Chapter Eleven : Leftovers (noun)

Janelle thought about how yucky being tied up and left in a damp cave was.

She wondered if she could whisper to Josh on the other side of the tunnel without being heard by the baddies. But it’s probably not worth risking it she thought. I haven’t got much to say and these men are brutal.

I wonder what 170 chicks are doing in my bedroom now that they’ve hatched.

(I don’t think you want to know.)

Joshua was wondering how far below sea level the cave was. He was sure they were below, but it was hard to understand how the tunnel wasn’t flooded.

There were sounds of yelling as two boats roared up above them. A moment later Natalie and Becky were shoved inside.

The rouges were celebrating with high fives and pats on the back.

***

They’d had some time to catch up when a thug walked in and gave them some mushy looking food.

The friends did not feel at all appetised as they looked at each other.

“What is this food?” Natalie asked the thug.

“Leftovers,” he replied.

The four friends drew a blank. They looked at him dully.

“Uh, what’s leftovers?” asked Joshua.

“Leftovers!” he said.

They looked at each other again. “What exactly is that?” asked Janelle.

A man who seemed to be the boss stepped down into the cave.

“They don’t know what leftovers are,” the thug told him.

The boss man looked dryly at him, then turned to the friends. “You’re from large families aren’t you? Lots of siblings?”

“Uh, yeah,” said Josh.

“I thought so.” He turned to the thug. “They’re from a large family, they’ve never heard of leftovers, never seen them.”

He turned back to the friends. “Leftovers are when there’s food left from a meal.”

They looked at him blankly again.

“Like when… someone is sick?” Joshua said, trying to help him out.

“Uh, yeah, kind of,” said the boss man.

“So we’re eating food left by someone who is sick?!” exclaimed Natalie.

“No! It just wasn’t wanted,” said the boss.

“Why wouldn’t someone want the food?” asked Janelle.

“Did you poison it?” asked Becky.

“It’s fine,” said the boss. “Everyone was full, so it was left over.”

“What’s ful…”

“Grief!” shouted the boss and stomped off.

“Eat up,” said the thug.

“I’m not eating that,” said Becky. “First of all it’s gluten, second of all it’s got loads of other allergens in it and third I don’t want it.

“Get me something else please.”

“Um, okay,” said the thug.

“And peel me an apple. My arm hurts,” she added.

Joshua, Natalie and Janelle ate ‘leftovers’. Becky ate her own specially prepared meal.

Janelle wished she had some of her chicken mash food to eat. Not for the last time.

***

Large rain drops were beginning to fall.

“It’s just like going on a tramp at home,” said Daniel.

“One that Luke’s organised, anyway,” said Aaron.

But this was no ordinary tramp. They were going on a dinosaur hunt.

They came to some mud and went through it.

The light was fading, and the rain was getting heavier as the breeze started to pick up.

Luke shouted, “If we don’t find the T-Rex before dark, she’ll find us. And tonight we won’t be able to hide in the ocean.”

There was a crack of thunder. They trudged on through the jungle up the side of a small creek. It was easy to track which way a T-Rex had gone.

***

On the beach the waves were starting to really crash.

Adam and Dale – who had stayed to look after the girls – were trying to keep the fire going. It was a battle as the rain was getting really torrential.

“We need some fire lighters and synthetic logs,” shouted Adam over the roar of the ocean.

They had seen Becky and Natalie grabbed and then a boat take off about an hour earlier (the two girls had been strolling a little way down the beach). There was little that they could do right now, so they had agreed to stay at the camp for the moment.

Kirsty and Sarah were worried about Philip being exposed to the storm with his wounds (from the dinosaur). They were a little concerned about Dave as well, but everyone was thoroughly fed up with his withdrawal symptoms.

Nicole was sitting with her knees under her chin and shivering as she muttered ‘cold’ and ‘Texas’ over and over.

***

Jane screamed as she slipped on a rock, fell down a short bank and came to a sliding stop in some undergrowth.

The guys scrambled down after her. She’d obviously bust her leg up pretty badly. There was instant swelling around her calf and her lower leg was at a funny angle. It looked like her ankle was dislocated. And several of her nails were broken.

She was wincing but dealing pretty bravely with the pain.

The guys did their best to reassure her and make her comfortable, but they couldn’t really do much. They were trying to have a discussion of what they should do over the sound of the wind and rain, and the ever-rising creek.

Then Nathan noticed a large rocky hollow in the side of the bank, just beside where Jane had slid down. Two baby T-Rexes stood there, about five feet high.

The guys started to look around. In their hurry they hadn’t noticed all the trampled destruction. Now the stench of rotting carcasses flooded over them. They were standing in a feeding bowl.

There was a sound of repeated thunder. They whirled round and looked up with the rain lashing their muddy faces.

Mamma was home.