The Rogue Elephant



Back in August 2014, I was clearly in a good mood when my writing group was given this in-group prompt: Write a story that includes a banana, an elephant, a storm, a wagon, and a fire truck. This is what resulted...


Hurricane Becca was quickly gathering strength as it sped towards the eastern seaboard. Old, Cape Cod style houses were boarded up and had been unoccupied for a solid two weeks; only a few men remained behind. As the lightning bolts began streaking like meteors crashing to earth, a fleeing zookeeper glanced over his shoulder just in time to see sparks shooting out of the circuit breaker box near the elephant cage.


This was no ordinary elephant.


It was a rogue elephant that required a minimum of a million volts of electric fencing to keep him contained! As the lightning intensified, a decorative, pioneer-styled wagon with sky blue, painted wheels, was suddenly engulfed in flames. As the local fire truck pulled out of the station, one of the firemen shoved the rest of his banana in his mouth, tossed the peel out the window, and continued pulling on his fireproof pants and jacket.


The hurled banana peel caught the attention of the rogue elephant who was standing just up the street, pleased that he was finally free. The thought of something to eat besides peanuts and hay caused the elephant to take off towards the peel at breakneck speed. But when the sight of the flaming wagon distracted him, he forgot to stop. Suddenly, he felt his foot sliding off a smooth, rubbery lump. He flew through the air, tumbling trunk over tail.

Stormy sky. Black asphalt. Stormy sky. Yellow pavement lines. Red fire truck. White ladder in a stormy sky. Startled firemen gaping up from the pavement.


SPLAT!!!


The elephant slowly sat up. Why was no one putting out that wagon fire? Where were all the firemen?! He stood up, lumbered over to the fire hydrant, unscrewed the cap, and suctioned his trunk to the opening, filling it with as much water as he could hold. He turned and quickly doused the wagon until every last spark was out. The four, large, sky blue wheels stood shakily on their axles, a testament to the elephant’s quick thinking.


As another four figures shakily got to their feet, Hurricane Becca suddenly shifted to the southwest and the rain lightened to a calm drizzle. The lightning bolts receded and the zookeeper appeared with a chain in his hand and a scowl on his face.


But the rogue elephant had finally satisfied his need for adventure, and calmly followed the zookeeper back to his cage and another year of boredom, hoping next year’s hurricane season would be just as eventful.

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