Raptor Mountain

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 6 (v.1) - Raptor Claw

Submitted: January 27, 2019

Reads: 14

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Submitted: January 27, 2019

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The next morning, Jessica woke freezing. So did Tasha and Kailen. They had accidently left the back door open to let some air in. And since they were high up in the mountains, the temperature drops quickly at night.

"It's cold as shit in here." Said Tasha as she crawled out of bed.

"Well, we did leave the door open last night." Said Kailen.

"Yeah, 'cause it was stunk in here last night."

Jessica was too tired to say anything as she jumped off the top bunk and closed the back door. The three of them quickly got dressed and Jessica crawled under her covers until she felt ready to get out of bed.

"You think Omega's brother is going to be okay?" Kailen asked.

"I hope so." Said Tasha. "But I ain't liking that we're working out here where there are some scary-ass creatures lurking in the trees. I'll be damned if that shit happens to me."

"But what could've done that? Did you see those claw marks?"

Jessica then recalls the conversation she heard between Omega and Merlin. But how could she tell Tasha and Kailen what she heard? They'll think she's crazy, and she didn't want to look like the team lunatic.

"What do you think, Jess?" Tasha asked.

Jessica had to think. She knew the only ones who would believe her was Homar and Dani. "Well, Yeti did say it was pyro." She said. "What did he mean by that? That's the real question."

"That is also true." Said Kailen. "What did he mean by that?"

"Yeah." Tasha agreed. "Like isn't like pyro like another word for fire or something?"

"It actually does."

The girls talked a little more as they walked to the dinning hall to go and get breakfast. Outside the dinning hall, Homar, Parker, and Francis were taking their seats on the outside benches with food in hand. Kailen, Tasha, and Jessica went in and grabbed coffee and breakfast of their own. Inside, Jessica saw Sam with the campers. She was a little excited to hang out with them today. Jessica fixed herself a plate and walked over to Sam's table. Sam stood up and handed Jessica a binder.

"Okay, so they should be good for now." Sam began. "This is their schedule for the day." Sam flips a page over. "And this is what group you'll be going to."

"Got it." Said Jessica. "Thanks, Sam."

"No problem." Sam grabs his bag and heads out the door to meet up with the others.

 

Later in the day, the rest of Green 4 were out doing yard work, pulling tall grass called scotch broom. The camp was nearly covered in it. They were to start outside the dinning and work their way behind the female cabins to the rec field behind the dinning to the staff cabins below. Homar split the team to assign tasks; Francis and Parker were to use the weed whackers to cut the scotch broom, Tasha, Kailen, and Natalie would be lopping black berry bushes, and Dani, Sam, Mazie, and Homar would be raking everything into a pile.

Their morning went pretty quick, and by lunch, the small section by the dinning was already done. After lunch, the team continued further past the female cabins which took another four hours. Sam was excused at 3:00 to rest before him and Jessica would switch out.

Mazie decided to switch tools with Parker and started using the weed whacker. As she started cutting down, Mazie felt a lump under her boot. At first she though it was a rock, but it also felt sharp. Mazie stopped the whacker and lift her foot. Mazie grabbed what was caught on her boot and gets a good look. It  was curved and thick and was about 10 inches long and weighed no less than a tablet. One end was nice and round and the other was smaller and pointy. It looked like some sort of blade. Mazie took off her glove and felt the object. It felt a bit rough and as Mazie tried to dig her nails into it to see what was under it, it felt like a bone.

Mazie turned around and looked for Homar and saw him raking with Parker. "Hey, Homar." Mazie called out as she walked over.

Homar stopped and turned around and saw Mazie walking up to him. "What's up?" He said.

Mazie got up close and showed him the object. "You know what this is?"

Homar put down the rake and looked at the object. "Not sure." He said as he held it.

Dani and Kailen walked over to look at it also. "Looks like a some sort of claw." Said Dani.

"A bird's claw?" Kailen wondered.

"That's a pretty big bird." Said Mazie.

