Fiction Fantasy Urban Fantasy

Orvar sat staring past his desk. Beyond the mountains of paperwork barricading his desk. His gaze fixated down the hall to the water cooler. The water cooler itself didn't draw his interest. The tall slender form located next to the water cooler was what Orvar found so distracting. Lilyana attracted the attention of every male elf in the office since she started three hundred years ago. She not once, in all those years, glimpsed Orvar's direction.

Orvar's eyes remained locked on Lilyana. Dark brown hair swirling around her head almost taunting anyone who saw her, daring them to approach. Eyes the color of emeralds and ears running to the back of her head into perfect points. Her slender, strong figure stood out among his coworkers like an oasis of perfection in a desert of the mundane. Paralyzed by her beauty Orvar could only stare and dream.

An out-of-focus blur appeared between Orvar and his unattainable fantasy. Raising his eyes upward the blur morphed to reveal his supervisor, Gilbert. "How are today's miracles looking?" Gilbert smirked, freshly filled glass of water in hand. Orvar eyed Gilbert and leaned back into his chair, "you know I was thinking, what if we did bigger miracles more often. Why worry about the small stuff?" Gilbert sighed lifting one leg to sit on the corner of Orvar's desk. "Orvar, you know you've been a loyal employee of Splendor Work for the past five hundred years." Orvar interrupted, "Thousand years," annoyed at the fact this is the third time this month he heard this speech and the third time he made this same correction. "Right, thousand years. Wow has it been that long?" Gilbert continued his patronizing without giving Orvar a glance. "Anyways, I would be more willing to assign executive-level miracles to you if you would finish the miracles I gave you." Gilbert eyed the stacks of papers piled on Orvar's desk. They both know that was a lie. "Just try to get your miracles done for the day Orvar, I don't want to keep bugging you about it." Gilbert's attention shifted towards the water cooler, lips curling into a sly grin. Chugging his completely full glass of water he left Orvar and headed over for a refill.

All employees of Splendor Work Inc are expected to fill a quota of small miracles. Orvar has been behind on his quota for as long as he can remember. Unlike most elves, Orvar is not much of a people person. To generalize, elves are a jolly and helpful bunch. This personable nature explains their eagerness to issue miracles to complete strangers. Concerning himself with daydreams of bigger and better things, Orvar sees his assignments as unnecessary distractions. Centuries of this attitude have made him one of the least magically fit elves at Splendor Work Inc. Fortunately for him, immortals are typically only let go for exceptionally serious workplace infractions. The punishment for a low quota being reserved to embarrassment throughout the office.

Splendor Work Inc. works tirelessly to ensure that mortals continue to believe in the magic of miracles. The majority of their work serves as gentle reminders of their existence. Ever found a dollar in your pocket? How about receiving a text from the one who got away? You can thank the hard work of a Splendor associate grinding away behind a desk. Splendor Work Inc is exclusively compromised of elves. These magical immortals possess the power to alter luck and create miracles to enhance your day or change your life. The production of miracles does not come without cost, however. The drain on an elf's magic reserves can be physically exhausting. Only the most fit elves are selected for larger miracles because of this. Splendor Work Inc likes to focus more on small miracles mostly to benefit the mortal's public opinion of elves, which has been declining for several centuries.

Orvar knew he needed to pull something impressive off. Tired of getting the smallest of the small miracles he needed to prove himself. Assignments like keeping a child's ice cream from falling off a cone. Especially when that same child develops a burning desire to test the laws of gravity. Any elf with a hint of magic would be able to pull that off. These were below him. Orvar needed to show Splendor Work Inc, and Lilyana, he deserved more than this. The problem is if he somehow pulled off an executive-level miracle no one with two eyes would believe he had the magical fitness level to achieve it. Not to mention, performing magic of that caliber sounded like A LOT of work.

Very few elves are trusted with executive-level miracles at Splendor Work. Orvar knew he didn't hold the respect to be issued top-tier miracle assignments if he simply asked. Management will never understand what he is capable of unless actions are taken. Now was the time for actions. Without much thought, Orvar tugged the first few assignments off his desk and set off for a quick chat with one of the best miracle makers in the company.

