Chapter 1

There is a difference you know

between fearing for someone's life

and wanting to share it while alive

she said

Sometimes caring is not enough

then what is love

I asked

A cry in the night

A sudden stop of time

the whisper of your breath

We all know how waking up can become a real drag sometimes, so indeed it was for Joe, and if the truth really needed to be told it had been so for quite some time now. As he slowly forced his eyes open only the bare whitewashed walls would meet his eyes. Thirty-three years of age with nowhere to go, that's me, he tiredly thought as he rubbed his eyes.

That is if one didn't wanted to call that sad excuse for a room home of course he thought, but for now he knew that he had no other choice but to once more get up to hunt down some work. He well knew that he was down on his money as well as on his luck, and that no matter what work he would find, it at best only would move him an inch back from the edge.

It were just days before his rent was coming due again, the problem here being that what little he had all went to food. He shook his head at himself and ruefully muttered, "shit, I don't know why I bother anymore" as he prepared his oatmeal porridge.

He had never been that good with cooking, but he had to admit that he had became quite good in preparing porridge over the last few weeks. At least he had a place to call for getting work, although working there over the last three years quickly had coerced him into becoming something of a 'jack of all trades'.

Not that he had had any say in the matter anyway. Sometimes there was work for a few weeks but lately there had been none at all at the center. As he had pawned his cellphone last week, he now had no choice but to use a pay phone, "Shit, not a clean sock to be found" he swore as he frantically looked around trying to get ready for the day.

Normally he tried to remember to wash them in the washbowl but somehow he had forgotten this time. The weather was fair but cold when he came out, his once so expensive Jordan sneakers that once used to be his pride and joy were starting to get worn down, as well as the rest of his cloths.

Perhaps that's the reason, he thought, as he walked up to the pay phone, why there didn't seem to be any work for him lately? The Center prided it self on having well groomed workers with a good work ethic, at least that was the sermon served when they discussed his appearance last time.

But how could one buy clothes without money? He knew he was a good worker, handy both in and out of a house. Stealing wasn't really Joe's style but lately he had felt more than tempted at times. Luckily someone had tipped him of on oatmeal as a cheap and 'wholesome' diet and boy were they right.

Wholesome as in, one more spoon and I'm gonna ... he thought mirthlessly as he dialed the Center. "Hi Jenna, it's Joe. Could you connect me to Mr. Fairwall please? Thanks." As he waited he aimlessly looked around, it was a cold and windy October morning and the street was still empty.

He really needed to buy some warmer cloths he thought as he stood there shivering, seeing the windswept dark wall of clouds building up, drawing constantly closer to him... "Just my luck, ain't it." He muttered to himself. "Fuck it!"

He almost dropped the phone when he suddenly heard Mr. Fairwall ask "What did you say Joe" "Oh sorry sir, I was just talking to myself." answered Joe hastily. "I was calling to see if there was any..." " Now son, don't you lie to me!" He heard Fairwall's angry retort.

"I heard you clearly swearing at me, complaining over your luck. Now boy, if you don't want our work stop calling us." And with that Joe heard the phone on the other side hang up. He froze, standing there with the phone in his hand, staring at nothing defeated and with a feeling as if all of his energy just had run out. Slowly he too hung up the phone and turned to walk home.

Over him the clouds had become as a whirling vortex of dark colors, now and then illuminated by flickering lights, somewhat like flashes but without any sounds forthcoming. It was a most eerily sight but Joe never even noticed it as he blindly walked home with his head down, only seeing his own two feet, up to his one room apartment.

Coming too he found himself sitting staring without seeing into the wall. Sometimes he thought, sometimes ... He looked around, thirty-three years old and this is what I own he thought to himself. A worn backpack a tent and a sleeping bag, and books of course, lots and lots of those.

Cheap ones, paperbacks mostly, but he bought them for the content not for their appearance. Since his mothers death he had had no other choice but to work, and school was for those able to afford it he thought somewhat bitterly.

Even before that he had worked of course, but then they had been two at least. And there had been some sort of purpose to it. But what was the purpose now he asked himself as he looked around. To read a book more, to call back and apologize to a polished asshole calling himself a manager.

Just because the jerk couldn't be bothered with listening. Maybe I should just end it he thought. It wasn't the first time he had thought so since he lost his last good regular job five years ago. Then he had been a tech working for a company.

