Elves are supposed to be beautiful and elegant creatures, right? Well, that’s not always the case.
Elf War, by Alexander Paul Willging
Word Count: 626
The last moon of October was bright overhead. Finelas twitched his ears as the wind carried the fresh scent of smoke and ash to him.
He grabbed his spear and rose to a low crouch. From his position behind the tree, he could see the flaming wreckage of the police hovercraft. This was good, but it was not enough. The man-folk would soon arrive with reinforcements.
He needed to hurry. The Gate would not stay open for long.
The wind blew over Finelas again. He followed it to the south end of the park, darting through trees and between hedges.
Something screeched past his ear as he ducked behind another tree. Small, hot, and sharp. The reinforcements had arrived; they were already firing their portable cannons.
By my forefathers, Finelas swore, I’ll not let them bring those abominations into Our Garden!
Another metal bolt whizzed past. The spear in his hand trembled. Finelas closed his eyes and opened his mind to the Worldsong. His hand soon stopped trembling.
A deep and ancient melody unfolded in his mind, showing him the path ahead. Step by step, breath by breath, the winding road away from his captors and back to the Celestial Gate. He could not fail. He had to go now.
The wind picked up again and Finelas ran with it. He heard the metal bolts cutting the air above his head, but he never slowed down. With the Worldsong humming through his veins, he could not make a single misstep. No more wasted breath, no more pointless actions. Just the chase and the promise of returning home.
There. Just beyond that rock in the pond. Behind it lay the Gate.
Finelas thrust the head of his spear into the soft ground by the water and used it to catapult himself for the rock. His aim was true and he went sailing over the water. He bared his fangs in triumph and thanked his forefathers for their blessing.
As he landed atop the rock, something erupted from the water to his left. Finelas snarled and swung his spear, but stopped halfway. Something cold and sharp had ripped through his tunic. Pierced him right in the gut.
He looked down at the man who’d leapt out of the pond. Dripping and furious, wearing a black and gold uniform with a matching helmet. Through the clear glass of his helmet, Finelas saw the scowling face of Colin Bracewell.
The only one of the man-folk he could call his friend.
“It didn’t have to be like this, Finn,” said Colin, with labored breath. He withdrew his knife and let Finelas collapse onto his knees. “I can talk to the Commissioners. It doesn’t have to come down to war!”
“Never…” Finelas groaned. He bared his fangs and hissed an elvish curse at him. “No peace… between Our Garden and your Earth. No harmony…”
“Teach us then!” Colin spread his arms wide. “Teach us and be our ambassador! Don’t let one misunderstanding ruin everything!”
Finelas stared. This human knew nothing of honor. He spoke of peace and stabbed him in the same breath. His masters looked at the Garden and saw only profit. They were no better than scavengers. They would never be allowed to set foot there.
With ragged breath, Finelas stared Colin. “Do you give… your word?”
“Then I give my word.”
Colin stepped toward him. Finelas smiled and leaned close.
He whispered, “Never.”
With one last ounce of strength, he swung his spear as hard as he could. It slashed through the air tubes on Colin’s neck. His former friend went reeling back, clutching at his pipes in agony.
Finelas no longer cared. He dropped his spear and fell headfirst into the familiar green light of the Gate.
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