The sky was growing dark and spotlights from below seemed to be searching for some reason. Ok, it was because a lion escaped from the circus.
It was ok though because the lion tamer was a seasoned professional, completely capable of handling an unexpected situation during a show.
“Oh my god! A lion escaped from the circus?! We’re all going to fucking die! Oh my god! Hug your children!”
The lion tamer ran away as fast as he could, abandoning the circus tent completely and running to the nearest basement. Which, as it turns out, was a boiler room at the root of the fairgrounds where the lion couldn’t get to him. However, the boiler room was a boiler room only for toilet sewage. Pee-yew! It stank!!!
A local police chief, having gotten a call about the event, turned to his only partner in their police car, “Come on, boys. Let’s go.” He depressed the gas pedal to the floor and spun out of the Applebee’s parking lot. The police chief smiled, “I’ve always wanted to say and do that.”
Nearby the fairgrounds, a twelve-year-old girl sat home alone, in front of the TV. The TV was playing a kid’s show called, “Nutty Larry Eats Cake.”
That’s when there was a sound at the screen door.
At first it sounded like a horrible scraping sound. Then the sound of ripping metal.
The little girl grabbed the nearby remote and turned off the TV. She stood frozen as the sounds grew louder.
Gathering some bravery, she stood up to close the front door and lock it. She turned the corner up the steps quietly.
When she reached the top of the stairs, there was the lion, sitting anxiously outside the screen door, which was in a sorry state. The screen was ripped in half and the metal around it was dented as if a car had smashed into it.
“Could you have just opened the door by the door knob? God.” The little girl said to the lion.
“Oh sorry,” he responded. The lion took its giant paw and turned the door knob, opening it.
“I wonder what he’s doing here,” the little girl thought. “Maybe he’s hungry. Maybe he’s from the woods in the yard.”
She spoke to the lion again, “you hungry, boy? What do lions like? Tortilla chips? Come on.” She turned her back on the animal and walked up the steps to the kitchen. The lion followed behind her slowly.
“Oh boy. The chips are up so high. I better get a step stool,” she said to herself like a lunatic.
The lion then laid down, offering his back to her, he let her use him as a step stool. She climbed aboard the back of the lion who stood up, allowing her to reach the chips that were in a high up cabinet. She reached the chips and the lion lowered her safely to the ground.
“Here big guy,” she said, “try a few of these. Maybe you won’t eat me if you’re full.” She set the bag of chips on the floor and just as she had turned around to get some scissors to open the bag, the lion directly bit its powerful jaws into the bag, tearing it apart. He shook the bag, which was torn open, and shook his head, chips flying everywhere.
“Good boy!” the little girl exclaimed.
“What a nice little girl,” the lion thought. “I should do something nice for her. Hmm…”
The lion jumped up and down like a seal and stood on his hind legs, clapping over and over again with his paws.
“Wow! You’re amazing!” she laughed. “Hey, do you want to watch “Corn House” with me? It’s on right now.”
Just when they were about to go downstairs to watch TV, there was a knock at the door.
“Oh no!” The little girl and the lion thought in unison. “Here, hide in closet or fridge.”
“I pick closet,” the lion thought.
“Fridge? Ok.” The little girl opened the fridge and dumped all the food in it onto the floor.
A knock came at the door again. “Come on!” the girl said, “somebody’s here!” The lion curled up in the fridge, breaking all the racks and drawers.
The girl ran to the door and answered it. As she opened the door, the police chief and his buddy were standing tall on the other side of the busted screen door.
“Hello, little girl,” the police chief addressed, “is your mommy home?”
She screamed her head off.
“OH MY GOD! IT’S THE COPS!”
“Hold on, hold on, little girl. We’re good cops. We won’t hurt you. We’re simply looking for a loose lion.”
“OH MY GOD! IT’S A LOOSE LION!”
“Hold on, hold on, little girl. You’re safe with us. We have guns.” The cop reached for his piece.
“We got a call that the lion was in the radius that includes your property. We’re just going to need to look around in your home, that’s all.” The cop smiled a wry smile and his partner had a screwed up face.
“Do you have a search warrant?”
“Uh, heh heh, is your mommy home?” The cops crouched down to the girl’s level.
“Like I’d tell a stranger.” She crossed her arms.
“Well, there’s nothing we can do. Here’s our card. Give it to your mommy and tell her to give us a call.” The police chief tipped his cap at her and walked back to the car. The little girl watched as they spun out of the dirt driveway and headed out to the next destination. “I always wanted to do that,” the police chief said to his partner.
The girl shut the door, went up the stairs to the kitchen, and dumped the card into the trash can.
“Oh shit! The lion!” she thought. She swung open the fridge and there was the lion shivering. “Come on out, they’re gone.” The lion walked out of the fridge and looked at the girl. “What are we going to do with you?” she said, crouching down to pet the lion.
“I know just the place! Come with me!” The girl ran toward the back door and walked down the stairs, with the lion walking behind her.
She took him to the backyard woods.
“There. You can be free now. Run into the woods. Don’t look back. I’ll miss you, lion.” The lion looked at her with sad eyes.
“Come on, boy! Get out of here!” She kicked the ground. The lion looked toward the woods for a long time.
“Go!” she yelled, tears in her eyes.
The lion listened to her and sauntered into the woods, until he was out of sight.
“Wow. I can’t wait for him to meet the other lion I let loose in the woods last year.”
She walked back toward the house. Her mom yelled out to her from the kitchen window.
“Why is the kitchen all fucked up?”