Thunder Lizard
Who? "poet" What? "magazine" Where? "Prehistoric times"

John was the editor and main writer for a monthly poetry magazine in Alucard Heights named A Dose of Poetry. He was reading through the edition that was due to be out next week. The local museum had just opened a new dinosaur exhibit this week. He had sent a contest out in the last issue and in the magazine’s weekly newsletter challenging the poets to write verse on dinosaurs or prehistoric times in honor of the new exhibit. His main problem was the sheer volume of entries that had come in. He thought this would be a challenge to these people and instead he was spending long hours at the office editing and reading all of the poems, and most of them were well written. The problem that he was truly having is deciding which ones to include in the issue. So far he has not decided to remove any of them. So far this issue would be one huge magazine and He was thinking about printing it all anyway.

He is pretty sure that he knows the poems that will be given the top honors. These are the ones that he is rereading now. There are five of them. Two of them are newcomers to his magazine, Sonja and Razor. They are both extremely gifted poets, though sometimes Sonja’s poems can be dark. A man that is only known to him as Simon is another. Simon has been submitting his poems for several years. The fourth one is surprising, his name is Pastor Vincent. He is a local pastor for a small church on the west side of the city. His poems are always based on his faith, but they are usually very well written. The last poet is one that has been sending in poems since the magazine first started, and his name is Cacious.

He wakes up suddenly. He must have fallen asleep while reading through the poems. A funny thing, however, he did not think it was that late. He’s fallen asleep at the office before and had to be awakened by the employees coming in to work. A realization hits him as he shakes the cobwebs from his mind. He is not at the office. He is lying on the ground on dirt. He looks around and notices strange plants, trees, and flowers. It is incredibly hot and humid, and definitely does not look like California.

He gets to his feet and notices that he was lying in some sort of depression in the ground. He walks out of the depression and steps back away to get a better look at it. He walks around the depression a couple of time and takes notice of the shape. The realization of what he was laying in makes him start to look around and start stepping back. It is a footprint. He also takes notice that it is a fresh footprint, and he sees its partner not too far away.

He feels himself starting to panic. He is mentally trying to calm himself down. He figures that there needs to be a logical explanation for this turn of events. He comes to the conclusion that he is dreaming. He has been reading poetry on dinosaurs and places like this for hours every day for a week. He starts to calm down, thinking that he should wake up shortly.

“Don’t calm down just yet.” He hears a voice behind him.

“This is more than just a dream.” A female voice chimes in.

He turns around to see who is talking to him. He only sees a thin woman wearing a dark purple dress and a rather large handbag that has smoke coming from it.

“You have been placed under some type of spell. We have people trying to break the spell, and we have joined you here to protect you.” A male voice says to him.

The woman’s mouth did not move. John is looking around for the source of the voice.

“Hey buddy, down here.” The male voice says.

He looks down and sees a rat wearing a lab coat and glasses waving at him. He rubs his eyes, shakes his head and looks again. The rat is still standing there, only now, it has it arms crossed on its chest and is tapping its foot.

“Really? Even in this realm people look at me like that.” It says.

“Well, Simon, You are, well, strange.” The woman says.

John is pondering on the name when Simon answers the woman, “And you’re not, Sonja?”

“Both of you are strange.” A voice says that seems to come from Sonja’s bag.

“No comments from the bag, Razor.” She says as she looks at her smoking bag.

The flap on the bag flips open and out pops what appears to be a red ceramic dragon smoking a cigarette.

“Both of you are strange.” It says again.

“Razor!” Sonja snaps.

“Well, I’m not in the bag anymore, and I know you longer than anyone and I know how strange you are.” It replied.

“Razor, enough.” Sonja commands.

“See what I have to go through.” It says to John as it goes back in the bag.

It is their names that has John’s mind reeling at the moment. Sonja, Simon, and Razor, it is just not possible. These three could not possibly be the ones that have been contributing their poems to the magazine. It is just not possible. He determines in his mind that the names are just a coincidence.

“John, here is what is going on. You have been placed under a spell that does send you into a dreamlike state. Physically, you are sleeping on your desk. Mentally, you are here. This spell is a dangerous one because what happens to you while you are here in some way happens to you physically. So if you are hurt here, you are hurt for real.” Sonja explains.

“So, if I get killed here?” John asks.

“Then the medical examiner will explain your death as one of a heart attack.” Simon answered.

John turned pale. This is definitely not what he expected to hear. That he could be killed in this dream world. None of this made sense. He was dreaming, these people said as much. If that is the case, then he should be able to wake up. He closes his eyes and concentrates, forcing his mind to waking up from this nightmare.

