All the Earth is dead.
We do not know how or why all the people of Earth were transported to the early Triassic, but we know the result. Drought. Starvation. Ruins in the red rock.
We were the luckiest, we think. Australia in the early Triassic is green and cool near the south pole, and connected to the vast, lush, uninhabited landmass of Antarctica. All we had to do was fight a war with the Indians to claim it.
Now our empire is large enough to bring us news of the death that befell the people transported to the vast desert of South America and Africa. Europe and North America can not have fared better, because the only voices we hear on the radio are speaking Chinese.
It is time to find out. Our ships are ready to sail the starved seas. The Empire of Oz must expand, or else die.
= hiss (sustained, un-constricted airflow)
~ growl (sustained, constricted airflow)
H cough (ejective, un-constricted)
X croak (ejective, constricted)
C click (made with beak or teeth)
N snort (ejective, nasal)
M sustained snort
(V, W) rough snorts (hadrosaurs only)
> diminishing volume
< increasing volume
Syllable nucleus is formed by a sustained sound of variable duration and volume, which may be proceeded or followed by ejectives.
X=>C (Croak, diminishing hiss, click) “Threat”
~~~< (V. long increasing growl) “Food”
N=< (snort, hiss) “Disgust”
MM>H (long, sustained, diminishing snort, growl) “Sleep”
Sentences are constructed as “prey” (object) followed by “teeth” (verb) followed by a “head” (subject), sometimes followed by a “tail” (modifiers).
~ ~~~< M_ N=< ~~<C. ~ ~~~< ~~<C
gloss: (Tyrannosaurus food plant disgust Triceratops. Tyrannosaur food Triceratops)
loose translation: “I do not eat plants because they are for you. I eat you.”
Words to live by indeed, assuming that I am a tyrannosaurus.
This is Shawn Scarber, author of Night Witch, a story in A. Lee Martinez’s Strange Afterlives anthology. He’s also written a hell of a lot of short stories, some of which have even gotten published.
A. Lee Martinez, oh my!
The Night Witches
Japanese mono no ke
LADY CARDULA AND THE GRYPHON, by Shawn Scarber:
“The Reflection in her Eye” in March 2015 Black Denim Lit.
Dan tells a Bulgarian shaggy dog joke…
If you’re not reading short fiction, you’re not going to be able to write short fiction
The competition is so good
If somebody signs up to my newsletter, that’s success
And check out Shawn’s excellent and thorough notes on this podcast, including some stuff we didn’t get a chance to say.