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“So, tell me,” Hailey said as she poured tea into the cup for Walt. “Why exactly do you wear that mask? Is it part of some costume?”

The four of us were all in the living room. It was spacious and comfy. Like the rest of the rooms, the walls were made out a fine wood. The floor was made of bamboo. A long, glass table sat in the middle of the room on a blue mat. I sat on a large brownish-red couch with a wooden frame. In front of me, where Walt and Vinny sat, was a smaller couch of the same color and make.

Out the windows behind them, I saw gray skies and raindrops. I could hear the hammering of the rain pound against the cabin.

I had brought Walt and Vinny back to the cabin less than half an hour after I found the two of them. Hailey gladly gave them a hot lunch and then made some tea for us. The two of them both wore the same clothes: gray suits with red ties, a white button-up shirt, a pair of neat pants, and brown loafers. But much like mine and Hailey’s their clothes were covered in spots of dirt. Plus they were both thin.

Walt had bright green hair made into a cowlick. On his face was a white mask with amber lenses, so I couldn’t tell what his eye color was. The mask looked a lot like a combination of glasses, having temples that stretch behind his ear and into his hair, and it cover the full top half of his face.

Vinny, however, had slick purple hair with an antenna sticking up from his head and bending over his face. His skin was pale like the moon. His deep violet eyes were focused behind his circular lensed glasses.

Walt smiled brightly. “Not in any way, shape, or form.”

Vinny cleared his throat. “The mask Walt wears is actually a pair of highly advanced glasses.”

“Why would you need it on?” I asked.

Vinny glanced at Walt, who gave a nod, as if showing approval. Vinny then looked back at me. “Walt’s totally blind.”

I fell silent.

Walt’s blind?

It came as quite a shock to me. And yet it seemed very unlikely. I looked at Walt with a curious gaze.

“But I saw him run away from the Torvosaurus without difficulty,” I said. “This doesn’t make sense.”

“I agree,” Hailey said. “If you are truly blind, how is it you managed to escape?”

Behind Walt’s lenses, his eyes lit up. “Well, people have found a cure for blindness. It North Korea, people have found that blind people can have an operation to replace the lense in your eyes with an artificial one. It was a success and blind people could see again.”

“The trouble is, however,” Vinny continued, “it was a procedure for people who weren’t born blind.” Vinny looked again at Walt in smiled. “And that’s where we come along.

“Our fathers were close friends with each other. Walt and I have known each other since we were little kids. Both of our fathers specialized in inventing technology that helps people with their vision. When we were in middle school, I decided to help our dads by creating an invention that would allow people born blind see once more.”

“And that’s how this mask came to be,” Walt said, pointing at the mask. “This mask sends electrical signals to the occipital lobe, the part of the brain that processes sight, through the temples, which are surgically placed into my head. The signals are processed into the brain and allow me to see.”

Walt turned his head to the side and moved some of his green hair from behind his ear with his fingers, which showed that the tip of one of the temples was indeed inside his head. I could see faint scarring and the indention in the skin that showed were the temple went.

“The look on Walt’s face when he could finally see was a face I’ll never forget,” Vinny said. “However, I decided to enhance it so we could use it for scientific purposes and because the original model was getting to be too small. This newer model not only allows Walt to see, but it also has night vision, can zoom in and out, and show thermal radiation.”

“Wow,” Hailey said, her face masked with amazement. “That’s awesome.”

“The only thing they can’t do is see through girls clothes,” Walt said, chuckling mischievously.

At that moment, Hailey, who was standing next to Walt the whole time, wore a soured expression and she wacked Walt hard on the top of his head with her fist. Walt yelled in pain and rubbed an unseen bump on his head.

“That hurt!...”

Hailey rubbed her knuckles and muttered, “Fucking perv.”

It was then at that moment did I begin to think. Walt’s mask was a very useful piece of technology, no doubt there. Having all those functions is truly nothing short of a serviceable invention. It made me wonder what else could be possible.

Maybe they can be useful to us, I thought.

I cleared my throat and spoke. “Vinny, Walter.”

The two of them looked me with curious expressions.

“I know this might be a lot to ask for,” I continued, straightening myself on the chair, “but do you think you could possibly make something like that for me and Hailey?”

“What do you mean, Toby?” Vinny asked.

“I mean to say is that could you possibly make, I don’t know, like some sort of visor that works like Walt’s mask? Something that we can use to see in the dark, see objects from a long way off, and make my aim better when I fire my gun.” I pat my Glock by my hip. “I am a good shot, but I’m not the best.”

