Welcome to chapter 8! Here, we continue Joshua's journey, and we also meet a new character in the story, Edward Stevenson.
Chapter 8: Road trip
One day at a time
Joshua continued to drive on. It was getting pretty boring, and talking to the raptor had gotten boring as well. He had drove for a hour, watching fields, and trees, and more fields, until he wanted to bust out the window. He was not one to be patient, the only one that was, was the raptor, who had slept through most of the trip. The dinosaur did yawn... every five minutes, so that was getting on his nerve as well. He hoped that the trip would soon be over. He knew it wouldn't take that long to get to El Paso. Texas may have been the second biggest state in the US of A, but it only took over eight hours to get from Glen Rose, to El Paso. But then he remembered that he had slept for seven hours(which was one hour less than it took to get there), and had taken several stops to relive himself, and eat. That meant it took even longer to get there. While all this math was going on in his brain, the raptor had started to bark. Joshua turned around, not being wary of the road, because there was no traffic to collide with him, and turn him, and the raptor into pancakes. "What now?" he said, irritated. The animal pointed it's head at the passenger seat. He knew what it meant: I want food. Now. "Fine," Joshua said, "but this your last one ‘till we reach the next town."
To Joshua's dismay, the next town was right up ahead. He thought the Raptor has some power to sense when he could get food, and when not. Weird, he thought. When he reached the next town, he stopped, and let the raptor out with him, because he doubted it would run off. At least, he hoped it wouldn't. He pulled out a stale snack bar from his pocket, as he leaned against the vehicle. He watched as the raptor sniffed around, and chased after Mice, and other pests. "You act like you are infant," he said "or is that just how high your IQ is? I think the latter." He took a bite of his bar, and looked up. The animal had heard his talking, and was looking at him. "What? Are to offended by my poetry? he said. The raptor just kept looking at him, as if he was offended. Joshua said, "Can your understand what I am saying?" He doubted it, but it seemed the animal could tell very well, at least, what tone he was speaking to him in. The dinosaur then went back to Rodent killing, and Joshua went back to eating his stale bar...
He loaded the raptor into the Bronco, and then himself. He said, "I think we have a couple more hours 'till we make it to El Paso, and not that long 'till we start to enter desert. So wait for it to get hotter than it was in Glen Rose, and it was hotter than if there were two Suns. So be ready." He felt better to announce his thoughts, now that he knew the animal would in fact pay attention. He then started the vehicle, and went onward.
As Joshua left the town, everything became bland once more. He drove on, humming to himself, until he saw it: a small house in the distance. Now, the house wasn't anything special. Except for the smoke coming out of the chimney. "Hey, buddy," Joshua said, "looks like someones in that house." The raptor had became alert to it as well, watching the grey cloud come out. Joshua was excited to find that there was another person here, because he was getting tired of talking to a dinosaur. But he remembered that the person, or persons may be violent, so he pulled out his shotgun, and stepped on the gas. He didn't know if he would get a welcome, or a gun to his face... he hoped the former.
Ember was very curious. Was there a fire? The raptor didn't know, but he wanted it to. He took a glance at Meaty, who was looking at the fire. Why are you just staring? he thought. He gave a bark, to tell the Human to go toward the smoke. Meaty flinched, and glared at him. He said something, and turned back toward the road. Ember glared right back. This Human was an idiot. Meaty continued to drive, but he was heading toward the smoke, like Ember had wanted. He did have some experience with fire, and he wanted to go to it, and find the cause. Then, he leaned back, and waited to get there.
When they arrived at the smoke, he became dumbfounded: there was no fire, just smoke coming from a building. It seemed weird that there was smoke coming from stone, which he knew could not catch on fire. This seemed impossible, but then Ember remembered the mountain back at his home. It usually had smoke come from it, but it never had fire come out of it, except for the day he had left the island, and got on the boat with the two men. Then it made sense: there was a fire inside of the house. Just like how it was with the fire mountain. Ember then noticed that the Human had gotten out of the vehicle, and was walking up to the house, holding a weapon in his hands. He had left Ember in there alone. With that, he climbed through the vehicle, and came outside, while making tears in the seats with his claws. As he jumped out, he watched the Human walk up to the door. Ember had not time to warn him, as the door swung open, and slammed into Meaty, hard. He saw a man run out, holding a weapon of his own, and he was aiming at Meaty. He and and his companion had just made contact. Instantly, Ember was ready for war.
Joshua lay on the dusty ground. His torso seared with pain, like he had been hit by a train. He groaned in agony. Frick!!" he yelled, as he tried to get air back in his lungs. He hoped they weren't broken. Out stepped a man, maybe in his late forties, early fifties he guessed. The man was holding a .22 LR, toward his face, and yelling at him. Joshua could make out the man's face, but it blurry, because his eyes were full of tears of pain. But he could tell that the man was ready to spill blood.
