Moving on. As I mentioned last week, the prompt for this issue was “Holiday cauldron.” But I didn’t mention that “Lunar Eclipse” was actually the second story I wrote for this prompt. Originally, I wrote a different flash fiction piece about an imp and an elf struggling with some issues in their workplaces. I finished this story, then re-read the prompt and realized that Havok wanted something with a darker tone than what I had written. Thus, “Lunar Eclipse” was conceived.
But I still have the imp/elf story, and one of my friends recently said he’d be interested in reading my original holiday mashup. And this blog seemed like just the place to share it. So click through to read “The Imp and the Elf” and let me know what you think!
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The Imp and the Elf
by Michael Dolan
“Borsenilograth! What’s the meaning of this?”
Borsenilograth the imp made his way over to his manager, a goblin overseeing the creation of new unholy monstrosities to scare humans during this year’s Halloween festivities. “It’s a Mawkheep.”
“I know what you called it. But what does it do?”
“Ahh,” said the imp, stepping closer to his latest creation. “It lives in dead trees and looks like a knobby limb when it hibernates. But when people walk by, it wakes up with a screech, flies over them, and drops its eggs on them before finding another roost.”
The goblin regarded the creature with a skeptical eye. It looked like a crooked snake with four pairs of batlike wings. “Are the eggs filled with poison?” he asked, “Or some type of hallucinogen?”
“Um … no,” answered Borsenilograth. “They’re just normal eggs.”
The goblin shook his head and made a mark on his clipboard. “We’re monsters, Borsenilograth. Our purpose is to scare humans, not … what’s the word … prank them.”
“Pranks can be scary too.”
“Get rid of it, Borsenilograth. End of discussion.”
The imp muttered to himself as he picked up the cage, carried it to a hole in the floor, and tossed the squealing animal into the flaming maw of Hades. Cutting his losses for the day, he made his way through the crooked streets of Hallowe’ville (E’ville for short) to the nexus, the heart of the holiday lands where time and theme had no place and denizens from all the lands were free to mingle.
“How’s it going, B?”
The imp looked up to see an elf from Christmastown hailing him. It was Tobey, one of Santa Claus’s literally innumerable helpers. He wore a green-and-white-striped onesie with curling toes, a pointed hat with a bell, and a crestfallen face.
“Hey Tobey,” answered Borsenilograth.
“You look like someone put coal in your stocking,” said the elf. “And then set it on fire.”
“One of my creations was rejected again,” said the imp. “What about you? Your face looks sadder than a rotting jack-o-lantern.”
“Aww, same thing,” said Tobey. “I made a jack-in-the-box that has a fifty-fifty chance of popping up or shooting water at you.”
“That’s sounds great.”
“I’m glad someone thinks so. Everyone else just thought it was naughty.”
Borsenilograth shook his head. “People just don’t appreciate creativity these days.”
“Or humor,” muttered Tobey.
The two friends walked side-by-side around the nexus. Here, cherubs flew alongside reindeer while bunnies and turkeys swapped stories over drinks at an Irish pub.
“What we need is a new holiday,” Borsenilograth said out of the blue.
“We need a new holiday,” repeated the imp. “One that encourages creativity, so you celebrate differently every year. And one that lets you make jokes. The funnier, the better.”
“Can you do that? Just … make up a holiday, I mean?”
“Why not? Brands do it all the time.”
Tobey nodded sagely. Then he looked at the imp. “What would it celebrate?”
“Nothing. It’s not a celebration. It’s just a day where everyone tries to prank everyone else — and it’s actually encouraged. So the more pranks, the better.” His eyes scanned their surroundings. “We’ll cover the whole nexus.”
“I like it,” said the elf.
“Can you think of anyone else who might have some good ideas?”
“I have a list of a few others, but I’ll need to check it twice,” Tobey said. “Definitely a leprechaun or two living on Patrick St.”
“Great. I’ll see if any gremlins or other monsters are in too.” He smiled at Tobey. “That should about do it, right?”
“Almost. When should we celebrate?”
Borsenilograth thought for a moment. “I could probably bang out a bunch of pranks at the shop in the next week. You?”
“Excellent.” He looked at the enormous clock tower that dominated the center of the nexus, reminding everyone of the current date. “Today’s March twenty-fifth. That’ll put us at April first. Sound good?”
“Sounds great. I’ll see you then.”
Borsenilograth winked at the elf, “Not if I see you first.”
And that’s how the first April Fool’s Day came to be.