Written for NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge 2016-1000 words/48 hrs.
Political satire/zoo/stolen bicycle.
“There was pandemonium at the San Diego Zoo this morning, with a possible outbreak of rabies in the primate area, the exposure of a brazen gang of thieves and a berserk mandrill having to be sedated.
More news at seven.”
“Honey, how’s my anus look?”
“Bright blue and incident free, dear.”
The mandrill lifted his tail even higher, swaggering past the gibbons to the front of his enclosure. He backed up to the bars and “faced” the day’s first visitors.
“My fellow simians, human subjects…”
“Bit early isn’t it?” complained a lemur, rubbing his eyes.
“Madagascans,” muttered the mandrill, so only the gibbons heard. “Do you even know what’s going on?”
Standard power grab based on flamboyantly colored anal glands, surmised the lemur through a yawn. “Not really,” he lied, “but I saw what happened last night when your neighbor there stole the human’s carry-beast.” Satisfied with his contribution, the lemur casually reclined into the shade next to his mate.
The mandrill glared at the smug orangutan. In the foliage above, the night guard’s bicycle was visible through some obviously placed palm fronds.
“We have confiscated the dangerous beast which throws the human in its cold blooded anger,” announced the orangutan proudly. “Along with the ear rocks and vines that distract and upset them so much.” In one hand he held several cell phones. In the other, headphones and ear pieces. “For their own, um, safety of course.”
“Don’t let the humans see those.”
A capuchin monkey shook her small head. “The metal beast is not the problem. The human always reeks of alcohol! He has the balance of Mr. Baboon.”
“Your contribution is noted,” nodded the orangutan thoughtfully as he sneakily hid the contraband. “From this moment forth we declare a ban on consuming fermented fruit as well. For us of course, since we can’t really, um, enforce that on the humans.”
The baboon groaned, hiccupped and fell face first over a log in protest.
“Sacrilege!” cried the gibbon in support of his fallen brother. He clung to the bars to add a dash of drama. “Why are we, the superior species, subject to such injustice?”
“Superior?” laughed the capuchin, “You are not even the superior species in your own cage! We are in a prison you idiot.”
Aghast, the gibbon turned to engage the chimpanzees in a feces flinging competition. “A battle of wits it is!” he shrieked.
The mandrill, alarmed that his rear end was no longer the centre of attention, saw his moment.
“Prison?” he roared. “These protective barriers keep predators away. We are lavished with food and attention by our loving subjects.”
“See how they make reverent portraits of my rectum!” He turned to put the other ass cheek closer to the humans.
“This is by far my best side.”
“By far,” agreed the capuchin.
The orangutan scratched his head vigorously with one elongated finger. The cameras now swung to him. He grinned benevolently.
“Subjects? No. They are our responsibility. We must protect them from, um, stuff. Themselves mainly.”
The humans watched him elaborately gesture with his arms. They smiled and pointed back at him.
“Yeah, these guys are getting it.”
“You old fools, we are their captives,” shrieked the capuchin. “Part of an intricate socio-economic…”
A huge thump stopped him short. The gorilla had heard enough. “Fools? Wasn’t it you that said coconuts don’t kill gibbons, gibbons kill gibbons?”
Hoping they were supposed to, the chimps fell about laughing (since their cage was right next to the gorillas.) The gibbons chuckled to cover their coconut problem.
The macaques feigned hilarity, (hoping the chimps and gibbons had got it right.)
Only one from their group remained silent. An Asian macaque, scarred from witnessing his brother’s demise to a human’s gun in ‘Nam, clung desperately to a branch and tried to look invisible. The excited voices and clacking flashes were triggering, well,… flashbacks.
Every cage but the lemur’s now rocked with commotion.
Concerned staff joined the growing crowd.
The female gorillas were beseeching the males to let it go. The males were declining the suggestion, reminding them that King of the Apes was not just a slogan used by the humans.
The mandrills were strongly reminding the gibbons the extra fruit they’d been passing on meant backing up their leader when required. Gibbons were apologizing for being a little busy. The chimps made the most of the scolding by getting in several direct hits.
The capuchin struggled to be heard above the din.
“That which we call wings are naught but the rigid wires that bind us!” she screeched. Her troop chittered in agreement with this wisdom. They all started excitedly quoting their own favorite monkey philosophy. All but the PTSD macaque joined the lively discussion.
It was noisy, so the orangutans had to call loudly for quiet.
The mandrill reached across and grabbed a gibbon by the scruff of its neck.
The bewildered humans swung their attention back to him.
“We must take the situation by the throat. We need strong leadership,” he declared with a flourish.
“You O.K. there JoJo?” he whispered.
“All good pal,” mumbled the gibbon. “Here let me say a few words, buddy.”
The mandrill pushed the JoJo’s head through the bars to let the crowd see him easier.
“Look how committed this guy is,” pleaded the gibbon.
“I am, I am,” shouted the mandrill. He bared his teeth in a smile of humility.
The humans reacted with a curious mixture of photography and screaming. One of them hastily loaded a dart into a rifle.
“They can’t understand you,” warned the capuchin. “Put JoJo down!” Her warnings were drowned out in the cacophony of simian debate.
They can’t understand me thought the mandrill. It’s way over their heads.
From the macaque cage came a single “Nooooooooo.”
The dart whistled into the blue with a thud. The mandrill slumped, ass first down the bars of the cage.
Except for JoJo’s whisper of “Blue Moon down, Blue Moon down.”
And the crash of a ten speed racing bike falling to earth.
The orangutan looked as shocked as anyone.
From the shadows of the lemur cage came a small but determined voice.
“Honey, how’s my anus look?”