The Wild Ride: A Short Story

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On a warm summer evening, Zach and I embarked on an ambitious cooking venture, preparing a vast feast for an upcoming wedding. The meat smokers, Blackstone griddles, and charcoal grills were fired up and sizzling. Lots of moving meat, flipping burgers, and seasoning has happening. As we feverishly worked to have all the dishes ready and placed on the heat, time seemed to slip through our fingers. Before we knew it, the middle of the night had descended upon us. Exhausted from the restaurant-like cooking we were doing, I decided to take a break and lay down on the lush grass outside for a short nap.

As dawn’s gentle light broke over the horizon, I awoke to the sight of several wild turkey and deer peacefully grazing nearby. However, my serenity was abruptly shattered when a sudden, immense weight pressed down upon me, sending me into a panicked frenzy. I thrashed around, believing myself to be under attack, convinced that an oversized, rabid raccoon was my assailant. There was some rolling around and struggle, but thankfully I wasn’t in any pain. At this point, I was laid still, and couldn’t move.

Fortunately, Zach, alerted by the commotion, rushed to my aid. In the dim light of dawn, it was difficult to see the shape of the mysterious attacker. After a tense struggle, we finally managed to remove the heavy presence from me. Catching my breath, I asked Zach, “Was that a fucking raccoon?” Breathing heavily from his own exertions, Zach replied, “No, it’s a damn elephant!”

Confusion overcame me as I began to dust myself off. Unexpectedly, Zach tackled me to the ground, and we watched as the tiny pachyderm scampered past us, narrowly avoiding a collision. “What in the world is happening?” I exclaimed from the ground.

The bafflement continued when the animal approached me with an unexpectedly friendly demeanor. Upon closer inspection, it became clear that this was no ordinary elephant but an adorable baby elephant with fluffy fur, reminiscent of a golden retriever, and an unusually short trunk. Without hesitation, we bonded, snuggling together on the grass, wrapped in a blanket. While I had never encountered a baby elephant in real life, this one was decidedly unique. Astonishingly, my new friend seemed content and wanted nothing more than to cuddle.

I gingerly wrapped her in the blanket and proudly paraded her around, introducing my exotic companion to anyone in the vicinity. To my bewilderment, most onlookers appeared unfazed, as though a baby African elephant casually found in the wilds of Pennsylvania was an everyday occurrence. One person even nonchalantly remarked, “Oh yeah, I see an elephant in the woods over there from time to time.” I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of surreal world I had stumbled into.

Realizing that I needed to ensure the well-being of my newfound friend, I contemplated taking her to a veterinarian for a check-up. However, someone advised against it, leaving me yelling, “But I have to make sure she’s okay!”

Moments later, darkness enveloped everything, and I awoke. It had all been a dream…

I had this wild dream just last night and it was so vivid and unusual I had to capture it. I hope you enjoy the short story.

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A Short Story About Life

Let’s take another trip back in time to before I had a blog and wrote random essays in Microsoft Word and saved them away from a rainy day.

This is titled “Short Story by Ben Beard” with no other context. I don’t remember writing this, but it has a lot of interesting takes.

This was written over 10 years ago, right after I got married. Keep in mind this was drafted well before the founding of Musk’s company Neuralink.
The short story appears below exactly how I wrote it. Enjoy!

Marriage is a wonderful thing. You get to spend the rest of your life with someone whom you think is the only person that you could stand for that long. As I look out the window of our SUV I can see the rain drops forming trails down the glass. It’s a pretty long drive to the airport from our suburban home. I have lots of time to reflect on that last twenty years of my life. In my forties still with no children I wonder what is in store next. My wife of twenty years has never wanted to have children but I have still held out hope that someday this will change. “Jeff!” she yells from the passenger seat, “watch the damn road, we’re going to be late!” In fact we were 2 hours early for our international flight out of Pittsburgh. A rainy Sunday morning that we have been looking forward to for quite some time.

