When you first hear about it you laugh, since it all seems so improbable and impossible. Whoever tells you about it gets met with disbelieving scorn, since it should be funny. It’s not.
There was a lull in our typical Tuesday night conversation when C* brought up the topic. Our friends D* and M* had told her about the elephant, but she had never seen it. It was just mentioned.
“Yeah, they just said there was this giant elephant in somebody’s backyard in the middle of H_______**” There were laughs from both ends of the phone as we mutually pictured some sort of ridiculous rainbow statue much like the cows that had been such a hit a few years back.
Our disbelief and wild imaginations coupled together to make the rest of the conversation comical. Both of us placing bets on what it’ll look like. I said it would be rainbow with stars and stripes painted across its body. There would probably be clothes dangling from its tusks and a mohawk on its head. C. put her bet on a purple and pink beast with a tutu and water streaming from its trunk. Either way we were in stitches picturing this thing, little did we know how much it would turn our worlds upside down.
A few days later, C. decided to go out to dinner with a few of her friends, D. and M. included. I decided to stay home. I was feeling sick and to top it all off I had so much school work that I didn’t know when I would get it all done. I told her to have fun, go without me, although she had volunteered to come to my apartment and make me soup and watch movies with me. I insisted she go, after all I was a grown adult and finally she gave in and took off, promising to text me through the night.
I was kept busy for the day taking care of overdue work that had piled up on my desk, cleaning out my computer drives, and cleaning my kitchen before promptly passing out on my living room couch from exhaustion. It was then that I had the worst nightmares I had ever had.
I was in some kind of wooded area, the only way I could tell was the smell. The distinct odor of earth and dirt filled my senses although it was far too dark to see. I stumbled forward, pitching myself towards whatever destination lay before me. At first I was unsure of why I was moving forward but slowly I was filled with dread of whatever was behind me. I broke into an awkward run, legs turning to jelly as I struggled to push myself away from whatever was behind me. I couldn’t even turn my neck to glance behind me, sure that it would spell doom. My hands stretched in front of me as I tried to make purchase with something, however I touched nothing. The complete blackness seemed to swallow everything but far off I could see some sort of clearing.
Light, if only very faint trickled into the blackness and I ran for it. Pumping my legs harder and faster I chased the light until it seemed to be at my finger tips. Still I could not see anything within the light, only that faint dim glimmer before me. Then I was scared more than before. Whatever was at my back was pushing closer and closer, a massive beast I could not see or hear but who I could feel. With childlike fear I knew, simply knew that this monster must have massive claws and sharp vicious teeth. A massive grin splitting it’s thin lips and red eyes that would sear through me given the chance. That wasn’t even enough to push me forward.
What was behind me would be certain death, but what was in front of me, well I wasn’t sure what it would bring.Death would be easy, whatever was on this other side of the light would be much more painful than being ripped to shreds by the monster at my back. A sharp shove sent me sprawling into the light. Colors surrounded me on every end, blinding me. Closing my eyes did no good as the terrible roar of tissues and bones ripping apart, the very fibers of my muscles being torn into bits filled my ears.
Then a repetitive beeping, a buzzing hum that took control of me and finally woke me up. Feverish and drenched with sweat I saw my cell phone on the coffee table by my head was going off. A steady set of beeps followed by a few seconds of vibration. Reaching out a quaking hand I opened it and found a text, from only a few seconds ago.
From: C (5__ - 8__-8____)
going to see the elephant! lol!!! hope your feeling beter. ttyl.
Sent : May 24; 1:07am
My heart was pounding like a drum, sweat dripped from my body, and at the time I could barely remember what had gotten me so riled up. The memories of the dreams didn’t come back until after....but that comes later. Seeing the message I chuckled, wishing I had chosen to ignore my sickness and responsibly and go with her instead, but I wasn’t the silly invincible teen I once was, so instead I replied to her message with a simple “Awesome, have fun!”
Sending it off I made my way into the bedroom and was off to a restless sleep before my head even hit the pillow.
