Kirby's Elevator, by Andrew Looney


The elevator rumbled along towards "Gwen's Kitchen". At last it arrived, and the doors slid open.

Gwen stood up. "Well, I guess this is goodbye," she said to Kirby.

"I'm afraid so," said Kirby. "Did you enjoy your trip in the Magic Elevator?"

Gwen nodded, but Kirby could see the tears forming in her eyes.

"Put me on your shoulder," said Kirby. Gwen picked up the cat and put him on her shoulder. She hugged him.

"Please don't cry," said Kirby.

"But I'll never get to go back to the garden, and I'll never eat Moonbeam cookies again. And I'll never see you again, will I, Kirby?"

"No, I'm afraid not," said Kirby. "But you have memories, don't you?"

Gwen nodded, as a tear rolled down her check.

"Don't you see, Gwen? Since you remember what the garden was like, you can enjoy the garden without actually going there. Since you remember what the Moonbeam cookies tasted like, you can enjoy the Moonbeam cookies just by remembering the night you had tea with the Duke and Duchess. And since you remember what the northern lights looked like, you can see them again just by closing your eyes and imagining how they looked."

Gwen shrugged. "But it's not the same."

"That's true, it's not the same," said Kirby. "But that's how life is. As you go through life, you'll have many experiences. Some of them you'll get to experience more than once, and some of them will be once-in-a-lifetime events. That's why memories are so important. With a good collection of memories, you can think back on fun things you've done and, in a way, experience them a second time."

"But won't I even see you again?"

"Not in person," said Kirby. "But if you make a point of remembering me, I'll be with you forever, and you can see me again just by thinking about me. So say to yourself, 'I will remember this night.'"

"I will remember this night," said Gwen.

"OK, then," said Kirby. He jumped down from her shoulder, landing on the pile of pillows. Then he looked back up at her. "Goodbye, Gwen."

Gwen wiped the tears away from her eyes with her fists. Then she walked out of the elevator and turned back to look at Kirby. "Goodbye, Kirby", she said solemnly. Then, as she watched, the bell rang and the doors swished closed. Then the elevator faded away, and Gwen found herself starring at the blank wall next to the refrigerator.

Gwen looked at the kitchen clock. It was ten minutes after five o'clock in the morning. She decided she'd better go back to bed. She sneaked back into her room and crawled under the covers.

"I will remember this night," Gwen said again. And she thought about the Moonbeam cookies, and the Northern Lights, and the Ogre's garden, and Kirby. And then she went to sleep.

The next day was Saturday, and Gwen didn't wake up until one o'clock in the afternoon.


Copyright © 1996 by Andrew Looney.

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