Inspiration for “Elphie Meets the End of The World” struck after a conversation with a dear friend. We were scheduled to meet for a coffee, which is code for venting about unbearable obnoxious people that for some unknown reason are doomed to be part of our lives. You know what I mean, right? This coffee is better than therapy and I was waiting impatiently for this meet when she called to cancel.
“I can’t come,” she said, chuckling, “because the end of the world is coming.”
Then she told me about her daughter, Karen, who was in first grade at the time. She was at the playground playing with an older girl when the third-grader mentioned that the end of the world is coming.
“Karen asked if I’m going to leave her alone and have coffee with Hagit when the end of the world is coming,” Illana said.
You can’t argue with that, can you? Well, Ilana tried. She showed Karen that the world isn’t about to end in the nearest future. Ilana is a school counselor; she knows how to deal with anxious kids.
“Karen said she can almost believe me, but Ayelet is almost ten years old, so she must know what she’s talking about…”
We rescheduled our meeting for the next week, that is, if the world was still moving by then…
The first draft of the story included Karen’s original response. Elphie’s dad played Illana in this scenario and he wasn’t going for a coffee with a friend but to a Yoga class. Imagine Elphie’s father wearing yoga pants!
We changed it later to add the “fake news” layer. Let me know if you can still spot Karen’s response in the story…