A bag of chocolate-covered cashews was the last thing Elvira expected to find tucked into the pocket of her vintage trench coat. Bad luck, though; they were stale and entirely too hard to enjoy. Cashews scattered on the floor as Elvira dropped the bag. Dark chocolate covered cashews -- who would put them there? who knew of her weakness? were they poisoned?
Egads, my cover's been blown, she thought as she pulled the trench coat collar up and ducked into the shadows. Freezing sleet had alternated with lighter drizzling all day, and the cement gutter of the alley was covered in slippery, icy sludge.
Glistening with the freezing glitter, I trudged across the street.
How strange, thought Elvira. An anonymous character has entered into the plot and thrown everything akilter.
Is this something she could have foreseen? (Elvira toyed with the suspicions in her mind as she stepped onto the curb.)
"Just as I suspected: There's trickery afoot...again," she muttered under her breath.
Kayla had warned her about those evil, little elves – if only she'd listened. Little Elves scurried here and there, shadowing Elvira's every move, with dark covered chocolate cashews held in their little hands. Many of them surreptitiously nibbled on the snacks when the other elves weren't looking.
"Never a Keeblervore around when you need one," Elvira grumbled, stepping under the shelter of a nearby store's awning.
On some silent queue, the elves scattered, slipping into crack and shadow as if nothing more than sand.
"Xanto must've hired all the midgets in the state to try and convince me I'm seeing elves, but why, unless he's trying to prove I'm insane?" Elvira wondered.
Quarrelsome little turd, thought Elvira. Who believes in elves anyway?
Raymundo, her boyfriend, was the only person she knew who believed in elves, and she'd dumped him for eating all her chocolate-covered cashews. Suddenly she could see it clearly, the cashews, the elves, the cursed tangled fingers, Petroff-Xanto and Raymundo, it all made sense!
Tantalized by the realization that her boyfriend, Raymundo, and her nemesis, Xanto Petroff, were one and the same, Elvira sharpened her stilettos and popped a stale chocolate cashew into her mouth. Unseen by the elves, she slipped down an alley and watched the elves scramble when they realized they lost her. Very clever buggers, they chased her down the street, but their little legs couldn't match her stride, a few falling into the gutter. Wavering in their pursuit, the elves slipped away again.
Xanto (Petroff-Raymundo) suddenly appeared before her in the street: "I never realized how short you are!" she cried aloud.
"You're wearing stilettos," he reminded her, one eyebrow arching to tack an implied "dummy" onto the end of the sentence.
Zebras, the elves were actually coming at her riding atop tiny zebras; Elvira looked left and right trying to find an escape.
"Are you all going to leave me here like this, about to be ambushed by an irate tribe of zebra riding elves?" Elvira cried out in agony, as she realized the contest results had at last been revealed and the intrigue of her story had been lost in all the excitement.