She referred to the unplanned surprises that life offered up as opportunities. Colin liked to tease her about that.
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If one of the kids spilled something, he'd smile and ask if this was another opportunity. She usually laughed along with him and then told him deadpan that it was going to be an opportunity to kick his butt if he didn't watch his step. He looked beyond Marianne and saw Emma in the window seat. She was wearing a little flowered sundress with a T-shirt underneath it. She stared out the window while kicking her feet slightly, the merry click-clack of her flip flops smacking her heels barely carrying over the noise of the airplane.
She was their younger daughter. But instead of sons, he got daughters. Emma was vivacious, strong-willed, and playful—a little sprite moving through their lives breaking things, testing them and most of all showing them all how to live life to its fullest. She was a smaller, younger version of Marianne.
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Colin glanced across the aisle, past an older man and found Sidney in the window seat, staring out the window. He could only see the back of her head, but his heart warmed as he watched. Sidney, at eleven years of age was tall and willowy, with dark brown hair and fair skin. Her eyes were steel gray, which lent her expression an intensity that was belied by the dazzling smile she fixed on Colin all the time. She was quiet and thoughtful—always wrapped up in her mind.
Her fantastic imagination ran at full speed. Colin and Marianne used to amuse themselves trying to identify the exact moment in the story where fact gave way to fiction. She might start out talking about a spelling test at school and end up talking about a beautiful heroine defeating an evil dragon and rescuing the handsome yet helpless prince, but the transition was not as clear as one might think.
Where some parents might stifle that imagination and try to drag her back to reality, Colin and Marianne encouraged her to grow and explore the wild creativity of her mind. They both considered it the greatest of gifts. At 33 years of age he was married to a wonderful woman, had two intelligent and precocious daughters, and was experiencing the first successes of his chosen profession.
Two books published and another in the works. Life was on track. Stranger than finding himself in the airplane was that she so readily accepted his assertion that he was dreaming. It made no sense at all. She was so practical and logical that she tended not to buy into more fantastic ideas. To her, monsters, vampires and ghosts were just fun bits of fiction. The idea that they just might be real struck her as completely ridiculous.
If he really thought about those things, Colin would also have to admit it was unlikely they existed, but at a gut level he was much readier to accept the strange and bizarre. The plane interrupted his thoughts with a sudden lurch and shudder before settling down again. His heart popped up into his throat and then back down leaving him breathless. Marianne squeezed his hand once. He glanced at her and she gave him a little smile.
Its stench brought dread and its sound, fear, but it was the sight of it that burned despair through him. His emotions churned and mixed into a miasma of hopeless terror. It was roughly ten feet tall, black as night and smelled foul. The odor seemed to move ahead of the beast, spreading like some great vulgar wave. It was just as bad as Penny had said, leaving a pasty feeling in his nose and mouth and making his stomach turn. The stink of sewage, rot, bile and sulfur swam around him, but there was something else beyond those odors: evil.
As it drew closer the rumbling, growling sound became more feral. Out of control. A rasping cough followed by a deep roar that was filled with rage, hatred and hunger. The beast seemed to be cloaked in inky blackness, making it hard to see any real details. It leached light and color from around it, and the darkness pulsed obscenely.
It had hooves at the ends of its arms, and used them to propel itself down the road at a frightening clip. Finally as it neared him, the darkness peeled back, revealing a gaping mouth filled with rows of sharp triangular teeth and a long, forked tongue. The monster slavered and drooled as it reared back up on two legs and covered the last yards running like a man.
One of its front hooves changed, sliding and melting into a huge clawed hand. As it rode Colin down, it drew the hand back and slapped Colin away, claws tearing long scratches across his arm and chest. Colin slid to a halt, with his face pressed into the grass. His entire left side was a molten river of pain. Blood ran in a pulsing flow and his mangled arm hung uselessly at his side. He managed to push himself to his knees and turned tiredly to see if Penny had gotten away.
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Its momentum carried it past her and it skidded to a halt. Spinning on a dime it gathered itself to leap on her where she was trying to push herself to her feet.
volunteerparks.org/wp-content/biqezet/130.php Panting and bleeding on his knees, he had no idea how to wake himself up. He doubted pinching himself would really do the trick given how much pain he was already in. He glanced down at his torn and bleeding arm and had an idea. Before he could think twice, he jammed his fingers into the huge tear on his arm. The pain was excruciating and he woke up screaming in his bed, his arm covered in blood, already soaking into his bed.
As the pain grew increasingly intense, his mind finally gave out and he slipped into blackness. Immediately the three dinosaurs burst into motion. In her mind she screamed over and over, but her body was frozen. And then, out of nowhere, her father appeared between Ahanu and the raptors. They skidded to a halt and hissed, completely unnerved by his sudden appearance. They lowered their heads and stalked around him, Ahanu forgotten. Relief and elation at seeing him alive and well filled her in a rush—and that was followed by devastating fear as the dinosaurs closed in on him.
Dad blinked twice as he took in his surroundings. I do feel that this story could have benefited by being written in third person instead of first, however. The reason for this is while there are amazing opportunities to do a self-discovery story line in first person, in this particular tale, there are too many other elements that get in the way.
If it were in third person, I feel this would be cut down quite a bit. There were some bits that the pace dropped off and left me a little bored. Alternatively, there were also some parts that I was confused as to what purpose they served. The ending was not what I expected, and I was pleasantly surprised at it.
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That being said, I do think that elements of it could have been executed a little more precisely and hinted at earlier on in the book. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions.
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