The excavations had now reached Mecca Bingo—and, at long last, a pair of vast forelegs branched off.

One foreleg went south, and they had to demolish the Metro Interchange and Gateshead Civic Centre to dig it all out. The other foreleg went North by North East and put paid to the Sage and the Baltic Mill. One gigantic claw stuck out under the south end of Millennium Bridge, so that had to come down too.

Dyspepsia pulled them all down quietly one Monday night, when there weren’t many people around. She didn’t want it getting in the papers again.

After they’d agreed the deal in the Chinese restaurant, the Chinese scientists had given Dyspepsia a present: the skeleton of a baby Monstosaurus. It was only a metre long and she had it on her bedroom wall, nailed on top of a map of Newcastle and Sunderland. It gave her a fair idea of where the bones were going next.

They were going straight across the river at Tyne Bridge—and there was a good chance the ginormous head would be found under Eldon Square.

But something was niggling her.

The citizens of Sunderland had let her dig up their city centre in the cause of science. But were the inhabitants of Newcastle such lovers of science (and dinosaurs) to let her do the same?

She asked as many people as she could. They mostly answered: yes—if she paid for the buildings she knocked down.

The Chinese money would be just enough to dig up the Monstosaurus and make a plastic replica. But not to pay for the Civic Centre and the Metro Interchange, the Baltic Mill and the Sage, Gateshead,… and the Millenium Bridge… and Tyne Bridge and Castle Keep, plus Central Station, Grey’s Monument and Eldon Square Shopping Centre… and she wondered if it was going to stop there.

A night or two back, she’d had a nightmare that the bones would continue up through Gosforth and Alnwick, all the way to Edinburgh, where they’d have to pull down the famous Castle and the new Scottish Parliament building.

But it was only a nightmare.

The Monstosaurus had stood very high off the ground. And since everything of interest happened round its toes, it needed a long neck to crane down to see what was going on.

But not that long a neck. It would never reach as far as Newcastle Airport: that was just silly.

But where was the money coming from, to dig up the centre of Newcastle?

…to be continued.