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Winter 2010/2011 Writing Contest Winners
I'll post these here in order. :)
Post: #89750
Hold still, will you? grumped a disgruntled owner at the small navy and black buitreraptor, I dont know how you keep losing these things but we have to keep you warm somehow. It squirmed and wriggled in the owners grasp as a scarf was tightly tied around its thin neck. It let out a chirp in displeasure before opening its mouth to display tiny needle-sharp teeth to threaten the much taller creature. Well if you stayed still I could put it on right! he huffed, adjusting the snowflake-patterned scarf on the scaled creature so it fit more loosely, If you lose this one Im just going to let you freeze your little tail off, were already out of tail wraps because of you. With that the owner let the fidgety creature go and it scurried off into the bare trees in its currently snow-covered enclosure.

It ran as deep into the forest as it could go, where it was so thick even when the trees were stripped of their beautiful leaves no snow could touch the dead ground. It was there the raptor let itself fall onto the ground and rub around on it in a wild display. Every few minutes it became exhausted in its attempts and let itself lay still until it could start up once more. Finally, it reached its goal as the scarf became so loose it could shake it off and it quickly plucked it off the cold ground as it did. Panting into the cold air through its nose it once again began running. It ran precisely, dodging, ducking, and swerving and turning at exactly the right moment it was very obvious this determined little raptor had taken this path many times before.

With this perfected path it didnt take long to reach the very back of the forest and in turn the gate that barricaded the enclosure. It went directly to the nearest support pole where there was a hole just big enough for it to fit through, even then it struggled. After a few quick head-bobs to see if anyone or anything saw it the journey proceeded once again. It didnt take long for the raptor to reach the nearest neighboring farm where it easily got in by a hole in the fence clearly from neglect. It had to move fast now, not only was it in territory not its own it was severely outnumbered.

Again the path it took was obviously by memory, but instead of having to avoid trees it had to find clear paths through fallen and rotted logs, caves that were falling apart, and piles empty food cans. It wasnt long until it reached a clearing, obviously avoided by all the others in the enclosure for some reason, with only a cave in the distance to see. The brave little raptor was feeling the effects of the cold now and wanted nothing more than to keep this scarf to stop the discomfort, but knew of another of its kind that needed it much more. It sprinted as fast as it could through the shallow snow and gave off excited chirps as it got closer and closer to the cave.

It stopped a little ways from the cave and slowly began walking towards it knowing the inhabitant inside it was very defensive due to her state. Attempting to shake off the cold the raptor delicately walked to the cave, its tail dragging on the ground to try to conserve even more heat. The cold raptor let out another chirp before the caves pink and green owner slowly stirred before standing up with her feathered arms defensively shielding what looked to be a nest. As she saw who it is her disposition immediately changed into a friendly one. The navy and black raptor lowered its head just slightly as it presented its gift, the one of many from the look of the nest which was built of many scraps of snowflake-patterned cloth.

The mother happily took it and quickly laid it over her clutch of three eggs. She lowered back onto her children and stared at her friend with gratitude, it really was nice especially for a raptor to give to the less fortunate of the world. After a few moments of exchanging chirps and whistles the adventuring raptor headed off, it couldnt be missed from the farm unless it wanted its owner to go into a panic. After going through that route once more to go back home it couldnt help but feel how nice it would to be to have that scarf for itself, but knew it was helping save three little raptors lives on a neglected farm. Maybe it could somehow get its owner to bring them over to its home one day, but that was way in the future.

Really, are you serious right now? the raptors owner asked it in the morning once he noticed the scarf was, once again, gone. Are you eating them or something? The buitreraptor tilted its head in response, not really caring about this interaction unless it was going to get another thing to give to the mother. The owner sighed at the little raptor as he took off his own scarf, one that was orange with holly leaf patterns and way too big for the raptor, and wrapped it around the little creature tight. It chirped in displeasure but the owner just scoffed, No, its going to stay on tight. You need it. After a few moments of the scarf not being loosened the raptor screeched at its owner. Nope, you obviously keep losing them in theyre loose. With that the owner turned and left, leaving the now-warm raptor looking rather bewildered with the mass of scarf hanging off it. Oh well, even if it near impossible to give to the mother raptor, at least the brave raptor looked snazzy.

