Extinction

Dinosaur exhibition at Science World, Vancouver 2015. Photo by Tanya Clarke

Dinosaur exhibition at Science World, Vancouver 2015. Photo by Tanya Clarke

Writing Prompt No. 76

Phyllis scraped the soil away with delicate sweeps of a soft brush.

This was it. The one they’d all been looking for. Sweat dropped off the end of her nose. She wiped it away with the back of her hand. The heat was unbearable down in the pit. The humid warmth radiated around her like a heavy blanket.

She stood up to stretch, dropping her arms down her back, moving her head from side to side. She re-tied the scarf around her hair and knelt back down into the damp earth.

“You okay down there?” Mark was standing at the edge of the pit, a shadow against the afternoon sun. Phyllis raised her face towards his voice.

“Sure. Yeah. Fine. It’s hot that’s all down here. I think this is it though.”

Phyllis bent back down brushing and sweeping away the millennia of soil and dust that had buried the bones.

Mark started down the ladder which swung a little from the pegs wedged in the ground. He reached the last rung just as Phyllis cried out. He turned towards the sound, fear gripping his chest. From the earth, a single long claw was tapping and scraping. Phyllis stood and backed away one careful step at a time. She’s uncovered the forearm jumping in fright at its sudden movement. She moved along the back wall of the pit towards Mark. The claw pushed and pulled at the ground.

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