Jurassic Writing - Finale
The final trip
Serena spent the next two days weighing the pros and cons of going back in time 150 million years. Despite her con list being longer than her pro list, she had a visceral desire to see the magnificent animals. She had to go, regardless of how dangerous it might be.
Calling Andrew, she got his voicemail. “Andrew, please call me back. I’ve decided to go. What do I need to bring? Talk soon.”
Fifteen minutes later, she got a text. Bring a canteen, extra water bottles, food for the day, long pants and long sleeves, good hiking boots you can run in and bug spray. Be at my place tomorrow at 7 am, ready to go. Make sure you’ve prepared.
Serena couldn’t believe it. Tomorrow she was going to see, smell, and hopefully touch animals which had gone extinct 65 million years ago.
She danced around like a kid who got all the presents on her Christmas list for a few minutes, then got to work. There was a lot to get done before tomorrow.
Serena pulled up in front of Andrew’s cabin at precisely 7:00 am.
Parking, she idly wondered if she would ever see her car again. Unpacking her gear, she gave Andrew her car keys. She wouldn’t need them where she was going. Her only identification was her driver’s license, which she left with her car keys.
Andrew handed her a cup of coffee. “Two milk, two sugars, if I remember correctly.” She gratefully accepted the cup, nodding. “I thought we’d indulge in one last cup of coffee while we reviewed the plans before heading out.”
“You make it sound like this will be the last coffee we’ll ever have.”
“It very well could be,” said Andrew caustically. “I’m still not sure why I’m returning to where animals which went extinct 65 million years ago killed my family. It’s not vengeance driving me. I’m ashamed to admit I want to see the animals again.”
“There’s nothing to be ashamed of,” said Serena. “You have the chance to see the majestic animals that walked the earth long before people came into existence, an opportunity no one else has. It’s exciting, it’s mind-boggling, and it’s something no one else has ever done. Your family would want you to continue your research.”
Andrew eyed her warily. Finishing his coffee, he put the cup in the sink. “Ready?”
“Ready.” Serena put her empty coffee cup next to Andrew’s. “I wonder if we’ll be back to wash the dishes.”
“If you have any hesitations, tell me now. I don’t need you freaking out while surrounded by prehistoric animals.”
“I’m not going to freak out. It was just a random thought. You’re the one who keeps talking about the dangers. Don’t you wonder?”
“If I’ll be back to wash my coffee cup? I didn’t think about specifics like that. I don’t want to. I prefer to assume I’ll be home tonight to wash the mugs.”
“You will be.”
Andrew stared at her for a long moment, his face expressionless.
“Let’s get ready to leave. Grab your gear.”
Fifteen minutes later, they were ready. Serena followed Andrew as he revealed a hidden door in the wooden hallway floor leading into the basement. Motioning for her to go first, he locked the secret door before continuing down the stairs.
He found Serena standing in the middle of the room, turning, staring in awe at all the electronics. “Wow is the only thing I can think to say,” she said sheepishly.
“It can be overwhelming the first time you see it. When I showed my family, my wife and daughter were speechless. My son, on the other hand, had a dozen questions, wanting to know how everything worked.” He smiled at the memory.
“How does it work?” asked Serena. Andrew laughed. “Unless you have advanced degrees in math, physics and engineering, my explanation won’t make sense to you. Just think of this room as portable. It can move anywhere in time.”
Serena nodded thoughtfully.
“It’s a room within a room. The inner layer of the walls is reinforced steel. When typing in the commands, the room moves to where I programmed it to go. The coordinates from my last trip are still in the system. You’ll see a pink glow from here.” Ron pointed at an orb attached to a laptop. “It’ll last less than thirty seconds, then poof! We’ll be there.”
“Ready?” Andrew asked Serena.
She took a deep breath, both excited and anxious. “Ready.”
Andrew hit a few keys on one of the keyboards in the room. The attached orb began to glow pink. Serena was mesmerized by the colour’s beauty, watching it until it faded.
“We’re here,” said Andrew, his voice expressionless.
“Already? That took less than a minute!” Serena tried not to let her anxiety show. Now that she had travelled back 150 million years, she was terrified.
“See for yourself,” he said, gesturing toward a window that had been closed, unnoticed by Serena.
