Dangerous Animal - 10/26

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Dangerous Animal - 10/26

Postby Brian » Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:15 am

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Dangerous Animal - 10/26

Postby Brian » Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:15 am

You are a zookeeper, and one day a shady looking man brings in what he calls an “exotic animal.” This animal is in a wooden box with small air holes on the top and the box is stamped DANGEROUS. He throws a picture on your desk and you look at the strangest creature you’ve ever seen. Write a scene describing the animal and the man’s story for how he found it.

You can post your response (750 words or fewer) here.

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RE: Dangerous Animal - 10/26

Postby Neets » Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:52 pm

Steaming piles of fresh elephant dung warming in the morning sun silhouetted a shady looking character standing just outside of the elephant enclosure.

"Those are gentle and majestic creatures" He smiled while waving a hand towards the elephants. "Would you happen to know where I can find the owner of this establishment?" He offered his hand to me through the bars.

Shaking his hand, I answered, "I'm the everything here, and you are?"

"Conroy, Bob Conroy"

"Peter Jefferies, nice to meet you Mr. Conroy. What can I do for you?"

"Mr. Jefferies, I have a creature with me today that you just have to see to believe."

"Ah, you're looking for a buyer? Why didn't you go on Zoological? There's an auction site there and..."
Mr. Conroy cut me off, "Mr. Jefferies, when you see this creature maybe you'll be able to understand why I'm not going the traditional route here."

The container the creature was locked in was marked "Dangerous" as we passed the container on the way to my office, I could hear a low rumble coming from the container, the creature was snoring.

Mr. Conroy leaned across my desk. "Mr. Jefferies, I think if you purchase this creature from me today you will find that your little zoo here will profit so greatly you will have to hire employees to clean the elephant pen for a change."

The image of the creature Mr. Conroy slid across the desk stopped me cold.

"I thought these were extinct! Where did you find this?"

"I can't reveal that at this time, I hope to find more of them of course, but capturing it wasn't easy."

The image of the creature was hideous, a fleshy pale human, exhausted looking, peering out of the container, cigarette in its' mouth, glassy glazed eyes, cup of coffee in its' hand. The light coming off the creature's computer lit its' face in a ghastly glow.

"I didn't realize coffee and tobacco were still available."

"Well, of course they are extremely rare, that's how they worked so well as bait. When the creature saw the computer equipped with internet well, the creature walked in to captivity of it's accord!"

"I have found a supplier who can keep this creature satisfied in that regard indefinitely."
Mr. Conroy pushed back in his chair and smiled. "I know that you enjoy the original Earth creatures Mr. Jefferies, your work with the elephants is highly regarded, and I can assure you that the price for this creature is modest in comparison to the returns you will see for your investment."

"I can see this creature is contained now, but how exactly can it be considered dangerous? Does it become violent if denied the coffee and the tobacco?"

"Yes, it can, also you will see it rage if the "internet" program we have provided it is down. This particular creature is also a writer, and you will see it rage for no apparent reason at all. I caution you to use extreme care if you see it writing."

"I'm not sure, I don't know..."

"Just be sure to keep some of these around." Mr. Conroy handed me a stack of paper.

"What are these?" I opened one to examine it.

"Acceptance letters from publishers, and bank statements showing deposits into the creature's account. I will show you how to create new ones, just be sure to keep a supply of these handy, if the creature begins a rage, drop one of these into its' enclosure, it should calm down immediately."

Mr. Conroy was correct on all counts, I took a big risk, and it paid off handsomely. Mr. Conroy is shipping a "housewife" next week, and we plan to begin a breeding program right here at my little zoo. He has found a supplier for the necessary "chocolate" when dealing with females of the species. If we are to bring the species back from the brink of extinction Mr. Conroy will have to work fast to find the few remaining on the planet, all we have is hope that they will breed. Mr. Conroy is researching the human "Barry White" and his musical reputation as I write this.


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RE: Dangerous Animal - 10/26

Postby Lafaye » Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:47 pm

"Are you the one they call The Game Keeper?"