“The spell is stronger than your will would be.” Sonja says.

“You can’t just wake up from this dream. We have people that are hunting down the source of this spell, but we are here so that you will not be hurt. We are here to protect you.” Simon added.

John walks towards his trio of protectors still shaking his head, unable to believe the experience that he is going through right now. They seem to think that he should not be out in the open, though he does not know why. It is at that time that he looks back to the immense footprints.

  At the office of A Dose of Poetry, there are two people that are kneeling down. There is a man that is kneeling next to another man that is slumped over a desk. He has his hands on his head and appears to be in deep concentration. He is of Native American descent, with dark hair dressed plainly in denim. There is a woman that is also kneeling down beside two people lying on the ground. She also appears deep in concentration. She is blonde, wearing a full length black dress. They are not really deep in concentration, but deep in prayer. They are interceding for the ones that seem to be sleeping.

In the tunnels below the city there are two others that are at work. One of the men, when you are able to see him, is wearing a long, black trench coat, and an Italian fedora. The other is covered almost completely in duct tape. They are racing through the tunnels as fast as possible for Cacious, the duct taped one. Valentino could move much faster, but the location to where they are headed is known by Cacious. Valentino thought about just getting the directions from Cacious, but then he remembered the usual way that Cacious travels, either the tunnels or the rooftops. Valentino does not have any time to get lost or turned around with the person that they are trying to stop.

“Is it much further, Cacious?” Valentino asks.

Cacious stops and looks around and responds, “I don’t think so.”

“I thought you knew where this place was.” Valentino says looking at Cacious out of the corner of his eye.

“I was only there once; all these tunnels look the same.” Cacious defends himself.

Valentino stops and glares at Cacious.

“What? I’ll get us there quickly. I promise.” Cacious answered Valentino’s unspoken question as they return to navigating the tunnels as quickly as possible.

John is now hiding within the foliage with Sonja, Simon, and Razor. He is still trying to wrap his mind around what is happening. He has heard of things like magic and spells and supernatural creatures, but he never believed in any of the stories. He thinks that maybe these people are just regular people outside of this dream world that they are in, that is possible. At that point, Razor comes out of his bag and flies up into the trees to act as a scout.

“Hide! And don’t move at all!” Razor calls down to the others as the ground begins to shake.

A huge bipedal creature comes walking down the path that they were on. Its arms were short but the legs it walked on seemed extremely powerful. It was the head that had everyone staring. The head was very large, with a large mouth, filled with immense sharp teeth. They were staring at a Tyrannosaurus Rex, in the flesh. They were doing well, not moving or making a sound until the thing roared. The sound was deafening and it seemed that the trees around them moved from the sound waves that it emitted. A fear gripped all of them. The fear that gripped John propelled him to flee. As soon as he moved the creature noticed him and moved to follow him. Razor flew down from the branches in front of the thing’s face to distract it.

“Hey! Ugly! Here!” Razor shouts as he waves his arms in front of its eyes.

Razor, unfortunately, only was able to distract it for a moment. The thing still moves to chase after John. Razor flies in front of it and lands on the ground. There he looks around and finds a nice sized rock that he could carry. He flies in front of its eyes again which causes it to slow down. He throws the rock at the creature’s face and hits it right in the eye. This time, Razor succeeds in what he wanted to do with that, he got its attention. It roars at Razor and starts to chase after him. Razor is flying at his top speed to keep away from it. The T-Rex could run very fast when angry, Razor thought.

Razor speeds past Sonja and Simon at full speed with the T-Rex hot on his tail. Sonja and Simon then break their cover and chase after John. They find him not too far from where Razor popped the T-Rex in the eye. He is panting and sweating profusely.

“Why did you stop so soon?” Simon asks.

“I heard Razor taunting the thing. I turned to look. That was when I see it turn to chase me anyway and I tripped. I got up and turned around just in time to see Razor peg the thing in the eye with a rock.” John replies.

“He saved my life.” John adds after pausing to think.

“Now, don’t go saying anything to him now, John. You’ll give him a swelled head.” Sonja answers.

They walk back to where they were hiding to wait for Razor. John notices something on the ground. It is Razor’s cigarette butt. He picks it up and puts it in his pocket. Sonja and Simon are watching him.

“We shouldn’t leave things like this here in this time.” He says.

At the office, Ariel and Tom have their concentration broken by the sound of the door being kicked in. Five guys rush into the front office.

“I’ve got this, Tom” Ariel says.

“Ariel, they are normal people” Tom warns.

Ariel studies them with her senses. They are normal people, though there is an aura of power on them. The aura is strange. It is the same for all five. There is also blankness in their eyes. They have their wits about them, but it seems their mind is not fully under their control.

