So, as the title implies, entered my first contest today. It was a “funny scene in 350 words or less” kind of contest hosted by Nathan Bransford. I’ve had this idea for a few days, based on something my daughter said to me. Let me know what you think!
Rite of Passage
“What happened in here?” her mother asked, exasperated. The little girl pulled at her ruffled princess pajamas as she surveyed the carnage. She stood in a sea of stuffed animals and books.
“I don’t know, Mommy,” she said. “It was like this when I got up.” Her mother just stared at her, incredulous.
“Really. Then who made this mess?” the mother asked, tone cold.
“I wasn’t me, Mommy. I promise!” She was so endearingly earnest, but her mother sensed a con in progress.
“Sweetie, no one has been in here but you. So tell the truth – who made this mess?” The little girl’s eyes widened as she whispered.
Old Red waited, surrounded by the elders of the tribe. His nose twitched and a tiny hand reached up to scratch it, twirling his luxurious whiskers. His tail curled magnificently behind him. That tail proclaimed his right to rule.
“Bring forth the candidate,” he chirped. Humans called him cute, but no one here mistook the violence behind those limpid brown eyes.
A young squirrel was propelled forward from the crowd, his ears unmarred by combat. His tail was imposing for such a youngling, though, and Old Red knew that this one would bear watching.
“So,” Old Red intoned. “You embark upon your vision quest.” The young squirrel nodded imperceptibly. Old Red barked, contemptuous.
“You are timid to have such a flamboyant tail,” he chided and the assembly laughed. The young squirrel hunkered lower. Perhaps Old Red had nothing to fear, after all. He raised a paw to silence the crowd and then piped his declaration.
“You will go to the house of the twin dogs and destroy the room of the small child on the second floor. She has many stuffed toys to disembowel and books to shred. Bring me the button eye of the black bear as proof of your victory.” He leaned down and whispered into the trembling ear.
“Do not come back without proof, young one, or I shall rip your tail from its base and drive you from the burrow.”