James Holden: The Dinosaurs Are Revolting

The tyrannosaurus rex burst through the undergrowth, angrily waving a sheaf of papers in his stunted arms.

“Stephen – I’m not sure I like this dialogue.”

The director craned his neck to look at him. “Why, what’s the problem?”

“In scene 24, my only line is, ahem, ROARRRRRR.”


“It’s the same dialogue as I had in the first three films.”

“I … well … I’m sorry, but I’m not sure I can see the problem.”

“Instead, maybe my character could engage them in a discussion about why they are so intent on invading my personal space. I suppose that I can see justification within the character for chasing them through the undergrowth, but can’t we have a bit of a chat about it first?”

“I’m not sure the audience would find that believable. Can’t you, I don’t know, convey this through facial expressions, and the roar itself?”

The t-rex cocked his head. “I suppose that I could try that,” he said sighing, and walked over to the refreshment table. The director went and sat down in his canvas chair – these films sure weren’t as easy to make any more. He was tapped on the shoulder and turning round saw a velocoraptor waiting for his attention, pince-nez on the end of his snout, a script in his hand covered in pen marks.

“So, here’s the thing. I don’t like the scene where me and two of the other raptors chase the children around an industrial laundry.”


“It’s a bit like that kitchen scene in the first film, only I get stuck in a washing machine and drown on a hot wash.”

“Yes – that tested great with the focus group.”

“But since the last film, I’ve learnt how to play a rudimentary game of chess. I wonder if maybe I could challenge them to a game to decide the outcome … rather than chasing them around.”

“You’re a bloody raptor!”

“Do you know how hard it is to find work when you don’t need us? I’ve got to find some way of demonstrating my versatility as an actor.” The raptor petulantly turned and walked off, muttering to himself. The director sat back in his chair and sighed deeply. “Jesus these guys.” He went to get some coffee, but a triceratops blocked his way, a script impaled on one of his horns.

“About this script…”


About James Holden

Brought up in Yorkshire, James has washed up on the shores of London. He spends his days working as a political geek. His short stories have previously been read by the Liars League.
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