Animal Revolution - 2/15

The editors of Writer's Digest provide a weekly Writing Prompt to get your writing going.
Posts: 927
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2005 5:07 am

Animal Revolution - 2/15

Postby Brian » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:09 am

Posts: 927
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2005 5:07 am

Animal Revolution - 2/15

Postby Brian » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:09 am

You were out running in the woods when you fell down and hit your head. You wake up to find yourself in a dark hole, surrounding by small woodland creatures who are talking amongst themselves excitedly. You realize that you can understand what they are saying, and they are all suggesting different ways to kill you. The rabbits suggest putting you in a large trap, the fox suggests letting you go and chasing you down, etc. Write this scene.

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

Private E-1
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:50 pm

RE: Animal Revolution - 2/15

Postby loganatr » Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:06 pm

     All of my weirdest fantasies had come true. I really couldn't let myself believe what the rabbit was saying, like some kind of chaotic anarchist, suggesting that they tie me down (which they did in actuality and presently; surprisingly, they had the technology to achieve this), before letting a thousand rats present me with a choice: act as a host for a new race of super-rats, or die a slow, slow, slow death, one in which they ate my skin, tongue, and extremities first, my stomach second, my internal organs third; and the bonds which tied me to the underground roots I was bound upon for desert. This was graphically described and made even more annoying for the fact that the rabbit had such quiet, minuscule pleasures. It's impossible to translate his language in the way I experienced it- you really lose the translation in english- but there was a weird sort of glee in the idea that water wears away the rock, in this case very quickly. The fact that it was a thousand cruel little mouths and not water, was disregarded as insignificant; and there was also a type of smug, twisted pleasure in the idea of rats nibbling on my toes, which were held in a weird sense of prostration, awe, and fear by rodentia generally. It was seen as profaning something holy, but I didn't get the sense that it added... anything? that I could tell to the rabbit's life. I definitely missed some of the nuances of the language.
      The fox was a little bit more annoying. He definitely seemed like the type of guy who would steal your girlfriend with smooth words and then disappoint utterly in the den before just generally making a twerp of himself for six months while he sponged odds and ends from your apartment. The only position you didn't want him in was where I found him at that time: in a place of relative power. He never got around to setting a definite plan so much as interjecting at odd times about events in the past which from the other animals' body language it seemed they remembered differently but didn't quite think it important enough to set the record straight, especially based on the context in which he would say things. I think, eventually, he took great pleasure in rubbing his tail on my hand, knowing that I couldn't grab him by his tail. “You don't have the tiger by the tail, this time,” he said, in something that seemed to translate pretty directly to english, and which made me immediately think of him as a moron because he clearly didn't understand the maxim having a tiger by his tail. Or maybe I missed a small little bit of the dialog. Foxes, after all, have a reputation for being very clever; maybe I missed a double-or-triple-or-quadruple layer of meaning in what he was saying.
      Eventually, however, I won the day by breaking out of the bonds that a goddamned rabbit had put on me. Then, I dug “up,” caving in all manner of things, probably destroying entire ecosystems of beautiful life, and I felt fine about it. I woke up the next morning in my bed, I decided not to tell anybody about it until after I got the promotion I'd been gunning for.

Private E-1
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:46 am

Re: Animal Revolution - 2/15

Postby eternoxamante » Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:03 pm

“Put him in a large trap!”
“I say we let him go and we chase him down!”
“Forget that! I say we just skin him here and now!”

I opened my eyes and let out a small groan, sitting up. The ground below me was hard and cold, as were the walls, and the only light that I could see came dimly from above. Following the comforting sight, I looked up and searched for the sound of the voices. All that I could see were little woodland creatures; there was a fox, a rabbit, and a possum, from what I could make out, but I knew that there were more. There had to be; there was too much light blocked out for there to only be three small critters. Maybe there were people; he’d warned me that the people here were vicious.

“I’ve never seen one so small!”
“We’ll pluck him and we’ll cook him in a pot!”
“Or roast him over a fire!”
“You morons; he doesn’t have feathers!”
“We’ll pluck his hairs out, then!”

