Friendship Teens & Young Adult Urban Fantasy

The plush dinosaur sat on Kara’s bed, looking at her with a stern gaze. It’s velvet exterior a little worse for wear. Its one eye slightly scratched where her dog had gotten ahold of it when the pup was in her teething phase. The wire in its wings no longer holding them up.

Kara had gotten the pterodactyl (or was it a pterosaur?) when she was six. Her grandmother had given her the bright magenta (or was it purple?) stuffed creature because she had been obsessed with dinosaurs, “like standing up at the children’s museum to correct the facilitator in front of three hundred other children when he’d referred to the apatosaurus as a brontosaurus (an absolute misnomer)” obsessed. She had named the plush dinosaur, Oasis, because she’d found the word pleasant to say.

Kara remembered begging her parents to go to the famous museum of palaeontology in Drumhellsr, Alberta, not once, not twice but thrice before she was nine years old (it was a 2087 km drive from their house). She had been in awe each and every time.

Kara had spent six years in this town. She’d cracked rocks in the playground at school nearly every day for a couple of years when she’d found out that their school yard had been at the bottom of the ocean billions of years ago. Every day she was rewarded with tiny fossilized sea creatures, and strange looks from her teachers and classmates. Kata didn’t care, not really, she was a scientist. She was going to be a palaeontologist some day, and the stories of her smashing rocks on the basketball court would be part of her origin story.

She looked at Oasis and recalled the days (weeks…months) when two of the boys would throw her dinosaur over head, and play a non-consensual game of monkey in the middle. They had stopped when one day Kara had brought her boxing gloves to school and punched them both solidly in the stomach.

When she’d been called into the office, she had been ready to get expelled (or at least suspended), but the principal had asked her why she brought in the boxing gloves to hit the boys. Kara had explained that she wanted neither to hurt them very badly, or to damage her hands, but that the constant bullying had just been too much, and that she’d been disappointed with the response from the staff. The principal, who saw a little bit of himself in this spunky outsider kid, had offered to punish the kids, and had pointed to the strap on the wall. Kara hadn’t known is corporal punishment was still a thing, and she told the principal that she’d given the boys a reason to think twice about bothering her again already. She had been 9 at the time.

Slowly she’d made friends with the younger kids. They loved her dinosaur facts, and the fact that she’d buy them a package of dinosaur egg candies to share at recess. She’d tell them about the ankylosaur’s spiky tail like a mace, and the vegetarian diet of the triceratops. Her favourite facts were always about the flying dinosaurs, and she’d let the kids who were particularly attentive hold Oasis, and hand out the hard gobstopper like candies while she lectured.

One day, as she was squinting at the board to try to read the letters (she couldn’t get glasses, she was already such a nerd) the girl next to her, Kathy, leaned over to share her notes.

Reading off Kathy’s notes was now part of her daily practice, and she and Kathy would crack rocks together and created a whole imaginary game of dinosaur warriors who defended the kids on the playground who were being bullied. They would bring their dinosaur eggs around like medicine to soothe the troubles of the younger kids having a hard day.

Eventually Kathy called her mother, when Kara was eleven, to let her mom know that Kara needed glasses, and Kara reluctantly went to the optometrist and found that dealing with the taunts of “four eyes, four eyes, how’d you like more eyes” on the playground worth the ability to see every single vein on a leaf. Also, she had Kathy, and nothing could go wrong. Kara started to think less and less about dinosaurs and more and more about boys, and friends, and movies, and modern music, and pop culture. She and Kathy would go horse back riding on the weekends, and the world was almost perfect. Scott B had even asked her to the midday sick hop, and had agreed to be here “date” to her birthday party.

Kara stared at Oasis. She was thirteen years old now, and her parents had told her they were moving yet again. She had just gotten comfortable at the school she was in. She had a BEST friend. Her classmates didn’t tease her about the way she wrote (with her pen between her middle fingers) or her love of dinosaurs anymore. They had stopped calling her alien last year. She was comfortable. FINALLY.

…but yesterday her Dad had told her (three days after her thirteenth birthday in which she’d got to hold hands with Scott B!) that they would be moving for his job.

Kara had cried. Her Dad told her that when they got to their new home he’d get her a horse. She’d stopped crying. A horse? Could a horse make up for all the time she’d spent crying next to the stucco wall in the playground wishing she could just be like everyone else? Could a horse help her make a new best friend? Could a horse stop her from growing up too fast? Kara decided that yes, maybe a horse could do those things. She’d made her dad sign a contract. One horse, and a promise that they never move again. Her Dad had poured over the contract carefully (he was a lawyer), and signed it, and two weeks later Kara found herself in her room looking at all the boxes with her favourite books, packed and stacked carefully by contents. The only thing not packed was Oasis. Is thirteen too old to bring your stuffed animal with you? Kara decided it was not. Maybe next year she’d put her favourite stuffed creature in the closet, but today she plucked this bastion of comfort up off the bed, and headed to the car to take the four hour drive to her new town and start again, purple dinosaur next to her and the promise of a horse and a new best friend ahead of her.

February 04, 2022 16:47

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Alice Richardson
06:14 Feb 12, 2022

A nice story. If I may say, 'pored', not 'poured'.


Wake Lloire
01:50 Feb 14, 2022

Oh my goodness of course you may! Thank you for reading, and thank you for the grammatical catch! I appreciate you!


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Wake Lloire
01:52 Feb 14, 2022

And I forgot that once it’s approved for competition it can’t be edited! Ah well, I’ll just have to wait until the judging is over and fix it after. I still appreciate the kindness.


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Unknown User
20:01 Feb 19, 2022

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