Friday, January 28, 2011

The Expedition

In the still of the night, the creature’s eyes appeared as intense red laser beams that could pierce steel plated armor. I braced for the onslaught of the charging beast while I wondered how I managed to steer the expedition into what must be the end of our young lives.

Lara’s look said it all. “Had to be the top archeologist on the planet, didn’t you? Had to drag us around the globe to unspeakable places that chill our bodies and warp our brains, didn’t you?” The accusation she hurled at me from the trip’s bumpy beginning with cancelled flights, late trains, and corrupt customs agent at every country’s borders. But all I wanted was the truth about the origins of our civilization. Don’t we have the right to know about our past, our beginning, our heritage?

The creature’s eyes took on the glow of hot flaming coals sitting on a bar-be-que, and I think we were on the menu. It stared directly into my eyes then at the rest of our group of capricious anthropologists.

Dr. Bondweahter’s squeaky voice whined. “Oh my god, this thing will tear us to pieces. This is your doing, Thom. You just had to bump your ego with a new discovery, didn’t you?”
Keeping my eyes on our destroyer, I yelled. “Shut up and do something constructive for a change. I’m tired of your whining.”

Lara said, “What would you like him to do?”

“He could offer himself as a meal to our friend here, while the rest of us escape.” I retorted. “He’s a pain in the neck.”

“Bondweather screamed, “If you weren’t so rambunctious we wouldn’t be in the predicament. The university cautioned us about going to this location, but you and your overweight ego had to do it anyhow, didn’t you?”

They were right. I had to be the best; nothing less was acceptable to me. Now all their lives are in danger. Only one choice remained.

I yelled, “I’ll keep the beast busy, all of you back away slowly, then run when you think you can break away.”

The tiny expedition of six began walking backwards as I turned to face the lizard-like monster that stood erect as humans do. I reached for the knife on my belt, but this only enraged the strange being. It’s nostrils flared emitting some type of vapor until I moved an empty hand back to my side.

Now I was more curious than scared. I shrugged my shoulders turned my palms up in a questioning gesture. The lizard-man emulated the gesture.

“What do you want?” I asked.

“That song,” a very raspy voice queried.


“The one you sang while you walked into the valley. Sing it for me.”

“Sing it for you?”

“Yes,” the hoarse sounding voice replied. “It brings back such fond memories of the woman I loved.”

What else could I do? I cleared my throat and sang.

“In the still of the night.”

I stopped. “Wait a second. It’ll sound better with the accompaniment. Just start singing, Sho be do, sho be do.

Lizard-man opened his mouth and with a raspy baritone voice sang. “Sho be doe, sho be doe.”

I continued.

“In the still of the night…”

The original platter was cut in a VFW post in Bridgeport Connecticut with no instruments. At the end of the recording the sound of a truck backfire echoed in the background.
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