“You know,” Hailey said, “that doesn’t sound like a bad idea. I think it could actually work.”

Vinny and Walt looked at one another once more. The looked thoughtful, as if talking to each other through very subtle gestures or simply communicating with their eyes. Maybe because these two have known each other for a long time, they probably can read each other as one mind.

The moment was brief and the two of them nodded together. They both leaned forward slightly, smiling.

“We have some spare parts,” Vincent said. “We haven’t really decided what we were going to do with them, but I guess we can come up with something. It might take a while and we might need to use some things here in the cabin, but a wise man once said that if it can be dreamed, it can be done.”

“Besides, you saved my life,” Walt added. “I have a debt I have to pay. Consider this a favor for a friend.”

I felt a smile creep on my face. This was very good news. If this worked out, we could easily have an advantage whenever we may need to hunt live game or when we’re attacked by rogue dinosaurs in the day or night.

“Thanks a lot you guys,” I said with gratitude.

“I’m okay with it too,” Hailey said. “Just as long as there’s a no see-through-clothes function.” To emphasize her point, she cracked her knuckles. At the sight of it, the color on Walt’s face drained with fear.

“Sure thing!” he stuttered, nodding his head vigorously. “Whatever you want! No problem!”

We all laughed, and eventually Walt did too.

“This is going to be great!” Hailey cried. “Now we’ll be ready if those coelo-whatever they’re called attack again.!”

Coelophysis,” I corrected.

I saw Walt and Vinny freeze, like as if they were walking in a haunted house and they just heard someone open the door but there was no one there. Like they saw a shark in the ocean stalking its way to them.

“What kind of dinosaur did you say attacked you?” Walt asked.

Coelophysis,” I repeated.

“As in Coelophysis bauri?” Vinny asked. “An Late Triassic carnivore about nine feet long, long, slender neck and tail, long, narrow snout, bipedal stance, and a mouth full or sharp teeth? That Coelophysis?”

“That’s quite a mouthful,” Hailey said. “But yes. The dinosaurs that attacked us matches the description you just gave us.”

An ominous silence spread throughout the room. It was so silent, it was like a ghost had possessed us. Walt and Vinny both looked like they just saw that very ghost but were too paralyzed with fear to move an inch or speak a whisper.

After a brief pause, Vinny spoke again, his tone serious with hints of concern. “How long ago did they attack you? And how many were there?”

I looked at Hailey, wh in turn looked my way. The look on her face said why do they look so freaked out, while I guess my face responded with I don’t know.

I faced the two friends again. “I counted a total of eight of them. They attacked us about three days ago.”

Another brief pause. Walt and Vinny didn’t even look at each other this time. It seemed as though they didn’t have to.

“Tell us everything,” Walt said, his voice just as serious as Vinny’s.

“Well,” Hailey said, “there’s a grocery store not too far away from here. That’s where we get our food from. Just when we were on our way back home, they attacked us. Toby killed one of them before the rest of the pack showed up and chased us back to the store.”

“I managed to kill off five others, but the rest of them ran away,” I said. “After that, we came back home.”

“Have there been anymore attacks that followed?” Walt asked.

“We haven’t seen any other Coelophysis after that day,” Hailey replied.

Vinny and Walt seemed to go deep in thought, their faces unsettled.

“Why all these questions?’ I asked. “Should we be worried?”

It was Vinny who broke the silence. “I think it would be safe to say that you should have every right to be worried.”

“Why?” Hailey asked. “I don’t understand.”

“Well, to explain the situation, we need to look at some important details. In Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, paleontologists unearthed the remains of dozens of Coelophysis of various life stages that all died at the same time and the same place. There were so many of them that some scientists thought that they lived in huge groups, working together to take down prey.”

“What are you trying to say?” Hailey asked.

I knew what they were going to say. The realization hit me like a tsunami. A terrible realization. So I said it instead:

“There could be a huge swarm of Coelophysis not far away from here.”

Submitted: January 18, 2019

© Copyright 2022 Tyrannos Senpai. All rights reserved.


Add Your Comments:


Megan Fox

I don't like the idea of a swarm. On that point, since they don't fly would they not be more likely described as a pack?

Tue, January 22nd, 2019 3:55am


It's just a metaphor.

Tue, January 22nd, 2019 9:20am


Well, it's nice to see the four of them become friends. That swarm of dinosaurs sounds terrifying. It makes me wonder how many more are out there. Great chapter.

Mon, February 11th, 2019 1:19am


Thank you. And you should definitely see just how large a group of Coelophysis is.

Mon, February 11th, 2019 5:32am

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