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  Table of contents Issue Eight BRAM BENNINGSHOF



OOK! LOOK WHAT I FOUND! It’s a dinosaur. A REAL plastic dinosaur! It was just lying in the grass! Can you believe it? How did that get there? Wow, it has claws and a tale and a bump on its head and everything. Could it be a T-Rex? No, wait; those don’t have a bump like that. But it does walk on its back legs though. What kind could it be? If I knew I would know three kinds of dinosaurs by name, because I already know T-Rex and Velociraptor because daddy taught me. He also taught me the name of another dinosaur, you know, that flying one, but I just can’t remember it. Pteerodokkul or something. Come to think of it, Pteerodokkuls have a bump on their head that look just like the one my dinosaur has. Maybe this was supposed to be one, but the man who made it forgot to put on the wings! But then it wouldn’t have four legs of course. Winged dinosaurs have only two legs, and I thought that was strange because all normal dinosaurs have four, but then daddy said that their wings are their front legs. So what could this be then? Oh well, I don’t even care what it’s called really. I mean, I can show it to people when I want to tell them about it, and then they see it and they don’t need to know what he’s called. He looks so sweet, doesn’t he? And he is not mean at all. There are meat-eating dinos and plant-eating dinos, and this is a plant eating dino. You can see that because plant-eaters have a very small mouth, just like this one. He is so cute! I mean, normally I only like the meat-eating dinos, but those also look a bit scary with their big teeth and mean faces. This one doesn’t, because he couldn’t even bite me when I hold him in my hand. His mouth is way too small for any of my fingers to fit in, see? Oh boy, I can’t wait to show him to daddy.

Where he is? What do you mean?

No, of course he’s not here you silly! Daddy has work to do during the day. You think he has time to take me to the park while he has so many important things to do? Of course not!

My mommy? My mommy is on the mantelpiece.

No, I’m not just saying something! My mommy really is on the mantelpiece!

No, she’s not cleaning it. She’s been on the mantelpiece since… well, since forever. First she was like all the other mommies, but then she got sick and had to stay in bed all day, and then one day she had to go to the hospital and I never saw her again, and then daddy came home with a big vase and he put it on the mantelpiece and he said that mommy was in there. Now she doesn’t play or talk with me anymore, she just stands there, you know? But daddy said she can hear me when I talk to her, so I do. Sometimes I’m not sure she can hear me, because the vase is really thick and the top is not open like in other vases, but daddy won’t let me take off the cap. He says mommy can hear me all the time now, even when I am not even near her. Can you believe it! I have a mommy who hears me all the time, even though she doesn’t talk back anymore. Still, I prefer to talk to the vase, you know, so I can be really sure she hears me. Hey! I’ve got an idea: I am going to tell mommy about my dinosaur first! Then I won’t have to wait for daddy to come down from his work to tell someone. You think she can also see him? Well, never mind, I’ll just tell her. First I will tell mommy about him, and then I’ll show him to daddy.

Where I live? 419 Maple Street.

Yup, that’s quite far from here. And I walked the entire way! I can walk really, really far when I want too.

No! I am not too young to walk such a distance! I am a big boy, you know.

Well, I was playing in the garden, and then I got bored because I had no fun toys to play with, so I went to the park. Good judgment doing that, don’t you think? Now I DO have a fun toy.

Of course I didn’t tell him I was here! I may never disturb daddy when he is working. I can do whatever I want as long as I don’t disturb him.

Well, I’m not really allowed to go with strangers… but you seem nice. Ok. But don’t think I’m letting you drive me home because I am scared to walk that entire way or anything. And not because I am tired either! Just can’t wait to tell mommy about my dinosaur, that’s all, and by car I’ll be home in a minute! Do you have a fast car? I bet you do, you look like someone who has a really fast car and then drives everywhere faster than lightning like VROOOOOOOOMMM and you never hit anything ‘cause you know when to use your breaks in time like IEIEIEIEIEIEIEIE. Come on; let’s pretend we’re speedwagons while we walk to your car. It’s not hard, all you have to do is hold your arms out like this, and then run while you make car noises. Come on, don’t be boring. Just follow my lead: VROOM VROOM VROOM! No, don’t just run stupid, you have to make the sound too.

