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Death of Love

FlipperBoidSkua

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An original story inspired by one of my favorite songs, Death of Love by Cradle of Filth. At the time this was written, I had a deep obsession with the dinosaur Therizinosaurus and wanted to make a story of one. This was the result.

Summary: The last day of a young adult Therizinosaurus' life and he reflects on how his eventual demise came to be.

--

~Her penultimate sighs
Called softly on the kindling winds
Her saintly eyes, filling with tears, lifting with truth
And then a golden flash like the onset of Heaven
Leaving her screams, Breaking my heart
And in the grip of fire
I knew the death of love~


He didn't know where he is nor did he care. The Therizinosaurus just wandered aimlessly by the shore of a large lake. Though there was water, he did not drink. Though there were many a tree in the surrounding forests, he did not eat. He just couldn't work up a thirst or an appetite. He just moved at a slow, listless pace, his four clawed feet leaving deep impressions in the soft sand as he walked, arms limp and the tip of his meter long claws dragging neat furrows in the ground.

He's been like this for many weeks, eating nothing and drinking little. And this was obvious by his emaciated state, his scaly skin stretched painfully over the many bones of his skeleton. Although feeling very ill at the moment, sickness was not the cause of this. In fact, he was a very healthy dinosaur, a prime specimen of his kind. If anything, he made the choice to sink this low.

And in this evening light, he sank even lower right onto the ground, every movement agony. He knew by instinct that he would not be able to stand again. It didn't matter anyways; it's not as if he had anything left to live for. He lost everything: his mate, his children, his home. His health plummeting, his dignity shattered. Never to be regained again. He lost everything to a freak accident of nature.

Exhaling heavily through his nostrils in a soft, almost-inaudible grunt, he squeezed his eyes shut as memories of that fateful day flashed in his head like a far away dream…

--

Storm clouds, the first of the wet season, were gathering in the horizon as a pair of strange-looking dinosaurs moved about a distance from the forest edge that was their primary home. They were mates, as they had been since their first breeding season, and they were tending to their nest of newly-laid eggs. The timing was perfect if the young chicks were to enjoy the full benefits the rains will bring.

The female laid herself beside her nest, spreading her massive claws over them to shade them from the heat as her mate gathered more nest material. Standing tall like the proud father he was, he searched through the branches of the trees, dead leaves falling to land by his feet. Though they were brittle from the dry season, they'll still provide enough shade for the eggs. Finding the branch with the most leaves, he grabbed it in his jaws, his own massive claws rising to cut through the fragile branch.

Carrying the branch over to the nest, he offered it to his mate, who took it in her mouth in turn and gingerly laid it over the eggs. She nudged the branch a bit with her snout into a position where it'll give the most shelter, then lifted her head to nuzzle her partner. He returned the gesture before rising up to look in the direction of the fast-approaching clouds.

Bright flashes appeared in quick bursts within the clouds and he grunted. Lightning wasn't unusual and experience assured him that there was nothing to be alarmed with. The nest was on a reasonably high mound, so floodwaters won't be an issue. Besides, this was a relieving sign. Dry, brittle leaves were not appetizing and fresh foliage will be much appreciated.

The female therizinosaur stood up, shook herself off, and headed into the forest to forage for what little edible substance was left. The male stood guard over the nest, waiting patiently for his mate to return so he may go off to look for food. Spreading his claws over the brood of eggs to discourage nest-thieves, he relaxed and closed his eyes for a small light nap, enjoying the serene weather while he could.

It was thunder that woke him about an hour later. With a soft rumble, he peered up at the sky above, finding it dark enough to rival the night. Looking about his surroundings, he found his mate was still gone and the eggs still safe under his hand claws, only slightly covered with sand blown from the wind. It took him a moment to realize that the winds were only getting stronger by the moment and he shifted position to shield his progeny.

He watched as more lightening flashed, cringing involuntarily at each round of thunder, practically feeling the powerful rumbles through the earth into his own body. He tried his best to ignore all this, ready to shift again when the rain starts to cover the nest. But if there was one thing he could not ignore, it was a strong scent in the wind. He didn't recognize the scent, but it had a very alarming, dangerous edge.

