May 23, 2019 at 2:35 pm #5725
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CHAPTER ONE: LEAVING THE GREAT VALLEY
Chomper, the teenaged Rex, was wandering the Great Valley. He hadn’t eaten well lately. “I’m hungry. These bugs and Tickly Fuzzies aren’t cutting it anymore.” he moaned.
A nearby Tickly Fuzzy mocked him “Ha ha you are going to starve and die a horrible painful death!”
Chomper angrily chased after him and cornered him. “You were saying?” Chomper leered at him.
The little fuzzy calculated how to get out of the situation it had found itself in. It came to the ever-genius conclusion of briefly incapacitating/distracting the predator and making a break for it. “Well… eat this!” it barked, turning tail and spraying a foul, musky liquid at the adolescent Sharptooth.
The move temporarily distracted Chomper. However, before the creature could get past him, Chomper grabbed the creature by the tail and yanked him back, pulling so hard that the tail bones broke with a loud snap. “Oh no you don’t!” he snapped at the creature. The mammal squealed in pain, before its primal instincts took over its better nature; he squirmed around, screeching and frothing at the mouth, furiously biting at the air in hoping of landing a bite on Chomper.
He might not stand much of a chance against the tyrannosaur, but he was determined not to go down without putting up something vaguely resembling a fight. Littlefoot and his friends walked by. They were unnerved by the scene before them, though it wasn’t the first time they had witnessed their friend cornering prey.
Chomper hurriedly exerted as much bite pressure as he could on the mammal, killing it instantly, before downing it with one gulp. “Sorry about that guys. Hungry.” he said.
“He eated that Tickly Fuzzy in one bite, he did!” Ducky gasped.
“Sorry. I’m a hungry Rex and that wasn’t even that filling.” Chomper replied.
“Not even that filling? You’re very hungry, aren’t you?” Littlefoot asked. Chomper nodded.
“Littlefoot, I am afraid. As I get older, I may have to choose between my own life, and…” He did not finish, and instead just walked away. He went and sat alone by the bank of a river, thinking. If he stayed here, he might well starve. If he left, though, he’d have to hunt the very creatures that had long supported him. Could he do it?
Littlefoot came over to him. “Chomper, what’s the matter buddy? I can see something is really bothering you.”
Chomper initially hesitated to respond, but he eventually acknowledged that bottling up a problem and not turning to anyone fpr help with it isn’t the best way of solving it. “Littlefoot,” Chomper started, “do ever have days when the voice inside your heart doesn’t agree with the voice inside of your head, and you don’t know which to listen to?”
“Yes. It was the worst when I came to the Great Valley. Every thought seemed to go against the way my mother told me. If only she hadn’t been killed by Sharptooth the trip would have been far easier.”
Chomper looked down and gulped, processing Littlefoot’s response; he might as well cut to the chase.
“My heart is saying that I should keep eating the same things I’ve been since I first came to the valley so I can stay friends with you and the others, but my head and my tummy say that I’m not going to last a whole lot longer if I keep listening to my heart,” he said.
Littlefoot sighed. “I’d long thought of that. I don’t want you to die of hunger. Also, you might not end up dying of hunger but might end up caving and hurting someone here. You must understand that most Leaf Eaters won’t care about you. Not even everyone here does. I always will, of course. But out there, they don’t even care for each other. Thus, it seems unfair to ask you to sacrifice yourself so much when I’ve seen Leaf Eaters so selfish that they wouldn’t share water or food even if it meant that they’d all die.”
“When did that happen?” Chomper asked.
“The last time the leaves started to die and it got dry. It’s getting that way again now.” Littlefoot replied.
Chomper nodded quietly. Many of Littlefoot’s words mirrored the thoughts going through his head. What Littlefoot had said had somewhat shocked him. Sure he knew that some Leaf Eaters would never forgive him for the crime of being born a Sharptooth, but, at least in the Great Valley, he’d been sheltered from the racism outside of the Great Valley that permeated the Flattooth world. “Maybe I should think about it more.” he said. He paused for a moment, then, recalling how Bron had thought Sharpteeth cowards and wondering what he’d say if he could hear the conversation between them now, added “Your father once referred to Sharpteeth as cowards, but don’t Longnecks live in herds? And as we know a herd is a system where you are in a group so that someone will get eaten so that you don’t have to, mean while in a pack they tend to have each other’s back.”
