Jul 14, 2009, 08:37AM

Let Us Now Praise Awesome Dinosaurs

A bizarre short story by Leonard Richardson.

"I want to buy a gun," said the Thymomenoraptor. He moved his foreclaw along the glass case of pistols, counting them off: one, two, three, four. "That one." He tapped the case; the glass squeaked."Why would a dinosaur need a gun?" asked the shop owner."Self-defense."The owner's gaze dropped to the three-inch claw that had chipped his display case."These are killing claws," said the dinosaur, whose name was Tark. "For sheep, or cows. I merely want to disable an attacker with a precision shot to the leg or other uh, limbal region.""Uh-huh," the owner said. "Or maybe you figure humans shoot each other all the time, but if someone turns up ripped in half the cops are gonna start lookin' for dinosaurs."Tark carefully pounded the counter. "There used to be a time," he said, "when gun dealers would actually sell people guns! A time . . . called America. I miss that time.""I don't sell to foreign nationals.""Racist!" The gun dealer flinched but said nothing. "All right, look, just give me this periodical, okay?""I got ripped off," said Tark a little later. "That periodical contained neither guns nor ammo.""Well, I'm not buying the self-defense idea, either," said his friend, a pachycephalosaur named Entippa. They walked their bikes onto the motocross track on the periphery of the packed-dirt arena. The screaming crowd surrounded them like a bowl. "What's the real story?""Humans won't pay to watch dinosaurs ride motocross bikes forever," said Tark. "I'm gonna branch out. Target shooting. I'll be like those tough guys in the action movies. Is my chin strap tight?""It's fine," said Entippa. The dinosaurs straddled their bikes. "What movies are you talking about? Like the Rogue Raptor schlock? I admit that giving Rahnarsh a gun would help the camp value somewhat—"The starter's pistol went off and the two dinosaurs hit their throttles. They rocketed ahead of the pack and shot up the first of a series of packed dirt ramps."I'm talking about the humans!" shouted Tark. "Vin Diesel, your Bruce Willis. Your Hulk Hogan, going back a few years.""You gonna dress up in a little camo outfit?" said Entippa. "That's chimp work, dude."Tark hit the ground in a slide that left his tail an inch above ground. His feathers sucked up mud. "I pictured something very tasteful," he said, "with some cows in a meadow, and then I shoot them."Entippa and Tark hit a bumpy patch near the school bus jump, and crisscrossed each other in a series of short shuddering hops that contorted their bodies above their bikes. "I can't hear you!" said Entippa, but Tark couldn't hear him either. They got on the local news.INTERVIEWER: Nice racing.DINOSAUR RACER 1: Thanks.INTERVIEWER: Where you boys from?DINOSAUR RACER 1: Atlantis.INTERVIEWER: I thought your people came from Mars.DINOSAUR RACER 2: The Atlantis basin, yes, on Mars.INTERVIEWER: What brings you to Tampa?DINOSAUR RACER 1: We came to do high-speed stunts in double gravity.INTERVIEWER: So how do you like Earth?DINOSAUR RACER 1: Well, it's not as awesome as Mars—DINOSAUR RACER 2: My friend means to say that Earth is very awesome, but sometimes we get homesick.INTERVIEWER: How intelligent are dinosaurs?DINOSAUR RACER 2: We're probably not going to win any prizes, but if you think about it, neither are you.


Register or Login to leave a comment