“Eight, nine, ten!!!” They all counted in unison, screaming together as a stocky troll with mottled grey skin downed a barrel of beer. A gorgeous elf with long straight red hair, pointed ears and green eyes more sparkling than emeralds hugged the trolls waist in excitement, her high pitched voice shrieking so loud that Max held his ears and gritted his teeth in discomfort.
Loud chatter, laughter, and the music of hundreds of fireflies buzzing together in song permeated the area. Small pixies were dancing around the firelight, the white glow emitting from their bodies were like disco lights that in combination with the red glow of the fire made the forest area appear like some underground rave.
There were elves, both male and female, with glowing white hair wearing barely anything other than ivy green leaves and the petals of roses, tulips and sunflowers. They danced in these revealing outfits moving to every change in the melody that the fireflies sung. They were mesmerising, so much so that Max couldn’t move his eyes away from the enticing sight. Not until Ghosts hands covered them and physically turned him around to face him.
“Don’t stare too long, you may never be able to look away again. Also they may be cheerful and festive now but if you’re not careful and they realise you’re a living human they’ll kill you in seconds.”
“What…why would they do that!?” Max was horrified.
“Why?” Ghost shrugged “Just because you are Human. In their eyes you are a member of a lower sub-species that like to flaunt their non-existent superiority. No matter how many Humans they have slayed in the past or how many wars Humans waged against each other they still continue to multiply and breed like crazy. Humans are pests in their eyes, that’s why they live in separate realms and pockets of space. You being here is like a fly coming into your home, they’d just love to swat you.”
“Then why did you bring me here if you knew it was going to be this dangerous?” Max hissed.
“Well you looked bored and cold and here it’s exciting and warm.” Ghost replied flippantly.
“That was your reason! Omg!! I’m gonna get killed. Why did I follow you? Damn it”
“Oi Oi calm down,”Ghost whispered into his ear, “If you keep shoutin’ you’ll draw unnecessary attention.” Hearing him say that Max immediately went quiet.
“Don’t worry you’ll be safe as long as you’re with me. It’s not just in my name, I’m a ghost as well, you know that. As long as you stay near me they’ll think the same. They don’t bother with the likes of me. So just sit back and relax. Here take some Valeer and calm down.” He offered Max a small glass bottle that contained a swirling green liquid. Max looked at the bottle dubiously, “Don’t worry it’s harmless tonic, actually it’s really good for living Humans. One bottle of this can increase your lifespan by five years and it removes all the filth from your body. Drink enough of this and you could live to 500 and still look like you’re in your 20’s.” Ghost goaded Max.
Was this really so magical? Max was surprised and filled with wonder, so he put the warm bottle to his lips, only sipping a small amount, however he soon found himself tipping the entire thing down his throat. It was delicious. He felt it melt into his mouth and flow down into his stomach where it evaporated. He then felt the steam it transformed into infiltrating his bones and muscles. He felt energised like he’d been shot by electricity. It was such a glorious taste that he drank until there wasn’t a drop left.
“I want more.” He panted, grabbing on to the collar of Ghosts orange jumpsuit and eagerly begging him.
Ghost chuckled at his reaction. “Whoa you are really becoming an addict. If you drink too much you’ll feel so sick tomorrow because of all the filth in your body being forcibly ejected. And 17 years of filth isn’t small, you’ll be on the toilet for a month.”
“I don’t care I want more.”
“Okay then. Well there are more barrels over there, right next to the trolls, if you’re desperate enough have a drinking match with them. If you’re man enough to do it, but just so you know if they smell your breathe they’ll end you.”
“I don’t care.” Max didn’t know why he was saying such brazen things but he felt like he couldn’t live without it. He saw an amused smile curl up on Ghosts face, and as he turned and ran towards those large barrels he heard Ghost mutter, “I didn’t think he’d have such a reaction, this is way too fun.”
Max wasn’t in the right mentality to care about Ghost’s words, he had already jumped onto a barrel and was glugging down the green drink. He felt his mind go blank.
The trolls, fairies, and elves around him got more excited at his actions. They spoke in words that he couldn’t understand but if he could make an educated guess they were probably saying, “Look at that Ghost go. Whoa he’s really going for it. He’s drinking so fast. Awesome!!!”
Max didn’t have time to revel in their shock and excitement, he’d already fully immersed himself in the barrel of Valeer. He had literally jumped into it head first, his clothes getting soaked. He felt that he’d drank ten times his natural limit. He was drowning in this unnatural drink. Max wanted to drink this until he burst and after finishing his second barrel he was about to move onto a third one when he felt someone pick him up and hoist him over their shoulder. It was Ghost.
Max screamed and beat his fists against his back in protest but it was like he was hitting a steel wall. Unable to resist Max was carried away from the festivities. As he looked up he saw the fire and the white lights dwindle in the distance and when he next looked up they were out of the forest and in the Park.
The sun was shining high in the sky.