☃ The Writer Elf ☃

"The Elf reader can be a writer too. Here is an excerpt of the Elf's imagination. The Elf tried to write a book. Enjoy reading and please leave a comment for the Elf's writing improvement."

Dakeshimete and the Tears of the Dragon


Clutching his wooden sword with both hands, Dakeshimete turned his face left and right looking for any sign of trouble that may come his way as he travel in the woods. He is not familiar in this place. He has not been outside Argos before and he felt so scared doing this task. Each step that the boy took, he grew agitated. The forest is unfamiliar territory and he fears the unknown. Anybody as young as him would feel the same.

He heard that there are imps lurking in the Elden forest. Vicious ones are mostly in groups and once he is spotted, he will be dead. He shivers in this thought. What can a wooden sword do? Even with one imp alone, he thinks his chance of survival is next to none. I wish I brought a steel sword. Although Dakeshimete does not own one but a wooden stick sword that was given to him by his master, but he really wished he have at least borrowed one. He perished the thought. He does not know anyone nor does he have friends in Argos who could lend him a decent sword. Besides, he does not really know how to use one.

The bush not far from him swayed. He stopped on his tracks. The boy gripped the hilt of the sword real hard that his knuckles turned white. He can hear his heart drumming in his ear. He focused on the bushes. I swear I saw something moved.  He squinted his eyes, searching for something behind the bushes. Please let it NOT be imp… please...please! he pleaded in his mind.

There’s a movement again. This time he heard a loud swoosh on the bushes and crack of stem as if someone has landed on it. The boy stepped back and hid behind a big tree. He almost fainted to see luminous bulging green eyes peeked from the bushes.  It is an imp indeed! The boy froze in where he is and his body started to shake involuntarily. He held his breath trying not to make any sound at all. The imp surfaced from the bushes. Its ears big, long and pointy as if it can hear even a slightest sound. The eyes are immense and round like apples.  Even if the head is big, the eyes are still too big and imbalanced. Hideous beast, he thought as it brought shivers in his spine. The fingers are too long on its hands and feet and so are the arms that almost touch the ground.  This is the first time the boy has ever seen an imp and he does not like it at all. 

Dakeshimete is beginning to turn purple and the veins on his forehead are surfacing. He has not been breathing at all for a span of time now for the imp chose to dally nearby. The unsightly orange creature is limping and hopping and clapping its hands.  Is he dancing? The boy frowned. I haven’t heard about dancing imp before. Because the boy is scared, he didn’t find it amusing. And maybe the imp will not notice him if he breathes just a little, he reckon. It seemed jolly anyway for whatever reason that may be, Dakeshimete does not intend to know. As far as he is concerned, he wants it just to go away.

The boy slowly gasped for air and the imp stopped hopping and quickly shifted its eyes in his way. It slowly advanced to the tree where Dakeshimete hides where he silently curses his luck. The imp grinned wickedly as if it has found a very interesting object to acquire. The boy gaped at the sight and felt his heart go to his neck. Oh, no! I am not even halfway to master Binwo’s forging house and I will already be dead! This stupid task form my master will be my end. And this wooden sword is merely what I have to protect myself? Master, what have you brought me into?

He readied his wooden sword. He thought to at least defend himself from the imp than to die cowardly. He knew the chance to defeat the beast is scarce but he should at least try. He does not have anyone. He is nothing. But perhaps being dead is something that he can be thankful for because he has no future anyway. The imp will just expedite ending his existence that will also end his misery. Good riddance, he sourly thought. But that is too pathetic to think.  No, he must be brave.

The boy gathered his courage and revealed himself pointing his sword on the imp’s direction. “Stay back you vicious imp! I swear I will kill you with my deadly weapon if you go any near.” Now that was some courage alright, he thought. His voice was shaky though. Any dimwit would know any better than what he was trying to project.

The imp briefly looked at the boy, then stooped down and picked the mushrooms that were sprouted near the tree where Dakeshimete was hiding and is now putting them on its bag.