By Zani (#2255)

(1st place)
Post: #89751
Huff Huff Smoky swirls of breath plumed like miniature mushroom clouds in the dark air of the winter night. The air outside of the Dilophosaurus stables which was technically a repurposed commercial chicken house was frigid in the truest sense of the word. Why even a raptor of Ashakns size would be out in the snow at such a late, lonely hour was an enigma. Yet out in the freshly fallen snow he sat, a light dusting of the pale frozen crystals blanketing his dark figure.
It had been a big day for the quiet raptor his last day before retiring to be precise. Ashakn had stepped into the ring with his regal head held high that morning and had trotted out in the same manner, every battle a victory for him to carry proudly. Indeed, unlike his birth-home, here on the new farm he had been trained and conditioned for the fighting ring. Though he had come into this late in life and in spite of his submissive demeanor, he had taken to the change of pace quite readily. No, he wasnt as ruthless as Dark Heart, the dilo who had been bought with him from his last farm, but nonetheless, he was a sturdy, reliable specimen.
Yes, it had been a very good time for him recently. Thats not to say it was terrible before. He had loved his old home. There he had been loved and well taken care of but it was different here. Here he had a purpose, and an owner who adored him Owl, that ridiculous, midget of a redhead.
The coarse, but distinctly female voice came seemingly out of nowhere, causing the considerably sized dino to flinch. Darn all that snow! It muffled footsteps like nothing else!
Somewhat hesitantly, Ashakn turned his head, his red eyes following his coat-clad owner as she hurried across the fenced-in enclosure to him. She must have come to check on things one more time before bed. Nervous, he ducked his head as she neared him; he was intelligent enough to know that sneaking out of the stables at night was likely to get him in trouble, particularly with it being so cold. A small whine left his large lungs.
When she finally plowed through the snow over to him she flung her arms right around his neck with no hesitation a feat she attempted with very few of her precious dinosaurs, lest they bite off something valuable like her face. What are you doing out in the cold, sweetie?? She asked breathlessly. Whats wrong?
Ashakn had never been the most vocal of dinosaurs, so he didnt make much sound in response to her questions, especially since he could only comprehend half of what she was saying. After a moment, she sighed and hugged him again.
Come on, lets get you back inside, She cooed softly. With a quick pat to his head, she turned and started to head off. Obediently, the dilo rolled onto back feet and pushed himself up into a standing position, grumbling against the ache of his old joints, soreness roused by the cold. After a quick shake to dislodge as much powder as possible, he plodded off after her, back towards the dilo structure.
Much to his surprise, however, just as they were getting close, Owl changed directions. What on earth was going on? He belonged in the stable with the others, surely she knew that! Confused, but still keen to follow, he pushed into longer strides to better catch up to the shorter two-legged creature.
His confusion cleared up none at all as she actually walked right up to the gate, unlocked it and pulled both halves open. They werent allowed to go through the gates unless they were leaving for battles! Uneasy, he took a half step back. This deviation from the norm was a bit unsettling to the old boy.
Its alright, Ash, Owl assured him with a smile. Come on now.
Uneasy as he was, he still did trust his owner. Therefore, he followed her guiding hand, albeit hesitantly. In no time at all, the gate was closed behind them and the duo were on their way back up towards the house..?
That couldnt be right either. The house was for Owl and her pink-fleshed, two-legged friends and those furry dog things.
As they approached, however, they took another turn, heading around the side to a different building. Owl opened the door and coaxed him through, watching as he passed through the threshold, sniffing the air and the hay around his feet cautiously. It was so warm and soft so inviting and homey and no raptors but him!
Welcome to your retirement home, boy, Owl closed the door behind them and came over to stroke his side. Youve earned it.
Though he couldnt completely understand the situation, Ash knew he liked it. The oversized dino dipped his head and gave her a gentle nuzzle and a lick on the cheek, earning him one of those keening, laugh-like sounds she made so well.
For some time following he found great interest in sniffing around and checked everything out that he possibly could, curious even in his old age.
By the time he was ready to wind down again Owl had already settled in among the hay, her back against the wall. Desiring affection and contact, as always, he shuffled over and flopped down heavily beside her, gingerly filling the whole of her lap with his head.
The redhead smiled softly and allowed the action without an argument, stroking along his neck quietly.
Both knew what was to come with Ashs aging, but neither wanted to think about the approaching time of his true retirement. That thought was best left to the backs of their minds for the time being.
For now there were no worries in the world for Ashakn. There was just this warm, wonderful-smelling place and the memories of the best Christmas Eve of his long life.

