I don't remember the last time I had been this relieved. I mean, it's not every day you discover your dead friend isn't dead, right? Even though he was back, I could clearly see that life hadn't been easy on Buck.
To come up with an example, he had lost his eye patch, so now his other eye was fully visible. It wasn't a pretty sight though; practically not much more than a big wound instead of an eye. Buck also seemed to have a few scars on various places on his body, so I guessed he had been fighting something.
When I told him how worried I had been and how serious his scars looked, he just started laughing. And I, because I was glad to have him back, laughed as well.
"Ha-ha, yeah, Rudy isn't a nice playmate, you know," Buck told me when we were done laughing. "Unfortunately I didn't have my knife, but at least you watched over it."
I had given him the knife some time earlier and now he turned it in his hand, as if it was the answer to all questions in the world. The knife was in good condition, unlike its owner, but mentally, he seemed to be… well, Buck.
Suddenly I remembered the visions I had had earlier on. Were those really true, had I really been down here before? Maybe they were just early symptoms of loss of sanity. I mean, Buck was insane, so maybe he had gone through it too.
But I couldn't help but think that the thing about my parents had been true. If they had really sacrificed themselves instead of abandoning me, I couldn't angry at them for leaving me. But who wouldn't want to save his or her child? What they did was only natural!
"Something wrong, Raccoon?" Buck suddenly asked and took me out of my deep thoughts. I realized that I had been off for quite a while now, but should I really tell Buck about my visions? I knew we were friends and shouldn't keep any secrets from one another, but still; this sounded really weird.
"Buck…" I started. "What if I told you that I might have… well, been down here before?"
Buck thought about my question for a few seconds before saying: "I guess I'd be surprised… but how come I've never seen you before then?"
I was about to answer, but suddenly I remembered the visions more clearly, as if talking about it recalled my oldest memories. Maybe it was a good idea to talk about it.
"Well, it was many years ago…" I explained and felt better, maybe relieved, when I talked about it.
Buck seemed to think about this for a few seconds too. His brain – or what was left of it – seemed to work on overdrive at the moment, so that meant that he really listened to me, and did his best to understand and be serious for once, which I kind of liked, even though he seemed to be out of character.
"Why didn't you tell me before?" Buck asked after a while. This time it was my turn to become silent. Should I tell him that I might have seen my life flash before my eyes, or was it really just early symptoms of insanity? Or was I becoming psychic? It sounded really unlikely, but it was the only explanation I could come up with, even though it didn't make too much sense.
Before I spoke, all the sound in the forest was the sound of the flames licking up and down on the wood we had used to make the fireplace. "I… I had a… vision of some sort."
"Hah, and they call me crazy," I heard Buck mutter, but when he realized that I had heard him, he quickly said: "Uh… I mean, can you tell me more about them?"
"Hmm… well, I just saw my past," I told him, feeling incredibly stupid. What the heck was I saying? "I used to think that my parents had abandoned me, but the visions showed that they had sacrificed their lives to save me…"
Now that I got to the sad part, I almost felt like crying, but I thought that it would be inappropriate to do in front of Buck. But obviously Buck had sensed how emotional I had gotten, and came over and sat beside me.
"It's okay if you don't want to talk about it," he said and patted my shoulder in a friendly way. His comfort made me feel better, but maybe he was right; maybe I shouldn't talk about this, since I wasn't all too comfortable with it. "Maybe we should just get some sleep."
"Yeah, guess so," I said. Buck then got up and walked over to the opposite side of the fireplace. I had missed his company and I just wanted to talk about what had happened all night, but there was still another day tomorrow. As Buck got comfortable on the other side, I lay down on my back and looked into the starry sky. It was another clear night, and I could see countless stars through the icy barrier high above our heads.
"Good night, Buck," I said and closed my eyes.
"Good night… Ringtail."
The next morning went by rather normally – as normal as it can get around Buck, of course. Buck found a new eye patch and he also found some breakfast in the forest, which consisted of some kind of fruit, yet again. And I, who had no idea about what kind of fruit it was, ate it happily.
We spent most of the morning walking and talking about what had happened after we got separated. It turned out that Buck had fought against Rudy, while I had somehow managed to sleep. It seemed pretty unlikely that I should be able to sleep with such a fight going on around me. I remember how the clearing I had woken up in had looked, and to sleep during such destruction would really take a lot.
"What happened to your eye patch?" I asked we walked by a lake. It was big and there were lots of dinosaurs gathered there; some swimming and relaxing in the lake, others drinking of it, and some even relaxed on the ground in front of the lake.
"Let's just say that Rudy was eager for a fight," Buck chuckled, even though I couldn't see the funny part in what Buck had just said. "While you were sleeping, I parked the boat and he ambushed us. Luckily I was able to get him away from you… even though I was unable to get you up."
I just shrugged at his last comment, while Buck chuckled a little. Then he said: "No but seriously; you were impossible to wake up."
"Heh, yeah sorry," I said and rubbed the back of my head. I'm usually not that hard to wake up, but maybe it had been because of the intensity on the river. Like, who wouldn't just want to sleep and relax after such an experience? It's not nice to get chased around by giant monsters, you know. But it had become a regular thing since I came into the dinosaur world. But I had a neutral relationship to it; I hated to almost die, but at the same time, it was also kind of exciting to flee from monsters… when Buck was there at least.
