Cretaceous, Bro

Dude, dude, dude! ’Kay. No, listen, bro. You’ll love this next part.
So we were being chased by this one giant turkey thing, right? And like, this thing is fast, ’kay?

Like: Holy. Shit.

And it’s like scary even, like, I know it’s a bird and all, but it has these teeth, man, and this big red face, and dude, it was huge. Like, no joke, it could sit on your house. Had these really gay feathers though, like multicolored and shit.

Anyway man, I’m fucking booking it, and just dragging Lucy, and she’s screaming, like, “Oh my God, we’re going to get eaten by a T-Rex, Shawn, you fucking jerk!” Like all hysterical you know? So I’m like, Luce, that’s a fucking turkey, I’ve seen Jurassic Park, ’kay? I should know.

By the way, turns out: was wrong. I checked when I got back. T-Rex had feathers! Did you know? Yeah, and they lived in the Cretaceous, bro, not the Jurassic period. It’s like a whole ’nother period.

So anyway we’re getting chased by this giant turkey T-Rex thing, fucking ruining my childhood with its big gay feathers, and we get to like, a fuckingcliff, right? So I’m like, “Fuck you, turkey, I’ve been mountain climbing since I was eight!” So I just climb down the side of the cliff, and me and Luce are just hanging there like—

Dude, what do you mean? Were you even listening, brah?

Ugh! ’Kay, like I said, we had those mushrooms— Yeah! The ones from the hobo- shaman-drug dealer I’ve been buying from! He said they would take us back in time, but he’s always saying crazy shit like that, so I wasn’t too concerned about it, you know? They were like, way more expensive than the regular kind, though, so I figured they’d be pretty good. So yeah, put them on a pizza so Lucy would get high too, you know, ’cause she doesn’t do drugs? Yeah, it bums me out man, ’cause we got nothing else to do when we’re not fucking, like, all she talks about is her science-y shit. Should never have moved in with that bitch.

Anyway, we ate the pizza at this romantic picnic in the forest I planned out for her—shut up bro, she was having a rough week with school and shit. Whatever, man…that’s not the point. I offer you an epic, real life adventure story, with like, crazy shit happening, and you give me shit ’cause I was treating my lady to a romantic picnic? Fucking Indiana Jones didn’t have to deal with this shit when he was, like, romancing the stone, or whatever. (Shut up, I know those were two different movies.)

Anyways dude, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, we ate magic shroom pizza in the forest, and start tripping balls, like, instantly. Everything starts to get all bright and shit, and the trees just start to change into these tropical things—palm trees! Yeah, into fucking palm trees, man, and like, it was warmer too, you know? So like, we walk around in this weird tropical place, and we hear this whoosh noise above us. Lucy screamed sooo hard haha, you have no idea! For realz though, I was pretty freaked myself. It was like this giant bat flying over us or something. Turns out it was a pterosaur. Yeah, I looked up a bunch of shit when I got back, man. Like, did you know they didn’t even have cavemen in dinosaur times? No wonder we couldn’t find help, yo!

So yeah like I was saying, we’re walking in this jungle place, totally freakin’ high—but no, actually, we were just in the past. But it still felt like I was high though, ’cause of everything being all weird and different. I mean, no wonder there was no people back then, they probably just died from tripping out so hard every day, just from looking at all these weird birds and shit! Dinosaurs. Whatever.

So that’s when we hear this really weird gobbling sound behind us, and like, I turn around and there it is, this fucking giant turkey T-Rex looking at us with its head on one side all confused and shit and making those turkey noises. I was just like, whoa, the fuck is that thing? Fucking giant turkey!

Well no, actually it looked more like a parrot or something with the colored feathers and all but it sounded like a turkey. Also the big red face was like a turkey. At first I couldn’t stop laughing, ’cause it was so weird, you know? And ’cause I still thought we were tripping. But Lucy really freaked the fuck out that time and so we started running, and fuck, it could run. Like it just started chasing us. It was still fucking gobbling though, and bobbing its head like a pigeon or something while it ran, or like a chicken.

So we get to that cliff and—dude! Dude, this is the best part! No you’re not, you’re fucking texting Sarah again. I’m not blind, bro!