It had been fun and interesting with lots of travels to different countries. But they had been bought up, then consolidated and downsized. A lot of people had to go, he could have stayed he guessed, but when the rest of his department just got kicked out he choose to follow them.

It was more a matter of pride than necessity for him at the time, but hell, he had thought that with his experiences from there, it would be a breeze to find a new job. He had forgotten how his old work would react though.

Its new owners had counted on him thanking them for being allowed to stay, now they suddenly found themselves lose a lot of goodwill from their old customers as their old representative no longer worked with them.

They couldn't stop him from quitting but they could blacklist him. So wherever he searched for a new job there was this invincible wall awaiting him. The employers would call his old firm and then, after some time, uniformly they called him back to inform him that they were sorry but, no.

So all of a sudden he found himself compelled to search for other jobs and in other places, and somehow it all had ended here and now. He had a girlfriend then, but that was another life, and another town too he thought. She had left him fast as soaped lighting when she had realized just how 'bad news' he had became out there on the streets.

Somehow he had succeeded in misdirecting himself too, he thought, as he had been the staunchest of believer in her fidelity. Apparently he had been mistaken there too, after she had left him he had found out from others that she was all to well known for her loose ways, whenever he left town. Strange how people were all too happy to tell a fact after but never before it came to be, he mused to himself.

Sitting on his bed staring at the wall he now started to feel as if it all just added up to one single thing. There was nothing left here for him, he sadly concluded, as he raised himself from his bed and started to pack his backpack one last time. He left a whole lot of books as well as other things, but where he was going there would be no further use for them anyway he thought.

Though he had to take some favorite books with him, he just couldn't walk away from them. Sweeping away his hair, his eyes fell upon the footlocker that had been here when he moved in. Hadn't it been a parka in there? It was an old one, green and warm if he remembered right. He decided to look in it and yes, there it was.

What harm would it do he thought to himself, whoever that had left it there wasn't planning to come back anyhow. As he lifted it up it got stuck somehow. He pulled and as it come loose a small compartment opened up at the bottom of the footlocker. "Hey!" said Joe as he leaned over to take a better look, "now what the heck is this?" Inside the compartment were a crystal and a piece of something looking like paper.

The paper was of a yellow color and seemed both old and fragile, Joe took it up to put it on the bed and then opened it in a most gingerly manner. It was sturdier than what he first had expected though, and if it was paper it was no paper he ever had seen before.

It reminded him more of some sort of vellum or yellowish leather. The strange thing was that it also looked as something out of a newspaper clipping. Joe shook his head as if to cleanse it from a fog of ignorance. "This can't be true?" Joe said. "I gotta be dreaming here." As he studied it the vellum seemed to come more into focus somehow, slowly he started to discern letters as well as ... Was that a photo, made in leather?

Nothing seemed to make any sense today Joe thought as he sat there staring on the strange 'clipping'. He hadn't picked up the crystal yet but now he started to feel that it was time to take a look on that too. As he lifted it up his vision blurred slightly only to sharpen again almost instantly, so fast that he couldn't decide if he only had imagined it.

As he turned back to his bed he to his surprise found that the parchment now was perfectly readable as he looked at it. "We congratulate Evelyn Te'daoall to her new mundane posting as our observer of the terrene ordnance's and as our forerunner for peace eternal"

The photo was of a almost ethereal quality to Joe. The azure blue or was it green eyes seemed to be able to come across the photo to touch him even as he stood there watching her smile. She was so perfectly poised and at ease, at the same time as she seemed both shy and innocent.

He felt a sudden immense need of protecting her, "Awh, come-on!" He mumbled to himself. "This can't be true." But before he wrapped up the vellum he took one last wishful look at her and, giving in to a sudden impulse, gave the parchment a fleeting kiss.

"What the heck, can't make any harm can it." He smiled to himself as he stuffed both the vellum and the crystal away. He then made a throughout search inside the footlocker but to his disappointment there was no more hidden compartments to be found.

As he took a last look around his apartment before leaving he got this feeling as if he never had lived there at all. It was like the last year somehow never had existed. When he had started his packing up he had had a very definite and final goal in mind, but finding what he found in that footlocker put everything in a new light.

"A walkabout." He said to himself. "I will go for a walkabout." He felt a great relief at that thought. As he was leaving the building he put his keys inside the caretakers mailbox together with a letter explaining that everything he left now belonged to the apartment.

