Elephant Ivory

Elephant Ivory

A Story by アキスーテ (Akisute)

A story about a carved bit of ivory.

Sarah's hand fumbles its way up to her necklace. She grasps at the pendant dangling forth from the string.
She runs her middle finger left and right. Her finger follows the dent on the left in the old familiar way and she examines the cracks on the right like she had a thousand times before. Her hand droops a trifle; her first finger and thumb press into the little tunnel crudely drilled there.
Her hand drops from the cross and turns the key. The blood pumps faster through her veins as she swings her car backwards out from the driveway. In little time she arrives at the Offices of Mallard and Associates.
The legal jargon from her lawyer holds little weight with her, it's just more noise, and it bounces about the room and quickly dissipates. Spirit broken she signs the papers that finalize the end of her marriage, the terms of which perhaps are harsh on her, but one with a broken spirit does not fight such things.
She returns to her house, the new emptiness of the building is palpable. Her feet trace a path to the kitchen, and then to the fridge. Her hands continue the tracing in search of the wine, and then when their minds are changed they reach for whiskey instead.
Sarah does not grab any ice, nor a can of Coca-Cola, nor even a glass, she rips off the cap flings it aside and brings the bottle straight to her lips.
A drunken hand massages the cross on the string around her neck.
Before the divorce, before Sarah learned she loved alcohol she spent much of her days in thrift shops and second hand stores window shopping, and occasionally actually shopping. It was in one such shop discovered the little cross pendant of elephant ivory.
An intricate pattern of roses consumed the front, save the a bit of the left arm which was smoothed down. The right arm was cracked and marred corrupting the flowery pattern but not so much so that it could not be identified. It was cheap, and for reasons she couldn't place she felt compelled to by it.
Mr. Rothers gladly sold her the pendant. Perhaps it was just superstitious fancy, but he had felt the little piece of carved tusk had brought nothing but trouble into his life.

Mr. Rothers rose forth from his bed like a zombie and trudged his way into the master bathroom. He scrubbed his teeth with a little brush his dentist recommended. He poured little sugary pellets of grain and then some milk on top of that into a bowl. He munched on his cereal while the morning news ranted on about the events of the day.
In his closet he but on his suit. A sensible piece which he loved dearly. He grabbed the little cross off his dresser and slipped it on his wrist. A piece of string went from the top of the cross to the bottom so that it would lie flat on his wrist instead of dangling about in the wind. It lay a bit awkwardly as it did not curve with his wrist and thus stuck out a bit at either edge of his wrist but Mr. Rothers was too fond of the piece to give it up.
The dealings of the day proceeded in their usual way albeit seemingly more stressful than the average day but surely it would turn back and a better day would follow. This was not the case. The days grew more stressful, the company was being sued and Mr. Rothers work load drenched over him as his workmates marched out of the door shamefully with their belongings in little cardboard boxes each day. Soon he too marched out with his box.
With no job and few options Mr. Rothers found himself again employed at his mothers antique shop as he had been when he was a child, and he despised it now more than ever.
The church no longer brought him any solace. He was confident God had forsaken him for some reason he was unable to place. His pastor assured on numerous occasions this was not so. Mr. Rothers was convinced God had forsaken them both.

Pastor Bill looked forth at the congregation. His sermon had moved them all, he could feel it. He silently thanked God for the power he had bestowed him with as he rubbed his finger along the cross on his wrist.
Many of the congregation shook hands with the pastor before leaving praising him for his powerful sermon. When all had left Pastor Bill let out a deep sigh and retired to his office.
There he pulled out his cell phone and tried again to call his wi- ex-wife. She didn't answer, just like she hadn't last Sunday, nor all of the forty Sundays prior to that one. Mr. Rothers soon stopped by his office. Mr. Rothers had been for some time suffering with a deep depression but thanks to regular sessions with Pastor Bill he was getting through it. At the end of this session the pastor passed on his bracelet to Mr. Rothers, knowing he had always admired it. Mr. Rothers refused at first, but he was quickly persuaded to take it. When Mr. Rothers closed the door Pastor Bill poured himself a glass of scotch.

The day was grey with clouds as Mrs. Roster started her daily stroll. At length however the clouds rolled away and the sun peeked down at the world below. Whilst strolling along Mrs. Roster noticed it there lying on the sidewalk. A necklace, at the end of it was an upside down cross. At first she thought to herself how dreadful it was that someone had worn such a sacrilegious thing. She then grew determined to change that. She took it home and fashioned it into a bracelet for her husband. Bill loved the gift and began to wear it every day.
Some weeks later their marriage broke however when Bill was accused like so many pastors before him of pedophilia. He was never convicted, but naturally much of the congregation broke off and moved to different churches.
Mrs. Roster was certain it was a lie, but regardless, Bill was unable to handle the stress of the events and she was unable to handle his now constant drunkenness.

Geoff looked at the necklace with the upside down cross and angrily tossed it out the window of his car.
He had found it when he was fourteen as he rummaged through his grandfathers attic. He stole it and drilled a hole in its bottom. He then proudly displayed it for all his friends to prove just how tough he was, saying he didn't fear God. Them being young teenagers were immeasurably impressed by this act naturally.
Maybe it was just in his mind but he was certain the angry outbursts of his father grew worse the day he stole it. Maybe it was just in his mind but he was certain that his girlfriend seemed more manipulative the day he stole it.
Maybe it was just in his mind but his mother was fired the day he stole it.
He drove down the road now four years later, determined to get away from them all, to get away from the life he'd led, to start over. He had made up to let go of every piece of his past and that meant the necklace, besides it was Saint Peter's Cross once he'd drilled that hole so technically not sacrilege as he'd once thought.

Private Richard Smith grasped at the ivory cross in his pocket, he said a short prayer, and then the boat hit the beach. He sprinted out like the others into the wall of bullets before them.
Richard sat in his chair, examining his ornament, remembering painfully what he had for so long tried so hard to let fall behind him, yet never could. The old man put it back in the box in the attic. He promised himself he wouldn't take it out again, but he had broken that promise last time he made it.

Jack Keller let his legs dangle over the edge of the ship, a cigar in his mouth. He felt rather foolish for having forgotten to bring his necklace with him that morning, but it was no problem he figured, and he laughed it off. It was the first time in his life he'd failed to grab it after all.
A few short days after the ships sunk at Pearl Harbor, with a tear in his eye Richard Smith received the necklace his friend had worn every day.

Matt Keller wiped down the bar with the old stained rag. One of his regulars popped in and with a smile on his face he poured his customer a glass of his preferred beer. The talked for some hours about the ins and outs of their lives, of loving the wife and the children, of the sports of the day, and then the earthquake came and put a stop to all that. It wasn't a particularly bad earthquake, it destroyed no buildings, but the glasses were shaken from their shelves. When the shaking stopped Matt found to his dismay that his favourite mug had broken, the old one made of elephant ivory, it had small roses carved into it all about, and dulled spots from where his father would grab it as he drank. The mug that had been passed down through several generations of Kellers. Being a pragmatic man determined to not let it go to waste he took it home and carved a piece of it into a necklace for his soon to be born son.

In the heart of Africa the elephant walked forth with thunder in its step. It was no match for the thunder of the Europeans guns however.

© 2013 アキスーテ (Akisute)

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Added on November 2, 2013
Last Updated on November 2, 2013
Tags: ivory, curse, cross, pendant


アキスーテ (Akisute)
アキスーテ (Akisute)

DogBollock, USA

"The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All art is quite useless." - Oscar Wilde So I've been infected with a disease. IHTWOID I Have To Write Or I'll Die... more..