An excerpt from a work in progress…
“My Lord Lucellus, may I request a moment of your precious time for such a small creature as myself?” asked the small elf appearing in a far corner of Lucellus’ apartment away from the harpy eagle.
The eagle opened its eyes, shook itself and prepared to launch on command.
Lucellus looked at the tiny green creature, noted it was a gentle and reclusive marsh elf and wondered what was going on out on the coast that would force this creature to find him?
“What is it we can do for you?” said Lucellus nodding.
“My Lord,” the marsh elf began, then hesitated and looked nervously over at the eagle.
“Go on,” said Lucellus. Without breaking eye contact with the small elf, he waved his hand at the eagle. It settled and stuck its head under its wing.
The elf took a deep breath allowing the words to tumble out in one long stream. “My Lord, a human is filling in our swamp. Bulldozers–those human machines that push dirt around–are covering over our homes. They are taking the soil from around our homes and from the dunes to fill in the marsh where we live. I am told they are building what the humans call a ‘golf course,’ whatever that is.”
“I would well, we all would appreciate it if you could do something about this. Or, if you could ask the Lord Merlin to do something about this.”
“We have already lost many of our homes, and indeed some of our people were buried alive as they hid in their homes. We got some of them out but we have lost children,” finished the elf losing control of its voice.
It gathered up its courage and looked Lucellus in the eye, “Children,” it repeated.
“I’ll take care of it myself,” said Lucellus nodding at the tiny creature hanging in the air.
The elf shivered with the anger and power in that voice.
“What in hell were you thinking? Don’t you know enough not to take that damn thing into the pond? It doesn’t swim you…” A string of swear words that would have made Merlin blush strung out of the construction supervisor’s lips. He aimed the words at the bulldozer driver who had managed to not only drive his machine into the pond but had mired it in the clay bottom in four feet of water.
With the treads slipping and burying themselves even deeper as the operator revved the engines in a futile effort to drive clear, the supervisor became angrier and angrier until he made a cut-off sign by slicing his hand across his neck.
A second and different string of swear words answered the supervisor’s as the driver threw up his hands, stood upright, turned to the shore and yelled back at the construction supervisor. “The damned machine took off on its own. The damned throttle and the #########-ing steering jammed. I damn near broke the levers off trying to turn it.”
Another string of curses answered this excuse.
“Get your damned machine checked before you light me up. And you can either stick your accusations where the sun don’t shine or you’ll be talking to the union rep,” replied the operator.
He clambered down from his perch onto the submerged tread, took a deep breath and stepped off into the four-feet of cold, green, algae-filled water. Another string of swear words, in plain but colourful English, filled the space between the bulldozer and shore as the driver scrambled in the muddy bottom to gain solid footing.
Leaning in the shade of a large English oak, Lucellus smiled at the celebration of the Marsh Elves as they flitted around the machine.