My mother died in an accident a few years ago. It was shocking to me and to everyone in our family. She was the type to never get sick, and throughout her life luck always seemed to come her way. However, it seemed as though her luck had ended. The family and I were left questioning how this could have happened to a woman who always seemed to have success on her side.
At first, my family banded together to survive this, but soon squabbles over my mother’s estate along with some unresolved emotional baggage began to tear our family apart. I had always felt that my family was supportive, but now I was seeing another side of them that made me question my family at all.
I fell into a deep depression, an existential crisis so to say. I questioned my entire life and found that I needed space from my family. We had always been so tight nit, though, that I didn’t have too many close friendships outside of this circle. Our friends within our circle began to take sides, and because I am not one to argue, or manipulate, soon I found myself alone. At no fault to my own, my friends had sided with my other family members.
One day I woke up, feeling especially confused and isolated. My feelings about my mother’s death and her life were mixed. I did not know if I could go on, and I found myself hoping that something or someone would bring me some hope in this dark time.
I decided to go for a walk, even though I did not want to. I believed that fresh air and nature might bring me some comfort. A little while into my walk, a magical being appeared to me. Now you must realize that I was not one to believe in such things. I was very much a realist and not too spiritual. I believed in the concrete, however, had always been drawn to the idea of Karma and luck, and had recently begun questioning whether or not some spirituality or faith could bring me solace.
The magical being approached me, and to my surprise, started talking. He let me know that he was an Elf and that he had felt my sadness and despair from far away. He had hoped that I would come into the woods, where he could approach me in private. “You are special,” he told me, “I could feel it from afar. Come and let me and my family of elves relieve you of your troubles.”
I felt unsure about whether or not to do this. The Elf sensed this and told me that there was nothing to be afraid of. Furthermore, he let me know that the elves possessed ways to lift my burdens. Reluctantly I followed him through his woods to what he assured me was a magical place.
The place where the elves lived was very remote. The walk to it was long, and I grew tired, but this Elf assured me that my energy was to be restored. As I walked into the Elf village, which they called their Kingdom, I saw Elves humming and singing in unison while they did their work around the village. A small farming area approached me to the right, and everyone seemed to be working together in harmony. I began to feel a sort of lightness to the place and wondered if the Elves really could make me feel better.
And they did. I was met with a kind of camaraderie that I hadn’t found before. The Elves all seemed to work in such harmony that my eyes swelled with joy. Soon they became to come up to me and welcome me to their home. They also told me that I had to see their Master Elf. “He is in charge here,” they said, “And always knows what to do. He is all-knowing, and can commune with the Gods of nature.”
“Commune with the Gods of Nature”, I thought. This idea seemed preposterous to me. The Elves encouraged me to be open-minded when it came to these new ideas of spirituality. I got a funny feeling about meeting this Master Elf, but the elves that I had met were so friendly and welcoming that I was easily talked into meeting him.
“We will take you to our special room for visitors, and will all have a feast with the Master,” they let me know. Soon I found myself in a large room with many tables. Ornate jewels sat around the sides of the room, along with beautiful paintings and food of a quality that I had never before soon. Soon the elves were eating, and singing, and the cohesion of their kingdom was like nothing that I had seen.
The Master Elf soon appeared. He began talking about the superiority of the elves to the rest of the animal kingdom. He possessed a kind of charisma that I had not encountered before; he also seemed so enthusiastic, happy, and sure in his ideas.
After a while, he began to talk about his latest communication with the Gods. According to him, his obedience to bend the elve’s work to their will was what resulted in the many riches that I saw around me. The Elves all nodded in happy unison. The Master congratulated them for their hard work and willingness to carry out the needs of their kingdom. The feeling of the room was one of ecstasy and wonder.
The Elf that had accompanied me so far then raised his hand, an announced that they had a special visitor for the day. He and the others that I had met so far encouraged me to stand up. I did, and everyone clapped. “You are now an honorary Elf,” said the Master to me. “Only the best are chosen to commune with us”. All eyes turned to me, and soon the elves began telling me, one by one, what an honor this was that it was happening to me. I felt special in a way that I hadn’t before, and began to hope, despite my underlying feelings of concern, that I would be invited back to the Elf kingdom. They let me know that soon my troubles would end.
Soon the night was over, and the Elf began to lead me back home. It was a long walk, but in my elation about my experience, I didn’t even notice my sore legs. I went to bed feeling happy for the first time in a long time and slept well.
A few days went by, and I was surprised to find that my happiness stuck around. By the fourth or fifth day though, the reality of my situation crept in. As loneliness returned, I thought of the Elves. Would they ever come back? At the same time, though, I wondered about their strange alliance to the Gods. I wondered if they were a little loony.