When he at last came out in the street he found it to be very dark, almost as if it had became dusk already. He looked up only to see a swirling black togetherness, like one benighted cloud, vastly stretching as far as the eye could see. He almost felt dizzy looking up at the flickering lightning high above him. "Strange?" he murmured. "No thunder?"

And strange it was indeed.

While time wait for none

Love might wait forever

To not care is to lose

To care is to lose

Faith hope and trust

Words in love

Evelyn Te'daoall sat in her office looking out. Where Evelyn was there was no darkness, her realm was a place of tranquility and ease. Yet she had this irritating feeling of discontent, she had had it on and off for more than a week now, and she couldn't for the world understand why.

She was quite satisfied with the Mundane's actions for now. They seemed for once to be ruled by sanity and the wars and armament sales had gone down as the governments sharpened and restricted their regulations. They were still very strange and bestial to Evelyn but she had high hopes for them.

A long time they had lived side by side, in different realms but coupled by the consequences of actions taken by both sides. None of those realms existed by their own, 'as above so below 'as the old saying went and yes, it went both ways she thought to herself.

Evelyn's realm was vastly different from the Mundane's. What was simple and mostly straightforward in the Mundane world became here a matter of choice. Dreams were not only portents, they could if you were unlucky and not anchored in your self become all to real.

On the other hand there was always people watching for just that so all in all there was no more danger from what the Mundane's called 'nightmares' than in their world. Also there was this thing about gender, In the Mundane's world, that became sealed with birth, well, mostly so at least.

In Evelyn's realm it more became a matter of taste and will, not all together of the Elflings own choice though, as their world often had a mind of its own. Yes in Elfland all were conscious, each with a life of their own.

So it was that Evelyn those first young years had been a male, and most happily so. As she came into what most likely resembles what the Mundane's would call puberty that had changed drastically though. And all for the better too, if you would listen to the numerous admirers of her newfound grace and beauty. Now, you might have heard that Elflings age differently from Mundane's.

It is most true I can assure you, but only as long as they are in or have a open boundary into their own realm. One of the worst punishments there could be was to be banished from their own realm, to live out the rest of their life as a Mundane, without the protection of any open boundary. But even so they would live almost twice the length of a ordinary human. There were also many other reasons why 'cross breeding' between Mundane's and Elflings seldom were seen, but mostly it was a matter of living so totally different lives.

It was while Evelyn pondered on such weighty matters as what color her tongue should be today that she heard the morning post materialize. It usually came with a little 'pooh' to it as it pushed away some air. As she opened it eager to see the sport results, ah well, she had always been into rabidjumping and badger burrowing you see. And yes, that was even before she became a 'she' in fact, reading she couldn't help but notice a photo of a young Mundane caught under a immense black vortex.

The caption said, "Mysterious Mundane Makes Air Wobble", when she continued to read she found that the Morningglory's intrepid reporter had been called out to observe a most mysterious phenomena all centered around that young man. And as the reporter wrote, 'it is not without danger for my very life I at last succeeded in taking those photographs for our enlightened followers reading pleasure.

Evelyn smiled appreciatively and gave a small applaud whereupon the reporter captioned in a small photo further down answered with a most self-aggrandizing bow. There was something about the photo of the Mundane that spoke to her, maybe it was the town? No that was not it, was it the man himself then? Had she meet him under one of her visits to Mundania? As she looked under the photo the text hurriedly became larger as more paragraphs were added to the article while she read it.

This is why the Mundane's never will catch up with us, she thought with no little pride. However great their technology we still will be the leading edge. As she read on she found to her surprise that that the new paragraphs all was about her. 'We have learnt that our esteemed follower and long time admirer Ms. Evelyn Te'daoall has promised to personally take a hand in the matter.'

I will? Thought Evelyn much consternated as she read on, why ever would I want that? 'As we on the Morningglory, as always at your service, now have been informed by our very own, as humble as immensely grandiose, Elf-home's burrow sage-assemblage.

Now Evelyn found herself at a loss of words. Why! Didn't she had enough to do she wondered to herself. Taking care of the observing and channeling of the Mundane's energetic and boyishly unreflective deeds into something resembling a proper framework. "No way I will take care of that ugly clumsy Mundanian ... Mundane!" She snorted uproariously. Sage-assemblage or no sage-assemblage.