The next morning I opened my eyes and checked my phone, only a few messages. One from Verizon, one from a local radio station and one from C.
From: C (5__ - 8__-8____)
you have got to see this.
Sent : May 24; 2:33am
Feeling better I took a shower and went about my day, waiting for a text or call from C., something that never came. Around 4pm, I was finishing up the work from the previous day when I anxiously checked my phone. It was not at all like C. to ignore me all day, especially if she had something to say. I typed up a quick “hey, how was last night?” and sent it off, hoping she would reply soon, but continued with my business. No reply came back. At around 8 that night I logged into my computer, only to find that she wasn’t online. She hadn’t updated her Facebook since yesterday. Maybe she’s at work late, I thought, but knew better. She wouldn’t ignore my texts all day at work.
Restless I flipped the computer off. My day continued until I fell asleep that night. This went on for weeks.
The person who I had grown to trust and love was now gone. No updates, no calls or texts. When I tried to call I was ignored. I went to the restaurant where she worked and asked about her. R. a mutual friend who worked as a cook told me that C. had come in two weeks ago and calmly told them she quit. She left no reason why. When I finally was so frustrated that I drove to her house I saw her car, but she refused to answer the door. Her TV emitted a glow through the front window as I stood pounding on the door, but she never answered. I had tried. I had done everything short of breaking and entering into her home.. All I could do now was give up. I longed to know what had made such a loyal friend turn on me. Something D. or M had said about me? They seemed to be not speaking to me either.
Confused and upset with no other options I just decided to move on. As hard as it was, I started to get over it. My world hadn’t fallen apart. Other friends still spoke to me, and so I carried on.
Until October. Months after I had given up hope, I was at a bar with some friends, having a few drinks and laughs over the latest TV shows and gossip when I got a text. A number I had thought I erased now popped back up. C. had texted me. “I want to show you something” That’s all it said. Thank god it wasn’t a call or I would have hung up. Loads of words went through my mind, none of them nice. Who is she to try to get back into my life now? How dare she. I was furious and for the rest of the night I not only ignored my phone, but turned it off, thinking that I was teaching her a lesson. The next day I had no new texts from her, only that one she had sent. After a furious long winded reply demanding to know where she had been, I received a reply moments after sending my own.
“I want to show you the elephant.”
I didn’t know what to say. Obviously she hadn’t read my rant, and for that of course I was pissed, but there was a curiosity that seemed to fill me. I hadn’t thought about the elephant in months. Longer than I hadn’t thought of C. But now that she had mentioned it I realized I had never seen it and that nibbling curiosity made me stop in my tracks. Part of me wanted to find out more. I wanted to know what this elephant was, as I had wanted to know months ago when C and I talked for hours every night. Another part of me, however was frightened. Remembering the fear of some long forgotten nightmare beast chasing me through the dark into the awful light. My hands quaked for a moment, then I realized how silly I was. The elephant was funny, an anachronism, something to be laughed at and entertained by. When had it transformed itself into a nightmare?
So we set up a time, I was going to meet C. D. and M. at a local donut shop, where we would take M’s car to the location. We were going at night, since it was “scariest” then. I was to bring a flashlight and wear sneakers.
At 11:25 pm exactly I arrived at the local donut shop, to see that M.’s dark blue Chevy was already parked there. I hadn’t seen any of these people in months and the thought of confronting them and going through the woods with them all night seemed to go against any wish for self preservation that I had. I considered turning and heading back home, content with the thought of not seeing the elephant when the tapping on my window made me jump back to reality.
D. stood at the side of my car, tapping her fingers gently against the glass.
“Hey A______” her voice was cheerful, her smile welcoming. It was like I had seen her a few days ago and not months. She seemed normal, a bit skinnier and paler, but she didn’t seem like a ghost or zombie. I got out of my car, and looked at M’s. M was in the driver’s seat fiddling with her phone, and C was in the backseat, singing along to the radio and watching me expectantly. My first urge was to bash them all over the head and demand to know why they had been avoiding me for so long. But as I was opening my mouth something stopped me.
