Excerpt from Exodus Part 2

“We can take it,” Kabr whispered to Cradix, he turned his grey eyes on the man behind him, his eyes narrowed.

“We have no weapons,” He growled back at him.

“So we out number it.”

“You plan on punching the thing to death?” I asked.

Kabr turned his gleaming red eyes to me, and looked past me into the trees. “It would not take longer than a few moments to make a handful of spears.”

“No we fall back and regroup on the beach until we are ready to take that thing out.” Cradix commanded sinking back into the shadows of the trees, I followed him, I looked back over my shoulder, Kabr had not moved to follow, he was gawking after us. He could not believe that we were running away from a fight. We were not running in truth only preserving our lives a little longer.

We made it back to the beach, in time to see Skull stumble from the water, the thin stick of a man, looked grey from having just been reloaded back to the Ark, I shook my head at him.

“Hey what’s the inside of a Rex gut look like,” Kabr asked a grin on his face, his hands intertwined in his light brown curly hair.

Skull rushed him, and the two naked men hit the sand in a cloud of dust. “You think it’s funny that I got eaten,” Skull screamed in his high pitched voice, he bit down on Kabr’s shoulder. Kabr screamed and kicked out hitting Skull in the gut sending him flying back into the water. Cradix rushed between the two men before they could get back at each other, Kabr’s right shoulder was bleeding from the bite wound, Skull had a bloody nose and his right eye was swelling shut. I walked over to Kabr to take a look at the wound, it was deep and it would get infected if I did not treat it quickly. I glared at the man in front of Cradix, he was too busy staring at my naked back side to notice the damage he had done to his own tribe mate. I took Kabr to a nearby rock and sat him down, I needed to dress the wound.

“You two start gathering supplies we need clothing at the very least.” I snapped, at the two men still having a stare down on the sand, that seemed to snap Cradix from his rage, he stomped past me into the trees and began stripping bark from the palms. Skull stood there naked in the afternoon sun looking dumb founded. “Do something,” I snapped, he looked from me to Cradix and headed down the beach picking up rocks and drift wood.

“Is he going to beat me with one of those?” Kabr asked as I rinsed his would with salt water. He flinched.

“Cradix will not let that happen,” I said. I was crushing some black narco berries with two rocks, I handing him one to eat, he did, it would take the edge of the pain. I added a few purple mejo berries to the poultice and gently pressed it into his wound, he winced and I would swear I saw a tear in his eye, I took some of the fiber from Cradix’s pile and wrapped the wound.

“I will need to change the dressing in the morning,” I said, he nodded and went to help Cradix with the fire. We would not go hungry tonight but we would not eat fresh meat the only thing we had at the moment were berries that I had time to gather before dark set in.

Skull sat opposite me from the on the fire and watched me. He had always made me uncomfortable but Cradix would never let him do anything to me. As one of the few women on the entire Ark I was often stared at by the men of other tribes, but my tribe elder protected me as best he could. Even if that meant from my own tribe mates. Nudity did not bother us as much as it used to, when the Ark had first loaded us we had all hidden ourselves until we could make clothing but now it was part of life, it was part of a new load, we had to go nude until we were skilled enough to make what we needed, but the way he stared at me still bothered me. I turned my back to the fire and watched the trees, we had put up sharpened stakes around our perimeter to protect us tonight, they would fend off the Dilo’s and maybe the stray Raptor but not a Rex or a Carno, I would sleep uneasy tonight without a shelter over my head but we had no choice.

“I will take first watch,” Cradix said, putting a comforting hand on my shoulder, I nodded and laid down on the thatch we had laid around our little camp. I had to get some rest.

“Fang it is your watch,” Kabr said, I glanced up at him in the gloom of the fire, his skin looked grey, was it just the fog of sleep or was he getting sick.

“Are you okay?” I asked, he nodded, but I knew him better, I placed a hand to his forehead he was burning up. “Here,” I said handing him a handful of narcos this time, “You need a proper meal, first light, I will have someone get you some fish at the very least, if we cannot locate a dodo,” He nodded, he lay down with his back to the fire and downed the berries, he was out within minutes, sweat pored off of him, this was not good.

I paced the parameter as my tribe mates slept, I watched a pteranodon circle overhead before turning south. It skimmed the water coming up with a fish and disappeared into the night. I watched the moon start to fall in the sky and went to wake Skull for his shift. I tapped him on the shoulder, “Your shift,” I said, he glared up at me, but he was awake, I moved off to find a place to go back to sleep, he grabbed my ankle.

“One these days Cradix won’t be round to protect you,” I glared at him and kicked his hand off of me, my skin was crawling as I lay down between Kabr and Cradix, I watched him in the darkness, I could feel his pale yellow eyes on me, but I still managed to close my eyes and drift to sleep.


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