The following five hundred and fifty-five word story is my response to February’s speculative fiction writing prompt over on Diane Wallace-Peach’s excellent blog.
ELEPHANT IN A SNOWSTORM
Kelvin M. Knight
Please, let me rest here a while.
I’m so tired.
Let me rest my weary head here, please.
I’m asleep on my feet.
Please, please, I promise I won’t be any bother.
You don’t bother me, no. Yes, I know, I’m meant to be frightened of you but I’m too tired for fear. Fear is for the strong and I am so very weak. Weaker than a newborn kitten.
I apologise profusely. I know you’re afraid of them. Please forgive me.
I just need to rest my head here against your comfortable tree. Don’t be mad at me, I beg you. Those men get mad at me when they fall behind schedule. They whip me to get ahead. Tell me you’re not going to whip me?
Thank you, mice, thank you.
Mice are nice.
That’s what Mammy Matriarch used to trumpet. Dear old Mammy Matriarch, she died from this cold. This snow is hideously cold. And these bones of mine feel so very old. All this pushing trees over with my head. All this lifting trees with my trunk. Slogging, slogging through this never-ending snow. Everything has taken its toll.
Talking of which, you won’t charge me for resting here a while, will you my dear nice mice? And when I fall asleep, promise you won’t tickle me with your whiskers, or those tiny tiny pink feet of yours. I have nightmares of mice scurrying up and down my trunk, tickling me to death. I do. Sincerely I do. I have nightmares about this snow, too.
This snow isn’t natural. There shouldn’t be snow here. Not now. Not ever. There’s something desperately wrong, and I am at a loss to know what!
I’m fidgeting? I beg your forgiveness. I know, I know, I won’t push your tree over. Cross my trunk and hope to fly.
Thank you for being so understanding, so accommodating. For listening to me. It means the world to me, honestly. And thank you for sharing your home. You know you’ve chosen a fantastic spot to build your home. And what a delightful blue house, far far away from the hustle and bustle, the bump and grind. You must be so warm in there, snug like bugs all in a rug.
Please let me join you inside. I guarantee I won’t be a nuisance.
What do you mean I won’t fit? How dare you insinuate I’m too fat! I’m just big boned! You… You… You have trampled all over my feelings, mice, and squashed me, squished me. Is this how friends treat each other? Is it, hmm? Is this how I am rewarded for all my sensitivity!
Oh dear, I’m sorry. Truly I am. I didn’t mean to get agitated. I didn’t mean to dislodge your house. Sorry. Sorry. It’s still such a lovely house. The most beautifulest shade of blue. And you are all so pretty too, with your ears like cute little ribbons.
Please stop squeaking hysterically at me. Please don’t send me away. Pretty please. It’s bitterly cold tonight and this snowstorm is getting worse. And I have the Matriarch of all headaches. Honestly I do.
Don’t banish me. I’ll die if you banish me. And you’ll never be able to live with yourself. Trust me, I know what I’m talking about; us elephants never forget.
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