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Another Terrible Tale as Told by a Tapeworm

There stood a gallant green tree in the front yard, blushing yellow leaves so as to suggest that autumn loomed near. But there was yet enough summer left for a hot, sweaty ass day down in the Filth. A muck and rine sort of underbelly wrought from the bones and sewage that were here long before the Upstairs started flushing more down their toilets. And it had only gotten worse from there when they let the humans move in on the ground floor with them.

Dumb beasts no better than a pair of disposable hands to an Elf that could weave tapestries from the air and command the wind when he shout, for humans had no magick. In through the gates of the Filth at the base of the sky-reaching tower citadel; wagons of pluming steam and jittering engines bore the end of the natural world to the heart of their once precious wood. One cut to make the ceiling of sewer pipes for the Upstairs where their toilets flushed down.

Ruinin’ their towns, they were; those humans slipping into ghettos on a fast track to mechanize the city and turn every tree within their once sacred wood into fuel that lit the fires of the hot tubs Upstairs and cooked their fresh meat! Oughta send those humans below, some elves would say.

But a curious bard with his elf ears long left on a necklace of string about his neck would bend them all to bend theirs longer and with the tip of his hat that bard would tell them that, ‘These ones are different, they’re just like you; and less a wiser man knows different, your enemy is you.’ Cottage cheese and tomatoes wasted on an ill-proportioned performance come complete with a bard’s trademarked smile painted red and white beneath one last tip of his brim.

You! He says. That must mean you! Fingers crossed the street one after the other upon coming to the conclusion absolute that their quarrel was not with the humans moving in, but with how they must be allowed to live alongside us! We cannot sink into isolation at the behest of the Upstairs! But we’ll sink even further down to a whole New Filth with them livin’ on the streets and make you mistake!

Fumes and noxious gas were the result of human intelligence. They could not possibly live among Elves in the clouds! And those Elves would bicker to no end with brooms out on their stoops in the middle of the day they couldn’t tell by a glance at the sun because there was no sun in the basement of the towering citadel.

Tragedy struck the Filth like a bolt of lightning and devastation swept the old, cobbled streets wrought of proud Elven folk and gallant soldiers at their side to fend off that which prowl in the darkness and hunt in the wild forest those folk had together settled where their children now bickered to the point of bloodshed!

You! It must be you!

But the mines kept turning iron and the mills kept sawing the wood to keep those peasants working and working together to build the Upstairs even further and further away from the ground. It was a Lord and Lady’s dream to be wed in Eternity among the clouds! To kiss with the sun cowering beneath them where it belonged. An Elf could certainly dream as a human foreman led the charge of fixing exhaust pipes made of glass.

They must have hired the stupid humans to think that would even work! Those bulging, old rusted pipes could barely contain the jettison fumes of steam and smoke the humans had put here last time. And what good did their fires do when there was a shortage of wood?

Come one! Come all! you’d hear all the paper boys shout on every street corner where the lanterns yet flickered for they were long out of fuel. The humans have saved us! Bend every knife-ear the way of that which had bid them division and together once more the Elves gathered beside the humans beneath the first new engine hoisted to the city ceiling where there was no sun to see.

Feast all your eyes upon history in the making! Their very mayor was present for the first time in decades, standing gallant and formal in his clean white clothes and his polished black shoes to tell humans and Elfish peasants alike that the humans shall henceforth be welcomed in an alliance with their towering citadel. We have achieved something glorious together.

And even the mayor turned away in awe of the neon violet lights that lit the tubes that filled the city with light and blotted out the sewer pipes stretched across the ceiling. Magnificent sheets of purple light that draped the Filth in royalty for it was on that day that peace was made and with Elvish magick, the Humans had engineered Arktek; an engine that hoisted into the plumbing above like a scorching violet star.

Still in awe of that which could power the city of the magick of mana alone! No need for toxic fumes and that black sludge the humans burned in their engines. Damage that of course couldn’t be undone just like how the Elves had once kept their sort as pets to lay the very brick under their feet if they shouldn’t be so grateful for it. And losing awe fast in the spectacle that should have granted them peace and comfort, they had to ask,

But who is the enemy, now?

And conveniently gathered into one heap of a place to watch their first violet sunrise on a brand new horizon they could finally see with their own eyes from way down there in the Filth below the Upstairs. Easier to point the finger when a bard told you that the enemy was you.

And precisely why the mayor failed to mention their new engine ran on souls.

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