I decided to run my hands along the walls of my confinement. Dirt and roots fell from the walls and onto the ground. So I was in a big hole. How did I get in the hole? The last thing that I could remember was running, and even then, I couldn’t even remember why I’d been running. What was I doing in the forest in the first place? I found my way to my feet and looked up at the animals. Their lips were moving.

“He’s standing!”
“Maybe we should just chop of his limbs so he can’t run away…”
“That’s awfully morbid, bear.”

Oh God. The animals were talking. Not only did the people in this backwards world speak English, but apparently, the animals did, too. And they were talking about ways that they would like to off me. So this was why I wasn’t supposed to venture into the forest. I decided to make a mental note of that, but that note would be insignificant if I didn’t make it out of the forest alive. But the hole was too steep; my hands were shaking too badly; my legs felt so weak that I had to sit back down. So I listened to them concoct a plan of my demise for a good few minutes.

“Maybe we should throw him in the river.” I looked up; it was a deer. A doe, of all things!
“Maybe we should stampede him.” A moose.
“I still say we should just let him go and chase him.” That was a fox.
“This is such a tiny one.” Rabbit.
“We could still pluck and cook him.” A little blue jay!
“Or,” - this voice was welcomed - “you could let him be, and I’ll simply take him off of your hands.”

The animals disappeared from my sight, and frantic battle cries rang out through the forest, deafening me in my little hole. I covered my ears and closed my eyes, waiting for the sounds to die down. When they did, and I could no longer hear screeching over the protection of my hands, I glanced up at the hole, where I saw those navy-blue eyes with the pupils shaped like stars staring down at me.

“You silly thing!” A long, lanky arm reached down into the hole, “You’re stuck in a hole! Didn’t I tell you not to wander?!”

I took the hand. “Sorry, Zane. I wasn’t thinking.”

“You’ve got to remember that my world isn’t like yours, Alan.” Zane chuckled, as he pulled me out with what seemed to be ease. I sat down on the grass, my legs still aching and my eyes still heavy and tired. I looked up at him; I had to tilt my neck all the way back to see him in his full six-foot-seven-inch glory. There was a playful glint in his eyes. “Things that you may eat or hunt for sport may just eat or hunt you for sport.”

“Like a rabbit?” I grumbled sarcastically.

“Much like a rabbit.”

Private E-1
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:09 am

Re: Animal Revolution - 2/15

Postby llewis » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:24 am

The raccoon picked his nails.

“He's not going anywhere.”

I kept squinting, hoping I could make out some of the guys.

“Charlie, what the hell you do to me?” Maybe if I banged my head again, but the pain was too great, my vision was blurry and I had to fight to keep from passing out.

A pair of squirrels held up a length of twine, vertically than horizontally. What they were sizing me up for I couldn't be sure. It didn't make me feel better that they ran off snickering in a sinister way.

“Goddammit guys, jokes over! I'm going!” I started to get up as a wolf howled in the distance, rendering the room silent. The animals listened intently. The raccoon put his hand on my shoulder.

“Like I said, you ain't going anywhere.” The weight of his hand drained the last of my strength. It wasn't until the squirrels returned with a hacksaw, looked me up and down and raised the saw to my neck.

Several rats appeared from the shadows. I saw their beady little eyes as they sniffed me.

“Do 'em. Do 'em now!” The rats cheered.

A red fox leaped forward, waved his sword, scattered the rats as they hissed and cursed.

“Fools, Alvar prefers them alive!” He looked me over, poked me with his sword. “This one will never do.”

A snake slithered down on the red fox's shoulder and whispered,

“Ssssssay, why we pay the wolves? Who are they to ussss?”

Hedgehog stumbled forward.

“W-W-Weren't for the wolves, these humans be turning us out. Look what they did to Sherwood. A parking lot for Christ's sake!”

“Goddammit enough! Charlie, this isn't funny!” My head was ringing and I was sweating, sure that I'd faint in my own vomit.

The raccoon looked at me and said,

“Bundle 'em already!” The squirrels dropped the hacksaw and returned with vines. They tied my arms against what little struggle I could mount in my condition. Next they gagged my mouth and wound the vines with their claws as they clambered over my head. Was I in some bar room being robbed, half out of my mind?

