Based on the theme ‘The Death Of A Stuffed Animal’

An environment intense. Jungle too empty a description. Verdant and lush, synonyms that fail when describing this photosynthetic orgy of greenery thrusting out in every direction, choking the sparkling streams which attempt to criss cross its vastness. An environment so dramatic that torrents of green foliage tumble around pin sharp mountains, clinging to their slopes and filling narrow valleys with a state of constant ecological warfare.

The creatures that survive here are grim, in the misty morning silence we can hear their call.

Across the emergent layer of the jungle a rhythm drifts, a raw musical call that crosses the emerald carpet for miles around. This baritone rumbling disturbs fabric parrots, which flutter into air clumsily flapping suede wings.

Louder and the rhythm resolves itself into words, the singing is proud, the words although unintelligible sound boastful, even triumphant. The song originates atop two sturdy stone towers that tower over the jungle’s canopy despite starting to crumble under the grip of its vines and creepers. Bellowing this lusty ballad from atop these towers are two great stuffed elephants. Coated in fire retardant synthetic fur with foam tusks gleaming brightly in the tropical sun. Button eyes glimmer with mad fervour as they continue to sing out over the jungle, making their tribe known. Between the singers a chimney emits a trail of black smoke that lingers in the air, echoes ring from the chimney as the song continues within.

Deep within a fire rages in a great hall. Everywhere plush elephants sway in time with the song, trunks blaring to the beat. Many trunks uplifted holding wine or weapons. Small elephant calves cavort around a central dais upon which garlands of exotic flowers surround a very large plush elephant, unlike all the others though this one is still, his large glass eyes are glazed. Covered in fabric patches and twine stitches each picked out in a different shade, his fur tells the history of many battles, his final hour written in a massive tear from which has exploded a torrent of white stuffing.

The singing intensifies, now an almost guttural chanting. The crowd parts, a group of fearsome looking warrior elephants enter carrying struggling bundles. Two teddy bears writhe against the trunks restraining them but they are held tight as they approach the dais. Each one is bound and tied. They are placed on the dais beside the dead elephant chieftain, fear evident on their fluffy faces, a forest of spears preventing their egress.

The chanting rises, accompanied now by the beating of drums it rises into a formless crescendo, then drops into silence. One elephant stands trunk wrapped around a lever with a whoop and a grin he throws the lever. The stone dais shifts them tips sliding it’s passengers into the blazing fire. The elephants unleash a terrible wail, it’s echoes amplified through the temple and out into the jungle where the other tribes huddle in fear.

-Anthony