I was riding the elevator up to my apartment on the fifth floor when suddenly I had the uneasy feeling that I was being watched. Although fairly certain the elevator had been empty when I got in, I now began to wonder. Nervously, I stared up at the floor indicator, sensing a presence behind me but afraid to turn around and find out for certain.
It was then I realized the muzak speakers had gone ominously silent. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up as the floor indicator moved with excruciating slowness. Any moment might be my last. Finally the elevator opened, and I lunged out into the hall. I dashed down the hallway to my apartment door and dared my first glance back — but of course by then there was nothing to see except a small boy and his mother picking themselves up off the floor directly in front of the elevator. By their shocked expressions, I assumed they had gotten a good look at the fabled creature I myself had been too afraid to face.
I was in the laundry room on a Saturday night, hiding under a pile of my dirty laundry in an attempt to scare old Mrs. Hemford, who’s also a Saturday night regular. Alone in the room, I had been lying in wait for at least twenty minutes — gleefully anticipating the moment I could pop up and yell “Surprise!” — when I heard a powerful, inhuman snorting that chilled me to the bone. Even though Mrs. Hemford herself is known for her powerful, inhuman snorting, I couldn’t take the chance of exposing myself and possibly being torn limb from limb. Still as can be, I waited for well over an hour, until both the wash and dry cycles had finished and I sensed that the beast had moved off. After that I began going to a Laundromat around the block, where I’ve been able to pull off the old pop-up-and-surprise gag on many of the regulars, none of whom are renowned creatures of myth and legend.
I had just left my car and started across the dark parking lot to the front of the building when I noticed I was being trailed by a shadowy figure, which moved with a peculiar gait that was not quite human, not quite sober. Instantly I deduced it could only be a surviving member of that genus of ape thought long extinct, Gigantopithecus. I walked faster, never letting it get near enough to pounce, but in my escalating panic, I took a wrong turn and ended up in another section of the parking lot. There was no time to stop and get my bearings. I kept moving and eventually found myself back where I’d begun, at my car. I peered into the darkness, spotting nothing, but I had lost the nerve to try for the front door of the building again, even though it was less than fifty feet away. I spent the night cowering in the back seat of my car with the doors locked. It wasn’t until the first light of dawn, and the accompanying sounds of a drive-by shooting, that I knew it was at last safe to venture out again.
Getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, I turned the corner and caught sight of a strange, almost-human figure entering through the fire escape window. Luckily it didn’t seem to notice me, so I crept back to my room and waited tensely under the covers, listening to its heavy footsteps as it searched for any scraps of food I’d carelessly left lying about. Within minutes it wandered away again, leaving me with the conviction that I’d encountered a little-seen, primal force of nature and was more than lucky to survive the experience with only the loss of my TV set, DVD player and assorted valuables.
I was riding up in the elevator again, this time with several strangers, when I got the sudden feeling that one of them was Bigfoot. Knowing the creature was outnumbered, I was determined not to back down again. I eyed each occupant suspiciously, waiting for a sign that would give him or her away. Before that could happen, though, they each began getting off on different floors. Finally it was just me and a short, skinny woman whom I very much doubted could be the legendary beast. Still, I wanted to be thorough, so I tapped her on the shoulder and straight-out asked her. But before I could even finish, she sprayed me with mace and I let out a mournful howl. When the elevator door opened a moment later I instinctively loped out, making my escape. It was only then, standing there in the hall, wretched and alone, that I realized I’d been Bigfoot all along.