Here is an old short story that I shared in this subreddit several months ago. I made some changes to improve it's quality. Mostly, I made some corrections in the tenses. In the earlier drafts of the story, I had a difficult time figuring out proper tenses. What are some more ways I could further improve this short story? Thoughts on this short story, if any?
Mid-September brought a cool evening for the local villagers, as they crowded the entrance of the circus tent. A small crowd of around a few dozen people had walked into large circus tent. In the middle of the tent was a fairly large object, covered by tarp. A well dressed middle aged man stood right beside the object. The crowd soon sat down in the seats surrounding the object.
“Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Leroy Hannibal.” As the man introduces himself in a very confident tone of voice.
“Welcome to my Circus of Exotic Wonders. Here you will find many sights here that are beyond your imagination”. Hannibal continued on with his brief speech. He then pulled off the tarp, revealing a large metal cage. In that cage, there was a creature that no one in the crowd had ever seen before. The jeering eyes of the crowd stare at the enclosures’ unusual occupant.
The creature was an enormous winged python, with dark greenish-brown scales. There were streaks of yellow patches all over its body. Most noticeable to the crowd, was the creature’s leathery bat like wings.
“This monster before your very eyes is the last of its kind. A vicious, man eating beast that will devour an elephant in a heartbeat”, as Hannibal look intently at the snake.
This really drew the attention of the crowd. The creature seemed completely displeased by the crowd, as it slowly retreated back into the darker corners of it’s pen. Six of Hannibal’s assistants drag a diseased and malnourished cow into the room. They then opened the pen’s door, and they shoved the cow in. The assistants then slammed the door hard, and calmly walked away. Within seconds, the serpent violently pounced on the cow. The crowd screamed in delight, as they watched the creature brutally constrict the cow to death.
Half an hour later, the show was over. The crowd all went their separate ways. As soon as the crowd left, a young boy walked in, carrying a broom in his right hand. He was most likely in his early teens, and quite small in build. Hannibal walked towards the boy. With a cruel glare in his bloodshot eyes, he seized the boy by his shirt’s collar.
“Max get those chairs cleaned up, or else…you know what will happen”. Hannibal uttered to Max in a cold and monotone voice. Hannibal then shook the terrified boy violently, before throwing him to the ground. As soon as Max fell to the hard dirt floor, Hannibal walked outside the tent. Presumably, he was heading towards his private trailer. He preferred to count up his profits in the comforts of his own living-space. The boy silently sobbed on the ground.
“Are you alright Max?”, as soft feminine voice from the enclosure called out to him. Max turned his head towards the cage. It turned out that the voice had came from the serpent.
“Did he harm you again?”, the Python asked with very concerned look in her eyes.
“I am fine Nuwa.”, Mac replied to the Serpent. “He just shook me up a bit.”
“Glad to see that your fine. Please tell me when he harms you.” Nuwa firmly instructed Max.
“Thanks, I will Nuwa.” Max uttered, as he pulled his pants up.
“Nuwa, ever since my parents abandoned me here, you have been the closest thing to a mother to me.” Max confessed to Nuwa.
“Have I ever told you how I got here Max?” Nuwa asked.
“No, you never did”, admitted Max.
“Well, several years ago, I was a free creature. I was living an independent life in the rainforests of Accra. A mother to 4 wonderful young. Although times were incredibly tough, I was living an extremely wonderful lifestyle. That was until…until… a group of hunters came…”. Nuwa briefly paused with a solemn expression.
”…They killed all of my children, and drugged me…I woke up in a cage, being auctioned off to a crowd of humans. Hannibal ended up being the highest bidder. That is how I ended up here.” Nuwa ended her story, with her head dripped down, looking at the enclosure’ floor.
“I’m sorry that happen to you,” Max expressed in a mournful manner.
“Don’t be. One good thing that came out of this, is you. Max, you are a son to me. You have filled up a void in my life that my offspring have left.” Nuwa admitted to Max. Max was so taken back, that he was lost for words.
"May I walk in into your pen?", Max politely inquired.
"Sure, please do.", Nuwa eagerly replied. Max opened the gate, and entered the enclosure. Nuwa curved the middle part of her body into a small oval. The boy laid down on the serpent's ovalled torso. As soon as Max rested himself on her body, Nuwa placed her enormous head on his lap. Moments later, both of them dazed off to sleep.
Two hours later, they were awakened to the sounds of heavy footsteps entering the room. It was Hannibal. Max frantically hopped up from Nuwa's trunk, and darted out of the cage. He hoped that he could persuade Hannibal to give him a second chance, or at least hear him out.
Hannibal stumbled into the room, obviously incredibly drunk. He was muttering obscenities under his breath, obviously ticked about something. Max instantly cowered in fear, while Nuwa gave him a hateful scowl.
“You haven't cleaned the seats Max?! I thought I have made that clear to you. Now you must suffer the consequences of your actions.”, Hannibal shouted maliciously at Max.
"Sorrrry sssirr…, Ii'll…dddoiitt", Max stuttered, as he was too frightened to form comprehensive words. Hannibal completely dismissed Max's pleas. He then grabbed Max’s neck, and started choking him. Max squirmed in agony, while fruitlessly clawing at Hannibal’s arms. Nuwa thrashed around and hissed furiously, while slamed against the steel bars with full force.
Eventually, to Hannibal’s horror, Nuwa managed to tip over her pen. She then violently broke down the enclosure door. Hannibal released his grip on Max, and started to bolt for the exit. However, Nuwa’s lightning fast reflexes had put a quick end to that attempt. Nuwa managed to catch him within seconds. Meanwhile Max breathes heavily, trying to recover from the assault.
“Please…please…I am sorry for everything…please just let me go…” Hannibal bubbled on incessantly. Nuwa completely ignored his pleas, and just bit him in the head. She shook his body like a rag doll, breaking his spine and immediately killing him. His corpse is then thrown 15 feet away, landing on a bunch of chairs.
Unfortunately, the noise caused by the chaos had attracted a lot of attention. A large crowd of people had quickly congregated around Nuwa and Max. The crowd immediately panics, greatly escalating the situation. Nuwa’s panicked lash outs at the mob really didn’t help matters ether. Max tried to explain the situation to them, but no one bothered listing. Max was so focused on confronting the crowd, that he did not notice Nuwa wrapping her tail around his waist. Without warning, Nuwa had completely encased Max in a cocoon of her coils. Nowhere near tight enough to be asphyxiating, but just enough to completely immobilize him.
“Nuwa?! What is happening?”, Max asked in a very alarmed tone, as he struggled against the winged snake’s looping body.
“Don’t worry love, we will reach safety soon.”, Nuwa reassuringly whispers to a frightened and confused Max. She then affectionately nudged her nose against his hair. She then opened up her wingspan. Her wings were so massive that they easily blacked out the sun. To the complete shock of the crowd, Nuwa takes flight. She effortlessly broke through the tent’s fabric. Nuwa flew off into the horizon, with a whimpering Max in her clutches.