Taxidermy – Sunday Photo Fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge now presented by Susan Spaulding, who has just taken over from my old friend Al Forbes.
Welcome aboard, Susan, and thank you for continuing this great weekly prompt.
The idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in the picture (below).
The photo this week is by me – hooray! – taken in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery on a recent visit to my native land.
It shows the bahookie of Sir Roger the Elephant who has resided there for over 100 years.
Click on this link to enter your tale, and see what others have written.

© C. E. Ayr

Click here to hear the author read the tale:


A taxidermist, I tell her again, I preserve dead animals.
Oh, how horrid, she says.
No, not at all.
I explain to her that it is a scientific process, requiring much knowledge and many skills.
And there is quite a demand for it.
Not only from museums and other exhibitors but, increasingly, from people who want to remember a beloved pet.
I invite her to visit my workshop in the basement of my house.
I want her to view my art, as I consider it, and to appreciate it.
She is dubious at first, wants to know if I live alone.
I reassure her that she will meet my parents there.
I don’t mention that they died years ago.
Well, I had to start somewhere, didn’t I?

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25 Responses to Taxidermy – Sunday Photo Fiction

  1. willow88switches says:

    Oh, how bloody creepy! LOL – but yeah, I wouldn’t expect anything deliciously less “tongue in cheek” twisted. Talk about a potential invitation gone, perhaps, wrongly accepted. Just delicious – love the ambiguity of the ending – perfectly worded and most excellent closure.


  2. Mike says:

    Your story reminded me of Edgar Allan Poe, smilingly macabre.


  3. athling2001 says:

    I was afraid the story was going that way. I hope she is smarter than the normal horror novel heroine. Don’t go into the house!


  4. mandibelle16 says:

    Good one CE, but uggh, creepy ending. So creeped out. My Aunt once talked about a guy she’d known who had a small museum of taxidermist animal. She described the process etc. I love her so I listened, but it made my stomach churn. She thought it was great art, to me, not so much.


  5. Corine Gouy says:

    Tu sais ce que j’aime chez toi ?
    Ton côté démoniaque ! 😈


  6. EagleAye says:

    I just had a feeling it would end like that. I thought she would end up staying for a very long time, and who knows? Maybe she did. Very fun story, and a great pic.


  7. Shame he had to practice on his parents, but then again they may be proud that he’s got on to more elephantine projects! I’ll think of this piece next time I tell someone to get stuffed!

    Click to read my SunPhoFic!


  8. James says:

    She’s next.


  9. Iain Kelly says:

    A lovely surprise to see Kelvingrove featured in the prompt today CE, I am often there, dragging the kids round. They do enjoy Sir Roger, but much prefer the Spitfire that hangs on the ceiling above his head! As soon as I saw your title I had a feeling it would end this way. Chilling stuff.


  10. Susan says:

    Shades of Norman Bates! I don’t imagine the girl will be able to leave on her own accord.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Well, this is certainly true because everybody does have to start somewhere! Mind you, I think humans might be more complicated to stuff 🙂


  12. emmylgant says:

    Oh what a beast!
    Brrrr… I’m shrieking!


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