The Beautiful Elephant

Across the river, you could see the sky and stars from the field. Over here, the bushes and trees would have hidden every beautiful bit of the night.

The tall man had no interest in the sky.

His knife, the size of an arm, divided the bit of chocolate that he had stolen from the store.

"A tiny bit for a hungry man,", he murmured as he shoved three quarters of the chocolate into his mouth.

The shorter fellow traveler, blinked with his eyes and reached for the last quarter.

"Go get the jelly for yourself, I want that piece of chocolate, too."

But the moment when the tall man saw his fellow traveler touch the chocolate, they heard a loud screech.

'Loud' would have been an understatement. Enormous. Gigantic. The bones of the two men vibrated. The tall men spat the chocolate out. The shorter fellow shrank to half his size.

The two waited for over a minute to finally be able to say something.

"Rockets."

"Ro… rockets?"

"I thought it was a joke, but it really sounds like rockets exploding…"

The shorter fellow nodded, but did not know what the tall man was talking about. He continued looking at the chocolate -- he was dying for that last piece, if not only for calming down.

"I'm gonna take a piss!", The tall man took the candle and vanished in the woods.

In the moonlight peeking every now and then, the shorter fellow reached for the chocolate again. Slowly.

As the tip of his index finger touched the corner of the brown, delicious, tiny bar of chocolate, a scream of the tall man was drowned by the gigantic noise. The noise of what the shorter fellow had learned to describe as 'rockets.'

He ran. He hid. He listened.

For what seemed like a decade, he listened, looked and doubted about the future.

His future.

But then he heard, saw and knew his future.

An elephant the size of a medium sized fishing boat, stormed towards him.

Time flew by as if the few seconds were the total lifespan of a supernova. The elephant had some scars, but not many. Some new, some old. Paintings of chalk decorated his both sides. War paintings. The crown of plants and wood, it was all there.

This was not a normal elephant, not those you would keep as a pet in your garden.

This was a machine.

A beautiful, animal machine.

And the elephant realised something.

It all stopped, and the elephant spoke:

"Human! Tell me your dying wish!"

Surprised by the abruptness, the shorter fellow wanted only one thing. And he whispered to the elephant:

"I want to die while I enjoy that last piece of chocolate."

Thanks Simone Linke for proofreading this story. Also thanks to the following people who came up with some words to use as constrainst: Simone Linke, Gemma Parker and Peter van Grieken, baby.

Published on