“When I was a little boy I wanted to be a palaeontologist. I was and still am a dino-nut. So when the days prompts gave me mammoths and dinosaurs I was a happy boy!”
I wrote this story in answer to the following prompts:
Pensitivity’s three things challenge – Huff – Stack – Trail
AuthorWorld – “When the sun had gone down and the moon lit up the night sky, all of the toys came to life…..”
Word of the Day Challenge — Talent
#Writephoto Challenge – Picture above by KL Caley
Issues with Exhibits
Lizzie let out a huff. The frustrated air billowing her blonde fringe. She’d come to Wade’s Dinosaur Park to be the general manager. They’d chosen her from her online résumé. It showed her talent, qualifications and skills in the art of organising people, property and making money. She signed her contract and came to start work. That was when they sprang the surprise.
“Welcome to Wade’s, Lizzie. We’re pleased to have you as our exhibition manager. Enjoy the ride,” Juliet the park’s owner had said.
Every day since had been a trial. The exhibits were fibreglass prehistoric creatures scattered around the beautiful oak and sycamore forest. Some like the red woolly mammoth were simple skeletons. Others like Terry the T-rex were animatronic. His movements were so realistic, he terrified visitors. Despite working around the dinosaurs in the park, Lizzie’s job was no fun. She’d walk about 30 miles a day around that park. Her job was to ensure the exhibits all looked good and worked as intended. She had to train the staff. Check the giftshop stock, and chase up groundskeepers when the grass got too long.
This evening she was in the gift shop. The part had long since closed and yet here she was still dealing with a supplies delivery. Heaving a box of resin Triceratops eggs onto a stack, she was surprised at the thump it made.
“Must have been heavy than I thought,” she mused having taken a Stanley knife from the workbench. She slit open another box and withdrew a three-foot-tall pachycephalosaurus. The brown-green dinosaur from the Late-Cretaceous period reminded her of an ancient Hells Angel with its built-in helmet.
A fresh thud shook the windows of the gift shop.
“Well, Pachy. I know I didn’t create that noise.” Lizzie straightened and walked around a rack of dinosaur soft toys to reach the window. A pterodactyl hung from the curtain rail. Peering beneath it, she let out a gasp.
A Megalosaurus was looking right back at her through the window. The yellow-and-grey skinned nine-foot-long T-rex-like dinosaur let out a shrill roar and lowered its head.
“When the sun had gone down and the moon lit up the night sky, all of the toys came to life! Except, its bloody daylight and the dinosaurs are alive!” Lizzie threw herself backwards as the gift shop window exploded. The Megalosaurus bludgeoned her way inside and seemed to sniff the air.
Lizzie recognised the beast as Exhibit Six. She was called Meg. The Megalosaurus fossils were first found in England. They became the first dinosaur ever to be named. They also died out millions of years ago having lived in the Jurassic period. Yet this one was now tearing apart the giftshop displays.
Lizzie duct and explosion of keyrings and shredded bookmarks.
The Megalosaurus spun towards her, its tail obliterating the soft toy stand.
“Easy, Meg. I’m the reason your skin is so shiny and clean,” Lizzie told it.
The dinosaur opened its toothy maw and bellowed.
Lizzie gulped, threw herself over the counter and ran through the storeroom. Ignoring the sounds of the building being destroyed behind her, she bashed through the side door and left the building. Her instinct was to run from the car park and drive home. The pack of evil Deinonychus tearing her BMW apart made that impossible. Lizzie knew these guys weren’t supposed to be as smart as the velociraptor they looked like. She wasn’t gonna take them on to find out.
Facing the trail into the park, Lizzie shook her head. This was going to be a nightmarish trial for survival. With no choice, she began to run. The gravel crunched beneath her feet as she sprinted along the path into the first clearing within the sycamore and oak trees. At least the red woolly mammoth skeleton here seemed unmoving.
The air boomed as large wings flapped about the clearing. A large black-and-gold creature slammed into the mammoth. The metal framework groaned bent and broke as the prehistoric bird reared and shrieked on its back.
