Elephas

*Complete* Part one to Elephas. The story of a strange sickness that begins to kill elephants in captivity and in the wild. When Adilyn finds herself forced into the heart of this mystery she realizes that she might be as interested and in it for the gold as the other players.

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5. Chapter 5

A month went by and Imari loved the zoo. Adilyn became more uneasy. Something about the place bothered her but she wasn’t sure what it was. It might have been that Ranger Roberts had started spending every spare minute with her and she wasn’t sure how to tell him that she really wasn’t interested and wanted him to leave her alone. He was doing so much to help Imari feel welcome and at home in zoo. She supposed he had helped her too, but Adilyn didn’t want to think about that. Until one day it was too much. Roberts approached her during their lunch break and put his arm around her.

“Hey Adilyn,” She stepped away and removed his arm. He had never tried physical contact before and this was different.

“Ranger Roberts, please. I’m really not interested in any kind of relationship.” He looked a bit embarrassed and looked away.

“Oh, excuse me. I’m sorry Miss LaRue.” Adilyn nodded and turned to leave.

“Although,” He called out to stop her.

“There was something I wanted to talk about, if you don’t don’t mind.” Adilyn reluctantly turned back around.

“What is it Ranger?” He lowered his voice and stepped closer to her.

“I’ve been getting letters.” He said mysteriously. When he seemed to really be worried, and full of concern Adilyn laughed.

“Ranger, I don’t have time for superstitious letters.” She turned to leave again.

“No!” Roberts pleaded, taking hold of her arm and turning Adilyn to face him again.

“They are NOT superstitious.” He muttered under his breath.

“They're threats.” Adilyn rolled her eyes.

“Who would want to threaten you?” She wondered allowed. Ranger Robert’s released his hold on her arm and pulled out an old newspaper, pointing to the picture of a man in front of a run down hut that seemed to be in some kind of jungle.

“This is my good friend Raz. Or at least, he used to be. We had the same dream of caring for animals in India. My dream of doing so inspired him, and in the end, the no good, lazy boy stole my dream before my very eyes! But I’m not one to dwell on such things. I decided to move on and seek a different job that would be just as pleasing. But Raz was never as good with animals as I was, and every animal he tried to save or cure ended up dying. His latest was a few years ago, an elephant. One of my favorite creatures on this plant. But just like all the others, the elephant died. The difference with this elephant was that it was examined and the doctors discovered it was poisoned! Raz blamed me for the crime, convinced I did it out of jealously and anger. He knew what he had done to me. But I was innocent. Raz was sent to prison for a year and lost his licence along with any chance of working with animals again. During that time I returned to america and got a job here, at the San Diego Zoo. I’ve never been happier, until a little while ago that is. When Raz started sending me letters. He’s out of prison and not pleased with what happened in the past.”

“Is he in the newspaper for the poisoning then?” Adilyn asked as she look at the picture. The man on the page seemed sad and heartbroken, it was hard to believe that he had poisoned an elephant. He was handsome, well built, and seemed kind enough. Not the kind of person to take part in animal cruelty.

“Yes, that was for the poisoning.” Ranger Roberts said sadly, shaking his head.

“I wonder what lead him to do it. Maybe he hoped to frame me and failed. I’m not really sure what his reasons were. He’s completely insane, not all the way there in the head anymore.”

“What did the letters say?” Adilyn asked after handing the paper back to him.

“Here, I’ll show you.” Adilyn followed him back to office where the Ranger opened his desk drawer with shaking hands and handed Adilyn three letters. She opened them and examined each. All three were identical, with the same message and handwriting. Surrender before another elephant dies.

“That’s a short message.” Adilyn thought allowed.

“So he’s the one who killed the elephants before?” Ranger Roberts sank into a chair and put a hand over his eyes.

‘I suppose so, who else could have done it?”

“But how can you know it’s him?” Adilyn asked pulling up a chair next to him. Ranger Roberts took the notes from her and put them back into the office drawer.

“I know his handwriting when I see it. We were good friends for a very long time.” Adilyn wasn’t sure what to say. The whole thing sounded rather silly and impossible.

“I’ve got to get away from here,” Ranger Roberts muttered to himself. His eyes were wide and full of terror. Then he focused on Adilyn.

“Are you doing anything tonight?” The question caught her off guard. It was Friday, but the only plans Adilyn had were to sit at home on the couch and watch netflix for while.

“No,” Adilyn started to say hesitantly when Roberts grabbed both her hands and gripped them tightly, his face close to hers, staring into her eyes.

“Why don’t you come with me Adilyn. We could hang out this weekend, get away from the zoo for a few days. Maybe drive over to Vegas or,” Adilyn stood up and pulled away from him. Vegas? This man was crazy!

“No thank you Ranger, I think I better go.” Adilyn left the office, practically running. She didn’t think she could keep going on with this job. She would just have to quit and get a year pass to regularly see Imari, or something! The rest of day she worked hard, avoiding Ranger Roberts and then went home where she would be safe. That man was more insane than that story of his old friend. Luckily the rest of the night went by as planned without any interruptions. But Saturday evening was a different story. Ring! Ring! Adilyn ran across the room and picked up the phone.

“Adilyn LaRue speaking, who is this?”

“Adilyn!” The voice on the line sounded out of breath and desperate.

“Roberts?”

“Come quick!”

“What?”

    “Come to the zoo, fast! It’s Imari, he’s sick!”

 
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