A Question of Survival

By Wolphin

Brian let out a long slow breath of wonder. Below him the green and 
brown of the Kimberley rushed past.  In the distance, off the port 
side, was the Indian Ocean; on the right, the red brown colouring of 
the Simpson desert stretched on until it faded into the gentle curve 
of the planet.

Suddenly there was a loud bang and the small plane bucked and began 
to loose altitude.  Brian fought with the controls and calmly stepped 
through the emergency checklist, everything checked out but he was 
still going down.  The engine spluttered and coughed one last time 
then stopped completely, the only sound was the whistling of the wind 
as the plane sank lower.

Realisation dawned on him slowly and somehow he figured out that 
there was no way the plane was going to restart and he began to look 
for a place to land.  As he searched for any flat space he began 
barking out his situation over the radio.  Then in a matter of 
moments the ground rushed up to meet him.

Brian woke a while later, the remains of the plane spread around him.  
He was still strapped to his seat, however the rest of the cockpit 
seemed to be scattered in a fifteen metre strip behind him, behind 
that, he could see more bits of the plane poking from broken trees 
and bushes.

Reaching up to release his safety belt, a wave of pain lanced through 
his body.  Looking down, he could see a bone protruding through his 
flesh and blood flowing from a deep gash in his leg.  Moaning, he 
released the catch and collapsed on the ground.

Reaching up with his good arm, he gently probed around his head.  
There was a large lump on the back and one ear felt as if it hanging 
off his head.  Not thinking clearly, he knew he needed water and 
began to crawl along the ground to a slight depression in front of 

As luck would have it, the depression turned out to be the fringe of 
a mango creek and with a blissful sigh, Brian stuck his head into the 
cool waters of a trickle flowing into the main stream.  After he had 
sated his thirst and the cold numbed some of the pain away he forced 
himself to lie back against a tree and try to relax.

Brian never considered himself a religious man, but somehow he found 
himself praying.  Not to any god of any religion in particular, but 
just to a god who would listen to him, his pray was simple.  He 
wanted to live, to survive this ordeal and see another sunrise.

Unbeknown to Brian, there happened to be a god in the area.  Not an 
all powerful god, not even a well known god, but a god none the less.  
This nameless god had watched over this small region of the planet 
for eons.  They had seem the area born, watched it flourish and now 
they watched it in its twilight years.  No one had really bothered 
the god before, some of the natives had made vague gestures towards 
it, but the more popular gods usually rushed in and stole their 

This god was not bothered, they had their small patch of land and was 
quite happy to watch it flourish and grow.  With some interest, it 
watched the white bird crash and the small human crawl forth.  It was 
because of this it heard Brian's call.  For a moment, it was 
bewildered, no one else had ever asked anything of it before and it 
was a while before it responded.

Lying under his tree, the semi-conscious Brian suddenly felt calmness 
descend on him and he knew that everything would be all right.  As 
darkness descended, Brian felt himself slip into a deep sleep.

He awoke early the next morning, dawn just a hint of pink on the 
horizon.  As light slowly spread across the land he looked at his 
hand, something felt different about it.  In the pre-dawn light his 
finger appeared strange, darker than they should be and there was 
something wrong with his middle fingers, they didn't seem to work 

The light slowly increased and Brian stared at his hand in silent 
wonder.  During the night, his two middle fingers had fused into one, 
he could see where the two nails use to be, but as he watched, they 
fused into one, which darkened and hardened into one evil looking 

In silent awe, he looked to his other hand to see that it too was 
like the first.  As the sun began to peek over the horizon he could 
see that his hands were now an olive green colour and he noticed the 
green was beginning to spread up his arms.  He felt his spine growing 
and instinctively he rolled onto his stomach.  Behind him, his spine 
thickened into a long wide tail.  His legs seemed to shrink and move 
down his body.  He felt his toes forming into talons, similar to what 
his hands had become.  

His neck stretched and pulled his back, then his mouth pushed itself 
forward taking his nose with it, forming a snout.  His head flattened 
and his eyes shifted towards the side of his head, rising up slightly 
from his snout.  His ears simply faded into his head as his shoulders 
shrunk and his tail filled out further.  

While teeth began to push into his mouth, his skin hardened into 
scales, smooth and pale on his underside, knobbly and dark green on 
his back.  As his eyes changed from round human to slitted reptilian, 
the conscious part of Brian faded away.  

By the time the sun had cleared the horizon, the saltwater croc had 
began to slowly move from the remains of the human clothing to the 
sanctity of the murky waters on the tidal flats.

Somewhere above him, the god smiled to himself, crocodiles are great