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jwaldin

 

The Fairy and the Elf sat around the fire. A silence hung between them. The woods pressed up against their clearing. The long faces of the trees flickered in the fire-light.

“Well, I suppose we best get started,” said the Elf.

Fay rolled his eyes, produced a bottle by a trick of the hand or from thin air. It was hard to tell, even with elven eyes. He took a swig of the fluid, saving a drop which he spat into the fire. The fire whooshed up and settled back to its contented burning.

“I now call to order the centennial meeting of…,” and the Elf proceeded to name two clans unpronounceable by the human tongue, “to examine the status of the realm of Faire in the eyes of the human.”

“Seconded,” burped Fay.

“I am glad to see the years have not diminished your enthusiasm for procedure,” chided the Elf.

“Aye. Nor your lust for thinly veiled barbs.”

“How about a drink then?” the Elf said, gesturing with his sharp chin, his braided silver hair rustling against his shoulder.

Fay rubbed the stubble of his cheek, considering.

“Aye,” he finally replied, and passed the bottle, but just as the Elf reached out, Fay dropped it and it disappeared into thin air.

“Very funny…. Very funny a millennia ago.”

The Fairy slapped his knee, “Says you.”

Not to be outdone the Elf reached down into the grass and moved something that had not been seen there before. The bag that had been green and streaked like blades of grass, rustled and turned a deep grey which shone and pulled fire-light into it all at the same moment. He withdrew a rectangular object, black on one side and silver on the other, stamped with an apple.

“What’s that?!” cried Fay.

“What’s this? It is an information device of the humans. They call it an iPad.”

“You are carrying a human information device?! The sacrilege; the indignity; and from an Elf…,” he went on in this way for some time descending into all manner of fairy curses.

“I move with the times,” said the Elf mildly, though some measure of satisfaction fell into his words.

“Now onto the business at hand,” he clicked on the device and his face was illuminated in an alien glow.

“Do not tell me it runs on electricity?” Fay said, though much of the venom had left him and he pressed the flats of his hands against his temples.

“I know, I know,” said the Elf.

“How barbaric,” said Fay.

“Though there is nothing so becoming a man in peace as mildness and humility, one must know their enemy, for you know how these humans can sometimes become. As a friend of ours has said.”

“Who said that?”

“William S. Zu,” replied the Elf.

“Ah yes, has he finished his stint in the tower yet? As I recall for gross and blatant meddling in the literate affairs of man on no less the two occasions. And impressively, spaced five hundred years apart.”

“A few more decades I’m afraid.”

Fay made a face.

“To business finally?” the Elf said.

“Go on then.”

“Now, first of course we must see how the humans are perceiving us. Times of disbelief are better than the alternative, as we have little to bother us.

“I’ve come across this Tolkien character, and he seems a grand place to start,” continued the Elf, his fingers dancing over the screen. “Now he wrote this essay ‘On Fairy Stories’.”

“For all your adroitness, you notice how its always about Fairies and never ‘On Elf Stories’?”

The Elf leveled a gaze over the device. “May I?”

“Proceed,” said Fay with a pantomime of a bow.

“The Fairy Story has many a trap and a dungeon for the unwary,” began the Elf, his voice taking on the resonance of the orator.

“Oh, very good,” Fay cooed.

“Though he does go on to say the humans perceive the fairy to be of diminutive size, able to hide behind a blade of grass.”

“Diminutive size?! Diminutive, do I look diminutive to you?” Fay said, spreading his arms wide in a impressive wingspan.

“Well,” said the Elf, flicking his eyes down.

“A Penis joke? Oh, very good, so very droll,” Fay said slapping his thigh rather hard, “I didn’t think you had it in you. This is serious! Can you not be serious you pointy eared bastard?”

With unconscious speed the Elf pulled a flask made of ash-wood from his silver-grey bag, uncorked it and was hooting on its nipple. He nearly choked on the liquid as his laughter burbled up his throat. He inhaled deep and blew a thin stream of vapor towards the fire. It ignited and curled and rolled over itself like dragon’s breath.

Fay stared with open mouthed indignation.

“This is serious!”

“Oh yes, oh yes I know. Perhaps if you hid in a cow’s lip or in the bud of rose, a solution might be forthcoming.”

That did it. The Elf tossed his head back, his chest heaved with laughter. The device slipped off his knee and fell into the grass.

When he finally looked back at his companion, Fay stood over the fire. He held the device in one hand, the brown glass bottle in the other, and was dousing the deceive in liquid.

The Elf sprang up. Withdrew an arrow with scary swiftness, notched it and let the bow rock in the palm of hand, arrow pointing down, and his fingers curled around the string.

“I’m warning you Fay.”

Catching Fay’s mirthless grin, the Elf drew his bow. One immaculate fingernail hooked around his eye tooth, contorting his aquiline features. In the flicking fire-light his face took on the mask of a red-faced demon.

The bone-white bow quivered with hungry anticipation.

Fay dropped the device, and the Elf let the arrow fly. Its silver fletching whistled the air. The arrow became a streaking fury of razor-sharp steel.

Thump. The arrow imbedded itself into a tree.

Hair fountained off Fay’s stubbled cheek. It fell in-front of Fay’s wide-eyes like the lazy snow of the first snowfall of winter. He blinked out of existence.

The device sprang into flames and was incinerated in a stream of fire that spiraled above the tree tops.

The Elf let out a stream of breath.

“I hate it when he does that,” he mumbled to his only companion, the flames of the dancing fire.

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©J.A. Waldin

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