Episode 2 – Troubles with Charlie

Britney’s squinting out the window.

I’m puzzled. “What’s so fascinating?”

“It sounds weird out there…like somebody’s throwing gravel against the panes.”

“It’s just sleet,” Mrs. K says, staring at the thermometer. “Look! The temperature’s down to 36.”

“I hope Dad gets home okay,” Brit says. “It could get really icy. What strange weather! A few hours ago we didn’t think Winter would come at all!”

A warning scrolls across the TV: “The Weather Channel has issued a quick freeze warning for the Lower Adirondacks. Drivers and pedestrians should use extreme caution as conditions quickly deteriorate. Black ice and 6-12 inches of snow will create extremely hazardous conditions throughout the night.”

“That should keep the media out of everybody’s hair,” Mrs. K says. “Hopefully, we’ll have a quiet Saturday.”

My mind drifts to the past week at school. Britney’s ex, Charlie, acted like a fucking asshole. Yesterday, in the lunch line, he started pelting me with cubes of green jello. When I turned to see who it was, he acted all innocent. “What? I didn’t do anything,” but the minute I turned away, it started again. I had the shit on my shoulders, collar, everywhere! He and his buddies think I’m chicken because I don’t react, but it’s not that simple. Using my Elf powers, I could fuck him royally, but that wouldn’t be playing fair, and it’d be totally contrary to Elfin Code. Taking advantage of weaker beings is strictly banned, but admittedly, it looks bad not to do anything…totally trashes my rep. My soccer buddies want me to fight him normally, but that’s impossible, because my intuition telegraphs every move. He wouldn’t be able to land a single punch, and I’d make mincemeat out of him…but honestly, it’s not just that. I feel guilty about Charlie. Our troubles began because I committed a serious violation the Elfin Code…big time! The code prohibits you from consummating a relationship until your mate has been approved by the elders, and you’re formally joined in Elfin matrimony, but Britney and I were so incredibly attracted to each other that, from the get-go, we were consummating multiple times a day, plus extras. I tried to resist, but it wasn’t within my powers…figured I could rationalize skipping protocol because my family was gone, and there was nobody to join us officially. It was an emergency situation. Makes sense, right???

Anyway, because of me, Britney dumped Charlie and he hates me. I don’t blame him. I’m a code violator which, in Elfin society, results in banishment.

Suddenly, the door slams, and I hear Noel’s boots in the hall.

“Thank god he’s home,” Mrs. K exclaims. “It’s no night to be out.”

Noel stands in the doorway dripping, rolls his eyes. “Jesus, what a day!”

“What happened, Daddy?” Britney asks.

“It was bizarre from beginning to end! We had the the most peculiar incident. Nobody could figure it out…nobody.”

In case you’re wondering, when my Elf family perished last Christmas, I started living with the Knights. They were incredibly understanding and made me feel like their son…even tried to adopt me, but nobody could determine if I fell under human laws, because of my Elfin lineage. Technically, Elves are humanoids, not humans, a branch of the species that sprouted at the very beginning, and became infused with different mental abilities. We cherish the air, vapors, mists…not solid, earthbound things.

Bottom line, because nobody could figure what to do, I just stayed with the Knights anyway…had nowhere else to go. My Elf family lived a solitary existence, without contact with Elf relatives or neighbors, and frankly, the transition was easy. I hate to admit it, but I’m more carefree now than I was in the mountains. Mountain life was intense and challenging. As the family breadwinner, I was responsible for supplying game for all of us. Not many human kids have that kind of responsibility, and I’d had it since I was thirteen…sometimes trudged through sub-zero cold for hours trying to bag a lone pheasant or turkey…came home empty-handed a few times. In contrast, human kids play, learn and hang out…with zero responsibilities, except maybe school and feeding the dog. They’re given years to figure out what they want to do, so lately, that’s what I’m doing too…and it’s fucking awesome!

I look up to see Noel, Mrs. K and Brit staring at the TV. The weather forecast is showing micro bursts of snow heading for Pikeville.

“It looks like we’re in for it,” Noel says. “If conditions go into the crapper, I’ll be out all night.”

Britney turns to him. “Daddy, p-l-e-a-s-e! Tell us about the incident that was so peculiar!!!”

To be continued…Read next episode!