Dinosaur bridge was a most smelly place.
There were discarded egg shells here that were the size of basketballs.
The walkway over the bird's precipice was no longer locked or secure from predators.
We walked across, holding our sleeves over our noses. It had a feisty aroma like too much yeast rising in a humid oven.
No one bothered to look down. It was assumed the caged bridge was safe.
The roaring and screeching began after the first hundred metres into the structure. It started to tilt at an untraversable angle. Those of us that had luck, managed to clip onto the wire caging before it became a vertical tunnel down into the rapids below.
We hung there uncertainly, while the rest plummeted down a hundred feet onto the slippery rocks or the curdled white water.
Three of us were left in the collapsed cage bridge when the source of the screeching appeared with deadly intent. If that intent succeeded, we would become lunch for a nest of hungry dinosaur hatchlings bigger than our tallest man.
Soon a foot-long razor sharp beak was randomly poking in through the wires, in an attempt to skewer a tasty morsel of human flesh. We twisted and turned like puppets on a wire away from the intruding beak in a frantic survival dance.
It wouldn't be long before more members of the flock arrived. We needed a weapon to silence this one.
The bridge began to slip down, sagging ominously down onto a tree, nearly breaking a good size branch. If we jumped on the branch perhaps we could break it, and use it to deflect the beak.
No need to jump, it splintered of it's own accord, with the next inward lunge of the hunger driven bird. Pieces of it flew into the air with projectile force. One missile flew straight past my ear and into the eye of the dinosaur bird. Blood, the colour of copper spurted onto my forehead and over my arm.
Screeching in pain, and half blinded, it launched itself away from the cage. Falling over backwards, it didn't regain it's flight but plunged over the rock cliffs surrounding the bridge. It looked almost dead.
Again, we dangled. The cage rocked back and forth weakening the bars holding it to the structure at the top. We had very little time to get out.
It would soon descend to the river bottom with us inside.
We grasped each others arms and formed a human stair. The smallest and closest to the water climbed painfully over our backs, and onto the cliff edge. Then managed to toss a thick cable for the rest of us.
The cage lurched down another two feet. It was sagging into the white water at it's lowest end now, dragging out into the river turbulence by the force of the water's flow. With a terrible, agonizing sound, it let loose and floated momentarily on the top. Then sank like a stone, carried forward into the middle of the white water.
No one would be retrieving it there. Dazed, I looked around to see how many had survived, and found all present, at least in body, if not in mind. Some were clearly in shock.
That night, we built a fire on the rocks, and kept watch for the huge predator birds. Some even dried out their clothes and slept in the crude shelter. Some sat and stared into the air around them with panic in their eyes.
We needed to get off this god-forsaken mountain as soon as possible in the morning.
Writing by Regina Stemberger