There was another long howl, this time close. Several of the creatures scattered, I thought they might flee. I was wrong. As they dragged me out, none had fled, they just lined up behind me as if I was some sacrificial lamb. Than I saw the wolf and realized I was. I struggled against the vines as they dug into my skin. I could hear panting, smelled his putrid breath as the wolf sniffed closer. Two more wolves eased up, their heads hung low as they eyed the others.

“What's this?” Alvar asked, sneering at me.

Someone shoved hedgehog forward. He tried to turn back but the others held him.

“A f-f-fine human, Alvar sire.”

Alvar smacked hedgehog with the back of his hand.

“A fine human if you like tough, grizzled meat! Where's the young and tender?” His eyes searched, “No, this will not do... throw in a young tender one.” He drew his sword, “And if not a human than one of your own!”

“Enough!” The fox leaped with his sword drawn.

Alvar bared his teeth,

“Bring it on!” And with that the two dueled. The other wolves drew blades, intent on battle. In the next moment all of the animals drew weapons and battled.

One by one they fell. The ground ran red with blood, until only the fox, Alvar and myself were left. Then the fox raised his sword and looked right at me. Having taken his eyes off Alvar, Alvar lunged, stabbing the fox right through his heart, a mortal wound but not before the fox swung his sword. It severed Alvar's neck. A look of shock and horror swept across the wolf as his head tumbled.

The fox coughed, smiled and slumped over as his eyes rolled back. I think I sat there clear 'til morning. I don't remember how I got untied, or even how I stumbled out of the forest. I don't remember much about that night, but I can tell you that was the last time I ever hit the shine again.

Private E-1
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:50 am

RE: Animal Revolution - 2/15

Postby rufflesandpearls » Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:17 pm

"What should we do with her?"
"I say we let her go, then chase her down until we catch her again, jut for the fun of it"

Said some unclear voices as my eyes fluttered open. Something felt as if one of the voices had knocked an anvil to my head. I rubbed it and moaned. Several of the now clear voices gasped and said, "The things awake!" The voice that had earlier suggested my death now spoke in a nasty voice, "Lets hit her now and that'll give us more time to consider her death!" I sat up and could see nothing. I wanted to speak, but my head throbbed so terribly that i could hardly open my mouth to yawn. I decided to feel around to know my surrounding, and felt moist dirt. I quickly jerked my hand away after feeling a slimy earthworm slide past my muddy fingers. I finally regained my clear vision and saw a small hedgehog, rabbit, fox, and squirrel glance at me, some with fear, some with hunger. I looked down at my wet and tattered clothes and saw that even if i wished to get out, i couldn't, for the small animals had cleverly tied ropes around my fragile body. I coughed a little, and began to speak "Not to seem rude, but what interest do you pesky rodents have in me?" The rabbit looked annoyed and said, "How many times do i have to tell you i am NOT a rodent?!?! Psh, you ignorant humans!"
"To actually ANSWER your question," said the creepy fox looking at the rabbit annoyingly, "We indeed haven't eaten in many days, and our stomaches are quite empty."
My eyes widened at the thought of being devoured by small creatures. "You, sir, will not even slightly sink your teeth in me." I said breaking the ropes much too easily and poking him in the stomach. To my surprise, my finger went straight through him. My confused eyes blinked very hard as I said, "I'm getting out of here." And saw the fox' face transform into something different. Much like my brothers, and he said "Get up, idiot, time for school!"

Private E-1
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:59 am

RE: Animal Revolution - 2/15

Postby jminerva » Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:02 am

It was the bitter end, Sam knew. The hole was deep, the hollowed earth dank in her nostrils. She huddled, body bruised and cut, and couldn't help the tremble that licked up her spine.

“What're we gonna do?” The voice that carried the question was flat and pragmatic, but the answering voice was no more reassuring.

“We have options,” he responded, “but they must be fully explored. The more information we extract before we decide, the better off we are. Maybe we can use her.”

“All right,” came an agreement, this one from a female. How many were up there? And what information? She didn't know anything about anyone! “We can't wait any longer,” she continued.

