Home > Fiction > The Cycle of Life

The Cycle of Life

Here is my contribution to Barbara Beacham’s Mondays Finish the Story. We get a photo and a starting sentence and then 150-ish words to finish the story.

To read this week’s other stories, click on the blue froggy. The supplied opening sentence is in bold in my story below.

So without further ado, let’s join the Harris family on their educational African safari!


Copyright B.W. Beacham


The Harris Family and the Cycle of Life


They followed the buffaloes and their babies along the trail heading into the woods.

“Oh, Daddy!” exclaimed little Betty Harris. “Aren’t they cute?”

“Look at how they frolic along happily beside their parents!” added her mother. “Shall we keep following them?”

“Ooh, yes!” giggled Betty excitedly. “May we, Daddy, may we?”

“Of course!” laughed Father. Betty clapped her hands with glee.

They entered the woods and soon spotted the buffaloes at a watering hole. Father knelt down, readied his hunting rifle and pulled the trigger. The nearest buffalo baby’s head exploded, bits and pieces splashing into the water. Betty gasped.

“Father, what have you done?”

“It’s all part of the Cycle of Life,” explained Mother. “You see, we’re the dominant species and therefore we can kill all the animals!”

“All of them? Wow!” said Betty. “Father, may I have a go with the gun?”


Tune in again next week when Mother discovers the error in her “dominant species” theory in “The Harris Family and the Hideous Child-Eating Lion of Death”.


  1. April 20, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Too many people REALLY think like that. Someone should shoot them. I volunteer.


    • April 20, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      Yeah, I know. After you with the gun.


  2. April 20, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    You are so good with dialogue. When I have time I’m going to go back through some of your stories. I bet the dialogues are great. Thanks so much for commenting on mine. Your comment made my day. 🙂


    • April 20, 2015 at 7:41 pm

      Thanks, I’m glad you liked my dialogue, I enjoyed yours too! Quite a few of my recent stories have been dialogue-based. I guess the key is to read it out and make sure it sounds natural.
      I’m glad you liked my comment on yours – it was a fun and clever story 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. April 20, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    Like father like daughter. There has already been too much of “his kind” in this world. The world is ready for fresh blood that actually gives a damn.


  4. Merbear74
    April 20, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    I knew something like that was going to happen.


    • April 21, 2015 at 7:47 am

      Yep, it was way too happy-clappy at the beginning 🙂


  5. April 20, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    Wow! Was not expecting the gun to come into the picture there Ali! Good story! Sadly, this kind of thing happens. Again, with this week’s challenge, I have to bring up Mark Twain”s story “The Lowest Animal.” The link is below.


    Well done Ali and thank you for your continuing participation! See you next week…. Be well… ^..^


    • April 21, 2015 at 7:48 am

      I thought I’d try popping a little message into my story again. Thanks for the link!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. April 21, 2015 at 1:01 am

    Oh my. The things we are taught by our parents and the things we teach our children. Quite the thought provoking piece here.


    • April 21, 2015 at 7:49 am

      Not the best of lessons. I’m glad you liked my dark-humour message 🙂


  7. April 21, 2015 at 2:25 am

    Once all of the dominant species are done killing each other, the possums will inherit the earth!


    • Lyn
      April 21, 2015 at 4:48 am

      Don’t you mean squirrels, ES?

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 21, 2015 at 12:22 pm

        LOL… it’s an in joke based on my comic strip, where I am constantly killing and re-killing my possum character Buster. He will ultimately triumph, however…. even over us squirrels!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Lyn
          April 21, 2015 at 12:45 pm

          Oh of course, I forgot about your comic strip. How silly of me 🙄


    • April 21, 2015 at 7:49 am

      They’re just waiting in the sidelines, biding their time…


  8. Lyn
    April 21, 2015 at 4:49 am

    Now this is the D-Man we know and love. Murder and mayhem 😀


  9. April 21, 2015 at 11:13 am

    I know every once in a while you need to bring out the blood lust in your characters to show the sad way some people regard animals. You’ve killed before, and you’ll kill again, even your main character, Ali. For a good cause though. This is dark humor at its best. Next week’s story should be a doozy, again starring the Harris Family. 😀 — Suzanne


    • April 21, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      I thought it highlighted the casual attitude some people have towards killing. Glad you liked it!
      I’m hoping to bring the Harris family back some time for another “educational” outing :-). Wouldn’t it be great if next week’s picture had a lion in it? (Not for Betty, though.)


  10. April 21, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Didn’t see the gun nor the daughters excitement at the shooting coming. Nice unexpected twists and turns.


    • April 21, 2015 at 3:23 pm

      That was the plan! I wanted it to see quite normal to this family to make my point 🙂
      Glad you liked it!


  11. April 21, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    Straight and to the point (of a gun) neat!


  12. April 21, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    I just love your family. No airey-fairy middle-class pretensions here. Just effing kill anything that moves! Yeah!


    • April 22, 2015 at 6:57 am

      They’re very much a “we can so we will” sort of a family! It’s refreshing 🙂


  13. April 21, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    LOL! I didn’t know you were Alistair until I just read Francesca’s story. Welcome back!


  14. Francesca Smith
    April 21, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    Cue the Lion King theme to then completely burn it down with Death Metal.
    Great story with a poignant meaning intertwined.
    I look forward to visiting Harris family again on another educational trip.


    • April 22, 2015 at 6:59 am

      I like the idea of a Lion King Metal mashup. Where’s my guitar? 🙂
      I’m glad you saw the message behind the mayhem.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. gentlestitches
    April 22, 2015 at 12:38 am

    Oh i can’t wait until the sequel! I hope the lions arrive quickly! Grrrrr……


    • April 22, 2015 at 6:59 am

      I just need a photo with a lion in it…


      • gentlestitches
        April 22, 2015 at 7:53 am

        HaHa! Yes because the Buffalo had all escaped and the family …..will not be making any more members with this particular mind set!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. April 22, 2015 at 4:48 am

    Great superb powerful writing that reveals a sad slaughter by the dominant killers ~ Well written Ali ~


    • April 22, 2015 at 7:00 am

      Thanks, I’m glad my message came across. This family seems to have a “kill because we can” attitude.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. April 22, 2015 at 5:04 am

    Hmm, as usual great dialogue.


  18. April 22, 2015 at 9:04 am

    How can anyone shoot a wild animal and teach their child to do it as well. Shocking!


  19. April 24, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    they sound more like the Tarantino family than the Harris’s 😛 I’ve got to say, that just suited my dark sense of humour perfectly – loved it!


    • April 24, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      “Quentin Harris” is his cover name so he doesn’t get mobbed by fans while on his safari holiday 🙂
      I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. April 25, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Great dialogue and a terrific message! 🙂


    • April 26, 2015 at 5:54 am

      Thanks, I enjoy writing stories with dialogue. I’m hoping to bring the Harris family back with another message some time 🙂


  21. April 26, 2015 at 2:14 am

    Wow. Didn’t see the ending coming and so graphic with the killing of the calf. Well done and good lesson. I hate guns. 🙂


    • April 26, 2015 at 6:08 am

      I thought it would be a nice shock having described such a happy-clappy family. And a “wonderful” lesson to teach their little one.
      I hate guns too, fortunately in the UK they’re pretty rare and living all the way down in Cornwall I’ve never even seen a police officer carrying one (unless you count tasers).

      Liked by 1 person

  22. May 16, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    Great take on the prompt…


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