Joshua raised his hands in the air, desperately trying to calm the guy down. "Don't shoot, dang it, don't shoot!" he yelled with a raspy voice. The old man said, "What on Earth are you doing on my land? Tell me, or I'll blow your sorry head off!" He knew he should talk fast, so not to get killed by this grump. "I'm from Glen Rose. It's south of Dallas. I wasn't coming to steal anything. I just wanted to find someone, I swear." He put his hand down, and cradled his side. The old man pointed toward the shotgun. "Explain that." Joshua wanted to reach up, and punch the old fool in the face. He said, "Self preservation, what do you think? Like any normal American would do out here." The old grouch looked at him for what seemed like hours. Then he spoke. "Why should I believe a single letter that you said?" Joshua thought about that for a moment. "Well," he said, "you shouldn't, but I don't want to die before I get to where I am going, and I think you wouldn't want to never know if you murdered an innocent man or not..." Silence. Just pure silence in the morning air. "Fine," the man said. "I won't kill you. And no, I wouldn't want to kill a man who meant not harm." He put out his hand to help Josh up. He took it, and lifted his sore frame up. The guy still had his weapon pointed at him, still wary. Then he noticed the raptor. The man looked like he was going to have a heart attack. "What is that!?" he said, pointing the gun at the dinosaur now. Joshua saw that the man was probably going to shoot the animal, and he grabbed the gun gently, and pointed it down. "He's mine, don't shoot. He won't attack you, unless I tell him." This of course was a lie to get the man to not try to kill his animal. He then looked at the raptor, seeing that he was ready to charge, and gave him a look that said, "Stop". The man watched the Raptor in a obvious state of fear. Joshua said, "You don't need to worry. By the way, what's with the fire? It's hotter than blue blazes right now." The Joshua held out his hand. "My names Joshua. Joshua Malchom." The old man snapped out of his trance when Joshua said this. He held out his hand as well. "Edward Stevenson. Sorry I hit you. And I’m cooking breakfast in my fire place, since the old oven and stove went out," he said, now smiling. "Why don't you come inside? I haven't spoke with a man in a long time, and I'll finish the food." "Thank you," Joshua said. Edward headed into the house, while Joshua took his shotgun, and put it in the Bronco, so to show the man he wasn't going to cause harm, even though he already said he wasn't. The Raptor still stood there, glaring at the house. "Come on", Joshua said, "let's go..."
Ember followed Meaty into the house. Ember did not like big buildings, for when he was young, he was put inside one, that had a demented raptor inside it. And it didn't make it better that the house was dark, just like the prison.
The lights were out, which was what was making it dark, and the only light come from the Sun's rays, as they broke through the glass of dusty windows. There was furniture, dusty as well, and ripped, or dented in many spots. But what was odd, was that in the old, and dirty place, order was maintained enough to make it look more comfortable that a war zone: everything was positioned to make it look cozy. Against a corner, there was a couch, which faced a old TV with scratches on it's screen, which was off, and gathering much dust. The TV sat on a wooden table, which was dented, and chipped in many places, along with some coffee stains. A small table was in between these two luxuries, which had resting on it, a stack of old newspapers, a collection of beer bottles, which only two looked like they had been touched. Along with this, a rocking chair was facing toward the kitchen, where the other Human now stood doing Human things. On one wall, there was a fire inside of a hollow space, the shape of which was a square, with the top bowing upward. There was the smell of eggs, meat, and potatoes, coming out of the fire, which made Ember's nostrils tingle. However, there was the smell of coffee. Ember hated coffee. It's bitter taste was foul to him. He had been giving coffee by a Human when he used to live on the island. The Human did it for fun of course, and he was yelled at by the Human called Owen. "The good old days", Ember thought with displeasure. What really got Ember's notice, was that there was the another smell. The smell of a small dinosaur in the house. One he recognized.
Ember watched Meaty go into the kitchen to do the Human things with the other member of his species. He waited until Meaty was gone, before he went off to search for the smell. He followed the strongest trail, which was hard, because the smell was everywhere. He came toward the backdoor of the house, where it was pretty dark, for there was no window to let light to shine in. There was cage there, which was full of rocks, leaves, sticks, and dried fruit. The cage was large, and hung from a hook, which was attached to a pole, which stood just up to his face. As he came close to it, he sniffed it in curiosity. He knew the smell. It belonged to... To his horror, a small dinosaur jumped out of the cage, and screeched at him. He hissed, and jumped back in shock, and began to snap at the little thing. It was a Microceratus, a male with a nasty, and very sharp beak. It continued to hiss, and snap back at him. Before Ember could put a end to this pathetic terror, Meaty came out, and yelled at him. Ember turned around and barked at him. Meaty then stopped. Then he saw the other old Human come out, and start yelling at him as well. Meaty grabbed the man, and stopped him from yelling as well. Ember then looked back at the Microceratus. It was gone. This made Ember angry, because he thought it would have made a good meal.
He went passed the Humans, and went to sit down in a corner for a nap. He was tired. Meaty and the old Human had stopped trying to yell at him, and had went to the fire, and had gotten some eggs, bacon, and potatoes from it, and had gone into the kitchen, to put it on plates. They had also put coffee into cups, and they had drank some. Ember could smell it, and it made him sick. He eventually dozed off...
Continue To Chapter 9: Malchom's Woods chapter 9: Cage.