A/N - This isn't one of my better writings (in my opinion). Be warned.
“Think about it,” said the man in the city-grey clothes, “Give me a call if you want to try and make it big.”
Thomas watched the man walk away until he was invisible in the current of people flowing through the train station. He slid the man’s card into the back pocket of his jeans and began packing up his guitar, moving the assortment of coins that had been thrown into the case to a small leather purse.
“Are you going to call him?” asked Charles, pulling the card from his pocket with and elegant, grey trunk.
The 3000kg elephant adjusted his monocle and inspected the phone number, printed in a small black font, with an expert eye.
Thomas swiped the card away, regarding it with nonchalance. “Of course not. I’m happy as I am.”
Charles gave him a dubious look. They had been friends for a long time.
It was a warm summers day when they had first met in the park outside Thomas’s apartment building. This was before the hundred hours of practice and only a handful of cents had found their way into Thomas’s guitar case as he strummed several cords in a vague attempt of a popular song. While he had been counting that day’s earnings, an elephant standing straight on two feet and dressed like a Victorian gentleman had strolled up, doffed his bowler hat, and introduced himself as Charles Trunkson. The two became instant friends and Thomas was no longer alone when he busked in the park or now in the train station. Others soon followed.
On his shoulder, Gregory picked at his teeth with a tiny clawed paw. “We don’t need no fancy businessman ruining our gig. He’ll just cause trouble and we’ll be thrown back out on the streets in less than an hour. We’re better off without him.”
Charles frowned at the weasel, plucking him from Thomas’s shoulder. “I regard your opinion with the utmost scepticism.”
“Can’t disprove what we know is true. He’d more likely shoot him than pay him once Tom starts howling out one of his own.”
“Are my songs really that bad?” asked Thomas. He was walking away towards the train that he had boarded countless times before and had always succeeded in taking him home.
Charles threw Gregory away and hurried to catch up with him. “Mr Thomas, you must realise the importance of this opportunity which you have been offered.”
“I do but I don’t really care. Greg’s right, I’m fine as I am.” Thomas shrugged.
“Oh, are you?”
Charles placed his trunk on his shoulder and spun him around, eyeing him; unconvinced. “You can not continue living like this, Thomas. The world is beckoning you and you are feigning deafness to its call. The time has come for you to leave us behind.”
A small pearly white mouse appeared atop Charles’s head. “He’s right. You need to do this, but on your own.”
“Abigail? It’s been some time,” said Thomas, surprised at the sight of her.
Abigail smiled and scampered down to his waiting open palm. “I went travelling. The world’s that much bigger when you’re as small as me.”
Thomas stroked her velvet ears and smiled at her contented chitters. The mouse looked up at him with eyes deeper than infinity.
“Leave us, Thomas.”
With a frown, Thomas shook his head. “No. I can’t. I won’t.”
“I’m not going out there alone.”
“You don’t have to.” Gregory had crawled back and was tugging at his pant leg. Smiling like the angler fish that promises you light before it snaps close its jaws. “We’re your only friends, why would you leave us?”
Charles used his cane to whack Gregory away, but his claws had curled into the material of Thomas’s pants, securing him.
“You’ll make mistakes if you go. You’ll have no one at your back.” He hissed.
“You’ll be someone,” Abigail broke through. “The world will know who you are, and you will know the world better without us.”
Gregory pulled back his lips to snarl at her but a solid whack from a mahogany walking stick finally dislodged him and he went sprawling away into the crowds to be trodden on underfoot.
“We came to you when you most needed us,” said Charles, drawing the now crumpled card from Thomas’s other hand. “You don’t any longer now, but only you though can make us go.”
Thomas stared at him helplessly. “Don’t leave me.”
Charles's eyes held a warmth that only an elephant’s can. He drew the shaking man into a hug. “We won’t, in a way. Just think of it as stepping on a train and leaving an empty bag behind, but you are still carrying its most important contents in your pocket.”
“It’s time for you to leave us behind,” Abigail whispered in his ear.
Thomas breathed in a breath that felt like a lifetime and exhaled, letting it gush out of him. He nodded and stepped onto the train that sat steaming on the tracks. He did not look back and in a moment, he had departed. The empty station soon long behind him.