Dakeshimete just realized that it is carrying a brown body bag and it surprised him a little. He was focused on the imp’s ugly appearance, oblivious that aside from the bag it carries it also wears a …skirt? He stepped a little farther from the imp. Is this imp ignoring me? Good! I can run away. He must think I’m not worth eating or killing. But the imp might jump at me any time if he finds me escaping. He doubts his own thought. He must not underestimate the imp as he heard imps are tricky creatures. He debated to himself if it is wise to flee. No, he must escape! This is his chance of survival.

“Deadly weapon, you said?” the imp broke the boy’s contemplation. It is looking carefully at the mushroom it picked last, examining the ring pattern printed on it with one eye squinting.

The boy stopped dead. Agaped and wide-eyed he disbelievingly asked, “D-did you just s-say s-something, imp?”

“I did, yes.” The imp looked at the boy enquiringly. “I thought you were addressing me back then…as I know for certain that I am the only imp in the vicinity, unless my senses are faltering, which is not! I guarantee you I am still as sharp as before.” It kissed the last mushroom and gently put it in its bag.

“Y-you can speak!” he shouted in utter surprise.

“I have known myself to be blunt and fluent, yes; I have not been speechless at all.” The imp moved towards the boy. “And please, lower that stick of yours. How do you intend to kill me with that anyway?” He glowered at the boy. “By poking me in the eye?” The imp chuckled briefly. “You should hear yourself bluffing to an imp! As if my big eyes can’t determine that your pretended deadly weapon was in fact a wooden sword. The most it can give me is a splinter,” the imp added almost to himself. “In addition to that, you don’t sound convincing at all. But I’d give you a credit for standing for yourself. That’s spirit alright.”

“It’s amazing! You can talk!” The boy lowered down his sword, still looking at the imp incredulously. He didn’t mind the ridicule he heard from the imp.  He studied the imp from head to toes.

The imp smirked. “What happened to the first impression ‘vicious’? I guess it didn’t last eh?” It looked around for mushroom that it might have missed. “Get over it, you silly boy! As if you don’t know that imps and dragons can talk.”

“D-dragons can talk too?”

The imp rolled his eyes and scolded, “Where in the world have you been? Of course, dragons can talk! Infact, everyone knows that.  It’s no big secret. Although not all dragons and imps, that is. Only specially selected few and highly intelligent ones can talk, like me, I should say. “ The imp sounded smug on the last sentence it said. It eyed the boy disapprovingly. He was wearing gray scrappy pants, a dusted green hooded shirt, a worn-out leather belt and a pair of old boots.  “From the looks of it, this is the first time you stepped out of your cozy town,  “  it added with cynicism.

Argos, “ the boy  supplied courteously. “And yes, this is the first time I have ventured out of our town.” I am having conversation with an imp.  He felt amused and excited. And the imp sounded decent and educated. It’s like he was talking to a human, although it has a distinct accent that he has not heard of. Perhaps this is how imp should sound. But a talking dragon? This he must hear himself, he thought.

“Ah, Argos, I have not returned yet to the old town. I wonder how my old friend Argosius is managing this town?” The imp whispered almost to itself. But the boy seemed to have heard this.

“You know my master Chief Argosius?” he asked eagerly.

“Master?” it sounded astounded. The imp looked back at him once again enquiringly. “You are an apprentice of Argosius?” scrutinizing the boy. The imp looked displeased. “Appearance is exhibited in the academy in contrary to your ghastly outfit, I should say so. Argosius must have seen something in you, though, to be taken under his wing. It appears to me that you are not part of any wealthy family because of your scrubby self. So talent, it must be.”

The boy laughed. Again, he didn’t mind being insulted. “Yes, Chief Argosius is my master. But I am just a mere servant to him.  I am not an apprentice to anyone, nor have any talent at all. And what’s wrong with my outfit? It’s clean.” Then he eyed the imp’s skirt.

