IX. Elephants

We are standing in a soccer field somewhere on the great wide African continent. The field is a tawny rectangle of light under the noonday sun. There’s an impression of lines scorched in the yellow grass, many more lines than a field needs, running doubly, triply, in parallel and perpendicular. I am absent-mindedly straddling a triplet of parallel bars, looking out at the cooking vastness then back at my friends then out again, attempting to solve mathematical equations in my head (…the probability of malaria strain X90 finding host in any one of us P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 assuming approximately 39.14 percent of vector mosquitoes M in delimited area A… etc.). Dry heat bakes my bones. The remainder of cold weather climates, the last chill stashed in some thick goop of marrow or tiny fold of villi percolates out with a heavy escort of sweat.

Reciting the Fibonacci Sequence under my breath, I look down at my hands. They are growing bigger, the fingers thicker, I am losing knuckles. I hold them in front of me. They’re turning grey and the flesh is leathering. They become giant stumps – foreign, yet somehow also like those of a distant ancestor. I am not disgusted, just nonplussed. And the stumps keep swelling, bigger than cantaloupes, watermelons, pumpkins. Finally, they burst. There’s no pain… although now I’m handless, and I begin running.

I’m running down a path enclosed by dense brush, and my friends are running too, right behind me. The dry, open savannah is now soupy claustrophobic jungle – leaves impossibly large and green glisten and drip and whip my face. What are we running from? Impossibly large mammals. They’re thundering after us in heaviest glory.

As they approach I smell the dust of ancient plains trapped within hide-folds. I smell it before we see them. Then they’re here, and the white of their tusks is like a punch to the gut. One of the two throws his head back and lets forth a trumpeting that seems to silence every macaw and mosquito for miles. Certainly I can no longer hear a thing. We inch backward in the expanding milliseconds… but before the five of us are gored by their four ivory daggers, I leap into the air. I hover several meters above the grey craniums, dangling a squid-shaped sculpture made of extension cords over the trumpeter. And I perform a freezing spell. The wild creature falls on his side and the earth shudders. He is still.

The other beast starts talking. “That was not very clever, you’ll have to do better next time.”

Lumbering sluggishly to his feet, the spelled one is silent and peaceful. A huge ovarian cyst tumbles out of my mouth.

“How did that get inside you?” the first beast asks.

“My heart lives in my stomach,” I say. “It wanted company, but then grew jealous.”

There is tugging at my sleeves. My companions’ mouths are open, they’re still panting from our sprint, I can hear their hearts thumping fatly in their bellies too. The elephants will stay here, but we have to keep running.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I awake. Sometimes I am a lucky dreamer.

~ by kingzoko on June 7, 2015.

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