Welcome to the Big Empty, the world after the Flashback ... a world in which most the population has vanished and where dinosaurs roam freely. You can survive here, if you're lucky, and if you're not in the wrong place at the wrong time--which is everywhere and all the time. But what you'll never do is remain the same--for this is a world whose very purpose is to change you: for better or for worse. So take a deep dive into these loosely connected tales of the Dinosaur Apocalypse (each of which can be read individually or as a part of the greater saga): tales of wonder and terror, death and survival, blood ... and beauty. Do it today ... before the apocalypse comes.
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"You're a fool, Nick Callahan. A fool. But I suppose you already knew that."
I allowed my hand to drop before plunking down in the fir needles and just staring into space. "There was nothing. I saw nothing. It—it was like he didn't even exist."
She sat down next to me and exhaled, tiredly.
"He's an animal—what did you expect?" She picked up my glove and offered it to me, but I didn't take it. "You said it yourself; it's like they see memories. The eyes. I don't imagine a dog has a particularly long one. Do you?"
I sighed. All I knew for certain was that I felt numb and more than a little tired. "I don't know. I don't know what I expected. Or what I was looking for. An incident, maybe. Some kind of clue."
She laid her head on my shoulder and stared at nothing, same as me. "What kind? A clue to what?"
"That's just it—I don't know. A clue to what might wake him up, I guess. Something I could say. Something that was important to him."
"His butt was important to him," she said. "A source of endless fascination."
I had to smile.
That's when it happened. That's when he yelped, ever so slightly, and his paw twitched.
I looked at Lisa and she looked back. And then my hand was on him and we were running—Puck and I—down cobblestone lanes lined with streetlamps and through pools of foggy light; through tides of rusted Maple leaves, which leapt and swirled as we passed.
"What is it?" I heard Lisa say, her voice growing smaller, more distant. "What do you see?"
I turned to look at Puck as we ran and saw his tongue loll and his eyes shift—as though he wanted to look behind himself—behind us—but didn't dare.
"Fear," I said. "Confusion." An image entered my mind of a dug passage beneath the rear wall of the T.J. Maxx; of the turkey-like thing crawling through it with Puck hot on its heels. "He escaped from beneath the wall and now he's lost somewhere in the fog. And he's terrified … but of what I don't know. It's almost like—wait a minute. Wait a minute." I looked behind him—having heard something huffing and snorting—and saw a fully-grown therapod dinosaur (colored orange and black, like a Gila monster) bounding after us in the dark, gaining rapidly. "There's something coming—some kind of predator. An allosaur, I think. Whatever it is, it's closing, and I mean fast."