Standing, he lifted his head as high as his long neck could stretch. In the darkness, he could see an ominous orange light illuminating the horizon, a dark plume rising into the sky. Cocking his head, he squinted his eyes and evaluated this phenomenon as best he could. This was the strangest sunset he's ever seen and as he stood for a good quarter of an hour, the sunset seems to be coming closer at fast pace.

Then came another rumble, this one different from the thunder's. This one had a rhythm, almost like heavy foot-falls. Then, out of the forest scrambled many small creatures, from lizards to a pack of swift-running Velociraptor. Only mildly alerted by this, he stepped back a bit to stand over the nest to keep it from being trampled. He watched as the small critters dashed passed him, his mind trying to grasp the meaning of this mini stampede.

He thought he had the answer when the source of the heavy footsteps revealed itself. It was a Tarbosaurus, his prime natural enemy. It burst out of the forest and was running in his direction and the male therizinosaur instinctively spread his claws in a threat display, screeching at the large predator. But surprisingly, the carnivore went around him and kept running.

The male was confused and looked back, watching the tyrannosaur catch up with the retreating group of animals. But it wasn't hunting and ran right passed the slower ones of the group, letting out a panicked roar. He didn't know what was going on, but it must be major if it sent the apex predator of the area packing in a hurry.

Turning to the wind, he regarded the strange sunset once more, but winced as thick smoke began clouding his vision and sense of smell. He lowered his body and head enough to get clear of the tarry cloud, trying to understand what's happening. He didn't get much time to think before a loud shriek resonated from the forest and his head almost shot up into the smoke again. He knew that cry. Another shriek came and he stepped closer to the forest before he froze, looking back to his nest.

He was pulled between parental instincts for the nest and the pair-bond between his mate and himself. For a horrible moment, he didn't know what to do. He had to help his mate, but he can't leave the nest unattended! Giving small grunts of indecision, he backed up a bit back towards the nest until another much-more-urgent cry came from the forest. That decided it, he gave a responding call and went into the forest to aid his mate in whatever trouble she might be in.

~Where will you be when the dark is rising?
How will you keep from it's terrorizing?
Where will you be my darling?
Where will you be when the dark is rising?~


The smoke was getting thick and the smell of ash and charcoal was getting stronger. He had to bring his head lower and lower to breathe without hindrance. Small creatures scurried around and over his feet in panic, but he ignored them as he pushed on towards the ever-growing calls of his mate, which continued to escalate to a terrible scream and he sped up all the more, giving an urgent cry of his own.

The heat was getting too much and he began panting to avoid overheating. And the source of the heat became apparent. Fire. He's never seen such a thing before but instincts told him it was deadly. But that won't deter him from locating his mate. He arrived to a circle of flame, shrieking and coughing as smoke practically consumed him and he circled around a bit to get some relief. Then he saw her, right in the center of the circle and the flames were closing in on her. His mate spotted him and tried to get to him, the fire refusing to let her go from its trap.

~But visions and ambition
Never listened to submission
And she was on a mission from the highest above~


The female called to her mate as she tried repeatedly to get passed the flames, failing miserably and only earning burns upon her soft scaled skin. Her mate hissed at the fire, as if demanding it to leave his mate alone. But this was one enemy that was never going to back down. He charged the fire, taking a swipe at it as if to cut a path across, his mate doing her best to mimic his actions, but it was no use. He tried going through himself, but only jolted back in pain as it burned his flesh in turn.

This was hopeless; nothing he did was working. He could only step back from the intense heat and growing flame and watch as his mate continued to struggle to be free, coughing heavily as smoke continued to harass her lungs. He gave another cry to her, desperate to help, but in turn helpless against such desperation. She gave a return cry, voice choked and raspy as she began to stumble away back to the center. The circle was getting smaller around her and she understood that nothing could save her from this fate.

~Framed amid the thick of fire
Aflame, a Valkyrie
She made him click without desire
And in his eyes she swam a Goddess~


The male cringed as another cry escaped his mate, this one was far worse than her earlier screams. This one sounded like she was being tortured and it tortured him as well to hear it. He shrieked in distress as he watched the wheel of fire finally reach his partner. He could almost feel her pain and anguish as he watched her thrash about as flames leapt onto her. Her thick hide was of no defense against this monster, even as she shook herself as if trying to shake off some dirt or trying to dislodge a predator.

