Photo courtesy Sue Vincent
The temple had been the only home my family had known for generations. Having been hunted like animals, my family was the only one to survive from our once noble and powerful House. But we were safe now, in our little sanctuary in the middle of nowhere, no one would be crazy enough to venture into this remote part of the forest. We were few, but we were safe. None could touch us here. Or so we had thought.
I was just putting John to sleep when Charlie rushed in, breathless, his eyes wide open with wonder, and for the first time in his short life, a smattering of fear.
“What is it Charlie? I almost shouted at him in an alarmed voice, “Is it a predator?”
Charlie took a moment to gulp down an entire bowl of water, and then said, “No….no….it’s hunters….in our forest….very close….they said they will attack us at dawn.”
Now little Charlie, with his easily excitable nature and his over-active imagination, was not the most reliable of witnesses at the best of times, so we usually took whatever he said with a pinch of salt. Hence, I decided to investigate myself. “Take me there, but quietly,” I told Charlie imperiously.
We crept slowly towards the area where Charlie claimed he had seen the hunters. “Stop here,” he said, pointing towards a clump of thick shrubbery. I hid behind the bushes, and carefully peeped into the clearing beyond it. And what I saw shook me to the core.
Charlie had been right, for a change. A bunch of men were gathered there, some with guns, others with weapons I had never seen before. They were setting up camp in the clearing, and a lean, bearded man was barking orders at them in quick succession. “He must be their leader,” I said, as a plan began forming in my head. It is not for nothing that my family had survived in the wild for so long. I waited for some more time, and finally, when I saw what I had been waiting for, I quietly left, Charlie dutifully skipping right behind me.
I knew time was of the essence, since the attack was to start the next morning, so we put my plan into motion the very same night.
Taking cover of the darkness, and the shadows of the trees that we knew like the back of our hands, we slipped quietly into the leader’s tent. “Look at him,” said my second child John, “sleeping so peacefully, not a shred of weight on his conscience.” The others nodded their heads in unison, and then, I walked up, and removed his blanket with one swoop.
The jerk woke up with a jerk, and started looking around wildly. Finally, finding what he was looking for, he lifted it up. “Careful,” I said menacingly. “It’s just my spectacle ma…..” his voice petered off as he put on the aforementioned spectacles and saw me and my family clearly for the first time.
“Who….who…who….are you?” he stuttered, “and what do you want with me?”
“It doesn’t matter who we are,” I replied, “all you need to know is that tomorrow’s attack is not going to happen. You are going to pack up at first light, and leave this forest, never to be seen again….or you will never be seen again by anyone OUTSIDE this forest.”
“Attack? What attack?” he asked with a confused expression on his face.
“Don’t try to fool us,” I replied, “we know all about it, my youngest one, Charlie, heard everything.”
“Yes Mum,” piped in Charlie from behind me.
With an inquisitive look on his face, the man turned towards Charlie, and said, “What exactly did you hear me say Charlie?”
Charlie replied brashly, “That you are going to attack…”
“No!” the man interrupted Charlie mid-sentence, “my exact words please.”
Charlie furrowed his brows in concentration, and replied, “Your exact words were- We will start shooting at the temple at dawn.”
Hearing this, the man’s face cleared up, and he said, “Now I understand the confusion. I am a film director, and have come here to shoot for a film, with cameras. Charlie mistook my words for something else, and now, here we are.”
Even in our part of the forest, we had heard of films, so I turned towards Charlie, and slapped him on the head, hard. “You idiot,” I said sharply, “is there anything in this world that you can do properly?”
And then, apologizing profusely to the director, I took his leave, taking my embarrassed family along with me.
Inside the tent, the director quickly took out a huge satellite phone, and dialed a number in the States.
“I have a brilliant idea for a film, Michael. Dinosaurs….come back to life, attacking humans. The most deadly of them, velociraptors, hunt in packs, communicate with each other, can talk to humans…” he said.
“Woah….slow down, slow down. That’s stretching it, don’t you think? No one will buy it.”
The horrifying scene from a few moments ago floated in front of his eyes, as he said, “OK, maybe they won’t talk, but what do you think about the rest?”
Michael thought for a bit, and then said, “Let me see what I can come up with, Steven.”
*************************************************************************************Written in response to the Thursday Photo Prompt – Sanctuary at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the above image.
Note: I have obviously taken truckloads of creative liberties here, for Jurassic Park was a famous book first, and only then became a movie. Hope Steven Spielberg and Michael Crichton (May he rest in peace) forgive me.