Phillip looked up from his desk and pile of season's end paperwork. He hated his job. The zoo smelled. His clothes smelled. Exotic places are what he hungered for, not "exotic" animals. And yet, here it was, late at night, and there in front of him stood an elderly man with glowing yellow eyes that pierced Phillip's very soul. The old man was dressed in worn and filthy clothes, holding a curious-looking box. His words had left his lips trembling and caused Phillip to feel somewhat uneasy.

Strange that someone should come by at such a late hour. The zoo was closed, and, thought Phillip, well secured. Phillip pushed away in his chair from his cluttered desk to give distance between the two of them, and, give him a chance to examine this late night intruder. He noticed the old man's swollen and bandaged hands clasped around a wooden box which had holes roughly cut into the top that were so small, it was a wonder the creature inside could breathe through them at all. And what was that? A word? Yes. A word. Faintly legible, stamped across the top of the box. Phillip stared at it trying to make it out.

"It says 'DANGEROUS'," said the old man. And yet, he wrapped his hands around the box as if it was the most fragile thing in existence. He lowered the box carefully to the top of the desk and set it down. "It won't hurt you." He then stopped and glared at Phillip. "Unless you hurt it first."

"How did you..."

"Get in? This creature is capable of amazing things," warned the old man. "Terrifying and deadly, and yet, amazing."

Phillip was nothing more than a zookeeper, nicknamed by the children as The Game Keeper, which he favored far better than to be called a lowly zookeeper. Zookeepers clean filthy cages and slop disgusting food to animals and put up with whiny children all day long. But the title of 'The Game Keeper', separated Phillip from the others and made it a bit more tolerable to work there. Or so he thought. He stared longingly at the wooden box. There was no one else in the zoo right now except for himself and this senile, old man. This had, after all, been the final day of the season. No one would ever know that such a 'gift' had been delivered to him. It could make him rich beyond his wildest imagination. He could leave this smelly zoo, travel in style and be seated with royalty throughout the world. Of course, he would keep the name The Game Keeper. It would carry so much more meaning now.

"It will never make you rich," said the old man, as if he could read Phillip's very thoughts.

"What a stupid thing to say!" fired back Phillip with quick and angry spoken words.

"Be wise in what you do with it," said the old man as he threw a picture of the creature on top of the box. He then turned to leave.

"Wait!" said Phillip, as his stare of both disbelief and amazement went from the picture to the old man. "How did you ever find such a creature?"

"Two hundred years ago, an elderly man brought it to me in the very box I now bring it to you in. He told me he had stolen it from the forbidden forest of Ephranisia from which no man has ever returned, and yet, he had. He was greedy, as was I, seeking nothing more in life than the greatest of riches it has to offer. Gold and silver, audiences with Kings and Queens. He told me if I were to return the creature to its rightful home, I would have everything I ever needed, and yet, I would not listen. Wants were more important to me than needs. I am old now and wish to die. I have suffered much, and lost everything and everyone I have ever loved. I am tired and alone. I beg of you, return the creature to Ephranisia."

With that, the old man disappeared into the frigid night air. Phillip picked up the picture and stared at it in utter disbelief. The creature was out of the box, standing next to what must have been the elderly man at a much younger age. It loomed over the man in a hideous and fearful manner.

”Amazing," said Phillip. "Absolutely, amazing!"


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Re: Dangerous Animal - 10/26

Postby LittleEden » Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:34 pm

I looked up from my computer to see an un-kept, surly man standing inside the open door. It was after dark but I was not surprised to see him; that is when I do all my business.

"Don’t' stand there eyeing me like one of your creatures caught in hair-trigger-traps." I do business with him, but I do not like or trust him. Every time I am around him, I get the willies, for the right price he would sell me to some weird-o collector.

He tipped his dirty Indiana Jones hat in my direction and looked over his shoulder into the dark hall.

"Go ahead and bring "it" in. Let's see what you got." I inherited my great uncle's zoo. It may be only a notch or two up from a snake farm, but here in the deep piney woods of East Texas I make a good living at it. The size of the establishment does not matter, only the rarity of the specimens.

