Every year in January, Cast of Wonders takes the month off to recharge, plan the year ahead and highlight some of our favourite episodes. A different member of the Cast of Wonders crew will present their favorite story of 2016 each week in January.
We hope you enjoy editor and host Marguerite Kenner’s favorite story from 2016, Saurs by Craig Delancey. The story originally aired March 13, 2016 as part of our Dinovember special, Cast of Wonders 218.
Theme music is “Appeal to Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.
by Craig DeLancey
The fossil mages gathered in the shadow of the gully. Four of them: three old men and a young woman. Old Jim lifted and replaced his wreck of a straw hat and then spat at a scorpion. John Bloodeye and Harry watched the dark spot in the sand evaporate in the heat, until finally, as they’d all been hoping, the young one spoke.
“I found it near here,” Karyn Thomson said. She put her hand into her pocket, fingering the bone there, but not drawing it out yet.
The three old men waited. This was hard for them. They’d all been famous, in their day. They had their pride still.
Finally Karyn tugged the bone out. A hooked talon, as long as her own hand. The old men leaned forward, careful not to show excitement but unable to keep their eyes from popping.
“T rex,” Bloodeye said. “Manus claw. Left interior.”
Karyn nodded agreement.
“It looks big,” Old Jim said. “It looks as big as the claw on that old girl your Pa found out here.”
“Bigger,” Karyn said. “Two centimeters longer.” She pushed her hat back with the point of the claw. Blond hair spilled out over her eyes.
Harry reached toward the claw. Karyn flinched, but did not draw back. He touched the fossil with two dry fingers. “Lot of hum to it,” he whispered. The other men did not comment. They knew there’d be magic in the bone. No need to taunt yourself, like hungry men poking another man’s fat goose.