An alt-ernative punchline would have been tempting, but there are better ways to kill time.

For instance, if you’re in the mood for a bit of reading, here’s a brief excerpt from a newly started sparse-spare-time-project of mine. It’s going to be a short story based on true* events, set in a unique fantasy setting, but with a cast and a storyline you might recognize from somewhere.

* Not true.

—- —- —- —-

Once again, but not quite unexpectedly, Cindy and her father argued over trivial matters. She had just made the most important decision of her life, and it hadn’t even required any second thought.

“You are not entering that contest!” her father bellowed, failing to perceive the importance of her ill-thought-out-of-the-ordinary request. “And that’s final!”

Of course it wasn’t the final word on the matter. Until the plates were void of food, Noëllan was within earshot of his oldest daughter’s pleas. His conviction, albeit admirable, failed to defuse the argument. Cindy would object till her face turned pale.

Cindy’s face turned pale. Noëllan didn’t falter; he had decades of experience handling her temper tantrums, dismantling her dreams and ruining her life.

“Are you quite finished?” he enquired.

She wasn’t. Her father was guilty of having unreasonably high standards, unnatural expectations and a complete lack of trust. And when she finally ran out of appropriate superlatives, she resorted to name calling.

Poor ‘Mr. No’ nearly choked on a baked potato, as she unveiled her final trump – something that would surely convince him of her plight.

Advertising material.

The leaflets were richly illustrated and featured a number of skimpy-clad Elves, striking odd poses.

“This is my destiny!” she proclaimed.

“A top healer? Is that a healer in a top? But these women aren’t even wearing any!” her father whimpered.