A slow twisted grin spread across his gaunt leathery face. In a whisper, more like a hiss he spoke, "Are you sure? This one is real special and won't come cheap."

"That's what you always say. Shut up and just show me." I wanted to see what he had, and then I wanted him gone.

He started to say something than thought better of it. He turned and left the room as silently as he had entered it. I don't care how many times he comes here I will never get use to way he moves, silent as a copperhead and I suspect as deadly.

In minutes, he was back, wheeling a dolly with a medium size wooden crate on it. He parked it next to my desk, and tossed a picture at me. I let the picture fall to the floor. I was too busy reading the large printed letters D-A-N-G-E-R-S-O-U-S on bright yellow tape that wrapped around the crate.

"You going to look at that picture or not?"

I leaned over to pick up the picture, and found myself face to face with the crate. It was then I heard the low moans coming from within. They were low and mournful like a train whistle in the middle of night, but at the same time, they were the most terrifying sounds I had ever heard.

Picture in hand I did not waste any time sitting up in my chair; I wanted away from whatever was in the crate. I turned the desk lamp on and held the picture under it.

"Is this a joke? If it is I don't like it – I don't like it a bit." The very idea of him trying to get one over on me made me madder and madder the more I thought about it.

"Now, now. Take it easy. That is his morning shot. Here is the one that counts. His night picture." He leaned in close to me and laid another picture in front of me. I pushed him back before I held it under the lamp.

"What…." That is all I got out before I had to stop and take several deep breathes. "What is it? It's not what I think it is, is it?"

"Well if you are thinking, what I think you are thinking, it sure is. Caught it last night, under the first night of the full moon, in Black Thicket Bayou. Yes sir, I bagged the big daddy of all things that go bump in the night."

"The moon is up. Show me."

He wheeled the dolly over to the window, and we waited. The low moans changed into a full-blown howl. He slid a board back, revealing the iron cage inside the crate. I leaned over and he had not lied.

The newest addition to my "After Hours Zoo" looked up at me. His eyes were red-hot coals; long canine fangs grew out of a drooling mouth. His hairless tail was now bushy and glowed in the dark.

"You and I will get along just fine." He would be my star attraction as long as he stayed locked in a cage. It would have to have a skylight. After all what good would a were-opossum be to me if he could not see the full moon?

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RE: Dangerous Animal - 10/26

Postby avalanche_of_elysium » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:39 pm

May, 1889

Mr. Pinchachilly looked primly over his spectacles at the rather large stranger who was slouching in front of him, his hands stuffed deeply into his thick overcoat, and a scowl on the stranger's face. Mr. Pinchachilly straightened his pile of paperwork on his desk, and looked at the stranger suspiciously.

"What can I do for you, sir?"

The stranger shiftily looked both ways, then leaned in closely. "Are you the zookeeper, something like Pinchadilly, Pinchalily? Something like that. I got an animal for ya, sir." A bloody American. How dare he talk to a proper Englishman like Mr. Pinchachilly in that manner?

Mr. Pinchachilly drew himself to his full height of an astounding five feet and responded in lofty tones, "I am Mr. Fitzwilliam Pinchachilly, and yes, I am the Zookeeper! What sort of animal do you have?"

The American grinned. "Well, here's the box, Mr. Pinchafilly." Dramatically, he pulled a small, wooden box from his overcoat. The word DANGEROUS was stamped in bright red letters on the top, and tiny airholes had been drilled into the box.

Mr. Pinchachilly looked warily at the box. "What is that?"

The American produced a folded, worn picture from his pocket. "This."

Mr. Pinchachilly unfolded the picture, taking his time. He looked at it. "Gahhh!" He dropped the picture.

It was a spider. And Mr. Pinchachilly hated spiders. Especially venemous ones, and this spider's picture had the longest, most needle sharp fangs he had ever seen in his history as zookeeper.

Pleased with Mr. Pinchachilly's reaction, the American said, "Hey, do you want to see him? He's a fuzzy little guy." Despite Mr. Pinchachilly's hoarse protests, the American slipped open the top of the box, and out came a spider.

