spikesgirl58 (spikesgirl58) wrote,
spikesgirl58
spikesgirl58

A Literary Quote Tale for JantoJones

Title: When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth
Genre: Sapphire & Steel
Rating: PG
Word count: 1673
Prompt: "And, of course men know best about everything, except what women know better." (Middlemarch - George Eliot)


Within the confines of the fence, life continued as it had for a long time. There was birth and there was death. Life was a continuing battle for enough to eat and to breed. Somehow, an uneasy balance was established. True they were out of their element, but it didn’t matter. They lived.



The fog hugged the ground the way a frightened child clutched at their mother’s skirt. A lone man slowly waded through it, cautious of and trip hazards that the mist playfully hid from his view. He wore a suit of gray, its cut as austere and sharp as his nature.

“Where are we, Sapphire?” The man tripped, but his companion’s face remained impassive, not displaying any humor she might feel over his clumsiness. Instead she concentrated upon her own footing, her butter soft calf skin boots protecting her legs up to the hem of her cornflower blue dress.

“I believe the term amusement park is what humans prefer to use.”

Steel stopped suddenly, gasping. The fog had lifted and they stood before the grinning maw of a towering creature. The years had not been kind to the dinosaur, toppling it. Even so, it was still a startling sight to come up. To either side of it, comic book trees posed, their expression malicious and mocking. Between them was a weather worn sign, Prehistoric World.

“I am not amused.” That wasn’t a surprise. Steel seldom was.

A formidable steel chain fence stretched out in both directions and mildly threatening signs warned trespassers to keep out hung from it every few feet

Steel reached and grasped the chain holding the gates closed. It took little effort to twist it apart. That accomplished he push one side open enough for them to walk though.

“Neither was the queen and we all know how that turned out,” Sapphire stepped past him. “Apparently, this was for the children of its time. I believe there is a path just there. Would you close that please?”

He did as he was asked. “Why?”

“I don’t know, but it seems to me to be a very good idea.”

“So, the parents’ goal was to make sleep impossible for their children?” Steel closed the gate and followed the point. He arched an eyebrow. “If there is a path, it is only in the loosest sense of the word. Still, I suppose it is better than the snarl of long grass. “Why are we here, Sapphire?”

“It wasn’t made clear in my briefing. There must be a time flux here and we have to stop it.”

“It would be nice if They were a bit more forthcoming with some of their briefing information.” Steel caught a fast movement out of the corner of his eye and darted a look in that direction. Nothing but a dilapidated, mossy creature stared back at him. “What is that, Sapphire?”

Her eyes glowed a brilliant blue for a moment. “Fiberglass over a steel frame, approximate age forty years based upon the chemical breakdown and oxidation.” Her voice was monotone. “Created to replicate a tyrannosaurus rex, a creature of genus of coelurosaurian theropod and it is believe to date to the Maastrichtian age of the upper Cretaceous Period, 68 to 66 million years ago.”

Steel squinted. “It appears to have red upon its teeth.”

“It is a carnivore. I believe that was to imitate blood.” Her eyes resumed their normal state and her voice warmed.

“And this was for children?” He shook his head. “I will never understand humans.”

“They are a mystery to me as well. I can appreciate their wanting the children to learn of their past, but surely a museum would be a more appropriate--” Sapphire trailed off as something caught her eye. “Did you see that? I thought—I think we need to leave and secure more information before we go further.”

“It happening to you, too, then. That’s a relief.” Steel relaxed slightly at her words. “I was afraid I was seeing things.”

“You don’t have the imagination to see things that aren’t there, Steel”

“Thank you.” The words were clipped. “And you needn’t fear. There’s nothing I can’t protect you from.”

“I didn’t mean that you lack imagination, Steel, just that you aren’t given to wild bouts of letting it get away from you. And, thank you. I do feel safe with you.” Still, she scanned the nearby trees and bushes.

“So what are we seeing?”

“I’m not sure--” She gasped at the sight of the elephant. It was huge and covered with a black fur like material. A red eye balefully regarded at her.

“It’s a mastodon.”

“How did you know?”

“I read the sign.” Steel pointed to a grime-covered sign and kept walking. “It says they were alive from the late Miocene to Pleistocene age. If I remember Earth geology, they didn’t exist at the same time.”

“Or in the same regions.”