They were silent so long that Sam thought they may have moved beyond the limits of her hearing. She pushed up onto her knees, ignoring the furious pain. Backing herself against the wall, she strained to see over the lip at the top just as a rope was flung over it. It brushed her arm, so thin and frail. She fingered the end dangling just over the dirt, wrapping her palm around it. One good tug and their thread of a rope would be her possession. Just one tug...

But a shadow leapt down into the hole, pounced off the wall opposite her, and landed softly in the soil. The orange fox took one step toward her, and she slammed herself against the wall, pebbles crumbling over her shoulders. “Not a good idea,” he threatened, voice low.

Sam's mouth fell open, but she didn't speak. Her brain wouldn't articulate the questions screaming through it now that this had been added to the panic.

“Seems she's a bit surprised, Tony,” came the female voice.

Sam's lungs suddenly begged for oxygen, but when she tried to breathe again the result was shallow and insufficient. Her world was dark and spinning, tilting to the left, or maybe that was her...

“You should tell her to breathe, Sonya, instead of watching her with that catty look of yours.”

“Catty,” Sonya scoffed. There was a sting across Sam's cheek that brought her eyes open to the soft, slender face of a grey hare. The hare's eyes blinked long lashes and raised a brow sardonically. “Can't have you fainting.” She turned to the fox. “What do you think?”

Tony sat and eyed Sonya thoughtfully before turning his attention to Sam. “We could let her out, and I could chase her down. Haven't had a good hunt since I took the job.”

Sonya's smile was cold. “As long as you don't kill her, Tony. We'll use the traps for that.”

“We're not killing her.”

Tony acknowledged the small animal climbing down the rope with a grunt of submission; Sonya merely cut her eyes in his direction. Neither said anything more.

“It's an unlikely alliance we have,” he said, still shadowed from the wan light, and it was a moment before Sam realized he was speaking to her. “Necessity is the mother of much more than just invention.” A small squirrel stepped into the moonlight, closer to her than either of the others had dared. He held out a small, brown hand.
“Danny,” he introduced himself and waited.

Sam's brow's furrowed with fearful indecision.

He laced his fingers behind his back and stepped away from her. “Do you have a name?” he probed. “Are humans still naming their young?”

She tried to speak, but it took two attempts.

“Sam,” he repeated. “How did you come to be in our territory?”

“I-I was walking.”

“Out for a stroll?”

She nodded.

“How do you know Farmer John?”

“I don't know who you're talking about.”

“You can talk by yourself or we can help you talk,” Sonya offered with a coldness that belied her words.

“And we'd love to help you,” Tony sneered.

Sam's chin trembled.

“Enough.” Danny's quiet demand was met with silence. “I understand. It's a very difficult situation you've found yourself in. Maybe my friends have scared you a little, but there's nothing to worry about.” He lowered his chin to gaze up at her with a look of warning. “Provided you cooperate.”


Danny laid his cool paw on her knee, a crooked grin revealing his yellowed front teeth. “You're gonna help up take Farmer John down.”

Private E-1
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:36 pm

Re: Animal Revolution - 2/15

Postby Jubz » Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:41 pm

Realizing you are coming to surrounded by voices is very disconcerting. But, when you realize the voices are discussing the best way to kill and eat you, you realize things are a little beyond out of the norm.

Attempting to sit up quickly my head makes a dull thunking sound against the dirt and roots above my head. Looking up at the faint light from the opening outlining the furry bodies of my captors, I’m shocked to realize it is a fox speaking ardently about releasing me and then chasing me down for the kill. Two wolves and a cougar are nodding in agreement, muttering something about the excitement of hunting me down.

Glancing off to the side the sounds of snuffling and lip-smacking give away the position of a badger. Its deep rumbling voice sounds in the dimness. “Kill him. Here. Now. Sooner. Better.”

The rabbits with whiskers tense, eyes reflecting the light, fidget among themselves. Not used to bloody kills they nervously shift and tentatively suggest pushing me into a pit trap. I gather from this that it is quite deep and a fall into it, fatal.