“I wouldn’t know, honestly, if that’s true or not. I’ve never seen my herd. They died during the last leaf famine. My family was the only survivor of that herd. Then Mother was killed by Sharptooth. You can imagine how much that hurt father.” Littlefoot replied. He noticed Chomper frown and hang his head and knew what he was thinking. “But Dad doesn’t have to go through what you do, so he shouldn’t judge you. You’re not a coward.” he added.
“It’s getting late, I should get back to the Secret Caverns.” Chomper said, turning to leave.
“Goodnight.” Littlefoot replied. He went and met with his friends, asking them to come to a private place where they wouldn’t be overheard. He then told them everything that he and Chomper had discussed.
When he was done, he concluded with ” I don’t know what to do. But I do know that we shouldn’t tell the adults about it. They will try and kill him otherwise, except maybe my grandparents. But they cannot overpower everyone else.”
“I don’t even want to think about what my dad would do if he knew about this,” Cera said.
“Before Chomper’s parents were killed by Red Claw, they told me that this might happen, and it looks like what they told me might happen might indeed happen.” Ruby remarked.
“Ruby, you’ve been with Chomper longer than any of us,” Littlefoot said, turning to his Fast Runner friend. “Maybe you should talk to him.”
Ruby went to go talk to him. “Hello Chomper. You seem to be thinking of being a regular Sharptooth. Are you still thinking what you were thinking earlier?” she asked him.
Chomper nodded but didn’t say anything.
Ruby said “Perhaps you should sleep on the matter and decide more in the morning after you’d had some rest.”
Chomper again nodded quietly, before he lay down and went to sleep
A couple of hours later, however, Chomper was rudely awoken from his slumber by a disturbance outside the cave.
“You’re even dumber than your sister!”
“Pink is such a stupid color for a Threehorn, and Threehorns are already pretty stupid.”
It sounded like the children of Hank, a Clubtail, and a rather troublesome one, were staying up late.
Chomper, annoyed, headed outside and said to the Clubtails “Quiet! I’m trying to sleep. Also, please leave Tricia alone.”
The two Clubtails were in front of Tricia, cornering her against a modest-sized boulder. One of them turned around to see who was getting onto them, to see a certain Sharptooth standing not far behind him.
“You still live here?” he jeered.
“Yes, for now.” Chomper replied. Great, even the kids want me gone! he thought miserably.
Littlefoot, meanwhile, tossed and turned in his sleep. He was dreaming that he was with his mother. “Mother, I believe it would be best if Chomper was a regular Sharptooth. Though I don’t want him to kill Leaf Eaters, he’s having a lot of trouble feeding himself on just Egg Stealers, Tickly Fuzzies, fish, and bugs. I fear he may starve to death if something doesn’t change. But if he kills Leaf Eaters, that means families might be hurt, like what happened to you. To Bron and I.”
“You don’t mean to kill Chomper if he goes that route, do you?” she asked him.
“No.” he sighed. “I had many opportunities to let Chomper die over the cold times. I couldn’t do it. He’s my friend. I wouldn’t kill him if he wants to be a regular Sharptooth. But I can’t help feeling that for every Leaf Eater he kills, that, since I didn’t let him fall into the Sinking Sand and die when he was a baby, since I didn’t let him drown on the island, since I didn’t stop him, that I’d be at fault if they died.”
“You won’t be.”
“Why not? I could have stopped him?”
“Perhaps it was meant to be.”
“What do you mean?”
“Loads of Leaf Eaters died during the Great Earthshake. But if it hadn’t happened, then the herds wouldn’t have been forced to work together after the disaster. And if they hadn’t, most of them wouldn’t have reached the Great Valley alive. So sometimes, it is the will of the Bright Circle that bad things have to happen so good things can happen later.”
“I don’t quite understand.”
“You will. In time.”
