The Fourth Dimension

A young woman walked down the street. Cathleen Valdere was a 21 year old college student, not quite sure what her major was. She had studied the earth’s history, including the 4 major eras; the Precambrian Era, the Paleozoic Era, the Mesozoic Era & the Cenozoic Era. That was what really intrigued her. But she wasn’t sure what she wanted to make of herself. On her way home, Cathleen stopped in Bart’s Bar. When she was asked what she would like by the bartender, she responded with a whiskey sour. Cathleen never drank much, so she only stopped in now and then. When Cathleen finished her drink, she paid the man & left for her apartment on Revenue Road. It was getting darker, she noticed. Realizing she needed to hurry or she wouldn’t have time to help Aaron study for a big science test in two days. She jogged down the sidewalk, not realizing that two men were carrying a thin, strong board between them. It was near invisible to Cathleen & her head hit it. She fell back & hit the pavement with a sickening crack. Then everything went black….The sun was warm on Cathleen’s skin. She was lying down on something soft & comfortable. Cathleen leaned up, expecting to see a bed beneath her, and hospital walls around her. But what she saw was anything but. Cathleen was lying on a pile of grass; it looked like a big nest. Looking around her, Cathleen saw trees, grass and bushes circling around her but no buildings in sight. She got up & then heard crunch. It had sounded like a giant egg had cracked open. Looking down, Cathleen saw that’s exactly what had just happened. She had just cracked an egg as big as her two feet combined. The bushes started moving. Cathleen leaped out of the nest, expecting to see a furious mother charging in to find out who hurt her eggs. But as she hid herself in the bushes, an odd looking creature came into the nest. It was the ugliest thing Cathleen had ever seen. The thing was approximately 2.5 meters long. It looked around quickly & then it snatched one of the eggs up after eating what Cathleen had crushed. It looked familiar to Cathleen.

