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The Zoo Diaries III – Frances Pauli

March 2023

Part Three


At the Rainriver Zoological Gardens, one escape became the catalyst for a series of unfortunate incidents. The tortoise, Oliver, roamed the zoo as a fugitive, searching for his missing cage mate. When the Zoo-cam caught him interacting with the elephant, Shanti, zoo attendance spiked, putting more pressure on the animals inside and increasing crowd-related stress. The lion, Charlie, got his first whiff of hotdog when the bustling crowd began dropping things into his enclosure. The macaque, Gonzo, assuaged his caffeine addiction with a stolen latte, and Oliver, intent on continuing his search, enlisted the dubious aid of one of the zoo’s resident pigeons. Together, they searched for the aviary, to find the missing crane, Miranda. Pleased with the increased revenue, the zoo announced the first ever photo and video contest.

Tortoise Abroad

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It came from Elizabeth Rankin

Elizabeth Rankin’s story “Portals and Other Lost Things” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 23 September 2022. “Portals and Other Lost Things” started from a writing prompt during “Story a Day May” in 2020, although I can’t remember the original prompt. Like so many people, I was feeling stuck inside and longing to visit other places, hoping they’d still be around after the pandemic. I was also trying out new hobbies, although knitting (as featured …

A question for Ben Wan

Q: Do you write with a particular audience in mind?

A: At the risk of sounding self-centered, the first audience I write for is myself! If I’m not actually interested in the premise or I’m bored at any point with the story, then my audience is going to feel the same way. I want whatever I write to be something that I’d not just read, but reread over and over again from how much I connect to it. I think about how I would get invested in a story and find a way to channel that for the reader. That said, I don’t want to be self indulgent and only write for an audience of one. I want people to relate to it. To balance that out, I tend to write about a particular theme or experience that most would find relatable, but in a way that feels interesting or unique.

Storytelling connects us and helps us feel less alone. Whatever my protagonist is dealing with, there’s a high chance other people have dealt with it too. In the case of “Shortcut to Happily Ever After”, I channeled my own emotions about getting back into dating after a breakup, knowing that others have felt the same way, like the heartache over their last relationship or feeling jaded with their current options. Some might connect with the story after going through their own heartbreak. Others might feel inspired to get back into dating again. If even one person says this story helps them cope with their own dating experiences, then I’ve done my job.

Ben Wan’s story “Shortcut to Happily Ever After
in Metaphorosis Friday, 7 April 2023.
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About Dan Le Fever

Dan Le Fever is just a guy from Lynn, MA with a degree in history from Salem State College, with a focus on Byzantine and Ottoman history. He is also fascinated by linguistics, etymology, and orthography. When he isn’t writing, Dan spends his time playing video games, watching horror/sci-fi entertainment, and practicing American Kenpo., @lefeverdan

Dan Le Fever’s story “Trapped in Memory
in Metaphorosis Friday, 14 April 2023.
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It came from Karl El-Koura

Karl El-Koura’s story “Her Last Will” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 16 September 2022. Hello, my name is Karl El-Koura, and I’m an introvert. Do they have support groups for introverts, or does no one show up? I suspect most writers are on the introversion end of the spectrum. Who else would voluntarily lock themselves up alone in a room for hours on end? Many of my stories, like “Her Last Will”, turn out …