This was actually the second story I started working on for White Zombie, involving zombies and dinosaurs. After I started getting submissions I realized it was not going to work well in the context of the story we were putting together, so I stopped it and went on to write CHOPPER instead. Here it is, in case you are interested.
Viruses, like all other living things, evolve and change as time goes by. The virus that would one day devastate the modern world was once very different. Sixty-five million years ago it was just a bacteria but it was deadly even then. It lived in only one septic pool in a place that would be known as Los Angeles one day. All the plants surrounding the pool were contaminated and the animals that ate the plants died quickly and painfully.
The land was part of the six hundred mile hunting range of a massive female Tyrannosaurus Rex. She was not alone; Momma shared her territory with a baby daughter. The T-Rex mother was a proud and noble creature and she had lost her other offspring to the tiny menaces that fed off the eggs before they hatched. A few had even managed to break free of the eye but they were so small and defenseless that the mother could not protect them all. There were no other predators in her territory except for one other, a very old creature who had yet to cross her path. Her migration path took her directly to the pond where the bacteria lay. It had been a few years since she’d followed that route and she had no way of knowing something had begun to infect the watering hole, contaminating it since their last seasonal migration.
A triceratops lay dead on the well-worn herbivore path. Momma kicked the body gently, telling her child to eat. It nestled against her, snapping its jaws with anticipation. Yet it could not overcome its fear of the dead corpse so the baby hesitated, hopping forward and back to its mother. The mother tore a huge chunk of meat off the corpse and crushed it in its mouth. Once the bones had been pulverized, it opened its mouth and fed the baby much like a bird, dropping the crushed up meat into the little one’s hungry mouth. In between bites the baby bounced up and down with joy. When the mother bit off a second chunk, she swallowed it whole. A chunk of meat hung off her bottom teeth and she bent down to offer it her child. Just as the baby stretched up to bite it off, the mother snapped her jaws at the child, causing her to leap back in fright. The mother let out a snort of pleasure as the baby hissed at her angrily. She nudged the child toward the corpse but it was still angry with her. It walked toward the dead triceratops, dragging its large feet. The child did not like being scared in such a manner and even as it nibbled on the corpse it looked nervously at its mother. Mother could not hunt until her child was an adult, instead she scavenged off the dead in her territory. It took a few minutes but finally the little T-Rex began to feed itself. It chomped down faster, stuffing its face as fast as it could. When it was full it lifted its elongated head and flashed its bloody teeth at its mother. With blue skies overhead and full bellies, the two T-Rex’s continued happily along the path. Momma knew there were more dinosaurs coming to the watering hole, just as they had done in the past and she was eager to take her child to such a plentiful feast. Now that it had learned how to take meat off the bone, it was only a matter of time before the baby learned how to kill. A mother T-Rex had only one belief; the more she taught her child the better it would eat.
As they walked the baby sniffed the path, picking up various scents. Occasionally it would follow one a few feet and then turn back to its mother. Momma let the child take as much time as it needed; patiently waiting for her to catch up whenever she trailed too far behind. Their journey took them near the cavern, deep down in a chasm. It was the home of the only other predator in the area. It was such a terrifying beast that Momma T-Rex took as wide a berth around the chasm as she possibly could. The monster was the last surviving Spinosaurus, a massive monster four times the size of a Tyrannosaurus. It had lived in that cavern long before Momma had come to the area, even before the time of her great great grandfather. Although her primitive brain was not capable of the same type of family bonds that mammals have, she always believed that it was the monster that had taken her mate from her. To them it was known as the Sleeping Ancient, one who should never be woken. The male, the father of her children of which only one survived, had went out into the night for food somewhere near the chasm and he had never returned. It was also possible that he wandered away, never to return, with male T-Rex you never knew for sure. She had never had a chance to find out. The eggs were destroyed that same night and she’d had to hide her only surviving child high up on a ledge to keep it safe from the other tiny scavengers who could eat a newborn T-Rex when their numbers were large enough. By the time the newborn was big enough to walk, the trail had grown cold. The male’s scent had been washed away by the rain and so all they had left was an old trail leading to the cavern of the Sleeping Ancient. Other males had come to her since but if she were to breed with them, they would surely kill her daughter to ensure the survival of their own offspring. Every instinct in her told her to find a new mate and create more children but for some reason she fought against it, dedicating herself to her one special offspring. One day the child would be old enough to find her own mate, perhaps then she would try again. Until then, she would do everything she could to keep her baby safe. That meant keeping her as far away from the cavern as possible. The baby could tell she was uneasy as they hurried past, so it nuzzled against her belly. She calmed its fears with her tiny arms, rubbing the sensitive spot on the child’s head.
At the toxic pool, Deinonychus fed off the dinosaurs who had succumbed to the bacteria. As they picked at the corpses spread around the water, they began to experience sharp stomach pains. One of them, the weakest of the pack, began to foam at the mouth before falling over dead. To soothe their aching bellies the small dinosaurs ate the nearby grass, increasing the toxic bacteria in their body even more.