Short little bit of prose and updates


Wow, it's nearly been a month since my last entry; I really should do more exciting things so I have more to blog about more often. I always seem to end up waiting for other stuff to add to my posts so end up waiting a long time.

Anyway, I'm only writing this entry now so I don't have to wait until next Saturday. See, then I could update loads on election stuff (yeah, election fever, sorry) and about Prof Brian Cox's lecture on Friday. But no matter, I'll write a quick one now. But the main purpose of this entry is to post a preview of some of my latest writings; no promise it'll be at all good.

Well, I started writing a story that I actually think I might finish for once; and I haven't written anything prehistoric for a long time, so decided to give it a shot. This is just an extract from about halfway through. Basically, an expedition, led by a guy called Harold from the NHM, went back to study Velociraptors and stuff. Sounds stupid, I know, but I was rushed to think of any ideas. :/ The narrator is Canzan, one of the members of the team.

Day 46, early morning

Went out early this morning, before the sun was up. I know we’re not supposed to leave the camp before sunrise, ‘it’s too dangerous’, but I didn’t really care. I can look after myself, I think.

Before I continue, I must note down an exciting development! Because I think that words like ‘N22’ are not names suitable enough for Velociraptors, I’ll be naming them myself from now on. I don’t care if the others think it’s stupid, they don’t really care about my ideas anyway. And because I am obsessed with physics and it’s about time some kind of physics came into this expedition, I’m naming them after Jupiter and Saturn’s moons.

So first new record coming up of the raptor I saw this morning. (‘saw’ is a very loose term)

Name: Europa

Gender: Female

Predicted age: Quite young, possibly only two years old

Length- possibly about four metres from snout tip to tail tip

Appearance distinctablities (just invented a new word): Smaller than average, three black rings on the end of tail. Distinctive three inch wide black band on left ankle. One claw missing on her right foot, but this doesn’t seem to inhibit her movement. No other distinguishing marks.

Other: Extremely inquisitive for her age, also extremely fast. (Note: never watch her feeding on a kill, she’ll chase you)

Alright, well, if I see her again I’ll note it down here.

Other news? Nothing much is happening, to be honest. Just the usual. Grey being a bit miserable, but then again, when is he not? I don’t think I’ve ever seen him smile at anything except when Victoria is being her usual bitchy self. I still don’t know for the life of me why she actually wanted to come on this trip- she probably thought she was going to miss something if she stayed at home.

Well there’s not much to miss. I’m getting really very frustrated- as nice as Harold is, and as grateful as I am to him for bringing me along, he isn’t being very proactive. He just sits there all day counting his insect collection.

But what am I saying? I’m perfectly happy where I am. More than perfectly happy- ecstatic? This is the Cretaceous period, for christs sake! I don’t think I’ve ever felt more at home- and that’s counting the time when I went to the LHC.

Actually, the only thing that’s really bothering me at the moment is that somehow, everyone else in the team, save for maybe Victoria, seem to know each other, really well. And from what I can gather, none of them have been on any other missions together. They all pretty much ignore me, save for Harold.

Anyway, I hope we leave camp soon and get some real research done. But for now I’m happy where I am.

I finished writing, and chewed the end of my pen thoughtfully. I had mentioned the group thing was bothering me- but was it really? Did I really want to be ‘great mates’ with Phoebe?

I jotted one more thing down.

Oh yeah, and I thought the other day- is Grey his actual name? Or is it something else? Because Grey is a really interesting name, if it is. But Phoebe sometimes looks kinda awkward calling him Grey. Hmm.

I scowled slightly at the paper, then looked around my tent again, sighing. From inside here, it didn’t look like I was 70 million years ago in the past from my present. It just looked like I was on a humble camping trip in the English countryside somewhere.

What am I doing? I sighed again, and lifelessly tossed my book and pen back onto my piles of stuff. Why am I even here?

I mentally slapped myself. Aw come on! Where’s that enthusiasm gone? So what if you’re not doing exactly what you came here to do? Do you know what you are? You’re bloody lucky, that’s what! Make the most of it!

Yeah, I talk to myself quite a bit. It works mostly.

When talking to myself didn’t work, I’d do some photography.

So suppressing another sigh, I gently unwrapped my D5000 from its case, put the wrap around my neck and crawled back out my tent.

The landscape’s song was in full swing this morning as I emerged. Pinky red streaks lit up the skyline where the dark sun was just beginning to rise majestically above the mountain crags in the distance, on the opposite shore of the massive gleaming lake. It looked out of this worldly- prehistoric, use what you will.

Bad weather’s on its way, I thought glumly. The clouds above the camp were flaming with red at the edges. It was much like the raptor- beautiful, but spelt major danger.

The light that the shoreline and camp was bathed in was stunningly bronze and copper coloured, and for a moment a smile twitched the corners of my mouth, a small surge of joy at the gorgeousness of the scene before my eyes. Home seemed so far away- yet at the same time it was right here, close.

Instinctively, I lifted my camera up to my eyes, and clicked the shutter after the autofocus bleep had kicked in. I smiled as Phoebe gave a little annoyed hiss, and her fingers tightened around her gun.

“It’s only a photo, Phoebe,” I grinned and lowered my camera again.

“Shouldn’t you be cataloguing or something, space boy?” she scoffed, snorting. Her dark eyes glinted maliciously, and if she wasn’t holding her gun close to her, I bet she’d toss her long black hair over her shoulder with a little bit of attitude. A lot of attitude. Phoebe liked attitude.

I ignored the ‘space boy’ comment, and trudged past her, and then past a solemn-looking Grey, still hunched at his laptop with a frown on his face.

“I’m just going to go and take some photos-“ I started to call over my shoulder, momentarily wondering where Victoria and Harold were. Phoebe interrupted me, predictably. “Yeah, whatever. Go get eaten or whatever.”