The most fit elf in the company without a doubt is Halrandir. An athletic-looking elf with brown blonde hair slicked to the side sat at his desk pondering what presumably will be the world's next miraculous recovery through a pair of stylish thick-rimmed glasses. Awkwardly approaching, Orvar began to second guess his plan. Halrandir glanced towards Orvar. "Can I help you?" Halrandir questioned, his eyes never leaving the screen. "Hey, Halrandir!" Orvar's voice cracked as he attempted to sound like talking to Halrandir was a normal occurrence. "I am thinking about starting a magic fitness routine, I wonder if you would be able to give me any advice for starting out." Halrandir's attention moved away from his screen for the first time during their encounter.

Examining Orvar head to toe Halrandir replied "why would you like to do that?" He paused to search for an actual answer since he had not yet thought this far into his plan. Scratching the back of his neck nervously Orvar said, "Uh well you know, I have just always looked up and I think you could help me be a better employee." Halrandir's eyes rolled as they returned to his screen. Clearly, he was not buying it. "I am not a personal magic trainer. You should try one of those Magic Planet places. Their commercials are great." This was going nowhere. "Alright... sorry to bother you." Orvar turned, ramming his knee into the back edge of Halrandir's desk.

The stack of miracle assignments wobbled for a moment before falling to the ground. Miracle assignments littered the floor. For a moment Orvar thought he hadn't bumped the desk hard enough. "Oh my! I'm so sorry!" Halrandir didn't flinch, more annoyed than angry at his bumbling coworker. "Let me grab those for you." Orvar offered while bending over to pick up his mess. Halrandir replied, "please do." His attention returned to the monitor. While gathering the assignments from the floor, Orvar took care to slip one of the scattered assignments into the pile he brought. Orvar returned the remaining papers to the corner of the desk. Realizing Halrandir was thoroughly annoyed at his clumsiness Orvar returned to his desk, prize in hand.

Orvar waited at his desk for a few moments pretending to work. He needed to be certain no one discovered what he was doing. As nonchalantly as he was capable of, Orvar removed the stolen assignment from its hiding place. Absolutely no one in the office cares about what he is doing, but he couldn't help but feel like he needed to be careful. He overlooked his newly assigned miracle briefly. Something about an entire town needing rain for their crops. Never caring much for details Orvar brushed it off. Sounded easy enough. Only thing left is to find a way to increase his magic fitness ability.

Orvar coasted through the rest of his workday reveling in the dream of his plan's success, ignoring any of his other assignments. With the day winding down an unfamiliar wave of courage hit Orvar. As well as acquiring a sudden thirst. "Hey, pretty busy day huh?" Orvar asked. Lilyana peered up from filling her cup, a look of surprise showing. "Uh... hi.... yeah, real busy. The world needs a lot of miracles right now for sure. So, Are you a new hire?" Orvar felt weightless. He had said words to Lilyana, he was in a dream. "No, I'm Orvar, I work right down the hall." The bravery he had recently acquired was rapidly fading. Before Lilyana had a chance to respond Orvar blurted out "OK, good night. Bye!" He hurriedly snatched his things and headed out of the office.

On his way home Orvar had planned on executing the first phase of his plan. The magic enhancement aisle at the nearest Magic Rite contained a massive assortment of colorful drinks and powders, all with exciting names. After taking several moments to weigh his options, he ended up leaving the store with a cool can of Red Centaur. Which guaranteed, in bright colorful letters, to boost your magical fitness levels to unprecedented heights. Orvar drove home, placed the can in his lunchbox for the next day, and went to bed. Unable to sleep, thoughts of his new future raced around him. Final thoughts of Lilyana getting much more familiar with the new department manager lingered as he nodded off to sleep.

The next morning Orvar arrived at his desk, removing the slightly colder than room temperature can from his lunch box. He attempted to open the can as silently as possible. The telltale "tssschk" of a can being opened broke the stillness of the office. So much for silence. He froze. No sounds of movement or coworkers coming to investigate followed. Orvar was starting to realize he may be more invisible here than he thought. He put the can up to his lips, tilted it back, and let the sickly sweet, tangy liquid flow into his mouth.

In an attempt to hide his intentions from his coworkers he chugged the entire can in one go and placed the empty can into a drawer in his desk. Orvar then sat and waited for something to happen. What was supposed to happen? The can of magic enhancement he had inhaled did not have anything in the form of instructions. Unsure what to expect, Orvar decided he should prepare for the continued execution of his plan while he waited.

Performing Miracles for the Elvin people has somewhat of a history to it. In the old days, if a mortal would be lucky enough to have an encounter with an elf, they could be granted some kind of miracle either as a favor or gift. In most cases, this was done through touch, or an enchanted item was given. In the days elves and mortals lived together peacefully this was commonplace. Time went on and mortals grew more hostile to basically anything with a pulse (including other mortals). Elves and magical creatures become increasingly wary of mortals until eventually going into hiding entirely. Due to their nature, however, they never lost their desire to grant miracles.

