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The Elephant Woman

March 9, 2010

I was playing the violin with a couple of recurring dream figures when the earth began to tremble. The wood in the loft cracked. The windows soon followed. We looked down at the city streets and noticed that people and cars were being swallowed by massive craters. The earthquake lasted over five minutes. When it finally ceased, most buildings were gone and the skyline was clear and smoky. We knew it would be hours before we could evacuate the building safely.

A knock on the door. I opened it, but no one was there. The dream figures told me something had slipped through the cracks. We could feel someone in the room with us, but we tried to ignore it. Then one of the strings on my violin snapped off. Another snapped from the guitar near me. The man playing piano ran out screaming like a madman. The woman on bass came over to me and whispered, “I saw it go into the plants.”

I walked over and inspected each of the pots. Most were empty. The larger one was crawling with skinny white worms. I dumped the contents into an empty pot and cringed at the sight of so many floating creatures. What was left was a sleek black mound, growing larger with each breath. It jumped out onto the floor and stood upright.

The tusks were speckled in gold. Its body was smooth. Its eyes wide and dark.  And the stench was terrible. The miniature elephant moved in my direction. I stumbled backwards as it followed me into the bathroom. It jumped into the tub and shrieked. I covered my ears and watched the elephant’s trunk grip the shower head and hand it to me. As the hot water washed over it, the elephant skin fell in small chunks and clogged the drain. After the steam settled I saw a naked woman running her fingers through her dark hair. A beautiful specimen. She looked at me and smiled.

I shot out of bed. It was five in the morning. Her face still clear in my mind…

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