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the Rexoning. (Pachy's Perspective)

Nessa knew she'd never live this day down.  She kept losing focus on the dragonfly.  Three times in a row, she lost to her jelly-bellied, famously uncoordinated herd mate, Hoser.  Luckily, she and Hoser were playing "Snatch" away from the prying eyes of the herd, and Hoser had never been a braggart.  Maybe, just maybe he would say nothing, and she might be able to save face.  Something Like this day never happened.


Longing for a lucid explanation of her abysmal performance, Nessa deduced that her thirst must have distracted her.  After all, her mouth was inordinately dry.  It reminded her of the infertile burned-up land to the South. 


As she considered the impact of her thirst, the condition grew more overwhelming.  It was as if, by the thought of it, she willed the moisture to take exodus from her mouth and tongue. 


Nessa looked back at Hoser to tell him to wrap it up and head back to the herd.  Hoser was still basking in the glow of his unlikely domination, but he nodded in the affirmative.  He consciously reigned in his jubilance as he skipped back to the herd. 


The two skipped around the familiar brush on the well-worn path back to the herd's stomping grounds.  It was a quick jaunt home, and they arrived at gathering hour.  Nessa had always been an early riser, so anyone who wanted to play with her had to get up early.  By the time Nessa had had enough of getting whooped by Hoser, it was right around the time most others were waking to the day. 


As the two approached the clearing, a robust collection of local pachycephalosaurs were milling about, mingling with one another.  The two youngsters entered with a loud crinkling crash as they burst past the last limbs and leaves that guarded the herd's clearing.  The noise of their entrance was like a siren bell, alerting all prey animals to possible infiltration.  Just as Nessa was taking note of the effects of her loud entrance, she heard Hoser impatiently announce his three (count them, three) consecutive wins in their games of Snatch.  Not only did he not keep his victories to himself, but he was also in such a hurry to declare his conquests that he stammered and stumbled, both in speech and locomotion, soliciting jeers and laughter from their contemporaries in the herd.  Nessa couldn't help but glean some sense of satisfaction from his humiliation after he dared to boast his wins, but she always hated how the other kids made fun of Hoser all of the time.  She felt as though she had to come to his rescue again.


The young Dracorex (so-called the youngest Pachycephalosaur teens), Nessa silenced the mocking masses with a wave of the arm and proceeded to tell a tale of Hoser's remarkable fleet-footedness and deft dexterity.  The crowd listened in with disbelief, their eyes wide in anticipation.  Baiting them further into her narrative, Nessa exaggerated some of Hoser's impressive offensive moves and dramatized her defencelessness against them.  The teen tribe roared with oohs and aahs as Hoser reddened, abashed by such unusual attention.


Nessa ended the tale with a conciliatory bow in Hoser's direction.  To this, he simply blushed.  Then, mounting a second offensive, her stark thirst demanded the child's full attention.  She had to get to the Hideaway.  Her mother allowed her to gallivant near the confines of the herd's domain, but a trip to this place was different.  The journey to this place, the one they called "The Dead Tree Hideaway," took a dinosaur a little bit beyond the zone of safety, requiring an experienced pathfinder to navigate the foliage to and fro.  Nessa's mother would not let her go alone, but she knew that her mother would be fine with her going along with Josiah, one of her Stygimoloch mates.  The "Stygies" was what they called the older kids of the herd.  They were the ones readying for the responsibilities of adulthood.  They had no more time for messing around, so the adults knew that most Sygimolochs could be trusted.  Moreover, Josiah was among the oldest, most respected Stygies in the lot.


The Dead Tree Hideway was just a small clearing in the forest, created when a massive tree took its last breath and collapsed onto the wood floor.  In its mighty wake, a cornucopia of other trees and brush met their maker.  This left not much more than the underbrush, and an area of water run-off from the mountains above.  It was also home to a little snapping turtle that the kids liked to say hello to.


Josiah was saying his goodbyes to his mother when the young dracorex appeared at his side.  Apparently, she was looking for an escort to the Hideaway.  Begrudgingly, Josiah decided to give up an opportunity for some solitude just to please his young herd mate.  He figured that it was the adult thing to do.  So, the two hopped into action, burning through the forest with the youthful confidence of intrepid explorers on the hunt.  They sprang and dodged, dipped and danced, singing songs along the way.


In short order, they dove through the last foliage between them and the old dead tree.  


The two quickly surveyed the scene and noted that all was in order.  As usual, even the quiet little snapping turtle was nestled under the big felled tree.  Their return to the Hideaway brought a welcomed swell of happiness to the duo.  They could not help but revel in their arrival; thus, they frolicked around a bit, played a short game of tag, then finally settled in.  Nessa was reminded of her incredible thirst once she saw Josiah take a sip from the run-off.  All at once, she became ravenous for a taste of water and almost knocked Josiah over, trying to fit around him to grab a gulp.  Every cell in her mouth seemed to scream for the incoming hydration, and they basked in the glory of the sustenance that inundated them completely.  Nessa gulped, chugged, guzzled, and gobbled that water down until she finally had her fill.  She drank so fast that she did not even realize she was serving her belly to the brim.  As Josiah looked on judgingly, she had to sit, as she felt a tad queasy with the flop and flow of her brimming bowl-full belly.


Josiah had moved away from the run-off puddle to find some flowers to eat.  He found a small stash amid the local ferns and snapped a couple by the stem.  He began to eat when he started to feel the earth move beneath his feet.  A vibration stirred; ever-so-softly.  The gentle reverberations started to grow, as did the distant sound of cracking brush; the crunch and snap timed to match the beats in the ground.  He looked over at Nessa slumped on the edge of the Dead Tree.  She seemed to have picked up on the same unusual feeling. 


Slowly, The young Stygimoloch stopped munching on the vegetation, thinking he might need to pay closer attention to whatever could be happening.  Carefully, they both listened intently, their toes each poised to measure even the most minute movements of the dirt beneath them.     






Suddenly, the trees parted in a flurry of wayward foliage as Two 40-foot-long titanic beasts emerged, locked in mortal combat.  The thundering battle had roared through the forest, devastating the flora and any unwitting fauna.  The Two Pachycephalosaurs leapt into action.  Nessa's directive to leap off the Dead Tree was encouraged by a tremendous shock wave that made her buoyant in the air.  She could feel the saliva of the monumental monsters who snarled only a minute's measure away.  The horrifying guttural groan of gargantuan fury echoed in her ears as she hoped and prayed for a clean escape.


Josiah saw the brush torn apart as the scaly flesh of the mighty monstrosities filled his field of vision.  The twisted pair came thundering down upon the dead tree, obliterating it underneath them amid an ear-splitting tune of calamitous catastrophe.  Frozen, it seemed for an eternity, he saw the end of days reflected in the wet scales of the colossal creatures.  Somehow as if moved by their own mechanical motivation, his feet and legs lifted him just barely out of the way.               


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