Reads: 114

Heartbroken elephant

Hazel turned around quickly sending all her strength into quick jabs and punches at the person behind her catching him in the face and stomach. 

“Hazel?” a voice cried out in surprise as Andrew lay on the ground bleeding. 

“What a strange game you play today,” he said with a constant smile as he held his nose.

“Andrew it’s you, I’m so sorry you slightly startled me” Hazel said with a heightened sense of care as she reached into her black handbag and withdrew a handkerchief which she then pressed upon Andrews new swollen and bleeding nose.

“Slightly startled you, God forbid I surprise you again.” Andrew replied as he picked himself up and dusted the snow from his rear. 

He pinched the top of his nostril. “It’s not the first time I’ve been punched in the face… but I do hope it does not become a habit of yours towards me” he said with a slight sting of tears in his eyes.

“Did you not see me, I gave the friendliest of waves but it was not returned, I believed you were playing a game of some sort and I chased you” Andrew said tilting his head back. 

“O Andrew I’m so sorry” Hazel repeated still holding the handkerchief to his nose.

“I must have been lost in my own mind, but it is of no matter now, shall we go back into town and see if the doctor is in, perhaps to give you something for the pain?” Hazel chimed

“Pain ... what pain … I hardly felt a thing.” Andrew turned away as he quickly set his nose back in place with a solid crunch and felt tears swell his eyes “Now then” Andrew said with a heightened pitch to his voice which then returned to normal. 

“Were you not on your way to elephant rock the beauty of you and this new fallen snow should not go unappreciated” he said affectionately as he bowed and took Hazels hand and with the other he still held his nose Hazel giggled as he guided her up to the peak of elephant rock where it stood towering over a great lake, frozen by the October weather.

The frozen ice on the surface reflected like sapphire glass and all the trees around glistened with beaded snow Andrews’s nose had stopped bleeding and all that remained was a small throbbing pain he took Hazel to the top of elephant rock and cleared the snow from it and sat down. 

Hazel gently sat by his side and as the day progressed they talked of how their life would change and the great places they wished to see and different cultures they wished to experience the sights, the sounds and the mysteries of the land beyond.

 Hazel and Andrews conversations touched upon subjects of poetry, music and the many stories of adventure that Hazel had read in her books, as the conversation continued Hazel withdrew the iced pastry from her purse and shared it with Andrew who then annoyingly and playfully tried to feed it to her while covering his eyes they giggled and poked fun at certain qualities of their lives.

Andrew looked at Hazel with a smile he felt happy and warm and with slight concern asked her “Are you not cold I can feel the snow in my veins, you must be frozen solid by now” he said as he took off his coat and offered it to her.

“No its ok” Hazel said “I quite like the cold, its beautiful and soft, as if winter was hiding something precious to itself, hiding it so when we see it again we wonder how we could have lived without it” Hazel continued.

 Andrew smiled.

“Your good mood comes from thoughts of your birthday” Andrew replied back “You must be excited, I hear it’s going to be a party of great enthusiasm and appreciation, your father David has invited even the most common of people he is a very generous and loveable man.” Andrew said with a small smile.

“Speaking of fathers” Hazel said hesitantly “How is James?” 

Andrew left her gaze and stared at the ground and plucked some snow and lightly tossed it and slowly replied back “….My father grows more and more… confused.” Andrew said as he kicked softly at the new fallen snow.

“His mind is not his own … terrible dreams he must have … small screams in the night, the doctors tell me his is heading further off the path and soon he will have to be hospitalized to protect himself and the welfare of the town. ”

Andrew withdrew a breath of sadness “It seems people in the town are talking, they say he is cursed, that his mind is gone and his soul lost.” Andrew replied faintly as he gently rubbed the stone around his neck.

“Now my dear Andrew” Hazel said softly “Your father is not cursed nor is his soul lost, he is strong and you must be stronger, talk to him, remind him of memories that are hidden in his mind, shine a light to the haze that he sees through and help him, guide him back home.” She said as she reached out and pushed Andrews black waves from his face and smiled.

Andrew stared at her with a sad smile and kissed her hand “Thank you Hazel,” he said with a small tear welling in his eye.

 He turned away and wiped his face “ah well.” Andrew said clearing his throat “It seems some “pain” remains from your game earlier today” he said sarcastically.

Hazel rolled her eyes as Andrew reached down and took Hazels hand and the axe he had placed on the snow covered ground, he then rested it against his strong shoulders and with a gleam he lead Hazel down to the shimmering lake side. 

As they walked they embraced the cold shiver of winter’s frost and happily strolled along the lakes edge each rock and stone a glimmer reflecting against the ice, sudden a bright flash caught Andrews’s eye and below the ice covered lake he spotted a small green gemstone broken in the shape of a heart.

 “Look there Hazel,” Andrew said pointing to the gem below.

“How beautiful it looks” He turned to her “And how much more dazzling it will look around your neck” he said as he stripped off his shirt.

Hazel turned away with slight embarrassment and modesty, though with a glance she quickly traced his muscular figure leading from his chiseled face down the length of his neck where the jewel of his necklace glitter against his tight body and lastly down to his belly button.

Andrew saw her looking at him and he smiled and though it a little funny that her ears were burning bright red; he reached down and took the axe at his side and started to walk to the middle of the lake. 

“O Andrew please, it’s too cold and the ice is to thin you’ll hurt yourself” she said as he slowly strolled across the ice 

“Nonsense the ice is strong and sturdy” he said as he lightly taped each step with his foot.

 “Please Andrew, no need to get hurt on my account” she said annoyingly

“No my dear of course not, you have that covered already.” he said as he jokingly touched the end of his nose.

Hazel looked at him with a smile and a scowl “You know, mother warned me about your adventuress nature while endearing, it is not a good substitute for common sense” she called out.