I jerk back feeling small furred creatures brush my bare torn feet. Squeaking and scurrying about continuously brushing my skin not covered by my torn clothing they suggest that I be held down while they sample my flesh. Apparently concerned for their own safety, not so much my comfort.
I regain my voice and speak shakily to these creatures, pulling my knees up to my chest, not only for warmth but an unconscious need to protect myself.

“Wh …wh…at is happening? Why?”

The fox, eyes gleaming, approaches and sniffs me. Stepping back as my smell hits him he looks curiously at me. Speaking as if to a child, “How is it you understand the forest folk? Your kind blunders about, idiot oafs, taking what you may. Humpf. Seems we have one with a bit of a spark in him. This may be more interesting than eating his flesh my friends.” Glancing about, I notice they all have gone still watching me. The cougar blinks an eye, licks his lips.

Trembling in fear, I slowly inch towards the opening of the cave mouth. Growls ripple from the wolves throats causing me to stop immediately.
The fox, badger and rabbits hold a caucus at the entrance, discussing the development of my understanding their language. Glancing at me from time to time, they seem to be intrigued and yet with the harsh winter winds picking up my trepidation grows that I will become a food source much sooner than later as the badger wishes.

Minutes pass as if they are hours, no possible escape available to me. My bare toes digging into the dirt, I shiver as it becomes later and colder.
At last the group breaks up and the fox approaches again the mice scattering before him.

“We have decided to spare you for the moment, oaf. Know that you can be found and slaughtered at any moment. In return for this generous kindness, we expect you to make daily deliverance this season of grains and meat to this cave. Miss a single day and you forfeit your life to feeding our bodies.”

Nodding my understanding, I inch forward towards the opening again, the stench of my fear strong on me. The fox stands unmoved watching me, and demands, “Do you understand, oaf? You will die if you do not return.” Trembling I nod again rapidly, tears pouring down my mud-streaked face. The forest folk slowly step back leaving a path for me to crawl unhindered out of the cave. Their eyes telling me how close I have been to my demise. Standing slowly, I drop into a slow painful lope towards home.

Off to either side, wolves and a cougar pace me, giving me reason to never doubt the reality of what has just happened.

Private E-2
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:38 pm

Re: Animal Revolution - 2/15

Postby Trissa » Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:58 am

It was late at night. Actually, the wee hours of the morning as I drove my Beemer home from a party. It was a spectacular event. The creme de la creme of the state were present from the Governor to local celebrities. An event held in my honor as I am a rising star on the political scene. A new Senator and a woman to be reckoned with. As I drove home that night, I felt powerful.

Coming around a curve at seventy miles per, I had only a nano second to react. An old silver maple had fallen across the road. I swerved and ended up in a ditch on the other side of the road. Damn! I stepped from my now battered Beemer, shaking from shock. As I steadied myself, I caught a glimpse of a couple of beavers near the base of the tree. They appeared to be laughing! The next thing I knew, I was on the ground. Something struck me from behind. I tried to rise, but something was standing on my back. Turning my head, I saw the biggest brown bear I had seen this side of a zoo. His teeth were bared. "Stay down if you know what's good for you," he snarled. The moonlight glinted off his huge teeth. My breath caught in my throat.

"Is this the one?" He asked someone I couldn't see.

A small voice choked back tears. "Yes, that's the one."

The bear's teeth came close to my shoulder. In one violent rip he tore my mink coat from my body.

"Uncle Sid! Aunt Minnie," a chorus of voices rang out. I raised my head in time to see my coat being carried off by several weasel-like animals. The bear shifted his weight.

"Now...what to do with you."

A rustling came from the bushes before me. Rabbits by the dozens scooted forward, their pink eyes glowing. "I say we nibble the skin off her."

"Yeah, justice! Take the fur-wearing hag and skin her!" This came from above where squirrels and hundreds of birds congregated. I felt droppings fall into my hair and something dripped onto my face.

The bear leaned into a tree and casually admired his claws. "Now, now. This should be decided by Sid and Minnie's family. We'll leave the fate of this one up to them."

"This one?" I asked aloud, not thinking twice that I was talking to animals! "Have there been others?"