“Wouldn’t it be confusing to have them in the same park? Unless all periods were represented.”

Another opening and before them, two people were attempting to kill a giant ape and drag it off with the help of an ox. The two Elements exchanged puzzled looked.

“How many mistakes can you find with this scene? Let me count the…” Steel trailed off as something skittered behind him. He spun and saw just the hint of a form.

What is it?
Sapphire tried to follow his gaze.

I’m not sure. I keep seeing something, but I’m not sure what.

Let’s find out our business here and be done with this place.


“We are all right, Sapphire. This was an amusement park for children. It’s not like something is going to jump out at us.” Steel walked swiftly away from the path and into some low brush. Something caught his toe and he pitched forward with a cry of surprise.

Immediately, Sapphire was there. “Are you injured?” It was a rhetorical question since he was, in fact, borne of metal.

“Just surprised.” Steel got to his knees and reached for whatever tripped him. It was a bone, long picked clean. He offered it to Sapphire and got to his feet. “They just had to toss in a skeleton… or two.” He spotted more bones glistening in the sun. “Humans.”

He waited for Sapphire’s defense of her hapless humans, but nothing came. Instead Steel found a look of surprise and disgust on her face as she dropped the bone.

“Sapphire?”

“It’s not make believe, Steel. It’s real.”

“So an animal came out here, got trapped and died.”

“Steel, this is the rib of a Procompsognathus. It went extinct approximately 210 million years ago… the Triassic Period.”

“What?”

“And this one was killed recently.”

“That’s impossible…” Again his attention caught movement. “Sapphire, I want you to listen very carefully to me. Place your back against mine.”

She laughed lightly, but did as he asked. “Why, Steel?”

“I was mistaken. It isn’t that something was trying to avoid us. It is that we are being hunted, stalked as prey.”

Sapphire’s hand caught his. “This is the anomaly? I wish They’d mentioned that.”

“Perhaps They didn’t know.” The grass close to them rustled menacingly. There was a soft chirping, an odd clicking that surrounded them. “Sapphire, take time back. Get us out of here.”

“Now?”

“Right now unless you prefer to be a first course to these creatures.”

There was a shriek and something hit Steel hard. The pain seared him to his core. He felt bitten in two. Reality grew watery and slipped away.

Steel blinked rapidly to clear his watery eyes. They were standing before the oddly menacing trees again. He looked for Sapphire, but she was on the ground, gasping for breath. He was beside her with his arms protectively around her before he even realized he’d moved.

“Sapphire? Are you injured?”

“Very nearly.” She reached out and touched a great rent in his shirt front. “I knew we should have left at the first sign of trouble.” Her eyes were sad and impulsively Steel leaned over and kissed her cheek.

“Thank you for saving me. What were they, do you know?”

“Velociraptors, I think. They are the right size and they hunt in a pack, but what are they doing here? They predated Procompsognathus by 139 million years, give or take. They were in the Cretaceous Period. ”

“It makes sense, given the hodgepodge of the exhibits. Time is all jumbled up here. Perhaps our mere presence triggered it.” Steel slowly released her and stood. “We need to go.”

“Won’t the creatures escape and become a danger to nearby people?” Sapphire remained seated, not trusting her knees quite yet.

“I don’t believe so. If they were going to have escaped, it would have happened by now. I think that fence, for whatever reason keeps them confined. I think we need to go back and get more information before we continue.”

“I did make that suggestion earlier.”

“Yes, but I didn’t see any danger then. Now I do.”

“And, of course men know best about everything, except what women know better."

That made Steel turn. “Pardon?”

Sapphire smiled slightly as Steel helped her to her feet. “I am merely quoting George Eliot.”

“Who?”

“An Earth writer.” There was a screech and Sapphire’s hand tightened upon Steel’s.

“I can think of a better quote.” Steel’s arm went around her and guided here to the center on the road.

“And that is?”

“Haste la vista, baby.” And they were gone.



Within the confines of the fence, life continued as it had for a long time. There was birth and there was death. Life was a continuing battle for enough to eat and to breed. Somehow, an uneasy balance was established. True they were out of their element, but it didn’t matter. They lived.



Prehistoric World is a very real park. It first opened in the 1960’s and closed in 1999. If you would like more information on this very spooky abandoned theme park. Check it out here:
Tags: gen fic, lit prompts, sapphire and steel
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