Family Fiction posted August 28, 2016 Chapters:  ...16 17 -18- 19... 

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Prose Potlatch Challenge 28 August 2016

A chapter in the book Fictional Short Stories

A Surprise Outing

by Sandra du Plessis

I wake up early and hear the wind howling around the corners of the building.  I instinctively pull the covers over my head. It will not be a great day to go to the beach, and the children will be very disappointed when we are not able to go outside today. I hear someone at the door.  John, my husband, coming back from outside with the local newspaper under his arm, and a big secretive smile on his face.

"Darling, get up and get ready, we are going out."

"Where are we going, John?"

"It will be a big surprise for you and the boys, we will eat something there, just get dressed. The wind sounds worse than it really is, but it is not nice weather for the beach."

I quickly get up and get the boys dressed as well.

"Daddy has a surprise for us, we will not go to the beach today it is too windy."

"Where are we going then?" Paul asks.

"I don't know.   We will see when we get there."

A half an hour later we are all ready to go, and John leads us down the stairs.

"It is not very far, we can walk over there." He announces.

Two blocks from our rented holiday flat, John comes to a standstill. We enter the big steel gate. John pays the required entrance fees, and we are allowed inside.

The two boys are excited now, and they often shout out to show us everything their little eyes see. We walk along the pathways, and stop every few meters, to watch what is happening beside the pathway.

We hear screaming sounds on our right side, and watch them swinging through the trees. They look like little humans, their arms nearly hanging on the ground.  It seems all the swinging have stretched their arms longer. We laugh at all the funny faces they are making and chasing each other around making all kinds of high pitch, screaming noises.

On our left side, we hear a very deep roar, and we move closer to see. We have searched with our eyes through the grass for a while before we see him. He is laying there lazily, his tail swinging from side to side, swishing away the flies around him. His big yellow eyes look at us and he opens his mouth for another deafening roar. We shiver, and the boys cover their ears to block out the sound of the roar, and their eyes scared and widely open.

We decide to walk further along the path; there is still much to see.  The two boys enjoy the next scenery very much. A mother with her little chicks swims orderly on the little pond. There is a bench under a big oak tree, and we think it is a good idea to stay there for a while before moving on.

John looks at his watch, "it is nearly lunchtime, stay here, I will go get us something from the cafeteria to eat."

He walks away, and the boys still exploring everything around the pond, and they seem to have a great time finding all kinds of small animals.

John comes back with two bags of freshly made sandwiches, and cool drinks and we enjoy lunch under the tree at the pond.


I hope my tenses are not too mixed up, I am very tired, and my grammar and tense checker already went to sleep tonight.

The topic for today is:
Write a short piece with vivid imagery taking place within a zoo. It can be a major zoo with all of the modern facilities or a poorly run zoo in a third world country or something in between.

The following are suggestions. They aren't requirements of the challenge, but I think they would help keep the focus on using imagery to show the scenes:

Do NOT mention the word zoo or the name of any animal. You should avoid as much as possible any of the terms normally associated with zoos, i.e. enclosures, cages, captivity, captured, etc. Use imagery to show us the animals are captive and what animals they are. Use imagery to show us the conditions of the zoo itself.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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