Of Folly and Fault

 I lifted my trunk, letting a jet of water free and trumpeting in pleasure as it pattered and pittered amongst the murky water.

“Coco!” Mother yelled angrily. “Have I not told you to stay out of the water, little one? You must learn to respect the land, else one day it will cause you no end of displeasure.” She stamped a foot and swished her trunk, beckoning me from the banks of River Caelum.

“I was just playing, mum,” petulance thick on my calf-tongue. “See, there’s nothing dangerous here.”

“Isn’t there? I suppose you’re telling me you believe that log is floating upstream? And that tree is growing a branch so fast my bare eye can see it?” Mother wrapped a trunk around my neck—a comfort against her scolding tone. “Danger is always around, little one. You must learn to respect nature, and be careful of her wrath.”

I snapped from remembrance as the shrill shriek pierced the silent coastline—the landscape had changed in the past centuries. Now littered with concrete cartons of shrieking, pale apes, the great jungle along the riverbank had retreated against the onslaught of modernisation.

The little apelings laughed, jumping and skipping along the coast. I watched as they squashed what little vegetation pierced the pebbled shore under their pale-skinned feet. Boorish exploration neared the standing stone—the one I had once defiled.

Wind gathered. Water turned misty and dark as spirits of long-forgotten lands gathered, preparing their judgements. The apelings remained benighted.

I trumpeted warning against my mirrored folly—a ghostly honk amongst the building mist.

“Beware the stone!”

In the distance, a mournful trumpet replied. “Feel my wrath.”

I looked upon my new companions as they turned from flesh to stone. Stone as I had once been. Flesh as I had once been.

***

Written for Aussie Speculative Fiction’s – Make-it-up Monday.

Each week a photo prompt is posted for the group to write a flash piece (under 300 words) inspired by the image. One flash is published on their website – check out the winning entry here.

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