Awwww… come on. It’s not like anyone is looking!

Right, there you go! Now put your arms like mine and run after me. VROOM, VROOOM VROOOOOOOOM wait, sharp turn! IEIEIEIEIEIEIEIEIEIE oof, close call… VROOOOOOOOOOM. Wow, you are the best car I have ever played with! I mean, my friend Brian can do it quite well too, but he only wants to play speedcar if I promise to play football afterwards. You don’t want anything back for playing with me, so you’re nice. I wish I could play with you every day! Wait, why’d you stop?

THAT is your car? Not quite the racing car, is it? Aw well, it doesn’t matter; I guess you can always buy a better one, and until then you can practice racing in this car. This car is great for practicing, because it doesn’t matter if you’d accidentally crash with it. There are so many dents in it you wouldn’t even notice an extra one.

I can? Really? Gee… thanks a lot! Daddy almost never lets me sit in the front seat.

No, I can strap on my seatbelt myself; there. WOOOOOOWWWW! You didn’t say you would take off so fast! I take it all back now, you ARE a race driver. Just let me check whether I still have my dinosaur though… ah, we’re good. Keep on going then! Faster! Faster!

But why not?

Yeah, that makes sense I guess. And driving slow isn’t all bad anyway. You can look outside, and you can talk. I like talking to people. I talk to mommy, and to Brian, and to the children in school. I don’t talk much to daddy anymore though, because ever since mommy is on the mantelpiece he hardly does anything but working and sleeping. That makes me feel sad sometimes you know, really sad. But I know daddy has good reasons for working so hard. He is very busy taking care of Beasty, and I know it is important that Beasty is taken care of. You shouldn’t tell him, but I think Beasty is scary. He makes such loud noises! And ever since he moved into the basement, there is a really weird smell in the house. Also, I sometimes have bad dreams about Beasty. Just the other night I dreamed I was in the basement, and he had somehow come loose, and he was chasing me up the stairs, up and up, and then he bit me. Luckily I woke up right after he did that, but I remember it really hurt when he did it. To be fair, I prefer not being home since Beasty moved in. If it wasn’t for the dinosaur I have to tell mommy about, I wouldn’t even have gone with you. I never go home early unless I have something to tell mommy. If I would dare to go down the basement stairs and look at Beasty, I would show him my dinosaur. Maybe if he saw there are nice dinosaurs too, he wouldn’t be so mean. He barely does anything but making noise and ramming the walls and banging the door and such. I should show him this nice plant-eating dino, and then he would go like: ‘gee, I can also eat plants and not make noise and not bite people when they come into the basement,’ and then daddy wouldn’t have to spend so much time on him and just finish his work, and then he would have time left to do stuff with me like he used to. We haven’t played catch in ages.

No, not a dog. And he’s not really an animal either. Animals are outside, or in the pet shop, or at the zoo, and Beasty is not from any place like that; he came from daddy’s work. First daddy went up to the attic to do his work, and his work was Beasty. Then, his work was still about Beasty, but no longer on him, so he had to move to the basement with his aquarium. I would go and look at him every day, but then he got so big he needed the entire basement. Now I cannot play there anymore, but it’s not like I’d want that though; Beasty reeks so bad I can smell him all the way from my room upstairs. I don’t like that, and now I think things were better when Beasty wasn’t with us yet; even though at first I couldn’t wait for him to come. Daddy told me there would be a Beasty he had to take care of, and that would take a lot of time so I shouldn’t disturb him while he was working to get it, so I was like: ‘Daddy, what do you mean with ‘working to get it’? Can’t you just go and buy one?’ but then daddy said it would be a special Beasty that isn’t for sale anywhere, not like a dog or a cat or a hamster or anything but more like a dinosaur, and we would be the only people in the world to have one. Daddy can do that, you know, because he is a doctor. There are doctors who make sick people better and doctors who are doctors ‘cause they’re really smart, and my daddy is one of the smart ones. I immediately knew we could have our own dinosaur if only I would be very quiet, since I know that he is smart enough to make one if only he can work without being disturbed. I was quiet like a mouse the entire week while he was busy! I could hardly wait, and I thought the dinosaur might never come, but eventually daddy said that I could see him. He wasn’t much of a dinosaur yet, but more of a snail- a swimming snail living in his own aquarium; but daddy said he would grow out to be a real big Beasty quite soon. Beasty ate a whole lot and that made him very big allright, but now he has taken the entire basement ‘cause he won’t stop growing.

