Epilogue

 

The thin soft bristles guided the final specs of dust from what was  once bone. Now, it was something much, much more precious. Silvio  barely dared to blow. He could not believe it, even though he had  stolen away up here every day for the last three months. Now, finally,  he had uncovered the final piece. He stepped back. Now a professor  of archeology at Naples University, he had taken the Summer break to  finish his research. He thought back to his first dig. The time when his  life direction had changed. He had been with Alec, that smart-ass, know it  all who had gone on to alcoholism and a string of failed marriages - or so he  had heard. He smiled and hoped that he had heard wrong. As annoying  as he had been, he was the only other person who was there. He was  there when Silvio had uncovered that metal cylinder from the skeleton  of a long dead soldier in France. Alec had shared in the moment, and  therefore had lived on in Silvio’s memory forever. It had appeared as  such a simple thing, a silver cylinder which shouldn’t have been there. 

He remembered being abducted and tortured by the men in black three days later, when word had finally gotten out. The cylinder had been stolen soon after - apparently someone had paid his ransom. Silvio recovered and went back to his studies.

He was contacted years later by the Professor from Cambridge who had since become one of his closest friends in the world of  Academia. Silvio had heard the Professor had recently retired, or had  moved back to America or something. As he scaled the final few feet  to the top of the rise he had chosen to get the best vantage point, he  realized he would have to give the Professor a call. This was something  he would want to know about.

Dr. Silvio Cavalaro adjusted the focus of the wide angle lens on his Canon 5DmkiV. He was about one hundred and fifty feet  above the dig site now, and could only just fit it all in. He looked  through his camera at the entire skeleton. Seeing it all at once still gave  him chills. The skull alone was massive, perhaps the size of a modern  day ‘Greyhound’ coach. There was no other fossil record of anything  like it. The curved serrated teeth made T-Rex, and even Gigantasourous,  look like poodles next to this Doberman. It wasn’t the size of the  skeleton however which took all the glory, it was the skeleton itself, and  the fact that it was a skeleton, and not yet fossilized. There were even  areas of stretched and worn skin which were still intact. Well, perhaps  skin was not the right term. Scales would be more accurate. 

Silvio focused on the twenty foot horns which protruded backwards  from the top of the skull. They would have protected a good portion of  the creature’s elongated neck. Once he had focus, he zoomed back to  full wide to try and encompass the entirety of the creature’s body in his  frame. It looked more like a brontosaurus than the meat eater it was, all  except for the massive frame of the bat like fingers which spread out to  what must have been a wingspan of more than four hundred feet. 

Silvio had taken pieces of the carcass back to his lab earlier in the 

summer, and dated the creature to be no more than six hundred years  old. Incredible. Unfathomable. All that was left to be done as Dr. Silvio  Cavalaro took photo after photo of the beast nestled into the Australian  landscape, was to ask his friend Professor Maxwell Landus, whether or  not he thought there was any way to find out if the creature really did  breath fire...

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© 2013 by Scott Baker