• Jeff Arce/Jarce ArtThor

Creature Feature: a Fan Fiction

Updated: Jun 18

((((warning: the following short story contains some vulgar language and scary monster action. Proceed with caution. Don’t feed the Dinos. Thank you!))))

“This is stupid,” the boy sulked, crossing his arms, and pouting out the passenger side window.


Amy was about sick of his attitude lately. But she knew it would take more energy she no longer had in her to engage in yet another exhausting argument with him. So, instead, she tried the path of diplomacy.


“Oh, come on, Tommy,” she coaxed, smiling. “It’ll be fun. You know, me and your dad used to go to the drive-in all the time when we were kids.”


He tittered. “Yeah, bet it was a real hoot when they brought out the color tv too, huh?”


Little shit.


She should have known better. You can’t reason with terrorists. Tommy has had a major bug up his ass ever since the lockdown slipped into its second month without resolve. Well, to be fair, he’s been rather truculent since the morning the Navy sent back word that his father was never coming back home. But that virus just went on ahead and screwed up everyone’s lives even worse. It spared no one. Not even the kids. Amy was forced to maintain her job to keep scant food on the table, while at the same time she had to try and play substitute teacher to her adolescent son in between her off hours, which were already scarce enough as it was. She’d been lucky to have graduated from high school her damned self. How the hell did they expect her to teach a growing boy, with A.D.D energy, and 0 patience for bullshit? She didn’t know, they didn’t care, and all the wine and toilet paper in the world was out of stock. So, she couldn’t drink, and she couldn’t cry about it. She just had to adjust.


Took some getting used to, but she fumbled her way through it. So did he, though, not without kicking and screaming all the way there. After quite a bit of huffing and puffing and passing out from depletion trying to get her overworked brain to crack the code that was algebra, she finally started to navigate a way to make this tutoring thing work for her.

Nevertheless, Amy was so relieved when the facetime classes started. She was even more relieved when the schools began opening back up again, even if it was only for limited hours. They were limited hours to help her get a little more limited sleep. Also, the wine was back in full stock, so that helped her along the way to snore-town. In retrospect, she may have gone a touch overboard the first week she could at last get her hands on some alcohol yet again. But binging on Netflix just wouldn’t cut it. And she wasn’t quite sure if she could stream the entire catalogue of That 70’s Show anymore without being legally labeled mentally ill. Damn, she was thirsty then. But like all toxic vices, she got over that too. Can’t drown your woes in booze for too long. That’s how you earn yourself a very rude awakening. And Amy was awake well enough.


A little before the pandemic broke, some rich fucktards got it in their not-too-brilliant heads that it might be a good idea to bring back a couple of those genetic monstrosities from that nightmare park down near Costa Rica. The talk had been that they were trying to auction them off for God knows what good reason besides a butt-load of pay. Amy wasn’t so ignorant not to recognize that for most people, a butt-load of pay was plenty enough incentive to burn down the world. That park was the fifth trumpet of the seventh seal with rollercoasters, though. They couldn’t get that shit right in 93, they let one of those things trounce a neighborhood in San Diego back in 97, and they failed on an even grander scale in 2015. That last one got a lot of people killed. What insane hubris would compel a rational mind to keep trying. How much blood must spill? How many lawsuits must they settle before they understand that it’s time to throw in the towel? But of course, Amy was pretty much convinced at this point that the people involved in all this mad-science shit were mostly far from rational. It was out of her hands, and out of her control, like most things were these days. But just as it always seems to be in these sorts of cases, their miscalculations become her burden. The rich get to choose our next great calamity like a game of death poker without suffering any consequences. The rest of us just gotta sift through the rubble for what’s left. In the words of Will Smith before he slapped that funny guy across the chops, “welcome to earth!”


Tommy was an outdoor kid. He was only ever happy when he was outside or hiking with his friends. It all went downhill fast when news hit that their small little rural town was about to make history as one of those creatures with a name as tedious as it’s DNA structure took a liking to the lush environment there. The little vermin made one of Tommy’s favorite national parks into its own personal breeding ground. Then the hazmat guys flew in, and everyone else had to get out, indefinitely. Tommy was devastated. Like what’s next? Are they just gonna let these things take over whatever park or national reserve they want? They aren’t even supposed to be here. She heard that one of the flying ones made its nest on top the new World Trade Tower in NYC. Are they gonna close that too? No! Of course not. But nobody gives a damn about a bunch of hicks in a tiny back country town forgotten by the rest of the world.