No, she thought. I’m hallucinating. This can’t be real. Then the thing looked alert and afraid. Another creature came charging through to the nest. It was a three-horned creature, with a bony frill stuck out from the back of the skull. Two of the horns were long and above the eyes; the third was small and on the nose. The creature was a triceratops and it used those deadly horns and attacked the intruder, an oviraptor, after luring it away from the nest after it placed the egg down when it was far enough away. Moments later, the oviraptor was dead, the egg it snatched, unharmed. Cathleen was able to make her escape. Still trying to convince herself, Cathleen fled. She came upon a very big river. Kneeling down, she dunked her head into the water. She resurfaced and looked into the river. Cathleen followed the river with her eyes. It flowed into a sea. Cathleen got up and walked to the sea. She waded in after rolling up her pants & taking off her socks and shoes. Looking across the water and the coast, she saw nothing familiar to her, no buildings either. With a sigh, Cathleen sat in the water. The sun would dry her anyway. Cathleen leaned back enjoying the sun’s warmth. Then she shot straight back up. When she blacked out, it was almost night time. How was it morning already? Something bumped against her foot. She looked down & saw a queer looking lobster. It looked like what scientists believed to be an ancestor of lobsters of the present day. Wait until she announced her discovery. Cathleen got up, excited. Walking on the sand, she heard scuttling; a crab that looked similar to the ones Cathleen saw, but different. It looked like what some scientists thought an ancestor of present day crabs looked like. This started to worry Cathleen a bit. Maybe they took a guess, not knowing that crabs and lobsters actually looked like this. The heat was getting to her, she convinced herself. She picked up her stuff & walked back to the river. She was hungry. When was the last time she had eaten? Yesterday, hours before blacking out, if she only blacked out for a few hours like she believed. That led Cathleen to the swirl of questions swimming in her mind, demanding to be answered. What time was it? How did she get here? And where was here? Where were all the people, buildings & animals she was used to? Who knew she was here? How was she to return to civilization? Where could she get help? What was she to do until she found a way to return home? How could she survive in this place where everything was different & weird? Cathleen stubbornly put her mind off all these questions, saying she would think things through once she had eaten. Getting up, Cathleen saw trees. Walking to them, she inspected each one. They looked like the ones at home, with a few exceptions. Here was an odd looking magnolia; there was sassafras which looked odd too. Walking further, she identified oaks, sequoias, a funny looking plant called a laurel, and even a willow. But each of the plants she identified look odd compared to the ones she had seen back home. They looked more adapted to this environment, and Cathleen could tell that the same types near her home wouldn’t be able to live here. She stopped walking when she came upon an unknown tree. It held things on its branches that looked a little like acorns. Cathleen took one off & bit it; it was a fig. So she had found herself a fig tree. She memorized what it looked like so she could find others & took some figs. She didn’t really like the figs that much, but she needed to eat. Maybe she’d find some wild berries. Cathleen walked on after putting the figs into a pocket. She came upon a little lake & a meadow. She stopped suddenly, eyes wide in wonder. There was dinosaurs everywhere; brontosaurus’ with their long necks, long tails & huge bodies, triceratops like the one Cathleen saw earlier, stegosaurus’ with their big bony plates jutting upward from their neck, back & upper tail & 2 pairs of spikes sticking out from the tails end, iguanodons which she recognized by seeing their hands (5 fingered-hands, spiked thumb, 3 middle fingers, hoof like claws & a grasping finger). All the doubt that was in Cathleen’s mind, vanished instantly. Cathleen knew that she had either traveled back in time or that she was on a place where dinosaurs still walked the Earth. Some of her questions were answered & that brought even more questions. The main ones were ‘How close it is to extinction?’ & ‘How do I survive?’ She wanted desperately to walk up & join these peaceful herbivores but she didn’t know exactly how they would react to seeing her. So, Cathleen just stood there. She watched as a baby brontosaurus drank from the lake. Then the baby looked over to the trees, where Cathleen was standing. She trotted over, Cathleen had a feeling it was a she, & stopped in front of Cathleen. Cathleen stood her ground as the young creature peered at her curiously. Then the baby sniffed Cathleen’s pocket where she had put the figs. Cathleen pulled out her remaining figs and offered them to the young dinosaur that Cathleen decided to call Charity. Charity ate the figs then walked past Cathleen to the trees. Charity ate leaves from a small tree. Then a grown brontosaurus noticed where the young brontosaurus was & that there was an unknown creature there; Cathleen. The brontosaurus, probably Charity’s mum or dad came over. It gave Cathleen a full inspection, sniffing her & seeing if she would run like any enemy would. When she didn’t, it accepted Cathleen to be harmless, & joined Charity in eating. Cathleen climbed up a fig tree she noticed just then and started getting some of the best figs. She noticed the other herbivores had come over to