The Elephant Woman

March 30, 2017 at 6:58 pm (Commentary, Horror, Short stories, Short Story) (, , , , )

Gertrude Grannick was no John Merrick. She wasn’t born with a debilitating disease. A debilitating disease of the body at any rate- possibly a debilitating disease of the soul. She chose to be able to turn into an elephant in a bizarre black magic ceremony.

Gertrude Grannick had always held a high opinion of herself. She was the only who did. She had no friends in high school because she was so conceited.

If she had been beautiful, she might have been able to take advantage of men and count them among her suitors. Some women might have chosen to become friends with her in the hopes her popularity might rub off on them.

But Gertrude Grannick was ugly. Quite repulsively so. Ugly and conceited. A strange combination to say nothing of an outrageously stupid one.

Gertrude Grannick went for a degree in Social Work. Not out of any genuine desire to help people. But in hopes that someday she’d win a Citizen of the Year Award.

Upon graduating, she landed a job with a city social services agency. And she fell in love with her supervisor. If such a person as Gertrude Grannick was capable of love.

It was more of an obsession rather than what might be properly called love. But her supervisor Ted Dowling did not love her. In fact an office romance was starting to develop between Ted Dowling and another social worker Madge Simmons.

As Ted and Madge had candlelight dinners around the city, Gertrude would go home to her apartment and order in delivery. Usually about a dozen pizzas, a dozen orders of chicken wings and a dozen Chinese combo dishes from Ho-Ho’s Chinese Food.

She ate so much that Gertrude Grannick was starting to look like an elephant even before she participated in the black magic ceremony.

Then there had come that day at the office when Ted Dowling and Madge Simmons announced they were getting married. Gertrude Grannick was so angry that she had broke the pencil sharpener (to say nothing of the photocopier, the printer and the coffee machine) – all actions for which her employment was terminated.

Gertrude Grannick stampeded down the street in a huff- causing numerous damage to passing motor vehicles to say nothing of laying the groundwork for future pot holes (which would lead to the lighting up of city hall complaint lines).

Gertrude Grannick used her termination pay and what little she had of her savings (for her monthly food bill was quite out of this world) to fly to Africa.

For she had heard of a witch doctor in Congo who had the power to turn men and women into elephant people – people who had the power to shapeshift into elephants and use the power of the elephant to cause damage and destruction.

Gertrude Grannick hired a group of guides to take her to the village in the Congo where the witch doctor lived.

All but one of her guides died of starvation on the expedition (due to her eating up all the supplies).

When she reached the village hut where the witch doctor was (who was busy text messaging Donald Trump about the possible uses of black magic in 21st Century warfare). Gertrude Grannick told him, “I wish to become an elephant woman.”

Although the witch doctor was tempted to say, “You already are”, he bit his tongue instead (for which he said “Ouch!” in his native tribal language) and proceeded to chant the spell that would turn her into a shapeshifting elephant woman.

Upon chanting the spell, he gave her an instruction manual called So Now You’re An Elephant Woman, What’s Next? which gave Gertrude Grannick detailed instructions on how to enjoy her new found power.

Upon returning home to North America (where she spent the entire flight bitching and complaining about having to pay for the cost of three seats), she returned to the city of her recent Social Services job termination whereupon she turned into an elephant and stampeded and destroyed the house that Mr. and Mrs. Ted Dowling had bought.

She landed a job as a Distress Line counselor where people who called into the Distress Line were generally worse off than they were before calling in.

Gertrude Grannick was let go from that job after Department heads noticed a huge spike in the number of suicides after calls to the distress line.

After stampeding and destroying her Distress Line supervisor’s house, Gertrude Grannick eventually found her true calling in life- which was to serve as a licensing clerk in a Department of Motor Vehicles branch.

The Elephant Woman Gertrude Grannick continued to follow the activities of Mr. and Mrs. Ted Dowling.

When Mrs. Dowling gave birth to her first child, Gertrude Grannick turned into an Elephant Woman and stampeded and stormed and stomped the maternity ward of the hospital where the child was born.

The Dowlings had already taken their child home but that did nothing to relieve the grief of the other parents whose babies were killed.

A similar attack happened at another maternity ward when the Dowlings’ second child was born a few years later.

And then again when the Dowlings’ third child was born a couple of years after that.

A big game hunter Theodore Roosevelt Matthews (distantly related to the big game hunting President of the early 20th Century United States- Teddy Roosevelt) was brought in to try to catch this mysterious elephant known for destroying homes and maternity wards across the city the past decade.

Teddy Roosevelt Matthews was approached by a psychic Nyssa Dhawan who told him that the destroying elephant was no natural creature but a preternatural Elephant Woman- a woman given the black magic supernatural ability to shapeshift into an elephant.

Nyssa gave Theo a medallion with the image of the Hindu god Ganesha on it for protection.

In the meantime, Theodore Roosevelt Matthews began setting elephant traps across the city.

The Mayor was advising everyone to stay home. As a lot of sports league play-offs were currently underway to say nothing of a new reality TV series showing a bunch of catty women fighting and backstabbing one another, the mayor’s stay home message was definitely easier done than said. Both husbands and wives stayed home watching television. And their kids were naturally playing violent video games or busy text messaging one another in their rooms.

The streets of the city were quiet except for the earthshaking footsteps of the Elephant Woman Gertrude Grannick and the stealthy prowling quiet steps of the hunter Teddy Roosevelt Matthews.

“Come out, come out, wherever you are,” Gertrude Grannick bellowed in a voice that would have made Anne Rice’s Vampire Lestat wince at such an example of notoriously bad overacting.

Theodore Roosevelt Matthews said nothing. He just quietly bided his time.

Suddenly there was a roar as Elephant Woman Gertrude Grannick stepped in an elephant trap.

Normally the trap would have been easy to spot but a department store had wisely placed an elephant sized mirror in a large window and the narcissistically conceited Gertrude Grannick had stopped to admire herself in the mirror not noticing the trap in front of her.

Gertrude Grannick bellowed like an elephant cow in pain (which is what she was).

She waddled several blocks on 3 legs until she caught sight of Theodore Roosevelt Matthews. She bellowed at him and charged.

Theo opened the door of the nearest building which happened to be a Hindu temple.

Theo ran up to the central altar.

Gertrude Grannick stampeded through the door knocking it down.

She saw Theodore Roosevelt Matthews standing at the altar and charged at him.

Matthews waited and then ducked out of the way at the proper moment clutching at the medallion that the psychic Nyssa Dhawan had given him.

The Elephant Woman Gertrude Grannick struck the altar with full force causing the giant bronze statue of Ganesha to come crashing down from the ceiling with full force on top of her.

Ganesha’s bronze tusks pierced Gertrude Grannick’s head causing it to be severed from her body.

The Elephant Woman was dead.

A good elephant had triumphed over an evil elephant.

And the city was once again safe.

The only place that carried reminders of her existence was the local Department of Motor Vehicles licensing branch.

-A tale of horror
written by Christopher
Thursday March 30th
2017.

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