That is, like, SO mean. I NEVER lie. Well, sometimes I lie to Brian, but only because I don’t want to play football every day so that doesn’t count. I don’t lie to people I like, and it’s really mean of you to say that I was lying just now because I actually told you a secret. I’m not supposed to talk about Beasty to anyone. Anyone! And I did, so even daddy said he would be really mad if I did, and now you say you don’t believe me. That’s just mean.

Apology accepted. Sorry I got mad, but I don’t like it when grownups act like I can’t really talk to them only because I am still a kid. I can, you know. Especially since I moved up a grade to miss Susan’s class. Miss Susan sometimes does ‘hard word moments’. You know what those are? They are moments where Miss Susan teaches us hard words. Three times a day, someone in class has to say one of the hard words we have learned, and then we trough them one by one. And sometimes we have a ‘new hard word day’.  Then we learn a new word, and we have to use that word as often as we can during the day so we can remember it better, and by the end of the day we know it so well we remember them during a ‘hard word moment’. Yesterday we had a hard moment, and the new word was ‘symmeetik’. I remember what that means, do you? Oh right, you’re driving the car, so you don’t have time to think about other stuff ‘cause that’s dangerous; Miss Susan taught us that as well. I’ll just explain it to you then, in case you forgot: symmeetik means something looks the same on both sides, like the front of a car, or a circle, or our tables at school. People and animals are also symmeetik you know, unless they put on weird clothes; first miss Susan wore a gray shirt and that meant she was symmeetik, but then she put on a really weird vest that was yellow on one side and red on the other and that meant she wasn’t symmeetik anymore because then she looked different on both sides, and that made us all laugh really hard because she looked so silly. She wasn’t really right about all animals being symmeetik though, because Beasty definitely isn’t. One side of his face is all smooth and dinosaurish and black like the face of the dinosaur I found, but the other one is all bumpy and bubbly and pink, and doesn’t really look like a dinosaur’s at all. Last time I saw him, the pink bubbles were so big they were pushing down his eyelid so he couldn’t fully open it anymore, and it looked like he was winking but I’m sure he wasn’t; ‘cause Beasty is angry all the time and you don’t wink when you’re angry. That is some time ago now, before there was a door in the basement. One day daddy put Beasty to sleep, and while he was sleeping somewhere in the back of the basement some men came to place it. Daddy told me I had to tell them the door was for dangerous work-stuff in there if they asked me, and that I wasn’t lying when I did so because Beasty is dangerous work-stuff, but I’m glad they didn’t ask because it still felt like lying. I haven’t been in there since. Daddy told me Beasty has grown a lot since the door is there, but I’m glad I haven’t had to look at him yet. I figure he was scary enough when he was still small.

No, just a little further from here. Just past the next turn, right before the big pine tree. It’s the big wooden house with the porch and the green door. You can recognize it by the swing in the yard, that’s always the first thing you see when you come to our house… yes, this is the place. You can park the car on the driveway of you want, daddy rarely leaves the house before dusk so it doesn’t matter if you block his ride. There, now I can finally get out. No offense to your car or anything, I’m just not that good at sitting still. So, how do you like it? BIG, right?

Why do you look like that when you say it’s nice?

