Chapter 49

It was a tyrannosaurus-rex. Dustin recognized it almost immediately. The most famous of all prehistoric animals made a striking picture as it stomped down the length of the beach stopping on an outcropping of rock to roar at the moon. The sound filled up the night.

He watched as the dinosaur pivoted around to fix its eyes on the cavemen. Two of them rushed forth jabbing at the creature with their sticks. One of their women stood back calling out to them excitedly.

"Come on!" She said waving to them all. "Forget about it. We’ve got to get back!"

The two hunters either didn’t hear her or pretended not to notice. Instead, they threw their sticks at the beast causing it to shriek out in fear and pain as the weapons glanced off its body. It swung wildly on its birdlike feet twisting around to flee their torment. They picked up their spears and chased it as it began to run down the coast kicking up rocks and sand in its wake.

"Damn it!" The woman shouted. "Get back over here before they find out."

Dustin watched as the two cavemen suddenly stopped and lower their shoulders. "Aw hell." One of them griped throwing down his weapon.

"Let him go!" She said. "We don’t need him."

"But what will people think?" The other asked as they returned to the spot where she was standing. "They’re going to wonder where that thing came from."

The woman shook her head. "It can’t survive out here." She hollered across the beach as they approached. "It’ll be back."

Looking down the beach Dustin could see more cavemen gathered near the collapsed arch of a small crack in the rocks. Water flowed out from the fissure and coffins from his graveyard floated in the waves of the ocean before it. Some of the natives had apparently taken notice of his position on the hill. Several pointed in his direction, talking excitedly amongst themselves.

The woman became aware of this stirring among her clan. Turning, she followed their gestures until she was staring right at him. "Oh damn." She said.

The two hunters stopped, looking over in his direction. "Can you see us?" One of them shouted up at him.

Dustin nodded.

"Well go away." He continued. "We’ve got nothing that you can use."

"Who are you?" Dustin called down to him. "What the hell was that?"

"That was none of your damned business buddy." The other caveman answered. "You just forget that you ever saw it."

"No way." Dustin said struggling to climb down the hill. "That was a dinosaur. What is it still doing alive?"

The woman sighed. Reluctantly she strolled forth to meet him on the beach. "Nothing ever disappears." She said extending her hand as they came to face one another. "I’m Amelia Earhart, and your name is…"

"Dustin." Dustin lied. Without thinking he grasped her paw. The woman looked just as she had in all the black and white pictures that he’d ever seen of her. She wore animal pelts instead of an aviator’s uniform but still it was her.

"Look." Amelia said. "We don’t really want to have to kill you so would you please just leave and forget that you saw any of this."

Dustin pointed in the direction of the cave. "Who are you?" He asked. "Who are those people?"

The woman shot a look back at the crowd that was gathered near the mouth of the cavern. "No one knows." She said. "We don’t really see one another very often. When we do, it’s usually unpleasant."

"Where did you come from?"

"I’m not telling you." She said. "If you really want to know, then fill out the forms and come to our meetings."

"What meetings?" Dustin asked. "I go to meetings all the time. What group is this?"

"This is the group for disappearing entirely." She answered. "We meet in this cave."

"Did you ever meet in the civic center?" Dustin asked.

"We thought about it." Amelia replied. "The problem with meeting there is that we’d have to reappear and that defeats the purpose of our organization."

"But I can see you." Dustin argued. "I can see every single one of you. You haven’t disappeared."

"Or maybe you’re already a member?" She smiled.

Dusting stared at her dumbfounded.

"Look." She said turning to head back in the direction of the cave. "We need to hurry up and seal ourselves off from the rest of the world. Do you want to join us and help or are we going to have to kill you."

"I want to join." Dustin said eagerly.

"Fine." Amelia smiled. "Then lets get to work blocking ourselves back in."

They came to the entrance followed by other the two hunters. The crowed eyed Dustin nervously as he entered their mass. They were dirty, hostile and covered in war paint. It was a society of savages.

"Everyone!" The woman said calling out to them from the center. "Lets get inside and start burying ourselves."

There was a cheer as they all entered the cave.

Dustin’s phone suddenly began to ring. Looking down at it, he saw that the number was unknown. Reluctantly he answered.

"Hello?" He asked, unsure.

"Sylvia?" The old man spoke. "You’ve got to get in here girl. Things have gone bad."

"I’m not Sylvia sit." Dustin muttered as he watched the savages enter the cave and form a line to stack rocks at the entrance.

"I thought that you were her." The old man said sadly. "She loves to hold diner parties. She’s so nice in that way. I wish that you could see them. They really are something special."

"I’m sure they are." Dustin said. Amelia was standing before him impatiently.

"Look." The old man said deliberately. "Things have changed. I’m no longer trapped beneath a beam. I’m in a cave. There’s a young man by my side who’s extremely upset. You need to send someone down to help him out."

Dustin could head the sound of Lance Aldrich yelling out in the background. "Where are you?" He asked.

"Don’t bother." The old man replied. "I honestly don’t want to raise a stink. We’ll just wait here until someone comes our way."

"Where is you’re way?" Dustin asked. The sounds of the grocer pleading to be saved had suddenly become desperate.

"I’m sorry to have trouble you." The old man said, and then he hung up.

Amelia looked at him quizzically. "Jesus! Are you getting smaller?" She asked.

"I don’t feel smaller." Dustin replied, patting his torso.

"You seem to be getting smaller."

Dustin felt his head.

"Well, no matter." The aviator smiled. "Get in there and help."

Dustin grinned back at her before heading into the cave and towards the end of the line of people who were trying to seal it hum.

The barbarian in front of him turned around. "Give me a stone okay?"

Dustin tried to place the man but he couldn’t. Instead he turned to grab a rock. They all looked much bigger than they should have had.

The End

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