Like a Hole in the Head

Dwight sighs again, and glances idly over at the arched entrance to the conversation room.  He is a bit startled to see someone standing there.

It is the stone-bringer.  His arms rest against his sides, but he is holding something in each of his hands.  In his right hand is the kill stone; in his left the brick.

“What the hell are you doing here?”

On his face is a look of calm determination.  “I was shaken loose yesterday over a scotch on the rocks and a vodka and tonic.”

Dwight, having absolutely no clue how to respond to this, simply stares at him.

The stone-bringer calmly walks over to Dwight and extends the hand holding the brick.  “Hold this, please.”

Dwight takes the brick but remains silent.

The stone-bringer turns and looks at the elephant.  It is still idling in the center of the room, the screen embedded in its side facing them.  On the screen, an image of T. S. Eliot fades to an image of Robert Heinlein.

The stone-bringer assumes the stance of a baseball pitcher, winds up gracefully and lets the kill stone fly, right at the elephant’s head.

Dwight expects that when the stone hits, it is more likely to annoy the elephant than actually do it harm, and he wonders abstractly if he should be heading for the exit.

Instead of the sound of an impact, there is a strange “fooosh” sort of sound as the stone passes through the elephant’s head, which gives exactly as though it were made of ash.  An explosion of ash (for lack of a better term; ash is what it looks like) shoots from the other side of the head as the stone exits, falls to the floor and rolls toward the opposite corner of the room.

For a moment, the elephant simply stands still, as if coming to terms with the fact that there is now a hole through its head.  On the screen is a picture of Rush Limbaugh with a look of surprise on his face.  Then the elephant’s legs begin to…  What?  Dissolve is probably as good a word as any.  The entire elephant is now collapsing into ash-like powder, from bottom to top.

As the transformation progresses, the main body of the elephant—screen and all—sinks straight down toward the floor/ground.  The screen comes to rest among the ashes, and the remainder of the elephant continues to collapse around it.  As it comes to rest, the screen goes blank.

When the dissolution is complete, and all of the ash has settled, the screen flickers to life again, showing a picture of a man Dwight does not recognize.  “Who is that?”

The strone-bringer is still standing there, looking at the screen with the same calm determination.  “Robert Nisbet.”  Before Dwight can say anything else, the stone-bringer walks resolutely around the screen to the other side of the room.  His steps stir up the ash in fleeting clouds.  He bends, picks up the kill stone, and then walks back over to where Dwight is sitting.  He holds out his left hand.

Dwight hands him the brick.

“Thank you.”

“No problem.”

With no further comment, the stone-bringer exits the room and walks down the hall.  As Dwight watches him go, he sees that there is now something else sitting in the hall just outside the entry.

It’s a large rolling shop vacuum.

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