From the day the museum opened, the mammoth was the first thing every visitor saw. How could they miss it? It towered over the entrance when they came inside, rain or shine, its trunk high above their heads as though ready to trumpet. At least they assumed she would trumpet, but no one really knew or cared.

Designed to model a beast that lived ages ago, the poor thing stood and gathered dust on its bits that were too high for the cleaning staff to reach. So the witch, a neo-pagan from San Fran, took pity on the poor beast. When the creature walked away one evening - after hours, of course - people were shocked. Who in their right mind would steal such a monstrosity? Where could it be hidden?

But the snakes knew. Fashioned for the tenth anniversary of the museum's opening, the ice sculptor had created them on a lark. Tired of carving Neanderthals and busts of former museum directors, often eerily similar, he'd taken artistic license. Unfortunately, that same witch (she renewed her membership annually) also had a sense of humor, and brought the snakes to life as well. They had slithered into a cooler until the festivities had ended, then followed the mammoth's late-night escape.

Where do you think you are going, was what one of the ice-snakes wanted to ask. Unfortunately, being made of ice, he couldn't open his mouth. The mammoth looked at both snakes with sad eyes and turned away. The snakes followed.

They followed it out the loading dock door (the mammoth's memory, like that of her distant elephant cousins, was excellent).
They followed it down the street (the town was almost deserted at night, and the only witnesses of their escape were unreliable).
They followed her into the woods where the witch kept her gingerbread house (she was a traditionalist), and watched as Candi the neo-pagan waved her wand and erased the tracks they'd left behind.

They felt that something was missing, but they didn't know what. The mammoth, turned to the gingerbread house and began to nibble on the shutters, but Candi swatted delicately at the trunk with one slender hand. "No, girl," she said, primly adjusting her tie-dyed dress, "too much sugar is terrible for you."

In the clearing behind the house, Candi, the mammoth, and the two ice-snakes, sat down together to watch the evening news. Candi's laughter tinkled through the woods at the report of the "mysterious museum break-in," and then they changed the channel to the Olympics.

Unfortunately, the tale does not end happily for the ice-snakes. Comfortable in their new surroundings, they snuggled into the warm hair of the mammoth (whom Candi had dubbed 'Shirley') and melted.

Which only goes to show, if you are made of ice and lucky enough to be magically brought to life by a neo-pagan from San Fran, you'd better not snuggle with a wooly mammoth.


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Galen over 9 years ago

Advice taken.

ganymeder (joined over 12 years ago)
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Author Catherine Russell shares her life with her high school sweetheart, their son, and two ferocious puppies in the Wilds of Ohio while writing short stories, editing her novel, and learning more about the craft every day. Her work has been published in Flash Me magazine, Metro Fiction, Beyond Centauri, and the ‘Best of Friday Flash – Volume One‘ and the ‘Best of Friday Flash – Volume Two‘ anthologies.

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Prompt (write a story including these elements)

hero Woolly Mammoth
villain Ice Snakes
goal The Olympics
Prompt suggested by Galen


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