Short Story Sunday 191: Zoo

Short Story Sunday

            It was 6:59 in the evening and Bailey was working on her final paper for her master’s degree. It wasn’t due for another week, but she wanted to get the whole assignment done and over with. She hoped to have ample time to edit and proofread it before finally turning in her last homework assignment for the rest of her life.

As soon as the clock on her cell phone turned to seven o’clock, the alarm went off. Bailey peeled her eyes away from the 15 pages she had already written on her laptop and hit the “stop” button her cell phone screen.

A message popped up saying, “Feed Zoo.”

Bailey picked up her phone and looked at the time once the alarm had cleared. “Seven already?” she muttered to herself.

She saved the word document that held her final grade and pushed her chair backwards to stand up. As soon as Bailey stepped out into the hall one of her cats appeared out of nowhere. He meowed and began to rub up against her legs.

“I know I’m coming to feed you.” Bailey replied in a sweet tone.

She started walking down the stairs when another cat bolted down the stairs after her, completely passing her, and taking a leap of faith when there were still four more steps to go. Bailey grabbed onto the wall so that she wouldn’t trip and fall over the two cats. She didn’t grunt or groan, she didn’t even laugh. She was used to tripping and nearly falling down the stairs. The cats did it to her multiple times a day, every day.

Bailey walked through the living room and looked at her eight-pound dog, who was sleeping in her crate. “Are you ready for dinner?”

The dog perked up immediately and jumped out of her crate. Bailey stepped into the hallway that lead to the kitchen passing by her gold retriever. She patted her leg and that dog too immediately got up.

Bailey opened the refrigerator and took out multiple cans of wet food for the dogs and cats. She took out six bowls, for the four dogs and two cats. As soon as she took the food out, she turned around. Sure enough, all four dogs had magically appeared and they were sitting patiently right behind her in the middle of the kitchen. Bailey turned her head the other way and the two cats were sitting on the other counter patiently.

Bailey turned back to the food chuckling. All eyes were on her and it was like she had never fed any of them before.

Once all six bowls were filled, Bailey fed each animal one by one in order that she had gotten the animals. First one dog, then another, then a cat, then another dog, the second cat, and then the fourth dog. They all ate in unison as Bailey put the food away.

By the time she had put the cans back into the fridge, most of her pets were finished and were waiting. Bailey picked up the empty bowls and put them into the dishwasher.

Then she took out another bowl and put a handful of frozen peas in it. She warmed the peas up in her hands, but decided to let it sit out and thaw for a little while.

Taking the bowl with her, Bailey walked back into the living room. A 55-gallon fish tank sat in the corner with a plethora of fish in it. She sprinkled some food over the top and watched the fish scramble for a few moments.

Bailey turned back around to notice that all six animals were following her.

“The peas aren’t for you.” She said, even though she knew that they knew their food was all done for the night. They would each get one treat before bed and that was it.

Bailey walked back up the stairs. She placed the bowl of peas into her box turtle’s tank. Her turtle immediately came out of her log and began to eat.

Bailey then turned around and fed her betta fish that was in a small tank beside the TV.

“Great,” she whispered. Now that everyone was fed, she was able to get back to writing her paper.

Bailey sat back down at her computer and started typing when she heard a small whimper. She looked to her left and noticed all four dogs and the two cats were sitting in the middle of her office staring at her.

Bailey checked the time. That’s right she always finished homework around dinner. She liked to give herself a few hours to relax and do nothing before going to bed and starting a brand new day of work. The animals always enjoyed cuddling on the couch with her while she watched TV.

“But I really should finish my homework…” Bailey pleaded to her pets.

They all remained staring at her expectantly. None of them understood that she had important homework to finish. They only knew their routine and they knew well enough not to break it; especially when Bailey needed a break from work.

Bailey looked back at her paper. She still had another 1,000 words to write. That was going to take her a while since she needed one more topic point plus the conclusion.

She sighed, saving her paper again. She would just have to finish it tomorrow. It was due in a week, so she would still have ample time to read through it, edit it, add and delete points to it, and proofread it.

Bailey also knew that she didn’t want to spend too much time on the paper or else she’d make herself crazy.

She exited out of the word document and then shut down her computer.

“Who’s ready to watch some crime TV?” she asked.

As if they understand, the dogs and cats took their positions on the couch. The two cats on the head of the couch, the two smaller dogs each sat on one end of the couch so Bailey could sit in the middle, and the two bigger dogs rested on the floor by her feet.

Bailey sat down, got comfy cozy, and turned on the TV.

Words: 1,035

I hope you enjoyed the story! Let me know what you think in the comments below and we’ll chat!
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6 thoughts on “Short Story Sunday 191: Zoo

  1. Neat story, just one note though. A master’s requires a thesis, which is supposed to take a year or more to write and can be up to 100 pages long. A 2 page paper would not suffice for that. When my sister got her masters she had to do a research paper on some aspect of speech pathology which I cannot remember. It required her to contact a lot of different people in her field and do some data gathering.

    • Glad you enjoyed the story. I don’t have a Master’s, but my sister has and she never had to write papers that long. I think it all depends on what you go for and what school you go to. That’s why I settled for a 15-20 page paper for the story. When it comes to short fiction, I just write what I’ve seen. 🙂

  2. That was cute. “Feed Zoo”, made me think of my kids! lol…

    By no means am I a professional writer or editor *Points to his own error-filled Shtuff*.
    The use of Bailey is used frequently. The reader knows it is just her and the doggies.

    Your story caused quite a discussion between my wife and I (I think she is an amazing writer). She had some ideas for editing some stuff if you are interested.

    I really appreciate you letting me read your stories and I enjoy you posts quite a bit. I look forward to seeing them.

    • Lol, that alarm is real for me too.
      Thanks for your input. I’m glad you read and enjoy my stories each week. 🙂
      And thank you for mentioning about your wife. I’ll keep her in mind should I ever need it. These shorts are just something quick I whip up with random ideas. Some, I’ll admit, are edited better than others. But I do appreciate it. Thanks.

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