Andrew continued on “Common sense is for those who are common and adventure is for the brave, besides the thrill of adventure runs in the family” Andrew called back as he almost lost his balance and sent his legs into a near split. 

“Whoa” he said as he turned and looked at Hazel, she tapped her foot and restraining a giggle at the lakes edge.

“That was close, but I have come this far” he said as he lowered his axe to the ice and ever so slightly began to make small incisions in the shape of a large square.

“Ooh …Andrew wait” Hazel said as she started off after him.

“If you are to go under, I want to be there as soon as you come back or I’m coming in after you.” She said as she gently swayed towards him.

“Well, well my dear and what of “common sense” Andrew said with a slight grin. 

Hazel called to him “I guess I choose adventure” she said as she slowly slipped forward she slid suddenly and Andrew reached out and caught her.

“O goodness Hazel, are you ok, are you alright, I have you,” he said as he grasped her close his eyes burned with sweet concern.

Hazel looked up at Andrew and saw the care in his blue lavender eyes and the love he had for her, she grasped his strong arms slowly and gently pulled him close his warm body pressed against her and she felt secure and excited, pulling him closer she delicately grasped his face and pulled him towards her Andrew turned his head slightly and kissed her.

A buttery sense secured them and kept their hearts dancing, the sounds of the forest melted away nothing felt more perfect, nothing felt more right as Hazel felt the warmth surround her, and the heat within rising, suddenly the ice below Hazel gave way and she fell deep, deep down into the icy waters below.

Andrew slipped backwards and hit his head against the handle of his axe he felt blood trickle the back of his neck, he rubbed his head looking up with concern as Hazel had vanished.

“Hazel?” He said as he looked around and then at the frost below and saw a perfect circle where the ice seemed to have melted.

“Hazel!” he screamed out as he dove into the icy waters, he could see her at the bottom of the lake floating lifelessly.

He could feel the stabs of icy pain as he screamed out for her, his throat filled over and over with cold water freezing him from the inside out.

He kicked harder and harder grabbing ahold of her waist and bringing her upwards kicking and kicking till he burst through to the surface coughing and shivering, he carried her to the lakes edge and set her in the snow 


Andrew screamed as he brushed the wet curls from her face and held her close, he lifted her up and grabbed his clothes and started to run towards the village, Andrew could see that she was not breathing and with a horrible scream he cried defeated.


The thunder of his voice carried far and out and another sound carried back as elephant rock shattered in two…

Tim Hedrith Hudson, or Timber as the people in town called him walked through the brisk October wind a giant of a man but a child of mind, all who saw him thought up tales of a tyrant or a warrior full of battles and horrors but to those who could see past his size and hear him speak the softest of hearts and the gentleness of a doe.

The October wind burned and grazed his numbed face, his bushy beard stiffened with the wind as the glistening snow and the setting orange sun filled his spirit and with an axe at hand he contemplated which giant he would cut down to finish the day, ahead he could see a clearing of stumps and broken branches and decided to rest for a moment.

He gathered little twigs for a fire, adjusted himself on one of the stumps and from his pack he pulled matches and a small rabbit that was snared in a trap, bringing the small spark within minutes to a smoldering flame he then grabbed his fresh game and tied it to a branch and set it over the fire, the smoky smell of crisp rabbit wavered over the new fallen snow.

Timber stood and stretched staring deep into the clearing as he breathed in the cold October air; he could spot Elephant rock from a distance he smiled as he remembered the very spot where he had proposed to his beautiful wife … Elizabeth.

He smiled sadly, how all the years seemed to pass so quickly he thought, for he was alone now, alone in the wilderness of Chant wood. His Elizabeth had passed from the sickness a year ago, it did his heart good to see young couples walk about the lake and corner special memories in his mind.

He stared out now as a woman walked by the lakeside dressed all in black, Timber watched as the woman swayed her arms and talked to a young man standing to her side.

He smiled as he watched them hold hands and walk the frozen lakes edge; he turned and looked down to his feast.

He reached down and turned the rabbit to the other side, again when he looked up he saw the woman standing at the lake side and in the middle of the frozen lake he spotted the young man. 

“What in god’s name is he doing?” Timber said to himself as he shook his head in disapproval.

“To be a young and a show off, nothing ever changes.” he smiled as he stood watching, waiting for what was to happen next.

Just then the woman in black took off her shoes and began to walk towards the young man.

“O god” Timber said as he buckled his shoes and began to run towards her “To be young and dumb” he thought as he sprinted faster to the edge of the forest.

He stopped when he saw the woman put herself into a most provocative position; she reached out her hand and grabbed the young man’s face. 

Timber averted his eyes with his hand and looked away, “O Lord.” he muttered sarcastically, suddenly a brilliant flash of orange light engulfed his vision through his fingers, it seemed to vibrated and consume the woman in a blood orange glow.

“What in the world” Timber thought as he backed away.

The ice below the woman in black melted into a perfect circle and she vanished swiftly and the young man was nowhere to be seen, Timber searched him out but saw nothing. “Where did he...?” 

That’s as far as Timbers question got as suddenly the woman’s body burst through the hole and hovered a few feet from the ground, a scream erupted from the open air shouting out “Hazel!” 

Timber turned and ran back towards the woods he was frightened and shaken. 

“My God” he said as he looked back and saw her body floating towards town. 

“Witchcraft” he said to himself.

“Witchcraft, I must tell somebody, I must warn someone!” Timber started off towards town when again he heard a most horrible scream and watched as elephant rock tore in two. 

“Witch!” He screamed… “Witch!” he cried out as he ran back towards home.


Submitted: July 19, 2019

© Copyright 2020 Mark Anthony. All rights reserved.


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