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I felt my eyebrows twitch and my nostrils breathe in and out. I was alive. My head hurt and chest hurt like a bitch, but I was alive.

I opened my eyes, and what I saw made me gasp softly.

I was gazing at the wooden ceiling of a cabin.

I turned my head, inspecting my surroundings. To my left was a window, which the sunlight flooded through. Beneath it was a small dresser.  Sitting next to the bed I was in was a nightstand with a glass lamp and an alarm clock. In front of me was an open door, which revealed a set of stairs going down to the story below. To my right sat another dresser with a large flat screen TV sitting on top. A quick look at the side of the bed showed a wooden stool.

I felt something wrapped around my head and I reached to feel it.

Gauze.

I trailed my fingers down my face and felt a band-aid on my cheek from where the thorn had cut me.

A flash of memory and realization struck me.

I was being pursued by a rogue Allosaurus, and then an shuriken bomb detonated, killing it and knocking me unconscious. But the only way for a shuriken to be thrown like that is if someone threw it. Someone threw that shuriken!  Someone brought me here and bandaged me!

And no sooner did I realize that, I heard something--someone--coming up the stairs. I looked at the door that led to the stairs. My mind started to race. What should I say? What should I do? How should I act? How could I thank them for--

Then I saw her.

The girl was about a year or so younger than I was. She had yellow green eyes and hair that reached to her lower neck. Freckles covered her nose and cheeks, but she was cute regardless. She wore a clean teal button-up shirt and a white nurse coat.

She noticed me looking at her and smiled.

"Hello," she said. "You're awake. Good. I was worried."

I tried hard to say something, but my throat was clenched. This was the first human I met since the death of Claire. You would think that with my luck I could clear my throat and say something, but the words never reached past my lips. But I had to say something. She saved my life.

Finally, I took a deep breath and said, "Yeah. I guess so."

She walked to the dresser to my right and opened the top drawer. She reached inside and took out a large white box--a first aid kit, and a bottle of water.

She took a seat on the stool next to me and gingerly unwrapped the bandage from my head. I noticed much of it was soaked in dry, dark red blood. I guess I hit my head harder than I thought.

She reached into her coat pocket and pulled out a white rag. She unscrewed the bottle and poured some onto the piece of cloth. Then she sat the bottle on the floor and wiped the side of my face, cleaning off the blood from a scratch on my head.

I gritted my teeth. My head felt like it was hit with the butt end of an ax. But the pain was brief and I relaxed.

"How long was I out?" I asked.

"Two days," the girl replied. "All the while, I took care of you." She smiled widely. "My name's Hailey. What's yours?"

I cleared my throat. "Tobias."

"Tobias," she said, testing the name on her tongue. "Neat. It's nice to meet you."

I found myself smiling as well. "Same here," I said.

She finished wiping off my head and put the rag back into her pocket. She then opened the kit and took out a roll of brown gauze. She then gently wrapped a fresh length of it around my head and ripped it off from the roll.

"There," she said, putting the bandages into the box. "All done."

Suddenly, my stomach rumbled. I felt my face grow warm.

Hailey giggled. "Hungry?"

"... Yeah," I said, embarrassed.

She stood up, smiling widely. "Wait here. I have a pot of ramen cooking."

She left the room, humming.

I couldn't help but smile. Another human was alive. Perhaps there was hope after all for our race.

* * *

Hailey made her way to the kitchen, where a bubbling pot of ramen cooked on the stove. She smiled; it was times like this when she felt good about having solar-powered generators that recycled already used power. She turned it off, opened the cabinet and took down two bowls. There weren’t anything fancy, just two green and black glass bowls. She filled each one with hot noodles and broth, then topped them with ham and imitation crab meat. She picked up two pairs of chopped sticks and placed them in the bowls, which she picked up and walked up to Tobias.

Her smile widened. She was very happy to know she wasn't the only human alive. She had found him by chance.

As she returned home from the grocery store three miles away, she had heard the Allosaurus and gunfire. Naturally, she followed it. She saw Tobias as he was trapped. She could see the obvious pain he was in. Then she saw the dinosaur, a huge predator. She quickly activated a shuriken bomb and threw it. The throwing star found it's mark and did it's job.

