Drawing of a woman in a green dress, long blond wig, with pointed ears, and purple-stoned jewellery. Caption reads: "She wore an elf costume.

Elf short story by Iris Carden

Settle in dear reader, while I tell you the strange tale of Beatrice, who dreamed of being someone she wasn’t, only to find the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence.

Beatrice was a low-level office worker, who had only one interest outside her boring office job. She loved fantasy fiction. She loved fantasy books. She loved fantasy movies. She even loved fantasy television series.

She often imagined herself as a powerful elf, along the lines of Galadriel, a great elf leader in Tolkein’s stories, bearer of a magical ring of power.

The elf she dreamed of being was almost exactly the opposite of her real self. Beatrice did not make friends easily, or at all. She was uncomfortably shy, very insecure, and always felt like a fraud.

When it was announced that the work Christmas party that year would be fancy dress, she knew exactly what costume she would wear. With a long blond wig, a shiny satin dress, fake pointy ears, coloured contact lenses, and a fine golden-coloured crown, she transformed herself into an elf.

While dressed like an elf queen, she felt she could also put on the personality of the character. Let’s face it dear reader, that was a great improvement because she didn’t have much of a personality of her own.

A co-worker approached her and said, “Hey, I don’t think I’ve met you before.”

She replied, “It’s me, Bea, I’ve had the desk beside yours for two years, Evan.”

“Really? I don’t know how I didn’t notice.”

Beatrice went to find herself a drink. Along the way, she met someone she couldn’t identify, dressed in a Santa suit.

“Great costume,” the stranger said. “You like elves, do you?”

Something about him invited confidence. She told him about how her life was boring, and how she often dreamed of the being an elf, of the life she would lead.

“And if your dream could come true, would you really want it to?” Santa asked.

It only took her a moment’s thought to answer in the affirmative.

Santa offered her a drink. Beatrice knew better than to accept drinks from men she didn’t know, but something about Santa made her feel safe, and she accepted.

That was a big mistake. She almost immediately felt weak, the room seemed to be moving around her, colours blurred, and she passed out.

She woke up to find someone shaking her. She had been lying in a bed of straw in what appeared to be a factory of some sort.

“Get up lazybones,” someone with a squeaky voice said. It was a small person in red trousers, a green shirt, and a red Santa cap.

As this person slowly came into focus, Bea asked the obvious question, “Where am I?” Her voice was also high pitched and squeaky. She looked down and realised she was dressed the same as the person who’d woken her. As she carefully stood up, she seemed closer to the floor than usual.

“We’re in Santa’s workshop, of course,” the elf who had spoken to her said. “It’s almost Christmas we’ve got to get these toys out, get to work.”

And so Beatrice found herself on a production line among Santa’s elves, making and wrapping toys for Christmas. Nobody talked to her much on the production line, there was no time. They were working sixteen hour days.

One day, Beatrice tried to leave, and managed to get out of the building, only to find a desolate, snow-covered landscape, and a reindeer with a glowing nose munching on some hay from a feeder.

So dear reader, Beatrice has achieved her fantasy and become an elf. Perhaps next Christmas, she’ll ask Santa for her boring old life back.

I invite you, dear reader, to look out for more:

Strange Tales

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By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.


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