“Paul, can you get me my lighter from the shelf?”


“Paul, can you grab my lighter there for me?”




Paul’s eye shifts from right to left to right, analysing the shelf. He has no idea what lighter his mom is referring to.

“Right there, beside the wooden elephant. The second biggest one.”

Paul places his fingers on the shelf in confusion, his hand and palm twitching from an odd, fearful doubt. Jacquie was so insistent that it was there. Where was it?

After another twitch, his fingers jolt lightly forward; he feels his middle one knock the wooden elephant out of line from the other three.

As he goes to fix the order, he notices something that confuses him further. The elephant hasn’t been touched. That can’t be. He just felt it.

His eyes become fixed on the elephant. His mother keeps calling his name but he’s too distracted to notice her. The elephant’s wooden, carved-out eyes turn noisily, like a clogged wood chipper; to face his, which changes his impression from gentle to sinister. His mouth opens and closes like he’s chewing a trim of fat from an old piece of meat.

“Do not… trust her.”

He quickly retracts his fingers from the shelf, feeling something again bash off his fingers again before it hits the wooden floor. Her voice echoed deep in his spine and she whispered loudly. Her question came out as a statement.

“Paul, are you okay, sweetie?”


She still looks him at worriedly, but his eyes, wide as globes, are fixed on his hands. His breathing is heavy and tense.

“Sweetie, do you need your medicine?”


Through his fingers, he sees his mom pick nothing off of the ground. She brings nothing up to the cigarette perched on the tip of her lips and sees the flicker of a flame come breathing from out of her thumb.

Written by CrashingCymbal
Content is available under CC-BY-SA