And with that, he woke up. He decided to go check on Chomper and talk to him. He woke up the others. If Chomper left during the daytime to go be a regular Sharptooth, then the Valley might realize his motives and kill him before he had the chance. It was best if he left at night.
As Littlefoot, Cera, Ducky, Petrie, Spike, and Ruby headed off to see Chomper one last time before he left the Great Valley, Chomper continued to confront the Clubtail bullies.
The Clubtail brothers looked at each other, smirking. One of them turned around to face Chomper, “accidentally” swatting Tricia aside in the process. “Oops,” he said, suppressing a smirk.
Chomper snapped “Why did you just hit her? Get away from her now! Cera’s going to really get you if she sees you doing that to her younger sister. And that’s not even as bad as what her father would do.”
The Clubtail kid scoffed. “Yeah, but they’d have to go through our dad if they want to get us.”
“And there’s no way in the Valley he’d let a couple of… Threehorns do anything with his kids,” his brother added.
“I think Mr. Threehorn would win against your father.” Chomper scoffed. These children clearly had inherited their father’s arrogance.
The two looked at each other, entertained by Chomper’s (probably accurate, but to them preposterous) remark. They burst out laughing.
The older of the two got his bearings back together. “That was a good one,” he said, before turning back to Tricia, whose attempt at making an escape was halted by a motion of the Ankylosaur’s club.
“Now, let’s see just how good Threehorns are at flying,” he snarled.
Chomper roared at them to intimidate them. It wasn’t as strong as a full-grown Rex, but was certainly stronger than a Fast Biter’s, which was the size that he was. To further thwart them, he stepped in between them and Tricia, shielding her from them.
This roar definitely got the Clubtails’s attention; the younger one froze, and the older one – the one who threatened Tricia, also froze.
However, though his sibling froze, the older of the two wasn’t fazed for too long. A smirk started to form on his face, and he slowly reached for Tricia with his bopper. He wanted to get as much of a rise out of Chomper as he could, even if it meant incurring his wrath – which he didn’t realize could end up being far, far more lethal to him than what he pictured in his tiny brain, in order to have an excuse to rid the Valley of him for good. The tail ended up hitting Chomper, who was built strongly enough that it didn’t do much more than feel like a bee sting would to a person.
The Clubtail snorted, a little disappointed that his strike didn’t get much of a reaction out of him. But maybe…SMACK!
“Waaghhh!” Tricia yelped, as she was sent a few feet by his clubbed tail. She fell against a rock, injured but still conscious.
“Vinnie, cut it out! You’re taking it too far!” Magnus, the younger kid, said to his older brother.
“Shut up! I can do what I want!” Vinnie snapped.
Angry now, Chomper snapped “Leave her alone. You wouldn’t want to fight with me. It would not go well for you. Strike her again and you’ll regret it!”
He headed over to Tricia. “Come now. Those bullies shouldn’t be bothering you again.” he said gently.
“Listen here you puny Rex!” Magnus shouted at Chomper “We can do whatever we like!” He had thought it was too much earlier, but if Vinnie thought it was fun, he wanted to do it, as he admired his older brother.
Vinnie simply grinnrf, foolishly accepting what he thought was a challenge – and just as foolishly thinking that he was an even match to the older tyrannosaur.
“Magnus, you handle Pinky; I have business to take care of with Toothy here,” he said, lowering his head to the ground and raising his tail.
“I think the Bright Circle messed up when he made you. Clearly you two were meant to be Big Mouths.” Chomper laughed, chuckling at his own joke.
“You just have to do this the hard way, don’t you?” Chomper sighed. As Vinnie jumped at him, he swatted him away with his tail. “Guess I have a bopper too.” Chomper laughed.
Chomper jumped through the air and blocked Magnus before he could reach Tricia. “Your brother back there found me more than a match for him. Now take him and get out of here, NOW!” he snapped.
Just to ensure that Magnus wouldn’t try and attack Tricia again, Chomper stood in front of her, his claws raised. Surely Magnus wouldn’t be stupid enough to try and charge him now. “Fine then. You win.” Magnus sighed, too afraid to attack Chomper. He began to walk away.
