Aphelion Issue 275, Volume 26
August 2022
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Submission Guidelines
Contact Us
Flash Writing Challenge
Dan's Promo Page


by Pavelle Wesser

He had a white pet elephant
that bowed only in his presence.
One day he disappeared.
Wadhalla: the region’s prince.
They cried for him before
handing his kingdom over.
In time, his name faded on
the villagers’ parched lips.

Wadhalla: it still whispered
through the scattered silence
of the hills, rustling leaves.
Some say he was thrown
From atop the steep cliffs;
others that he’d been poisoned.
The holy men claimed
to have burned his body.
The white elephant suffered
in stifled silence and
bowed to no one.

Years passed and he returned:
Ashes rising from the pyre.
He saw his kingdom crumbling,
And stood bathed in golden light,
ever peaceful, yet somehow
also profoundly mournful.
”But where have you? and what..?”
They asked. He never said,
Referring only to a
Meditative state that lasted years.
They brought out the white elephant
who bowed, ever loyal to its master.

Wadhalla: The holy men who
Burned your body are asking:
”If not yours, then whose?”
But Wadhalla had disappeared,
his golden robes flowing as he sat
astride his white elephant,
and rode into the fading sunset.
Wadhalla: The peasants cried tears
enough to form a river that flows
still today through the region’s valley.

© 2006 Pavelle Wesser

Pavelle Wesser is the program manager of an educational site. He has previously published poetry on Voicesnet online anthology. He also enjoys writing short fiction.

Find more by Pavelle Wesser in the Author Index.

Comment on this story in the Aphelion Forum

Return to Aphelion's Index page.