"Morphopapa Rex," Part One in The Adventures of Super Julienboy
Small stones rolled away in all directions from the force of the beast's feet as they passed slowly across the banks of the drying riverbed. Wisps of dust exploded off of the dry, knobby skin, exposing dark patches of green-ochre where the spiky branches of the underbrush had spanked the left side of the creature's body as it forged ahead oblivious to all but its most basic need - food.
With not even the most vague sense of how wrong things were, existing only with the ever-gnawing hunger and the requirement that it must soon alleviate this inner danger, it pressed on. The rains that should have come long before this time were missed only for the lack of what they should have wrought.
Life in all forms usually flourished along this river. Food walked, crawled, and swam wherever the giant carnivore travelled. When the normal source of food became scarce, he would simply wrest the kill from a smaller predator and finish what the other had started.
But these days were very different from all that had come before. The once-fertile river had grown barren, leaving just enough moisture to sustain an ever-present clouds of insects, which now choked the vision of the animal, seeking the only soft flesh available - his eyes.
Yet, through all of this, there was - the scent. And as the dark beast moved forward, as quickly and quietly as possible, the great head moving side to side, up and down to keep the scent full in its nostrils, the rumbling sound of thunder could be heard behind him, far up the other side of the valley. It would rain again, soon. The sounds seemed to invigorate the gigantic lizard. It dared to move more quickly and more decisively towards its prey. Not long now. The hunted would be devoured quickly, and without rancour. The hunter must survive to hunt again.
With the edges of daylight beginning to darken, it was next to impossible for the creature to remain patient. It had been more than two weeks since last it eaten, a "feast" consisting of the semi-putrid corpse of the brilliant orange-crested Parasaurolophus, and to get that he'd had to fight off four starving Struthiomimus who had first discovered the body of the already-dead herbivore. They had watched from a nearby hill as he tore huge chunks from the carcass, and as he moved away, appetite sated, the four smaller carnivores had wasted little time running down the slope to get at the remains. When last he saw them, they had begun to tear at each other for the larger pieces of rotten meat.
But the scent he held now was from something alive, and it was just beyond those dried reeds on the other side of the lazy trickle that would soon again live as a river. There was no stopping now.
In half-a-dozen swift, huge strides, the terrible lizard burst through the dried river growth and was upon its prey. Turning, then leaping sideways, in what seemed like one motion, the object of the Rex's attention ended up behind him. The gigantic beast had lunged low, with its head stretched far ahead of its body, and went crashing into a rock outcrop which had been hidden by the dense, brown, dry vegetation.
Stunned, the great reptile turned to see that its prey had gone higher into the rocks, and was now safely above him, looking down - smiling.
It was a small creature, with a smooth, pale skin. Arms and legs were partly covered in other strange colourful skins. A thin loop encircled the middle area of the body. Tucked within the side of this loop was some kind of elongated implement. A shock of gold atop the creature's head ruffled in the slight breeze and seemed to glow in the light of the remaining rays of the now quickly-fading sunset. A broad splash of red draped around the neck and shoulders flowed brilliantly behind his back. With legs slightly apart and small hands bunched into fists and resting on its hips, this strange new being began to make sounds.
"I am Super Julienboy. Come on Papa, try and catch me!"
With all the remaining power and speed in its hungry body, the monstrous beast was somehow able to partially run and jump high enough up the rocks to grab one of the little one's legs in its huge mouth and pull him to the ground. As the deadly jaws began to squeeze, more sounds came from the small form. "I am made of STEEL!"
Teeth almost the length of the small one's arms cracked and broke free. Pain tore through the lizard's mouth and it dropped the small creature, stepped back awkwardly, and shook its head violently. The little thing had taken the long, strange object from out of the loop and was approaching the towering beast, laughing. This strange little animal was slashing at the Rex's legs. Thunder roared, closer now. The dinosaur went down.
It tried pathetically, with its almost useless little arms, to get a hold of this tiny demon creature, but it had flown over him, and was, once again, behind him. As the reptilian head turned to see this unbelievable puny force which had bested him, he could make out bright colours on the weapon that had been used to beat him. "This is my PETER PAN SWORD, and it's made of STEEL!" Slash! The sun went down on the beast for the last time, and the rumbling sound of thunder drifted far away. A raindrop glanced off the scaly skin.
"Ok, Papa. Get up. Now we're on the ocean, and you be a shark. I'll be Super Julienboy and this couch is my boat."
TO BE CONTINUED...© 2005 - 2012 Hal Levy and the above captioned author.