Triceratops

I love a good dinosaur story, don’t you?

In “Triceratops” by Kono Tensei a father and son discover that their suburban neighborhood is full of triceratops and they are the only ones who can see them. A dimensional fault, perhaps? They watch a triceratops walk down the street past sleeping houses and disappear silently through a wall and decide that there must in fact exist a portal of some kind that has allowed the triceratops to pass freely into their world; but that would mean that the both of them are existing at the same time, separated by only the tiniest of fault lines. Impossible?

Soon the triceratops’ become part of their everyday scenery: the father and son leave their home each morning and see families walking down the street, school buses driving by, and triceratops sleeping on rooftops. They are the only ones who can see them, and when the tyrannosaurus rex show up, they are the only ones who can see and hear the bloody battle that takes place between the two species.

 

“We’re just a little way from the station here, but I didn’t feel anything like tyrannosaurus when I was coming home just now. Even the triceratops in the garage just opened his eyes a bit a stared at me like he always does.”

 

Tyrannosaurus rex and triceratops go at it for hours while the father and son, along with the oblivious housewife, sit inside watching TV, along with every other family on the block. When the fight is over dinosaur carcasses litter the streets while a lone tyrannosaurus rex or triceratops here and there limps away, bloodied from the fight as the families in their homes kiss one another goodbye, board their school buses and head off to work. No one seems to know that a battle has just taken place or notice the dinosaur bodies that now litter the neighborhood.

The surviving dinosaurs collect themselves and move on from the battle scene. We are left to wonder how close our world really is to theirs. If we, too, stopped explaining away the weird sounds we sometimes hear or the giant shadows we sometimes see at night, if we accepted that there is a chance that we can peer between worlds, would we finally see them too?

 ***

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