And then came the virus to shut down everything. But everyone knows that story.

Dirk’s Drive-in nearly went extinct from poor business before the bug got out. Yet, just like those monsters plaguing the world now, it somehow found a way to come back from the dead. But then, everyone knows, life always finds a way.


With everything boarded up to avoid the spread, Dirk’s saw an opportunity to capitalize on a bad situation and against all odds they made it happen. Folks from all over drove for miles just to catch the latest hits on the big screen in the safety of their motorized boxes. They didn’t care that they could watch it for free on HBO Max. They didn’t want to do that anymore. They were sick of streaming, and they were sick of being locked up in their houses. They needed to get out. Though, admittedly, still being confined to your car kind of defeats the point of going out, but at least the scenery was different. The good people at Dirk’s allowed minimal access to their snack bar but with some show of precaution, of course. The workers were shielded safe behind a big plastic wall, and everyone had to make their orders by phone. Waiting in your car for the sweet stuff to arrive seemed an improvement from missing the show standing in line. Even with all that, it was still better than being trapped in the house. Tommy wasn’t impressed though. He thought that going to the Drive-in was a dinosauric ritual. How ironic.


Amy’s car speakers were old and crackly. The sound from the movie came through as graceful as sandpaper grinding away at their eardrums. It was as if the soundtrack had been recorded on a vinyl record, and then played on top of a broken washer machine. She forgot what a pain it was trying to hear the action through a car stereo. But then again, when she used to go as a child, they had to rely on those terrible window speakers that probably sounded even worse, but she couldn’t remember anymore. She did find it kind of funny that Dirk’s could go through all that trouble developing an app for their customers to order tickets and snacks from, yet they couldn’t find another way to update their sound system. The high S’s were making them both cringe in their seats, anguished by the callous feedback. At one particular moment in the film when the iron suit guy was taking on the big purple guy with the glove in a flashback scene their initial clash was so jarring the sound shook the entire car. That was probably why they hadn’t felt the thing’s heavy footfalls as it was closing in.


“I need…, to pee,” Tommy whined with his mouth full, still feeding himself handful after handful of popcorn like he was powerless to stop it.


Amy was ensorcelled by the spectacle on screen, chomping down on popcorn herself as she asked dreamily, “Can it wait?”


He groaned. “Mom, if it could wait, I wouldn’t be complaining about it now.”


When the boy was right, he was right, so she turned the car off and said, “Alright, but let’s make it quick. I don’t wanna miss the hammer guy.”


“He looks like a girl with a beard.”


Amy grinned devilishly to that. “Well then, sweety, Mommy might be gay, cause ma’ma likes!”


He groaned again. “Gross.”


“Mask,” she said as she walked around to meet him at his side.


“Got it!”


He put his on over his face, and she did to. Then they were off.


As they were marching between cars, Amy had a funny thought. Seeing human faces behind their glass windshields staring like zombies at the big screen wasn’t so different from seeing them in their little boxes in a conference call on her computer. Maybe the world hasn’t changed all that much.


Suddenly, Tommy stopped in his tracks. He was still clutching on to his bucket of popcorn and the kernels went spilling over the rim, landing on the sodden gravel at his feet. With wide eyes that looked like unbelieving eyes he gazed at her.


“What is it,” she asked.


“I think I just felt something.”


“What?”


He turned to face the screen. The trees that bordered it were shifting, but he felt no breeze. He said, “I don’t know… Something in the ground.”


Amy set her hands on her hips and waited, listening. “I just hear the movie. Now, come on.”


The boy wasn’t sold. He started drifting. The light from the projector was cascading down his back. A fire ball from the iron suit guy’s metal hands went streamed across the back of his scalp.


“Tommy…?”


Then, she felt it. She gasped. Something vibrated underneath her. It wasn’t from the movie. She was certain.


“What the fuck was that?”


Tommy tucked the popcorn under his arm and reached up to withdraw the mask from his face. He was more curious than he was afraid, but he hated wearing that thing. It disoriented him. His focus was locked on the trees dancing behind the screen. After some time, he decided that there was nothing out of the ordinary there and turned back toward his mom.


He said, “I guess maybe it could be…”


His mother wasn’t looking at him anymore. She was creeping backward on her heels. She was sweating, and her bottom jaw was moving, but she wasn’t saying anything. She was only whimpering incoherent sounds that wanted to be words. Her face had gone white, and her eyes were big as two moons. Tommy followed her gaze. He dropped his popcorn, and he dropped his mask.


