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In the room where Marie lay, the window was open. A bit of cool air rushed through, sending her tighter into her blanket. She was cold, but did not wish to get up to tend to the problem. She turned over.
After a moment, she began to drift off. All was dark, and the walls around her faded until they had disappeared.
Marie opened her eyes.
She lay on her back, gazing up into a brilliant blue sky. The clouds seemed to be racing one another, and watching them move so quickly exhilarated her. She felt soft grass graze her fingers, and as she turned to look she noticed it was more yellow than green.
For some reason, she felt as if she belonged there. She accepted without questions, for there was no doubt in her mind as to the verity of it. She sat up, pushing her fingers as deep as to indent the soft earth.
An elephant trumpeted. This did not surprise Marie, yet when she turned to look she did not see any animals. She spun around, distressed. The sound continued; a chorus of trumpets arising that seemed to get increasingly louder, increasingly near…
All serenity was gone. She screamed.
“Am I being attacked?” No response.
“Is this some sort of joke?” Her voice cracked. “Elephants, listen to me!”
Suddenly, one appeared. The elephant looked as any other: rough, gray skin, two ivory tusks and a long, wily trunk that could move any which way. He spoke to her.
“Marie.” He had a northern British dialect.
“Yes?” She responded indifferently.
“I would like to give you something.”
He backed away slowly, beginning to spray multiple dollar bills out of his trunk. Marie regarded him intently, counting as the money came in a ceaseless fountain. The total was approaching the millions when she got up with the intention of gathering it into a basket by her side.
“Thank you.” She said, reaching for a bill. She attempted to grab it, but the paper fluttered out of her reach. She stretched her arm out for another, and another, but all followed suit and flew away in a mysterious burst of air.
“Elephant?” She asked, annoyed. The animal continued to spout, remaining stationary. “ELEPHANT!”
She reached for the money, growing more and more frantic as a breeze built up. With each extension of her hand, the wind augmented, until she was floating in the air, blowing around with no control over herself.
“Please, Mr. Elephant. Please do help me.” Her voice quivered, but he did not respond.
She blew away.
The wind deposited her on a cloud. Marie noted that it was surprisingly sturdy and quite comfortable. She jumped up and down, but then fell through a bit and got uncomfortably stuck. Only her head was visible from the surface of the cloud.
A balloon floated over to her, and when she grasped its string it pulled her out.
Marie was quite irritated to find the white contents of the cloud still remained on her skin, forming the shape of a dress. She realized, with horror, that it was a wedding dress.
Suddenly she was inside a church. It was empty of all human beings (besides herself, of course), and was completely wooden. There were no decorations. She saw the groom at the altar, and noted that he was an elephant. He wore a black suit with a red tie, and smiled with anticipation as Marie approached.
Automatically, she moved towards him. When they were together he wrapped his trunk around her, and together they stood, awaiting a preacher to arrive.
After a moment of silent waiting, the elephant whispered in her ear.
“Honey, the church is on fire.”
She looked around. “No it isn’t…”
“I do believe it is.”
She surveyed the room again, but still found no fire. She looked at her tennis shoes (noting they looked horribly awful with her dress) and, to her amazement, realized that she, in fact, was on fire.
She started to run in an attempt to extinguish it. Eventually, she realized the gravity of the situation and began to scream.
The elephant had disappeared, and she was now in a dark abyss. There was no beginning and no end, only darkness that engulfed her.
Marie shouted incomprehensible syllables that echoed indefinitely into the space. The fire was laughing and increasing, attempting to swallow her whole. She could feel its heat, yet there was no pain. It was just so very hot. Ah, so this is what it’s like, being a colonist on the sun. She began to sweat, feeling the temperature increase with each moment. So hot, so very, very hot, hot, hot…
Please, please make it cold. Please, elephant, make it cold…
When Marie awoke, the window was closed. She had flung her blanket to the floor, and now grasped the sheet in a closed fist. She moaned, pressing her hand to her forehead.
It was so hot, so very, very hot, hot, hot.