The footprints finally ended at a rocky path with several dark tunnels. They had to pick a tunnel and quick. Every second they dawdled, Ken’s life was more in danger.
“Which way do we go, Josiah?” Shelly asked. “These tunnels might run for miles,”
Josiah looked doubtfully at the tunnels and sighed. “We have no choice, Shelly,” he pointed to the middle tunnel in front of him. “We’ll take this tunnel and see if it’s the right way. Come on.” Together they entered the dark passageway.
The tunnel wasn’t as dark as it looked. The sunlight provided a dim shine in the creepy mine-like cave. This was good, considering it was full with old dinosaur bones and skulls.
As they made their way down the tunnel, Josiah had that feeling they were being watched again.
Suddenly, a large round spiked tail slammed down behind them. They both jumped and turned to see where that tail had came from and who it belonged to. What they saw made them back away in a hurry. A dinosaur that was twice the size of a rhino stood right in front them and glared with threatening eyes. It had horns on its triangular head. Thick bands of armor with large plates and spikes wrapped around its body. And on its tail was a thick round pointed club. The armor and the head were red while the under belly was a cream color.
Josiah knew what this dinosaur was, right upon seeing its clubbed tail.
An ankylosaur. An unhappy ankylosaur.
“We must have startled it,” Shelly whispered to Josiah while backing away. “What do we do?”
Josiah knew just what to do. “Run!”
Clutching Shelly’s hand, Josiah ran as fast as he could away from the dinosaur. The clubtail charged after them with a bellowing roar.
Panting hard, they ran out of the tunnel and into bright sunlight. But they suddenly came to a screeching halt. The ledge they had arrived on was gone. The only way out of this was for them to jump to safety. But that was suicidal. They were on a cliff and below them was a pool of water that was fifty-feet high.
Josiah looked around for a way out. There was none. They were trapped.
Behind them the ankylosaur charged out of the tunnel and slammed its tail against the ground. The creature was about to crush them with its tail, when Shelly spotted a long-necked brachiosaur marching past the cliff they were on.
Thinking fast, she ripped a green frond from a nearby tree and shook it over the edge of the cliff where they stood.
“Here, girl!” she shouted, as if she were calling a big dog. “Over here, girl! Come and get the nice big plant!”
Sure enough, the dimwitted long-necked dinosaur turned in her direction. When she saw the juicy-looking frond, she came over and began munching on it.
“Climb on, Josiah!” Shelly urged him. She hopped onto the domed head of the dinosaur. “Hurry!”“No way I’m getting on that thing!” Josiah declared. As much as he liked slides, this was too much.
“Its ether this peace-loving dinosaur or…” Shelly pointed to the ankylosaur who was ready to attack them. “The mad-crazed, jolly red giant with the club!”
With that, she jumped onto the neck and slid down its slippery surface, yelling, “Future girl wants to live! Tally ho!”
Josiah heisted for one more second. But just as the dinosaur came closer, he jumped aboard, too.
The brachiosaur lifted its head high over the cliff, away from the ankylosaur.
While he was sliding down the sleek neck and back, he cried, "YAAAAAAA-HOO-HOO-HOO-HOOOEEEYYYY!!!"
A few seconds later, the two friends slid down the dinosaurs’ tail and fell through the air, landing on the ground with a hard, ‘oof!’
Grunting in pain, Josiah and Shelly stood up and rubbed the soreness from their aching muscles.
But when they looked up again, they saw several dinosaurs towering over them.
Josiah and Shelly stood frozen, staring in fear at the enormous dinosaurs.
“I feel soo…small.” Josiah commented as he gazed up at the iguanodons and kentrosaurs.
All of a sudden, a loud trumping rang out. Looking up the kids saw a weasel on a high branch of a tree.