“They are under some sort of spell, Tom.” Ariel explains, “It is giving them power, but also controlling them.” Ariel looks at John that is slumbering on his desk and can see the same aura. “And it is the same person that has captured John.” She adds.

“Remember that they are not under their own free will, Ariel.” Tom instructs.

“I’ll be gentle.” Ariel answers.

Ariel opens the door from John’s office into the main office and steps in. The five look at her in unison.

“Are you guys lost?” She asks.

All of them pull a pistol and fire. Ariel calls up her shield of faith and none of the bullets reach her and fall harmlessly on the ground. She smiles at them as they rush to attack her. She grabs the first one that reaches her and throws him back towards the door. She is holding back her strength as much as she can. She has resorted to throwing them around the room. That is the way the she figures she will cause the least amount of damage. The spell that they are under is also giving them added strength and their strikes against her do hurt.

Tom is now standing over all of the people that are slumbering in the office. Ariel watches as he never wavers in his commitment to what he is doing. From Ariel’s vantage point, it seems as if Tom is bathed in a soft, yet bright light. That gives Ariel pause. She throws off the next assailant to come at her and then raises her hands to the sky as she starts her own prayers. Ariel starts to be enveloped by a white light.

Cacious and Valentino stop under a manhole cover. Cacious stands there looking at it for a moment while scratching his head and in the process of doing that, he loosens the wig that he has duct taped to his head. Valentino is waiting patiently, somewhat. He knows that patience is a virtue and he is trying to exercise that, but there are lives at stake, more than just the life of the editor of A Dose of Poetry magazine.

“This is it.” Cacious announces.

“Are you sure?” Valentino asks skeptically.

“I’m positive.” Cacious responds.

They go up the ladder to the manhole cover, into one of the many alleys in the city. Cacious looks around and motions for Valentino to follow him deeper into the alley. They are on the southeast part of the city. It is a more well to do areaof the city. The supernatural community has the same tastes as normal people do, and the access to resources are the same. So being in this area is not unusual for Cacious and Valentino.

They arrive at a small home in comparison to the others in the area. It is a good enough size that it would not stand out, not too large or too small. The building was unremarkable, plain white walls, enough of luxury but not too much. The home is perfect place for a person that practices mystic arts to hideout. Valentino and Cacious have been around long enough to know that the place is will have protections of some sort on it.

“This mage is old, Val.” Cacious whispers to Valentino.

“Meaning?” Valentino asks.

“He is older than he looks and he is powerful. I have been keeping an eye on him for a time now. That is how I learned about his spells that is affecting John right now. There are many unexplained heart attacks that have happened in the city that can be attributed to him. I think that is how he remains youthful.” Cacious replies.

“Then, we do not know what we are walking into.” Valentino responds.

Razor is still flying at full speed wondering if a T-Rex ever feels anything that even resembles fatigue. The thing has not slowed down at all while it has been chasing Razor. He spots a cliff up ahead and pushes towards it. He passes the edge of the cliff and turns around hovering there. The T-Rex has stopped at the edge and is just staring at him. Well, he did not expect that. These animals must not have been as dumb as scientists have thought. Razor gets a thought and immediately acts upon it. This time he flies right at the T-Rex. The Rex leans forward and roars, which is exactly what Razor was hoping for. Razor lowers his flight path and flies right between the Rex’s legs and under its tail at full speed back towards where he came from. Now, he needs to find a way to stop the Rex before he returns to the others.

John is still sitting on the ground catching his breath with Simon and Sonja close by. John is still trying to reconcile in his mind that he was just chased by a T-Rex and saved by an animated statue. He knows without a doubt that no one would ever believe this. Simon suddenly looks up and his ears perk up. He starts looking around quickly.

“Sonja and John start going that way.” He says as he points in the direction that they came from, and then he reaches into his pack.

“Slowly?” Sonja asks.

“I mean as fast as humanly possible.” Simon replies.

Simon pulls out what appears to be an acorn from his pack as another large dinosaur crashes out of the forest. John and Sonja run as fast as they possibly can back the way they came. John looks back for a second to see what it was that came crashing out of the forest. It looks like a small T-Rex with longer arms. Simon is backing away from it at the moment but he keeps looking back towards the forest where it came from. He makes a quick move and jumps back just as a second one came out from the trees at him. Now, he throws the acorn at a place in between the two dinosaurs. The acorn produces a small explosion and releases a gas. The dinosaurs are shaking their heads a roaring very loudly.

“Run!” Simon yells as he catches up to Sonja and John.