I was too content to scowl, so I simply continued to stride out of the camp’s boundaries, as the ground began to grow thick with ferns and bracken. I reached the edge of the monkey puzzle tree forest, taking a large gulp of fresh, crisp natural air, and the scent of moist leaves and forest-ness filled my head. Raven-like calls rained down from above, and I flicked my gaze upward to see another flock of smaller pterodactyls glide overhead, over the tops of the towering tree forest.

Perhaps I’ll see if I can find Europa again? Although she might not appreciate the sight of me so soon after our last encounter. I sighed as I recalled the deafening tones of the bicycle horn I’d had to blow. It must have hurt her ears slightly, hopefully not too much at all.

However, I hadn’t even passed into the beginning of the thicker undergrowth when a piercing scream split the morning air like a knife slashing through glass, shards of terror stabbing through my chest. Whirling round, I numbly realised that the scream had been human, so I frantically stumbled forward and raced back on the way to camp. Images of ripped tents, bodies strewn across the clearing and blood splattered all over the earth streaked through my mind at fast speed. What happened?!

I staggered back into camp, glancing around wildly, expecting to see some kind of macabre scene with lots of crimson. I prepared myself for the worst, drawing my breath in sharply.

However, everything was still in the same place. Grey was still sat quite placidly at his laptop outside his tent; Phoebe had only sat up a little straighter and held her gun a little higher with narrowed eyes. Her gaze flicked back to me as I entered the camp again.

For a few moments I was confused. Who screamed? What happened?

Then the reason became clear.

Blond curls spilled out from the tent a few metres away from my own, and Victoria emerged, her eyes wide in frantic panic and her mouth wide in a silent, choking scream.

“What is it?” Phoebe hissed, standing.

Grey looked up somewhat absently from his work.

Victoria didn’t seem to be able to speak for a few moments, her lips moving soundlessly, gesturing toward her tent.

“It’s- it’s-“ she stuttered breathlessly, “It’s a little thing-“

I sighed extremely heavily through my nose, narrowing my eyes and gritting my teeth. Everything was so perfect a minute ago, and then Victoria had to go and spoil it. There wasn’t even any blood or anything: it was probably only a spider. How exciting. Not.

Ignoring Victoria’s panicked glare for a few moments, I looked down to check that my camera hadn’t sustained any damage in my frantic scramble back to camp. Thankfully, only the lens cap had fallen off, and thankfully again, that was still attached on a string. I breathed a sigh of relief and turned again to Victoria, who was still pointing and sobbing dry tears as she gestured madly toward her tent. She was still in her bright, neon pink sleeping clothes and slippers. I wondered briefly what had scared her so much inside her tent that she had to appear so undignified in front of the team.

“What is it, Victoria? What did it look like?” Grey sighed, sounding rather bored. Then again, Grey was never very interested in anything. I suspected he was getting rather bored here, seen as though he had been hired to track things and so far we’d done no tracking whatsoever.

“It was green, and- and- it ran fast-“ she wailed.

Phoebe scowled, and promptly headed over to Victoria’s tent and without hesitation, opened the tent flap. Almost instantly, a tiny creature gave a little shriek of alarm, almost like Victoria’s but not as loud and piercing, and leaped out of the tent. For a few heartbeats of shock I thought it was a tiny little Velociraptor- it possessed the same shape, the same build; it had short, flexible arms and strong legs with the same little talon-like claw on each foot, and the same kind of neck shape and snout. But the only difference was this creature was only about five inches tall and bright green.

Well, it wasn’t a spider- but it wasn’t much worse than the scorpions you could find out here.

Victoria screamed again as the creature emerged and bared its short white teeth at her, giving a small hiss. As Grey raised his eyebrows and stepped toward it, the small dinosaur gave a snarl and raced off without a look back across the plains toward the forest and disappeared, a dust trail limply following it.

“I think that’s enough excitement for one morning,” Grey said dryly, giving Victoria a glance before ambling back to sit at his laptop again. Phoebe gave Victoria a death stare on half-killing-power, just to let her know she was annoyed for a minute but not irritated enough to kill her. Phoebe was like that.

Now that it was clear Victoria was not physically hurt in any way, the situation became hilarious to me. She was still stood there in her bright pink clothes and slippers, looking extremely shocked and terrified, and just the smallest hint of red was beginning to creep into her cheeks.

“Victoria?” I managed to croak, in between my suppressed laughter. “Are you alright?”

Her head whipped round to face me, and I couldn’t help but wince. The expression on Victoria’s face when she got angry was almost as worse as Phoebe’s, except her expression was closer to loftiness than fury. Her eyes lit up like flaming coals of emerald embers.

“What are you staring at...” she hissed, then delicately paused in a way only Victoria could without looking stupid, as if she was trying to think of an inventive nickname for me. Then she grinned. “Cancan?”

I raised my eyebrow.


Is that really the best she can come up with? Even ‘space boy’ is more inventive than that.

“Er,” I blurted, “Well I wondering if you were alright.”

That was an alright comeback.

Wait, no it wasn’t. Damn it.

“I’m perfectly fine. Why wouldn’t I be?” she gave a light, confident laugh. Then with another one of her sad ‘you’re going to die, sorry’ smiles, she disappeared within her tent again.

I sighed.

As I've nearly finished this story of about 20,000 words, I've already started planning my next story, which is quite different. With that story, I'll post each chapter up here for you guys to read and keep up with week by week. Should be good.

As usual, some music!

Fave recently, shown to me by Frenchi.

Aaand something random that I really, really want. (bd hints)

~Illusionist xx


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About Me

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Aims to squeeze the whole world onto a single page. Or maybe little more than one page. Loves physics, photography and Private Eye.


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