It had brownish-Orange fur with several brown spots on its whitish belly and chest. On its right eye it wore a leaf eye patch like a pirate. Its other eye was blue and on its chin was a tuft of white fur that looked like a goatee. In one hand it held an ivory-looking knife that was made out of a dinosaurs tooth, and in the other was a vine.
The weasel grabbed the vine and swung himself in front of them.
“Take cover, you two!” the weasel yelled. He yanked a grenade-looking berry from his belt and tossed it to the ground. BOOM! A thick yellowish cloud of smoke instantly surrounded Josiah and Shelly.
“Come on!” using the foul smelling smoke as a screen, the weasel led them away from the dinosaurs and into the jungle.
As they walked along the jungle path, the weasel scanned the area for danger.
Josiah and Shelly watched him almost in admiration.
“Excuse me,” Shelly asked the weasel as politely as she could. “But, who are you?”
The weasel responded by throwing his knife at Shelly’s foot. She took a step back, as if he was going to attack her. The weasel crawled down the tree creepily and started to sniff the two humans curiously from top to bottom. Josiah was a bit freaked by this. His personal space was being invaded by a weasel with an eye patch.
“BUCK!” it bark, so suddenly that it startled the both of them.
“Huh?” inquired Josiah.
The weasel spoke again, only this time it was with an English accent.
“The name’s Buck,” the weasel declared with a flare. “Short for Buckminster. Long for…” he opened Josiah’s mouth and finished, “BUH!”
He then scurried over to Shelly and examined her stun pistol.
“Hmm, nice toys,” he muttered after running a finger over its whites surface. After that, he turned to them.
“What are you two humans doing down here?”
“My little brother, Ken, was taken by a tyrannosaur,” Shelly explained.
“Really? A t-rex, you say? Well, he’s dead,” Buck replied while putting on a false smile. “Welcome to my world. Now, go back to wherever it is you came from. Off you pop!”
Josiah glanced at Shelly. She looked as if she was going to cry at any moment. Josiah turned and glared at Buck. This weasel was not making this situation any easier on them.
“We’re not going anywhere, Buck,” he said determinedly. “Ken is not dead. We came this far and we are not gonna give up now.”
That made Shelly smile a bit, in spite of her doubt about Ken being dead.
They were about to reenter the jungle, when Buck jumped in front of them.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” the weasel said while waving his paws at them. “If you go in there, you’ll find your little brother….” Buck’s words trailed off creepily. “In the after life. Do you two want to join him? I mean, this is no jungle paradise for cub scouts,”
He whispered. “And what are you two going to do with those puny weapons of yours when you run into the beast?”
Shelly gulped. “What beast?”
Buck said creepily ones again. “The beast I call….RUDY!”
“What are you saying?” Josiah demanded. “What you mean, Rudy? Are you saying there is something else bigger then that tyrannosaur?”
“Aye.” Buck nodded at him. “And he’s the one who gave me this.” He pointed to the eye patch covering his right eye.
Josiah just shook his head and leaned down to the weasel.
“I think we can handle the ‘The beast’ on our own, Buck.”
Getting up, he and Shelly marched off into the jungle.
Buck watched the two of them go. “Abandon all hope; he who enters there!”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Josiah called back irritably from the jungle. “What ever!”
Meanwhile, back at lava falls, Ken was having his own problems with Momma Dino. She had tried many ways of trying to eat Ken but couldn’t bring herself to do it. Whenever she felt that urge to eat him, he’d back up against a tree and beg for his life. Momma now had him in her jaws and was about to fling him once again in the air and consume him whole, when Ken grabbed a vine and held on to it for dear life.
Momma stopped, stretching Ken’s Speedos like a rubber band.
“Momma, please!” Ken begged. “Don’t do that!”
She continued to stretch him.
Ken’s arms couldn’t hold on forever. He didn’t know who was going to let go first. Him or Momma Dino.
Having enough of this, Ken shouted at the dinosaur.
“I’m not going to be eaten! I’m staying alive!”
