Kreative Kue 283 asked for submissions based on this photograph:
“So hold on a minute.”
“Not on your life.”
“What are we running from?”
“What? Are you stupid or something?”
“No I just would like to know what’s going on.”
“You don’t need to know. Just keep putting them up and laying them down.”
“What happens if I run out of breath.”
“You’re kidding right?”
“If you want to believe that. Go ahead. It’s gonna be your funeral.”
“There’s nothing behind us.”
“I can’t see anything.”
“So stop running then.”
“Okay, you’ve convinced me. How far are we going?”
“Till we are out of danger. or.”
“Or until the lion catches us.”
“There is no lion.”
“How do you know?”
“We are warthogs right?”
“Yeah, of course.”
“You think a lion wants warts?”
“Good point right?”
“Okay let’s stop.”
“Where did you come up with that wart thing.”
“I overheard a toad telling a mongoose, ‘Sure you want warts, go ahead and eat me.’”
“Why thank you.”
“Not you, idiot. The toad. We should tell all our would-be consumers that story.”
“Get ready to start talking. Here comes the lion.”
“You were right.”
My effort was:
George and Albert were running across the plain with a determination that was unusual for them and at a speed of which they were not believed to be capable. So startlingly unusual was it, that the rest of the animals occupying the area feigned disinterest and, outwardly at least, continued with their more urgent business of attempting to extract some nutritional benefit from the dry and dying grasses that formed their environment. Of course, the combined intellectual curiosity of the entire herds of antelope (and flocks of ostriches and interminable list of collective nouns applied to the various species inhabiting the savanna) amounting to less than that of a colony of termites or even of the spring hares that crash into their mounds when half-blinded by the brightness of the full moon, feigning disinterest was not so much a concerted effort as a default setting.
None of this was of any interest to George and Albert. [something that my readers may have in common with these warthogs] You see, George and Albert were in a race. What, I hear you ask, was the nature of this race? I’ll tell you. It was no more and certainly no less than a race for their lives. Indeed, for their very survival. Not as a species, you understand, merely as individuals. This was no systemic threat they were facing. Yes, it was an existential threat but only at a personal level. The vast majority of the population of warthogs, globally and locally, were under no threat at all. At least, no more of a threat than being a member of the food chain places on them all. Oh yes, and being hunted by bands of humans whose only needs are food, clothing and shelter, as well as by trophy-hunting morons seeking to bolster their blood-lust and their fragile egos by killing animals that have no more means of defending themselves than they have the ability to outrun a flying bullet (and they have the gall to call it sport).
It was from one of these predatory groups they were attempting to escape, so which one was it?
They were, at that time, under no threat from primates, big cats, hyenas, wild dogs… There were no raptors sufficient to take them down either and they were rarely troubled by snakes.
That only leaves the planet’s most troublesome predator.
George and Albert had seen something. Something they had seen before and that had led to the demise of Miverva, George’s mate and Albert’s mother. They had also heard yee-hawing, whooping, hollering and gunfire from a group of humans – the same as they had heard before. That’s why they were running.
Of course, they had no way of knowing what the thing they had seen meant, only that it looked the same as the one they’d seen before, the day they lost Minerva.
They took it as a sign.
It was a sign.
Crudely made and with lettering a three-year-old would be proud of, it read
“HOG ROAST TONITE“
On to this week’s challenge: Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at email@example.com before 6pm next Sunday (if you aren’t sure what the time is where I live, this link will tell you). If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here.
Go on. You know you want to. Let your creativity and imagination soar. I shall display the entries next Monday.