The next day the Elf showed up again and invited me back to the kingdom. I had plans that day and explained to him as much. “Plans can wait tomorrow,” he said. “Come be happy with us!”
I remembered how happy it felt to be with them before, and decided to go back. The food seemed even better this time, and the Elves were even more welcoming. The Master preached about the happiness that he had found in finding and obeying the Gods. Everyone seemed to be in a buzz about this, and soon story after story came out about the Elve’s experiences with Gods, Goddesses, and the spirits of nature. I began to wonder about this strange religion. I asked the Elves “Could this religion work for me? Am I allowed to try it?” They said yes, but you must be willing to work for it and follow the rules of the kingdom. They also explained to me that cooperation and unity were the keys to the success of their community, and it was what set them above the rest of the animal kingdom. They assured me that the success of the group would be my success, as well. They reminded me of the state I was in when I found them and assured me that following their group was exactly what I needed.
It was getting late, and I felt the need to go home. But the Elves asked me of a favor. “We need the roof of a house to be fixed.” they said, “And we need someone of your statue to do it”. I knew that it was time for me to leave, as the walk home was great. But I also felt funny feelings of elation and almost a magical feeling that I had felt before. “Maybe I could stay awhile.” I thought. One Elf soon reminded me that being an honorary Elf was a gift, and assured me that many riches were to come my way. So I obliged to help the Elves with this task.
After I had repaired the house, the Elves thanks me for my service to the kingdom. They let me know that this kind of service would help to increase my happiness and to remember that the good of the kingdom always comes first. “Our sacrifice of ourselves brings us great joy,” they said, “But we must remember that the kingdom and those around us always comes first. Being helpful always brings joy.” I did feel good about helping these magical creatures and began to wonder what other kinds of help I could be.
I continued to visit the Elves, and also continued to do odd jobs for them. I began to forget about the problems in my group of friends and family and felt bonded to these elves in a way that I hadn’t felt to anyone before. Because of the time that I spent there, though, I had to work extra hard at home to fulfill my day to day responsibilities. But the feelings of elation and belonging that I felt because of the elves made up for that.
The elves began to ask more of me, and soon I felt myself growing tired. I asked if maybe we could all take a break from the work of the village. An Elf replied to me “That is not what we do.” At that point, I felt like one of them, and they assured me that if I kept working, that my happiness would continue. So I did.
Over time, though, I started to notice that the Elves were not treating me quite as nicely. I asked why, and their responses were not clear. I hoped that they would soon treat me as well before, and worked even harder in an effort to prove myself to them and the Master. I was taken to the Master then, who told me that it was my time to commune with the Gods.
The Elves then led me even deeper into the forest, further into it than anyone I knew had ventured. They surrounded me with beautiful singing and led me to a spring. “Have a swim here,” They said. “You’ll feel better.”
I swam in the spring and felt a feeling of refreshment that I had never felt before. “It is time now for your true initiation into our family”. They said.
I felt relaxed and looked forward to this initiation. The group activities of the Elves so far had brought me such joy. I did feel that my previous difficulties had lifted due to my feelings of cohesion with them and their leader.
Deep down, though, I felt something turn in my stomach, but I ignored it. I felt assured that I was on the right path.
Soon the Elves began to dance in a fury, and their eyes turned to red fire. I was brought into the middle of the circle of Elves, and the Master appeared. Everyone bowed down before him, and I followed as well. The air was filled with electricity, and I felt flattered to be involved in such a society.
The Master explained that this ceremony was only available to the selective few. He said that not all Elves get to attend. I couldn’t believe that I had been chosen to this special level of the Elf kingdom, and the Master assured me of how special I was. Soon after this, a deer was brought into the ceremony.
“We sacrifice this deer for the good of our kingdom,” said the Master. “His death will show our allegiance to our kingdom and to the Gods.” All of the Elves began chanting. Then, one by one, they began taking swings at the deer. The deer cried out in agony, and I was shocked that creatures that seemed so friendly and good would do such a thing.
“You must join us,” said the Master “If you wish to belong”. I let the Elves know that I was not going to do it. Soon they swarmed around me and began to remind me of all the things that they had done for me. “Haven’t your problems been removed since joining our clan?” They asked me.
And they had, but I still did not want to participate in such brutality. Soon, the Elves grabbed me and brought me right up to the deer. One took my hand and pelted it against the deer. I cried out, and then the night turned. I began to hear threats from the elves. “If you do not comply,” they said, “Great evil will come to you.” I knew that participation and my new found beliefs in the words of the Elves and even the Gods had changed my life for the better. I started to worry about whether or not these Gods could also bring wrath to my life. The Elves assured me that they could.
