Read Part 1 here.
Magisaur flattened himself out, trying to create as much wind resistance as possible. He caught the edges of his robe, letting it billow in the wind. His eyes darted, finding the best way to survive. They had descended a fair amount to draw the terrordactyls into the trap, but of course the trap had closed on them as well. Magisaur plummeted from the gondola of the puffer-fish blimp. Even if he found a way to survive the fall, a churning, angry herd of arachnophants awaited him.
Ah. There. The arachnophant whose leap had broken through the deck and caused Magisaur to fall. It also plummeted toward the ground, stretching its legs out. If Magisaur could position himself on the creature’s back, when it landed, it would cushion its own fall with those long legs – and effectively protect Magisaur as well.
He tilted his body, his muscles straining. His purple robe unfurled behind him, creating needed extra drag but nearly suffocating him as it tugged at his neck. He was sure his crown had been hurled far, far away.
The arachnophant’s back was to him. Good. He didn’t want to have to reckon with its tusks.
Faster, faster. The ground isn’t that far away.
Magisaur hovered directly over the creature’s back. He released the robe and reached out with his stubby arms.
The burden of being a man-sized tyrannosaurus rex: your arms are never, ever sufficient for any task.
He reached out with his legs, gripping the back of the arachnophant. The moment he did, it began thrashing.
And then the ground met them.
The arachnopahnt’s incredibly long legs bent as it touched down, creating an almost spring-like cushion. The asphalt below it cracked and powdered under the pressure.
Well, at least Magisaur had landed alive.
The beast bucked and tossed, flinging its head back and forth. Its trunk reached back, buffeting Magisaur with gusts of air.
He risked a glance upward. The terrordactyl flight had mostly dissipated, but a few still attempted to board the blimp.
How to dismount a raging arachnophant in the midst of its very angry herd? That called for a wisdom Magisaur did not have. He considered as he clung to the grey, wrinkled back.
Another arachnophant crashed to the ground nearby, sending shock waves. Magisaur’s angered mount thrashed against it. The two locked tusks and shoved against each other. Sixteen legs pawed at the ground as they shoved each other. Asphalt flew into the air.
The other monster shoved upward, breaking the tusk lock. Magisaur’s beast’s head flew up toward the sky, even as the other creature scythed down and plunged a single tusk into a gray flank. Warm blood squirted from the wound. Magisaur felt muscles trembling under his legs.
The creature bucked up on its hind four legs. Magisaur was thrown. He landed in a heap on the asphalt ground. He tried rolling to his legs. The problem with wisdom is that even if one knew how to accomplish a task, his body did not always listen.
He tripped on his robe. Twice.
When he finally stood, three arachnophants crouched around him. Eight black eyes blinked at him from every pachyderm’s face. Their trunks reached out, sniffing at him.
A javelin clattered to the earth. He risked a glance to the heavens.
He could discern no terrordactyls. Paddington the puffer-fish blimp descended. Jer waved at him over the railing. “Keep them at bay for a few moments!” he called.
Magisaur hefted the javelin in one small claw. If he could strike one in an eye, it would cause the requisite amount of chaos.
“Roar!” The shout came from above.
Magisaur hurled the javelin. It arced before him. The sun glinted off its bright metal point. The shaft twirled.
It clattered to the ground ten feet away.
A tyrannosaur’s arms ever betray him.
“Just distract them with a loud noise!” Jer pleaded.
The noble dinosaur who once was written to bring a humble gift to the baby Messiah, the one who laid down with the lamb of the stable, the one who had been rejected as not reverent enough for a Christmas story…
He raised his head to the monsters surrounding him.
He had told all and sundry he did not know what he had given. He had been humiliated for so many years at Barrelbottom. They lambasted him with mockery. How could he not know what he had given?
Oh, he had known. He had lied to them all.
Magisaur, the wisest of all dinosaurs, had given the greatest gift a dinosaur could: his roar.
And now he had nothing to delay his demise. So much did he value the infant Lord that he considered it a worthy sacrifice.
The arachnophants charged.
This is a Barrelbottom Tale.
Read the conclusion of this tale here.