Rachel didn’t tell them about her strange encounter. She didn’t know why, but it felt like it was none of their business. It was her little secret.
They kept scanning the sand. They could see strange rock formations on the bottom, but no sign of the hidden city nor the strange creature.
Barry brought the guide on the jeep to do some recognition.
Rachel was working in the tent when she heard John shout.
-I got! I got the motherfucker!!
He was pulling the ropes of one of the cargo nets.
-No! Rachel ran towards him.
-Look! I’ve caught the monster!
The creature was lying in the red, fighting to break loose.
-Let it go!!
–Let it go? Are you crazy? This is the greatest sensation in the history of zoology!
The creature looked like it was screaming, but they could hear no sound. It was pulling the ropes, fighting for a long while. Slowly it calmed down.
Barry and Ng’guya came driving back.
-Wow, Barry’s going to flip out with this. John walked toward the car.
-I caught it, he said, first to Barry. Then he looked at Ng’guya. -I caught your Amapaca!
Ng’guya looked at it. -That’s no Aigamachab, he said after a while. -The Aigamaxa have eyes under their feet.
-Whatever it is, it’s awesome!
Barry agreed, stroking his beard. This was quite a catch.
-We should let it go, said Rachel. It’s suffering. Maybe it needs to be in the sand or something. Look, it has a hard time breathing.
The creature had a tail like a dolphin, long, fishlike, but on the end it was split in two, like big, flappy feet. Its hands resembled them, long and wide.
-Well, let’s get it on the truck and into town. Johnny could hardly stand still.
A sound came from the monitor. Barry turned his head. -What the… There’s movement on the screen!
Johnny raised his head to see. He moved closer.
-Fuck. There’s more of them?
They both went over to the monitor.
-At least three, it seems.
Johnny turned his head to have another look at his capture. Rachel was opening the net.
-Hey! What are you doing? He started walking fast towards her. Ng’guya stepped in front of him, between them.
-Get out of the way! John tried to push him. The little man was stronger than he’d expected. Ng’guya took his arm, bent it behind his back. Forced him effectively to his knees.
Barry took a step towards them.
-Calm down, all of you! He looked at Rachel. At the two men. Then the sand creature. It didn’t fight any more. It didn’t move. His eyes met Rachel’s A little nod, barely visible gave his consent.
The creature fell out on the ground. It lifted its head. Its hands started touching the sand, digging its way down. It was gone.
-Fucking hell, Johnny said in despair. -You stupid bitch!
-It wasn’t right. Rachel looked at the sand dunes. -It belongs here. It belongs in the sand.
They didn’t speak much the rest of the day, but Barry told them about another spot to keep looking for the lost city. After all, that was the reason they were there.