By Owl (#4363).

(Runner Up)
Post: #89752
On Midwinter's Day, 2010, Kitty threw the first annual Exhibited Midwinter Extravaganza. That year, midwinter was the most anticipated event on the island since the first genetically engineered raptors had emerged from their eggs. People began to arrive around sunset, dressed in light tropical clothing. Even though it was December, the island was barely north of the equator and so was warm year-round. Those who had walked from the furthest farms arrived sweating.

The laboratory was decorated so beautifully as to be unrecognizable. Kitty and her team had hung the ceiling with glittering cutout snowflakes and painted the glass walls with scenes of snowbound evergreens. The buffet tables were piled halfway to the ceiling with every kind of delicious food imaginable, from garlic shrimp and artichoke dip to Christmas cake and chocolate eclairs.

Kitty watched the festivities, chatting with those who came up to thank her. Under all the livelihood, she sensed an undercurrent of worry. This was no ordinary winter solstice. For the first time in over 400 years, the shortest day of the year would occur in conjunction with a full moon and a total lunar eclipse. The phenomenon would take place at midnight. As that time grew closer, the party atmosphere dimmed and thoughts turned to the dinosaurs. The ancient creatures were quicker, stronger, and smarter than any modern animal. Their reactions and instincts were governed by a fiercer, younger Earth, when the only law was kill or be killed. It was anybody's guess what effect the solstice full moon and eclipse would have on the dinosaurs. Before they'd left for the party, every farm owner had set the security fences to maximum. They planned to be home before midnight, in the event of an emergency.

Kitty called up limousines to take everyone home when the clock struck half past eleven. Laughter turned to shivers in the strange, cold wind that now blew from the harbor. The night had turned unexpectedly bitter. Breath frosted the air beneath a blaze of stars and a cold white moon. Kitty wrapped herself in a coat and woolen scarf, and climbed to the open-air observation tower above the laboratory.

One by one, the farm owners arrived home. All seemed calm and bright, but it was very cold. No one knew whether the dinosaurs could tolerate it. Caretakers went from fence to fence, calling out to their charges.

One by one, the dinosaurs slunk to the humming fences and eyed the nervous humans beyond their reach.

The great Sinosauropteryx, Matrix, raised her black muzzle to the sky and voiced a piercing wail. The rest of the dinosaurs in Kiteiz Place echoed her, a prehistoric wail that was picked up by the raptors in the next farm over, and the next. Frightened humans looked up, too, and saw the beginnings of the eclipse: a red sliver that dimmed the bright moon and crept across its face until it was the color of blood. The island's central clock struck midnight. The dinosaur howl filled the island. Eyes glanced nervously at the junction boxes to make sure the power stayed on.

Kitty, up in her tower, turned to the mainframe computer and tapped in a sequence.

From all directions, thick clouds closed in swiftly. They passed across the red moon, diluting its light to a rusty stain. People shivered, wondering what worse things the night held. The midwinter celebration was forgotten as they watched the sky in apprehension.

Something featherlight and cold brushed upturned faces. People blinked eyelashes full of the stuff. The howling of the dinosaurs faded and the great creatures stared, astonished, at the flurry of white that spun from the sky. It was snowing. Mouths opened in wonder. Hands lifted to catch snowflakes.

The dinosaurs were dumbstruck as the snow came down faster to cover the ground in white. In the next moment, they seemed to lose all sense. Instead of a menacing mass howling to the moon, they were rolling in snow, snapping up snow, using their long muzzles to plow furrows in snow. Their owners killed the voltage on the wet fences to watch the fun, and then, for a reason none of them understood, swung open the gates and allowed the island's dinosaurs to mingle freely for the first time. Then they unearthed coats and gloves from closets and shelves, and followed.

They all came together on the broad plateau just south of the laboratory. Farm owners followed their dinosaurs like nomads, and the dinosaurs followed their own whims until there was one mass congregation: hundreds of people and thousands of raptors.

