Short Story Exercise: The Discovery of an Artist

(pulled four random cards from The Storymatic, wrote short story)

The others didn’t understand. Some tried. Some would come to his place in the woods and look at the preserved squirrels in their silly poses, the stuffed beavers and rabbits frozen in bizarre angles as if dancing, and they would pat his shoulder politely or grunt with feigned interest. But they never came back. He was alone.

His macabre hobby confused and frightened his tribe, forcing them to ostracize him, and leave him alone forever with his creations. The moon waxed and waned. Seasons changed. He made a home for himself in the forest surrounded by the bits and pieces of his prey, now forever preserved in humorous positions. 

That fateful morning, with the sun barely in the sky, he awoke to the sound of a shriek. His eyes opened but he remained perfectly still. He could hear laughter and shouting and clumsy footsteps. From his burrow he watched the hairless creatures gesture and wail at his stuffed companions. They made terrible sounds and bared their teeth. The females clustered together while the males made a game of rearranging his squirrels. One of the smaller males moved Bob the rabbit into the mating position on Belle the skunk.

This was too much.

He rolled out of his burrow and ran to the clearing to defend his friends. Feet spread and arms held at his side, he uttered a warning growl. The hairless beasts immediately quieted and froze in place. He didn’t wish to frighten them, only to make them stop mocking his taxidermy skills. He moved slowly to the rabbit and the skunk, and returned them to their correct positions.

That’s when the hairless beasts screamed.

“BIGFOOT!” they yelled. The females ran away and after a moment’s hesitation the males chased after them.

He watched them go. The feelings of rejection and shame overcame him once again. He collected Anton the badger in his arms, then sat down among the stuffed critters, his only friends.

Storymatic Discover of an Artist