How would he get himself out from under a dead lizard that weighed more than he did?

It seemed an impossible task, but he would not give up. Instead, Dominick rocked from side to side. It was small, at first, just slight movements to the left and to the right, but soon the body was moving along with him.

Then, with a scream of effort, as Dominick rocked to the right, he was able to push at the dead weight so that it rolled off of him. Dominick laughed and pulled himself to his feet.

He did his best to ignore the tumult all around and tried to clear his mind of any thoughts but those of home. He glanced down at the ring on his left hand and smiled as the symbols spun around the band, the one for his world coming to rest within the gem. It was the same tree as this world, but set before it was a microchip.

He turned the ring inward and was about the place it over his heart when something hammered into him and he was on the ground once again.

Dominick looked up to find something standing over him that was even more monstrous that one of the lizard men, if that was even possible. It was dark, hairless, and covered in muscles. It wore no armor, only a tiny fur loincloth that covered its midsection. Its brow protruded over its small, dark eyes and two yellowed tusks jutted up from its lower lip.

Then there was the smell.

The stench that rolled off the thing brought back memories of the day he’d been trapped on the back of a charter bus full of his fellow high school band-mates, trekking through the Midwest, heading north to a band festival in Canada. The toilet on the bus, better yet the compartment in which the toilet emptied into, had been filled to capacity after a short stop in Nebraska where most everyone on the bus bought, and consumed, enchiladas sold from off the back of a truck. It was hours before they were able to transfer the waste into a proper disposal unit, but those few hours had been the most malodorous of his entire life.

Until now.

The creature held an ax so large that a family of yak could have slept comfortably on the blade. Yet the monster held the weapon, almost casually, in one hand. The thing smiled as it raised the ax above its head, showing yellowed, blunt teeth.

The smile alone was enough to make Dominick yearn for his time spent trapped beneath the dead lizard man, and the fear inspired him to scramble backwards as the blade fell.

The ax split the earth between Dominick’s legs as he crab walked away as fast and as far and his four limbs would take him. In the end they took him only a few steps before he backed into another lifeless form. The creature smiled again and raised the ax for a second time.

As the ax fell, Dominick rolled to his right, screaming like a scared child as the blade sliced through the back of his shirt. The stark raving terror the ax had inspired from deep within Dominick drove him to keep moving, and as he did he rolled over something the size of a shot glass in his left pocket.

His mind was momentarily distracted by the pain of said object pressing forcefully into the tender meat of his upper thigh. He couldn’t imagine what it was that he had in that pocket, but the small part of his brain that tried to work its way through the mystery was summarily beat down by a much larger part of his brain that was designed to pull the smaller part away from trivial nonsense when the rest of the brain is doing what it could to keep the body out of mortal danger.

To be continued . . .

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