The days had turned dark and ominous for the elves of the Kingdom of Dodgedom. A great evil had imparted itself on this once merry and happy Kingdom, greatly souring the elves spirits as well as their milk.
Yes, it is sad to say that where there was once happiness there is now sorrow. The laughter had changed to crying and the sunshine to rain. Parties had turned into mere funerals for lost loved ones.
Needless to say, there were a lot of parties these days.
Life in general just simply sucked.
That is for everyone except Murray the undertaker. Yes, I guess you could say that good old Murray was rolling in the dough during these long dark days. Business was booming so much for Murray that he had to open up a second funeral home, and then a third and then a fourth. Murray learned to diversify when he managed to corner the barley market in Dodgedom. This move actually allowed Murray to corner the beverage market as well as taking ownership of every pub in the Kingdom.
As they say, one man's bane is another man's gain.
But the elves weren't men, so they never understood what this meant. That is, everyone except for Murray the undertaker.
But enough about Murray, because this story really does not concern him much at all. I just figured that I'd mention him because he paid us a very large fee to have his name mentioned in this story. Hey, its not like we all work for free you know.
No this story concerns the evil and destructive doings of a malfeasant dragon by the name of Burpsfire. Yes, it was this horrible fire breathing flying reptilian that had destroyed the beautiful serenity of the Kingdom of Dodgedom. It was simply three years prior to when this story takes place that Burpsfire came gliding over the pointed mountains of Ease and descended upon the valley Kingdom of Dodgedom.
It was a most horrible arrival for the elves of Dodgedom. For no sooner had Bupsfire arrived that he immediately started causing destruction of the most monstrous of measures. Burpsfire lit fire to the town hall, burned down the royal castle, killed off the entire guard of the king and smashed every window out of every house in the Kingdom.
But worst of all, he was a lousy tipper.
But on the good side, the one establishment that Burpsfire left totally unmolested was Boxer's Brief House. Yes, Burpsfire always believed in putting on a fresh clean pair of briefs at the start of everyday. This was a habit that he had learned from his dear old darling mother. Heck, even a murderous destructive dragon like Burpsfire had a set of morals that he believed should never be violated and one of them is that one should never be kept from having a fresh clean pair of briefs to put on every morning of every day,
So, now, the elves soon found themselves at the back of Murray's Tavern to discuss ways of ending the destructive reign of the dragon Burpsefire who had currently taken residence in a cave in Mount Crapshoot. This would be a day of calm for the Kingdom of Dodgedom due to the fact that Burpsfire took Saturday's and Sunday's off from terrorizing the Kingdom. I guess you could pretty much describe the dragon as a Monday through Friday kind of guy.
The elves were strewn about the tables in the back room of the Tavern facing King Downtrodden who was seated in a wooden throne at the front of the room. Each elf had a stein full of the Tavern's premium beverage affixed to his lips. They were fidgeting nervously in their seats, glancing quickly at one another over the tops of their beverages. They were all wearing a fresh clean pair of briefs that they remembered to put on at the start of the day.
Come to Murray's Tavern where the beverages are half price everyday from 4 PM to 6 PM.
The King was a sallow faced old elf with long gray hair that swept down to his waist with small brown eyes that had a distant look in them. His body seemed frail and his stein shook slightly in his hand. He appeared to be in great duress and suffering. He constantly raised his oversized stein to his lips and took large gulps from it. One could certainly say that the King's physical and mental state was caused by the destructiveness of the evil dragon Burpsfire. But, alas, this was not the case. The cause of King Downtrodden's great distress was due to the fact that he did not have a fresh clean pair of briefs to put on this morning.
What a shame.
After several minutes of sighing and taking large gulps of the beverage in his stein, the King slowly surveyed the entire assembly of elves in front of him. After several moments passed he finally spoke in a very refrained tone of voice.
"Where is Lightlance? He's supposed to be here. He very well knows that he is the Kingdom's finest warrior now, since Quicklance got toasted in his battle with Burpsfire last Tuesday".
No one volunteered an answer to the King's question. All the elves continued to fidget nervously in their seats, each glancing quickly at one another over the tops of their beverage steins, which they continued to hold affixed to their lips.
The King's eyes went slowly from one elf to another, seemingly trying to draw out an answer from any one of them. No one seemed in any particular hurry to give an answer. Finally, after what was only a few moments but seemed like an eternity, the heavy silence was broken by a single high pitched voice.
"He's… Ahh… He's… Ummm… He's not here!" the voice slowly blurted out.
"What do you mean not here?" the King asked in a sad whiney kind of way. "I specifically ordered every combat ready elf in the Kingdom to be at this meeting. There were to be no exceptions".
After another moment of uncomfortable silence another voice chirped up from the right side of the room.
The King was taken aback by this answer and before he could respond another voice chirped up from the left side of the room.
"Yeah he started to develop a bit of a sniffle last night when we started talking about today's meeting".
"Boy you should've seen how white his face turned when we told him you were going to send him off to fight the dragon", started another elf. "His eyes got real teary and then he started coughing and throwing up and gibbering incoherently. I guess he must have concocted some sort of flu or something".
"Hey you know something?" began another elf. "Didn't the three other guys we sent out before to fight the dragon have a lot of the same symptoms before they left?"
"Now that you mention it, they probably had the same flu", chipped in yet another.
"Gee and that might explain why they didn't do so well", added another.
The King groaned and put his head in his hands and began sobbing silently.
The elves always liked the way the King showed such a positive attitude towards their input at these gatherings.
"Will we ever see an end to the carnage that this fire breathing reptile has brought upon us?" whined the King as he continued to sob with his head still in his hands and tears rolling slowly down his arms.
It was pretty clear that the King could use a good fresh clean pair of briefs right now.