Amazingly, the dinosaurs showed no inclination to fight. Instead, they frisked like colts, biting at the snow as it whirled past in the air, knocking each other over into drifts that piled up with unreal swiftness. Climbing Plant lost both of her fez hats in a snowdrift until Gizmo retrieved them for her, offering the little red caps on elegantly outstretched black-and-white feathers. Trinity and Shadow bowled each other over in the snow, rolling until they'd formed a snowball that gathered speed and smashed into Catastrophe's muscular haunches and broke apart. Both smaller dinosaurs staggered around dizzily while the giant red Tyrannosaur snorted in at them in amused tolerance.

The nervousness with which most of the island's human inhabitants had joined the gathering of dinosaurs soon dissipated into laughter at these antics. Tomorrow the old law would reassert itself. The competition would resume, the hunts begun, the battles met, the blood spilled. But tonight something different was happening, something even more magical than snow falling on the tropical island. Tomorrow would be about the joy of battle. Tonight was about joy of a different kinds.

The island's residentsrich and poor, artistic and scientific, outspoken and shygathered close together while their dinosaurs frolicked in the snow. In unspoken accord, they opened their mouths and began to sing.

As the first strains of "Silent Night" lifted into the snow-filled sky and reached the observation tower, Kitty smiled.

By Paya (#2473)

(Runner Up)
Post: #89753

- Prologue -

Scientists have been studying the levels of intelligence dinosaurs may have possessed for years. One such group of these however, have captured the attention and created more speculation greater than any other group. These are the theropods, or commonly referred to as 'Raptors'.


With bated breaths the raptors gazed at the glistening white flecks of frost, that danced gracefully in the wind. Such a layer of white thinly grazed their enclosures and melted upon their noses.

This phenomenon was unheard of to some, while others, the Bambiraptors, nipped at the substance and ruffled it off their feathers, curiously.

Isn't it beautiful? Their keeper murmured, gently.

We haven't had snow like this in ages. She sighed, contented as she sauntered towards the Deinonychus enclosure. Tossing a snowball into the fray, a hatchling darted after and caught it. The other chicks observed with piqued interest, as he scarfed it down with satisfying crunches; its melted remains dribbling from his chin.

Look what I've got for you! Their keeper cried, gleefully. Consider it a gift, She stated, unfazed by their swarming hisses and snarls.

Sliding a large slab of fillet encased in solid ice into the feeding pen, she pressed the release valve and twenty or so raptors crowded in through the door, climbing over one another.

Lunging onto the blocks, they bellowed in feigned confusion, clicking their claws against the ice as the peered at the meat within, eyes lit with impatience.

That should keep you occupied. She winked, heading back to the cabin.

Now, the young Deinoychus gazed at the other species' ideas of achieving such a feat. The Sinosauropteryx, already tugging small pieces from a thin hole they nibbled at, chirped both in good will and mockery as they glanced at him, smirks tugging at the corners of their lips.

Indignant, he let out a crackling hiss and glared amber eyes at them.

Snorting in frustration, his hot anger a cloud of vaporous smoke before him, he shifted his attention between them and the encased fillet he was perched on. Nuzzling it gently before hearing the thunderous cries of victory from the Rexes a mile or so oft.

Of course the brutes had no struggle in crushing it...

He slumped to his hinds, the other Deinos expectant and growing all the more anxious, as the stench of festering meat rose high through the air. The fences' whirring electrical charges, gave him a bit of an idea.

Through clicks and various songs, ruffles and screeching cries, the Sinornithosaurs had nearly broken through their slab. All the more jealous, the rivaled Deinoychus and Sinornithosaurus
exchanged their threats willfully, flashing their vibrant feathers and daggered claws. This was a challenge if there ever was one.

Steadying himself, he leaped off the frigid chunk and grunted respective orders at the pack. They rammed the bulky mass forcefully, though with few efforts and eager eyes they watched as it slid across the concrete, rumbling, shattering into glittering, tiny shards upon impact with the sheer voltage.

The large fillet had also been fried, fumes rising and melting into the atmosphere. With screeches of excitement and gloat, they Deinoychus delved into their bounty. One by one, each Sinorn raised their eyes and locked attention to them, soberly.

A piercing jolt of electricity shattered their slab by one following suit, and the trend began catching like blazing wildfire.

They hadn't doubted his intelligence for a moment.

~ End

By Unwritten Tale (#3511)

(Runner Up)
Post: #89924
Such nice stories! Zani's was very sweet~

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