He thrust his bare feet at Momma’s snout and started kicking as hard as he could. Momma growled and stretched him even more.
Ken knew the rubber of his bathing suit wouldn’t hold out much longer if this continued to go on.
“You let go of ME!”
Ken went flying, right into the tree he was hanging onto with a CRASH!
Momma wasn’t so fortunate. She had hit her scaly head on a low hanging branch of another tree when she had let go of Ken.
With a bellow of pain, she shook her throbbing head.
Ken was not so good ether. He had a painful bruise on his left leg and several cuts on his hands from the tree.
The dinosaur kids watched from behind a rock. Ken groaned in pain. But that groan quickly turned into a scream when he saw Momma loom over him, an angry look in her eyes.
“Look,” Ken said while backing away. “I didn’t mean to kick you. I’m sorry. It’s just that….”
Momma lunged at the tree, snapping her jaws. Leaves and branches flew everywhere as Ken tried to scoot to safety.
“I’m trying to apologize to you!” Ken tried again. “What more do you want?”
This time Momma bit half the tree branch. By now, Ken was hanging from a skinny limb. CREAK!
The limb broke off and Ken fell to the ground. As he fell, his foot got caught in tangle of vines. The next thing he knew, Ken was hanging upside down, dangling five inches above the ground.
Momma growled, advancing toward him.
Ken gulped and tried to swing away from her. But it was no use.
His feet were twisted in the thick vines.
“If you eat me, Miss Rex, you’ll get a stomach-ache soo badly you’ll have the runs for weeks!”
Momma Dino cocked her head, as if she were thinking it over.
Ken held his breath. ‘Maybe she won’t eat me after all,’ he thought. ‘Maybe my bluff worked,’
Instead, Momma leaned forward, jaws open.
Ken braced himself for the attack, eyes clenched shut.
With a low growl, Momma’s tongue snaked out. It was thick and reddish-pink, with no little forked groove on the tip like a lizard.
Gently, Momma licked Ken’s face and then his stomach.
Ken tried not to giggle as the slimy muscle tickled and rubbed against his skin.
After a moment, she withdrew her tongue and licked her scaly lips. Then instantly pulled a face. She had never tasted anything so bitter in her life. This two-leg’s bare skin had a tart flavor that agitated her mouth. If anything that tasted like that didn’t want to be eaten, she was too happy to oblige.
By then, Ken had gotten himself down from the tangle of vines and started to wipe the wet saliva from his body.
“Gross! Dino spit!” he muttered under his breath.
He then looked up at momma and grinned.
“I guess I’m off the menu tonight, huh momma?”
The dinosaur snorted then turned around and mischievously smacked Ken into the vines again with her tail. The force of the tail whip wasn’t strong, but it was enough to send Ken flying and spinning around the tree.
When he stopped, Ken was tied to the tree’s base. Poor Ken let out a groan and said feebly. “And those menus all tied up.”
Elsewhere in the jungle, Josiah and Shelly were still following the tracks of the rex. Buck had tagged along with them, much to Josiah’s annoyance. The weasel said he knew his way around the jungle and that they should work together to find Shelly’s brother. But Josiah said ‘no’ to him and said that this was a human problem and that he should stay out of it and not get involved. But Buck tagged along anyway.
As Buck scouted ahead for danger, Shelly walked alongside Josiah and whispered. “Why can’t he come along with us, Josiah?”
Josiah looked back at her. “He is an unneeded detraction. Besides, you saw that rock and plant he was talking to. I think he is slightly insane.”
“That maybe,” Shelly said. “But we need all the help we can get down here. He said that the tyrannosaur is at lava falls and I believe him. If it’s to save Ken, then I feel Buck is the one to count on.”
Sighing, Josiah said. “All right, all right….” He nodded. “He can come with us as far as lava falls. But that’s it. If he gets in my way, he leaves. I will not have a deranged hermit get in the way of our mission.”
With that, they walked on.