They run as fast as possible back the way they came. Simon is in front of the others. John thinks in between his gulps for air that Simon can run fast for a rat. Sonja for the first time in her long existence wishes that she was actually a vampire with the speed that they possess. She looks up at the sky and sees the sun shining brightly and thinks maybe not.

Ariel is now bathed in a white light as she focuses on her prayers. Her prayers are not focused on herself but instead she is praying for her attackers. She is sure that these men most likely have families, careers, and a future. She does not want to deny them that future. She also does not know what they are seeing due to the enchantment cast upon them. She prays for their eyes to be opened, for them to be released from their prison.

The results of her prayer are unknown to Ariel because her eyes are closed and her focus is on the prayer. All of the men have repeatedly tried to attack her in some way, with their fists, chairs, even a broom stick. All attacks have stopped well short of striking distance. The men are also starting to appear confused in between attacks on Ariel.  The light surrounding Ariel reaches its fullness and then, one by one, a beam of light moves to touch each of the men at their hearts. The men stop in their tracks as the beam touches them. Their countenance changes from one of frustration and confusion to one of peace. They all drop to floor as the light fades away and Ariel concludes her prayers.

The men wake up just as Ariel concludes a second prayer of thanksgiving. They look confused again, but it is the confusion that accompanies someone that would be lost. They are looking around the room without any recognition of where they are and no memory of how they arrived there to begin with. They look at Ariel with fear along with the confusion and a couple of them turn their eyes downward in shame.

“Miss, umm, we are sorry for what has happened here.” One apologizes.

“All is forgiven; go home to your families.” Ariel responds.

“We don’t know where we are.” Another responds.

“Alucard Heights, California.” Ariel responds.

They all respond to Ariel with where they are from. Not one of them lives in California. They are all from somewhere else. At least, Ariel thinks to herself, they are all from the U.S. Well, now they will have to figure out what to do with these men, but first they must help the ones in the dream world. Ariel sets the men to clean up the office and then has them stand guard by the door so that no one else will enter.

Valentino and Cacious are staring at the house from a concealed location. Of course, Cacious believes that Valentino could stand in the middle of the street and be concealed if he wishes to. It is a little more difficult for Cacious to conceal himself, considering he is wrapped up in duct tape.

“We need to find some way to get into the house.” Valentino states.

“I have an idea.” Cacious states then gets up and goes to the front door.

Valentino cringes as Cacious walks up and knocks on the door. Subtlety and stealth are definitely not Cacious’ strong points at times, and he is usually pretty bold. Valentino chuckles as he thinks of Cacious when he was the Sheriff of this city, back in the 1800’s.

The door opens and a man answers. He looks at Cacious with a rather strange look that is understandable considering the appearance of the person at the door.

“What do you want?” The man asks.

Cacious starts dancing and singing, “I am your singing telegram.”

Cacious had his slingshot out while he was dancing. As soon as he finished singing the line, and while the man was still looking on in confusion, he pulled back the band on the slingshot and hit the man right between the eyes with a marble. Cacious waves Valentino to follow him into the house. He follows Cacious shaking his head as he runs into the house. Cacious may not be subtle, but he is effective.

Simon, Sonja, and John are running away from the two hungry looking dinosaurs. John again trips and falls on his face while they are running, causing Simon and Sonja to stop.

“Again, John” Sonja says.

“Are you usually this clumsy?” Simon asks with a serious tone.

“No, I’m not.” John replies.

“This must also be a part of the spell, Sonja.” Simon states.

“Sorry, John.” Sonja says as she helps him up.

“It’s ok, I would have said the same thing considering the circumstances.” John replies.

A roar causes them to look up as the two dinosaurs catch up to them.

“My turn.” Sonja says.

She raises her hands above her head and claps them together. There is a sound of thunder very close to them. The dinosaurs roar in pain and shake their heads again. The trio starts running away as the dinosaurs roar and resume the chase.As they are running they hear another roar, this time from in front of them. Simon looks up and sees Razor flying towards them with the T-Rex close behind.Razor spots them at the same time. Razor looks behind them and sees the two dinosaurs chasing them and has an idea.

“Simon, Dive into the trees when we get close.” He yells.

Simon just nods in response. By now, the others have noticed Razor and the Rex coming towards them.

“Now!” Razor yells.

The group dives into the trees and the three dinosaurs collide into each other,since they were more attentive to the chase. Instantly, there are many loud roars and sounds such as they have never heard before as the three dinosaurs begin to fight each other.

“Let’s make ourselves scarce.” Simon suggests.