However, she didn't take Tobias or his safety into consideration. The result: the bomb sent him flying into a tree and rendered him unconscious. He was very lucky that his spine didn’t break or that his spinal cord didn’t snap itself.

She carried him to the cabin, which was her final connection to her beloved family who were long dead, but not without difficulty. It wasn’t easy to carry someone slightly heavier than yourself for a long distance. Yet she prevailed. After laying him down, she went straight to work, bandaging his wound and periodically checking his pulse.

It wasn’t until after she went to sleep the day she found Tobias did she finally realize that there was another human survivor. And on top of that, that survivor was a boy not even eighteen yet.

And now he was awake. Finally.

Now she wouldn't feel so lonesome anymore.

* * *

Hailey set the steaming bowl of ramen on my lap. I did everything in my power to keep my mouth from watering; not only did it look pleasant, it smelled so good. The bitter-sweet smell of the broth and ham was strong and beckoning.

I split the chopsticks and pinched some noodles between them. I took a bite.

It was truly amazing. It was perfectly balanced. Not to mention the meat was easy to chew. Plus the broth wasn’t burnt or thick. It was thin and had the right temperature.

I quickly ate my first real meal in two days. Once I was finished, I drank the broth down, making me belch.

Hailey wrinkled her nose. "Eww."

"Excuse me," I said. "And thank you. The ramen was good."

She smiled at me. "There's still more to go around if you need more."

I grinned and moved some black hair from my eyes. "Sounds good to me."

In the end, I ate three servings of ramen and drank two bottles of water. As I did, I got further acquainted with Hailey. It turns out her mother was a nurse working in the emergency room. As a young girl, Hailey always wanted to follow in her mother’s footsteps and be a nurse as well. She and her family had everything planned out. They were going to try to enroll her in a trade school for medical assistance as a start for her career and they even discussed which college she could got to. But, of course, when the dinosaurs began their worldwide conquest, she never got the opportunity.

Her father, however, was the owner of a very popular Japanese restaurant. As a young man, he always loved cooking food of all kinds, but his personal favorite was Japanese food. It turns out that his distant relatives originated in Japan, but then they moved to the United States to seek out a better opportunity. Hailey often helped her father in the kitchen when they made dinner. It worked out quite well, and it became a well learned skill to Hailey.

Unfortunately, Hailey’s parents were violently killed trying to escape from a group of predatory dinosaurs three years before. With her old home overrun  with carnivores, the cabin was the only refuge she had left.

After her tale, I told her about my old life before the dinosaurs’ return. That my father worked served in the military while my mother was the owner of a dance bar and that my uncle was a world renowned paleontologist. However, I didn’t tell her about Claire and our encounter with Akuma. Some part of me wanted to, but the rest of me said to keep that locked away inside. I decided I would reveal it when I felt like the time was right.

After eating my fill and telling my story, I put my arms behind my neck and leaned back on the pillow.

"That hit the spot," I sighed with a grin.

"I’m glad you liked it, Tobias," Hailey said. She took our bowls, put our chopsticks inside them, and stood up.

I cleared my throat silently and said, “Thank you, Hailey. For saving my life.”

I saw her smile widen and her cheeks turn a light shade of pink. “You would’ve done the same for me.” She ran her fingers into her yellow green hair. "If you need me, just call for me."

I smiled and nodded. "Okay."

She flashed me one more smile and left me. I rolled onto my side and closed my eyes. Sleep took me instantly. It was a peaceful feeling. A feeling of safety and comfort. And for the first time in a long time, I welcomed it.



Submitted: January 27, 2018

© Copyright 2022 Tyrannos Senpai. All rights reserved.

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Megan Fox

The TV is an odd addition. Seems to me that it's more like colonial days ie. back to villages, no electrics although I do like the solar idea. If dinosaurs are roaming the world and running amok, would TV channels still function? Are cities still viable for living?
Megan

Mon, February 5th, 2018 4:31am

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Reply

Don't forget, this is a future world we're talking about. Anything is possible.

Mon, February 5th, 2018 6:07am

Sylvermyst

Great chapter. I'm glad that Tobias and Hailey aren't alone anymore. At least, they have eachother now. It is also nice to learn more about the characters as well.

Sat, June 30th, 2018 2:11am

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Reply

A point well worth pointing out.

Thu, September 6th, 2018 6:03am

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