Dude, I don’t care what happened to you this weekend. Don’t you get it? I traveled through the dimensions of time, bro, and fucking walked with the fucking dinosaurs. I killed a pack of velociraptors with a spear! What? No, Lucy made the spear, do I look like a fucking caveman to you? You think I know how to make a spear? I just used it to kill the raptors, dude. I didn’t tell you that part? Oh man, trust me, you’ll want to hear this.

First of all. The raptors in J-ParkNot actually raptors. They were this other thing from the actual Jurassic, I think. In real life raptors are like these tiny bird things—well, just a bit smaller than in J-Park, but still pretty freaky, especially in a pack. They’re about the size of a dog, but more nimble, and really fast and vicious, man. Like a pack of giant crows or something, but with teeth, like razor sharp teeth, and those giant claw things on their feet. Yeah, that part of the movie was real. Check it out, dude, they totally clawed me here, see the scar?

’Kay, ’kay, ’kay, but…so anyway, we were just chilling in our little hut thing that we built— well, Lucy built—and… Yeah, it was pretty cozy, actually, we had, like, a fire pit in the middle and it was kinda under a rock and out of the way so no one would see us, but still had a bunch of light and shit, so we were good, you know? Like we had a nice home there for a little while—

Whatever, dude, like stop interrupting me.

So we were all like…we were going at it, you know? Like pretty intense, if you ask me. I dunno bro, it’s like, something about not knowing if you’re going to even…be alive the next day, or some deep shit like that. It’s…seriously bro, it’s the best aphrodisiac. Like, it was working for me too, you know? ’Cause I mean, even didn’t know what would happen, you know? I mean we were there for months man, months, just living like cavemen in these…Cretaceous dinosaur times… and like, hunting these giant raccoon-type things, ’cause they were the only things that kinda looked normal and didn’t freak us out too much to eat. I mean, you don’t know what’s poisonous, right? It’s like a different time and shit, everything is like, on another level. I dunno, Lucy explained it to me. I don’t know that science shit, all I know is it was pretty intense, man. Like, the fucking and the life. I mean, nothing can prepare you for that, you know? No matter how many reps you do you’re just not ready to tackle all those giant turkeys and bats and crows and shit, you know? Like,fuck, man. I mean, you know I’m not the scared type usually, but fuck, man. When you’re there it’s different, you know?

So anyway bro, there we are in this hut-cave thing, making sweet sweet love and shit, you know? And suddenly we hear these creepy-ass tropical bird noises circling around the hut… I mean, that was pretty much in the background all the time there, so you kinda got used to it, but it was really close this time, like right in our ears almost, so we were like, what. The fuck. Dude.

So I just freak the fuck out now and grab my spear and start stabbing like crazy outside the window-holes or whatever, and just screaming like totally freaking the fuck out, and Lucy’s like crying and shit and covering her face and ears; and then these heads come pecking through the fucking window-holes and trying to bite us and shit—for realz man, these things were vicious, like think giant angry crows—and so I just went on this…rampage, like flight or fight shit, and there was nowhere to “flight” to, ’cause we were stuck in this cave or whatever, this fucking…hole in the ground. So I just burst out of the hut like a fucking bat out of hell, and just start screaming and killing, like Rambo or some shit haha I dunno. And they start trying to fly up and attack me, but they can’t really fly man, they were just flapping around like chickens or whatever, you know, like, they could get off the ground a bit but they weren’t flying, you know? It wasn’t like The Birds or nothing like that, it was more like…being attacked by a pack of wolves, but they were cawing and flapping their wings and trying to slice me with their toe knife things.

And I’m just like, no. Hell no. Just stabbing them in the neck and shit, and in the rib cage, and just blood flying everywhere and all over me and getting in my eyes. But the spear was getting stuck in their rib cages, right? So I had to pull it out with my foot after, but really fast-like so I could stab the next guy before he bit me or sliced me open. At the same time though I’m doing like some crazy Kung Fu shit and twirling my spear around to knock out the guys behind me, you know? ’Cause seriously, there was a lot of them, bro, you have no idea.

And then… Bro, bro, bro. Listen. Just when I thought I couldn’t go more bat-shit crazy, this one motherfucker manages to like…half-fly, half- climb…up on to my back, and slices me right where I have this scar here. And I just freaked. the. fuck. OUT.

