"The Elephants" by Andrea Ruggirello
Issue #22 / August 2016
Illustrated by James Page
KINDLE EDITION ($0.99)
ANDREA RUGGIRELLO's fiction has been published in The Pacific Review, The Cadaverine, The Legendary, and Molotov Cocktail. She is completing her MFA in fiction at West Virginia University.
"The elephants came out of nowhere.
One person died in the stampede, and it was a miracle more weren't killed. My husband, Carlos, had been sitting in his car scratching off a lotto ticket when he'd been crushed to death. His misshapen hand still grasped the ticket when they found him. The news didn't mention whether it had been a winner, and Mary thought it'd complicate things further if it had been, so she didn't ask.
Mary and Carlos's relationship was already a complicated one. She wished the elephants had come before that night nearly a year ago when he showed up on her doorstep with a bottle of white wine, words like 'sorry' and 'ache' on his lips. They'd spent the night remembering each other's skin and the weight of the other. She did notice he'd put on a few pounds while they were apart, and she was able to convince herself that he hadn't been with any other women during that time. Before that night, she had started to really believe that they weren't meant for each other, like a child who had accepted that Daddy was Santa after all. The elephants really should have come then...