She can only fuck to Jurassic Park. The whole building knows. 

On Friday nights we hear her throaty laugh. We hear glass chime against glass and we hear chairs scrape the hardwood and we hear nothing and we hear the low note of a single word and we hear a dull waltz of socked feet. We hear her force her DVD player shut. A mattress sighs. John Williams pours down the stairwell. 

Saturdays we see her at the mailboxes or on our way to brunch, or we stand for three minutes together in the elevator, or downstairs our clothes just came off the machine she’s now loading. We hold our children close, or our pugs or our laundry baskets. We avoid eye contact. She hums three beats and the insides of our palms throb to the rest. Our minds skip to the part where the paleontologist, in silent reverence, holds up a dinosaur egg. It hatches a hunger so sharp we want to rush back home and ravish our partners. We drop our keys. Her hand brushes ours as she bends down to help us. We look away. 

One night the grunting stops before the T-Rex has a chance to break out of the facility. Thick soles thump back to the living room. Her voice trickles through the air vents. It is small and pleading. A door slams. We rush to the hallway. He is fumbling with his laces. She is clawing at his dark grey overcoat. 

Weirdo, he says. 

She sheds a reptilian tear. It chills our blood and our skin thickens. Our hiss chases him back in. We stalk through her kitchen like velociraptors. He is a bird in our claws. He is brittle like a sand castle. He is gutted like his briefcase. 

She lets out a deep roar. We flock to her bed. We force her DVD player shut. John Williams pours down the stairwell.

11 Comments

  1. Teresa Plana

    I’m really not sure how to end this. It feels a bit gimmicky at the moment, with the repeated sentence from the beginning…

    • Bud Smith

      I think the way to end this is to just have it end on: “He is gutted like his briefcase.”

  2. Traci Mullins

    I think it’s so imaginative, Teresa! It always amazes me the different things people come up with. I wonder if you need this sentence: “We drop our keys. Her hand brushes ours as she bends down to help us. We look away.” I think you do a good job of conveying her impact without this. The only thing I didn’t follow is the second-to-last paragraph: “She sheds a reptilian tear. It chills our blood and our skin thickens. Our hiss chases him back in. We stalk through her kitchen like velociraptors. He is a bird in our claws. He is brittle like a sand castle. He is gutted like his briefcase.” Until this point, I’ve assumed the listeners were people, no? I think the story works great without this paragraph, but I’m no expert. Fun read!

  3. Bud Smith

    I think about Jurassic Park the film all the time for a few reasons, and one of the big reasons is because it’s framed in a way to show that the family is important and it’s framed all around fertility and birth and hatching and mating. The whole movie is about that. The novel isn’t so much. But the movie is purposely about the man and protecting the children showing the woman that he could be a father and he is worthy of getting her pregnant … it’s kind of wild how that is all setup in this move. There’s some youtube videos breaking it down which I watched one day while working out. Theories of. But anyways this has to do with your wild story too. This person seems outwardly like she is just being kinky and needs to fuck to dinosaurs as if it was a fetish but then you mentioned the EGG and it made me realize that maybe the reason why she scares off the suitor is because he realizes that she is trying to get pregnant — damn, that’s some deep stuff. I could see some of the film theory stuff I was jabbering on about weaved into this story just a touch if you wanted to (or even intended) to sell that direction of the narrative

    • Bud Smith

      That being said, your imagination and your sentence by sentence creation here is so so so good! Keep going with this one. It’s worth the labor.

  4. Benjamin Niespodziany

    Wild dino fetish! “The whole building knows” is so good. Great setup with everyone being afraid of her and staying away, and love the turn at the end where many become (?) dinosaurs and feast. This is like popcorn fiction, very entertaining haha

  5. Jack O'Connell

    That’s really funny and exciting and it moves. I like the “whole building knows” “gutted like a briefcase”. I felt sort of sad for her too, and it also made me think of pavlovian responses to things. I really love the scene in Jurassic Park when the helicopter arrives on the island and the music swells. I got slightly confused at the end if the “we” includes the lady who likes jurassic park or is just the “we” of the narrator

  6. Rachel Pollon Williams

    Oh my god, I’ve never seen Jurassic Park. I mean, I have because of course it’s iconic and I’ve seen plenty of scenes and weren’t Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern a thing (during the film?) at some point. Also, there was a music group called Jurassic Park, right?, so I thought at first maybe this couple *did it* to that music. (Hold up, I googled it and the band was Jurassic 5 – duh. Okay, moving on.) I love the idea of this. The overhearing of the weird neighbors, and the weird kink. How it’s the whole freaking movie they seem to watch each time. I think you can sort of streamline what it is you want to say, if there’s a particular metaphor it’s bringing up for you…and, it occurs to me, perhaps the idea of “extinction” can be employed. Fun piece!

  7. Ben Saff

    The narrating “we” evokes the “us” vs the “other”. And what makes this piece beautiful (on top of being imaginative and entertaining) is that you bridge that gap when the “we” looks out for the “other”, a sense of the hodgepodge dino community is born. Really lovely that moment.

  8. Saxon Baird

    It could be gimmicky but the strength of your writing and the way you stick with the idea (a la Bud’s Tim O’Brien examples) steers it well away from that. I mean a dudes a girlfriend joining him in the vietnam jungle is gimmicky but it works just like this does. I think it’s smart also that its from the perspective of nosey neighbors because it allows a certain amount of distance from the explanation. If it was first-person, I’d be expecting some attempt at the character explaining why she only screws to dinos…but with the distance of the neighbors perspective, it remains shrouded and also allows the reader to inject their own interpretations (perhaps like the one Bud offered) or maybe it’s something banal….I like this one! I couldn’t help but think of the 1996 movie Crash (the one based of Ballad’s book) about being turned on by car crashes. Totally absurd, but Cronenberg sticks with the absurdity through a somber soundtrack and glacial delivery of lines and in doing so a bigger commentary emerges beyond just pure absurdity.

  9. Bill Merklee

    Yes! You successfully pull off an absurd situation by sticking with it and it’s fabulous. I love how the woman’s obsession with the film or maybe even just the John Williams music that pours down the stairs seems to permeate the building like a pheromone and gradually elicits reactions from the other people so that they come to the woman’s aid like marauding velociraptors. I agree the story should probably end on the briefcase line. Really well done.

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