Finally, she collapsed to the ground and went silent except for a weakened moan as more fire began to envelope her form. The male barked softly as he stepped closer, raising his head higher to peer at his mate. She didn't move, except for slight shifts and breathing motions. But with the smoke and flames, she could get no air.

~How will you breathe when their wheels are turning?
How will you know if the sky is burning?
Where will you be my darling?
How will you breathe when their wheels are turning?~


The male continued to bark before giving another shriek. He didn't get an answer this time and he went silent. He didn't see any more movements from his mate and her very scent disappeared too as if the fire was intent on destroying that as well and replacing it with the plaguing smell of burning flesh. Finally, he knew his mate was gone and he stepped back, claws twitching in yet more distress.

What should he do now? His instincts told him that he couldn't stay here and he coughed as the wind shifted and waft the smoke right into his face. The remaining fire followed the wind and started to spread in his direction. Not wanting to leave, but knowing he had no choice, he painfully severed the pair-bond and went around the fire in a hurry to get back to the nest, looking back frequently until the fire was once more a glow in the distance.

~Where will you be when Babel builds my fire?
Will you not flee and label me pariah?
Where will you be my darling?
Where will you be when they light my pyre?~


Stepping out of the forest, he came to the mound and looked down in the nest. But it was in less-than-ideal condition. The eggs were smashed by the multiple retreating refugees, and though he could not grasp the concept of numbers, he still noticed that some of the eggs were missing, no doubt taken by an opportunistic predator, like Oviraptor or Velociraptor.

He stood motionless, just staring at the destroyed remains of his offspring. Not one left…not one survivor. First his mate, now his children. And his territory. As he looked back to the forest, he saw the fires continuing to destroy the foliage, going wherever the wind guided it. And who knows if the wind will come in this direction yet again…He had no choice but to leave.

But he was reluctant to. He was frozen inside, not a single spark in his mind telling him to be defiant or angry. Just emptiness as dark as the storming sky above him…

--

He reopened his eyes again and it was night. He had heard a snap and barely managed to turn his head enough to look to the surrounding new forest, and saw a Tarbosaurus lingering nearby, watching him with curiosity, but with the usual predatory interest. The male blinked slowly, but didn't even have the strength nor the will to even verbally threaten the carnivore. Let it linger. Let it come closer. Let it eat him when he dies. He didn't care.

The male shifted again, this time to turn his head to the nearby lake. Its surface reflected the sky perfectly, illuminating every star and displaying a slightly rippled full moon. He stared at the water for a long time, not that time mattered; he lost track of how long he's been lying here. He lost that along with his everything, but…

He did have the patch of sand beneath his body, he did have the wondrous sight of the sky on the water's surface. He might not entirely understand the concept of beauty, but he appreciated it none-the-less, no matter how vaguely.

And as he stared at the brightest star shown by the lake, he could just remember the scent of his mate's living body, hear her soft greeting call. And as he closed his eyes, her form materialized as if in a dream, and he would smile if he could. It was in the darkness of the storm where he lost his partner and children and it will be the dark of night that will claim him. And it only grew darker as he fell asleep for the very last time.

~For only in the grip of darkness
Will we shine amidst the brightest stars~


bushwacked

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That was a really good story! You used emotion well, the part where the Therizinosaurus realises his mate is dead, and that he has to sever his 'pair - bond' with her, is powerful stuff.
Have you written any more short stories? I really enjoyed reading this one.


FlipperBoidSkua

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Awwww, thank you!! I'm so happy someone actually liked it!! *hugs*

I have tons of other stories in general and I plan to post some later on tonight! :^.^: I'm taking the posting slowly so I don't 'spam' the forum with all my stories!  :DD


bushwacked

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You're welcome  :smile  I look forward to reading them  :yes


LBTDiclonius

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Great story FBS! The words of the song were amazingly fitting.

That was so emotional. How he lost everything and severed the pair-bond with his mate and lost all his children. So sad. Great story. I look forward to reading more of them. :)


FlipperBoidSkua

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Thanks, LBTD!! The song lyrics chosen were just too fitting to ignore!  :DD And yeah, poor dude.... I would hug him, but it's too late  :( .