The Day Dinosaurs Died

Wiping his little mouth with the back of his smooth hand, content after a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with milk for breakfast, Lief reached into his toy bin filled with all sorts of things to make any little boy happy. Mrs. Peabread was teaching his first grade class about dinosaurs and all he wanted to do now was playing with his dinosaurs. He’d learned that the day the dinosaurs died was no different from any other day, as far as the dinosaurs could tell. They still gathered around fresh water lakes, lapping at the crystal water, their lapping tongues creating ripples on the surface. Ancient ancestors of modern birds traversed the sky, their wings outspread, their graceful bodies free, floating on the warm breeze. Life. Human existence wasn’t even a pinprick of a thought in the universe. The searing bright light, a ball fast approaching from the zenith in the sky didn’t cause hearts to race faster, no mass panic, or looting of expensive boutiques. Plants wilted under the heat of approaching doom. Necks craned to see what this thing falling from the sky could be, eyes squinted, and then it was all over. Boom. Death. Lief played this scenario over and over, giving his mother cause for worry; her son is obsessed with dying, she thought. Sometimes, when Lief was tucked in bed, his mother would sit out on the deck, a glass of cheap red wine in hand and stare at the sun, slipping behind the skyscrapers of L.A., the ever present blanket of smog visible, she would think about  Lief until fear creeped up her throat and held it tight, the end was sooner than she was comfortable to admit if no respect for nature was given. So on this particular day, as Lief made explosions noises with his mouth, tipping over a t-rex toy, she prayed that their own apocalypse was a distant, distant event, not even a pinprick of a thought in the universe yet.

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