Each time that Sirens Call Publications releases an anthology, we like to delve a little into the minds of the authors whose stories appear between the covers just to find out why that particular story line came to them. In Between the Cracks, twelve fantastic stories appear and each of the authors was asked to write a post sharing their inspiration for it. Seven authors answered the call… Next up is Rebecca Fung, author of The Woman Who Cried Elf…
Rebecca Fung – The Woman Who Wrote About Elves
Elves around the house seemed the only logical explanation for all the strange things that do happen. The “elves are doing it” is a real joke that I have made in my home. I’d be walking in the hallway and – oops – flat on my face. What was that parcel doing there? Well, it couldn’t be me. I’m a logical, sensible creature. I don’t go around tripping myself up. What else could explain something that was so obviously carefully placed just to see me go flying face down.
Some supernatural force around me is at work. Something beyond my own reach.
What other explanation when the remote control goes missing and it’s under a bunch of magazines you’re positive you haven’t read for months. Or when, like Robert in the story, you can’t find your keys in the morning?
It has to be elves.
Unlike Lisa, in my story, I’m not a shoe fanatic. But like her, I do make jokes about elves in the house. And I’ve often had fancies about the supernatural beings that must jump about and delight in a bit of house rearrangement.
I’m not the first to have thought of little beings jumping about like this. Roald Dahl wrote a story called “The Gremlins” (later the famous movie) based on Royal Air Force folklore. The original Gremlins were mischievous beings that meddled with stuff in the Air Force. They were the explanation for when something went wrong on a plane. I like the idea – but I was looking at a household.
I’m a huge fan of fairytales and folklore, and my story was an opportunity to explore two well-known tales – The Elves and the Shoemaker and The Boy Who Cried Wolf.
In The Elves and the Shoemaker, the Shoemaker and his wife find benevolent elves at work in their house. Elves who love nothing more than to stitch shoes and make the shoemaker very, very rich. There’s a mystery in Lisa and Robert’s house, but it’s nowhere near as kind.
When my story came to me, after quit e a few trippings-over and bruised shins, and lost sets of keys, I began to envy the Shoemaker and his elves. At least his elves stuck to making shoes and making him a fortune. Why did my house elves insist on rolling my socks up in non-matching pairs – just to infuriate me? It seems not all elves are created equal.
So I began to write The Woman Who Cried Elf. At first I thought the malevolence, the horror, of the story would come from the naughtiness of the elves. Let’s face it, these were not the nice kindly shoemaker kind of elves. We’re talking about elves who are creatively mean. First it’s misplacing keys. Next you’re ‘accidentally’ putting salt in stuff instead of sugar – or was that by elvish design? And then you are forced to think twice, every time that toilet is clogged!
As I wrote the tale I found myself feeling the horror grow from somewhere deep in Lisa’s brain. As well as loving fairytales and folklore, I love horror because it’s a real chance to explore something fascinating about people – what makes them shiver. I found myself shivering with Lisa. Lisa is not a bad person even though she orchestrates her own ending – much like the boy who cried wolf – and that, too, fascinates me.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Rebecca Fung is a legal editor based in Sydney, Australia. She loves to edit in the light … but writing brings out her dark side. She has previously had her dark fiction published in Midnight Echo, Voluted Tales and Eclecticism magazines and is a regular contributor to the “Demonic Visions” anthology series. Her work has also been published in a number of other anthologies and her ebook “Dead Lucky” is published by Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing in their “One Night Stands” series in October 2014.
And here’s a little information about Between the Cracks…
A crack, a split, a rend, a tear – all of these fissures open up a new world for us to gaze upon. But what if the things we see aren’t friendly? What if the things that spill from beyond are dangerous and unwilling to be contained? What if evil lurks just below the surface waiting for its chance to strike?
In this collection of diverse and multi-faceted tales, you’ll find a computer program twisted into a nefarious tool, elves who are more than mischievous, a Creole House where those who dare to cheat fate meet with an unsavory end, and something evil lurking within the water. Are you brave enough to look Between the Cracks? There is only one way to find out…
Between the Cracks is available on:
And now for an excerpt from The Woman Who Cried Elf…
Lisa was the first one to mention the house elves, though Robert kept reminding her of their existence.
“Where are my keys?” asked Robert.
“Where did you last put them?” asked Lisa.
“If I knew that, I wouldn’t be asking where they are. I’m almost certain I laid them next to the fruit bowl. Or maybe it was next to the little glass vase, said Robert.
“Don’t look at me, I haven’t touched them,” said Lisa.
Robert ran around frantically for five minutes, and then he cried triumphantly, “Found them. Now how did they get behind the sugar bowl?”
“Must have been little house elves, messing around with your things,” suggested Lisa.
“Ruddy elves.” Robert gave Lisa a peck before he bounded out the door. “Have a good day!”
Lisa smiled. House elves, eh? It would explain a lot. It had just come into her head, but now that she thought about it… she imagined a spritely elf dancing on the shelf, taking Robert’s keys and putting them under a stack of dirty dishes or inside the toaster. Maybe that was why she could never find an umbrella when she wanted one, or why she found a boot mysteriously paired with a sandal in her shoe closet.
“Should I wear boots today, or heels, or flats?” she mused. “I’m wearing red, but I’ve got some cornflower blue in the trimmings, so should I go for blue shoes or red, or something safe like the skin-coloured pumps?” Lisa sat in front of her wardrobe and stared at the rows and rows of shoes. Robert always thought this was highly amusing; he had about five pairs of the same, serviceable brown slip-on leather shoes he wore almost all the time. He never had a fashion crisis.
Lisa could not live like that. Every time she passed a shoe-shop window, a different design begged to be bought—heels or bows, yellow or blue, sparkle or leather or sequins, straps or buttons, buckles or laces, she loved them all. Each shoe fitted her for a different mood.
She chose a pair of red slip-ons with happy bows on the toes to start the day. She was feeling a little girly and these would perk her up. Oh, what fun it was to have as many shoes as you liked and a wardrobe big enough to house them all!
Lisa snapped on her shoes and grabbed an apple from the fruit bowl. Two more tumbled off.
“Who stacked those like that? Elves!” laughed Lisa to herself.
“House elves,” laughed, or grumbled, Lisa and Robert, when little things in the house didn’t run perfectly. It was the easiest way to explain things, and besides, who wanted to listen to some pimply teenager calling himself a plumber coming out with some long-winded explanation for a clog in the pipe when house elf would explain it just as well?
Tune in tomorrow when we’ll hear from E. F. Schraeder!