Soon, against all judgment, I found myself participating in this ghastly ceremony. I didn’t want to do it, but for some reason felt compelled to do so. Afterward, for the first time, the Elves insisted that I spend the night in their village. I was so exhausted and confused that I couldn’t say no.
The next day the Elves were back to their friendly selves. By the time that I woke up, everyone was already to work. An Elf came up to me, and let me know that it was time to go to work too. I grudgingly did and noticed that work seemed to take my mind off of what had happened the night before.
That evening I was greeted with a ceremony of the likes of which I had not seen before. Delicacies adorned the hall, and the Elves danced like I had never seen before. The feeling was addictive. My thoughts and questions of the night before began to fade, and I began to question if it had even happened, as it did not match up with my overall memories of the Elves.
Days went by, and I seemed to forget about my previous life. Despite this, the joy of the Elves and my feelings of belonging made me believe that I had found the right place, even despite the terrible night that I had so recently experienced. The Elves spoke of how fate had brought me to them, and I accepted this readily. I told myself that the ceremonial sacrifice must have happened for a reason that was unknown to me and continued with my work and fellowship with the Elves.
But soon another sacrifice occurred, this time of a fox. The next day, again, I was encouraged to go right back to work, and the Elves complimented me on my willingness and my devotedness to the Gods and to the Kingdom. I told myself again that there must be a reason for this, and as I looked around the hall at all the glories that the Elves had, and saw their usual happy natures, I began to think that maybe the sacrifices did some good after all.
My life with the Elves continued, as did sacrifices here and there. Eventually, I began convinced that they must be for a greater good, even though I thought that there were better ways to do them. I told the Elves that the torture of the deer was unnecessary for the purposes of the sacrifice. Why not let the deer die in a quick and peaceful way? I was met with intense shame and blame and taken to the Master for a lecture on unity. Soon the Elves began to leave me alone quite often during times when I had previously found communion with them, and I was not always invited to their parties. I did many things to win back the Elves approval, including volunteering to take on more work. I grew tired and weak, and over time I began feeling alone and confused.
After a while, my feelings of elation began to wear off. The confusion that I had felt about my life returned, only now it was combined with the confusion as to what was happening with the Elves. Why would they not take my worries seriously? Could they really be as bad as they seem? I longed for my early days with the kingdom and continued to try to please them. Even though I wasn’t always invited to parties and dinners, I was still brought to sacrifices and encouraged to participate. I began to feel deep feelings of shame and guilt due to my forced participation in these ceremonies. Still, though, I had begun to see myself as one of the Elves, and could not admit that what they were doing was wrong. I knew though, deep down, that it was.
As time went on, I began to wonder if I was in the right place and began questioning what I was hearing from the Elves. I realized that their unity was actually a little strange. During dinner that night, I told the Elves that I was planning on going home for a while so that I could gather my thoughts and feelings. I expected them to support me on this, however, they only seemed to grow angry.
The Elves asked me why I wanted to go home. I explained to them that I felt bad about the brutality of the sacrifices and needed time to think. An Elf started to poke holes in my reasoning, and all of the Elves laughed at me. I felt singled out, confused, and scared. Was there something that I wasn’t understanding?
I began questioning the Elves and my situation more fervently, sometimes to other elves and sometimes to myself, and soon I found that certain ones being quite mean to me. They reminded me of all of the riches that they had brought to my life, and that once “Once an Elf, always an Elf”. They also started to pull apart my character, throwing insults at me and calling me names. The rest of the Elves, though, sat back and did nothing. They all sat in unity. I told myself that maybe I was the crazy one, despite their abuse towards me. I worked even harder, then, in order to show the Elves that I still believed in their principles despite my questions. Their abuses of me, though, only grew worse. “No one speaks out against us!” They said. Then, at the next ceremony, the Elves tied me up with a deer.
At first, I assumed this to be a new part of the ceremony. Maybe they were unhappy with my questioning, and this was simply to keep me quiet. Maybe some of the Elves had even taken my side and were keeping others from forcing me to participate! To my surprise and dismay, though, the Elves began to hit me one by one. I screamed out in pain. “This is for disobeying the Master!” They said. Not one of them seemed to have compassion for me, and it was then that I realized that their unity was very frightening. I felt betrayed and confused and was scared for my life. I had the right to be as the animals were always beaten to death.
But the Elves spared me, and the next day they showered me with love and care. They fixed up my wounds and assured me that the night before was a one time deal. “We want to make sure that you are committed to us,” they said. Despite all reason, I listened. “Maybe something was wrong with me, after all, to question these ceremonies” I considered, “And for going against the word of the Gods”.
Over time, though, I wondered about the Elves. Instead of admitting the wrongs that were happening, I shamed myself as to how I could think such ill of these creatures that had given me so much. I looked back at my life and reflected on how much the elves had given me.
