Squinting into the Horizon

Terence lost his sunglasses. He was fuming.

Not only because he lost his favourite pair of tinted specs, but because he knew how everyone would react. They were so predictable.

“Haha,” they’d say. “Even if you do find them, how will you reach your head to put them on!?” He’d heard the same tired “joke” ever since he got those sunglasses.

“I’m not the first T-Rex to own sunglasses, you know!” he’d yell. “Do you really think I’ve not worked out how to put them on?!”

Sure, it was a struggle – his tiny arms making it almost impossible – but his Dad had spent a whole summer a couple years back teaching Terence to flick them up off the floor with his claws and thrust his face into the flying shades.

However that didn’t matter right now, because he couldn’t find the sodding things. And my word it was a bright day.

Bored of unsuccessfully fumbling around on the ground, he decided to suck up his pride and ask the locals if they’d seen them.

After about 10 minutes of wandering about the uncharacteristically quiet island, squinting as he went, Terence stumbled into something.

“Christ!” came a voice. “Watch where you’re going, mate.”

“Sorry,” said Terence, only just making out the Triceratops. “I can’t see a thing, it’s so brig…wait, what’s a Christ?”

“I don’t know, get off my foot!”

“Sorry. I don’t suppose you’ve seen a pair of sunglasses? They’re my favourite pair and I can’t find them anywhere.”

“No, I can’t help you. Now move – I’ve got to go.” And off the Triceratops jogged.

Blimey, thought Terence, what’s he in a rush for?

“And how would you put them on anyway?!” laughed the Triceratops from afar.

“Piss off!” yelled Terence.

Another 20 minutes of desperate shuffling in the sun went by without a single sighting of his sunglasses or another soul.

“Move it biggun!” came a squeak from below.

“Yeah, move it biggun!” came another squeak.

Terence froze as what felt like a million lizards scampering all over his feet. He hated lizards. But he loved his sunglasses. So instead of running away, he crouched down to the ground. “Have any of you seen some sunglasses on your travels? I’ve lost my favourite pair.”

“Nope,” said one.

“Nope,” said another.

“Nope,” said another.

“How would you even reach to put them on!” said another.

A million laughs trickled into Terence’s frustrated ears before he was all alone again.

“Lost something?” came a distant voice.

“Who said that?” said a startled Terence, unable to spot the voice’s owner.

“Up ‘ere” said the Pterodactyl.

Terence looked up, the brightness of the sky becoming uncomfortably overwhelming. “I can’t find my sunglasses. Have you seen them?”

“Certainly have!”

“Really?!” beamed Terence.

“Nah” laughed the Pterodactyl. “Good luck getting them on your massive head with those shitty little arms! I’m off. And so should you be!”

Terence collapsed on the floor in tears. Why won’t anyone help me, he thought. Am I that horrible? All I want is my sunglasses. Is that too much to ask?

In a blind rage Terence screamed at the top of his lungs and smashed his face on the floor. As he sat back upright he felt something trickle off the top of his head and land on his foot. He squinted down to see his sunglasses. They were on his head the entire time.

To say he blushed is an understatement. But who cares, he thought. I’ve got my sunglasses! He remembered back to that wonderful summer with his Dad and balanced the glasses on his claws, flicked them up to the perfect height and thrusted his face into them. They felt absolutely perfect.

He was delighted. His eyes relaxed into the shades as he took in the ground, the trees, and the gorgeous flowers. He looked out to the horizon and felt calm.

Terence lay on the floor and watched as the bright, burning sky smashed into the island – killing him instantly.

© Carl Burkitt 2017

Brief by Greg Smart: “A T-Rex who’s lost his sunglasses.”

This piece was written as a part of a fundraising project for Rethink Mental Illness, where I’m inviting people to set me any writing brief in exchange for donations.

Read all of the details here and if you’d like to get involved, email ca.burkitt@gmail.com or Tweet @CarlBurkitt!

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