"So, where should we head, Raccoon?" Buck asked me. I didn't know the dinosaur world as well as he did, so I had no idea at all, so I told him to decide it. Buck's eyes seemed to light up at this and soon he turned around and started walking. I followed closely behind, feeling a little worried about what Buck had in mind.
Whatever it was, I surely hoped it wouldn't get us killed or bring us in danger in any way; I would like to play it safe for once and be sure to survive. And when I say survive, I mean to surely survive, and not just one more last-second rescues.
"Where are we going?" I asked Buck as we made our way through the forest. We had come to a more dense part of the jungle, and the forest floor was almost impossible to see through all the vegetation. I was starting to get more and more worried to tell you the truth. I knew I should trust Buck by now, but you can never know when it comes to the crazy weasel… don't act like it's a lie.
As we made our way through the dense jungle, Buck told me a lot of stories that sounded like nonsense to me. Something about escaping digestion inside a dinosaur of some sort… really weird stuff that I don't really want to talk about, since it was also kind of nasty.
"It's right around here," Buck told me and pushed a few big leaves aside. The area that we came into was a rocky mountainside. As soon as we came out from the forest, I noticed the intense heat. When we came closer to the mountain side, I noticed a red and yellow liquid run past us, just like a river of some sort. It seemed to be a thicker substance than water, and the heat seemed to radiate from it.
"What is that?" I asked and pointed towards the red substance. Since it radiated heat, I was very hesitant about getting near it.
"Just lava," Buck chuckled to himself, as if I should have known what it was. "It's like fire… just melted rock."
I had never heard of melted rock, so I was very curious about this new substance. I picked up a stick on the ground and threw it into the lava. It had barely hit the surface before it was set on fire!
"Buck… We've been through a lot," I told my friend. "But I'm not getting near that stuff."
"Don't worry," Buck told me and waved with his hand to signal that it was nothing. "If you fall in… well, let's not get pessimistic, okay?"
It didn't really help. But suddenly Buck grabbed me by the arm and dragged me along. I only struggled a little bit, but then I realized that he wasn't heading for the lava. He actually went in a circle around the stream, which I was thankful for, and headed for the mountains.
"Where are we going then?" I asked Buck as he led me into the mountain area. It was similar to the Chasm of Death, but it was still seemingly different… but I couldn't quite figure out what it was. Maybe it was the rock sort that the mountains were made of… I don't really know anything about rocks, other than the fact that they're hard and uncomfortable to sleep on. Maybe it was just the air that didn't smell weird, but instead smelled burnt here. Whatever it was, it wasn't anything I could put my finger on, but I knew it was there.
"What is this place?" I asked Buck as I followed him into the mountains.
"Lava Falls," Buck replied.
"Why is it called that?" I asked. The lava-part was logical and clear enough, but why falls? Was there a waterfall around here? And if here was, was it an ordinary waterfall, or a boiling deathtrap? Speaking of deathtraps, what would Buck and I be doing in such a place like this?
Suddenly we came to an edge of some sort. There was a very long way down, and a clear view over everything. Wherever we were, it had a somewhat pleasant and relaxing aura over it… well, except of the lava stream.
"The fall itself is over there," Buck said and pointed towards the edge. I saw how the lava fell over the edge and walked over to look down.
The red, boiling liquid simply fell into a deep canyon and into a pool of lava. It made me kind of uncomfortable and I took a step backwards, away from the edge.
I then looked over at Buck in question. "What did you bring me here for?"
"I guess I owed you some relaxing after all the intensity," Buck said with a crooked smile and moved his hand around on top of his head, as if he was fixing his head fur or something. Then he added: "Oh, and also for your effort of looking for me."
I smiled a faint smile at my weasel-friend. I was glad that he understood and just wanted me to relax. It had also been so stressful to be alone in a strange world with giant monsters everywhere.
Buck then led me over to a random little area with trees and bushes a little away from the lava. Surprisingly it was lush green instead of ashy and burnt, which I would have expected.
In the middle of the little den there was a pool. It wasn't that big, but the water seemed to be boiling… or at least very hot.
"Now what?" I asked Buck confused. Whatever kind of relaxing he had planned, I couldn't seem to figure it out.
"Just jump in," Buck told me with a chuckle
"Say what!" It surprised me. Was he planning on boiling me and eating me? Had his insanity really reached that level?
"Of course," Buck told me, as if I was the one with no sanity. "Try it… it's nice!"
Very hesitatingly, I slowly dipped my right foot in the boiling pool. It was very hot at first and I flinched a little, but soon I realized something. "Hey it is nice!"
Buck just chuckled a little and smiled as I slid all the way into the pool. Somehow I was able to take seat below the water's surface, so that the water covered me all the way up to my chest. I'm not usually a fan of getting my fur wet, but this was A-W-E-some!
Soon Buck slid into the water on the opposite side, so that he was facing me.
"Buck can you do me a favor?" I asked him and closed me eyes and leaned back in the water, allowing my body to slide into the water, so that only my head was above the surface. My foot hit Buck's foot under the water, but I was in a daze of peace.
"What is it, Ringtail?" he asked me.
"Don't… ever… take me away… from here," I begged him. I just wanted to stay here. Just fall… Just forget the world around me… I wanted… to sleep.
Before Buck could reply to my request, I closed my eyes and soon I was asleep.
Hi guys... sorry about the late update, but KFPNM got me obsessed, so I wasn't able to let go untill now... but here you go! Please leave a review if you like!