Fairy-elf Enigma: The Legend

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Review Chain

REVIEW CHAIN JULY CONTEST
The Adventures of Miles and Elle continue as they search for the legendary Dark Fairy-elf...

Time is a forward wind while I remain

In younger times the world was sane

The road is brick where grass once grew

Beneath the sun thrives nothing new

Something-something… Pain?

Having just arrived in Pallid Palace, the rumors regarding this remote village proved to be true.

Unfortunately.

Nestled between mosquito-infested forests and stewing swamplands far below, the cliff-borne town set in the midst of the long-forgotten reaches of the Xandrian Mountains not only reeked, but clouds of gnats buzzed at every dozen paces like disgusting pillars. Add to that: a drunkard slurring a hideous melody somewhere down the muddy streets.

Miles held his breath in the acrid fog. He slapped his face, crushing a vampiric insect and turned to Elle preparing to curse her for insisting on them coming to this putrid destination. She was smiling, and her enthusiasm came spilling from her every pore like the sweat that came from his.

Miles wiped his brow. “Alright, Elle, you’ve gotten your way… again.”

She crinkled her nose at him, calming his fury: now practically a daily ritual.

He gestured. “I hope you have good reason to drag us to this dump-“

A ragged villager spat at Mile’s feet, proving his point.

Stabilizing himself against the Inn’s wall, Miles scraped the gelatinous saliva from his boot. “Especially since I’m gallivanting with you instead of drinking my misery away like our comrades.”

She held up a finger and winked, concealing her yellow iris so that only the lightning-blue eye radiated. “It is the burden of leaders to suffer greater.”

“Greater than what?” he murmured, folding his arms. “Than is necessary, apparently.”

“Apparently,” she echoed, cheerfully. “We’re here to find the last member of our Team. Follow me.”

The prophet proclaims the past

What happens first also happens last

His disguise swiftly falls from face

When History and future are commonplace

Something-something… Curse?

 

Miles tracked her heels. “I suppose you were joking about recruiting the “Dark Fairy-elf” to our numbers.” He hopped over a mud-puddle and into a pile of manure.

Just don’t think about it, he inwardly suggested.

He cleared his throat, dissolving every profanity behind his teeth. “Admit it: you were pulling my leg about the Fairy-elf. Who are we really here for?”

He paused as Elle looked left and right down the road, considering each way. “I told you, she was famous a long time ago.”

Choosing left, Elle briefly looked back as she stepped easily over holes and between fly-infested scat. “And - oh, you’re going to hate me for this, Miles - but I’m not sure if we will even find her here. It was just a rumor.”

“I do hate you, Elle, I hate you very much.”

“Well,” she replied, stopping at a black alley that seethed fumes of cheap and strong spirits. “Every time you say you hate me, I just change hate to love in my head.”

She went on home to find her mum

But from the hearth her father comes

The isle whispers secrets from its tombs

Where once she slept in mother’s womb

Something-something… Broken?

Eager to discover that this sixth Team member was purely rumor and absent from this putrid town, Miles tapped his foot impatiently. Muck splattered like a dirty sneeze over his pantlegs.

The drunkard’s song was growing louder, and Miles’ headache, worse.

“Well, no Fairy-elf here,” he observed of the open street and above the apartments’ rotting walls.

Elle leaned across the filthy alley’s threshold, peering into the stinking abyss between mounds of decaying cabbages and shambled boards heaped at the bases on either side of the buildings.

“Actually…” she mused.

She straightened, and that foreboding grin that came only when she was going to make his life miserable crept up her lips until her sharp canines gleamed and her colorful eyes twinkled.

What a terrible omen that smile had proven to be. The trouble she was about to pile onto his shoulders remained a grim mystery.

“The weeping bell is a monster’s head

And from its toll comes gold and bread

Something-something…”

Oh, goddess, no.

Unwillingly, but incapable of stopping himself, Miles gazed down the bleak slum passage to where the inebriated woman sang offkey nonsense from a bed of garbage, keeping time with a liquor bottle. The band of sunlight across the building’s top bled down, barely illuminating a tan face, straight black hair, and pointed ears.

Miles swallowed. “I hate you, Elle.”

“I love you too, Miles.”

Without hesitation, she entered the darkness. Miles, reluctantly, but unfailingly, followed.

As the fumes of pure loathing singed his nostrils, and the tone-deaf diva’s opera ripped his mind, Miles became appalled by his and - as indicated by her bouncing - Elle’s confirmation. No other beings in the world had attached earlobes and spired ears, save for the Fairy-elves of the far north. But this asinine, grinning conductor swinging a half-empty bottle to-and-fro was the only Fairy-elf in existence, or legend, with both those ears as well as tan skin.

“…and from the well spills despair

All hope abandons them who enter there…” her song continued.

The Dark-elf hiccupped, then drew back with surprise, widening her deep green eyes.

“Lenore?” Elle asked, her echo reverberating in reply.

The drunkard giggled. “Lenore is dead. I’m the raven that ate her corpse.” Spittle showered from her sputtering laughter.

Elle turned to Miles, excitedly. “Look, Miles! We found her!”

Lenore continued to murmur her unintelligible song, swinging an alcoholic conductor’s baton.

“Yes,” he replied. All his emotions fled, consumed by the revelation of their sixth Team member, leaving only the shell of unavoidable acceptance. A future with Elle leading the way was an uncertain and often absurd one.

Miles dryly commented, “We found the legend: The Dark Fairy-elf, The Immortal Monster Slayer, Lenore.”

Lenore’s quiet melody mutated into a horrid snore. When the glass bottle fell from her fingers, its contents were drunk by the earth. Because in Pallid Palace, even the ground was miserable.

 

 


Submitted: July 14, 2020

© Copyright 2022 C. S. Spence. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Celtic-Scribe63

I loved every word of this great little story.
The execution of it
the style
the presentation
the dialogue
excellent work, indeed.

Tue, July 14th, 2020 8:00am

Author
Reply

Thank you so much for the encouragement. Its good to hear that my writing is improving and connecting with people.

Tue, July 14th, 2020 12:13pm

shika

The interaction between Miles and Elle is so hilarious. I loved the part where Miles says to her
"I hope you have good reason to drag us to this dump-"
A ragged villager spat at Mile's feet, proving his point.

The story is so beautiful just as the poetic description. Kudos Spence! I loved this!!!

Wed, July 22nd, 2020 3:08pm

Author
Reply

Thank you for the encouragement! Its always fulfilling to hear when readers get invested into the story and characters.

Wed, July 22nd, 2020 8:59am

Greythereadaholic

This was such a fun read! I love the relationship between the two main character and their banter. I always love a story that plays with common tropes, so that makes it entertaining as well.

Thu, July 30th, 2020 11:51pm

Author
Reply

Thanks so much for reading. Its great that you caught the little twist with the elf trope.

Thu, July 30th, 2020 6:22pm

XCulletto

The rhythm of this story is excellent, and the prose is novel-esque. Very nice.

Sun, August 2nd, 2020 6:00pm

Author
Reply

Thanks so much! this is my most recent of my writings, so its great to hear that the things I put a lot of time and energy into, like prose and rhythm, are coming through.

Sun, August 2nd, 2020 5:36pm

Archia

I always enjoying reading your stories. You have a very clever way of just sweeping the reader away with your words and taking them to that place. I felt like I was in this place with decaying cabbages. It was, as always, very enjoyable to read.

Thu, August 13th, 2020 11:49pm

Author
Reply

Thanks so much for reading! I always love reading your encouraging comments!

Fri, August 14th, 2020 12:32pm

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