A screech of metal.
The crunching of glass.
The councilor yelled for everyone to hang on while twelve kids screamed in harmony.
The sun flashed around them a thousand times as the monorail plummeted from the track straight to the ground.
One moment there was a cloud, next, brown and green earth, then nothing at all as they blacked out.
There was nothing but the darkness and a slight ringing in their ears.
Slowly, it got brighter.
Michelle opened her eyes. The breakfast table that morning, barely an hour ago.
Her cousin, Lawrence, sat next to her, surfing Reddit, picking at an omelet.
"Michelle, you need to eat something. Lawrence put that phone down and eat your food."
Her mother sat there like nothing was wrong, like her only daughter hadn't just plummeted from the sky after forcing the two to go on a daycare trip with a bunch of six year olds.
Her sister, almost identical to the mother laughed, "You finally get us to agree to come here and all you do is look at your phone. Look up. Look around. Look for dinosaurs, birds, and people with funny hats."
Lawrence didn't look up, "We asked to come on the jungle survival 6 day camp, then explore the park. We didn't ask to be put in the little explorer's camp for juniors."
"What? You'll learn a lot!"
"Yeah, like the amount of patience I have for little kids screaming and complaining. I can tell you know, zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. The pattern is full ghost rider."
"At least try to act like you're having fun."
"You mean lie."
"Oh for the love of." She sighed, then smiled at Michelle, "Well dear, what are you looking forward to?"
"Umm…" she shifted nervously in her seat, fully remembering the plummet, "I… look forward to seeing if I can test my survival skills in a rudimentary place like the camp."
"An excellent idea."
Lawrence frowned at her, "You're supposed to be on my side."
"I am, but I am looking forward to it. I also look forward to our inevitable escape from that hell."
Lawrence laughed while both women scowled."
Michelle's mother glared at her over the rim of her glasses, "You will do no such thing young lady. Now go pack your bags. You need to be on the monorail in 15 minutes."
She faded from sight, turning into nothing but a swirl of brown against black, then nothing.
A pinpoint of white light pierced the darkness, then another, and another.
Eventually, her eyes opened to see a brilliant blue sky patterned with clouds, but marred by the broken glass of the side of the monorail.
She sat up slowly, getting hundreds of tiny nicks on her hands from the broken glass.
Lawrence was coming to next to her, just as dazed as she was.
She looked around. The monorail was twisted, shattered and warped from the fall. The twelve children destined for the camp, six boy and six girls in all, were just starting to twitch awake, probably covered in as many nicks as the two cousins.
She stood up, legs wobbly from the collision with the ground. First one kid, then another lifted their heads and looked blearily around, eyes widening in horror as they realized where they were.
Eventually, all the kids were awake and standing in the ruins of the monorail.
A little girl with curly black hair and blue eyes piped up, "Well, at least we're all alive, it's by the providence of God we made it. We should pray and thank him for saving us."
The kids, all ranging between six and eight agreed and kneeled on the ground in silent prayer. Lawrence looked around, keeping one eye on the forest around them while Michelle looked under benches for supplies to bandage themselves up.
Three rows from the door, she found their councilor under a bench, bleeding out from multiple wounds and gashes, his head caved in, and his abdomen pierced by a large shard of glass.
She checked his wrist and neck for a pulse, hoping against hope that a miracle would happen and he would somehow survive this ordeal.
There was no pulse.
She quietly closed his blank, staring eyes and stood up. Lawrence met her eyes, questioning. She shook her head softly, trying not to catch the attention of the kids. His face fell and he looked out to the forest behind them is despair.
She gathered two large bags, hiding the councilor's body in them and hiding it in an overhead compartment to keep it somewhat safe, and out of view of the already scared children.
She walked around the monorail, searching all the passages for any survivors. There was no one else on board. She did however find some packets of peanuts and some first aid kits.
She walked back to the group, arms laden. The kids were all huddled around Lawrence now, who looked displeased, peering at her, unable to see far, since his glasses had snapped in half and were now in his pocket.
She tossed him a roll of surgical tape, then pulled out alcohol wipes and tended to the kids various scratches.
A little boy with blond hair and green eyes met her worried brown ones as she tended to him, "Where's Mr. L?"
Oh no. the councilor.
What could she say that wouldn't traumatize them more, or make them start panicking, which was the last thing they should be doing?
