It was a peaceful spring day in the valley, between two majestic green hills standing like giants, their shadow casting a darkness upon the town huddled below. Robert Wagner, the editor of the daily newspaper, The Morning Eagle, stared blankly out the window, chewing on his pen, trying to think of a story. He had a deadline of Friday and, so far, had a bunch of garbage. Onion sprout collectors guild coming to town next Friday, Bobbo the wonder shrew hotel to be erected upon the roof of the library, nothing of interest. Then, out of the corner of his eye, he saw IT. It was terrorizing the convenient store on the corner of Mapleton and Grovehurst. Frantically groping for the telephone on his desk, he soon realized it was too late. It had seen him. Frankie, the only flying camel in the world, had claimed another victim.

"Are you sure they’re camel prints?" a reporter’s voice boomed out through the massed crowd.

"Well, it’s too early to make any preliminary comments, but there is a definite possibility that they are." the Chief of Police, Everett Johnson, voiced back. Johnson was probably the most respected man in all of Kelvinville, Illinois. Not many people were more eminent in this community than Chief Johnson.

"How do you think it got here?" a deep, roaring voice shouted.

All heads turned towards the speaker. Not many, if any people in the town had voices like that. Of course, not many people are chewing cud while they speak, either. With a grunt and a bellow, Frankie plummeted into the crowd. Being as closely packed as they were, many were trampled by the crowd, and later trampled by Frankie himself as he stumbled through the town square, completely oblivious of the shouts and struggles as the reporters attempted to rise off the ground, only to be trampled back down by the deranged camel as he tramped through the field of people.

One of the reporters, Andrew Wagner, escaped. He was the brother of the editor who had been trampled at his desk. The death of his brother had been a crushing blow to him. His mother had died less than four months ago, and then his cousin had been killed in the war that was ravaging Europe. Now, out of breath and panting heavily, he flung himself into the local barbershop, where he flopped down into the seat of the nearest chair. But Frankie, it seems, had been in there too. The barber was lying on his stomach with the now trademark camel hoofprint on his back. 33 bottles of hair gel had been stolen, also. Andrew hastily dashed out of there, knocking the shampoo stand over, the sound reverberating throughout the barren Main Street.

Frankie heard. After leaving town square and applying the hair gel to his now shiny fur, he had opted to take a small nap in the restaurant upstairs from the barbershop. The sound of many shampoo bottles hitting the floor had awakened him, and now he was ready for action. He quickly spread his wings and sailed out the window after the figure two stories below.

On the other side of town, the National Guard had been conferring about what to do about Frankie. Some of the men wished to do away with him completely, some of them wanted merely to tranquilize him and put him on exhibition, and a few just desired to release him in his natural habitat in the jungles of Guam. Seeing that none of the men could make a conclusion about what to do with the flying camel, the officers took it upon themselves to come upon a solution. Finally, they decided that the camel should not be killed, put on exhibition or let go. They were about to attempt to freeze him in a block of frozen nitrogen.

Meanwhile, Frankie’s quarry was hastening down the street, screaming for anyone who had escaped the dreadful carnage on the square. Not many people had. Those who heard Horton’s cries for help figured either that help would be too late, or that they never liked his columns in the paper, so they would be all to willing to get rid of the man. It was a lose-lose situation for Andrew. Unless, of course, he found a way to escape before he was to be devoured. Luckily, (Why does it seem that the most improbable things happen in stories?) he noticed an old German pillbox. Even though Illinois probably has not held a single member of the Nazi party, there it was anyways. Horton dove into it just seconds before Frankie attempted to gain entry by smashing his enormous bulk against the concrete slabs insulating Andrew from the horrors of Frankie’s breath. (Hey, after eating cabbage-filled egg rolls for all your life and never having brushed your teeth , it most probably smelled better than it could have).

As Andrew sat there, gasping for breath, the monstrous body slamming against the structure, a plan formulated in his mind. A plan that might even rival his plan to escape from that jail years ag- well, he pushed those uncomfortable thoughts aside and focused on the more pressing matters at hand at the moment. Just then he noticed a trapdoor on the floor of the pillbox. Not pausing an instant to contemplate where the door led to, he quickly leapt into the yawning black pit.

The National Guardsmen were in shock after learning of the plan to freeze Frankie in a block of frozen nitrogen. “How do we do it?” one of the men questioned.

“Well, first we need a lot of liquid nitrogen,” answered one of the officers. “Then we should make sure we can fit a giant camel in the container.”

Almost all the men were pessimistic, but the officers would hear no complaints. The protesters were calmly brushed away as you would a fly. Disheartened, the men returned to their previous positions, fully knowing that Operation Camel Dunk was sure to fail.

In a completely different part of town, Andrew had no idea where to go next. Being underground still, he had no idea where he was, even. He had gained a bit of hope upon discovering the escape route, but being in the dark without anything but a penlight to guide him along the long and difficult path. All of a sudden, Andrew saw a dim light up ahead. Dismissing the light as only a figment of his imagination from being underground in the dark so long, he pressed ahead. Soon, he realized that he did see a light ahead. Moving forward just a little bit and hiding behind a rock, he peered over to see the most horrible sight he had ever seen in his life. A whole colony of flying camels were huddled around a campfire!

When Andrew came to, he was tied up around his feet and ankles. The whole colony of camels was standing above him, busily chattering and trying to find out where he had come from. Then one of the camels spotted the hole from whence he had come. He pointed it out just as Frankie came flapping in from overhead. Upon seeing Andrew, Frankie went into a fit of rage, killing him immediately. So endeth the life of a reporter. A sad affair.

As soon as the National Guard came traipsing up to the cave, they were taken by surprise and promptly trampled by the clan of flying camels. The camels took over the town and they all lived happily ever after.


Minor note: This is not a typical Muddled Ones Tale and therefore should, I repeat, should be taken seriously. Thank you.

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