“An elephant?” I repeat incredulously.
“Peaceful...with eyes that always remember the past. A wisdom that goes well beyond your years,” She peers up at me then, dark wide eyes that seem to look through me, not at me.
“You hold a connection to these creatures, like one I’ve never seen before. You must have been one of them...in a past life.”
“Hmmph...” The sound comes out as I contemplate her words.
A slight smirk appears on my face, I turn to look at Nesha’s thick, gray skin brushing my fingers against it. Each fold in her skin seems to carve its own path like a labyrinth.
In some places, deep scars cause dead ends to the paths. I draw my fingers back looking for a new avenue to follow.
“Life as an elephant? I suppose being like you wouldn’t be so bad.” My smirk grows into a grin, rubbing my hands behind her big ears.
Nesha’s large head drifts to the side almost laying herself into the touch.
Her ears happily flap and a soft rumble comes from her chest, her trunk moves slowly finding its way to my location just behind her ear. It brushes the top of my head.
I chuckle, moving to her side to catch her beautiful brown eye. She peers at me, looking at my face almost as if she is trying to memorize it. I stare back.
I am brought out of our staring contest by Semi’s grandmother Zira, who moves - lifting herself from the bench with the aid of her cane.
“Well, I think it’s time to retire for the night. Are you coming Senna?” She looks back at me. A ghost of a smile appearing on her lips, the skin by her eyes wrinkling.
“I think I’ll stay for a moment more, make sure everything is put away. I’d rather not leave it for the morning.
” I give a small shrug and move to put the small amount of equipment back where it belongs in the shed. I see Zira nod slightly and move slowly to her destination.
Although I have my back turned, I can feel Nesha’s eyes on me, watching as I complete my task.
I’m surprised she is still here, as she would have normally gone back to her herd in a more remote part of the reserve.
But instead she stays put and strange as it sounds, I feel protected by her presence. She watches me just like she would a young calf playing around a watering hole.
Once I’ve completed my chores I say goodnight to Nesha. I pat her trunk and let her know I will see her in the morning.
At that time she gets up and seems to bow her head, then turns and walks off. I get a strange feeling as she leaves, a longing almost. I want to follow her.
I lay in my bed, darkness surrounding me. The only sounds are the small clicks and croaks of insects and amphibians floating about in a nearby puddle.
My eyes drift closed and I wait for sleep to take over. It has been a long day. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I awake to a feeling of heaviness, like I am being suffocated.
The heat makes my skin drier than usual and I feel desperate for a drink of water or to roll around in the earth, soothing my aching skin in cool wet clay.
I move my head only to feel a sharp pain up the left side of my face. I cannot move my legs, it feels as though they’ve been bound.
I lay on my side uncomfortably as I realize, I am moving but not of my own volition.
Atmosphere blurs past, if I concentrate I can make out trees in short distance but at the speed we are moving they sink into the ground. We start to slow and then there is a complete stop.
Then, talking. I cannot understand them, but I hear the voices coming closer, feeling the vibrations on the ground as a slam ripples then footsteps move toward me.
Two figures stop in front of me but they are not ones that I recognize. They are similar to the ones who live by my herd, but not the same.
I stare at them trying to get a glimpse but it is hard from the angle in which I’m lying. One reaches their hand out grabbing a large metal thing and pushing a small metal thing into it.
There is a click and the large thing bangs back against a large metal bar.The second figure bends to pick at a latch it causes all the metal bars to fly upward.
There is more talking in hushed tones.
A few moments later, I can feel more footsteps coming toward the truck, more figures...then shouting.
Suddenly, I am tilted forward sliding down quickly, the hot metal below me stinging as my skin skids against it.
My eyes widen as I see my destination, I have never fallen like this before but I have a terrible feeling deep in my gut this ground will be unforgiving.
When I make contact I hear a sickening crack on my right side, a sharp pain works its way up the right side of my face.
The last thing to cross my vision before the darkness takes over is my tusk which pops and slides to the foot of the figure standing across from me. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I catapult to a sitting position, my hand to the right side of my face and my breathing sped up.
I do what I can to calm myself, When I’ve finally calmed down I kick off the sheets covering my feet and swing my feet till they find the floor.
Once standing, I fumble around in my bag which sits on my nightstand. I grab my cell phone to peak at the time seeing its 3:33am and way too early be up right now.
I sit back down on my bed thinking back to my dream which seems to get fuzzier the longer I stay awake.
I grab my small journal from the small drawer of my nightstand and begin to write things down – even things that aren’t too clear just in case they may be relevant.
I sneak a peak at my phone once more, the time is now 3:57. I figure it’s a good moment to take advantage of a second wave of fatigue that hits me, hoping for a dreamless sleep.
I turn to my left side noticing that there is still a dull ache coming from the right side of my face. I guess I’ll have to get that checked out soon.