Then came the internet. Elves quickly found out they were able to transfer miracles through the internet. Discovered by accident when a video game-addicted elf granted extremely large sums of mortal currency to a twelve-year-old who showed him how to get his character to dance onscreen. Which in turn created the Miracle-net, so elf magic would be more properly regulated. This had the added benefit of limiting the accidental creation of absurdly wealthy adolescents. Paving the way for the birth of the industrialization of the elf magic and the mass distribution of miracles. Corporations like Splendor Work Inc exploded.

Orvar removed the executive-level miracle from his drawer. "Alright, yeah town needs water, no problem." ignoring most of the details he logged into his Splendor Work Inc authorized miracle-net account. His fingers started tingling. Was his drink taking effect? Was this how Halrandir felt all the time? His pace started to quicken. Trying to keep himself calm Orvar peered at the top of the miracle document and typed the assignment number into his computer. A matching document popped up on the screen. Details of how to execute the miracle were laid out on the screen with a red box at the bottom reading "COMPLETE MIRACLE". The Miracle-net program compiled the essential information to complete the miracle into an email format with the recipient listed. The program then requires an elf strong enough with magic to push that miracle through to its destination. All Orvar had to do was place his hand on the biometric pad and click a button.

At this point, the tingling sensation that began in his fingers had moved into both arms. Perspiration droplets formed on his forehead. This must be it! The magic inside him must be increasing, he was certain! The future he deserved was a mere click away. As his clammy palm touched the biometric pad it began flashing to life syncing with the magic inside him. His whole arm pulled down into the pad, threatening to suck him in at any moment. Orvar took his other hand and clicked the red box on the screen.

Orvar woke up slouched over at his desk. Tiny plumes of smoke were escaping from the cracks in his palm. He tugged a little and had a sensation similar to a pancake that wouldn't release from a pan. With a grimace he pulled hard, freeing his hand, the skin underneath red and blistering. His body ached all over, his bones felt as though they had been ripped out and reassembled. Red Centaur may have oversold its effectiveness a little. Orvar sat up, hoping not to draw attention to himself. If he were lucky, people would think he drifted off at his desk. Sitting up straight and looking around it became clear no one was around to care. The office was oddly vacant.

Voices floated into his office from down the hallway. Orvar stood up, grasping the edge of his desk for stability. His legs felt like lead weights. At the end of the hallway, a flurry of activity seemed to be centered around Halrandir. Elves were flying around with papers in hand, trying to get miracles approved and uploaded to the net. Halrandir sat at his desk slapping his biometric pad repeatedly, as fast as he was able to open miracles onscreen in front of him. Sweat poured from his face as his magic fitness was pushed to the limit.

"What happened?!" Orvar managed to spit out, he knew the answer already. "Something happened over the miracle net! We are getting reports of mortal cities everywhere spontaneously combusting!" a passing coworker exclaimed while fighting with a tornado of paperwork. Orvar's eyes went wide. Had he done this? "Do we know what caused it?" His tone almost hopeful. "IT is investigating as we speak, but the priority is fighting these fires!" Orvar didn't have much time then.

He dragged himself back to his desk. How was this happening? "I've performed plenty of miracles before. I'm not that out of magic shape." Thinking back, Orvar couldn't remember the last time he performed an actual miracle. Completing assignments had long been a secondary priority to him as he dreamed about climbing the corporate ladder and his future life with Lilyana. Important stuff. What would their children's names be? Should they have dogs or cats? He began to face the reality of how little work had been done in the last three hundred years. Maybe his fitness level had decreased more than originally thought.

Orvar grabbed a box from under his desk and with one arm pushed everything off his desk, letting his belongings fall inside. Public embarrassment on this scale is surely a worse fate than being fired. The chance of speaking to Lilyana again had shared the fate of the mortal world. Burnt to the ground. Orvar headed towards the door, box of belonging in hand, leaving the chaotic voices behind him. With a glance back he realized, "I should have grabbed a different drink" as he closed the door behind him.

July 01, 2022 00:31

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Amanda Fox
23:29 Jul 04, 2022

You have so much cleverness woven throughout this story - your sense of humor really shines here.


Erik Brun
15:18 Jul 05, 2022

Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I appreciate your feedback.


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