Morning light shone upon my face, like the gentle woman's hand caressing and stirring me awake with its warm, tender touch. Waking from what seemed to be a terrible nightmare, but I soon realised that the past days events were all to real for my liking. Discovering a fresh pair of bandages on myself, I could tell I had been in a bad way for some days, being still bruised and battered from my ordeal.
With my senses returning to me slowly, I managed to survey my surroundings as best I could. Laying in a ever-so soft feather down bed, I could clearly see that I was in the main bedroom of a small farmhouse with a further two beds opposite me. The style of the house, for I could see into the next room which seemed to be a kitchen/dinning area, would be described as last century cabin furniture, often found on tall ships. The outer walls seemed to be made of some heavy grey chiselled stone blocks, with sturdy wooden floor boards worn with the passing of many feet. The furniture from what I could see was made of solid varnished hardwood. The bed itself was made in form of a nest but with a more hexagonal approach with the same vanished hardwood style. On the furthest end of the room a small cast-iron fireplace which struck me as much more modern then the rest of the house.
Sitting up I managed to strange my way up and out of bed, which was no small achievement, discovering my leg in some kind of mechanical splint with gears and such forcing me to a slow shambles. But on entering the kitchen I could hear voices outside though I could not understand what language they were speaking. Which made me wonder where the blazes in the world was I. Thinking that I could be in Africa but that was some distance of a hundred or more miles from where the ship went down. It was entirely possible that I was in one of the small island groups dotted around the middle of the Indian Ocean.
Contemplating these thoughts I sat down in the kitchen and helped my self to some of the purple mango type fruit on the table. Searching myself I found to my dismay that my possessions where gone as were my cloths. Realising all I had on were my undergarments and a knee length flaxen shirt./p
As I finished off my second mango I could hear the door creak open behind me. Hurriedly standing up to greet and thank my host, exclaiming thanks as I stood and turned. But I was utterly shocked and taken back from what I saw, standing in front of me was a five foot, green, scaly monster as if from the pages of some horror novel. I almost jumped from my very skin as I ran back towards the next room. Thinking on instinct I grabbed a chair with the thought of using it as a weapon, shouting at it to kept back as a lion tamer does with his chair to kept its distance.
And now, inquiring reader, this next part of my strange tale convinced me then and there that I had gone truly mad, and that I was still passed out in that godforsaken jungle. For instead of roaring or trying to eat me alive with untempered rage, it spoke to me... Not as a cruel and evil beast of prey, but in true and prober Queens English, saying simply "excuse me sir, your wounds haven't fully healed so please sit." Its voice was distinctly feminine, soft and almost dancing not at all harsh or broken but in my dismay and further shock I could not say anything in return. I simply placed the chair down, gently sat and sunk my face into my palms, shaking my head./p
Now, as I sat and shook my head back and forth like some mad man, a hand was placed on my shoulder. Looking up I could see a kindly worn face of an elderly man dressed in oilskins and jumper. He introduced himself as Wallace Barham Midshipman of the late His Majesty's Merchant Ship the Exmoor, he was an old sailor still using a combination of old English and ship terms in his speech, "No need for tharth Thir, Mis' Freyja meaths no 'arm". He continued to explain slowly but surly he was wreak on this island nearly hundred years ago, which I believe he may have over estimated for he looked more seventy then ten and a hundred, the island is also named Dinotopia. That all humans on the island are descended from shipwrecked men and women, saved in most parts by dolphins carrying people ashore.
But possible more importantly, that no one has ever gotten off the island. Wanting to know more I attempted to press Wallace for further questions about the island only to have him reply, "Stamp and go, O my goodneth thir time. I must see thir anks befor' dark," and with that he left rushing out the door. Up until now while speaking with Wallace I failed to realise 'Miss Freyja' was still standing in the background. Still over come with nervousness I remained silent until she offered me a cup of sweet tasting tea. She continued where Wallace had left off explaining that the area we were in was named the Northern Plains, for obvious reasons, and that we were East of the town of Aliveria. I learned that she was a Dryosaurus and could speak not only English but several other languages including French, Spanish and a myriad of other 'Saurian' languages.
To describe Freyja I would begin in saying that she is just under 5 feet in height, slender arms and neck. Her general colour is a light, fresh green with a darker olive green over her head. With a purposeful grace in each her movements. But what also caught my attention, once I got over my sudden shock, it that her eyes had a soft caring look about them taking me back with thoughts of home. Freyja explained further that I had been here nearly a week with my condition was improving slowly but steadily under her watchful care. And that the storm that wreaked my ship happens only once every six year cycle, this year being quite mild compared to previous years. She continued to talk about how the storm arrives with the monsoon, but my thoughts turned to the poor Hannover and all the men lost at sea. Interrupting the seasonal cycles of monsoonal weather, I asked whether or not anyone else had been found. She assured me that Skybax teams (whatever they are?) were patrolling the surrounding beaches. But Freyja also explained that the patrols were stretched thin, what with the flooding of the area and refugees scattered.
Attempting to cheer me up me up she explained that any survivors would go to Waterfall City to register their name, in which I would also have to do the same when my arm and leg were properly healed. For it would be a long and trying journey to Waterfall. I was now in a glum mood, being the only survivor from the crew, but none the less we continued to talk about and discuss the outside world, for new arrivals were few and far between.
It was coming to late afternoon when Wallace returned from his errands. His once pristine jumper was now covered in mud and he was soaked to the bone, with dark afternoon clouds and a steady downfall of rain returning. Apologising for his sudden exit but that most of the roads had been washed away in the heavy storms, and with Wallace being in charge of the ankylosaurus teams in the area. With dinner being prepared by Freyja, Wallace's grandmother and his eldest son. The mood steady changed from dark, rain soaked afternoon to a cheerful dinner by fire light as other workers started to appear from the woodwork. Wallace himself along with four others, had left again to tend to the ankylosaurus dinner and bedding for the night. The dinner table was crowded to say the least with a total of eight people and four other Saurian's. The community was only a small one, with three houses and a large barn but in the 'Dinotopian Way' as Wallace explained, they always shared and ate food.
I have never been in a happier or livelier dinner party, what with Wallace and his friend Mitchell playing the fife and hand drum. All were talking and partaking in joyous merriment, while I was just happy to seat back and enjoy the spectacle. The meal was a hearty affair with a savoury soup, bread made of quinoar or something sounding similar. Roasted vegetables seemed to make up the bulk of the meal but the main coarse was the largest fish I've ever seen. Freyja explained that Dinotopians, as they refer to themselves as, don't eat red meat, eggs or milk. With their diet mainly consisting of vegetables, fruits and only a rare amounts of fish on special occasions. Wallace dourly explains that he doesn't mind vegetables but that, "I've not 'ad proper thood thinse Blackfish Thavern in my younger days, Thir." I merely nodded in response. As dinner started to finish with people clearing the table of plates, I went to stand only to find that my leg wouldn't bend. It would've seemed that I was stuck in a half-seating / half-standing position, looking quite ridiculous in front of everyone. Noticing my predicament, all had a jolly laugh, being so infectious I stated to laugh as well. But rocking back and forth so much my leg brace, which had jammed, suddenly let loose causing me to fall over as I continued to laugh.
Freyja kindly helped me up explaining, though the snorts and giggling, that my leg brace had come from Waterfall City direct and that it was created by the esteemed scientist Arthur Denison. Apparently providing mobility to the infirm. Though Freyja had added that it was still in the experimental phase of development. After a short while Freyja had tinkered and oiled it back to working condition, and I was gladly back to bed.