him and he can’t move! What harm is he going to do to us? He can’t even budge.”
“Josiah,” She called back to her friend. “I…don’t…he still looks like he can still attack.”
“Shell, get over here!” Josiah repeated, jabbing his finger at her.
Reluctantly, she stepped out and walked over to Josiah’s side.
The dinosaur lifted his head and looked at her for a moment, taking in who she was, then closed his eyes and turned away again.
Josiah and Shelly looked at each other and then back at Rudy. Shelly wondered what they should do. This was no business of theirs. They both could just leave and let Rudy die under the boulders. But something inside her mind made Shelly think about Rudy’s position. He was trapped and helpless beneath the rocks, stripped of his freedom. Rudy turned once more and stared at them. Shelly stared back. She could sense the dinosaur was in considerable pain and discomfort, even if he didn’t show it.
Josiah looked upward and said, “Its getting dark, Shelly. Lets make camp here.”
The kids setup their tents away from Rudy, glad when the darkness hid the dinosaur from their eyes. All accept for his eyes which glowed eerily red in the darkness of the chasm. Shelly made a bonfire and broke out her food rations as she stared at the sleeping dinosaur. Josiah kept his stun pistol close to him as he ate silently beside Shelly. The fire provided a lot of warmth and safety, but didn’t help Josiah’s nerves. The chasm hid many dangers and Josiah was afraid something would jump out of the darkness and attack them.
Rudy stared at the two two-legs in the darkness of the chasm. At first, he was amazed that they could make fire and control it. all the dinosaurs in this world were wary of fire. He was almost impressed. Controlling fire was something the gods could know how to do. But these little two-legs controlled it like it was no problem for them.
As the night continued on, Rudy observed the two two-legs. He tilted his head to one side and looked at the female two-leg for a long time. Her pleasant smile and blue eyes reminded Rudy of the female baryonyx who had looked at him with loving eyes and not hatred, unlike the others who despised his mere presence. She was the perfect mate for him, but he didn’t know if she felt that way about him. Sure she was the only one in the cave who didn’t snarl or snap at him, but he didn’t know how to express his feelings for her. He never had a mate before in his life.
Rudy licked his parched jaws. He had not drunk any water for a while and he was terribly thirsty. He groaned loudly and tried to ignore his thirst. The last thing he needed was to look weak in front of the two-legs.
Shelly was the first one to hear Rudy groan in the still night. Josiah turned away from the dinosaur and ignored him completely. The last thing he was going to do was show that…beast any sympathy.
Shelly, on the other hand, felt sorry for the dinosaur. All those rocks piled in on him made it look like he might die from being crushed under all that weight. She was also aware that Rudy was licking his lips, as if he was thirsty from the lack of water. She thought about walking over to the dinosaur and giving him some of her water, but thought better of it.
Just because Rudy was trapped under a rockslide, and just because he was unable to move, didn’t mean he’d try to attack her. Besides, his red eyes still made her uneasy.
Rudy groaned again and licked his jaws. Shelly knew he was thirsty, but what could she do? She remembered something in the bible about giving your enemy something to drink when they are thirsty. And if they are hungry, feed them. That was in Romans 12:20.
Shelly never forgot those bible lessons her mother taught her about. And it seemed like Rudy needed something to drink.
Gathering up her courage, Shelly made her way over to the dinosaur with a large water bottle in her hand.
“No, Shelly!” Josiah warned, grabbing her arm. “Don’t go anywhere near him. he’s dangerous.”
“Don’t worry,” She said, freeing herself. “I’ll be fine, Josiah.”
Josiah stood up and took out his pistol.
“Your not gonna’ give him water, are you?”
“I’m just going to give him a little, that’s all.” She replied.
She was wary and a little scared of doing this, but she had to do this, although every bone in her body was shaking. She heard the story of how Rudy was relentless. How he knew all, saw all, and ate all who ever crossed his path.
Course, that was just Buck talking. And Shelly knew that Buck exaggerated his stories a little bit. She only hoped that half of them were not true.
As she edged clover, Rudy lifted his head and stared at her. Shelly made no move or sound. The albino baryonyx regarded her intently for a minute, then slowly eased his head down, his eyes on her.
“Uh, hello,” Shelly said, trying to sound friendly.
The dinosaur made no response.
“Are you thirsty?” Shelly asked, shaking her water bottle so that it made splashing sounds.
Rudy perked his head up when he heard the sound of water coming from the water bottle. But then he tilted his head to one side and gave Shelly a suspicious look, as if he suspected her not to give him any water at all and just leave.
“Its okay, big guy, I only want to help.” She uncapped her bottle and poured some water on her palm, to show it was harmless.
The baryonyx licked his lips again. True he was thirsty, but what if this little two-leg ran away if she got to close? The dryness in his mouth from all the dust aggravated the hole in his jaws. It stung more horribly now then before and he was sick and tired of it. it was time to make a decision. He was sure that this little two-leg intended to give him water, and he was very thirsty.
He looked down at the two-leg again and lowered his head so that it touched the ground. He opened his jaws very slowly so that he didn’t look too frightening.
Shelly leaned over and started pouring water in Rudy’s mouth. The dinosaur gulped the down like had never tasted anything so life-refreshing in his years. The albino baryonyx drank the water and then sloshed it around in his mouth to get rid of the dryness. By the time his thirst was quenched, Rudy had emptied three bottles of water. Rudy shifted his neck and let out a long, growling belch.
Josiah looked revolted, waving his hand in front of his face.
Shelly just smiled and went back to the fire. She felt pretty good for doing the right thing. And then she started thinking. ‘What if I help free Rudy from the rocks? If I do that, he’ll try to eat us.’ She turned her head to look at the now sleeping dinosaur. In the chasm he didn’t look pretty scary under all those rocks and Shelly knew he’d never be able get himself out alone. She thought about helping him again. ‘We can’t just leave him like that and let him die under all those rocks. If we help him, he’ll probably leave us alone and…’ Shelly shook her furiously. ‘What am I thinking? He’ll eat us the first chance he gets. He’ll never understand.’
Shelly climbed into her sleeping bag and fell asleep, fighting with herself and her thoughts about Bucks enemy.
Rudy slept an uneasy sleep that night. The images of his mother, his brothers, and Flood came into his dreams. Flood was nuzzling him, purring, and was beside him in the jungle, happy. But when he tried to nuzzle her back, she vanished. He didn’t know she vanished, she just did. Was this a sign? Or something worse.