What if elves were real? There are those in the south of England who believe that elves exist. I heard this when researching for A Gardener’s Tale. When a twitter friend shared with me that he had heard of this in the north of England, it made me wonder…
Delyphin rubbed the points of his ears as he waited for Harwin who was always late. He checked his watch. They would have to walk fast to reach the bookstore before the famous author began his reading.
“Sorry, I’m late,” Harwin said as he jogged up.
They set off, hands in pockets. There was no point in chastising Harwin – it simply didn’t help.
“I‘m looking forward to this,” Harwin said. “I loved ‘Lady of the Earings’. The way that professor describes these mythical humans, I really begin to feel they exist.”
I nodded, too winded to comment. The professor was a strange chap, lecturing at an elite university on ancient elven languages. They say he even invented an entire human language – as if all humans would speak the same language. Still he was a master of the epic fantasy genre.
We enter the bookstore, which is full and grab the last two seats.
Harwin leans in. “I hear he is planning on sending the humans on a new quest, that their world is threatened by some strange energy – ‘oyl’ – that is expensive, polluting and they go to war over it because there isn’t much.”
“That’s a bit of a stretch,” I say. “His humans are too smart to do that. Besides, they have the sun, the wind, and the waves of the ocean just like us. Why would they use this oyl?”
Harwin smiled. “You look rather irate. You might start believing in these humans too.”
“Don’t be daft, Harwin. That’s the beauty of epic fantasy. You get so into the story that you begin to believe the characters might actually be real. Next thing, you’ll be swearing you saw someone with round ears.”
We both laugh. That would be a sight. The room hushes. The professor is about to speak. He opens his new book…and the world of the humans becomes real as he reads…
I can almost see their round ears and their oyl.
Alon Shalev is the author of At The Walls of Galbrieth, Book 1 of The Wyccan Master series, which reached the Quarter Finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2012, released by Tourmaline Books. The First Decree, the sequel is due out in early 2013. Shalev is also the author of three social justice-themed novels: Unwanted Heroes, The Accidental Activist and A Gardener’s Tale. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com and on Twitter (@elfwriter).