There’s a Bear in the Tent?

Kellie Elmore does a Free Write Friday feature, where she provides a prompt and asks us to write a story or poem about it. The one this week is just to doggone easy, lending itself to an almost automatic Alice in Wonderland theme. The key word in that last sentence: almost. Enjoy!

There’s a Bear in the Tent?




I’d wandered away from the camp site—I was actually thinking I might be lost—and ran into this strange little guy; he looked like a lawyer—maybe a politician—and I wasn’t about to walk inside a giant tree on his say-so. But! When he stood on his toes, leaned in and whispered the magic words, I grinned, then fist-bumped his soft-knuckled little hand. His fist was pinkish in color identical in hue to his small round face; he had the whitest beard I’d ever seen, and wore a black top hat pulled low, just above close-set beady black eyes.

I chuckled, thinking surely he would know I was laughing with him, not at him. Right?

“How much are the drinks?” I asked, figuring the place was like the joints in Austin where they get you in the door thinking about babes, then charge you six bucks for a beer.

He smiled—weirdest smile I ever saw–and I backed away from him, as he glanced around, suddenly very nervous. A loud and sound exploded from somewhere high above us—BLEEP BLEEP! The guy took off running—bounding might be a better word for it—and yelling something about being late for a very important date.

I figured this was a break for me, because now I could get in without paying the cover charge. When I walked in, I was surprised by the size of the place, but that thought was forgotten when the dim lighting faded to pitch dark. I suddenly had the sensation of being in water, and the weirdest thing; I felt like I was, um… nude? A sudden thought hit me, and I was instantly in a state of panic (I’m not sure, but I think it was Michigan).

All I could think was I was about to drop down a deep hole, so I froze. The smell of green tea wafted past me, and then, without warning, I shot straight up, my head wedging against something unyielding, yet soft.

A muffled voice on the other side of the obstruction yelled, “Push!” Then some lady screamed like a bear just walked into her tent.

The walls suddenly collapsed on me! I couldn’t breathe! I thought I was gonna die!

This continued, every few seconds—the guy yelling, “Push!”; the lady screaming like one of those howler monkeys with its junk in a mousetrap; and just when I thought I was done for, I slid upward and was free!

Lights—brighter than any I’d ever seen—blinded me; the lady screamed one last time—kind of weak, like the last whoop from an all-night drunk before his nose lands in his Denny’s scramblers—then things got quiet for a couple seconds. A guy wearing a pale green mask and matching little hat was looking down at me, and I did not appreciate where his hand was. He had this weird look in his wet eyes as he said, his voice muffled by the mask, “It’s a boy.”

Well, duh. What was your first clue, Sherlock?

What came next was beyond the pale; he moved his hand from my bare butt—I was extremely pleased and relieved about that, but also noticed for the first time how cold it was in the room—turned me over and smacked me a good one. SON-OF-A! I inhaled what was by my estimation all the air in the room, and then let everyone in the general area know I was not a happy camper.


Copyright © 2012 C. Mashburn


  1. kaykuala said

    I get way all over on this, Charles! It brings back memories when I was holding my wife’s hands in the delivery room years ago! Great write!


    • Thanks, Hank. I didn’t know if it would come off too crazy to follow. It’s one of those write that had a mind of its own right from the start.

  2. Charles
    Good one !
    Siggi in Downeast Maine

  3. Once again, Charles you have made me smile! Love this gritty rendition of a wonderland theme! I could envision the entire thing going on (bare butt and all lol) =) You need to be writing more books!!!

  4. crazy story and very enjoyable!

  5. Ha! What a fun take! 🙂 Love it!

  6. Magical and funny! Great write, Charles!

  7. boomiebol said

    Very nice :)!!!

  8. terri0729 said

    LOL! You got me again, hook – line = and sinker!!! Loved it Charlie 🙂

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