You’re lying, aren’t you? If you want to be my friend, there is one thing you should know: you don’t have to lie to me because I’m only little! If you don’t like it that’s okay; I know it all looks a bit worn-out, and I know grown up people don’t like it for that. And of course I know it used to look better when the paint wasn’t coming off yet and the garden was still tidy (you know, back when mommy was still around) but I still think it is a very good place to live in: the house is really big so I can go exploring or play hide and seek, and the garden isn’t tidy at all so I can do whatever I want out here. No minding not to step on the flowers in our garden! Like, literally, you don’t have to be careful where you walk; these are all just weeds. I may even pull them out if I want, like… this… - hmpf- …come on…normally they just instantly let loose when you grab them…-arrrrgg-… almost… THERE! Here, catch! Haha, just kidding. You can grab a plant as well if you want to.

Well, I’m doing it! And it’s really fun, even more fun than playing speedwagon.

Have it your way then. But let me tell you this: when you’re driving home in a minute, and you see all those gardens all tidy and tight, and then you come to your own garden, and you only see little paths you must stay on and plants you aren’t even allowed to touch, then you will regret not doing just whatever you wanted in one of them when you had the chance. Plus, it’s not like… wait, what are you doing? Don’t turn your back on me, I can see you pulled one out- NONONONO don’t throw that! Haha, missed me! Take THIS! YEAH, that’s a hit; bulls eye! No, no you can’t throw it back, that one’s mine, aw, now you hit me! Hahahahaha, I am SO going to get you back for that. Hey, don’t run! You can run, but you can’t hide now. I’m cominggggggg! Whoooooooooooo! How do you like THIS, and THIS, and THAT one (ha! that’s a hit) and THESE! –gasp- Ok, enough now –gasp- I’m still tired from walking that long way this morning. –gasp- guess I’m more tired then I –cough- thought –gasp-. I’m glad I won though.

Oh yes I did! I hit you two times, and you only hit me once!

NO, NO don’t throw it! Hahahaha, -gasp- okay, okay, you win.

I’d rather play on though, but ok. You probably have lots of important stuff to do instead of being here. It was a pleasure meeting you, and it was really nice of you to play with me. I’ll be fine now, have a nice day!


But you may not keep him from his work! It is way too important to take a break from, even for visitors!

No! Really, you can’t, he’ll be very mad.

Well… if you think so. But don’t say I didn’t warn you. No, don’t use the front door, just follow me this way. We rarely use the front door; we always go ‘round back. We’ve started doing that since Beasty broke out of his aquarium and started crawling around down there. The water he had lived in was all over the floor, and because he couldn’t walk upright back then, he spread it all over the cellar with his belly. You wouldn’t believe how nasty the smell floating up from there was! It came up from the staircase and into the hall, and we started using the back door to avoid it. Since the big cellar door is placed you don’t smell it as bad as you used to, but it’s still not really pleasant to pass through there so we just don’t. Here it is, just around the corner of the house. Let me just open that for you; I have my own key. I used to be the only one in my class to have my own key, and now I still am, along with Kelly and Richard and Eidel.

That’s Beasty, of course. I told you, you can smell him throughout the entire house! Just be glad we didn’t use the front door; then you would’ve really smelled him. Never mind it, after you’ve been here for some time you won’t even notice it anymore. Come in, come in, and just sit down anywhere. Mind you don’t crush anything though, it’s a bit messy in here. Look! That’s my mommy. Hi mommy, I’ve found a dinosaur! This is him. It’s a plant eating dinosaur, because he has a small mouth and he doesn’t bite me. He’s really sweet, and I think he will be my new favorite, for on the way here I thought of how I don’t really like t-rexes anymore. Those are meat-eaters like Beasty, and that probably means they are also smelly and noisy and mean, don’t you think? I also got a ride from my new friend here, who is really good at race driving and kind of our first visitor in ages. Daddy will probably be ad when he notices someone other than us is in our house, but I think it would be good if he would talk to someone besides me or Beasty. He never has people over anymore. Hey, maybe he’ll finally be less grumpy when I introduce them! That’s a good idea! You just wait here with mommy while I go and get him then. I have to close this door though, or else the smell from the cellar will get into the living room. Daddy! –slam- Daddy, we have a visitor. Come on down, then you’ll finally have a friend again! Can you hear me? Hello? Are you working? Wait, I’m coming up. Daddy? Dad? You have to come down, mommy always said it’s rude to leave your guests waiting for too long. Did you say something? I can barely hear you; did you close the attic door? Ok, coming!

