The Supernatural Zoo

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Cover image: pixabay.com.

Incidentally, once I owned both a top hat and a German Shepherd dog.

The Supernatural Zoo

“Here, check this out!” Steve tugged on Emma’s hand. He was pointing to a gate in the park that proclaimed above it: ‘The Supernatural Zoo.’

Emma frowned. “I’ve never noticed this before.”

“No, neither have I. But then we’ve not been here for ages. It could be new.”

“Doesn’t look very new.” Emma pointed to the moss-stained gate pillars.

Steve shrugged. “Fake, most likely. How about we check it out.”

Emma hesitated. There was something not right about the place but she couldn’t work out quite what. “I don’t know...”

“Ah, come on. You’re not scared of the supernatural are you. Anyway, nothing’s going to hurt my girl while I’m around.” Steve reached out and pulled Emma into a tight hug.

“It might be expensive,” she pointed out.

Steve carried on towards the gates, taking Emma with him. “If it is, it’ll be my treat.”

The gates were closed but not locked. Steve pushed against one of them and it opened with a creak. He brushed off the particles of rust that stuck to his hand on the leg of his pants.

“Fake rust?” Emma asked.

Before Steve had a chance to reply they arrived at what appeared to be a ticket booth. Inside it sat a young woman in a black suit, who appeared to be chewing gum. Emma couldn’t take her eyes from the top hat the woman wore on her head.

“Two tickets, please,” Steve asked, reaching into his pocket and hoping he had enough cash on him to pay. “How much is that?”

“Oh, we don’t charge an admittance fee,” she said in a faint accent. “We only ask that you suspend your disbelief.”

Steve hoped Emma didn’t notice his sigh of relief. “We can do that, can’t we Em.” When he turned back to the booth the woman seemed to have disappeared. “Where’d she go?”

Shrugging, Emma pulled him forward. “Come on, let’s get this over with. If I’m going to be confronted with anything scary I’d rather it was during daylight.

The path was rough, not much more than a trail really. The edges seemed to be quite over-grown, and it took them a while to arrive at the first cage.

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” Steve burst out laughing, and Emma could instantly see why. The cage appeared to be empty, apart from a large clump of dirty white fur, and one very large and very empty boot.

“Look, there’s a sign on the cage. ‘Big Foot,’ Emma said. “Isn’t that what they call that Yeti creature?”

“Sure is! No Abominable Snowman, but... The owners obviously have a sense of humor.” Still laughing, Steve pulled Emma further along the path until they reached the next enclosure.

Inside the cage there was a very leafy shrub of some kind, and there was something moving around on the higher branches. Steve moved closer to get a better look, while Emma walked up to the sign.

“It says it’s a Pookha, but it looks more like a cat to me.”

“Oh, come on, Em. She did say to suspend our disbelief. You’re just seeing a cat because that’s what your mind is telling you to see.”

They carried on along the path and came to a small pool. “Let me guess,” Emma said. “I bet it’s supposed to be the home of the Loch Ness monster.”

“Nope!” Steve pointed to a small hand mirror and a comb that rested on a nearby rock. “This is the home of a mermaid.”

Emma gave a loud laugh, and Steve said: “Ssh. You’ll scare everything away laughing like that.”

Punching him on the arm, they carried on forwards. There seemed to be no further cages, but just a bit further along the path they came to a long single-storey building. The door was closed, but again it swung open when Steve pushed against it.

“It’s not very light, is it!” Emma said, as the door closed behind them to leave them in a very dimly lit space.

“A lot of the spooks don’t like the light, remember,” Steve took hold of Emma’s hand. “Don’t worry, nothing is going to get you.”

There was an aisle along by the front side of the building, quite narrow, so they had to walk single file. The rest of the building seemed to be taken up by various enclosures. The first seemed to hold a white sheet draped over a hanger, with a wind machine turned on to make it move.

“It makes even Casper look scary,” Emma commented.

“Suspend your...”

“Disbelief,” Emma finished Steve’s comment. “I know, right, but no amount of suspension is going to make that look like a ghost.”

Steve chuckled and they continued going forward. “You are going to love this one, Em. Edward Cullen, look out!”

The next cage seemed to hold a coffin, although Emma was pretty sure it was an imitation one. There was a small table with a carafe of red wine sitting on top of it, and next to that was a pair of dentures with long incisors. At the top of the enclosure was a rafter, with a bat hanging upside down from it. When it moved its wings, Emma gave a slight scream. She had thought the bat was as fake as the rest of it, but apparently not.

Next they came to an enclosure that seemed to be full of fog. A faint wailing sound could be heard as they paused in front of the bars to peer inside.

“Can you see anything?” Steve asked.

“No, nothing.”

“Me neither. Apparently the wailing is coming from some kind of wraith.”

There was only enough room for one more display inside the building. Both were surprised to find a German Shepherd dog standing at the bars wagging its tail at them. From the ceiling hung a fake full moon. The dog let out a playful bark and play-bowed.

“I thought werewolves were supposed to howl,” Emma said, pushing her hands through the cage to give the dog a stroke. “Poor thing, kept shut up inside here.”

When they left the building the dog was waiting for them, along with the woman with the top hat. “Did you enjoy your visit?” she asked.

“Sure, it was a great laugh. Wasn’t it, Em?”

“Yeah, very inventive. We’ll be sure to tell our friends about the place.”

The woman nodded her head slightly, then turned to walk away. The dog trotted happily beside her. “Well,” Steve said, “that was kind of weird.” He pushed his way through the end gate.

Emma nodded then looked back over her shoulder. Her jaw dropped open in astonishment before she turned all the way around. “Now that IS strange!”

Steve turned around beside her to look back the way they had come. The building had vanished, along with any sign of the gate.


Submitted: January 11, 2021

© Copyright 2021 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:

Comments

Mike S.

The zoo to beat all zoos; excellent, Hull

Mon, January 11th, 2021 8:31pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Mike. This was fun to write.

Tue, January 12th, 2021 8:02am

Joe Stuart

Ha-ha. Strange indeed. Kind of an understatement methinks. Another good mystery/funny story, Hully.

Mon, January 11th, 2021 9:47pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Joe. This was a story written for the title, and my initial impulse was to write something much darker, but then I kept thinking about the Big Foot enclosure and decided to go with that instead.

Tue, January 12th, 2021 7:59am

Jeff Bezaire

A fun tale, Hully! I lost myself on Wiki for about ten minutes reading up on Celtic, Welsh and Gaelic folklore thanks to your reference to pookas. :)
Nice twist at the end! With all the exhibits, I kept waiting for something to happen, but never expected it all to disappear.

Fri, January 15th, 2021 2:21am

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