For this week, the prompt for #FairyTaleFlash is “stories that feature St. Nicholas, elves, or Krampus.” Well, as a long-term fantasy fan, I’m intrigued by how much more nebulous the term “elf” is in folklore than it is in, say, Lord of the Rings. For example, the first recorded references to “dark elves” and “black elves,” was in Snorri Sturluson’s medieval Icelandic text The Prose Edda, in which Snorri seems to be equating such beings with dwarves. This would make sense if you use “elf” in the more general sense to mean “fairy”; dwarves are subterranean fairies who like darkness. An interesting thing about that is that it could mean that Santa’s industrious workshop elves may actually be dwarves. Which inspired from me this very short piece of flash fiction:
My parents were shocked when I started working in Santa Claus’ shop. My family’s been blacksmiths since the moment we were changed from maggots to dwarves, and they couldn’t see a dwarf in any other life. But I like fresh air — claustrophobia is crummy for a dwarf.