"He… left us a note. He thinks he knows where we are… and is running as fast as he can… to… an outpost nearby to… get help and supplies for us!"
His big eyes seemed doubtful for a few seconds, "Why hasn't he come back yet then?"
"Well, we don't know when he left. He might have left right before we woke up, and isn't that far away."
Another boy, with brown hair and green eyes, piped up, "Why didn't he wait for us to wake up?"
"Well… umm… it's very dangerous out there. And theres so many of us. And we can't all run as fast as Mr. L. I'm guessing he figured he had a better chance of getting help quickly if he went alone."
"He'll be back soon, right?"
"I'm guessing so."
Lawrence tapped her shoulder as she finished bandaging the last child.
She followed him a little way away from the group, "what's up?"
"What's up is we are in the middle of a dinosaur filled jungle in the middle of nowhere with twelve little kids, no transportation, no adults or help coming anytime soon, and a chance we get infections with all these cuts."
"Listen, I know the situation isn't ideal-"
"Isn't ideal?" he looked at her incredulously, "ISN'T IDEAL?! We have a very high chance of dying alone out here Michelle! Between the dinosaurs, the plants, the snakes, the spiders, the insects, the weather, the terrain, and who knows what else out here, we stand almost zero percent chance of survival!"
"But it isn't zero, right"
"No, but it's pretty damn close."
"Then it's still a chance. Even if it's a longshot-"
"The longest of longshots." he snorted.
"Even so, we still need to try. They're just kids Lawrence. Little kids who have no survival skills at all, and no chance alone or together. They need us."
"And we need a miracle to get out of here alive. We now have zero supplies because we used them all to heal ourselves, no transportation, and no way of contacting anyone. And may I remind you, we're in a dinosaur filled jungle. Most of these things were too agro for the park, to big, too deadly or violent. Or too smart."
"I know. I studied every bit of information you did."
"Then you know that a large group of trained professionals went to the island and two members of maybe 25 or more came back."
"First, they were idiots, second, they caused the San Fran incident, third, they were sabotaged, and fourth, that was the other island. Isla Sorna. We're on Isla Nublar."
"Oh good, were everything went to shit the first time."
"Again, sabotaged. This is not my point. We need to figure out where we are. I memorized the map of the place and can get us anywhere if I just know where we are."
He shifted on his heels, "Can't we just walk until we hit the beach, then build a signal fire?"
"First, we don't know how far any way to the beach, second, theres no shelter out there. If a dino snuck up on us, we would die."
She sighed and looked around. Her eyes drifted back to the pole for the monorail.
Lawrence scowled, "And I'm guessing you have a reason we can't just follow the line back?"
"Oh yeah. Rivers, hills, jungle, and the most infested part of the island all lie around the track. And since I don't know where we are, I couldn't tell you how many junctions are between here and the park. We could be wandering for years. We don't have years. Plus, one of the books written on habits of the wild dinos says that the herbivores follow the rails. And where there's herbivores…"
"Theres carnivores." He sighed, looked down, and then met her eyes, "What can we do then? It won't be until noon tomorrow that anyone notices somethings wrong if we're not back. And then they won't know where we are. It might be at least a week before we're out of here. No food, no water, no shelter, and no medical supplies for an emergency."
Michelle walked away from him toward the pole. She stopped in front of an odd bush at the base, the smiled.
Lawrence looked at her in confusion, the kids watching the two from inside the monorail. She grabbed a bush and ripped away a camouflage covering, revealing an old ACU transport van.
Lawrence whooped in laughter, and reached for the handle.
Michelle pulled a bobby pin from her pocket, inserted it into the lock and wiggled it around for about a minute.
Eventually, something clicked. She tried the handle and it swung open easily, but squeakily.
Poofs of dust drifted out, making her cough. Lawrence climbed in and laughed again, showing off a rifle he found, and rope and a pair of binoculars.
He shoved the binoculars in his pocket, slung the gun over his back, put the rope over his shoulder, then ran to the tallest tree he saw and started to climb.
Michelle waved the kids over, who came quite reluctantly.
A little boy with brown eyes and red hair frowned, "What's going on?"
"What's going on is we found a car. Lawrence, my cousin, the dude with glasses-"
"The one climbing that tree over there?"
