Concise Prose. Enough Said.
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The Dinosaur Garden

By Lyra Tenenbraus

There’s a window in the middle of our kitchen and from it you can see the outside parts of the house. There’s a garden, like most houses have in the back of them, but it’s filled with dinosaurs instead of plants and they grow high and very toothy. There's a window in the middle of the kitchen—there's no wall, just a window—and sometimes it floats up, or down a little bit, but it always stays in the middle of the kitchen. And whenever you look through it the dinosaurs give you a toothy grin.

My mother uses too much pepper when she cooks. Sometimes it makes me ill and then I can’t eat anymore and she yells at me about proper nutrition, but how am I supposed to eat something when there are dinosaurs in the middle of our kitchen? Then Charlie says that there are not dinosaurs in the middle of the kitchen, that’s just what you can see from the window, but she still uses too much pepper and that’s what I was trying to get at.

Once when I was little I stood at the window a really long time and watched the dinosaurs. Then the doctor had to come and take me away. I didn’t want to go away because I like my house—that is where my bed is and also my stuffed bear, Charlie. I can’t sleep without Charlie and I said so but he took me away anyway. But then he let me come back and I saw Charlie again and I told him I would never leave him no matter what and my father paid the doctor’s bill and said I was more trouble then I was worth.

Now I am older and Charlie says that we should open the window. I am scared to, but I think I will anyway.

So one day we go up to the window and we look out and you can still see the dinosaurs flashing their toothy grins and I realize just how sharp those teeth look and Charlie says don’t be frightened they’re just plants and I say that they are clearly dinosaurs that wish to embellish us and Charlie says it’s demolish not embellish and that embellish means to decorate and then I ask him how he got so smart and he says because he watches PBS while I’m at school and I say oh.

And then Charlie says O.K. it’s time, it’s time to open the window, Clara, and I put Charlie down next to me and unlock the window and push it up and then the wind starts. And the wind is really strong and pushing at us and making everything in the kitchen blow around and go clang, making really loud noises, so that my mother rushes in and says what the hell is going on, and, so, before she can stop us I grab Charlie and I climb out the window and that’s when we start to fall.

The whole time we’re falling I’m thinking that it’s really funny that we’re falling because when ever I look out the window I see the dinosaur garden and now there is no garden or any dinosaurs there’s just lots and lots of space and then I start to laugh. Charlie laughs too.

We never hit the bottom we just spin off into creation and sometimes I can see faces like my mother’s face and my father’s face and sometimes the doctor’s. It’s not the same doctor who took me away when I was little but it is a doctor and I know it is because when I look at him he’s dressed all in white and he smells like antiseptic.

I must have dropped Charlie because he’s gone which made me sad for a while but not for long because I like spinning.

Lyra Tenenbraus (aka Darcy Bruce) grew up in the city and sorely misses the sound of church bells and the smell of cigarettes and stale coffee on an early Sunday morning, as she now lives in the country, where they are still getting used to the idea of toasters.

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