Serena went to stand by the window. She gasped when she saw the herds of animals drinking from the lake and grazing on the lush conifer trees and surrounding flora.
Like Andrew and his late family, she saw Stegasaurus and Brachiosaurus herds. Andrew landed the machine in the same open plain as before.
Remembering the video of Andrew’s family eaten by an Allosaurus, Serena was hesitant to leave the machine but had to get closer to the dinosaurs. It was the only opportunity she would get to see them live.
Andrew shook his head, resigned. He knew what she was thinking. She wanted to get closer to the animals.
“You want to go out and get closer, don’t you?”
Serena turned to him, eyes shining. “I have to go, Andrew. You understand.”
“Sadly, I do. Are you sure you want to leave the safety of the machine? I won’t be able to save you if something happens. I have to stay here and maintain the stability of the time machine. But I’m recording everything.” He assembled a drone, programmed it and opened the door to let it fly out. “I’ll also be recording from overhead with the drone. We can communicate with the walkie-talkies I brought.”
Serena took a deep breath. “Wish me luck,” she said as he handed her one of the walkie-talkies.
“Good luck. Be careful,” Andrew told her, but she had already stepped outside. “God Speed, Serena.”
Andrew watched as she slowly made her way toward the herd of Brachiosaurus. The large herbivores paid her no mind, their long necks reaching to eat from the treetops. She got close enough to touch an enormous leg the size of a tree trunk. Andrew watched and listened to her elation. She was the first person ever to touch a living dinosaur. Her expression of pure joy showed her love for these prehistoric animals.
“Pay attention to your surroundings and be careful and alert at all times. “ Andrew’s staticky voice came through the walkie-talkie.
Serena ignored him, walking in between the tree-trunk-sized legs of the enormous dinosaurs, touching each of them. She was hugging one animal’s leg when the ground began shaking. The majestic beasts trumpeted in fear, stampeding across the plains.
The noise the animals made as they fled drowned out Serena’s screams.
She hung on to the Brachiasaurus’ leg, slowly losing her grip as the animal’s enormous tree-trunk legs ran. She tucked and rolled when she fell, instinctively covering her head. It made no difference.
Andrew leaned out of the machine, violently throwing up. When he finished, he wiped his mouth with his sleeve, getting a bottle of water to rinse out his mouth. When he looked through the window, the scene hadn’t changed. Serena’s body still lay flattened like a pancake surrounded by blood and organs.
“Damn it!” Andrew slammed his hands against the tabletop. “That wasn’t supposed to happen!” An Allosaurus came roaring out of the forest, chasing away the remaining Brachasaurus’. On the other side of the lake, the Stegosaurus herd ran from the barrel-chested predator.
The Allosaurus gave up chasing the Brachiosaurus, noticing the gory pancake that was Serena. Sniffing her body with its long snout, it rolled her over. Deciding she was edible, the Allosaurus snatched her between its serrated teeth, swallowing her whole.
Andrew stood in the machine by the window, watching the scene unfold.
Before the machine could attract the attention of the Allosaurus, Andrew travelled back to the present day.
After what happened to his family the first time he travelled back 150 million years, he should never have agreed to take Serena that far back in time.
Andrew downloaded the video he had taken from the machine and Serena’s video recording. Locking them in his hidden safe with instructions to build a time machine, the only evidence of its existence, Andrew promised the family he lost and Serena they would remain hidden for as long as he was alive.
Andrew would be the only person on the planet who knew time travel was possible. But he wasn’t telling anyone. He didn’t think the world was ready for time travel yet. After he was gone, someone would find his instructions for building a time machine. Who knows how many people will die when that happens?
Unlike the videos, Andrew couldn’t put away the images of his family and Serena getting killed.
He would spend the rest of his life remembering those moments and reliving them.
Don’t miss the exciting first two parts of “Jurassic Writing!”
Jurassic Writing— Part One: The Find
Jurassic Writing — Part Two: The Past
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About the Creator
Robin Christine Honigsberg
Sensitive eccentric with numerous mental illnesses who often describes personal experiences with mental illness to raise mental health awareness. Suicide attempt survivor. Writer of different topics, in various genres. Please have a read!💚
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