"Yeah, him. He is climbing that tree to see if he can spot anything to help us out of here. If he spots anything good, we'll drive towards it, and hopefully we'll find someone-"
"Like Mr. L?"
"…Yeaaaah… like him, or anyone else out here. Or, we could find a way to communicate with the park and get someone to come out her and meet us to get us all back home to our families. Sound fun?"
The girl with curly black hair frowned, "Shouldn't we wait for Mr. L to come back? Maybe he found someone."
"It's too risky. We don't know when he left, and we have no guarantee of his return. Plus, we're too exposed out here. That crash must have been loud. Something should have heard it and be coming to investigate. We're sitting ducks out here."
A girl with red hair and brown eyes, maybe the other boys twin spoke, "What are sitting ducks?"
"Sitting ducks are people like us who are out in the open without safety. Basically, it would be very easy for a predator to get us."
The kids gasped, shifted on their feet and looked around in worry.
"BUUUUUUT… we have a car. It's got gas. And according to the manual, it's impervious to attacks, even by a T-rex. And the glass is bullet proof. We'll be perfectly safe inside, and we can get somewhere safe."
The kids looked at each other, then nodded. Michelle pulled out a piece of paper with 14 names on it.
The little girl with curly black hair piped up, "That's me!"
"Right, in you pop, grab a seat. Marcus Rivers?"
The boy with blond hair nodded, "Right here."
"Inside, plop your butt down next to Abby. Aaron Winters?"
A boy with brown eyes and hair stepped forward, "Present ma'am."
"Scooch on inside and sit down. Darcy and Scott McKinley?"
The red headed twins nodded and moved to the front of the pack.
Michelle jerked a thumb over her should, "You two know the drill. Up you get."
They climbed inside as she peered down at the list, "Right, and five down, 7 to go. When I call your name, raise your hand and get in the car to grab a seat. Grace Willows."
A blond girl with blue eyes raised her hand and gracefully jumped into the car.
A boy with black hair and blue eyes jumped into the car.
Girl, red hair, green eyes, tan skin. She jumped into the car.
"Right…" Michelle muttered, "that was seven… five to go to make twelve… three girls… four boys…plus me and Lawrence…" she looked up, counted heads, then looked down again, "right. So, five left. I'm going to say your names, just hop in for me. Gabby Hollens."
Sandy hair, brown eyes, a girl jumped in.
Dark brown hair with blue eyes, a little boy jumped in.
Brown all over, she jumped in.
With skin like olives, shiny black hair, and dark eyes, Olivia hopped up.
"And finally, Josh Stricklander."
The little boy with brown hair and green eyes nodded silently, then climbed up into the van. Michelle sighed, shoved the box of supplies inside, then went to the back and buckled each kid in.
Abby watched her, "Where's your cousin?"
Michelle frowned, "He should have been down by now…" she looked at the door, "You're all buckled in. stay there, and don't take the belts off. I'll be right back."
Michelle climbed out and looked to the tree Lawrence had climbed like a squirrel. He almost immediately dropped into view, then jumped to the ground.
He ran up to her, grabbed her arm, and started to drag her to the van.
"Oi, how about an explanation?!"
"No time." He panted, "We need to go. NOW."
"What's happening? Where are we even going? What are we running from?"
"Dinosaur coming. Maybe more than one. Around a mile away to the right. Moving decently fast. We need to go left. Half a mile. Theres a clearing. It could be shelter. If not, go to the beach and get or bearings to get out of this place."
They climbed into the car quickly. Michelle scrambled around for a while, before pulling out a pair of keys from a compartment. She inserted them in the hole and turned them.
The engine clicked a couple times then stopped.
She tried a couple more times. Same result.
Lawrence cursed, undid his seatbelt and climbed out, popping the hood. He fumbled around for several minutes, reconnecting several wires. Finally, he lowered the hood.
Michelle turned the key again and the engine sputtered to life. The kids in the back cheered.
Lawrence climbed back in, slammed the door, buckled, and then grinned, "Let's get out of here, alright?"
Just then, two twin roars from some massive beast shook the forest. The forest was still shaking, meaning that something was coming, and fast.
It was close.
The group watched out the windshield in horror as two Tyrannosaurus Rexes emerged from the forest and eyed them.
The kids started to whimper as they eyed the van.
They roared and charged, the kids starting to scream.