As Chomper talked to Magnus, Vinnie, who was lucky enough to have landed on his side and not his back, meanwhile, managed to right himself, and made a dash for Tricia, not spotting Chomper’s outstretched claws. “Dad will be so proud of me!” he said.
Before Chomper realized what was happening, Vinnie collided, not with Tricia, but with his outstretched claws, which he hadn’t seen in the dark from where he had been. The Clubtail impaled himself on Chomper’s claws and fell to the ground. It seemed that he’d punctured a lung.
Vinnie bleated in pain, a horrid pain shooting through him. Instead of fighting back, he weakly cried out as blood started to trickle from the puncture wounds: “DAD! DAD!” Magnus ran off as fast as he could to get help.
“What in the…” Chomper gasped. He stared down at the wounded Clubtail and soon realized what had happened. “Oh dear, now you’ve done it! Attacking me like that by surprise. How bad is it?” he asked.
“Ow, it hurts!” he cried.
Chomper left and quickly returned with some large Tree Stars, which he quickly wrapped around the wound. “I didn’t mean it. I was only trying to protect the Threehorn. Your brother has gone to get help.” he said, trying to reassure Vinnie. Though he had long thought Vinnie a prat, he didn’t want to be the cause of his death.
Magnus returned with his father, Hank. Vinnie asked Chomper “Why did he protect a Threehorn?”
“Tricia is my friend’s sister.” he replied.
Chomper said “The fools were attacking Tricia. Vinnie attacked me and I brushed him aside with my tail. I think stopped Magnus from hitting Tricia again and then I raised my claws to block him from getting at Tricia. It worked with him but then Vinnie ran at me by surprise and impaled himself.”
“It’s true.” Tricia replied.
“Is he ok? What did you do to him?” Hank snapped at Chomper.
“I did nothing. This fool here impaled himself. Ran right into my claws. I patched him up with these Tree Stars. I don’t know how bad he was hurt but hopefully he’ll recover.” Chomper replied.
Hank’s eyes narrowed. “You nearly killed my son,” he growled, something inside him even deeper than his hatred for Topps and his family boiling.
Hank attacked Chomper. Unlike with his children, his attacks were hurting the teenaged Rex. Chomper was backed into a corner. “I didn’t mean to hurt you kid! It was an accident!” Chomper stammered.
Hank was too blinded by rage and prejudice to listen to what Chomper was saying. He knocked Chomper over with his club. “I should have taken care of you many cold times ago. You Sharpteeth are nothing but trouble!” he thundered. He moved to strike Chomper in the head.
Still on the ground, Chomper had only one means of defense. He didn’t want to use it, as it could be fatal, but it seemed a choice between attacking or being killed. As the Clubtail lunged at him, Chomper moved his jaw forward and bit as hard as he could. He tore the Clubttail’s tail clean off with the force of his bite.
“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH” Hank screamed in agony.
Tricia, alarmed at the violence, stood there in shock. “Oh my!” she gasped.
“Tricia, please go check on Vinnie. As for Hank, I believe he’ll live, though I think the tail’s lost now. Darned fool! It was either my head or his tail. So, alas, it was his tail.” Tricia, still in shock, but knowing Chomper was forced into the situation and that Vinnie needed help, went to go check on Vinnie to see how he was doing.
Hank’s face went pale; his only means of offense, the namesake of his type, and the pride of his species… gone…
With a cocktail of pain and unbridled rage flowing through his quickly emptying veins, words that would perhaps be the last he’ll ever utter erupted from his jaws: “YOU MURDERING SON OF A FLESHBURPER! I HATE YOU!”
Chomper was near panic now. “A fine mess you and your kids have made. I didn’t mean to attack Vinnie. He ran at my claws, as I’ve said. As for you, it was either your tail or my head. I figured you could live without your tail, but I cannot live without my head.” he said to Hank.
Chomper hastily ran off to get Tree Stars to try and hold off the bleeding from Hank’s tail.
Hank was too enveloped by rage to register what Chomper just said; just as Chomper ran off, he made a move to chase after him, only to collapse to the ground, breathing as fast as a flyer in an F5 tornado.