"No! No! Put it back in! I command you! No! It's coming towards me! It's eight legs! It's fuzzy legs! It's going to kill me! Ahhhhhh!" Mr. Pinchachilly ran sreaming from the room, clutching his thinning hair.

Smirking, the American examined the dead, stuffed legs of his son Jake's favorite toy spider. He could never had imagined it would be that easy. He swept the money from Mr. Pinchachilly's desk into a sack, tossed the DANGEROUS box into a rubbish can, and stalked out the door. Jake would get his beloved toy spider back.

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RE: Dangerous Animal - 10/26

Postby rg121754 » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:59 pm

I was not sure which was stranger. The man who stood before me or the strange thing he had in the rough home made box that had a crudely scrawled 'dangerous' across its sides. He had removed the lid that had air holes in it.
"She sure is different isn't she?" he cooed, his blood shot eyes staring at it adoringly. "I think she's like one of those.....ex....exahtac type animals."
"You mean exotic?" I said skeptically. He nodded yes enthusiastically.
His hair was in disarray, needing a good dandruff shampoo. Dirt encrusted hands, black lines under the fingernails, and layers of shabby, dirty, reeking clothing made getting close to him impossible.
"Iza had to put her in here so the others would leave her alone." He pulled a crumbled magazine page out, and pointed to the picture on it. It was a sculpture of an ancient Griffin.
"Iza think this is what she is, without the wings but I’m not sure."
He ran his disgusting finger down the yellow, glistening skin next to the flared, ribbed ridge that ran down the animals back. It made a strange rasping sound that could be compared to a cats purr. Its horned head was tilted, its beady eyes half closed in enjoyment of his petting.
The animal looked like a cross between a reptile and a cat. It had webbed feet with vicious claws at the end stubby toes. It had a long sinuous body, long tail that the ridge tapered off onto, yet the end of it had a tuft of hair like that of a lion. The narrowed dragon head had fangs that overlapped the bottom jaw, yet another tuft of hair hung off its chin, and stood up between its bat-shaped ears and horns.
"Iza wondering if you could tell me what she is? Iza thinking she be like a dragon maybe? She is warm-blooded, even if she looks like she has lizard skin."
I looked him over again, noticing a toe poking out of one much worn loafer. "So I didn't catch your name?"
He turned with a toothy, cavity ridden smile extending out a crusty hand, "Iza be Herman, Herman Carter."
Trying not to let him see me cringe I held out my hand in exchange. "Nice to meet you Mr. Carter, can you tell me where you found this? What it eats?"
"Iza hoping you being a zoo keeper and all, you could tell me. I found her down in the tunnels, she was swimming, then she crawled up onto the walk way and came right up to me, rubbing against my foot like a cat and doing that little rumbly growl thing she does, then she climbed up my leg. She likes it where its warm, likes sleeping with me. I don't know what she eats, I think she goes off hunting in the tunnels, and then she comes back and always finds me. Iza tried feeding her my scraps but she won’t eat them."
"Mr. Carter, you keep calling it a 'she', how do you know that?"
"Cuz I seen her babies, little ones that come to her when she calls in the tunnels. Iza think she teaches them to hunt."
"There are more of these?" I asked incredulously. He nodded his head vigorously yes.
"How's the rat population down there at your.....home?" I threw out.
He chuckled, "No the rats are plenty, only things disappearin is us.” He shrugged his shoulders, “But that happens this time of year when it gets colder. They find other places. Charlie went into the tunnel the other day, he hasn't come back yet. Sometimes that happens to the older ones, they just wanders off." A child like smile crossed his whiskered face, his eyes brightening. "Several of my friends seen these creatures, says they tried following them into the tunnel. Iza the only one who gots one as a pet though, had her a couple weeks now."
The creature opened its emerald eyes wide and turned to look at me, stretching its lips over its fangs in a ghastly smile as if reading my mind and the suspicions forming there as I felt my stomach lurch.

