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The three members of the Paleontology club sat in the near-dark of Trilobite Park's education centre. They sat apart from the other students, who they had come to hate in a very short span of time.

"This is not as much fun as I thought it was going to be," Blake said. "You getting a signal yet, Juraj?"

"Still nothing," Juraj said, holding up his phone. "Damn it, I have to log in soon. My Candy Train Empire needs constant updating if I want the Crystal Station built by Wednesday."

"Cheese 'n' crackers," Daisy sighed. "Turn off the damn phone. Everyone turn off your phones. You ain't got no way to recharge 'em so just check in once an hour, capice." ...continue reading "Trilobite Park — Chapter 18: Courage"

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2

Jacobs stood with Hey Ew in the twilit corridor outside Room 807b. The floor was wet with brine that trickled out from under the door. The emergency lighting buzzed and flickered. A vending machine lay broken on the floor.

"The lights are off for, like, twenty minutes and already people are breaking into vending machines," Jacobs scowled.

"No, the vending machines were all broken into long before the emergency," Hay said. "It was just after my cafeteria opened, as a matter of fact." ...continue reading "Trilobite Park — Chapter 15: Winds of Terror"

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In Canberra, miles away from the disaster at Trilobite Park, a hood was being yanked off the head of a handcuffed man. He blinked in the sudden brightness, and sneered at his captors.

"Taipan McGillacuddie?" came a voice.

"You know, the hood was kind of uncalled for," Taipan said. "I only have one eye. You could have just moved my eyepatch over onto it, and I couldn't have seen a thing."

"You have been –"

"I mean, I guess the hood was easier to pull over my head, but it's hot. Middle of summer, yeah?"

"You have been accused –"

"I don't even want to think about how my hair looks now," Taipan continued. "I know, I'm an ex-special forces hardass turned criminal, maybe I shouldn't be worried about the hair. But my mullet is my trademark, you know? Where am I anyhow? AFP headquarters?" ...continue reading "Trilobite Park — Chapter 12: Downhill"

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It sat in the cafeteria, swimming -- though out of water. It swam through a head, a brain… the brain of an air breather. The host was strange – its blood was warm, its skeleton internal. Instead of an armour of interlocking plates, it had a soft skin like a worm. And yet it would do. It would do!

***

Barry Hodges sat in the Trilobite Park cafeteria, drinking the worst coffee he'd ever tasted and listening to really lazily written narration from the prehistoric ghost-trilobite or whatever the Hell it was that had taken up residence in his head. To make matters worse, he couldn't manage to get Captain Pete to sit down with him and finish the paperwork. All in all, it was turning into a pretty shitty day.

***

It stared through the strange eyes of the one known as 'Bar-Ry.' The air-breather was… well, not resisting it as such. More ignoring it. It couldn't help feeling a little bit put out. But that wasn't the point. It had more important work to do… ...continue reading "Trilobite Park – Chapter 9: Barry’s Hassle"

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Photo by Jesse Yelin. Released under Pexels license (free for personal and commercial use)

Carol's Cafe

The OH&S orientation went on even longer than expected, as Thag had somehow found six additional points to cover. Due this, June missed her meeting with Captain Pete and with it her chance of finally seeing one of her beloved trilobite. Disappointed, she decamped for lunch to the nearest café. This turned out to be surprisingly hip little place at the South Hertling Super Centre, just across the road. There she drowned her disappointment in a latte and a chicken Caesar wrap, which both seemed too good for a little coffee shop wedged in between two carpet shops and across the way from three more carpet shops.

"Hey, hi," said a greasy looking young woman from the next table. "Are you working at the new place? The Park, I mean?"

"Yes?" June said, suspicious.

"Dude! I thought I saw you there! I was getting my orientation too. I'm the new manager of the Trilobite Park café, and I am like, whoa!"

June looked the stranger up and down. She was a skinny young woman of perhaps eighteen, pale, and acne ridden. She wore a t-shirt advertising a band that either had a very difficult to pronounce German name or else a lot of random umlauts.

"You're the manager?" June said. "You seem a little young. And inexperienced. And greasy. And frankly kind of stupid."

"Oh, that," the greasy girl grinned. "I lied about my age. And experience, qualifications, intelligence, general cleanliness levels, punctuality, spelling..." ...continue reading "Trilobite Park — Chapter 2: The Kids are All Right?"

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