2012/06/23 § 1 Comment
On the theme of leftovers
Fryday 16 June in the Year 1681
Wooden rafters consumed by fire, its greyed skin smolders in the shit-filled enclosure. Parliament Street, rich in history, in the wee hours, the silence snapped by the shouts of whiskeyed late-night revellers, “The elephant is on fire!” In flux they attempt to open the doors. Heat and smoke keeps them away.
Terrific bellows, short then long, the pained creature batters the walls in vain, as the fire brigade men on their engine wheel into sight. The entire building in flames, the men pump and spray, Wilkins, the owner curses them on to save his prize exhibit.
At a penny a view the elephant is too rich for the blood of most locals, who instead satisfy themselves with a glimpse of the corded trunk as it snakes out the barred window above the thick oak doors. “Bring us to see the effelant,” a young girl asks her father, and the poor man shakes his head and rubs her ringleted head.
In daylight, hungry canines run the street crazed with the smell of roast flesh. Wilkins runs a hand against the huge beast’s nap, dust rising in a cloud. He shakes his head, takes a drag from his cigarette, and wonders if a specialist could save the skeleton for display purposes. A scrap of hide flakes away in his hand and with it all pretense.
James Claffey hails from County Westmeath, Ireland, and lives on an avocado ranch in Carpinteria, CA. His work appears in many places including The New Orleans Review, Connotation Press, A-Minor Magazine, Literary Orphans, and Scissor & Spackle. His blog is at www.jamesclaffey.com.