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Re: Dangerous Animal - 10/26

Postby fishcantswim » Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:06 pm

It was lunch time, and my sandwich was only half eaten. I tried to rearrange my surprised features to show patience, probably not quite convincing. The dishevelled man had burst in without knocking, strode straight to my desk and dropped a cake-sized wooden box on the desk as though it was burning his fingers, which did in fact look a little red.

He dug in the pockets of his tattered and dingy wax coat, forcefully extracting a battered photo which he threw down on my newspaper. I studied it incredulously whilst he poured forth a thick, almost impenetrable brogue.

“Ah foun’ this at bottom o’ Master’s garden. Twas sleepin’, ‘ead curled inoo tail. ‘E snores, ‘e does. Loud. Ah ent ever seen un like um. ‘E’s red, red as ‘ell, and ‘ot as too.”

I had noticed the languid smoke rising from the little box, but didn’t want to interrupt the man’s tale. I had seen the photo too. I didn’t want to believe.

“A red dragon? They’re extinct. We killed them all during The Eradication…over 400 hundred years ago now. You can’t have one, how could you?”

I was worried, and I hoped the man was too. The subject of dragons, particularly red, and The Eradication of 1995 were exhaustively taught at school, constantly documentaried in viseos, studiously lamented by the dreadlocked and sandal-wearing fraternity.

We did it for the greater good. Not for the obvious benefits. I was there; I should know. This was serious. I daren’t open that little wooden box.

“Was there anything else where you found it? An egg? Other dragons? Anything that could explain this impossibility?”

“No, sir. There was only the dragon and me. It looked at me loik it knew me. Ah knew Ah ‘ad to bring it to you, Professor Grainge. Ah knew Ah did.”

My legs were feeble and unsupportive as I tried to stand, trusting more to my hands on the desk than traitorous calves.

“How do you. Know. That. Name?”

This was wrong, a dream, a nightmare, impossible to escape.

The man looked startled for a moment, his overgrown and under-gardened eyebrows brushing the underside of his flat-cap, opposing his gaping bearded mouth to drag his ruddy, lined face into an comical portrayal of surprise. It looked as though an unskilled puppet-master was controlling his expression.

The box knocked, or the thing inside the box knocked, I supposed. One. Two-three. Da de-da. Jaunty, care-free, like a money-saving salesman rapping at the door.

The man, nameless to me, but no doubt loved by someone, toppled forward into my desk, struck it and rebounded to fall on the floor below. His face didn’t change. Mine neither.

Fear froze me, but irrepressible and cruel human curiosity freed my eyes to watch the now heavily smoking wooden box, slowly catch a-flame and burn greedy green.

The wood melted before my eyes, flame and matter disappearing entirely. That left only the dragon, stretching like a cat, back arched and claws digging into the antique, now extinct, mahogany of my desk, impossibly large to have fit inside its former prison.

It had a little shake, wings stretching out just a bit, smoky trails writhing to the ceiling.

From its front left paw it flicked out a small claw, harder than diamond we knew, stronger than anything we could imagine, never mind make, and effortlessly scarred my desk further, sniffing the resulting coil of dark brown wood, before flicking it away disinterestedly.

“Only wood, human,” it growled at me, a quiet roar. “But I wondered…”

Staring at its eyes, clear yet not transparent, my fear was freed by acceptance.

“You cannot be. We counted the corpses. We captured those that remained. None have escaped since The Eradication.”

The dragon laughed, scarlet scales glowing and twinkling to compliment its breathy snuffle. Beautiful and dangerous it was, fire itself.

“We are the creators, human. We cannot fail to be. You could no more,” and here it paused to chew over the word, crushing it to pulpy mush, before spitting it out, “eradicate us, than destroy the multiverse. We are being, fool.”

I wept. Joy, shame, disappointment and revelation wet my face all the same.

Tears were steam and life was nothing.

The red dragon cried alone once more.

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RE: Dangerous Animal - 10/26

Postby Aslinn » Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:08 am


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Re: Dangerous Animal - 10/26

Postby skutty » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:28 pm

I really enjoyed reading your story - nice details and very creative!


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