The dinosaur was big, towering over me, and deep green. Its slitted amber eyes watched my every movement.
We regarded each other blankly.
Finally, the killer reptile spoke: “Rachel, come with me.”
Its voice was booming, echoing in the hushed forest.
I shook my head, mutely.
The dinosaur cocked its massive head. “You can, Rachel.”
“I’m scared,” I whispered, not sure if the dinosaur could hear me.
“Come with me, Rachel. You don’t belong here, at this place.”
“But Dr. Coval—”
“You’re better than this, Rachel. You don’t see what you don’t want to. Your fancy scientist man is drugging you and performing experiments.”
“He wouldn’t!” I gasped.
The dinosaur nodded. “Where do you think all the scars come from?”
I inspected my arms and ran a hand over the back of my neck, which was riddled with tiny incisions. I narrowed my eyes. My anger fueling me forward, I walked up the t-rex’s tail and positioned myself on his back, legs wrapped firmly around his thick neck.
The dinosaur began sauntering away and it hit me: I’m running away with a dinosaur.
My back turned on the lab, I didn’t glance back once.
Three years after my escape, I had learned the dinosaur’s name and had learned something that was groundbreaking in crossing the species barriers.
My dinosaur, as I’d begun to think of him as mine, was named Jeffrey. Jeffrey and I had crossed some major boundaries in science… I was pregnant, and yes, Jeffrey was the father.
We were going to name our first child Kalie and then think of the rest once they were born. We weren’t sure how they’d come out, human-style or egg-form, but I guess we’d find out.
To say I was scared was an understatement. I was terrified. But I loved Jeffrey and he loved me, so we’d brave whatever was to come when it was time.
I left our alcove to find Jeffrey waiting for me. “Welcome home, Jeff.”
A big smile stretched across his green face when he saw me. “I’ve got a surprise for you.”
“Okay…?” I followed him through a forest and came face-to-face with a giant tree that someone had carved into a sculpture of a heart surrounding a mini dinosaur and a small person.
“What do you think?” Jeffrey asked.
I couldn’t stop staring. “It’s… beautiful. Did you do this?”
Jeffrey nodded. “It’s supposed to symbolize our love.”
“Yes, I got that.” I ran a hand over the dinosaur figure. “Jeff, this is absolutely amazing.”
“I hoped you’d like it.” Jeffrey smiled, flashing all of his sharp teeth.
“It’s wonderful!” I assured him.
Jeffrey rested an enormous hand on my back. “I’m glad you like it.”
“I love you so much.”
“I love you more.” Jeffrey said.
I disagreed, but arguing with him was impossible. He always said that he had the bigger body, therefore the bigger heart, but that made no difference. I still loved him with a surprising capacity. He had saved me from the lab and Dr. Coval’s experiments. “I love you most,” I said, kissing his clawed hand.
“Not possible,” Jeffrey grumbled. “I love you more than a fish needs water, more than the number of stars in the sky, more than I have teeth, more than anything.”
I smiled, patted his hand, and left it at that. “Thank you for the sculpture, Jeffrey.”
“I wanted to do something permanent to document our love.”
I placed a hand gingerly over my stomach. “We’ve already made something wonderful that will prove our union.”
“Yes,” Jeffrey smiled. “But eventually they will die.”
“But they’ll have children and no matter how small the fraction gets, our DNA will always be mixed within their descendants.”
“I like that idea.” Jeffrey said.
“As do I,” I said.
Jeffrey lifted me up to perch on his neck.
We went for a long stroll, down towards the creek. Bushes rustled in the wind and animal noises could be heard. It was very romantic.
I began humming Jeffrey’s favorite song quietly, my voice joining with the colorful birds in the trees.
“That’s beautiful, Rachel— you’re beautiful.” Jeffrey said, making my heart flutter.
I blushed slightly. “Thank you, Jeffrey. That’s very sweet.”
“We should start deciding where you’re going to give birth.”
“Why not our alcove?”
“Too many predators. They’ll smell the blood.”
“Find an abandoned cave.”
“Shall we look for it now?”
“Well, now is as good a time as any.”
Jeffrey sauntered off to search for the perfect cavern for me to deliver our babies.
We eventually found a cozy, empty cave that was difficult to get into, so it took much maneuvering on our part, and we’d be safe from predators.