6:49 PM

Spirit of the Wind

Fall from Glory

The terror bird wandered across the grassland. It didn't exactly know where it was going, but it had a gut instinct that it would know when it found it.

The bird was the last of its kind. Saber-tooths and jaguars, migrating from North America via the great land bridge, had started taking over what had been the great bird's territory. The jaguars hunted the same prey, and the saber-tooths stole kills already made.

The weather wasn't exactly helping, either- the terror bird didn't know exactly what it was, but something was causing things to be... different, somehow. In any event, a change in the weather was making everything harder for the terror birds, and everything easier for the saber-tooths.

A shiver passed through the terror bird as an abnormally chilly wind passed by it. The bird looked around nervously, but finding nothing, continued on.

After two more days of wandering, the terror bird stumbled across a dry creekbed with a few puddles left- a good thing, since it was dying of dehydration. The great bird glanced around warily, then bent its head to drink. Water lapped up against the beak as the bird drank greedily.

When the bird had had its fill, it lifted its head and trotted off to the west, towards a grouping of glyptodont, huge armadillo-like creatures covered in plates of body armor. If the bird wasn't so desperate, it would never have tried such risky prey.

The bird broke cover as a blur of color speeding towards the smallest, weakest individual. The other glyptodonts waddled towards the juvenile to protect it, but they were too late. The bird jumped on top of the creature, then hammered home a mighty blow with its beak right onto the neck.

In the instant before the creature died, the baby glyptodont whipped its tail club up like a scorpion, hitting the terror bird with a glancing blow- but nonetheless enough to kill it. Predator and prey died, the last juvenile of the glyptodonts and the last individual of the terror birds, buried together in a death embrace for a future paleontologist to uncover.

Extinction spares none. Even the most ingenious species dies, unless they can cheat death by hiding in giant derelict cruisers.

Even then, you've got a set amount of time until the proton decays and all matter falls apart, unless you can find another universe and replicate yourselves.

Good luck surviving till then.

-- Citrakayah

Written early 2010