Story Time ~ Tall Tale

Story Time ~ Tall Tale

I was wearing yellow plaid velvet pants, and I rubbed my own bottom with one hand, back and forth, round and round. It was as soft as a rabbit's nose, round and round, velvet curves under my fingers. Snapping myself out of my personal revelry, the sound of music came crashing back into my consciousness. The band played well, as if they’d been playing together for decades. Which I assumed they had, as each of them with their brass and their strings looked older than my Grandma Anne. I watched them play for a moment, my hand straying back to the velvet curves again. 


I felt wetness on my neck, and turned to look. She stood there, close, warm, damp, and beautiful. This woman always knew how to get my attention. Her eyes were golden, like amber honey, with lashes so long I was afraid they might tangle. Staring at me, she licked my face. 


No thank you, I thought, as I gently shoved her back down on her haunches. The golden eyes burned fiercely, and I wondered if she was real. Of course she’s real, and I laughed. She took my hands and lead me to the balcony. Away from the senior citizens and their talisman instruments clutched so tightly. The notes that came from them sounded strangled.


She sat me down on the edge of the patio, the drop off to the ground was two stories. Below me were great fronds of plants, thick and green and sweaty. They glowed neon, and again I had the question pass through my mind of whether this was real. I looked for the golden eyes. She wasn’t there, she had left me on the patio, the wind lifting my hair with a hot breeze. I felt sticky, the wind smelled awful. Where was she? Golden eyed devil woman, she had left me here with this wretched wind.

 

I stepped up on the ledge to peer out past the tops of the palm trees below me, the green thickness reaching for me as I went. My hands were unsteady, as I held them out like airplane arms. I shivered in the awful smell. 


Suddenly she was there beside me, one arm linked through mine. She opened her mouth to speak.


“Wake up please” she said.


Her golden eyes burned.


She shoved me off the ledge, and I fell, crashing through palm leaves and branches, cutting me like bread knives. I lay on the ground in slices. Am I bread? Blinking hard and fast, I opened my eyes. That was a dream and this wasn’t? I asked myself. There was velvet, yes, but it certainly wasn’t yellow plaid. The memory of last night was returning through my foggy dream filled head. I had slept in the treehouse last night, and I tried to focus my vision, force my comprehension of what pulsating, throbbing, warm, fuzzy thing this was, gently pushing me around. Suddenly, it withdrew. The hard ground and razor blade plants faded from my vision. I lay in the treehouse, in a bed made for kids. After our raucous party by the fire last night, I had needed the fresh air. I was fifteen feet in the air, and something fuzzy and wet was prodding me through the makeshift window. The dream was slipping away. A voice from below, inquired as to my well being. 


“Are you alright?” it asked, but the sound itself seemed to travel. It came from underneath me, yet it was also beside me and in front of me. It was deep, full of bass, like a stand up bass player making words with their bow and strings. I rolled over and reached for the window ledge. Rough sawn edges of lumber were full of splinters and sharp edges. I winced and withdrew, to lay flat on my back and stare at the wooden slats that made up the roof. Blue sky and blazing sunlight squinted through at me.


“I’m fine, thank you…” I replied. Waiting for the response, I had more questions. 


“Don’t be afraid please, I’m just thankful you aren’t a poacher” and suddenly there was a face back at my window. Ears wide and tiny knobbed antlers glowing fuzzy in the sunshine. A poacher, I thought. This creature is afraid for its life, yet its talking to ME of all people. At least I’m not in danger of resembling a poacher. 


“No, I’m not a poacher, I’m just a hungover Safari go-er” I said to the giraffe. To the giraffe… I repeated in my head. Giraffes don’t talk, but this one was being ever so polite. I had to be still dreaming. I stared at the face, its oblong shape, drawn out and curving, its nose loosely reaching and twitching, like a tail, or possibly, a velvet clad booty. 


“Did I rub your nose?” I asked the giraffe. 


“Yes, quite a bit actually” the giraffe replied. 


“My apologies” I said. 


“Not to worry” the giraffe replied. 


“I’m not dreaming?” I asked the giraffe.


“No, quite awake actually,” the giraffe replied. 


“You’re rather unexpected,” I said. 


“I would hope so,” the giraffe replied.


“So, now what?” I asked the giraffe. 


“Well, maybe you can help us.” the giraffe replied.


“I’d sincerely like to try, given this isn’t just a dream of course,” I said. 


“No, far worse in fact. A dream would be more fun, I imagine. Real life is more like a nightmare in my humble opinion” replied the giraffe. Ever so polite, I thought again.


This was worrisome, and I leaned up on one elbow to get a better look at my new friend. To be entrusted with assisting a talking giraffe, would be an auspicious occasion, one might think. I imagined giraffes meandering lazily through rays of sunlight, grazing the tops of trees and drinking river water with their families. Occasionally running from predators, but for the most part I had it in my head that their lives were to be envied. 


The giraffe held my gaze, and leaned in further. The depth in their eyes gripped me like a claw, I was frozen by the flecks of gold and butter, reflecting light into a million shattered pieces of honey. I felt the hot wind from my dream as they sighed. Across my face, wet and steaming, like green fecund compost. I coughed, and gently aimed the velvet compost steam cannon away from my face. Golden compost, I thought to myself. I witheld the urge to stroke the velvet nose one more time. 


“Please continue,” I said.


“It’s climate change, and I’m hoping you can help. We’re all dying.” the giraffe replied. 










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