The biggest head they had ever seen was bobbing up and down toward the window where the light of the projector was blazing out of. It moved it’s massive body like a bird without wings, bouncing along on it’s scaly talons, as if to confuse a predator. But it was the predator. Every step it took with those gigantic, clawed feet shook the earth beneath them. Its tiny little arms hung from its enormous torso, twitching like two nubs that wanted to help its host but couldn’t. Somewhere in the darkness above they heard the percussion of helicopter propellors chopping across the sky, but wherever that was it was too far away to spot. The creature began to open its serrated jaws just over the lighted path of the movie stream sending its menacing silhouette across it. They knew in that moment, whoever was hunting for this thing in the chopper might catch their prize too late.

At last, Amy’s words took shape. “Get back,” she demanded.


Tommy was in a trance staring at it.


Tommy,” she shouted.


He jolted and glanced at her, but when the beast opened up it’s gullet and bellowed an otherworldly roar that was part elephant, part lion, amplified a thousand times over his attention was stollen back by the beast again. It stole everybody’s attention. In the next second, hundreds of people were scrambling out of their cars and screaming at the top of their lungs. Now it was the behemoth’s turn to be startled. It ripped its gargantuan head toward the chaos, tears pooling under its yellow eyes, bordered by a sea of green and black scales. Tommy could see it’s pupil rapidly swelling and shrinking, trying to adjust to the surprise of a swarm of little hairless monkeys spilling out all over the place. In the creature’s way of thinking, they were all conspiring against her. They were all with that pestering mosquito with the loud wings and the bright eye that was chasing her down. She never ask for any of this. She didn’t want to be in this strange country. For once, she missed her paddock. And now, she just wanted to be left alone.


“Get back to the car,” Amy screamed.


It was all the convincing that the boy needed to sober his senses and put hot blood into his muscles. He ran as fast as he could back the way they had come. Amy followed him. And so did the Rex, bucking vacant cars and vans out from her path along the way. The crash of crushing metal, and the scream of exploding glass behind them was violent, and terrifying. Amy got there first, throwing open the driver side door and diving in. The boy was panting as he sprinted. He could feel the creature’s hot, stinking breath raking at his naked calves. He could hear the cacophony of noise gaining on him as the Rex continued to topple cars. And he could hear his heart beating in his head. Beating harder than ever before.


He yanked the door open and jumped in. The Rex bulled her head into the side of the car, smashing it in, flattening the door like Playdough into the passenger side quarter panel. Tommy was launched from his seat. A coarse mass of barbed allegator flesh kicked him in the back and sent him flying into his mother’s lap. His skull cracked into her bottom lip so hard the impact left a wash of swimming stars flooding her vision. Then their equilibrium turned on its head as the car was rolled over. Together they tumbled, Amy doing her best to shield her son with her arms. At last, they came to a still, ensconced in the fiberglass hammock that was the ceiling of the cab. She tasted the iron tang of blood in her mouth. The miasma of gasoline assaulted her nostrils when she came to, gripping her bleating child with her protective embrace.


As the fog began to clear she heard unfathomable sounds surrounding them. The drive-in screen was playing the movie the wrong way. Bird-like Talons that should never be that big were prancing around just outside the twisted frames of her car’s empty windows. Hauntingly sharp hooked teeth, resembling that of a Great White’s, stained by ages of carnage were hovering over them. But they couldn’t reach them. She wasn’t sure if they wanted to reach them. There was no slobber lathering those teeth, like one might expect to find if the thing was hungry. It was agitated, jerking this way and that, shaking like a robot caught in the rain. It was as frightening as anything she has ever had ever laid eyes on, to be sure. But the frantic, oscillating way its colossal jaws were undulating, dithering, suggested something more in line with the act of desperate defense rather than a creature trying for a snack to gnaw on.


Sssshhhhhhh,” she pleaded to her clinging, bawling cub, stroking his face with a tremulous hand. “It doesn’t want us…” Amy noted that her own eyes were filling with tears now. “It’s afraid…”


The shrieks from the other panicked movie patrons suddenly dissipated, swallowed by the ongoing ruckus of the movie’s soundtrack. Whether it was because they found a place to take their refuge far from the reach of this monster, or because (as was often the fatal charm in such freakshows) they traded their terror for wonderment, Amy could not know. The only things that she could see were the small puddles from a storm that had passed only an hour ago, tires, and a green demon flaring its big, moist nostrils, and flashing its gruesome shark teeth.


