Elves of Myst: Short Story

Midwinter was silent on the Isle of Myst.

The students knew better than to roam the corridors of the academy after hours, and the Myst themselves, masters of magical ability had retired to their beds. There was a rumour that professor Larkin’s home brew was more potent than expected. The faculty had been defeated by spiced rum and rich helpings of festive fruit cake. The scents of cinnamon, raisins, brown sugar and the bitter tang of alcohol still twisted through the corridors.

Mendlesohn the elf tilted his head back and drew in a lungful of the potent aroma, eyes closed with delight before a slap landed on the back of his ear. He spun around so quickly that his pointed green hat fell off and bounced along the cold stone floor.

Lia glared at him. All nine inches of the elf from pointed hat to toe, filled with barely contained impatience. One hand resting on her left hip, she gestured with fury towards the open door and the enormous evergreen tree behind it.

He stuck his tongue out at her, but before she could thwack him again, scampered towards the hallway. Elves had work to do on midwinter. On his back, Mendlesohn carried a sack three times his size. Confident that her partner wouldn’t be distracted, Lia bounded after him, her own sack bouncing along the corridor as they ran.

The tree was a beauty, coaxed in from snow outside and convinced to settle new roots in a gigantic yellow urn. It stretched far above their heads towards the ceiling, swaying a little with the weight of decorations already thrown upon it. There were garlands of brightly colour paper looped between the boughs. Shortbread biscuits in the shape of stars, flowers and the moon had ribbon threaded through and swung low from the branches.

Stood at the bottom, Mendlesohn watched the faint twinkling of fairies who sat on the branches, staring back with amusement. Lia prodded him in the back and he nodded, there was no time to stare at fairy lights, they had work to do.

The elf opened the worn hessian sack he’d carried across the island and pulled out a small gift. A wooden flute wrapped with a ribbon. He turned it over between his hands examining the name inscribed on the instrument itself. It was then that he bounded, leaping onto one of the long tables that stretched across the room. On either side of the table chairs were set, as though ready for dinner. In the front of each chair was a neatly written name on a piece of parchment.

Mendlesohn whizzed across the tabletop before skidding to a halt. He checked the name on the gift, before examining the name on the parchment. Satisfied that he’d found the correct recipient: Wesley, the elf set the flute down with the smallest thump and sprinted back to his sack at the base of the tree.

The elves rushed back and forth from the tree to the table places, tiny hands always full as they distributed the gifts entrusted to them. Still, the island was silent as their footsteps made barely a whisper as they ran.

Finished at last, with the first grey light appearing on the horizon, they collected their sacks and prepared their retreat. It was Lia that paused on their return to the underground, beckoning Mendlesohn to follow her into a small room with soft chairs and stacks of paper in disarray. On top of a table someone had left a plate with two minute slices of fruitcake and a thimbleful of Larkin’s home-brew balanced in the centre. The elves exchanged a grin. Dawn was approaching, but there was time to celebrate before the magicians awoke.

****

My response to today’s daily prompt of Meager I just couldn’t resist!

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this festive little story from the Isle of Myst! There’s more to come from Myst in the Poisoned well!

Feel free to leave me a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

 

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Warning: This Blog May Contain Cats!

Warning: This Blog May Contain Cats!

I felt that this was probably an appropriate time to introduce two current stars of my short fiction and poetry. Please meet Lewis and Rosie, and be warned that if you have an adverse reaction to cute and fluffy creatures, this may not be the blog for you to follow.
My cats certainly provide a great deal of comfort and entertainment, but they’re both very different. Lewis is a possibly part Bengal, tabby with white feet and a superbly fluffy belly. His emotional range swings from desperately needy and affectionate to storming off in a huff and sitting alone in the bath. (Literally the bath, he’s very strange.) Rosie, who is black and white and a quarter Siamese, remains consistent in her affection.
I will refer to Lewis affectionately from time to time as a fluffy moron – as he is frequently ridiculous. He loves boxes! Put any box, or bag on the floor and he’ll climb straight in. (Very useful for taking him to the vets!) However Rob and I had an ice lolly each the other night, so imagine a standard size box for three ice lolly’s… This was left on the table. We heard a thump as we sat watching the TV. We looked around to the door and all we saw was this box skidding across the hallway floor, Lewis desperately trying to get in it! He’d managed to just about get his nose and half of his face inside and such was his determination, that he ran the box into the wall; KADUNK! Box and cat rebounded. He bounced away, shook himself and stalked away glaring at us both. As you can imagine we both dissolved into hysterical laughter.
Fortunately Rosie is much more intelligent.
I will do my best not to blog about the cats too often, but thought that everyone should have fair warning!