"Denton! Crystal and I forgot to ask you a very important question. Would you freak out if you were being chased by velociraptors?"
* * * * *
Thanks to the barren expanse of prairie around him, they didn't have any way to sneak up on him, and so, bereft of any other game, they charged. That surprised Eddie a little; he'd hoped they'd just circle him until they saw a moment of weakness. Or maybe he just looked weak. Regardless, there was no mistaking it. A trio of raptors, bearing down on him. Eddie knew he had a few seconds (in truth, he had eighteen) to collect his thoughts.
Running was out of the question. His car was still over the hill, far too distant to offer any sanctuary. There was a small riverbed down to the side, but he'd be more likely than the raptors to twist his ankle on a piece of lost driftwood in those dry reeds. Had he been unequipped, he might have run screaming like a lunatic. Had he been armed, he probably would have taken two or three panicky, futile shots at the small, fast targets before they ran him down, screaming all the while. Such thoughts entertained him somehow as they flashed by, but he cleared his head and focused on his inventory (he had thirteen seconds).
He had a towel draped over head, to provide a bit more shade to his neck. He had his shovel, rusty but trusty, firm in his hand. His backpack was slung over one shoulder, holding some fruit leather and a water. And in his other hand, the blasted map that got him into this mess in the first place. Quickly, he dropped the map and started wrapping the towel around his left arm. With any luck, that would be the first thing they bit. He slumped the backpack off into his left hand, and timing things carefully, threw the pack off to the side before they got too close. One of them paused, and another veered towards the pack. That was good. Maybe he could take them one at a time. (Four seconds.)
As he gripped the shovel tight, he smiled to himself. He always wondered if he'd freak out in a situation like this -- not that he'd ever know for sure, until the moment was upon him. Apparently, he would, but he'd freak out going head-first into the threat. Knowing that made him want to survive just a little harder; and with that, he knew he was ready. All right. One at a time.
Swinging his shovel up to strike, he screamed and charged.