“What?“ the imp followed his gaze and raised an eyebrow. It realized what the boy was implying. “I got this from Scotland, for your information!” it said gruffly. “Hmp! You have not been around to appraise what is with great value. Besides, you don’t know any better.” Its hand brushed off the weeds that were hanging on its skirt. “I reckon you have neither heard of the outside world at all nor the creatures outside your town.  What are you doing here anyway?” It suddenly becomes suspicious, wickedly pointing its forefinger to the boy. “You are not running away, are you?”

“No sir, I’m not.”  He was compelled to address the imp ‘sir’ as he heard him said that the imp is an old friend of his master. Perhaps it is an important creature. It has flair of self-satisfaction and he does not want to offend its ego any further.  “I am tasked to deliver something to master Binwo, the great forger,” he explained courteously.

“Ah, old Binwo, eh?” It shifted its head to the tracks ahead. “I am glad you finally figured out that I am no ordinary imp and decided to treat me with utmost respect. Well, it’s about time, I should say!  “ it said dismissively. Then later on, after surveying the area, the imp asked fiercely that made Dakeshimete jumped, “You have a name, little boy?” He obviously was still adjusting to the fact that this imp can talk. Not only that, it can also humiliate anyone with its sardonic comments. But not him, he decided.

The boy it was pertaining to ‘little’ is taller than the imp. He knew better not to argue possibly just suggesting merely to age or status, he resolved. He’s fine with that too.  “My name is Dakeshimete,” he said politely.

“Dakeshimete, eh? What a very odd name.” That is true. But everyone has an odd name in Argos anyway, the boy thought. “Listen little peasant boy, I may let you come with me, if you conduct yourself appropriately. I am going somewhere near to the old forger’s place and with that frightened look and a good-for-nothing stick of yours as your measly sole defense, it will serve you best to stick around, you hear?.”

The boy smiled and relief flooded in him. “Thank you, sir. I am most honored.”

The imp started to walk on the tracks and Dakeshimete followed. “Do not thank me. I will just tell you if there are gangly imps approaching. They cannot hurt me, you know.  Only you. So, you defend yourself, obviously. I assume that’s what the stick is for.”

The imp was prudish but Dakeshimete welcomes the company. His nerves have been eating him out since he stepped inside the Elden forest. And it will help him a lot if he will be cautioned for an upcoming danger. I don’t suppose the imp’s tricking me, he recounted.

They stopped for picking herbs and mushrooms on the way to the Binwo’s forging house. And Dakeshimete sat while the imp gathered its produce to its small bag. He wanted to ask so many things to the imp but just decided not to bother. It mentioned about behaving. He guessed it meant to keep quiet while it gathers its herbs. He watched as it pulled out leaf samples, crushed, tasted, smelled before it really picked multiple leaves to put in the bag. I wonder how all of these things can fit in to a small bag? He concluded the bag is magical.

“Be ready, Dakeshimete. There are imps ahead at 2 o’clock. I should say a gang of three to four members.” Although the imp is warning him off, it seemed not anxious by it.

The boy straightened up and held the sword tight. “What do you mean 2 o’clock?” he asked dumbly. “I don’t suppose it’s the time that they will come, isn’t it?”

“No, idiot. That is their position.”  The imp rolled its eyes. Whispered an incantation, then waved it’s forefinger in circular motion towards the boy’s stick. Then the sword was engulfed by colorful lights. The boy gaped at the transformation of his wooden sword to metal sword.  “Close your mouth so as not to draw flies. It is only a skinning magic, no big deal.” It scratches its nose.  “Why do I have a feeling that this is the first time you have ever seen real magic?” it said mockingly.

Agaped, the boy slowly nods. Because it is! Feeling not a bit hurt, rather delighted. He tested the feel of the sword in his hand. It is still light to hold just like the wooden sword, but somewhat cold to his touch. It became steel all right. He smiled.  Hey! My wish came true! He remembered wishing it a while ago.

“Like I said, it’s just skinning magic, nothing extravagant,” it announced in a nonchalant manner. The imp somehow felt sympathetic to the boy. “It will wear out after some usage.”  The imp withdrew a vial in his bag. “This is an elixir of strength. Drink it and stay focus. Snap out from the wonderment will you!” it scolded, dropping the tone of compassion to annoyance. The imp tossed the vial to the boy and he caught it with his left hand without actual attention. The boy is still admiring the charmed sword. Then again, the imp whispered a chant while waving its finger to its own self and disappeared instantly.