The group moves through the forest this time in a direction away from the dinosaur battle royal. They move through the forest at a steady pace trying to be silent. Razor is flying and not making any noise. Simon is, well, as quiet as a mouse. To Simon though, John sounds like a small army crashing through the brush and undergrowth. He seems to find every twig or loose rock along the way. Simon stops the group as they all hear a couple of strange sounds coming from the forests around them.

Ariel heads back into the room to assist Tom once again. She kneels by the slumbering forms of Simon, Sonja, and Razor and starts interceding again when Tom speaks to her.

“There is another presence here, Ariel.” He says.

“Another presence?” Ariel asks.

“Yes, in the office, this is one of your specialties.” Tom responds.

“It is a demon. Who is this mage casting these spells?” Ariel asks as she pulls out her crossbow.

“One that needs to be stopped, I am very thankful that Cacious came to us about this.” Tom replies.

“And I am glad the Valentino is with Cacious hunting this mage down.” Ariel adds and then goes out into the office.

Tomc ontinues to intercede for those slumbering in the editor’s office. He notices the faces of those in his care as they are travelling through the dream world. He continues to pray for their protection, and He begins to ask for help to be sent to them.

She walks out boldly as the being manifests itself in the office. It is humanoid in appearance with small horns on its head and a reddish color. Its eyes are glowing red. It has a smile on its face until it notices Ariel. There is a flash of recognition and the look of confidence changes to one of doubt.

“You!” The thing growls at Ariel.

“Problem?” Ariel asks.

“Yes, you and your group still exist, maybe I can change that.” It responds.

Ariel raises her crossbow in response and fires. The demon moved so that the bolt only hit it in the shoulder instead of right in the heart. The bolt still causes considerable damage and the wound is smoking. The demon shows anger with a snarl towards Ariel, but is truly nervous about this encounter. Ariel has developed a reputation among the demons around this city.

Cacious and Valentino are standing in the doorway of the house and wondering where to go. A group of men come from adjoining rooms and meet them in the hallway. All have pistols and are ready to fire.

“They are mortals, Cacious.” Valentino states.

Cacious nods his head as the men all open fire on the two friends. The bullets from the weapons do very little damage since Valentino and Cacious are both vampires. Valentino puts his pistols away and moves into the shadows. It seems to the men that Valentino emerges from the wall right before he strikes. Cacious has a much different approach. He relaxes his arms and starts spinning. His arms spread out as if they were rubber bands and he is literally slapping those that are closest to him. The two old friends make quick work of the mortals that they were facing. They are all unconscious on the floor, but they are all alive.

“We need to find where this mage is.” Valentino says.

“My guess is the basement, Val. I don’t know much about the mystic arts, but that would be the place that would not attract attention.” Cacious replies.

“I do know a little about the mystic arts, and the basement would also have fewer distractions.” Valentino adds, “Let us head there.”

Simon, Sonja, Razor and John have moved closer to each other and are waiting to see what this new threat is. They have put John in the middle of them and each of the others has their back towards John ready to face whatever comes out of the trees. Three dinosaurs, maybe six feet in height at most, pop out of the trees surrounding the group.

“Velociraptors!” Simon gasps, “I don’t know how we are getting out of this one.”

“There is no way that the rest of you would be able to outrun them.” Razor says as he is looking around at the trees.

“Cover your ears.” Razor instructs everyone.

“And your eyes afterwards.” Simon adds.

Sonja covered her ears as soon as Razor spoke, she knew what he was going to do and it is something that is painful. She didn’t know what Simon was going to do, but he was holding what appeared to be a Christmas tree ornament in his hand, so she shuts her eyes tightly. Razor flies above the group and lets out a roar that would make the T-Rex proud, although Razor’s roar has a much higher pitch. He starts spinning in the air to aim his roar out in a circle around the group. The Velociraptors, however, had to bend over shaking their heads and trying in vain to cover their ears. John was screaming himself from the sound, though you would not be able to hear him. Sonja was on her knees holding her hands over her ears as tightly as possible. Simon was almost in as bad a shape as the Raptors were. His hearing is extremely acute and Razor’s roar felt like a sword had been plunged through his ears. He did cover his ears and the roar hurt him anyway.

The Velociraptors are on the ground writhing in pain, including two that were still hiding in the trees, by the time Razor was done with his roar. The others in the group were better, but not by much. Simon was sure that he was going topass out. Razor lands on the ground by Sonja. Sonja picks him up and gently puts him in the bag that she usually carries him in. He curls up on the bottom of the bag and seems to pass into a deep sleep.

“Razor will be unable to help us for awhile.” Sonja says.

“We should be on the move; Razor’s roar may have saved us but it probably alerted everything around us to our location.” Simon adds in a shaky voice.