Tommy wanted to crawl into Amy’s chest cavity and hide there. He chanced a peak at it from over her bosom and husked, “What could that thing be afraid of?”


“I don’t…”


Then, that chopping sound the mosquito had been making as it chased down the Rex returned. It was suddenly all around them. The creature snarled and whipped around its hulking body. It bounced on it’s heavy talons, causing the earth to rumble. Amy howled in pain as the fiberglass underneath her spine rippled, feeling like the sting of a thousand punches along her back.


The Rex heard it thumping from the left. She heard it thumping from the right. She didn’t know which way to turn. Her long tail was standing erect, raking high over the parked cars like a startled cat. With its head hanging low it roared again, warning the incoming pest to stay back.


Then she saw it.


On the big white screen towering before her there was a freakishly large monkey with bulging muscles, green hairless skin, and a bad haircut charging at it with terrible rage. The mosquito lashed at the beast, hurling a fire ball from it’s white eye. It hit the green monkey square in the chest, erupting into a plume of flames. The Rex watched as the blast staggered the creature, knocking him off his haunches. She didn’t want to find out what it could do to her, so she wasted no more time deciding. She went charging full speed after the screen, stomping steel fenders, wheel wells, and engines into the dirt like they were nothing more than mounds of mud in her way. The thing that she thought was a mosquito but was really a helicopter was then eclipsed by her own black silhouette, serving only to confuse her, and to steal the momentum out from her muscles. But it was too late. She was loping too fast. Her shins collided savagely with an old rusty swing set planted at the foot of the drive-in movie screen, tangling her up. She stumbled. Her massive skull collided with the screen, buckling its frame, and throwing cracks across the busy canvas. The angry green monkey and defiant helicopter were then warring across the Rex’s scaly back as she tried to regroup.


Just then, the real helicopter that has been hunting her emerged from behind the screen. Its staccato rotor beats rattled inside the Rex’s skull, vexing her. She let out an earth-shattering roar that Amy and Tommy felt all the way back in their overturned car. In a fit of fury, she reclaimed her footing, and she rammed through the screen, ripping its iron frame out from the ground, and sending it crackling back into the wall of trees that had been standing behind it. The projection rolled on along the dinosaur’s body as it wrestled its way through the foliage and debris to break for the clearing on the other side. The helicopter whirled in the sky and followed her, whipping its spotlight on either side of her face to disorient her internal compass and get her going where they wanted her to go.

When its earthquaking footfalls were dissolved by distance, Amy and Tommy released their angst and relaxed into each other’s arms.


Panting, Tommy groused, “I—I told you this was stupid.”


“Well,” Amy answered, breathlessly, lifting him up and down on top of her chest from her own laborious breathing, “not as stupid as bringing back dinosaurs.”


After a moment to reflect on that, Tommy shrugged his shoulders and said, “That’s true.”

Amy thought, as a parent, locked in an eternal bond with an ever-maturing, pugnacious child well on his way to his teens, you are bound to win at least one argument now and then. It’s the small victories that matter.



Author’s note:

This story is a fan fiction based on the latest instalment in the Jurassic Park/Jurassic World series. Except for the two main characters, none of the characters or situations presented by this story are of my own original design. They are copyrighted characters, including the T.Rex and the movie theater scene that was clearly borrowed from the recent Jurassic World: Dominion teaser trailer. They are the intellectual properties of Colin Trevorrow, Derek Connolly, Universal Pictures, and Amblin Entertainment. This story is meant for entertainment purposes only and should not be reproduced or redistributed in any sort of way. It’s just a quick, fun, fantasy read, mostly for the sake of practice. I created this story as I became unbelievably frustrated when that teaser trailer introduced us all to the great possibility of a movie theater attack scene that was never continued in the actual movie as promised. So, I made my own. Hoped you enjoyed my interpretation.

#jurassicworld #Jurassicworlddominion #jurassicpark #universalpictures #amblinentertainment #colintrevorrow #dinosaurs #dino #tyrannosaurusrex #trex #cretaceous #movietheaterattack #sciencefiction #fantasy #fanfic #fanfiction #fiction #fun

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Been away from my art tablet for a little because I am very busy writing a new story. Also I am back on the road again managing my mobile caricature art operation. I do have some illustration projects