Cathy Vella’s New Short Story – The Elephant in the Room

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Cathy Vella

typewriter love


“What the fuck is that?”


“It’s an elephant.”


“Yes, I can see that.”


“You did ask…”


“Yes, but I mean, what have you given it me for?”


“It’s a gift.”


“It’s a shit gift.”


“I painted it myself. I bought it from a beach seller in Goa.”


“It’s tacky.”


“It symbolises strength and wisdom.”


“You need it more than me then.”


“What’s that supposed to mean?”


“It means you’re stupid.”


“You’re upset.”


“How very astute of you.”


“I can understand you being upset.”


“I’m beyond upset.”


“I can sense the negativity. It feels very dark around you.”




“I can almost see your anger.”


“You fucked off for three months. I’ve every right to be angry, and stop spouting utter shite.”


“Anger is a pointless emotion.”


“You’re pointless.”


“You’re acting like a child now.”


“Oh piss off.”


“We’ll get nowhere like–”


“Are you wearing a dress?”




“Is that a dress? Did you walk down the road in that?”


“Err, it’s a kaftan.”


“Jesus Christ, what will the neighbours think?”


“See, that’s typical of you, worrying what others think.”


“This is a big joke, please tell me it’s a joke.”


“Look, we needed space, I thought we agreed on that.”


“Yes, but I didn’t expect you to pack up and bugger off to India.”


“It was to save us; it was for the greater good.”


“Greater good? Bollocks. And now you expect us to pick up where we left off?”


“But I still love you.”


“You don’t even know what that means.”


“I just needed to find myself.”


“What? Are you fucking kidding me?”


“No, I’m serious.”


“Did you find yourself in Goa?”




“Was it the same place you found this shit elephant?”


“It’s a symbol.”


“For a shit elephant?”

“It symbolises my love for you. It’s an offering, a blessing for our future.  I want to commit to you fully, physically and emotionally.


“Oh Christ…get up!”


“I want to marry you Gill. Will you marry me?”



“Hey, babes! I picked up that salsa for the chick-  …Oh, hello.”






“Jon, this is Danny.  Danny meet Jon, my ex boyfriend who disappeared three months ago, he’s back now though, cos he’s found himself.”


“What the – ”


“You didn’t expect me to wait for you did you?”


“Babes, what’s he doing here, what’s he doing on the floor?”


“Err, excuse me, I live here.”


“No, you lived here three months ago, then you fucked off to India.”


“Gill said you weren’t coming back.”


“Well, here I am.  I’m definitely back, and I’m going to marry Gill.”


“Babes, does this mean..?”


“It means nothing Danny, Jon’s not stopping. Get up Jon.”


“I’m not?”


“No, I live with Danny now. You’re going to have to go and find yourself somewhere else.”


“Why is he wearing a dress?”


“It’s a Kaftan.”


“Yes, Danny, this is my ex, he wears dresses.”


“Didn’t take you long to move on, eh?”


“What’s that?”


“It’s an Elephant.”


“Err, why?”


“It’s a gift for Gill, or it was…”


“Oh, no…please Jon, please don’t tell me I can’t have the elephant now; please tell me it isn’t so!”


“I don’t think this is funny.”


“No, it’s beyond funny.”


“No one asked for your opinion, Fanny.”


“It’s Danny, and now who’s being childish?”


“Well, I’m giving it.”


“Stay out of it Fa…Danny.”


“Since when have you had salsa with chicken?”




“You never had salsa with chicken with me.”


“What? You pack up and leave me, and then come back with some shit elephant, wearing a dress thinking we can pick up where we left off and now you’re concerned about salsa?”


“It’s a Kaftan and yes, I thought we could work it out, but it seems things have changed around here.”


“Yes, Jon, I’ve changed, I’ve had to.”


“And you hated it when I called you ‘babe’.”


“Babes, do you want me to go?”




“Yes, go please.”


“Shut up Jon, if anyone’s leaving it’s you.”


“I think you’re making a big mistake.”


“No Jon, you were a big mistake.”


“COOOOOOEEEYYYYY Gill, sorry to barge in sweetie, I’ve brough— Oh, sorry.  I can see you’re—- Dan?




“Hi Jane, sorry, you’ve come at a bad time.  Oh, you two know one another?”




“Dan, What are you doing here…I didn’t know you were friends with Gill.”


“Danny is my boyfriend, Jane.”


“No, I’m your boyfriend.”


“Shut up Jon.”


“Dan?  Is this true?”


“How do you two—“?


“Danny is my boyfriend, Gill, or so I thought.”




“Hahahahahahahahahaha, this is brilliant!”


“Shut up Fanny! Jane, this looks wrong, I know, but–”


“Dead right it does!”


“Gill, I’d arranged tonight…because…I’m so sorry, but I was going to break it off.”




“I was going to tell you that it was over.”


“You were going to dump me over dinner?”


“That’s pretty shitty Dan.”


“Eh??  But I’m dumping Gill for you Jane.”


“Still, that’s pretty shitty.  Gill’s my friend.”


“Does that mean we are back on, Gill?”




“Why are you wearing a dress, Jon?”



ink blotch

 Photo by Tomek Dzido

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