One step forward two steps back

As Joe started to walk he could feel the static electricity building in the air. It was as if those twisting cloud-masses were torturing the air itself. Suddenly he heard a 'twaing' and when he looked aside he saw a parked Lexus. There were tiny blue flames dancing around its now open hood and from inside the engine compartment he could hear a wheezing sound.

Then the car-battery must have exploded, it was just luck and his fast reflexes that saved him from being drowned under the acid rain that the battery spewed forward. Now he saw more cars doing the same, their hoods screeching as they opened up, in front of him as well as behind him.

It more and more started to feel like living a nightmare to Joe, with him all lighted up as their only target. But he also got a stronger and stronger feeling that he desperately needed to get away, and fast too. He looked back to his apartment wondering if he might make it back, but then he remembered that he didn't have the keys anymore.

The buss, he thought, I can take the buss. They were the new kind driven by electricity like a streetcar. Now, where the fuck was the nearest bus stop he thought franticly, and how the hell would he get there without getting drowned in acid?

Evelyn dreams

So they believe that I, do they? That I? Me whom already is overburdened by all my responsibilities will have the time to take in a stray human too. They got another thing coming to them if they think so, thought Evelyn as she proudly snapped her ponytail, her pert nose poking a literally hole in the sky around it.

One could almost hear the air sizzling as it touched her overheated brow as she impatiently paced around her office. She looked down at her morning paper again. There were new paragraph's coming in a never ending frenzy now and the formerly so proud and self-reliant reporter seemed, if that now ever could be possible, almost nervous as he continued to report from the scene of action.

Even Evelyn had to admit that it didn't look too good for the young Mundane as she continued to read the story. Then she read 'We make a break here as a news flash from our esteemed Elf-home's burrow Sage-assemblage just have come in.

It says that our beloved and most enchantingly cheerful heroine Evelyn Te'daoall graciously have accepted the responsibility of getting our mystical Mundane house trained and vaccinated for the yearly expose by the Sage-assemblage, now with even greater awards'.

"Now what... " she screamed as her eyes started to glow with an most unearthly glow.

Ah, if you don't mind.

I think we will leave our heroine there for a moment.

To stew in her own juices as it may be.

Or not perhaps, as to cross Evelyn's path most definitely wasn't meant for the yellow bellied.

As we instead throw an eye or two on our own most mundane hero.

Jumping Jack flash

Joe had started to run, he had no choice any more, the faster he could get under cover the better, But it was hell running carrying his backpack. After just some blocks he felt like his lungs were burning, and his legs felt like lead. Whatever it was controlling those cars still had trouble with planning for his running though. He had made it safely past over a hundred cars already, and as long as he had the energy to keep moving he thought he would be safe.

But he didn't dare stop running to get some rest. If he did he was sure that whoever it was controlling this would change the strategy somehow, and then he most probably would be doomed. He was just glad that it hadn't started to rain yet. It was while he thought about that, that he first noticed the strange whistling sounds coming from the sky, he slowed down a moment just to be able to look up. What he saw made him frantically tear of his backpack and place it over his head as he once more started to run forward.

What he had heard was no rain at all, no Sir, it was hail. And as it started to hit his backpack and ricochet from the ground he saw that some of the hail was almost as big as Ping-Pong balls. He knew that to be hit by one of those easily could have been fatal. Thank the Gods that he didn't had thrown away his backpack as he first had wanted to do he thought as he continued to move towards the buss stop.

When he at long last could allow himself to rest under the cover of the buss stops shelter he felt like he was half dead from exhaustion. The constant smattering from the hail stones hitting the roof as well as the ground made it almost impossible to hear anything. Combined with the perpetual darkness from the twisting cloud vortex it also made it very hard to see. As sudden as it had started the hail stopped. It was as if someone had found out that it wasn't going to work and decided on something else instead.

It was with an eerie feeling of dread Joe lifted his head to see what next was on the menu. Whatever was coming he was sure for it to be coming from above. The swirling black vortex seemed to be changing form, splitting itself into a multitude of smaller vortexes. They almost started to look as beclouded inky fingers, all starting to point at him.

Shit, those were no finger's he realized all of a sudden. Those were twisters, growing and coming for him! He didn't know how many there were coming his way, but he didn't need to be a rocket scientist to realize that this buss stop wouldn't do a thing to stop it. He started too look around scanning for a better solution, he needed to come inside some house, not that it might be that much safer there he thought. Glass windows were dangerous stuff when a twister made a visit.