They set off in a direction that is at least away from the last known location of the T-Rex. They all begin hoping that the people on the outside stop this mage soon, especially Sonja. Razor has only used that power twice before this because he knows how powerful that ability is. It is an ability that he only uses as an absolute last resort, so he must have known about the ones that were hiding. They pass by other slumbering forms as they walk and fully realize what Razor actually saved them from. They were completely surrounded by multiple types of dinosaurs. They all shudder as they quicken their pace.

The demon in the office of a Dose of Poetry is learning that Ariel’s reputation is one that has been earned and is well deserved. It has tried to move in on Ariel and fight her hand to hand. It has also learned that was a huge mistake. Ariel has matched the demon with speed but has proved to be the stronger of the two. The demon has been able to land two blows to Ariel, one to the head and the other to the body. The blows seemed to do little other than mess up Ariel’s hair. Ariel then told the demon that it was her turn, and proceeded to give the demon a lesson in hand to hand combat. The demon tried to block or dodge Ariel’s relentless onslaught, but for every punch or kick that it would block it got hit with three others. The demon thought that it was hit by a truck with each blow that landed.

The demon tries a different approach and jumps back away from Ariel to launch a fireball in her direction. She puts her hand up in front of her and the fireball surrounds her but does not penetrate the shield that was around her.The demon sees Ariel engulfed in flames and is thinking that it had beaten her for a second. Then, the flames just dissipate away and Ariel is still standing there.

“You don’t want to play anymore? I thought we were having fun.” Ariel says to the demon.

The demon didn’t respond, but was staring wide eyed. Ariel then put a crossbow bolt in between its eyes. The demon falls to the ground with the bolt smoking from its forehead. Ariel comes over to it and banishes back to where it came from then goes back in to assist Tom. She hears Tom asking for them to have help in the dream world. She is about to add her voice when she notices the slumbering form of Razor. His jeweled and ceramic body is usually a bright color, now it looks dull and tarnished. She puts her hand on his slumbering form and intercedes for him specifically. She does not know what is wrong with Razor, but she asks for healing and strength to be returned to him. She closes her eyes as her hand that is touching Razor is bathed in a soft, bright light.

Simon, John and Sonja are walking through the forest and come to a huge meadow. They are reluctant to head out into the open spaces until they hear the sounds of roaring and the sounds of the raptors behind them.

“Go into the meadow and then go to our right.” Razor directs as he pops out of the bag.

“Razor?”Sonja asks with obvious surprise, “How are you awake already?”

“Remember that we have Someone on our side, Sonja.” Razor says energetically, “Simon, grab that ornament you had. We will need it in a moment.”

“Why?” Simon asks as he pulls the requested item out.

“Because Raptors can run fast.” Razor replies as he starts to move out into the meadow.

The group steps out into the meadow and they begin to hear the calls of the Raptors coming from the forest. Simon turns and faces the forest. The Raptors emerge from the forest. They hesitate to run after the group when they see Razor flying above and waving to them. Simon throws the ornament and tells everyone to cover their eyes as a bright light covers the meadow.  The Raptors shake their heads as they are momentarily blinded by Simon’s flash grenade.

Razor directs everyone further into the meadow as more dinosaurs emerge from the forest, including the T-Rex. The group is starting to think that this might be the end, except Razor. He is taunting the dinosaurs. Sonja is thinking that Razor has truly lost his mind and that his roar did damage him. That is when the ground under them starts to rumble.

“The cavalry is here!” Razor shouts, “We might want to get out of the way.”

Coming down the meadow they can see a small head on top of a long neck. After a moment they can see the rest of it, and the others that have come with it. Simon and Sonja practically carry John out of the way so that he does not trip. They watch as a Triceratops, a Stegosaurus, a couple of Ankylosaurus, and a Brontosaurus charge past them and into the carnivores. The T- Rex meets the wrong end of the Triceratops horns. The pair of Ankylosaurs start taking out the smaller ones by taking out their legs. The Stegosaurus is giving a nice whack with its tail to anything that happens to get too close. The Brontosaurus is living up to its name of thunder lizard by literally stomping on the Velociraptors. It is knocking them to the ground even when it misses. The ones that it does not miss, however, do not move again. The entire meadow shakes when the Bronto stomps.

The group watches the melee in shocked silence, again except for Razor. Razor has become the cheerleader. These creatures are obviously not defenseless, and they do not appear to be very pleased that these carnivores have come on to their meadow. The group watches as more carnivores appear, but more dinosaurs show up to fight against them as well. All sorts of different dinosaurs have joined in the melee. Each carnivore that arrives is met by another that uses it defense against it.

