Episode 8 – Mobbed
Suddenly, the crowd explodes…so many people, we can’t see our friends, the waterfall, anything. Without warning, my favorite wool cap is yanked off and my ears pop out. Uh oh! There’s a collective gasp from the crowd, and camera phones flash from all directions…people start screaming and yelling, pushing their kids at me like I’m Santa Claus. The little faces run the gamut from joy to terror…some are begging for Christmas stuff, others are speechless…in awe. Out of nowhere, somebody grabs my ass, and I turn to find a pretty teen winking. “V-e-r-y nice!” she squeals.
The crowd’s closing in so fast, I’m afraid Britney’ll get crushed. I raise my hands and scream at the top of my lungs. “Stay cool everybody! No pushing! I’m happy to pose for pictures!” Immediately, the crush is worse than ever. I turn to Britney. “Maybe that was a bad move. Go for help. I’ll keep ’em occupied.”
Around me, there’s a sea of faces…all different colors and features. My mind is bombarded with thousands of feelings at once…a tidal wave of raw emotion…deep hatred, happiness, revulsion…sexual excitement. Humans are a weird bunch. For the most part, they’ve been really nice, and my heart goes out to them, but as I watch their frenzied excitement…disbelief…amazement, whatever. It’s astonishing. Are their lives so boring that seeing someone from the Internet, or a magazine, is like a spiritual experience?
It’s perplexing to me. Is it because humans are basically so alike that someone who gets special attention is totally idolized? Plus it doesn’t seem to matter if they’re beautiful, grotesque, good or bad. It’s hard to fathom because, being an Elf, there were so few of us in the mountains that, if somebody new showed up, we’d all sit and eat and drink and get acquainted. It didn’t matter if the guest was beautiful, plain or ugly…but as I look at all the crazed faces and riveted stares, it’s scary. What do they see in me?
The flashing phones get incredibly annoying. People stick them right in my face, and pop! My vision’s a mass of colored blobs. They act like I’m not a live, breathing, being at all…just a stick of furniture…like I have no feelings.
Above the din, I make out bits an pieces of conversation:
“Holy shit, It’s that Elf from TV!”
“He’s so cute!”
“Crazy, fucking ears!”
“Where’s his Elf suit?”
“Watch out! He may be diseased!”
“I’d fuck him!”
“He’s too tall to be real.”
“What’s so special? He’s just a kid!”
“Smile…let’s see your teeth.”
“Please sign my tee shirt.”
“How about a date?”
Suddenly, there are loud voices ordering people to stand back…Britney squeezes through the crowd with security guards. Everybody’s pissed. Wants me to stay…didn’t get a picture…whatever, but I’m overwhelmed. Eager to get home…be alone with Britney. Shopping’s totally out of the question,
“You okay, Arne? Is this insane or what?” She’s frazzled too.
I nod. “I guess our day’s down the fucking drain.”
She rolls her eyes. “Yeah. I was counting on a normal day hanging with you and my friends…it’s not your fault. The world’s curious about you…and the whole Elf culture thing. Daddy told me that some countries are requesting official visits.”
The guards hustle us out to the parking lot, but we’re followed by screaming hordes…some lunatic even throws a rock that barely misses us. I’m wondering how the fuck we’ll get home, but then I hear police sirens, and am s-o-o-o glad Noel’s a Trooper.
On the way, I can’t speak for a while…my hands are shaking. Seeing all those crazy people totally focused on me was a total shock. We could have been trapped all day…especially because Elves have a tradition of pleasing people and granting wishes. My Elf nature was urging me stay until the last photo was taken…but that would have been insane! It makes me feel like shit…okay, I posed for pictures and pleased a bunch of children…maybe convinced some to trust their imaginations, because nothing’s impossible. That’s at least something…the whole day wasn’t a total waste, but it was sure bewildering. Still, I gotta focus on the positive. It’s a bitch being transplanted from one kind of life to another. Like immigrating to a whole new country, culture, everything…and I’m not doing that bad…just a few glitches along the way.
I’m lost in thought…staring out the window watching the winter landscape whiz by.
“Arne, why are you so quiet?” Britney asks. “Are you okay? That was terrifying back there. My friends are texting me like crazy. They’re totally stunned about what happened. I guess the holidays are not the best time for us to go out.”
“I’m sorry it was such a fucking disaster.”
“I was freaked…I came back with security, and there were so many people, I couldn’t even see you. It was insane the way you were swallowed by that huge crowd. Every store was emptying out…and there was a massive stampede to the waterfall.”
I can’t think of much to say…feel like I don’t have a real life and am ruining Britney’s too. “It was a bitch,” I mumble.
Britney snuggles next to me. “What do you wanna do when we get home? Curl up in bed?”
“Yeah, maybe. I feel like I could sleep for a week.”
“We can do a lot more than sleep,” Britney says slyly, “but don’t forget…we’re due at Charlie’s later.”
“Right…he was decent for a change.”
“He was seriously spooked. I’ve never seen him like that. It was the Ogre, right?”
“Definitely. Everything he said matched up.”
“How come it hasn’t attacked anybody?”
“I’m pretty sure it’s looking for Elves. Legend has it that our flesh cures everything. It’s gotta be hurting somehow…I wonder why it was at Charlie’s.”
“There are a bunch of abandoned farms near his place. Maybe Elves are hiding there somewhere. I’d be amazing to meet more of you guys.”
“Maybe you will. If there are any Elves, my senses will definitely pick them up.”
To be continued….read next episode!