And those were a lot and they all seemed to seek him out. He wasn't sure that a house would be able to stand it but it was still a better chance than to stand here and die he thought. He now felt a desperate need to start moving toward the nearest house, praying that the port would be open as he more felt than saw the darkness swallowing what light there was left.

Suddenly he couldn't see which way to go, he stood still for a moment trying to listen but he couldn't hear a thing more than the sound of those twisters closing in on him. They sounded almost like jet engines or maybe like some really heavy and fast express trains passing just over his head. He almost wanted to let it go now, what was the use, he thought as he stood there listening to the throbbing ever-closing sounds.

He had almost decided to do it before he thought, it was finding her photo that had changed his mind he admitted to himself. Come on Joe, one last try, then you can rest he thought to himself, trying to hold the memory of her face in his mind. He still didn't know which way to turn but knew he had to move It was now or never. As he took that first step his foot got stuck on something making him fall down on his knees...

Feeling around it he found out that it was a manhole cover. he desperately started to push the lid away, counting on it to be a ladder to climb down with. After what felt as an eternity and not a few broken nails he succeeded in removing it with the help of his backpacks protruding ends. He started to feel around with his legs for the ladder while swearing to himself about his lack of smoking.

If he had had a gasper, he would have had a light too, wouldn't he, typically me he sniggered to himself, never prepared, lucky I never joined the boy scouts he thought sardonically. In the end he found the ladder anyway, and with his backpack secured over his shoulders again he started to blindly climb down the ladder. The last thing he remembered to do was to pull the lid back over the manhole, silently praying for a chance to live, and perhaps if luck was with him to once meet her whose face he still could see at his inner eye. While at the same time hearing those express trains finally coming into their own, colliding just over his head.

Evelyn begets a pet.

Or vice versa?

Evelyn who by now found her foul mood to be truly ingrained into her very soul decided that she definitely needed to teach that lying fiendish chickenhearted yellow-bellied scandalmongering piece of shit what a lady was made of. Getting her bearings toward the scene of action she took contact with the paper. The bastards absolutely refused to cooperate with her having the gall to refer her to the Sage-assemblage instead.

She hastily collected herself, thought over what she wanted to say and why she so desperately needed to communicate with that sweet brave reporter which head she would revere for all time forward, promising herself to remember to smile at all times too, as she explained to those lovely old men and women. To her surprise though they were all too happy to direct her toward the scene, almost gaily waving her on to her final destination.

It wasn't until she arrived to find her self surrounded by the most stinking darkness she ever had felt that she started to wonder about their apparent willingness to help. She made a slight weave creating a soft yellow light as well as creating a substitute for that stench with her own favorite flavor of the week. A very lovely but erect rosé with just a twinkling of cinnamon and vanilla. It was while doing this she looked down and found herself suspended over what most probably was as a sewer under her, and with something sounding as hellhogs on a warpath above her.

She was rather surprised though as she kept hearing them fighting above. After all, it was well known that hellhogs very seldom if ever were allowed outside their own circle. And as far as she knew, never on Mundane territory. It was at that time Joe, who now was holding fast for his very life to the rings knocked into the wall while listening to the express trains colliding, suddenly started to wonder if he had gone mad.

He knew he had no matches, maybe, just maybe, if he was lucky, and if the fluid wasn't finished, he might have a lighter somewhere in his backpack. But his backpack was on his back as it should be according to all manuals, even if he dearly would have preferred to have it somewhere else by now. It was becoming horrendously heavy at a ever accelerating pace.

So how could there be any light? Now, one have to remember that Joe was only human, although a very brave lad in many ways even he had his weaknesses, one of them sadly enough acrophobia. As the educated reader well knows this is no easy thing to bear. So with both acrophobia and the backpack to oppress him Joe indeed had placed himself in a most precarious situation. In the end his need to prove himself sane won out against his fear of heights.

As he ever so slowly forced himself to look down he become struck by the lovely fragrances coming from what rightly should be a sewer. And it was as he forced himself to look even further down he first saw, to his everlasting surprise, something he just knew had to be sent to him as a revelation. She was that verily apparition of loveliness and good taste he always had dreamt of, just not here. Her appearance calming his senses as nothing else could as she effortlessly and gracefully floated just some twenty feet over the well feed sewer.

