by Aimee Bender

When I saw the row of elephants crossing the road into the mouth of the very fat child, I knew I couldn’t sit back anymore. I ran over and shook the child by its voluminous shoulders. Do you really think you’re going to be happy being this huge? I yelled. I don’t think so! Do you really think these elephants are going to sit quietly in your belly? I don’t think so!

A gray trunk clung to the lip of the child’s mouth, and then was sucked up and away into its cavernous throat. The child looked over at me, his eyes enormous circles, and swallowed. His face so happy, his belly trumpeting. It is miraculous, he said, and then his cheeks were drenched in tears.

Aimee Bender is the author of two books: The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, a short story collection, and An Invisible Sign of my Own, a novel. She’s had fiction published in Harper’s, The Paris Review, GQ, Granta, Story, and more, and lives in Los Angeles.