Writing Contest Entry: Alone (Centrosaurus encounters Daspletosaurus)3 Upvotes24 RepliesUpvoteAdd A Reply
74.8 million years ago...
She had lost everything...everyone. The winter migration had come too early, and with it had come a nightmare from which she could now not awaken. The ancient ford across which her vast herd had traveled scores of times in the past had felt...wrong. Something had been wrong. All too late, however, she had come to realize what had sent her primitive senses into panic: the water! The great river had been rising - swelled by immense runoff from the mountain rains.
By the turn of luck or the fall of a curse, she had been the first to cross the massive swath of rushing water - churning her powerful legs through the roiling swells as her young calf trailed behind with the rest of the herd. Then they came. The flood waters came. It had happened in less time than her simple mind could register - a thunder like every storm upon the plains combined into a terrifying cacaphony. Trees, mud and fractured rock swept along in implacapable waves of darkened water, crashing across the shores and sweeping away everything in their path. Everything...including her family. The terror had lasted for only a brief moment, an unproar of barking howls and brays from the herd that was swiftly swallowed-up by the monstrous roar of the flood. Then they were gone. All gone; and she was now alone. She was all alone...
The lone centrosaurus plodded along slowly amidst the broken trees and mud surrounding the bodies of her still and silent herd-mates. Mist trailed along the shore of the rushing river as the flood waters crashed upon the muddied rocks. She could smell them - each of them unique; but she could not feel them, could not hear them. They were silent - no longer coming to her. She would be alone forever now. Everyone was gone...
She gave a low and mournful bay that echoed out across the fallen trees and rocks as she strode forward, small scavengers scuttling or flapping away from the mud-caked bodies she approached. She gently nudged each herd-mate she found with her nose, giving soft, broken-hearted sighs when they remained still. They were gone - just gone. Where had they gone? She did not understnad. Yet, as she neared the center of the swath of mud-covered bodies, she suddenly came to a stop. There was another smell now - accompanied by sounds amidst the quiet dead.
The smell was terrifying - sending shivers of adrenaline through her body. She did not know what it was, had no name for it, but she knew what it meant: claws and teeth that sought her herd. They always followed in the dark, waiting and watching. The claws that grabbed and the teeth that killed. She heard it now, a low, shuddering thump and the crack of branches along the river's edge - growing louder. Coming closer. The smell filled her mind with dread and she backed away from the mists that swirled amidst the trees, hearing smaller creatures squeek and scamper away in utter terror. Then came another noise - one she knew better than any other: a soft bleating nearby. The cries of her child! He was alive!
Set into motion by instinct, she ignored the smell that terrified her senses and gave a powerful bay and rushed forward - crashing through debris and over the bodies of her herd as she made her way toward her child's voice. Yet she could not see him - could not smell him. There were too many! Too many dead! Frantic, she turned to and fro, her eyes searching the river bank for anything that might lead her to her calf. Fear, primal and unrelenting, clutched at her mind - sending her heart into rapid pulse. She might never find him. Might pass him up or crush him underfoot as she searched in growing desperation amidst the trails of mist.
Then, within the dim light, her seeking eyes caught sight of something in the near distance: faint movement amidst a tangle of fallen trees and bodies not fifty yards away - just on the cusp of the roiling river. She began forward once more with great speed - her eyes locked upon the struggling motion near the river. Her child was there! She smelled him - heard his frightened cries! Then she stopped - her muscles freezing as the ominous sound of a heavy footfall amidst cracking branches echoed out behind her and the fetid smell of it became steadily overwhelming.
As her calf moaned and bleated, struggling to free himself from the ruined trees and dead herd-mates that pinned him, she slowly turned her head to look back to the forest line - and abject terror seized her breath within her chest. It had come. One of them had found her and her child. Drawn to the smells of the dead and the cries of the calf, the daspletosaurus gave a low rumble that echoed up from its cavernous chest as it gazed out upon the river's shore from the mist-darkened treeline. There were so many dead - so many opportunities to feed. Yet, there was something else, something more. A chance to kill. Thick strands of saliva dripped down from the massive theropod's dagger-like fangs as its eyes scanned the line of the river - steadily falling upon the mother centrosaurus...and the fumbling motion of her pinned calf. Growling softly as its eyes locked upon the calf, the monstrous carnivore slowly advanced, walking forward from the trees and giving a low guttural roar as its heavily-muscled and streamlined body came fully into view. The larger prey animal would provide more, but the infant...the infant would not fight. The calf was not a risk. It would take the child as a start - and then gorge on the dead.
