Their Days Are Numbered is a new year-long project authored by the collective Entropy community. It is a collaborative online novel written by the Entropy community on a weekly basis. A different author will write the next “chapter” each week, to be posted every Tuesday, following the previous post from the previous week, and following a very limited set of guidelines (that each author has one week to write the next piece after the previous week’s installment goes up, that installments should range between 150-1500 words, and that pieces should somehow incorporate a real-life occurrence, current event, news item, or other happening from that week).
Follow the entire “novel” here: Their Days Are Numbered.
The forty-fourth installment is presented this week by Robert Kloss.
And there submerged, the bones of a creature a hundred million years dead. Men in pith helmets and khaki outfits attend with shovels and brushes and cameras to document and remove and resurrect with plaster and wire what this beast had been. Now the Latin name they gave this beast. And so this dead-beast they found wore upon its bones the barest glimmer of flesh, and upon that flesh it wore the red and blue of feathers, yes, this beast neither bird nor lizard, but some long obsolete conflation. And no more would it rise from the mud or stalk about the land. No more its horrid sounds like crows strangled and iguanas hissing, no more the black flicker of a tongue timeless. No more the murder to follow. And yet in the yellow burn of the sun, and then the crimson fall of the sun, and in the swirling dust, the bones seemed to flex and move, and the place where the eyes had been now seemed to glow. So perhaps lives the fever in the minds of those who attend to this beast, and so perhaps any such beast that once lived can never more die.
Robert Kloss is the author of two novels, The Alligators of Abraham and The Revelator; a novella, How the Days of Love & Diphtheria, and the hybrid genre work, The Desert Places, co-authored with Amber Sparks and illustrated by Matt Kish. He lives in Colorado.