- for a pony.
No, wait. For a triceratops.
With a comfy saddle. I could ride him all over town. Like the maharaja and his elephant, me and my triceratops. It’d have to be a fancy saddle. With sequins and ribbons. Probably glitter on velvet. We could paint his frills, put tassels on his horns. His name would be something stalwart and resistant, like, oh, I don’t know, Bert. Bert the drag queen triceratops. He’d live on a farm. A dairy farm, with the cows. They’d get used to him. They’d love him.
No, wait. A flying triceratops.
Not some dinosaur twat with wings, no, Bert would fly like superheroes do, with his legs stretched out. We’d fly to the beach, somewhere empty and clean, and build enormous sand castles. Me and my triceratops.
Tourists would look up and point, and cry, what on earth is that?
That, the locals take one look and shrug, that’s Tessa and Bert the flying drag queen triceratops.
Do they fight crime?
I don’t think so.
Then what do they do?
Mostly, they just zoom about dropping confetti with bad haikus written on them.
But Bert, the flying drag queen triceratops, he’s lonely. He tells me he’s all alone in this world, and when I reply that we all are, each and every one of us, alone, he shakes his head sadly. You don’t understand, he says, you can step outside and see hundreds of people who look and move and speak like you. There are no other dinosaurs. I am alone.
I rub his nose. He likes that.
He tells me he’s leaving.
No, you can’t leave.
I am. I’m going to find some dinosaurs. I can’t be the only one.
But where will you go?
The moon, he said, and takes off into the sky.
Wait! Take me with you!
But Bert is gone, a plump silhouette shrinking in the disc of the full moon.
And I am alone.
Later, men knock on my door. Men without uniform or ID. They inform me that the ISS has been destroyed, and show me a satellite picture of the wreckage. A mess of metal still in orbit over the Earth. Amid the glittering shards of mirrors and ribbon strips of foil and mangled twists of girders is a frozen triceratops, legs stretched out.
We believe that is your dinosaur, they tell me.
The ISS cost a lot of money, they tell me.
Do you have insurance, they ask me.