The ground shook beneath the mother centrosaurus's feet as the great predator approahced, causing her to back away slowly toward her struggling calf. She had to protect him - had to keep the teeth and claws from her child! Stamping her feet and lowering her head at the slowly-approaching predator, she gave a trumpeting howl of mingled anger and terror - impelled beyond the thought for self-preservation to protect her child; her last chance for a life beyond the ruin of her herd. Stopping briefly as the mother's echoing bray filled the air, the daspletosaurs shifted its massive head from side-to-side - peering at the centrosaurus with either eye in turn as if made uncertain by the sudden noise. Then, compelled by instinctive greed and bestial aggression, the voracious predator gave a thunderous roar - its piercing-yellow eyes widening as it began to crash forward through the mud toward the creature that dared to stand between it and its prey. They were alone. It would kill them both. It would eat them both. Then it would sleep amidst the field of corpses.
There was now nowhere to go. No chance to flee. That time had passed. Now, only one course of action remained: she would fight for her life and the life of her offspring. Bellowing in fear and maternal rage as her calf bleated in terror, the mother lowered her head and charged - leveling her single, yard-long horn at the onrushing predator. Openning its murderous jaws wide as the centrosaurus closed the space between it in only a few heartbeats, the daspletosaurus roared and brought its massive head down with staggering force imparted by the immensely powerful muscles of its neck - clamping it fangs down upon the mother's armored frill. Tons of pressure crushed inward like a hellish vice, sending out echoing cracks as the daspletosaurus's teeth punctured the plate of bone surrounding the mother's head. Blood spilled in rivulets between the predator's teeth, and then it renched its head back with incredible speed and ferocity - ripping away fully a quarter of the mother's protective frill with a sickenning, popping crunch.
Hot blood gushed down the side of the mother's face, blinding her left eye. Yet the wound was superficial, damage to a portion of her body designed to take the brunt of her foes' savagery. Thus she did not abate in her assault. Powering forward, the centrosaurus threw every ounce of her prodigious weight into her charge, ramming her head into the predator's midsection and burrying her single horn fully two feet into the flesh just above its right knee. With an agaonized bellow that burst out through the air, the daspletosaurus lashed out reflexively with its jaws once more - latching onto the top of the mother's neck just above the location where it had only moments ago torn away a section of her frill. Bone, sinew and muscle were sheared and rent as the predator's fangs sank fully into the mother's neck - forcing a wailing bellow from between her beaked jaws. However, she did not relent. She could not relent - not if her child was to survive.
Thrashing back and forth as she reared up upon her hind legs, the mother threw the daspletosaurus's jaws from her neck - causing the brutal predator to stagger back as her blood flowed from between its wicked jaws. Ignoring the white-hot pain coursing down her neck to between her shoulders, the centrosaurus charged a second time - lowering her head to gore her foe once more. Roaring with murderous fury, the daspletosaurus readied itself for the oncoming assault - the curved talons upon its small hands flexing in anticipation. However, it was not the wounded mother that reached it first. For she and her calf, despite the predator's assumption, were not enitrely alone.
Battered, bloodied, and caked in mud, a male centrosaurus - the only other survivor of the flood - suddenly crashed forth amidst splintering tree branches from the ruined forest line with a trumpeting bellow. Surprised, the mother centrosaur came to a sliding halt in her charge - watching in disbelief. Half again as large as the mother, the male closed the distance to the unsuspecting daspletosaurus in the blink of an eye and rammed its full weight into the side of the utterly shocked carnivore. Ribs cracked and buckled grotesquely as tons of furious muscle and sinew barreled directly into the side of the daspletosaurus, a horn fully four feet in length shearing forward and up - piercing the body cavity and burrying itself deep within a lung.