eat. They realized she was there, but when the brontosaurus’ left her alone, they too concluded her harmless. They were interested only in their food & their young. They smelled the figs up in the trees, but individual figs were hard to get down, so Cathleen started dropping bunches of them down to the dinosaurs below. Some of them ate the figs while others continued eating leaves. Once Cathleen had stripped the tree of almost all its figs, she stopped & then ate her fill. Cathleen was enjoying watching these magnificent creatures when they became very alert. The gathered the young into the middle of them to keep them safe. Then roaring was heard. It sounded like there was a fight going on. Cathleen moved in the tree, finding a good place to conceal herself yet still see what was happening. From her height, she could see some of what a brontosaurus could. There were tyrannosaurus rexes & carnotaurus’ fighting, maybe a dozen & a half total.
Uh-oh. These are carnivores; that’s not good. Looking down & around, Cathleen saw that the herbivores odds were good. There were enough of them to fend off the carnivores. Cathleen knew that a brontosaurus was deadly. A stegosaurus’s tail spikes were sharp enough to beat away a t-rex. Cathleen didn’t know what iguanodons did, but a triceratops’s horns would also be good in a fight like this. Scientists had predicted how these amazing creatures fought; now Cathleen would get to see it for herself. All of a sudden, the carnivores that were getting hurt turned & ran—in the direction of the herbivores. All of the carnivores saw the herbivores there & rushed forward to attack. Some iguanodons & a brontosaurus took the young ones & herded them away, into the woods, giving them a chance to escape should things go wrong. Cathleen dug her hand into her pocket & felt something smooth, metal & long. Pulling it out, she saw it was her army knife she had gotten from her brother who was a captain in the US Army before he died. He had told her this knife served him well & saved his life & others when they needed it most. Cathleen at the time had not believed it but when she heard that same story from all the soldiers he served with, she believed him. Thinking back to what he taught her, Cathleen got herself ready. After the experience her brother told her about before giving her the knife, he was promoted to captain & told her, “Always keep your head. Think, find their weaknesses, & use that as your strength. Don’t try for anything that’s way too big for you to handle alone & watch other enemies; you never know when someone is watching you.”
Cathleen checked to make sure that the blade was sharp; push comes to shove & she might find herself in that fight. The herbivores advanced so to give themselves room & then the 2 enemies met. Claws were furiously scratching, tails flying, teeth clashing, roars cutting through the air & the boom of bodies hitting the earth. Here she saw a brontosaurus lash his tail out furiously at an enemy; the enemy falls & a stegosaurus finish him off. There was a stegosaurus & a triceratops harming the tender parts of an enemy’s feet & legs so to make it fall. The fight continued as dinosaurs fought. Then a carnotaurus saw Cathleen. It advanced to her hungrily, but a tail lashed at its torso unexpectedly & the creature went flying. The brontosaurus that defended her went to finish it off, while Cathleen remained unseen to everyone else. Then her chance came. Cathleen leaped from the tree onto the back of another carnotaurus, holding firmly onto the horns above its eyes. It felt her there, but paid no mind since she was so small & none of his foes were that small. But the moment Cathleen took her knife & stabbed him, the carnotaurus realized his mistake. Cathleen made the cut as long and deep as she could make it & made more since the dinosaur’s short arms couldn’t reach her. The carnotaurus rubbed his back against a tree to get rid of her & Cathleen instantly moved higher. There she gouged at his eyes & jumped off onto the first brontosaurus adult that she had met. Sliding down its long neck, Cathleen watched as the carnotaurus she had attacked ran into other carnivores & finally falling after taking 2 more of its allies with it. The fight was nearly over. The carnivores that weren’t dead quit fighting & ran after seeing that they were outnumbered. But the herbivores lost some of their ranks too. All around Cathleen bodies lay & the smell of blood overpowered her. Finding a bush, Cathleen violently emptied herself of what was in her stomach. Cathleen walked over to the lake, dipped her head in, got her shirt wet & wiped of the knife. Silently, Cathleen thanked her brother & the dinosaurs that saved her life. Cathleen left the scene in search of a place where no dead & dying bodies lay. She walked in the direction the carnivores had come from, without knowing it. They had made a path of destruction. Bones lay strewn everywhere. Seeing a body with only long slender toes that weren’t mauled, Cathleen realized it was an elamisaurus rarus. Its body was too mangled for Cathleen’s stomach & once again she vomited. The path of the carnivores was very gruesome. She saw & approached a skull & identified it as a skull of a gargoyleosaurus parkpini. Nearby was a dead sarcolestes. Cathleen made a circle & found herself in the woods once again. Finding some berries, she ate 2 handfuls slowly. Realizing she was thirsty she went to find the lake again. Instead Cathleen stumbles onto a small stream & quenches her thirst there. She stood up after hearing branches snap & realized she was dizzy. Looking on her arm where she felt pain, Cathleen realized she had been hurt in the fight. Everything