“If they don’t respect you, make them pay until they do,” Linus reminisced on his dad’s advice while watching the sunrise. Part of him wished he took that advice sooner. It wasn’t until he reanimated the T-rex that he realized how to go about it. Now he had his chance. He stared up at the idle skeleton; despite its lack of lungs, the bony beast seemed to inhale and exhale while it waited for his command. The morning sun peeked over the treetops and gave the T-rex’s white skull a flaming orange glow. Linus briefly considered setting it on fire for added effect, but he decided against it. What he really needed was someone to get the ball rolling, so to speak.
“Linus…?” a small voice spoke from the trees. It startled him; he was surprisingly jumpy for a necromancer. He whirled around to find his only friend in the village. A young girl with brown hair stood in the shadow of a large pine tree, her gaze flitted nervously between Linus and the T-rex. “..are you okay?” she spoke barely above a whisper as if she didn’t want to alert the skeleton to her presence.
“Mindy…,” Linus smiled at her and eagerly encouraged her to come closer. She was perfect. Any child would prove he meant business, but most of the town knew Mindy was curious and friendly toward him. The fact that she was always nice to him when no one else was made it easier for Linus to decide to start with her.
Linus moved around a lot but not by choice. Ever since he was a child he would be run out of town along with his father. Once his father passed away, Linus decided to leave the past buried and try to start fresh in a new town. His father was no necromancer; he was a snake-oil salesman and Linus assumed that his days of being run out of town for cheating customers were over. Until he reanimated a skeleton to help him around the house.
He tried to keep to himself in Mindy’s town, but the girl proved too curious. It almost seemed like she sensed magic in him. She visited often bearing flowers and other gifts to try and talk him into showing her some magic. He finally caved and reanimated a squirrel to entertain her. That was yesterday; his last day in the village. Linus liked Mindy. He was glad she would be the first one to help him prove himself to the town. Afterall she was the one that got him unintentionally thrown out.
“Mindy, what’re you doing out here?” Linus asked as she approached; her eyes did not leave the towering bones.
“I came to check on you,” she said. She finally averted her eyes from the dinosaur, but her gaze settled on the ground instead of on Linus. “I’m sorry I got you thrown out…,” she apologized. Linus smiled and patted Mindy on the shoulder.
“That’s okay, I’m used to it. But, for the first time I think I know how to fix it. Will you help me?” he asked. At his question the T-rex lowered his head and opened its jaws. Linus marveled at Mindy, she didn’t seem phased at all. “She trusts me that much?” he wondered in surprise. Mindy nodded.
“YES! Whatever it takes, I’ll help you!”
“Climb in its mouth,” Linus grinned. “I’ll explain the rest on the way.”
“HEEEEELP!!!! HEEEELP!!!” Mindy’s screeches drew the attention of the townsfolk as the T-rex emerged from the forest. Linus sat atop its head while Mindy screamed from inside its mouth. The townsfolk were quick to react; in minutes they surrounded the T-rex with pitchforks and torches.
“LET HER GO!” Mindy’s father yelled. Linus also recognized Mindy’s mother standing behind him, consoling Mindy’s confused younger sister. The rest of the rabble murmured at him while waving their makeshift weapons. Several other children were being herded to the back of the crowd.
“Perfect..,” Linus thought to himself. He hoped to have a big crowd; now he could make them all pay. The T-rex lowered his skull to the ground and opened its jaws. Mindy hopped out of it giggling.
“That was fun!” she shouted and waved at Linus enthusiastically. Then, she whirled around to address the crowd. “WHO WANTS TO GO NEXT?!” she asked. In an instant her sister, and several other children ran to stand in front of her.
“ME! ME!” they yelled. Linus hopped off the lowered T-rex head.
“One at a time,” he added. “5 gold for a ride around the town.”