Wailing in abject excruciation, the daspletosaurus staggered to the side as blood begin to gurgle up from its throat and out between its wicked fangs - spattering to the ground. Its breaths began to rasp and its muscles began to shudder. Backing away to the mother's side, the mud-covered male gave yet another bellow and lowered its head - presenting a united front with the last of his herd's adult members as deep-crimson blood streamed slowly down his horn. Giving a guttural, liquid-thick growl as yet more blood poured from its wounds and trickled thickly from its jaws, the wounded carnivore once again sized-up its enemies - and realized that victory would not be its. Not this day.
Backing away slowly with a hoarse, rasping gurgle, the daspletosaurus at last turned and slowly departed, its footfalls thumping heavily as it returned to the mist-shrounded forest. However, the monstrous predator paused to look back upon its foes one final time - its dreadful eyes still filled with hideous greed. As blood began to well up within and spill from its nostrils, the daspletosaurus turned away with a low growl and slowly strode back into the cool confines of the forest, the pop and crack of branches sent out by its passage through the shadows growing steadily more distant before at last fading away to silence.
Bleeding and battered, the mother centrosaurus lowered her head at the side of her male counterpart as she watched the wounded predator vanish back into the dark from which it had come. At the same time, her calf at last extracted himself from the fallen trees and the bodies of the dead which had kept him pinned - bleating softly as he trotted forward to nuzzle his mother's side.
She was not alone. She would not be all alone.
Up pretty early...Good job! The detail was stunning, and omg...the feels...normally I'd be rooting for the Tyrannosaur, in this case Daspletosaurus, but the strong bond between mother and child was enough to make me cheer on the Centrosaurus this time around!
"Part of the journey is the end..."
This...THIS DESERVES A FEATURE! *runs off to tell GG*
"Part of the journey is the end..."
Awesome work, Something Real! I thoroughly enjoyed the incredible detail, perfect grammar, and well-developed characters! You really can't disappoint :)
You know what I think this is my favorite story that anyone's put on here. Great job!
Godzilla... Truly a God incarnate.
DRACONUS - Oh, gosh! That is extremely kind of you! Thank you ever so much for your compliments! :)
G:KOTM - Hahaha! Thank you so very much for your kind words! Please, do not be intimidated by my work. You are an excellent writer! :)
FACEHUGGERS - Your glowing praise is better than I deserve! Thank you so much. I am flattered and humbled in the extreme! :)
ULTRAZERO80 - I have no way to describe how flattering your statement is to me. For you to state that this particular portion of my work is your favorite upon the site is moving in a way I can not describe via words. All I can say is thank you so very much, my great friend. :)
Amazing SR, I've never seen you write with dinosaurs before, but this is fantastic.
Whatever it takes.
GORILLAGODZILLA - Thank you so very much! Your compliment means a great deal to me, my friend! Despite the fact that I rarely write dinosaur fiction, I had immense fun creating this piece for everyone's enjoyment! :)
You never fail to disappoint Something Real! Once again I thoroughly enjoyed your tale, with your trademark mind-blowing skill of a writer!
ALPHADINO65 - I can not begin to say how much your kind words mean to me! Furthermore, I am so very pleased to see you once again! The fact that you have taken the time to read this piece and make such a wonderful compliment is valuable to me beyond words. :)
My forum signature perfectly describes this fight. Also, WHY IS THIS NOT FEATURED?! GG!!!!!!! I PMED YOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"Part of the journey is the end..."
Did you take inspiration from Planet Dinosaur? It had a herd of Centrosaurs crossing a flooded river while being chased by a pack of Daspletosaurus.
"Part of the journey is the end..."
DRACONUS - How very neat! No; I have not seen Planet Dinosaur. Where can I watch? It sounds most compelling! :)
^I think you can order a DVD. It's an amazing documentary, tied with Walking With Dinosaurs as my third-favourite dinosaur documentary of all time.
2. When Dinosaurs Roamed America
1. Last Day of the Dinosaurs
"Part of the journey is the end..."
DRACONUS - How very excellent! I will be certain to give it a look! Thank you ever so much! :)
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