But the beatings continued, and my scars began to grow. I felt a haze begin to lift. “What am I doing here?” I began to think. “And what became of my previous life?” It seemed, though as my life had always been with the elves, and felt like I didn’t know how to go on without them. I told myself that there must be a higher purpose for my suffering.
The pain of the beatings, however, eventually got to be too much. I suddenly knew that I had to find a way out, but was scared. One night, I decided that I’d had enough. I snuck away from my bed, making sure that no one saw me. Then I made the dash towards my previous home.
I arrived back home in the middle of the night. I called up my sister right away and told her of my ordeal. It turned out that the family had suspected me dead, and they came right over.
They were shocked when they saw my bruises. I expected them to be supportive, but soon they started asking me questions like “If these Elves were doing this to you, why didn’t you leave earlier?” I tried to explain as to how I felt indebted to them and that the elves told me of a higher purpose of their actions, but that I just couldn’t take it anymore. “I’m sorry for went you went through,” one family member said “But you should have left earlier. Who is stupid enough to stay with anyone who is treating them this way?”
My family left and I found myself feeling more alone than ever. They did not seem to understand my plight and even seemed to be putting me down for it. Every time I talked to someone it seemed as though I got chastised for not leaving earlier, for leaving my friends and family for so long, and for the spiritual beliefs that I had gained from the Elves. My depression grew intense, and I did not know who to turn to. Still, I began to question what I had learned from the Elves and the purposes of their abuse.
Despite my questions and my bruises, and my questions, I wondered if I should go back to the elves, as it didn’t seem like I had anyone to turn to. I remembered the allure of their teachings, and even though they hurt me, they did treat me well at times. I didn’t know which way to turn, or what to do. I began to think of ending it all.
Soon, though, a woman approached me. She let me know that she, too, had lived with the Elves. Her experience matched mine. I had never felt so relieved.
She told me that others in the community had gone through a similar fate, but that they all kept quiet about it. The Elves, she said, had threatened the ones that talked, plus it seemed as though the survivors only experienced the shameful comments when they spoke to most people about their experiences. “We share about our experiences in a support group,” She said, “And there is a counselor who knows about this who can help you.
With the support of others and with this counselor, I soon began to understand what had happened with me and the Elves. These people helped me to see that the Elve’s logic did not make sense, and pointed out the fallacies in the thinking and beliefs that I had developed during the time that I was with them. They shared with me how the Elves had persuaded them to also participate in the ceremonies, and that anyone can fall prey to such things. I also learned that the blaming that I experienced after I came home was common amongst those who experienced abuses such as mine. Despite my support, I still had many days where I felt confusion, panic, and terror. My new found friends told me that this was a normal reaction to what I had gone through. Eventually, my impulses to rejoin the Elves faded.
My life is improved today, however, I still experience many conflicting emotions, and am aware that I have a hard time dismissing some of the Elve’s religious beliefs. I am able to admit that what they were doing was wrong today, though, and am able to see how I was forced into doing things that I normally would not do. I still grapple with feelings of guilt and shame and have been told that this is to be expected.
I do not know how long it will take me to recover from my time with the Elves. Because of my experience, I have lost my connection with my former family and friends. Some of them, in fact, don’t even believe my story. My new support group, though, does help me through this, but I am still hesitant to fully participate in any group or friendship after my experiences. I wonder if life will truly be fulfilling again and if I will ever fully feel comfortable around other people.
Despite all of this, I still dream of the early days with the Elves and wish that I could recapture those feelings. I know this to only be a dream, and that those feelings actually should have been a signal to me of danger. I don’t know what will happen in my life from here, and my feelings about religion, spirituality, and life, in general, are confused.
What I have learned from my experience with the Elves is this: always be aware. Things are not always as they seem. If something makes you feel good, it doesn’t mean that it is good. And remember that too much cohesion and unity can lead to the unthinkable.
My inner and outer scars still remain and I am fearful of finding myself in a horrific situation again. I find myself fearful of things like driving, walking alone, social situations, and other things that I did not fear before. My life is limited due to these fears. Someday I hope that I will find the courage to live as I did before my ordeal.
Hopefully, my story has opened your eyes to the reality of evil existing in our world and the reality that others really can have a big influence on our minds and our hearts. My attempts since leaving the Elf kingdom to persuade my family and friends of this largely unknown danger in our area have fallen on deaf ears, and I hope that for your own good that you will consider my story.
With this, I bid you adieu, and hope for my own and your safety and well being in the future. Please remember to always be on guard for the darkness that resides in creatures, and in man’s heart, and that anyone can fall prey to the Elves.