Timerxan held the small carving in his hand. He turned it this way and that, trying to catch the light and see all the detail. It really was incredible. How did someone carve such detail onto such a small thing?
He glanced at the book that lay open on the desk in front of him. Yes, the carving matched the picture. This was what was, on Old Earth, an elephant. And according to what he was reading, this miniature elephant was carved out of ivory, a substance that was its own? Timerxan leaned down to reread the paragraph. Yes, elephants had tusks, or what appeared to be gigantic teeth or something, protruding alongside their… trunk? Okay. He looked at the carving again. Yep. Tusks and a trunk. Definitely an elephant.
He was about to set the carving on the desk when a tiny shock went through his hand. Startled, he glanced down. The small ivory elephant in his hand suddenly reared and trumpeted. Timerxan jumped and the tiny elephant fell over and almost dropped from his hand. He reached over with his other hand, grabbed it before that could happen and placed it carefully on the desk. The miniature creature lifted its trunk once again and trumpeted.
Timerxan stared at it for a long minute, watching as the elephant slowly walked toward the book lying on the desk. How the hell had that just happened? Old Earth had no magic. None. Everybody knew that.
A quiet knock at the door startled him out of his contemplation of the elephant. He quickly scooped it up and deposited it gently into his pocket before turning to open the door.
“Hi, I came to see if…” Firaya glanced at his face and stopped talking.
“To see if… what?” Timerxan prompted.
“Are you okay? That’s not what I came to ask, but you look like you’ve seen a ghost!” Firaya answered.
Timerxan poked his head out the door and scanned up and down the hallway. He yanked Firaya into the room and closed the door, carefully locking it behind her. Firaya raised an eyebrow when she heard the lock click home.
“Um, why are you locking us in your room?” she asked with a small smirk.
“Not for that… well, not that that isn’t a good idea… never mind. I have to show you this,” Timerxan scrambled to find the words. “Just look!”
He reached into his pocket and carefully pulled out the ivory elephant. It almost immediately turned its head to look at him before raising its trunk and giving a small trumpet.
Firaya stared at it. “What is that?!”
“Well, according to this book,” Timerxan gestured to the book that lay open on the desk, “It’s an Old Earth creature called an ‘elephant’. And from what I can figure out, this one is actually carved out of the tusk of a real one!”
“Where did you find it? How did you get it to move?” Firaya asked, her eyes glued to the elephant as it wandered around the desk.
“I found it in that old storage closet on the top floor. I was looking for another bookcase and this guy was sitting on top of one of the boxes. I don’t know it moved. I was holding it and comparing it to the picture in the book when I felt a tiny jolt in my hand and it suddenly trumpeted. Then you knocked about two minutes later,” Timerxan explained.
“We have to figure this out!” Firaya stated.
“No kidding. But where do I even start? Wait… ‘we’?” Timerxan hesitated.
“Yes, ‘we.’ This is amazing! I want to help!” Firaya told him.
“Well, okay. I didn’t even know Old Earth had magic, so finding information on it is going to be hard. I wouldn’t even know where to start,” he answered.
“Duh! We are in a university. We go to the library!” Firaya said, waving her hands in excitement.
“Okay, yeah, you’re right. But what am I going to do with him?” Timerxan pointed to the tiny elephant who was now using his trunk to turn the pages of the book.
“Bring him with you, of course! Hey, little buddy,” Firaya leaned down to get closer to the elephant, “do you want to come with us to the library?”
The elephant turned its head to look up at her and lifted its trunk in another trumpet before turning and trotting back toward Timerxan.
The young mage hesitated and then picked up the tiny creature, tucking it back into the pocket of his jacket.
“Okay. Let’s go,” he said before he could get cold feet.
Firaya bounced toward the door.
For week 29 of More Odds Than Ends, I was once again gifted a prompt from ‘nother Mike: The small ivory elephant in his hand suddenly reared and trumpeted… I have no idea where this response came from, but clearly there are some… um, ideas… yeah, let’s call them ideas, sitting in the dusty recesses of my brain that wish to see the light of day. This one definitely intrigues me. Short story? Full length? Series? Who knows. And that’s the beauty of prompts. They can take you anywhere.
Fiona Grey got my prompt challenge: The elves and pixies squared off against each other… again. So mosey on over to her site and to More Odds Than Ends to see what others have created with their prompts. If you are so inclined, pick up one of the spares and see what you come up with!