Homar examined it further, it looked fresh as if it broke off of the creature. Possibly during their time at lunch. "I'll have Merlin take a look at it later. Maybe she knows what it is." He said.

 

Once 5:30 had come, Jessica brought the kids up to Sam who was sleeping in the cabin. Jessica went to her cabin and changed into her jeans and sneakers. She kept her AmeriCorps shirt on just incase Sam needed her later on. While Jessica looked through her HAWC documents on her laptop, Kailen and Tasha walked into the room with dirt all over their faces.

"Hey." Said Jessica. "How was work?"

"Tiring." Said Kailen as she threw her backpack onto her bunk. "How was yours?"

Jessica put down her laptop and sat at the edge of her bed. "Not so bad." She said. "Just learned about the birds they have in that cabin up near Raptor Ridge. Apparently they had one that escaped last week. A vulture named Riot."

"Riot?" Kailen repeated. "That's a weird name for a bird."

"That's what I said." Jessica had her suspicions about that especially after hearing the conversation between Merlin and Omega last night. But until she knows more about what is happening here at Shady Creek, Jessica was going to keep what she knows under wraps until she can get to the bottom of it all.

"Anything else happen today?" Tasha asked.

"Oh, yeah." Jessica said with a weird look on her face. "There was this one cabin leader who was hitting on me during recess."

Kailen's face lit up and she smiled. "Are you serious?" She chuckled.

Jessica nodded. "Seriously." She said.

"And…?" Said Tasha.

"Don't get me wrong, I was flattered, but the guy is still in high school. And who knows how old he is and I'm not going to even attempt to ask."

Tasha and Kailen start laughing. "Some has stalker." Kailen sang as she took off her jacket.

Jessica's face starts to turn red. Now she felt like the young one, being picked because someone likes her. But she couldn't help but smile.

 

After dinner that evening, Jessica decided to join Sam and the campers during their nightly activity. Tonight's activity was skit night, where each cabin had to perform a skit, or at least one person from a cabin. Jessica and Sam sat in the middle row and watched each cabin perform. Once it was their cabin's turn to go up, Jessica stayed behind and watched Sam and the campers perform their skit. It was the invisible bench skit that Green 4 performed during Mini-Spike as an introduction of their team. Jessica couldn't help but laugh when she saw the boys try to sit on an "invisible bench".

After every cabin had gone and the staff dismissed each cabin, Jessica helped Sam get the boys ready for bed. And once they were all in bed, Jessica herself went back to her cabin  to get ready for tomorrow. She was startling to like working here and possibly take consideration into coming back after AmeriCorps, but the more she thought about it, the more she realized she was getting a little ahead of herself. She still didn't know what else was out there for her. Who knows where they'll go to next.

 

The rest of the week went by quickly and more simple as the days passed. Jessica and Sam had their routine under control, Jessica felt like her and Sam were a divorced couple when switching out with the campers. Homar and the others had cleared much of the scotch broom with ease day after day. Best of all there were no more incidents aside from Kailen and Tasah finding  a mauled deer in the bushes on a Friday morning.

That Friday morning, Jessica and Sam decided to tag team with the campers and help them pack to go home. The camp session was over. Once the campers were ready to go, Jessica and Sam brought them to breakfast and Sam wanted to spend the rest of the morning with them. Jessica knew that Sam had bonded with the campers more than she did and decided to let him stay with them while she goes to work with the others.

Most of the day went by very simple. Jessica worked with Parker and Natalie with pulling scotch broom, everyone else partnered themselves up; Mazie and Marlowe worked together, Tasha and Kailen worked with Sam once the campers and leaders had left, Francis jumped from group to group, and eventually on his own, and Dani and Homar worked together. It was a pretty simple day.

After work, Jessica, Tasha and Kailen walked back to their cabins to get ready for PT, which was volley ball. They changed out of their work clothes and into something more comfortable. As they left, they noticed that the sun had turned orange and red, they looked up and saw that the sun was covered my a thick layer of smog from the fires up north. Jessica felt a bit concerned.

