different’s always a flash

Violet wrung her hands instead of touching her food. “If I had done better with the elephants, Marrionetta could have…she would be…well.” Her face clouded.

Ungulen shook his head at her. “Netta’s her own foisted knot. Don’t hurl yourself in a pit on her account.” He nibbled on boiled, taupe leftovers.

“Well I failed.” Violet crossed her arms definitively. “The elephant show was a bust. I can’t see why you haven’t put me back on the chorus line yet.”

Ungulen shrugged. “That’ll be Drutherstone’s call whenever he gets back. For now, the elephant show is probably as good as it ever was. May’s be better. Certainly different. Different’s always a flash.” Ungulen drained an entire carafe of table coffee. Then he continued, “Why don’t you keep working on it. See what else you can muster?”

Violet flattened out, depressed. “It was bad, wasn’t it? The worst elephant show anyone’s ever seen.”

“I couldn’t say that with a straight face. It’s was just regular like. I know. Let’s compare with our resident expert on all things status quo.”

“No,” said Violet, cramming her face into the abyss of her hands.

“Hargus!” Ungulen boomed.

Hargus jiggled over. “Hmm?”

“Is it your keen estimation, that Violet’s most recent showcase with the elephants was the worst elephant show we’ve ever had?”

The abacus of Goren’s mind skittered around for a few seconds. “No,” he said without emotion. “Why?”

“She says it was crumblier than stale shortbread.”

“No,” said Goren. “Not that bad. Just kind of regular. We’re still in the black, albeit with a few set backs. Don’t know why everyone treating it like such a crisis.”

“There, see?” said Ungulen trying to assure the wilting Violet. “Just keep working on it.”

“Yes,” Goren agreed, “Just do something better next time. What if you tried making it very unique and exciting. Have you tried thinking about it that way?”

Violet raised her eyes to the ceiling and goosed a tremendous smile. She snapped her shoulders square and rose from her breakfast seat.

“Thank you,” she said mechanically. She left the mess. Goren and Ungulen looked at each other for a moment.

Goren rolled his eyes, “Dancers.” He nabbed Violet’s abandoned pastry and rolled himself away.

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