Dinosaurs by Victoria Corwin

When she woke up, the dinosaur was still there.

Just standing there, in the corner, staring with its yellow bloodshot eyes the size of generous dinner plates, unblinking, right at her. It was the same size this time, a dwarf bronto, but the color was different, and so was the texture. This time it was a dark, sickly bruised blue, some purple faded into the hide here and there. Its bruised skin was peeling, flaking off in chunks and clusters along its knobby and thin neck and over the hills and valleys of the ribs over its emaciated belly. Its knees were bloody.

She ignored it and felt the eyes and head silently followed her as she went about dressing for the day. Spiders poured out of the top dresser drawer as usual, and when she left her bedroom to make her morning coffee she left the drawer standing open.

From the kitchen, over the low gurgling noises of the keurig, she could hear the faint crunching of the monstrous mouth as handfuls of spiders were chewed.

The keurig sputtered out the last drops of the coffee and steam rose in tendrils to her nose. She pulled the corner of her mouth to one side in disgust. Not as rotten, but still permeated with the putrid smell of--she decided it had to be rancid chicken flesh, the way it tasted like stale nuggets and the slimy texture running down her throat too close to blood and egg yolk conglomerated together into little chunks.

She took a seat at her small kitchen table (which still seemed to have a pulse this week--that pulse, it comes and goes) and gazed down at her sad little dog resting on its beat-up bed in the corner of the room. Poor thing’s too old, she thought to herself. Should’ve died last year, with its matted fur stuck in clots to its skin, which peeled and hung from the front of its skull. The dog, noticing her, slowly and carefully rose up to its four feet with soft cracks of joints and sockets snapping into place. It did not wag its tail which stayed limp at his badly scraped backside as it strolled over to stand next to the table. Its jaw hung perpetually open, the tongue lazily lolling, only attached to the back of its throat by a few threads of nerve.

“Sleep okay?” the dog asked through its unmoving jaw and stared with worried eyes up at her, pale blue eyes, too round, a look distinctly human. Its English had gotten better.

She nods and sips at her coffee.