 

 

As the fires continued up north, things got a little worse for Green 4. That Saturday, Homar former Team Leader, during his time in AmeriCorps, had come to visit and they were all supposed to go up north to Lake Tahoe for a team trip, but due to the smoke and most of the team getting sick all in one weekend, including Homar, the trip was canceled. As the day went on, the thickness in the smog got worse and hard to breathe in.

Jessica sat in the dinning hall, trying to come up with ideas for a more stable PT schedule. She wanted to consult with Mazie, but she was nowhere to be found, nor did Jessica want to bother her if she was in her room. Once the sun went down, Francis and Tasha came into the dinning hall.

"Hey, Jess." Said Francis. "We're trying to go and get some dinner at this restaurant not far from here. Did you want to come?"

Jessica had to think. She didn't want to be stuck on camp and do nothing all night, but at the same time, she didn't want to be out and exposed to the smog either. "Call Homar and if he says yes, I'll go." She said.

"Sweet!" Francis said with excitement.

Francis calls Homar and it took at least an hour before they finally heard a reply. Of course Homar said it was alright, as long as they don't go to a bar. Parker, Francis, Jessica, Tasha, Kailen, and Sam all left camp to go to the restaurant Francis was talking about. It was a five minute drive down the road, but with how thick the smog was, Jessica was a little worried.

Upon arriving, Jessica and Parker spoke about the fires up north and from what Parker told her, the city of Paradise was gone. Once they all ordered, except Parker, Francis had to ask a very serious question that was on his mind all week. "What do you think attacked Yeti?"

Jessica kind of knew what it could be. She had her suspicions all week, but had forgotten them during the day when she was with her campers. "He said it was pyro." She said.

"Yeah, but what did he mean by that?" Francis asked.

"That is a really good question." Said Parker. "What did he mean by that?"

"Well, Tasha, Jessica, and I have spoken about it last week." Said Kailen. "And possibly, it could be some sort of large bird. Or at least, that's what I think it was after Mazie found that claw."

"That reminds me." Said Sam. "Did Merlin ever get back to you guys on that?"

Kailen shook her head. "No. We haven't heard from her or Omega about it."

"Jess, what are your thoughts about this?" Francis asked.

Jessica was in the middle of taking a sip of her beer when he asked that. Jessica put down her beer and cleared her throat. She had a lot to say about what she knows. If she was going to say something, now was a good time to say it. "Well, from what I heard, or should I say overheard, it's technically not a bird." She said.

"Technically?" Sam repeated. "What does that mean?"

"The night that Yeti was attacked, I overhead Merlin and Omega talking." Jessica began. "And from what I heard, Yeti only mentioned 'pyro' as a code word."

"Code word?" Tasha said. "Code word for what?"

"Yeti meant to say Pyroraptors."

"What?" Said Parker. "Pyroraptors? You mean like the dinosaur?"

"Yeah."

Kailen and Francis exchanged confused glances. Was Jessica being serious? "Are you sure that's what you heard?"

"Yes. I'm telling you the truth." Jessica said.

"What else did you hear?" Francis asked.

"From what they said, apparently the fires up north scared these things down to here." Jessica went on. "And that's not even the worst part, apparently there are other raptors out there."

"What kind?" Asked Parker.

"Are you familiar with Utahraptors?"

Parker had to think for a second before he had a good image in his head. "Yeah."

"Well, apparently they're out here too. Or at least up here in the area. From what I heard Merlin say, they were scared off from the stream by the bridge we passed through to get here."

"By what?" Asked Sam.

Jessica looked at Kailen and Tasha. "You guys remember when I told you that the bird bunk had a missing bird?"

"Yeah."

"I don't think it was a vulture that escaped."

"Are you talking about Riot?" Asked Sam.

"Yeah. I don't think Riot is a vulture."

"Well, what do you think it is?"

"Something big. Bigger than those Utahraptors if it scared them up here."

They all went quiet. For the rest of the night on the drive back, Kailen kept thinking about what Jessica said and how they all might be in danger. More importantly, how can they warn Homar about this?


© Copyright 2019 Talique Metz. All rights reserved.

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