The Brontosaurus suddenly lifts its head and let out a huge roar. It stands up on its hind legs and stomps the ground that causes a small earthquake. The stomp causes the group and most dinosaurs on both sides to lose their footing and fall. Razor was flying, so he continues cheering the Brontosaurus on. John noticed that the Bronto appeared to look at Razor and give him a wink. Simon was mentally trying to figure out the magnitude on the Richter scale when it starts to swing its head and tail around. The carnivores were getting pummeled left and right. The others were still on the offensive but were giving the Bronto a wide berth. The carnivores finally had enough and, those that were able to, run off.

The dinosaurs surround the group and lie down on the ground looking outwards. The group watches in disbelief as the dinosaurs form a protective circle around the people on their meadow. Sonja and Simon look for Razor and see him kneeling down with his eyes closed and hands folded.

Back in the office of A Dose of Poetry, the light that is surrounding Tom and Ariel can now be seen from outside the office. There have been people walking by that have walked towards the office. They have walked away with a feeling of peace that they were not able to explain afterwards. The light had driven away most of the supernatural creatures in the area. Some of them, however, have gonetowards the light emanating from the office. They left looking as if they were in a daze. 

Valentino and Cacious burst into an enclosed room in the basement of the house. They see a man that appears to be in his mid thirties that is leaning over an ornate table and chanting strange words. The table is a thick wooden table and is covered with strange symbols that are carved into it that would make it more like some type of altar. The man looks at them when they enter and looks towards a dark area of the room opposite him.

“I am not finished yet; this one is proving extremely difficult.” He appears to speak to the wall.

A humanoid shape emerges from the darkness. The being has reddish skin, a muscular body covered in coarse looking black hair, and hands that end in small claws. The being’s face has a long pointed nose, long matted hair, and small horns on top of its head, and eyes that are completely black. Valentino and Cacious knew exactly what it was that they were facing, it is a demon.

“What is taking so long?” The demon growled at the man.

“I honestly do not know, take care of them.” The man commands.

“I’ve got this, Cacious, stop the mage.” Valentino states as he pulls a large knife from his coat and walks towards the demon.

“I know of you, bloodsucker.” The demon sneers and swipes at Valentino with its claw.

Valentino ducks under the swipe easily and steps forward to slash at the belly of the demon. The wound begins smoking instantly. The demon turns around to make another slashing attack but Valentino is nowhere to be found. The demon begins to understand the power of the being he is facing as it begins to see a disembodied arm coming at it with lightning speed slashing at it from different directions. Valentino is using his power to blend in with shadows and attack the demon unseen. The demon thinks that two can play that game and blends in with the shadows as well. Unfortunately, the demon still is unable to see Valentino. The demon is also not visible either, but Valentino has other senses to use besides just his eyesight. He leans against the wall and remains perfectly still. His hearing picks up the demon shuffling towards him and he makes a slash at what should be the demon’s neck. The gurgling sound that follows lets Val know that he struck home. The demon staggers back into the light and is again visible. Valentino presses his advantage and lunges forward,plunging his blade into the demon’s chest. It falls to the ground and is no longer moving.

Meanwhile, Cacious pulls out his slingshot and lets a marble fly at the mage. It seems to hit an invisible barrier that is surrounding him and drops to the floor.

“So, that is how it is going to be.” He says out loud to no one in particular. He makes a motion as if he was rolling up his sleeves. He is covered in duct tape and has no sleeves to speak of, but he just likes to go through the motions. He remembers that Simon gave him a small bag of marbles right before they started this operation. Simon told Cacious that this bag was made special and not to use them unless he absolutely had to. Cacious pulls a marble from the bag. It is shiny, like a pinball almost. He does not know what it is made of and thinks that he would be better off not knowing, he still does not understand the things that Simon creates. He loads the marbles and lets the projectile fly. It hits the protective shield but this time the marble fired bursts into sparks that travel along the shield. Cacious fires another marble at the mage after jumping up and letting out a short chuckle. This one hits the mage on the shoulder and has the same effect.

The mage looks over and glares at Cacious. He raises his hand and speaks some short words and a fireball shoots from his fingers and engulfs Cacious. He holds up his hands in front of his face and screams as the flames engulf him. The flames die down and Cacious is unharmed, but still in the same position screaming. He then remembers that Simon was the one that made his duct tape, it is fireproof. Cacious makes a show of brushing dust off of his shoulders and the rushes the mage. He literally slaps the mage across the face and knocks him onto and off the table, scattering the array of candles and bowls and things that were on it.

“You feeble minded, duct taped freak! You ruined the spell I was doing!” the mage yells at Cacious as he gets to his feet.

