The crying elephant

elephant photo

The other day I read about an elephant who cried tears of joy when she was finally released after years of captivity.  I had heard that elephants shed tears but couldn’t bring myself to watch the video of this poor creature crying.   My mind spun out in a philosophical debate about tears of joy versus tears of grief.  Human emotions?  Apparently not just human.

Our world, human and otherwise, is a world of opposites and transitions: joy and grief, comedy and tragedy, darkness and…yes, you got the drift with the clichés.

Prompt for today:

Write a short story or chapter where the main character is placed in a powerless situation, where what “appears” to be real, is in fact, not real.   Speak to the world of illusion and opposites, like the elephant who cries with tears of joy. Or is she crying tears of grief?   (Stockholm syndrome)

Here is prompt 65 from Martha Alderson’s “The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts”

“Immerse the protagonist in situations where she is not in control.”


What is her greatest fear?   Place your main character in that situation.  For example, a situation in wartime where the main character is alone in a house during an air raid.

Keep the story focused and escalate the character’s tension with each scene.   (Are the raids imaginary or real?  Are there missiles? Do they hit or miss?  etc.)

Send me your flash stories of under 250 words.   If I like them, I’ll post them.

Till next time.


Kaye LindenThe crying elephant