Flash Fiction: The Elephant in the Water

This is the first of three flash fiction pieces that I am writing because of a contest I held on my Facebook page. Thanks to Shannon for her winning title suggestion!

Water cascaded in sprays of rainbows from the elephant’s trunk. The old stone fountain stood tall, proud despite the moss growing on it. The people who stopped to look delighted the elephant almost as much as it delighted the children passing by.

“Look, Mama,” the children sometimes said. “That big elephant has water coming out his nose!” Sometimes the mothers wearily dragged the children on; others paused to toss alms into the fountain’s bowl. The shiny coins glittered in the deep, lifting the elephant’s spirits. It knew that each glistening round coin represented a child’s wish, a prayer, a dream.

Day in, day out, the elephant faithfully stood, not minding the cracks that steadily grew deeper and deeper, not minding the moss that crept ever thicker across its shadowed side. It brought joy to the world and that was all that mattered.

Or it was.

The day arrived like any other day, heralded by a soft rosy glow on the horizon. The stone elephant greeted it with joy like any other sunrise. It was like any other day.

At least, it was until the elephant’s trunk, finally overcome with cracks and age, broke free with a resounding snap. It tumbled to the ground and crumbled, a pile of weary, moss-covered stone.

Two park workers came to clean up the mess. “A hundred years that elephant’s been there,” one said. “So sad to tear it out now.”

“Yeah, well,” the other said, “nothing lasts forever.”

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