After two decades we have finally reached our twentieth wedding anniversary and are celebrating by going on cruise around beautiful Europe. We have been saving money for the last ten years for this since traveling in Europe has become so expensive. Money hasn’t come easy to us lately, we have had many obstacles to get over to achieve where we are today. My wife Annie has struggled with her career and now finds herself in another job change. Starting out working with computers, she changed to marketing. While she made a lot of money doing that, she didn’t feel happy about lying to the world. Annie went through this phase of helping people and making the world a better place. Thankfully this didn’t last long because she made zero income doing that. Lately her passion has been for acting, although that ties in well with my career aspirations, I can’t cast in her in all my movies. While she waits for her late acting career to take off, she just finished neuro-nursing school and has a new job lined up for when we return. Luckily for us she will be involved with changing out and upgraded memory modules in the human brain’s neo-cortex. This will allow us to process new ideas faster and make decisions quicker than ever. They say by 2023 everyone will be completely outfitted with the new neo-cortex memory upgrade.

We’ve arrived at the airport and begin to look for a place to park. We just purchased our new vehicle so I want to park somewhere it’s not going to get damaged. This state-of-the-art SUV has all the bells and whistles, including drink dispenser, auto-steer, optional six-wheel drive, and of course neruo-memory uplink. Kia has been the face of luxury over the last ten years as Mercedes and BMW fell when Germany decided to become a socialist nation. That’s a different story that can be read out of every history book. We are happy with our purchase and see this as a new start for us. This vacation will be the beginning of our new life. When we return my latest and greatest movie production will be released. Set to be the biggest movie since ‘The Expendables 5’. I haven’t been making movies very long but I feel this is my big break. I had movie studios fighting for the rights to finance this and signed some of the biggest actors around to start in it. You will see the likes of Jaden Smith, Mark Wahlberg Jr. and established actress Tallulah Moore-Willis. I’m very proud of what I made and hope this career will be long and prosperous. Now I am focusing on having a great trip with my wife.

The Year

Written by my 13 year-old self during the summer of ’99

The day that I moved I was fussing with my CD player so the wire was not attached to the device so I took the only tape I had at the moment and took it off the back of the box behind me. Then after a while it was up and running and of course I was listening to it. That summer I stayed with my dad because Mom made me, I was too bad. But then they found a house out in the country so I decided to go with them. I debated over the switching school thing but I decided I needed to go with them. Well anyways, I was staying with my Aunt Ginny every day except the weekends when Dad and Donna were home. Then once the first day of school I was nervous not about the new school, it was not knowing anybody. So my dad went out with me to the bus stop for the first time then so as I saw Steve, my best friend now, I knew I had seen him before. Then Rob introduced everyone, he was real friendly and then the bus came. The first day was going good I only got lost twice until seventh period when I had no idea where the science room was and when I was walking in the right direction, I saw Steve lost and looking for the same class. So I said, “Are you lost?” He said, “Yeah.” So I told him to go this way and then we found it. Next couple weeks we were best friends and we had three classes together. So then by Christmas we were best friends or my best friend he had others.

Then one hot day in February we decided to go to our friend Tom and Pete’s house so we decided to go down the hill (wrong move Ben). Half way down I started to shake because of my loose back tire and we were going about 60mph. Then I suddenly hit the ground and while I was out I was having flashbacks of the same thing over and over again. Then I woke up bloody and hurting and then Mr. Olsen came out because Steve had told Keith to get him and he drove me up then Ruth and Donna drove me to the ER where they said I had shattered my elbow almost the worst possible way. Then I had surgery and got six screws, one plate, four pins, and a wire in my arm holding it together (I hope you’re not eating Ben, like don’t read this when you’re eating). Well then I was all stapled up and then I was home for two weeks. Went back to school and was allowed to do things. Then I was fine for a while. I went to Cedar Point. Then just recently, I went to Raystown Lake and had the best time of my life. We rented a boat that had a water ski and tubing back on it. Then Mike said, who wants to go first and I said I would (Ben would, he wants to screw up his elbow just before his final surgery). So I did and I sucked then everyone else tried it and Dave went the best and then when we went to go bring the boat back I wanted to go again and I fell off after one minute, but then got back on for approximately 10 minutes, the longest in the history of the Beard’s (Ben goes from zero to her in only the short Tim elf recently turned 13 years of his life, yeah right…). Then we rented a jet ski which Dave drove and I went and it was awesome! Then the next day me, John, Mom, and Jordy went to Sandcastle for a day and we rode everything, I even rode the Go-Karts. Now I’m at Grams typing this with staples in my arm from my final surgery, cool huh? (Yeah Ben, really cool, I bet everyone wants staples in their arm just like you)

Now to explain my story as you’ve seen these “( )”, those are from my inner self and what he thinks of things (Yeah that’s me Ben, why don’t you just suck it and shut up you fuckin’ Dick head, thanks). Well in the next story coming out this fall you’ll see and read about what went on with me and everyone else at school.

