The road lay straight in front of them as far as the eye could see. The rocky desert was vast, and flat except for some scattered hills and small mountains. Sky and earth. It was beautiful.
We camp by the foot of that mountain! Jack shouted to Mario. The rest would follow. They drove off the road, out on the rocky carpet of the desert. They had to go slow, but their bikes would take them there.
They stopped underneath a steep cliff.
Jack looked a the sky. We’ll have shadow here tomorrow morning. We’ll camp here. Mario agreed.
Mario was unofficially second in charge, and a great fire maker. He could find wood for a fire anywhere. Michael got out the cooking pot. , and John started cutting meat and veggies for the stew. They were eight strong men, and quite a bit of food was necessary. Heaps of beer and whiskey, too.
They went to sleep under the stars around the bound fire. Silence. Peace.
Jack woke up. A sound. A scream, like an eagle, but stronger. Deeper.
Mario was already awake, looking out into the desert.
There’s something out there, he said.
I heard it too. What is it?
No answer. The two men sat there, looking out into the darkness.
Something moved in a distance. Something big.
Wake up! The rest of the crew was pulled out of their dreams.
What’s up, man… John was rubbing his eyes.
Another scream. He jumped up.
What the fuck was that?
It came from the other side last time… Jack said. Either it’s very fast or there’s more of them.
Either way it’s bad news. We saw it. Over there. It was big, bigger than a man. A lot bigger. We…
Aaaaahhh!! They turned around, getting their guns out.
What was that?
Michael! He fucking just disappeared! He was right there, behind me! Perky was white as a sheet.
OK, everybody stay calm. Jack was at his best when things got intense. Form a circle, backs to the centre. There’s something out there, and it’s fucking dangerous.
Silence. Waiting. Two gunshots.
It was there! I saw it! It’s huge. It ran behind those rocks! John was pointing with his smoking pistol.
You saw it? What was it?
I don’t know, it’s too dark… It looked like… It looked like a fucking dinosaur, man. A T-Rex or something.
T-Rex? That’s crazy, dinosaurs doesn’t exist.
I don’t know! I’m just telling you what I fucking saw, man!
They all spun around. There was nothing there.
Mario? Where the fuck is Mario?
No one said anything.
Mario was gone as well.
Let’s get the hell out of here!
They jumped on their bikes and drove off. Jack was in front. After some hundred meters he realized the lights behind him were gone. He looked over his shoulder. There was no one there. He kept driving. He could see the highway. Just a little bit more…
Something struck him from the side. He was lying on the ground. His back hurt, and so did his arms and legs, but he could move. He got on his feet. A shadow ran past him in the darkness. It ran on two legs, and it was big, double his height.
He turned around. It was staring down at him. It was a bird. A wingless bird bigger than a horse. It’s brutal beak, built to cut meat, to destroy, was bigger than the tank on his bike. And he had a big bike.
He had lost his gun in the fall.
It lifted a foot. Grabbed him by the chest. Claws went into his shoulder and ribs, pushed him down. He didn’t scream, just lied there, looking up on the terror bird. It held it’s head a bit on one side, then on the other. Examining him with both it’s eyes.
The big beak came down fast. He pulled his head to one side. It cut his cheek, but he was still alive. Blood was flowing down on his ear. He felt something by his hand. He grabbed it. His gun.
He pointed it at the bird’s head. Emptied it. Beak splints, blood and feathers. The bird fell dead to the side.
He could hear shrieks. Bird screams coming closer. He got his bike up. Jumped on. Pushing down the pedal once. It didn’t start. Twice. Nothing. He saw them now. Many of them, running straight at him. Third time. Engine sound. He stepped on the pedal. The bike went sliding from side to side and up on the road.
He drove off at high speed and kept driving.