Flash Fiction: Dinosaur Challenge

This weeks terribleminds flash fiction challenge required the use of dinosaurs in the story. This theme is to go along with the public release of DINOCALYPSE NOW (which you can get at Drivethru RPG, Amazon or B&N). The winner of this week’s challenge gets an e-book copy of DINOCALYPSE NOW. Personally, I backed the kickstarter so I’ve already got my e-book copy (in multiple formats even) and will be eventually finding a physical copy in my mail. Still, I’d love to win and pass along the prize e-book to a friend who might be interested but didn’t get in on the kickstarter.

Anyway, here is my flash fiction entry for this week:

The Truth About K-Pg

Klax and Dyzon considered the enormous creature displayed on the view screen.

“Weight, 100 tonnes, eats almost any flora it finds, armoured exterior. An impressive reptile,” Klax read aloud from the survey notes.

“Next,” said his companion and the truly titanic reptile on the screen was replaced by a much smaller one.

“This species tops out at 9 metres long and 3 metres high. Also herbivorous but far more discerning in its diet. I think the three horns are quite striking.”

“Next,” said Dyzon. Again the view screen changed to give them a new specimen for consideration.

Klax consulted his notes briefly before giving his summary. “Ah. This one is quite special. One of the largest carnivores we’ve ever seen. The skull alone can reach 5 feet in length. A truly apex predator…”

“Enough. Next. No, wait,” Dyzon rattled off impatiently. Holding up a hand the head shaper waved it somewhat absently. “No more. Set the view screen to wide view. Give me the whole planet.”

Klax looked up at the largely water covered planet that now filled the screen. “There are many interesting and unique species in this round. If I may suggest,” he began, but Dyson cut him off again.

“No, I’m sorry Klax but these are not much different from what we saw on our last survey. Interesting qualities they may have but I see little reason to hope these reptiles will evolve into truly worthy lifeforms. Consciousness seems highly unlikely.”

“That is true enough,” Klax sighed. “I’ll need to arrange another extinction I suppose.”

“Yes,” Dyzon nodded. “Yes, but I’d like you to up the effect level. We have been through several rounds with this system and seen very little variance in the results. I suggest a large asteroid as the primary agent. Bigger this time though. At least a 10 kilometre diameter. And put some timed volcanic activators in play.”

“That will probably mean the end of the giant reptile species,” said Klax.

“Yes, it is time to provide a chance for something else. Hopefully something truly worthy will take root in the next round. Make the arrangements and then move us out to the next site,” said Dyzon as he turned and left the viewing gallery.

Klax sighed once more; he was fond of the giant warm-blooded reptiles. Looking up at the planet still on the view screen he gave a small wave goodbye. “Until next time blue planet. See you in 27 million years. Try not to disappoint Dyzon.”

 

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8 thoughts on “Flash Fiction: Dinosaur Challenge

  1. Hi Jeff,
    I stopped by to read your dino-flash when I found the link on Chuck’s blog. I have yet to take part in any of his challenges (although I’m in the middle of setting up a blog to give me somewhere to post any future attempts) but I’ve really enjoyed checking out all the entries from the past few weeks. I was seriously wondering how people were going to try and tackle the topic this week. I’m in no way interested or into the whole dino thing and wasn’t sure how well the subject matter would hold up in the various pieces submitted. Then I read yours and had one of those forehead-slapping ‘doh!’ moments, because of course I hadn’t even begun to consider anything like the approach you took. And I was impressed. Cleverly done, with a nice mix of humour and pathos, you managed to make a flash that met the dinosaur remit AND kept me interested. I’m now off to read back through the archives and annuls of your blog to see what other little gems you’ve posted.

    Great job!

    Bex

    • Thank you very much for the kind words. I’m glad you liked it and hope you enjoyed the rest of the site as well. Of course, this blog is very new so there won’t have been too much to look through – yet. I hope you’ll keep “Looking for a Rabbit Hole” in mind as a place to check out though as I’ll be continuing to update it several times a week at least. Of course, there will be at least one flash fiction every week as I keep up with the terriblemind challenges.

      I’ll keep an eye out for your blog and entries into the challenges too. I’ve only been doing them for a few weeks so far, but I really like them. I’m sure you’ll find them a lot of fun.

  2. Great concept and execution there. Brings me back to playing SimEarth as a kid. :-)

    Though now I’m wondering if these fine uplift engineers are time travellers, or just very, very patient people.

    • Thanks Andreas. When the idea first hit me I was thinking extra-dimensional beings. I considered having Klax and Dyzon comparing the current dinosaurs to previous “shaping teams” reports and having them file a report noting “the program” should send someone to check on Earth in 27 million years. In the end I thought that would make the story feel less personal and also read, uh…clunkier? I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

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