went blurry & she fainted onto something. When she regained her consciousness, she saw Charity lying nearby. They got up & started walking. Cathleen saw something white & shiny in the grass & picked it up; it was a tooth of a carnivore. She put it in her pocket & followed the bontosaurus’. They came to the sea that Cathleen had visited before. Once again in the water, Cathleen saw sea urchins. Soon they went to the river that led to the sea. There Cathleen saw lizards scrambling over warm rocks, dragonflies skimming above the water, snakes sun bathing & even a crocodile waiting for his prey. A while later they returned to the meadow. Cathleen sat in a flower patch & watched as butterflies flitted through the air & as ants crawled about working. Cathleen realized she wouldn’t mind staying here with the dinosaurs. As it reached dusk they returned to the nest, Cathleen lying next to Charity. They were awoken by screams of terror. Meteors poured out of the sky, some striking Earth & others burning up before doing so. Craters were pock-marking the earth. Dinosaurs tried to flee the bedlam. Cathleen ran & stumbled over Charity’s now dead body. It looked to be swift & painless for her & for that Cathleen was grateful. The volcanoes became active, adding to the chaos. Everywhere the dinosaurs ran not worrying about the fact that they were running side by side with an enemy. Weeping, Cathleen ran & found herself at the place where she met Charity. A flying dinosaur flew out of the trees & Cathleen got caught on the creature’s claws. The creature was too distressed to notice this. From a birds-eye view, Cathleen saw as the dinosaurs were fighting Nature, and losing. Cathleen looked up & saw the thing that had carried her so far up was an archaeopteryx, a colorful bird-like creature. Then a large meteor, the largest ever seen, slammed into the earth with such a force, it cause an explosion. The dust that was raised would block out the sun for a year, along with the dust blowing from the volcanoes. Cathleen knew this was the extinction of the dinosaurs, the final days of these amazing & unknown creatures. Her question had been answered; it was the very end of the Mesozoic Era. A small meteor hit the archaeopteryx that held Cathleen; it released her & fell from the sky to its doom. As Cathleen plummeted from the sky, time seemed to speed up. Before her eyes, she witnessed as Pangaea broke apart to from the continents we know today & then the animals that had survived adapted to their new life once the earth became inhabitable. They evolved, plants grew & animals came to be as we know them. Cathleen saw her human ancestors as they amazed at how warm fire was. She saw them grow smarter, invent things, fight & become new people. As she continued to fall, she saw what they had done over the years & then she blacked out 100 yards from the earth….
Beep beep beep, beep beep beep. Cathleen heard beeping as she woke up. Looking to find the source, she saw that she was in a hospital & that she heard the heart rate monitor attached to her. “Dr. Carter, she’s awake!”
A doctor rushed into the room & peered at Cathleen, checking various things. “Well, Ms. Valdere, you seem to have finally awakened. Can you feel this?” Dr. Carter asked as he pinched her in various places to be sure she had feeling back in her body.
“Ouch, yes,” Cathleen replied. Looking around, she spotted her friend Aaron & her mom, Terri.
“Oh, Cat, are you ok? You were in a coma for a few days. How do you feel?” her mom asked.
“I’m fine Mom. My head feels like its one big bruise, but I’m ok. Hey Aaron, how did the test go?”
Aaron looked down. “I, uh, kind of didn’t go to test. I went and found your mom after I saw what happened. I was driving over to study & I saw you get hurt.”
“Oh, well. You can test when I do,” Cathleen replied.
“Alright Ms. Valdere, you seem to remember things fine. We did some tests earlier & think you are suited to go home now. If you have any problems let me know.” Dr. Carter said. Cathleen got up & went home. Aaron & Terri helped her to her apartment & got her comfortable.
“Alright honey, I’m leaving to tell your father. If you need anything, call me.” Terri said & left. Aaron sat next to Cathleen on the couch.
“So, how did you get that lovely scratch; it looks like a claw did it.” Cathleen looked at Aaron.
“Ok, I know this sounds weird, but I visited the past. While I was in a coma, I was in the Mesozoic period, the final days of the dinosaurs. I saw a lot & helped herbivores fight carnivores. I got scratched after leaping onto a carnotaurus’ back from a tree. When the dinosaurs died, I saw what occurred after that in fast forward. I saw reptiles made, trees grow, humans & other animals made, even mountains as they formed; it was indescribable,” she said with a happy sigh. Aaron stared at her & started laughing.
“Oh geez, you could be an actor!” Cathleen looked at him, put her hand in her pocket & out the tooth.
“This is a dinosaur tooth.”
Aaron looked amazed. “It has blood on it.”
“It was knocked out of the dinosaur’s head.”
“Wow, I wish I was there,” Aaron said. “You’ll have to tell me about it sometime.”
Cathleen replied, “I will. I felt like I traveled through time & space. It was and is the earth’s fourth dimension.”

The Fourth Dimension


Port Deposit, United States

  • Artist
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Artist's Description

Yeah, kinda dorky, but it was a project for a science class. When I’m finished re-writing and editing it, I’ll post the improved version.

Artwork Comments

  • Katie Trzcinka
  • CrystalNoellyn
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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