Josiah heaved and hauled as many rocks as he could, careful not let any big ones fall on Shelly and Rudy from below. While he worked on the top, Shelly did her best to remove as many rocks as she could below despite her injury.
She slowed down to catch her breath once and while and to reduce the pain in her foot. She used her morpheme to help ease the stinging, but that seemed about it. The dressing had been used a while back when Ken had been injured and Shelly had just used the last of it to wrap-up her foot.
After a while they stopped so that Josiah could check Shelly’s ankle. It was starting to look better, but it still gave Shelly a few discomfort pains. Josiah was glad to see that it wasn’t bleeding.
The light had moved above the canyon and it was beginning to warm up. A flock of pterodactyls flew in the sky over the chasm.
“How are you doing, Shelly?” Josiah called to her, “Is your foot giving you any trouble?”
“It hurts a bit,” she called. “But if I keep off of it, it will get better.”
They continued to work all afternoon and stopped when it was time to eat. Josiah went off to hunt for Rudy so he wouldn’t starve while they worked. Although Rudy agreed not to lay a claw on Shelly and him, Josiah didn’t want to take any chances. Better to have a full belly then an empty one.
While Josiah went off to hunt, Shelly remained by Rudy’s side. She told Rudy a little about herself and about Josiah and how they both knew about his and Bucks grudges against each other. Rudy gave a little growl at the mention of Buck and turned away from Shelly.
“Oh, come on, Rudy,” Shelly said huffily. “Bucks not all that bad. And besides, you and he have both lost something. He lost an eye, and you lost a tooth. You’re square now.”
Rudy grunted and still turned away.
‘There’s no convincing him,’ Shelly thought with a shrug. ‘Maybe if I change the subject,’ she inched closer to him.
“You know, Rudy, its hope that’s gotten us this far, and if you have a little hope you can achieve anything.”
The albino baryonyx didn’t say anything. Shelly sighed and went back to work.
Rudy watched Shelly leave, eyeing her for a moment, and then closing his eyes to sleep.
Meanwhile, near the jungle of misery, Buck was leading Momma, Ken, and the baby dinos to the chasm’s slope. The slope angled downward to a rocky area that served as great hiding places for prey.
But what Momma and buck also knew is that this was Horn-snout territory.
They weren’t very friendly to outside carnivore breeds, especially Momma and Rudy. They considered anything that came into their turf as prey.
When they stopped, Buck slid off Momma’s back and turned to them.
“Alright, Ken, this is as far as you and Mommy dinosaur go,” He declared. “I’ll go the rest of the way and rescue your sister and Josiah.”
Ken nodded and so did Momma and the baby dinos.
Giving the group a solute, Buck slid down into the incline and walked into the chasm, whistling to himself.
Minutes later, Josiah returned with several large fish, strung together with a vine, back to the camp. Each of them was as big as a sturgeon.
He tossed them over to Rudy. “Okay, Rudy, here you go.”
The baryonyx sniffed the food and then devoured the fish in one bite, vine and all.
“Gee, Rudy, those went away fast,” exclaimed Shelly. “Your hungrier then I am.”
Rudy let out a growling belch, looking full and satisfied.
With that done, Josiah and Shelly got back to work. The evening was coming and the kids worked as hard as they could to move the rocks, their muscles aching from the lifting.
Finally, the medium rocks were removed and Rudy was able to move his tail back and fourth with ease.
But there were still the larger boulders that still had to be moved, and they weighed a tone.
“There’s no way we can move these, Shelly,” Josiah observed, looking up and down at the craggy boulders.
“We need more help.”
“Don’t worry, Josiah,” Said Shelly, and there was a trace of hope and determination on her face. “We will find a way, Together. Something’s going to turn up, believe you me.”
Josiah’s face felt hot. Those very words made him feel like he could just hug her.
Josiah was about reply to her when a ferocious growl echoed around them.
Rudy reared his head and scanned the rocky spot, growling low in his throat.
Another growl came, this time followed by several hisses and growling snarls, rapidly drawing nearer.
“Something turned up alright, Shelly,” said Josiah. “And it’s not friendly!”
The growls were starting to get closer. Josiah drew out his pistol, as did Shelly.
Rudy tried in vain to get himself free. But try as he might, he couldn’t budge.
Josiah saw that the situation was not going to go well if they didn’t get Rudy free.
Looking around the clearing, Josiah looked upward and saw a large boulder on top of the incline entrance. From his angle, Josiah could see that the rock was tilting.
“If I can get a good shot at it…” He muttered under his breath as he took aim. “I’ll block the entrance in here and buy us some time.”
Josiah pulled the trigger and the bolt shot right under the boulder, the rim exploding in a shower of dirt and rock.
The boulder started to sway and then it tumbled sideways right in the middle of the incline entrance with a crash.
Josiah listened and heard roars and agitated growls coming from the other side of the boulder. The good thing was that the way he and Shelly had come in, on the left, was still accessible. The bad part was that Rudy was still trapped under the boulders.
Time was running out. The ceratosaurs would probably found another way in and attack them from a blind spot somewhere on the high rocks on the ridges.
“Shelly, we need to get out of here now,” said Josiah. “The ceratosaurs might double back and get the jump on us.”
“But what about Rudy?” Shelly said, in a desperate sort of plea. “We can’t just leave him like this.”
Josiah shook his head. He took a glance at the large boulders. Then at Rudy. He could tell Shelly really wanted to help him.
But what could they do? The boulders were too big.
Josiah turned back to Shelly. Desperation that they had to stay and help Rudy was etched on her face. Unfortunately, there was still the problem that the ceratosaurs would get them before Rudy even had a chance to defend himself.
Suddenly, a growling crocodilian-like hiss came from the right side of the entrance. Josiah and Shelly turned toward the sound and froze.
They saw a huge baryonyx appear in the entrance and stand motionless, blue eyes fixed on both of them.
Josiah peered at the dinosaur and recognized who it was.
“Flood!” Josiah gasped. He ran over to the female baryonyx, relieved to see a familiar face.
Flood stepped toward Josiah and gently nuzzled under his chin. He rubbed her snout, smiling.
‘Now we have a chance,’ thought Josiah with hope. ‘With Flood’s help we might be able to save Rudy.’
He only hoped that the ceratosaurs did not show up before they could save Rudy.