Saturday 26 June 2021

'Velociraptor' by Tara Campbell

She loves dinosaurs in a visceral way, inexplicable, grown woman playing with bright plastic toys, pint-sized dinos that bring her joy despite all of the greed and violence and pain in her newsfeed, even though she couldn’t identify more than a few: brontosaurus, triceratops, of course T-Rex, and those smaller guys (what are they?) tiny tyrannosaurs hunting in packs, darting through the Jurassic, weaving around ten-foot ferns on razor-toed feet while barking out intel—I’m here, slow down, it’s over there—only they understand, and together they bring down a beast many times their own size, maybe even as big as the one in the palm of her hand, Accountability Dino she calls him, the desk brontosaurus, head cocked atop the long grey sway of his neck, as if to ask Have you done enough work to please them today? but this time she googles the hump on his head and finds out he’s more like a brachiosaurus with a bronto’s tail, a mutt she mutters, and he pulls that dissatisfied look that says That won’t get them off your back, or your front for that matter, and she puts him back down and says okay, I just need to look up one more thing, and once she finds it she knows what to call herself, what to call all of her kind, keen-eyed and hungry, aching to run together and slash at the patriarchs, bringing the whole thing down.



First published in Wigleaf (December 2020).

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