The boy blinked. Just like that, the imp left and let him alone with gangly imps? The awe he felt was replaced with alarm.  He faced northwest as it connotes the 2 o’clock the imps was talking about and waited for any move or sound. I don’t  know how to utilize a sword! he nervously contemplates.

The gangly imps looked revolting than the talking imp, he promptly observed. And these imps do not wear any skirt at all. It created a shrieking noise while grinning wickedly.  They are hopping left and right. The talking imp is correct, there are four of them. One is taller, one is smaller and two of them average in height.  Alright, I am ready, I suppose. Remember what the town’s people said? I should strike the smallest first because it is the fastest. The smallest imp jumped at him and the boy slashed it with his sword. Then quickly, he poked the eyes of the two medium built imps and they cringed on the ground with their hands on their eyes shrieking violently. His sword stroked the smallest imp again, decapitating it and turned to dusty smoke. The tallest imp approached him and grabbed his left arm. The boy cried with its vice-like grip. But he swayed his sword as strong as he can on the imp’s arm and chopped it off from its body.  Then he followed up a stroke to behead the imp and it rolled on the ground before it turned to sandy smoke.  He turned to the two imps who are jumping in confusion, colliding with each other.

Dakeshimete became confident at this sight. He considered that the imps no longer have a straight mind and unable to see because it kept on bumping with each other and thumping on each others feet. They also produced a higher pitch of yelp. These imps can’t talk and have no intelligence, he thought. Nevertheless, he decided to end it all by slashing horizontally on their necks and instantly created a billow of dust. The only fragments that were left from the imps are dark powder scattered on the floor and on his clothes and arms. He brushed it off his clothes with his hands.  He looked carefully on his arms. It looks like it’s covered with soot. Did the imps burned? he thought, shaking his head. He has a red mark on where the imp has grabbed him, and it hurts too. He has not fought or killed any creature before. There was no blood, only dust. Perhaps the magic caused it to vanish just like that. Either way, he doesn’t understand anything that has happened. He does not know how to use a sword but he swayed and stroked the sword as if it was very natural for him to do so. The boy shook his head again, puzzled.

“I told you to drink the elixir, haven’t I?” the voice of the imp floated in the air, apprehending the boy. “I am beginning to think that you are a hardheaded boy. Nevertheless, that was commendable, I should say. To someone like you who is inexperienced, I didn’t think that you will be unharmed lest survived the gangly imp even if their brains are puny and next to none.”

“Where are you?” The boy looked around. He didn’t see the imp. “I thought you left me.”

“Left you?” it sounded amused.  “I wouldn’t miss this chance of seeing someone being pulverized by some creatures that resembled my appearance but not my cognizable astuteness.”  Then it appeared on his left side leaning by the tree, arms resting on its chest, folded.

“You made yourself invisible.” The boy smiled at the imp.  How wonderful! He thought it a treat to witness a magic performed before his very eyes.

“Indeed.” It raised its finger and waved in circular motion, creating a small flutter of light. “It’s one of my greatness’ attributes, I should say.” Once again the imp looked haughty. “You can keep that elixir, for future use. It will keep you strong for a while in your fights.” He winked at the boy. “I made that, you know. I am one of the well-renowned alchemists in the land of Ingots.”

The boy nodded, though he does not know any alchemist except his master Chief Argosius.  “Thank you very much. You are very kind.” He said truthfully. Nobody has given something valuable to him before, so he really felt grateful to the imp. “I will use it wisely.”

The imp studied the boy’s face, looking for any condescending tone or sarcasm from the boy, and then it found none. “You are welcome.” It answered with hint of gentleness, and swiftly back on its old superior tone it continued, “Well, what are you waiting for? More gangly imps will come when it gets dark!” It started to progress again to the tracks. “Soon you’ll be on your own, little boy, so hurry up!”

~end of chapter~

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