“Quetzalcoatlus, the largest pterosaur, wonderful!” Lizzie made it three steps before a thunderous roar shook the ground beneath her feet. She saw a long snout full of knife-like teeth emerge from the bushes; followed by a ridge of bony plates.
The Spinosaur leapt on the flying monster in a tornado of wings, teeth and claws.”
Lizzie was already running again. The longer she stayed here the more chance she’d become dinner. Reaching a crossroad’s she veered left. Terry the T Rex lived to the right. Going that way was a bad idea!
The log cabin belonged to a fossil exhibition.
Ignoring it, Lizzie kept following the path. Her plan to reach the rear gate and escape that way.
Something cannoned into her legs.
Lizzie cried out in pain she slammed down to the gravel track.
A huff of breath blew into her face.
Opening her eyes, she saw a parrot beak inches from my nose. It nuzzled her and left her smiling. “Hallo, Paula,” she said as she sat alongside the hooded Protoceratops. Like a grey, scaly sheep, this prehistoric creature was friendly. Around her, the proud mother’s babies were grazing. “You should hide before something nasty comes!” Lizzie warned as she stood up.
A warning came not a moment too soon. A nearby oak tree split and fell over as a large plated dinosaur with a spiny tail tumbled into the clearing. A menacing allosaurus annihilated a buddleia as it leapt onto the stegosaurus and began to wrestle.
Lizzie became mesmerised by the violent battle between the megalithic beasts. Registering seven long spines swinging straight at her, she screamed and jumped. The stegosaurus’s tail whips beneath her as she crashed down on the grass. Leaping to her feet, she broke into a sprint, despite the pain in her knee.
“Now, I know why dinosaurs need to remain extinct!” she breathed as she ran onto the bank of the park’s pond. The pond centred on a marble statue of a seated Charles Darwin holding a thick tome. It was home to thirty-five large Koi carp. At least it used to be. “Smilodon! Of course, might as well have a Sabertoothed Tiger join the party.” Lizzie kept her eyes on the demonic-looking big cat as she edged the other way around the water.
The Smilodon was too busy eating the fish to notice her.
Lizzie held her breath as she crept towards the Staff Only path that led out of the park. Her eyes snap to the Darwin statue. The book was glowing. “Hmm, I wonder!”
Ignoring her escape route, Lizzie continued around the pond. Another path here led through a hands-on animal exhibit. The kids love to come and play with the sheep, goats and donkeys here. Lizzie approached the pigpen and unlatched the door. There were two black potbellied pigs here. Reaching down she slapped Donald in the rear. He and Boris shrieked and fled.
Lizzie grinned, they’d gone right towards the pond. The Smilodon was on and chasing them in seconds. Taking her chance, Lizzie leapt into the pond and paddled across to the statue. Climbing onto the pedestal, she gazed at the book. The golden glow was magnificent. The page Darwin was reading was empty.
“What? I — I can’t understand what’s going on around here.” Lizzie breathed as she watched a pair of Pteranodon gliding around above the park. She was shaking, confused and at a loss as to what to do.
Without warning the Pteranodon stop spinning like vultures and dove towards her.
Lizzie placed a hand on the book, “Animals, whom we have made our slaves, we do not like to consider our equal. You are not my slaves you are my statues. Return as such!” she screamed.
The Pteranodon brought their talons to bear.
Lizzie screws her eyes shut. Death was coming and she didn’t want to watch it. No pain became. Instead, an almighty splash covered her in a tidal wave of water from the pond. Lizzie looked to see both Pteranodon laying in the water, they’d become fibreglass statues once more.
“Well done, Lizzie. This is why we made you the exhibition manager,” Juliet said applauding as she approached the pond.
“You could have bloody warned me!” Lizzie retorted as she sloshed out of the pond.
“The last manager Eric was eaten by Terry the T Rex. I tried to hire two other managers by telling them the truth. They both thought I was nuts and refused to take the job. So, my only choice was to let you meet the dinosaurs yourself,” Juliet shrugged. “Will you stay?”
Lizzie closed her eyes and shook her head. “You better give me a big bloody pay rise for this!”
Have a great day!