Chomper heard Hank’s remark and sighed. He didn’t get to choose what he was born as. However, his growing apprehension, which he’d already felt earlier due to his growing hunger, was very heightened. HIs thoughts of leaving were now plans of leaving. He didn’t think the Great Valley would take kindly to him after this, even if it was self-defense. After all, they’d nearly murdered a herd of Tiny Longnecks over some Tree Sweet leaves.
Chomper returned but found that Hank had bled to death. “I thought that he could live without that. Guess I underestimated blood loss.” He felt shaken to have killed a Clubtail. Still, even if he had had the option of biting off the Clutbtail’s head as his only recourse, he would have taken it. It was either his life or the Clubtail’s.
His life or the Clubtail’s! Now his apprehension of hunting and killing Leaf Eaters for food melted away with this realization. If it was going to be his life or theirs if he was forced to kill for food, why was his life worth less than theirs? Herbivores might be friendly, though clearly not all were, but they were by no means greater beings than carnivores like himself. His Stockholm Syndrome, picked up by over a decade of living with Flatteeth, had finally worn off. They were equals. Thus one was as valuable as the other.
He went to see Tricia and Vinnie, but found that the wound had been worse than he’d thought. Instead of hurting just one lung, apparently the fool had rammed into both of his claws but he’d only thought he’d hit one of them. Thus, both lungs had been punctered and the Clubtail had died from lack of air. Two Clubails down.
Tricia was sobbing now. “Why did they have to die? Why did you have to kill them?” It was clear that she was traumatized. Chomper had heard of the story of what had happened to Littlefoot and Cera the day that his mother Louise had died, killed by Sharptooth. He felt almost evil, scarring Tricia similarly, but it wasn’t his fault. But what then? Finally, he sadly decided, it was just part of the Circle of Life.
“I need to go,” Chomper says, quietly. With everything he’s done in this one night, he doesn’t think there’s any chance that the adults would let him stay in the Great Valley – even if he didn’t think that, the simple fact that he had the capacity to hurt others like this was still there.
Before he could turn around fully, he is given one last slap in the face by his own body; a sharp hunger pang, reminding him that his stomach has been empty ever since morning. What could he possibly eat now? He had to get out of here.
At that moment, Littlefoot and his friends arrived.
“What have you done?!” Cera gasped in horror, staring at the two dead Clubtails.
“Cera, it wasn’t his fault. They forced him to do this.” Tricia said. She explained what had happened.
“You had better leave. Grownups kill you when they find out. Me no think they see things your way. Me recall how angry they get when Tinysauruses eat Tree Sweets. You not stand chance.” Petrie said.
“I agree. I was thinking of leaving anyway and this just settles it.”
“I guess this is goodbye then, it is.” Ducky said, starting to cry.
“I will miss you Chomper.” Ruby said.
Chomper hugged all of them, including Tricia. “Where do I go now?” he asked.
Littlefoot thought on that one. Other Sharpteeth would be mean to others outside of their type. And other Rexes would be wary of helping Chomper since it was known how much Red Claw hated him. An idea crossed his mind. He recalled a Belly Dragger and a Sharp Beak that worked together that lived in the Land of Mists. They would know how to hunt and catch prey and even knew the language of the Leaf Eaters. “I have an idea of where you can go to get help being a normal Sharptooth. There’s this Belly Dragger and Sharp Beak in the Land of Mists. They work together to hunt and can teach you how to do it. They even know Leaf Eater. I believe they still would live in the cave outside the Land of Mists.” he said.
“And where is that?” Chomper asked.
Littlefoot gave him directions. Chomper turned to leave, for he heard Leaf Eaters, no doubt summoned by Magnus, coming his way. “I need to go…NOW!” he said in concern. His stomach growled. He doubted he could make it to the Land of Mists on an empty stomach like this. He’d pass out along the way. He looked at the dead body of Vinnie. “I should take this. It will give me enough strength to get to the Land of Mists.”
The others, minus Littlefoot, were aghast at this remark. “Why you going to eat Vinnie?” Petrie gaped.
Littlefoot, however, stated “Vinnie is already dead. It won’t hurt him at all anymore, and Chomper needs it to get out of here and needs something to eat.”
