Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Elephant Stone

Following the path outlined by thousands of small white daisy petals, Lilia increased her pace with every eager step she took. Closer and closer drew the light at the end of the tunnel of trees. No time to stop and admire the beauty of it all, no time to take in the succulent scents of the things she never knew.

There is was: the elephant stone. It was said that if you stood at just the right angle, and listened with all the drums you could possibly listen with, you could just make out the sound of a newborn elephant playing his first trumpet, brass as the light that filtered through the trees. That was why she was here. Legend said that once you heard this elephant stone play, you would feel no bitterness, no animosity. All would become clear, and you would no longer feel hate.

Lilia circled the stone, meticulously searching for the place on which she needed to stand. A faint sound. Anything. 

A light breeze entered the clearing. Minuscule hills formed on her arms, and a chill ran through her body. The wind grew stronger, nudging her. She surrendered to this force, moving in the direction of the wind. She reached the edge of the clearing, and suddenly, she was pushed again, only in the other direction. It arrived at her front, her back, left, right, until finally it had positioned her in such a way that satisfied this wind. It stopped. The clearing was still.

There was the hum. Lilia turned her head slowly, both ways, and as she gazed to her right, at the sun, the hum was a bit louder. She continued in this direction, bubbling with excitement. Louder and louder the hum grew, until it gave off a more vibrant aura. It pounded against her eardrums, the powerful blast of an elephant's trumpet. She had found it, and with it, she had not a care in the world.

As she walked away, however, Lilia did not feel any different from before. She did not feel enlightened, or empowered in any way. In fact, she merely longed to hear the elephant again, if only once more. After a moment of internal negotiation, she turned and rushed back to the clearing in which it lay. She recognized the spot, and remembered clearly how her head was turned. And yet, no elephant trumpeted for her this time. Not even a hum. Lilia frantically whipped her head in all directions, walking swiftly around the place she had stood before. Nothing. Only silence.

Horrified, Lilia turned and ran, ran as quickly as she could away from the stone. Confusion turned to frustration, which quickly became anger, and finally, she couldn't handle it. No, she began to hate the stone, the legend, the forest, and herself. Why couldn't she make it work again? Life was not nearly complete without this wonderful symphony the stone had produced. She could almost, barely, remember how it felt. Wonderful. But she would not, could not, feel it again. 

After a long while of running, the clearing and the elephant stone behind her, her legs collapsed and Lilia sank down to the damp soil, leaves crunching beneath her knees. She broke down in tears, not knowing how to justify such intense emotion, and yet it all made perfect sense. At this point, she couldn't even remember how she was before she encountered the stone. She couldn't remember her positive attitude, her thirst for adventure, her love for the people in her life... All that mattered now was the nagging feeling of emptiness tugging at her heart, which she could not possibly shake off nor embrace, and it pained her both to think of it and to attempt to ignore it. She could not decide which pained her more. In fact, each put her in more pain than the thought of death. She couldn't possibly live like this anymore.

You probably know what happened next: Lilia rose slowly to her feet, and turned to face the edge of the trees, the edge of the cliff. She broke into a strong, determined run, more and less sure of it than anything in her entire life. Lilia threw herself from the cliff, taking what felt like an enormous leap toward the other side, when it was merely a jump into what life lay ahead.

Perhaps you feel her act was irrational, silly, pitiful, or perhaps it made sense to you. Unfortunately, dear reader, I cannot tell you which it was, nor can I even try to define it. All I can think to say is, if you wish to know how she felt, and why Lilia could have even thought to react this way, ask her yourself. Or, if you dare to venture there, visit the elephant stone, and listen to the sweet brass of the fresh elephant.


  1. Oh my! Such power with words! Been blown like she was with the wind in the story! Great job!

  2. Your writings are rare, but good.