It was almost as if he recognized her too, he thought, but hey why not? Hunted by twisters and crazed car battery's, why shouldn't he knew a sewer Goddess too?. At least he should show her his appreciation of her coming to him in his hour of need he realised. "Oh sweet Avatar of thine everlasting grace." he begun, as any experienced sweet talking role-player would. "Thank you enlightened one for brightening my drab and dark subsistence." Evelyn who's, until now that is, primary goal had been to make some sense of her surroundings now looked up the manhole, mightily surprised to see something clinging to the wall. Something that to her eyesight most looked like some shaggy turtle.

"A talking turtle, how quaint!" she blurted out loud. Not wanting to scare it away she collected herself again, while furiously trying to recall where she had read about talking turtles. The only thing she remembered was that they all liked pizza, oh, and that they really liked to fight too. But that didn't surprise her, after all, this was Mundania. Now, a talking turtle would actually be kind of cool she thought, her friend Silvia had a fish that could levitate but a full size talking turtle? Oh yes, her friends would go mad of jealousy, she smiled.

And no longer would she have to withstand those embarrassing silences that all to often seemed to pop up in her discussions. Now if she only could remember their true names she thought. Ah yes. "Is it you Donatello? Or is it Raphael?" she said in a most gay manner as she slowly floated up to her soon to be very own pet. As all sentient beings know true names contains true power, so being able to name her turtle would in fact be the first step into consolidating her own and very sweet power over it.

Joe on the other hand, who by now had started to become seriously confused, became even more so as he recognized her as being the very girl portrayed on his vellum. But why did she think he was an Italian, he wondered? "Have you come to save me?" He asked hopefully. He wasn't fully sure who or what she was, the only thing he knew was that it was her he had to thank for not giving up. Somehow she, or at least her picture, had made it all seem worthwhile to him again.

As she started to come nearer she at last started to recognize him for who he was, no turtle at all she thought disgustedly. Oh no she thought, it was only that stupid boy who didn't even had the good sense to stay at home when the weather got bad. Now, Evelyn did have a slight problem with her eyesight, nothing really bad as long the distance wasn't further than ten foot, that was.

Yes! She was near sighted, not that she ever would admit any such thing, but it was that problem that allowed the others to win whenever there was a witch race. Usually she used to blame it on the others brooms but in reality she, at the very least, should be as quick as any broom invented.

She studied him some more, as he leaned out to do the same with her, somehow her beauty made him forget his tiredness which was a good thing. But it also made him forget his hold on the ladder, which was a slightly worse thing, especially as it was a rather fair distance left before the floor.

The twisters that somehow seemed to know where he was had now gathered into one really majestic twister. That twister was for the moment occupied with studying the manhole lid, If now a twister could shake its head and smirk then that was what this twister was doing. Then he slowly started to move again and as he moved the very ground he touched disappeared.

Evelyn who by now had seen enough of him, on second thought decided that she first wanted to go home and take a bubble bath before she ever decided if she wanted to adopt him. She was rather disappointed though, and doubted that a mere Mundane ever could be as good as a talking turtle would have been...

But she should give him a chance she thought. "What tricks can you do boy?" she smiled "Can you do roll over?". The twister above their heads that by now almost was situated over the lid started to suck it in ever so slowly. Joe who by now had decided that he most probably was hallucinating couldn't help but feeling scared anyhow as he heard the lid starting to rattle.

Hearing what easily must be the largest vacuum cleaner in history hovering, gaining strength, just a few feet over your head can make almost anyone feel so, trust me on that. Evelyn who by now was starting to feel bored as well as not really wanting to meet the hellhogs mother who evidently was digging above her decided to cut out on her fun for the time being.

She gave him a brisk smile as she said "Well got to go now boy. Sad that you didn't know any tricks. You know, if you ever want to get adopted a few good tricks is good to have" Joe just started at her, adopted? By her? How old could she be? Sixteen perhaps, no older than twenty, that he was sure of.

"Look girl," he said forgetting his manner for a moment. "If I ever wanted to be adopted then that was a long time ago. I'm old enough to be your father." Evelyn forgot to make the last weave as she listened to the young fool. She started to smile a broad and terrible smile as she considered his naivete.

"And if I told you that the moon was made of green cheese you would believe that too?" she asked while smiling sweetly. Joe who couldn't help but feeling irritated on the lack of cooperation in this lovely hallucination leaned out some more as he studiously and with great precision informed her "Go home and change your diapers girl, leave us big boys alone."