The End

By Ben Beard 7/18/99 9:42pm


Notes from the publisher:
I have transcribed this diatribe (almost) word for word only fixing some typographical errors such as “ur”, “w/“, “ull”, and “every1”.

I’d like to think that my writing and overall story telling have come a long way in the last 20-some years.

Writing Prompt No. 1

Written by: Ben Beard on iPad Pro 11-inch
Source: Reddit /r/writingprompts

I’m starting a new series called  Writing Prompts where I write short stories, essays, or responses based on outside inspirations. I hope to do this often to sharpen my writing skills.
The subject of this prompt is included at the end of this post

I hear a loud ringing noise in my head as I open my eyes. I’m in a poorly lit room and my vision is very blurred. For some strange reason I feel no pain, no temperature, or warmth through my veins. Reaching down to the armrest of the chair I’m sitting in, I feel a soft velour material that feels so familiar to me. I look down to see a crimson red puffy armrest attached to my chair. Next, I reach out and rub the back of the seat to my left. Everything I touch gives me goosebumps instantly. Quickly realizing there are other people in the room with me I keep my thoughts to myself. “This seems to be some sort of movie theatre, but one I’ve never seen before”, I think to myself exploring the room with my eyes. The cinema looked brand new but had the traditional turn of the century decor. I quickly noticed the theater was filled with men and boys of various ages. Some of these men were seated very close to me and I could tell they knew who I was, but the feeling wasn’t mutual.

Suddenly, the lights dim and the giant screen in front of us lights up with a brilliance I’ve never seen before in my life. The movie begins in a hospital with a woman in labor. She’s alone, no one else is in the room with her. The medical staff enters the room as the patient wipes tears from her face. “It’s time!” Says the doctor with glee. The film starts to get very graphic; showing the entire birth with no cuts or change of camera angles. The baby is now in the arms of the doctor and it begins to let out the first big cry. The entire theater erupts with cheer and applause.

The noise settles down and the movie starts to get really boring with shots of the mother and new baby sleeping. After an hour of this I look over to the middle-aged man to my right. He looks like he’s straight out of a western movie. Cowboy boots adorn his feet and I trace his figure up to his duster jacket and notice fresh blood, a lot of blood. “Was this guy on a movie set recently?” I asked myself. I quietly leaned over towards him and whispered “Hey partner, what’s the deal with this movie?” He immediately tipped up the brim on his Stetson hat and gave me a blank stare. “This picture show here, partner, is our next lifecycle. Sit bank and enjoy the ride buddy. Let’s hope this guy does better than you.” He explained.

At this point I start having visions in my head of where I was before this place. I was with my family in the hospital. I can now remember taking my last breath and that’s when I realized that I’m dead.

Now taking the time to truly look around and observe the people in the room, it begins to click. I just talked to Wild-West-me, to my left there’s pilgrim-me, further up in the front is confused Neanderthal-me, and I also see previous-me. It seems all my previous incarnations are here watching the next me take on life. I stand up and walk over towards who I gathered was previous-me. He was a well-groomed older man wearing a fresh pressed suit. His bright white hair and beard seem to glow from the light of the movie playing in front of us. “Excuse me sir, were you the one before me?” I quietly asked the old man. “Ahh yes, welcome! I was indeed before you, and after your friend Wild Bill over there.” He replied in a proper English accent. “Oh wow, I have so many questions. Why are we here? What did you think of my life? Where are we?” I chanted to this man who was obviously not interested in my chatter.

His face began to frown as he slowly turned his head up towards me “Lister chap, find a seat and relax, we’re going to be here for a while.”









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