D. laughed and ushered me into the car, getting herself into the passenger seat.
“It’s about 10 minutes from your house, you’ve had to have seen it before!” C smiled at me, holding my hand as she always used to and resting her head against my shoulder the moment I climbed into the backseat. It felt like the last few months never happened. M. blasting music as we barreled down main street towards our destination, casually passing trucks and cars as if they were nothing. Crossing and recrossing the double yellow lines with disregard. M was never this kind of driver, always much more careful with her own car, she now displayed no care for whatever happened to it and the people inside, often times cutting it very close, dodging cars and late night pedestrians at the last moment.
Everyone was laughing but I was clutching my seat in terror. Never before had these people I had called friends been so insane. I was never in fear of my life when I was with them, but of course now I was. The swerving of the car and the blasting of the beats pouring from the car stereo was driving me insane. Until finally when I thought I could take no more, we turned onto a rural street and drove up a massive hill. The radio was turned down, the car now under control as M. rolled down all the windows.
“It’s going to be on my side, so lean over.” C. suggested, sitting up and pressing her hand into the small of my back guiding me toward her open window. D. passed me my flashlight, which had rolled under her seat during one of the swerves I was unprepared for.
“You’ll need this.” In the darkened car her teeth gleamed, sharp and white like my nightmare come to life. Ignoring it I leaned over C. to get a better look. My head almost out the window I heard D. again, “Here! It’s here!” A silence fell over the car as we slowed down. At first all I saw was a flash of grey through the trees.
M. put the car in reverse and backed up slowly, and the giant beast came into view. As recently as when I got into the car and we were turning up the road I had no fear of a fake elephant. Now though, seeing it with my own eyes, I was scared. The closer we got the more the dread in my heart increased. My head spun, my eyes watered, I wanted to leave.
“Let’s get out.” C. suggested, even as M. pulled the car into a ditch. My legs didn’t feel like moving as I was pitched forward out of the car by a rough hand on my back. I was almost alone but I could hear them getting out of the car. Suddenly I didn’t want to turn around, I began to walk forward, hearing nothing behind me. No footsteps, no breathing, not even the sound of the car starting up. Walking through the woods I could see the edge of grey between trees and suddenly I didn’t care what was behind me, I wanted to go back. I couldn’t turn my head, my neck refused to work, my eyes were glued to the beast before me.
When I finally got to the elephant I knew I was alone. There was no sounds of a car, no footsteps behind me, no people to be found. Of course I knew later that it was because C. D. and M. were never with me that night. At the time I had no idea where they had gone to. I didn’t know why they left me here, what they expected me to do.
My hand outstretched I walked towards the grey creature. It was in a backyard, abandoned of course, the house a shambles off in the distance. The elephant itself sat at the edge of a pool, long ago emptied. From my location I could admire the beast, it’s grey peeling paint, the single blunted tusk, it’s painted black eyes seeming to watch me walk around it in a circle. Never daring to touch it, but wanting to so badly my palm ached.
Finally I gave in, the fever was back, and a dull hum had started in my head. Sweat dripped down my nose and back and rivers and my stomach was in knots, but my hand still burned for the touch of the cold statue.
When I touched the elephant all I saw were colors, and I could hear the ripping of tissues and sinews. Fibers of muscles being pulled and torn away. Bones being crushed to powder between between massive jaws. And when that all faded I had seen enough to drive me mad.
I had seen what has happened. What is happening. What will happen.
I don’t know how I got home. I don’t know what is going on now. I don’t even know if what I’m in now is the real world or the world I was living in before or the world that will come to be. I can not say anymore. For they are watching. Please be warned, they are always watching. And you will be blessed if they kill you before you see what the elephant has to show you.
- indicates names have been shortened and/or changed to protect people whom are mentioned in this work.
- indicates locations that have been hidden to protect you. Do not seek Him. Do not touch the beast. For He sees.