They messed with the wrong motherfucker that night, let me tell you, ’cause I just lost it. No, seriously bro, I just dropped my spear, and grabbedthe guy by his fucking duck-neck, and just fucking bit his neck off. With my teeth. Like, some next- level Ozzy shit.

Like the Cretaceous fucking Ozzy Osbourne.

And I start doing it to the others too, like, just grabbing them and biting them and ripping parts out of them that I didn’t even know they had, and just crushing them with my feet too and punching them hard and just bashing their little fucking brains in.

Bro. Bro. It was fucking epic. Like, they should seriously make a movie about me right now.

So finally they’re all dead, right? I mean, by the end some of them got scared and tried to run away, but I was having none of that shit. Fucking chased every one of them down, and this one guy that got too far for me to grab it, I just hurled my spear at him, and got it, right in the side of its ass, so the tip was sticking out its lung or something. Like, it didn’t look very healthy after, that’s all I’m saying.

At this point I’m just screaming like a fucking caveman, like Tarzan or some shit, like beating my chest and everything. Fucking lord of the jungle, man. The fucking king. So I turn around to my girl, right? Like, expecting her to be all excited by it, or at least have some fucking gratitude forsaving her ass, you know? But she’s still all crying and shit… So you know, I calm down a little, and go to give her a hug, tell her it’s alright.

But no. She says, “Get away from me,” like she was scared of me. I’m like, excuse me, I just saved our ass, how about some fucking gratitude, you ungrateful bitch? You wouldn’t even be alive if it weren’t for me.

And then she just unleashes hell, like, she goes on her own rampage, you know? But with words.

She starts giving me this sass, man, like “Ummm, did you miss the part where I made the fucking spear you used to kill those things? Did I ever get any gratitude for that? Or how about the home I built us, a loving home despite the fact that we’re literally living in the fiery depths of hell over here? Where were you when I was making this place, huh? Just dicking around and climbing trees, and burning all the different plants you could find just trying to find the ones that can get you high!”

And then she goes on about how it was my fault we were here—like, how the fuck should I know the hobo-shaman-drug dealer could actually send us back in time? I was just trying to do her a favor and get her to loosen the fuck up for once in her life—and how she…sets all the traps to catch the raccoon-type things, and she cooks them and she cleans our cloths and made us a bunch of new ones and she goes to the river every day and fetches the water and fucking boils it for us so we don’t die—like being all dramatic and shit about everything, you know? Then she keeps going on about how, back in the present, I’ve been “emotionally unavailable” ever since I flunked out of college, and how I’m always getting drunk with the guys and not trying to get a better job and do something with my life and how I’m a slob and I never clean up after myself and how I always hit on her sister and it makes her uncomfortable— which is totally not true, by the way, she’s definitelyinto it—and how blah, blah, blah…

Typical bitches, eh? Everything always has to be about them all the time. She thinks just ’cause I don’t cry and shit like she does that everything’s always cool with me. Well fuck man, I was pretty fucking scared of that place too, let me tell ya. Like holy fuck, bro, am I glad that’s over.

She thinks that ’cause I don’t cry and complain and shit like her that everything’s always my fucking fault, that she’s always the victim. I mean, if I were the sensitive type like she says she wants me to be, she wouldn’t even be with me, you know? Like that guy Tobias! He’s been in love with her for years, and he’s a pretty good-looking guy, no? He’s all smart and shit too, and they’ve known each other since before…even before even knew her. But he’s always so calm and sensitive and shit, and everyone just talks over him all the time, so he doesn’t get laid much.

Not Tommy. Tobias, man. Tobias doesn’t get laid much. Are you even listening?

She listens to that guy Jacques though, no matter who else is talking. Probably ’cause he’s all foreign and shit. I don’t know how the dude is so smart, and so fucking confident too. Not like Tobias. I think it’s different in Europe, you know? You can be a nerd and confident, too. It’s like… they’re all hipsters over there or something, but with more expensive clothes.