Chomper left, carrying the dead Clubtail. “I hope we meet again.” he said, before fleeing.
He went into a cave on the edge of the Great Valley. Not the Secret Caverns, for that was too obvious a place to be looked for, but the one that, years ago, he had found the Fast Biter eggs in. It was on the way to the Land of Mists anyway. He hastily paused, listening for a moment for the sound of a mob of Leaf Eaters. He could hear them in the distance but their scent seemed faint enough that he could eat the dead Clubtail in peace, which he did. He found that he really liked the taste. Leaving only the bones, which he didn’t feel right eating the meat from, and so that Magnus and his mother had something to bury, he took off and fled the Great Valley, not looking back as he heard the Leaf Eater mob nearing.
Just after Chomper left the cave and made a break for the Mysterious Beyond…
SMASH! Hank’s devastated widow, Haley, leading the mob alongside her deceased mate’s hadrosaur friends, smashed the Valley-side vent of the cave with her tail, led to this point by the rex’s footmarks. All she found – to her disappointment and horror – were the remains of Vinnie.
“Where did he go?” Mr. Threehorn asked.
“The monster got away!” Haley sobbed.
“He wasn’t a monster. I already told you Dad, he was saving me from Vinne and Magnus. They were bullying me. Vinnie impaled himself on Chomper’s claws and Hank then thought Chomper did it on purpose and tried to kill Chomper, forcing Chomper to bite of his tail!” Tricia argued, her face wet with tears.
“He ate Vinnie!” the Clubtail sobbed.
“Vinnie was already dead and Chomper was hungry.” Tricia argued.
“A likely story! He probably scared you into thinking that. That’s what predators do! We’ll call a meeting at the Rock Circle to decide what to do about this villainous Sharptooth!” Topps bellowed.
Lambi, one of Hank’s close friends, looked out into the cave as the dinosaurs returned to the safety of the Great Valley.
“Maybe Red Claw will eat him while we’re deciding his sentence,” he said hopefully.
At the Rock Circle meeting, the Leaf Eaters had assembled into an angry, arguing mob, much as they had the day the Tinysauruses had eaten all of the Tree Sweets on the Tree Sweet tree. Littlefoot, Cera, Ducky, Petrie, Ruby, and Tricia argued in favor of Chomper. Spike, though he didn’t talk, nodded in agreement with them. Believing that Littlefoot wouldn’t lie about something as serious as this, Grandpa and Grandma Longneck had taken their side. The other adults, however, were far more skeptical.
“I say we trample the accursed Sharptooth to death!” Lambi argued.
“Good luck with that. Chomper could smell you before you could see him. And you don’t even know where he’s going anyway.” Littlefoot replied.
“To hell I hope!” Lambi spat.
We can see his footprints heading off into the desert, but there’s no point in chasing a Sharptooth in the dark.” Grandpa Longneck said.
“I saw Chomper with them before he left. He was talking to them!” an angry Magnus shouted, pointing at Littlefoot, Cera, Ducky, Petrie, Spike, Ruby, and Tricia. “Make them tell you where he went!”
A compsognathus walked by, looking for food. Another compsognathus walked by. The mob pounced on the first one, killing it for the crime of being a carnivore. They moved to kill the second one, but Guido intervened. “Here there! Cut it out! Don’t kill everything that happens to have the bad luck of only being able to eat meat. I myself fall into that category!” he snapped at them.
They tried to kill him as well, but he flew out of their reach. Ruby snapped “Guys, calm down. Guido and those Small Sharpteeth did nothing wrong here. We don’t want to do something we’ll regret later, do we?”
Tria said “Ruby is right. Let’s not get carried away and go harming the innocent. However, I want to know what Magnus is talking about when he said Chomper talked to you before he left. Did he say where he going?”
“He did, but I’m not telling because you’ll just kill him!” Tricia snapped.
“Tricia, be quiet, you could have just lied!” Cera grumbled.
“Oops.” Tricia said.
“After what happened tonight, why should we take any more chances with Sharpteeth, no matter how big or little they are, or how how long they’ve been in the Great Valley?” Cory, another Swimmer, asked, crossing her arms.
“Still not telling.” Tricia replied stubbornly.