Here I am…..dinosaur and…. ……Plantfight I lost but ……… really fun and you’ll…….are you looking so strange? …….. a new friend………………….to be scared of……….….downstairs………...say that…..lying……………………………..Beasty……………………………….…………..rules…………………………………………………………………………really nice………………………………

…..and we should serve coffee or tea but there is nothing left, however I’m sure it won’t be a problem if we all just have a glass of water. Are you sure you won’t feel shy? Miss Susan says everybody can be shy when they meet new people, but you don’t have to because everything always works out fine. Hi! Back again! This is my daddy. Daddy, meet- wait, I haven’t even asked your name yet –slam- and I haven’t told you mine either!

Daddy, I could have told my name myself. I’m not a baby you know.

So, that’s your name huh? Sounds good.

But why daddy? It’s my guest too; I’m allowed to talk as well!

Fine, I’ll go and get it. You guys want any ice cubes in your water?

Coming right up!


Here it is! One for you, one for you, and one for me. Cheers!

What? I wasn’t lying!

But daddy, you said so yourself-

No, I WON’T shut up, the two of us talked the entire time and we can talk when you are around as well-

I wasn’t LYING!

No, YOU’RE lying about Beasty now! Why are you saying I made him up? YOU made him up, remember? And then you made him in the attic, and then you moved him to the baseme-… WILL YOU GUYS STOP TALKING AND LISTEN TO ME?!

You’re going to show the basement? GOOD, then it’ll be clear I am not a liar. To the basement then! Hold your nose now, the smell will be even worse down there. This way, down these stairs. Be careful for the first step, it’s loose. And they are all quite slippery too. There used to be a carpet on these, but Beasty’s smell got into that and so the people who came to put in the door removed it.

That noise? Beasty, of course. It told you he was noisy! That’s the sound you hear when he rams his head to the-

Daddy, what are you saying now? What machinery? And what’s sulfur?

But all your work-stuff is upstairs-

FINE! We’ll all see Beasty in a second and then you will feel really, really stupid. Just open the door. Have you got the key on you?

Ok. You be careful now, sometimes he hides in a corner somewhere and then tries to bite you when you come too close. Let daddy go first- wait, why aren’t you going in first daddy? You told me just the other day that you are the only one who knows how to stay safe in there. You’re at least going in there too, right? Daddy? Daddy, why are you so silent all of a sudden? What are you d- why are you closing the door? You can’t just lock somebody in with Beasty! That’s really dangerous and- there he is! That’s beasty, behind that old table over there! He’s going to jump, come over here, quick! NO daddy, don’t close the door- DADDY, STOP IT! QUICK, RUN HERE BEFORE I CAN’T HOLD THE DOOR ANY LONGER!