Now, saying so to a fully grown Elfling is not recommended, not at all. If there is one thing that might make Elfling's touchy then that got to be the number one unmentionable. Maturity and the gaining of it is a very important juncture in any Elfling's life. So now, at last, he had succeeded in pissing of the very girl of his dreams.

Evelyn looked first at him and then at the lid, she saw that it started to move and however much she wanted to flatten this boy and literary spank him into submission she decided that she rather wanted to go home. So she smiled a truly angelic smile as she said. "Say bye bye for me to sweet mama hellhog now boy" as she finished her weave.

Joe who by now totally had forgotten where he was, angry as he had became with her, leaned out some more to get as close as mundanly possible to her. He really couldn't help that you know, even in his most steaming anger he found her to be all that he ever had wanted, not that it stopped him from steaming though. "Hellhog huh, just who are you calling a hellhog, sweetiepie."

He said it in his most arrogant manner at the same time as Evelyn started to finalize her way home and the manhole cover finally got sucked up. Looking up, seeing the lid float up in the air Joe finally lost his last handhold falling down at Evelyn who just was beginning to fade away. As luck would have it she instinctively grabbed hold of him, as he did of her.

And so they both were transported to Elfland and to her lovely and highly picturesque village of Elf-home. On their arrival he found himself, most happily at first admittedly although rather quickly realizing his relative displacement, placed on top of this twisting and spitting minx of a girl that verily seemed prepared to claw him into little pieces if he didn't move his ass back off her.

Joe being the eternal gentleman naturally followed her wishes and sat himself as far from her as he could. "Look girl, my lady, I didn't mean to," he said stumblingly. "I just sort of l'lost my hold, take me back if you want. I never meant to intrude on you. I'm sorry girl." What he didn't know was that the law war very strict on what rules that applied to anyone bringing back 'anything' from Mundania. Whatever it was it became that person's responsibility.

And before allowing to bringing anything back the whole clan had to gather to decide if it could possibly cause them any long term harm. This process would easily become rather costly as the person wanting to bring something back also would be the one paying for the whole shebang, up to and including any guests that wanted a 'say so' in the process. Depending on the participants festive mood as well as the instigators financial 'resources' it could easily become drawn out indeterminately. Some of those 'investigations' had been known to go on for over a year, leaving their instigators almost destitute.

So the people bringing back 'mementos' was relatively few as compared to the sheer overwhelming number of Elfing's that couldn't help but travel. Also the law of prevention of cruelty to animals was very clear on what one could do and what one couldn't. Not that Evelyn was a cruel person normally, but as for the moment? Well, let us just ascertain that some anger might have been present at the moment he tried to explain.

But as Evelyn started to collect her righteous wrath into a really kick ass imprecation, she found herself relenting as she saw his disheveled condition. It wasn't that Evelyn lacked empathy or compassion. But she was a Elfling, not a mere Mundane. What he had to flee away from was to her a easily corrected situation. She just lacked that true understanding of the capabilities as well as of the liabilities of a mere Mundane being. But as she couldn't miss how he felt her compassion went out to him, with herself in tow, both wearing an almost friendly smile.

"Come here pet" she grumbled under her breath. "It seems as you are mine now. I don't know what to do with you really" and here she looked him over most critically "But I don't seem to have any choice, do I?" And now her smile had become almost real. Joe looked at her, as if frightened of her disappearing, and asked hesitantly, not sure even now if he was dreaming or not. "Does that mean that you will be mine as well, sweet lady?"

She studied him for a moment as if appraising him anew. Then she gave him the smallest nod. "Perhaps, perhaps young man, we will see. But come now pet, You need a bath and then a good grooming I think, after all, there might come some friends of mine to visit." She sighed. "You don't know any tricks at all, do you?" She decided to give up on that and continued with "If you behave yourself now, I will fix some nice Mundane food for you to chew on too, would you like that pet?"

Joe who still wasn't sure that he wasn't hallucinating just shook his head at this, nodded and mumbled "Thank you my lady, but please, call me Joe." having said that he leaned towards her, closed his eyes and just inhaled her scent for a moment. Then he meekly followed her as she turned up the stairs to her bathroom, as a lamb led to the slaughter, his hand in hers but with a smile as wide as a smaller barn door.

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