I dunno. She says they’re “just friends,” that she likes to talk to him ’cause supposedly he listens or whatever. Well…fuck man, I’m just friends with Lindsey, but you don’t see me inviting her over to our place for tea every other day, you don’t see me just…ignoring Lucy every time I talk to Lindsey. Of course, I can’t talk to her about it… I mean, I’ve tried. But then she tells me to calm the fuck down, that I’m being “macho” or whatever. So I get a little angry when we talk about it, so what? Like, would she prefer it if I cried about it? Honestly bro, like do you think I should just…cry? Or would she think I’m a pussy? I’ve never seen Jacques cry, that’s for sure. Never even seen him get upset about anything, just smiling his cocky fucking Euro-trash smile all the time.

But oh, I’m the bad guy, ’cause I wanted to get high when the fucking dinosaurs were about to eat us and I couldn’t deal. ’Cause she made the fucking hole-in-the-ground house and I did nothing. ’Cause she invented and built the fucking time machine that brought us back. Well la di fucking da bro, I could have made that fucking time machine too if I’d studied science and shit like her, and I tell you what: it wouldn’t have taken me eighteen fucking months neither.

You know, I read an article the other day— ’cause you know, been trying to read papers and stuff so I can keep up with that Euro-fuck piece of shit Jacques—and it said the loneliest people in the world are the really educated women and the really uneducated men. Well, Lucy is pretty fucking educated. She doesn’t seem too fucking lonely to me. I dunno man, it’s just… I’m starting to feel all…alienated or, whatever. You know?

I mean, I didn’t expect this for my life neither, you know? Like, remember high school, man? We were the fucking kings of that joint, remember? Like, everything seemed so easy. I thought that would have turned into something by now, you know? I mean, we were promised so much more,man… What ever happened to “get rich or die trying,” bro? Like Fitty Cent and Entourage and all that shit, promising us the thug life if we’re just pimp enough to reach out and grab it? Like, first year college, bro, remember? That was the bomb, bro. Fuckin’…frat parties here, keggers there, getting laid all the friggin’ time and not knowing where the fuck we even were when we woke up… Remember that shit? We were winning, dawg. Then what the fuck happened?

It’s like everything’s backwards now. People who stayed in studying all day are off getting jobs and buying fancy-ass condos downtown, and guys like us got fuck-all. Where’s my pool house? Where’s my friggin’ Lambo? That’s what we were promised, no? That’s what all the songs and TV shows were about. Who knew that’s not how it was? No one told us shit… I mean, the teachers did, but who the fuck are they? Just…sad-ass, wrinkled old squares on their third divorce… Who would want to be like that? I just feel so lied to, you know? Like everything I did was for nothing. The only good thing I ever accomplished was getting with Lucy, and that might be going too now.

Lucy, man… All those times I let her down, all those times I went out with the guys instead of staying in and watching her fuckin’ chick flick shit—they’re not even that bad, you know? Nothing a beer or two can’t get you through. Could have just stayed home and drank there. So what if they called me a fag? So what if they said I was pussy-whipped? It’s just words, yo.

I dunno… You think it’s over, man, or do I still got a chance? Be honest with me, bro. You think I can fix this, or am I totally fucked?

…Bro? Dude, bro!

Whatever. Just…forget it, man. You’re not even listening.

Emile Gregory

Emile Gregory began his first attempts at writing a novel around age 12, but became constantly distracted by serious tween business (such as girls and rock music) and never made it past page 20. Unsure of where his interests lay, he spent his college years drifting between biology, philosophy, history, politics and journalism, only to spend his post-graduation years playing in a string of dirge-infused rock bands between Montreal and Ottawa. Two years and four bands later, Emile began to work on a solo album. While writing the lyrics to his album, he rediscovered his love for the written word, and began self-publishing short stories through Amazon Kindle. He is currently working on his first novel.

Hugh Hartigan

Hugh Hartigan is the art director for Tethered by Letters. In addition to managing an incredible team of artists, he make his own contributions to F(r)iction as well. A native to Denver, CO, he received his BA in Studio Arts from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a focus in painting and drawing. Before heading to TBL, he started his own company, HIM Clothing, where he makes neckties, bow ties, and pocket squares from scratch using his great-grandmother’s 1950s sewing machine.

First Featured In: No. 1, spring 2015

F(r)iction #1

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