Icovara Sareyan sat on her daughter Deenea’s bed with a screen open to a new text she had bought called Stories for Elven Children. Deenea, a four year old Deltan elf, lay expectantly for a story from her mommy before falling asleep. The room was dark and quiet, with only a light so Icovara could read.
“Once upon a time,” Icovara began, “there were white elves called Teolian elves, and dark purple elves called Deltan elves.”
“I’m a Deltan elf,” Deenea said. “You and daddy are too.”
She kissed her daughter’s cheek. “Yes, we are Deltan elves.”
She looked back at the screen. “The white elves were good and pure, while the dark purple elves were…”
“Mommy?” Deenea asked as her mother’s face twisted in horror.
“Let’s read another.” Icovara moved to the next story. “Once upon a time there was an ogre who lived in the woods. He was very strong—”
“—And tall,” she added in. “One day he saw some pure maidens frolicking in the woods.”
“What were they doing?”
The text didn’t say. It just said “frolicking” so she replied, “they were drawing pictures.”
Deenea had drawn at preschool that day so she giggled and smiled.
“He wanted to draw pictures with them,” continued Icovara. “He waddled over and invited them back to his cave to draw. Being good maidens, they accepted. When they got to his cave, they found he didn’t want to draw as he…“
She skipped to the next story. “This is a good one. “Once upon a time there were funny creatures called brac’tai.”
Deenea giggled. “They ARE funny.”
“Yes they are,” Icovara said. She read, “A brac’tai was floating down a stream when it came upon an elven maiden swimming. ‘Hello,’ the maiden said to the brac’tai. “The brac’tai looked her up and down. He chirped. “‘You want to play?’ The brac’tai whistled.”
“The maiden splashed water playfully at the brac’tai,” continued Icovara. “Soon they were splashing around and when they finished they sat upon the bank of the stream. The brac’tai laid a tentacle on her. The maiden knew what the brac’tai wanted to do and she…”
“Mommy, go on,” Deenea said.
Icovara put the screen down. “And she spread her arms and the brac’tai tickled her.” The girl giggled and squirmed as her mommy tickled her.
Once Deenea was asleep, Icovara walked in her bedroom to find her husband, Oneren, watching a show. He flipped the screen off as she got into bed beside him. “How were those new stories?”
Icovara proceeded to finish them for her husband.
“You might want to have checked to see if these stories were intended for Teolian children or Deltan children,” said Oneran when she’d finished.
“I knew these were for Teolian children, but I didn’t think they’d subject their children to that stuff.”
She pulled the covers up.
“They have their reasons, but we don’t have to subject Deenea to it.”
“And I won’t. The world’s too messed up as it is.”
Like what you read? Check out the K23 Detectives novellas.