Sunday, March 14

Death’s Demise

This is an essay written by the eldest Cost Centre. I am quite impressed, very nice.

Death’s Demise

The jungle seemed tranquil, lush and full of life. The sparkling blue depths of the river, the emerald green of the regal trees whistling and whispering in harmony to the forest, were basking in the gleaming sun. The cool shaded grass, the fresh air, the enticing aroma and the birds above of bright crimson and aqua flying above made the place seem so peaceful. Untouched by the destruction of humans, this place was in harmony with nature; one of natures remaining sanctuaries. But all was not as it seemed. Though the sounds of life were abundant, no signs of life were present on the ground. In the deepest shadows they lay. Hiding.

Legend has it, that when the catastrophe that decimated the dinosaurs and the majority of life, struck, these very lands salvaged some of it’s habitants from the cataclysm. Though the dinosaurs were wiped out, ancient rumours state great creatures survived. Ancestors – lost in time, of today’s animals, may still survive in these untouched lands.

The beast eyed maliciously its prey from the high banks of the river. It had been stalking his target for a while now, the stench of foreign, meaty life, tangibly distinguishable in the air. The boat slowly ventured down the river, surrounded by a small gorge like barriers. The boat barely surpassed his gargantuan length of almost 3 meters, far larger than any lion; he seemed like something that would have rivalled the dinosaurs. His fangs were enormous, at up to half a foot, his sharp claws, his deep dark blue-black skin and fierce yellow-green eyes. He strongly resembled the predator cats of today, such as lions and panthers in shape, but immensely larger; however his abilities, were unlike anything on the face of the planet. He was one of the last of his kind. His race almost extinct by starvation, he was desperate. He was a good 10 feet above his target. Ready for the killing.

Suddenly the predator pounced on the unsuspecting open deck boat, its four occupants terrified. The beast lashed out his front paw, swiping the driver, blood streaming down his neck and torso. This was no contest for the vile beast, but he direly needed to devour these mere morsels of food. The hunter whipped his tail around savagely knocking two people into the river. Standing on his back legs, the leviathan towered over the feeble women, ravaging mercilessly her with his large, sharp, claws; relentlessly ripping the flesh out of his target. The boat was out of control, the only ones left on the boat were dead. The beast seized his opportunity, leaping through a fault in the steep high banks, landing on the rubble with an unfortunate victim, a meal, clenched in his jaws. In the distance through the trees he saw a dark shadow. Someone stagger away.

Explorer Darion Drake was here in these never before ventured jungles of South America, on an expedition to find a rare creature, the legendary ancestor of all predator cats on the face of the earth. It is believed this creature has many amazing abilities, including its truly unique hunting style; once targeting its prey, the beast would be positioned up to huge distances above the target, the charge down in an enormous leap, crushing the life out of the prey, and seizing it with its claws. But he never anticipated the death, destruction and danger awaiting him. Now his wife of one month lay dead, his expedition crew gone. All he had left was the clothes on his back, filled with a sorrow and mourning, evolving into enragement and infuriation. He reluctantly crawled through forest floor to a nearby stream, fighting the searing pain coursing through his wound-covered body. He grimly looked into the clear reflection, seeing his lost, disillusioned dark brown eyes, his ravaged black hair, his blood covered cheeks, his left one having to two, long parallel cuts, caused by menacing, sharp claws.

Suddenly in the distance the tired, sundered explorer spotted something lurking through the shadows, on the other side of the river. Drake took no chances, he started making his way to higher land, stumbling over logs, twigs and passing through the expansive network of trees, to reach the rocky, mountainous terrain, stretching out for miles, overlooking and bordering the forest. He turned around for a moment, to witness something horrifying, a chill ran down his spine, and the reality of what he was up against started to sink in. The hunt was on.

Darion had never been so terrified in his life; in the distance, the beast charged, leaping heroically over the river like it was a pebble, swiping a log out of the way as if it was a tennis ball. The explorer dashed through the rocks, higher into the region, as his pursuer rampaged through the forests darting through the trees. He saw some nearby boulders under a tiny ledge, just big enough for him to squeeze under, sit and hide. He held his breath, praying and hoping that he would not be found, but his efforts were becoming futile. He could hear movement around him, stones falling down, displaced by hungry driven, bloodthirsty paws. Then he saw the huge shadow, fall in front of him. The beast was standing over him, separated by a few inches thick of rock. The terror, pressure and fear amongst him was immense, every second was pure agony and torture. He waited, the beast circling the area, pinpointing his exact location, until they were in line of sight of each other.

The beast growled aggressively and Darion fled down the rocky plains but the beast was hot on his chase. He narrowly missed a deathly strike from the beast’s front paw, however not so lucky with the second. The furious swing, make two claws strike his back, blood gorging out. Recovering from the blow he trips and falls down, savagely tumbling down a few meters of the rough mountainside. He body aching all over he reluctantly turns around, to see the predator way above him and leap down charging at him through the air like a bullet. Panicking he picks up a little 3inch knife from his pocket, more of an eating utensil than a weapon but it was all he had. Just as the beast descended down upon him from above, he struck his arm with all the strength he could muster at the merciless brute, the beast’s front arm striking Darion hard knocking him back.

Blood rushed down the beasts neck, the pain was excruciating. He tried to stand but the pain just wouldn’t let him and he collapsed. The blood was pale but the great creature recognized this. He had seen many of his kind die like this, blood was only this pale when on the brink of starvation, not eaten a real meal in weeks he was weakened, desperate. No prey for him was left, all extinct, long gone from this world. The true king of the animal kingdom had met its demise; it was the end of an era. The great, but dying beast’s last roar of defeat and demoralization resonated through the forest with a heartrending effect. The death of the jungle was gone.

Darion Drake was overwhelmed, though wounded, he was safe, and his extremely fortunate mortal blow saved his life. He let out a sigh of relief. It was over, and he got his vengeance. A pebble rolled down beside him, the triumphant explorer turned around, and his heart froze. Surrounding him was an army, a pack of these super hunters, not fully fledged adults yet, however still huge compared to Darion, hungry and closing in for the kill. Even today the remains of the great hunter, and the hunted lay side by side, laid to waste by the destruction of time, and death.

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