“Tricia, you need to tell us where Chomper went.” Tria implored her again.
“No!” Tricia replied defiantly.
Magnus, who stood by his mother, started to go over to Tricia, but his mother lowered her tail and held him back; this wasn’t the time or place to rage against the Threehorns.
“The injuries to Tricia appear to have been done by Clubtails, not by a Sharptooth, so that part of the story checks out anyway that Magnus and Vinnie were the ones attacking her.” Grandma Longneck said.
“I think it’s best if we let the Sharptooth Chomper go.” Grandpa Longneck said.
“My kid and my mate are dead!” Hank’s wife shouted.
“Vinnie’s death was an accident and Chomper was only trying to stop Hank from killing him. From what Tricia said about him only biting off the tail to stop him from smashing his head, it would seem Chomper didn’t intend for him to die.” Grandpa Longneck replied.
“Well, I hope the Sharptooth doesn’t come back!” Hank’s wife snapped.
“He doesn’t plan to.” Littlefoot replied.
“You know where he’s going. Why don’t you tell us?” she snapped.
“I don’t want you murdering him.” Littlefoot replied.
“You can’t murder a Sharptooth. You can only kill them before they kill you, as we should have done a long time ago with Chomper!” Hank’s wife snapped.
“That’s enough Haley!” Grandpa Longneck scolded her.
“You haven’t heard the last of me! I’ll get that Chomper if it’s the last thing I do!” Haley shouted at Littlefoot, giving him a look of strong loathing.May 23, 2019 at 2:36 pm #5726
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CHAPTER TWO: CHOMPER ALONE
Chomper, meanwhile, felt lonely. His friends still liked him, but he wasn’t sure when he’d ever see them again, if ever. He had no idea what the mysterious Belly Dragger and Sharp Beak would be like.
Luckily it began to rain, so at least he wouldn’t be thirsty. “Just great! Skywater!” Chomper grumbled. Though the skywater did little to raise Chomper’s spirits, at the very least, it was a welcome reprieve from the Beyond’s increasingly arid conditions; after that brief period of green from when he and his friends were young, the lands had once again started to dry up and die.
As unhappy as he was, Chomper did at least take this opportunity to bend down to a drink from a newly formed puddle.
As Chomper drank, an earth-shaking roar echoed through the mountains; a stark reminder that he wasn’t in the Great Valley anymore, and he wasn’t the only predator skulking about.
He recognized that roar only all too well. Red Claw, his archenemy! He’d stopped Red Claw, a thuggish Rex, from eating Ruby when they were younger, and Chomper’s antics had resulted in injuring Red Claw’s eye, turning it yellow. Red Claw had tracked him down and, together with his minions Screech and Thud, had attacked his parents. Though many Sharpteeth were afraid to even go near Red Claw, much less fight him, his parents had still fought him. They ended up perishing in the attempt, though Red Claw would bear the nasty scars they gave to his body for the rest of his days. Before he had died, Ruby had promised Chomper’s father to take care of him as a thank you for Chomper saving her. They had made it to the Great Valley safely and eventually Ruby’s parents, fearing Red Claw, had come to live there too.
Since their younger days, Red Claw had attracted many other Fast Biters to his side. Not that he ever treated them like equals, but they still were eager to please him, hoping to get a share of the prey he killed, or stole from other predators too intimidated to challenge him.
Chomper began to panic and ran. Red Claw sniffed the air and caught a whiff of his scent. He eagerly followed, though curious as to what Chomper was doing out here alone. Chomper, however, managed to find an end to the desert and found a beautiful pool at the bottom of a waterfall. He quickly ran across the stream, which wasn’t too deep in some parts, and walked up some rocky ledges and into a cave, big enough for a full-grown Longneck to get into. He hoped that the rain would throw off his scent or else Red Claw would kill him for sure. He took off down a passage of the cave.
Red Claw arrived a few minutes later. Chomper’s scent, as he’d hoped, was quite weak, thanks to the rain. It was impossible to guess which way he’d gone. And as the cave seemed like the Labyrinth of Crete with its many twists and turns, it didn’t seem a good idea to go in there looking for him. He might not find him and also lose himself. Besides, he was king out here in the Mysterious Beyond. Chomper would have to come back eventually to return to the Great Valley. Red Claw left.
