Elmo from Monster Heaven

Old and frail. Balding atop his red furry monster head. Elmo sits bound to a wheelchair. He removes his oxygen mask and in a soft, gravely voice says, “Elmo learn today, children.” He stifles a cough. “Elmo say no smoke.”

He takes a slow breath. “Elmo sorry.” A tear glistens in his eye. “Elmo smoke all Elmo’s life.” He breathes. “Elmo smoke four packs per day. Count with Elmo.” He counts slowly and takes a breath between each number. “By time you see Elmo.” He leans forward shaking. “Elmo be dead.” He leans back in his chair. “Elmo learn word.” He pauses. “Elmo learn emphysema.” He takes a breath. “Children say with Elmo.” He speaks as clear as he can. “Em-fah-see-ma.”

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