James Boland



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The Great Elf

The Emporer has summoned you...

And now, a bedtime tale from the Emperor himself. ALL RISE...

"Once upon a time there was a forest. A delightful forest. In it, an elf used to wait in the bushes with a hacksaw until the opportune moment to jump out at the woodsmen, saying something along the lines of, `Who do you think you are? You may not cut down these trees! I forbid it! Give me your axe! I am not a sprite; nor a faerie to be cast to the ground and trampled upon. My hacksaw blade is sharp and so is my tongue. Abandon your treacherous plans at once, I say, for I am the Great Elf and one day I shall grow far beyond the height of the berry bush from where I sprung forth! By then you will not be taken by surprise when you walk past. No, my head will rise well above the berry bush, and you WILL see me. You WILL be frightened of my omnious eyes, my shiny feathered cap, and my giant hacksaw!

"`I shall spit fire down your shirt and release skin-eating worms from my pouch! Your children shall mock you and your wretched cur! That bitch of a beast in whom you confide shall from then on reciprocate your affections with vile hatred and your consolation can be nothing less than the mice that rob you of your provisions and gnaw at the boils on your flesh as you lie in nightmarish pity, fighting the dawn of the next tortous day!'

"Do you know what the Great Elf would always do next? He would spin around in a circle, faster and faster, and the woodsman had no choice but to watch in amazement. The Elf would then remove his cloak (if it were cold enough to wear one) and hold the saw blade to his wrist. The woodsmen typically felt removed from the situation because they would have already dismissed the elf as a pretentious ne'er-do-well forest creature. Once the elf realized that, he would cry out,


`Thy bark is so fair,
but the menfolk don't care;
with leaves like emerald satin
you fall to the earth in despair

`For who can come to your aid,
when the blow of the blade
brings your ultimate demise
to be pitied by these eyes

`So I join you this day,
for I cannot change the woodsman's way;
Nor can I live if you are not free
My only wish is to be buried `neath the tree'

"At that, the woodsman would invariably be moved. He would, for a moment, remain suspended in a state of disbelief, of reckoning, and of self-doubt. The elf knew this, and before the woodsman was able to express any remorse or sorrow, the elf would step back and shout, "There is no point in going any further! I call on my fellow elves to join me!"

"Then hundreds of elves would emerge and hurl boulders from the treetops down at the woodsman until he stopped moving. The Great Elf would shriek in delight and set fire to every hair on the woodsman's body. Quickly he would grab the axe before the flames rose too high and bludgeon the barely breathing victim in the temples with the butt-end of the axe blade. Afterwards, he would commence the ceremonial chopping and the wood was used to make a glorious bonfire, over which the carcus of the woodsman who was to be cooked.

"Afterwards, his roasted flesh was preserved with salt and hung from a limb low enough for the desert coyotes on the outskirts of the forest to reach. The coyotes were usually found less than a mile away the day after their visit dead from lye poisoning, but all the wiser from having learned the Great Elf's seasoning procedure.

"The elves were cunning, but only one happy-go-lucky elf was fancy and special enough to be the Great Elf. I have him in a warm place close to my heart, his tricky little smile, his wide eyes- even his shiny hair. He is doing completely wonderfully as he winds through darkened paths for the first time from my stomach to my bowels where he awaits the light of a new day!"

©1996 James Boland

Other Writings
The Lady From The Supermarket
The Indignant Bastard Troll
She'll Piss Herself
The Unauthorized Biography Of Mike Bellina



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