NO, I WON’T LET GO! That’s your new friend in there, and you can’t just feed your friends to Beasty. PULL! DON’T LET HIM TWIST THE KEY! PULL AS HARD AS YOU CAN NOW! That’s it, just a little further now so- BEHIND YOU! Don’t let him- DADDY, BEASTY IS BITING OUR FRIEND! DO SOMETHING! WHY WON’T YOU DO SOMETHING? –sob- Are you really that mean, daddy? Are you really going to let Beasty do that? He’s already on top, just DO something! If you don’t, I don’t think I won’t –sob- like you any longer. Can’t you just be nice again, like the way you were when mommy was not on the mantelpiece yet? I cannot like you when you aren’t –sob- nice to your friends. NO, YOU WILL NOT CLOSE THE DOOR! –hrrrrrrmmmmpfffffff- THERE! You can’t close the door while I’m –oof- in the gap. HOLD ON, YOU! Try to kick the bubbles on his head! Yeah! It’s working! Harder now, harder! Aim for his eye! There you go, he’s backing off! Don’t turn your back- STOP PULLING ME OUT! - Don’t turn your back on him! Come here, quick! Almost there, almost, alm- WATCH OUT, HE’S COMING BACK, MOVE OUT OF HIS WAY! MISS! Hah, you don’t like that, do you? You’re just a silly, smelly, stupid- NO BEASTY, NO! AAAAARRGGG! HE’S GOT MY LEG! DADDY, QUICK, PULL ME OUT, DADDY, PLEASE PULL ME OUT, I’M SORRY I’VE BEEN BAD BUT DON’T LET HIM BITE ME DADDY PLEASE DON’T PUSH ME IN! NOOOO PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DON’T DO THAT I’M SORRY I’M SORRY I’M SORRY DON’T PUSH ME IN THERE MY LEG HURTS DADDY DADDY HELP ME PLEASE PLEASE DON’T PUSH ME IN NO PLEASE I’LL BE GOOD I SWEAR! AAAWWWWW IT HURTS! -sob- Please daddy, this hurts so much. Just stop pushing me, please. Why don’t you love me anymore? Stop it, please. Will you help me, then? Please, please drag him away or anything, he’s really hurting me! Where are you going? COME BACK! What are you doing back there? Please don’t look for an exit while I’m still stuck here! I… I can’t hold on much longer. You won’t leave me too, will you? Please. What’s that? A shovel? Will you try to knock him off of me? Hurry up, or he’ll bite my leg off! THERE! It’s working! Don’t stop hitting him! Keep doing that, it’s wor- STOP PUSHING ME YOU MEAN, MEAN MAN! I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU! We’re going to kill Beasty and then we’re going to call the POLICE!

YEAH! With a shovel! Didn’t think anyone would dare to do that when you lured us in, did you? That’s right, go in and help for a change. Wait, what are you- WATCH OUT! DADDY’S GOING TO HIT YOU! NO, I won’t let you do that! Let go! Let go! LET GO!

No, I won’t let go of your leg until YOU let go! Beasty deserves to be hit with that shovel and you know it! Quick, get loose while I’ve got a hold on daddy’s leg!

Just a little bit harder, wriggle his fingers so he has to let go! Keep it up! Just- BEASTY! HE’S STILL AWAKE! WATCH OUT FOR BEASTY! MOVE OUT OF HIS WAY! – QUICK, run here while they’re fighting. Close the door, close the door! Twist the key now! Twist! Good. The… the doors’… like… closed. Good. Lemme… lemme just – sob- sit here for a… while.


Hey. Hey, time to get up now. Hey. Time to get up; we’ve sat here long enough. We have to go now, stop daydreaming. There you go, you can still stand, see? Now slowly walk up the stairs. Not too fast. My leg is a bit too sore to walk fast.

It’s okay. I already told you of dreaming about Beasty biting my leg, did I? It hurts, but not as bad as in the dream, I think. We’re both fine. Just… just don’t talk about daddy anymore, ok?

Thanks. Now, when we’re upstairs, we only need to take a clean pair of pants, my Littlefoot cushion, my coat, and mommy of course. Let me check on my dinosaur… yup, still in my pocket, we’re good. All of my other dinosaurs can stay here… well, except for the three plant eaters and the pteerodokkul. Those are nothing like Beasty, I guess, so they should come with us. Will you get them for me? They’re in this big box full of T-rexes and Velociraptors and other friends of Beasty, and I wouldn’t dare to put my hands in it anymore.

No, not later. We will get them now, and then we’ll never come back here again. Ever. We’ll just bite our tongue and be brave for a few more minutes, and then we’ll be done here forever. Are we going to your house?

Yeah, I figured we had to go there first. I sure hope the policemen are nice to me. I’m all shaky and dizzy with exhaustion. Just… one more thing. Will you buy me a longneck- dinosaur? I always used to pick the mean- looking dinosaurs when someone was buying me a new one, but now I just want the sweet ones. Those longnecks always looked really sweet.

You know what? I only want to play with sweet dinosaurs like longnecks from now on.

Yeah, some dinosaurs are sweet.




Bram Benningshof is a student living near Rotterdam, Holland. He fills most of his days with studying, reading, and attempting to write a story matching the geniousness of his heroes Terry Pratchett, Kurt Vonnegut and Edgar Allen Poe.

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