Short Story Sunday 223: Turtle

Short Story: "Turtle" | Creative Writing | Flash Fiction |

            The box turtle banged against the side of its clear tank. Her long neck stretched all the way out, her face pressed into the glass. If she could talk, she’d be yelling at her owner to take her out and allow her to stretch her legs around the room. She pressed her front claws against the glass as though she was trying to climb up it. She slipped on the glass causing her to fall down. That didn’t stop her though. She lifted her front claws once more and tried to climb up the glass again.

When the top of the tank was opened, it made a loud scratching sound. The turtle recoiled back into her shell for a brief moment before peeking out to see what was going on. She had heard that sound before. It usually meant her water was being changed, she was going to be fed, or her owner was going to pick her up and lift her out of the tank.

She stood frozen and ready for lift off. Her owner’s hand wrapped around her round shell and belly and she was suddenly lifted up and out.

The turtle was placed on the ground in the room. She looked all around. The room was big. There was a lot of walking to be done, a lot of things to climb, and cool places to hide.

But what to do first?

First, she’d go under a big black box, a thing her owner usually her feet on when watching a bright, glowing box, while sitting on a bigger blue thing – except the blue thing was squishy and more comfortable. She knew because sometimes her owner would bring her up there to watch the glowing box with her. Sometimes she would hide under the blue squishy thing making her owner go nuts trying to find her. Then she’d have to move the blue squishy thing just to get the turtle out.

She liked to hide in the way back corner in between that and the two wooden blocks that carried her tank.

The turtle, making it back out from under the black box, strolled around the middle of the floor. She headed toward a bunch of warm blocks, some lit up and some didn’t. They all sat underneath the glowing box there were a lot of strings in the back that were attached to the wall and also warm. It was a great place to sit and relax in the warmth, especially when she was out for a stroll around the room in the middle of winter.

Normally she’d just sleep, but her owner never slept during the winter, so it was difficult. Plus, she wanted to be outside of her tank as much as possible. There was so much to do and a lot to see.

This was only half of the room after all.

When she tried to make it to the other side of the room, she noticed the door was open. Excitedly, the turtle turned around and headed for the door. She liked wandering around the landing outside the room. She often looked down the steep slope that led to a different floor. When feeling ambitious, she’d even try to walk down that slope… except she was too small and would usually just fall down the steps. Still, her shell was strong and she’d make it. After a quick recovery, she’d have another whole floor to explore.

But not today. Today she’d go into the other room where her owner slept. She liked to go under the bed which her owner didn’t like because then she’d have to move the entire bed to get the turtle out. Except the door was closed.

Her owner was catching on.

Well, she’d just go into the bathroom then. Sometimes her owner would bring her in there. Her owner would hide behind a curtain and, for some reason, the whole room would fill with steam and be super warm. The turtle loved it.

But her owner wasn’t in that room so there was no steam and it certainly wasn’t warm. So, she decided to go back into the other room. Her owner was sitting at a table with a smaller glowing box though she was doing something to it, making tapping sounds.

The turtle continued to walk in the middle of room when she stopped. The cat had come into the room. When did the cat come in? The turtle slowly began to turn around. She didn’t mind the cat, but sometimes the cat thought she was a toy and would try to bat her around. One time, the cat batted at her on the hardwood floor and the turtle went spinning around the floor. It was a fun ride, but she didn’t want that happening again.

Upon seeing the turtle, the cat got up from his resting place and headed towards her. The turtle was still walking, though she was a lot smaller than the cat. She didn’t have long legs like he did and was therefore a lot slower. Her speed had nothing to do with the fact that she’s a turtle.

The cat raised a gentle paw, his claws hiding. See? He wasn’t doing it to be mean, he just had no idea what the turtle was and didn’t understand why it was moving.


The turtle heard a warning tone from her owner. The cat put his paw down. He gently tapped the turtle on the back thinking his owner wouldn’t be able to see that one, but she did.

The turtle continued to walk away while the cat was distracted with their owner. She didn’t get very far until the cat came back. He sat down directly in front of her blocking her way. Why? Couldn’t he see she was trying to walk here? Rude.

The cat then lied down and rolled over onto his back. He looked at her playfully but she didn’t feel like playing. She wanted to go under the bed but the door was closed. She wanted the steam from the other room but her owner wasn’t hiding behind the curtain. No, she was going to have to go under the blue squishy thing and just hang out in the peace and quiet.

She walked around the cat almost stepping on his tail. It spooked him enough that he kept his distance for a little while. She didn’t mean to step on it. In fact, she only just grazed it, but the cat brought the phrase “scaredy-cat” to a new level.

As the turtle continued her walk, the door opened a little. Oh, great. The dog was here. The dog was smaller than the cat though she was just as chubby. The turtle continued her walk knowing well that the dog wasn’t going to go near her.

As soon as the dog saw the turtle, she froze in the doorway. She whined looking up at their owner, who encouraged the dog to come into the room. She wouldn’t. Not with the turtle right there.

The turtle stopped walking. She knew the dog was afraid of her, though she didn’t understand why. Still, she liked to have a little fun and tease the dog. She couldn’t tease the cat at all so the dog was going to have to do. She stopped walking and stared at the dog. After a minute or two, the dog backed away and ran back down the slope.

When that was over, the turtle made her way under the blue squishy thing. She walked all the way to the back, dark corner. She curled up into her shell and fell asleep. Finally, peace and quiet.

Words: 1,281

I hope you enjoyed the story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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8 thoughts on “Short Story Sunday 223: Turtle

  1. I enjoyed my brief stay in the head of old turtle but I’m quite happy sitting up here in my cage, preening my feathers and humming to myself as my owner likes me to do. And when the cat came in, it was so scarey! Good little story.

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