A mountain lion started pacing back and forth eying me. "Yes," his voice was smooth as the night. "I'm sure you've heard the stories of lost hitch-hikers. The occasional guy who walks home from a bar late at night never to be seen again."

"What do you think happens to them?" A coyote winked at me. "You think they're abducted by aliens?" The forest rang with the laughter of the strange animals surrounding me.

"Tell you what," the bear said. "Maybe we should give you another chance." The laughter died and was replaced by "booing". He raised his huge paws to silence the others. "This one is a person of some power. Perhaps she can do something for us in return for her life."

"Please," I cried. "Anything. I have a family..."

"So did Sid and Minnie," the mountain lion roared.

The bear sat on my back once again. His breath searing my face. "I know who you are, where you live, and what you can do. You will promote a bill against animal cruelty in all its disgusting forms. Bear baiting, dog fighting, using our furs to cover your thin skin." I nodded my head in agreement with his every word.

"You won't tell a soul of what happened here, either. You will not send hunters here to retaliate," the mountain lion stated. "Trespassers will be eaten."

An owl hooted from above. "Who-who-who would believe you anyway if you told them? No second term for you!"

"When you're jogging around your neighborhood, remember," the mountain lion snarled. "Wild life is everywhere from the forest to your backyard bird feeder. You are going to become the biggest animal rights activist on the planet."

A snake slithered across my face. "We'll be keeping an eye on you, sssweetie. One falssse move, one more fur on your back or alligator shoe and..." his fangs flashed. "You'll never know what hit you."

The bear rose as if to leave. "Put your head down, close your eyes, and count to ten."

I did as I was told. I even counted to twenty just to be sure. When I opened my eyes, the forest was quiet except for the hushed sound of earth being disturbed. The animals were burying Uncle Sid and Aunt Minnie I crawled my way back to the road, trembling uncontrollably. A saying my grandmother used to say played through my mind. "Oh, how the mighty have fallen!"

Private E-1
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:49 pm

RE: Animal Revolution - 2/15

Postby maddieoehlberg » Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:46 pm

A deep throbbing pulses in the back of my head, keeping time with my heartbeat. I think to feel the tender spot with my hand, but it takes my fingers a moment to respond. Moving in slow motion, my sweaty palm reaches behind me and comes into contact with hot, sticky blood. On instinct, I frantically try to sit up, but the pain is too much to bear- I lay back down. I take a breath and think for a minute. First of all, what happened? I remember..... hm, let's see. I remember I was hiking. There was a tree branch, something, something that I tripped over, it was too dark to be sure. I woke up and I am now.... Well, where am I?  My eyelids flutter open and look around. Before me was a fascinating scene! There were animals of all sorts, from mammals to birds to insects making all sorts of noise. Not just noise, but... They were speaking to each other! All around I heard whispers of, "Humanoid....mutant....It won't be long now..." Could I be going insane? No, surely not. "This is too real, it's too real," I whispered in reassurance to myself. These few words that escaped my mouth were noticed by all. Everything immediately grew silent. Not even the crickets could be heard in this uneasy quiet. After a long moment of this, one voice spoke out, a voice that belonged to a small white hare. "It's too dangerous. We injured it too much, let's just put it back in the trap for another of its kind to find it." A second voice, that of a menacing looking fox disagreed. "No. no. Let's have some fun with it. We'll let it loose, give it a head start, and then chase after it!" Now the entire congregation was putting in their opinions- some barked in agreement and others screeched in opposition. The chaos grew louder and louder until someone growled, "Shut up! Be civilized, comrades. Listen to me. Let the humanoid live. If it heals quickly, it can run with us. If not, like a runt, we can merely exile it. Those in disagreement speak now." No one spoke. I was completely and utterly confused. Run with them? It was just a matter of time? Humanoid? Finally I gathered the strength to force myself into a sitting position. I looked down at the now dried blood on my hands, when suddenly my mouth dropped in awe and I gasped. My hands were not hands and my arms were not arms. Before my very eyes my fingers were morphing into paws and long sandy hair grew from every one of my limbs, from my face, from my back. Long canine teeth slid from my hungry, dripping muzzle.


Return to Writing Prompts and Challenges

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests