Except this time it jerked its snout upward. The muscles of its thick neck rippled and constricted, swimming beneath the flesh like taut steel chords—and the snow-covered 4x4 tumbled over with a crash. Metal groaned, shrieked, and collided with asphalt. Shatterproof glass crumpled and gave way. The tyrannosaur's jaws closed around the velociraptor's torso.
The big rex began backing away from the overturned vehicle. Even from inside the building, Roger and the others heard the wet, ripping sound of the animal's carcass being stripped from the undercarriage. It sounded like a Velcro wallet being opened very slowly. The tyrannosaur dropped its prize in the snow, pinning it there instinctively with its tri-clawed foot.
“Jesus H. Christ,” Roy Bonner muttered.
The dinosaur dipped its head and began feeding.
“Jesus, gods …!” Roy turned away from the window and his giant belt buckle brushed against Savanna’s hip.
There had been a time, not so long ago, when she would have turned away also, shuddering with revulsion. But not now, and perhaps not ever again. The scene outside sickened her, but it was hardly shocking when compared to the memory of her husband being eaten alive in front of her. Twice, now. Once in the real world, once in her vision.
Vision? No, she corrected, dream. It hadn't been a vision.
The room was silent.
Those remaining watched as the giant tyrannosaur devoured its prey. They watched with an involuntary reverence, like primitives awed by some terrible wilder-god. On some level, even the dullest of them knew why. The animal being eaten was a surrogate for those inside: a sacrifice.
And then the rex paused and its jaws became still. It stood poised, frozen. Roger, Savanna, and the clerk inched closer to the glass, watching. The beast had cocked its head, as if listening to opossums rustling in the grass. It sniffed at the air gingerly, its great head poking left to right, right to left, like a bird.
“Oh shit,” the cashier said ominously. “It can smell us.”