“Ummm, that would be why we are here, and who are you calling feeble minded?” Cacious says as he scratches his head, further moving the wig duct taped to his head. He then slaps the mage again, on the other cheek, knocking him back. The mage gets up with his face as red as a hot ember, it is unknown if it is from anger or the slaps from Cacious. He speaks a short word as he points at Cacious. Cacious is knocked back into a wall by an unseen force. He is thankful for the duct tape at this moment since he fully believes that he would be in pieces allover the floor if it was not there.

“Ow!” Cacious states indignantly, “That hurt.”

The mage was standing there looking smug and chanting anew. Cacious fired one of the marbles from Simon at the mage just as he finished his incantation. The marble stopped short but the sparks were still seen, and nothing happened to Cacious. He quickly shot another marble at the mage, one of his normal types of ammunition and it hit the mage right between the eyes. The mage dropped flat onto his back. Cacious runs over to the mage and watches as he goes from looking like a man in his thirties to one that died a long time ago.

Cacious looks up and Valentino is right there next to him, which causes Cacious to jump.

“Don’t do that to me!” Cacious states. Valentino just stares at Cacious in response.

“What? Do you realize how creepy you can look sometimes?” Cacious answers Val’s glare. Valentino just continues to glare at him.

“Now we need to bust this altar up.” Valentino speaks.

“Should we burn it?” Cacious asks.

“No, we don’t know what that would do. I’ll let Ariel and Tom know of it. They should be able to take care of it. We just need to smash it for now.” Valentino replies.

Cacious raises his arms and brings them down on the altar breaking it in half. “Like that?” He asks Valentino.

Valentino shakes his head with a slight smile as he responds, “Yes that will do.”

“Let’s get out of here old friend. Our work is done, for now.” Valentino adds.

The two old friends leave the house after checking the house to be certain that no other threat exist in the house. Valentino will make some calls later on and have the house condemned and bulldozed so that nothing of it remains. The property will be for sale after that, but at least the structure will be gone. They head through the tunnels to the meeting place in the park to meet their companions.

The dinosaurs that are protecting those in the dream world suddenly stand up. They look up to the sky and let out a huge roar. Slowly, they all start to venture towards the part of the meadow that they came from. The last to leave is the Brontosaurus; it looks at the group and nods its head before it follows its fellows into the meadow causing a small earthquake with each step. 

“It sure makes a racket when it moves, but I am thankful it was here.” Simon speaks his thoughts.

“It is called the Thunder Lizard for a reason.” Razor explains.

John is about to answer when Razor, Simon, and Sonja disappear into thin air. He lets out a great yawn and feels very sleepy. He wants to look for his benefactors, but he thinks they will not mind if he takes a short nap. He lies down on the grass. The grass is soft and warm and it feels very comfortable. John is sound asleep within moments.

The light that was coming from the office of a Dose of Poetry begins to fade. Ariel begins to feel Razor stir beneath her hand.

“Yes!” She exclaims as Razor opens his eyes. Sonja and Simon also begin to stir. Tom opens his eyes and lets out a sigh of relief to see their three friends stirring as they emerge from their slumber and their journey into the dreamworld. Ariel looks over to John slumbering on his desk. His breathing is even and the aura that surrounded him from the spell is gone.

“They did it, Tom. Val and Cacious were successful.” Ariel adds with relief evident in her tone.

“Thank you, Lord, for the strength that you have given to us this night.” Tom prays.

“Ariel!” Razor shouts and gives Ariel a big hug, “Wait until you hear about THIS adventure!”

“I will listen to it later, Razor, right now I think we should all leave before John wakes up.

The group leaves, closing and locking the door behind them. They get into a black Cadillac down the road and head to the park to meet Valentino and Cacious with Razor telling them the tale the whole way there. It is obvious that Razor’s favorite dinosaur is the Brontosaurus, because he spends much of the time telling the friends about the Thunder Lizard.

Back at the house, another being emerges from the dark area in the basement. It is a woman with a pale complexion and dark black hair. Her eyes are also completely black. She looks around at the smashed altar and at the ashes that was the mage.

“That vampire and his merry little band are becoming a major problem, one that I will now have to put my full attention to.” She says out loud to no one as she walks back to the dark area and disappears.

John wakes up on his desk as he has done numerous times before. He shakes his head as he remembers the strange and frightening dream he had. He does not know what part of the dream is more disturbing, almost being eaten by dinosaurs or those people that were there to protect him. He stands up to get the kinks out of his body when he feels something in his pocket. He reaches in and pulls out a cigarette butt with teeth marks on it.

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A poetry editor falls asleep at his office and has an intense dream.