The Please DO Feed the Animals ZOO
A father decides to take his teenage son to the new petting zoo in town. The zoo exhibits contain untamed ferocious animals and advertises visitors get to hand feed them. But there’s something the zoo goers weren’t informed of: the animals will be eating them. Because of a small glitch, the man and his son discover the sinister secret before they become the food. Will they be able to make it out of the maze-like zoo before being devoured by the hungry beasts?
Excerpt:The other patrons had struck up conversation with one another, but Robbie and I sat quietly by the door. No one noticed what happened next, except for me. In a moment the door opened and the soldier slid out of the room and back into the introduction room where we still waited. He shut the door tight behind him, but not before I saw them. The door had only opened briefly, and only opened enough for the tall, slender man to slide through. But out from what I had mistaken as a window, flew three large Black Panthers into the room next door. I listened for shrieks and screams, but heard nothing.
The soldier stood with his back to the door, his eyes wide, his breath coming in short choppy spurts as the fear settled and washed away. Did I really just see three Black Panthers released onto unsuspecting people? The soldier breathed in deep and then looked down at me. He straightened his uniform and then made his way back to the front of the crowd.
“Everyone who chose the Siberian Tiger, please line up at the door,” He said coolly, again extending his arm to lead the way.
That was us, but I was quite hesitant. Was it part of the show that the panthers be released onto the people? There was no warning of that from the intro we had just watched. The intro showed people feeding the animals through an artificial arm from a safe place. What was going on? I know I saw what I saw, and the reaction of the soldier confirmed it.
“Sir,” I said to him when I got closer. “I just saw those panthers jumping into that room,” I started, but the soldier let out a loud, shrill laugh that caught everyone’s attention and interrupted me.
“It’s 3D,” he whispered, patting my shoulder. “You better get in line, you don’t want to miss it,” he added, pushing me toward the door and disappearing into the line of people. It seemed legitimate. Right?
Well done. That successfully creeped me out. Even though I knew what the book was about, I still read it with increasing dread.
Tabitha Short is the writer of many horror short stories including The Please DO Feed the Animals ZOO and The Roller Coaster of Death (found in the compilation titled Misery Loves Company, releasing in Dec. 2012). Her YA novel, Arena Games: Petrova's Legacy, is contracted and due for publication in Spring 2013. You can purchase her books at itunes, barnesandnoble.com, amazon.com and smashwords.com.
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