Across the Border

The lights flashed like a meteor storm, and the siren was blaring like a siamese cat in heat. I might be tough, but I couldn't ignore the omen. I moved the car to the side of the road, slowing to a stop as the police car relieved us of the misery of that constant wailing.

That which struggled out of the cruiser was no human. He had to measure significantly on the planetary scale, his bulk casting a darkness over my vehicle. I heard a muffled gasp somewhere behind me and frowned. The car shook at each step of the ogre's approach.

I found my voice cowering somewhere in the high notes of my vocal chords. "Howdy, officer," I tried, pretending that I regularly inhaled helium before speaking to servants of the law. "What might be the problem?" I asked. It was easy to talk to the top of his left boot, that being the whole I could see of him out the window.

It took a moment for the sound to travel from his vantage point to mine, and I wished for a bass control as the car shook in response to his words.

"YOU WERE MIGHTY HASTY THERE AT THE BORDER, GIRLIE. YOU FORGOT TO CONSENT TO A SEARCH." Or, at least, I think that's what he said. My ears were ringing.

I ignored the panicked sound behind me. My mouth went dry as I tried to explain. After a few wordless eternities, I opened the door. "I wasn't aware, sir," I began, hastily, "that it was obligatory." I stumbled a little as I left the driver's seat.

All I could hear for the next few seconds was the beating of my heart as I craned my neck and brought my eyes up and up and up to meet the monolithic sunshades that covered the officer's eyes.

"THIS WOULD BE FOR YOUR OWN PROTECTION." I reeled, finding no way to argue with the giant's logic.

"Well, then..." I began, hoping to pin down the tail of my escaping dignity. The wind from the officer's nodding head nearly knocked me over, as he knelt down to open the back door.

His immeasurable eye peered intently into the windows, around the seats, and he made a hmph of satisfaction as he closed the door. I crept over, weakly unlocking the trunk, and then ran down the street a little ways, covering my eyes.

I heard the squeak of the trunk, and then, at the sudden silence, ran a little farther.

The rumble began in the air, and then moved into the ground.


I crouched down and covered my head.

"ELVES!" he repeated. "AN ELF SMUGGLER?"

I tried not to move, but I could hear the almost inebriated giggle of the elves I had convinced to hide in the trunk as we went through the border.

I could just imagine their pale forms in various states of undress, long golden hair, and what the giant must have been thinking.

I was wrong.

"ELVES! I HATE ELVES." He took a breath. "ELVES! Pale-skinned, tree-hugging, star-gazing, mead-drinking, night-dancing, pointy-eared, bright-eyed, feather-footed, arrow-jointed, anorexic, moon-watching, flower-sniffing, giggling, upturned-nosed, weak-chinned, delicately-browed, nature-happy, glamour-ridden, tip-toed, fairy-dusted, fragile-boned, pipe-playing, enigmatic, gem-craven, sycophantic, fornicating, niminy-piminy, overwrought, haughty, ethereal, prattle-prone, antic, paradisiacal, sanguinary, braggardly, strepitous, venal, asinine, meretricious, gaudy, saccharine, narcissistic ELVES!"

After mentally congratulating the ogre on his vocabulary, I prayed to spontaneously develop the power of teleportation. Failing that, invisibility would work. Maybe super-speed. I really wasn't picky, as long as it got me out of the approaching giant's footsteps.

I felt myself leave the ground, and opened my eyes to see the comforting surface of the Earth abandon me to a spot many feet above. I was twisted around, forced to look at the officer's face. With his other hand, he pulled down his sunshades slightly, to make eye contact with me. I forced myself to keep breathing as my captor shook a finger at me.

"WE DON'T TAKE LIGHTLY TO ELF SMUGGLERS AROUND HERE. I AM GOING TO RECOMMEND THE JUDGE SENTENCE YOU TO THE MAXIMUM PENALTY." He growled just slightly, then put me down. I managed to stay standing as he proceeded to write me a ticket. I saw the elves playing with his radio, and bit my tongue.

It wasn't until he was about half a mile off, and I saw the explosion that I fainted.

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j n m ( m n j )
"Wouldn't want to be a partial fool and leave the job half done."