Chomper peered out from behind a stone wall as Red Claw left, getting a glimpse at the Sharptooth. Like himself, he had physically matured; since those first few skirmishes with him when he was much younger. He had grown a little, his scales had gotten darker and a little greener, and his eyes, still marred by the damage inflicted upon him by Chomper and his parents, had some black near their backs, like his parents’ eyes did.
The sooner I get to the Land of Mists, the better, Chomper thought.
“Hey Ichy, I think I hear something coming. Could you go check to make sure it’s not some kind of predator coming to kill us?” came a voice.
“Sure Dil.” came a reply. A Sharp Beak came into view, then turned around and flew back the other way. “It’s a Rex! Teenaged.” Ichy said to Dil.
“Is he following you?” Dil asked.
“Not sure. Didn’t stick around to find out. Doesn’t appear to be.” Ichy replied.
Hey wait! Chomper called after the Sharpteeth. There must be Leaf Eaters nearby for he had clearly heard the Flattooth language. Why hadn’t the Sharpbeak seen them? Did the Leaf Eaters know there were Sharptooth was there? Interestingly, they seemed to have the same names as the Sharpteeth he was supposed to be looking for. His mind was quite fuzzy by now, having been already sleeping poorly due to worrying about leaving the Great Valley, then with his fight with the Clubtails, and lately, his near miss with Red Claw. It was already nearing morning. He really needed to sleep.
The Sharpbeak came back in again. Go away. Don’t kill us. There’s nothing to eat here and we taste awful. he said.
Chomper followed him, wanting to find the Leaf Eaters. Where are you going? Ichy snapped. He bit Chomper in his left claw. It hurt, but it was only like a stepping on a nail would be to a person.
OW! Chomper cried. I’m looking for the Leaf Eaters. One was named Dil and the other Ichy. I’ve had enough trouble with Leaf Eaters tonight already and I don’t need any more! he said, swatting at Ichy, who dodged him, with his claws.
No, you idiot, there are no Leaf Eaters! I am Ichy and my hunting partner, the Bigmouthed Belly Dragger, is Dil. he scowled. He paused. How had Chomper understood them? “You know Leaf Eater?” he gasped.
“Yes, I do.” Chomper replied.
“Why are you looking for Dil and I?” Ichy asked.
“Look, I’m really tired right now, I’ll explain things once I got some sleep.” Chomper pleaded, looking for a place to sleep unbothered.
“Hey, I want to know how why you are looking for us? If it’s to kill us, I need to know so we can get out of here.” Ichy demanded.
Chomper seized Ichy. The Sharpbeak looked up at him in fright. “If I was going to kill you, I’d do it right now. The question is, can I trust that you won’t kill me?” Chomper asked, feeling more and more tired.
“All right! We won’t! We won’t! Just let us live!” Ichy pleaded
Chomper released him. “A Longneck told me. I knew you two could speak Leaf Eater and I was sent to seek help from you. To help get food.” he replied, before laying down and falling asleep from exhaustion.
“A Longneck?” Ichy gasped. “Wowie, he is tired! I’ll not wake him till the morning. Probably a very bad idea if I did.” Ichy said to himself.
“Hey Ichy! What’s going on in there?” came Dil’s voice.
“Quiet leatherhead! The Rex is in here and he’s asleep. He’s got some crazy story about being sent by a Longneck. He looked pretty out of it. Perhaps he’s just exhausted and not thinking clearly.” Ichy replied.
“Should I come and kill him?” Dil asked, entering the room.
“Nah. He was afraid we’d kill him. Besides, he might prove useful.” Ichy replied.
“What do you mean?” Dil asked.
“He knows Leaf Eater for one.” Ichy said.
“He does?” Dil gasped. “I thought we were the only ones.”
“So did I. Trust me. Though he seems to know we could too.”
“How could that be?”
“How the heck am I supposed to know. But I do think I know one thing, based on one thing he said, about us being able to help him get food.”
“I believe we’ve got ourselves a new hunting partner!”
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