David Russell Mosley
Feast of St. Mary Magdalen
The Edge of Elfland
Hudson, New Hampshire
While a group of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances meets on a family farm to discuss the Radical Catholic Reimagination of Everything (a conference at which I wish I were in attendance), I can at least say that I am doing what I can to aid in this mission. Tonight, just a few moments ago, I finally submitted the manuscript for my novel, On the Edges of Elfland: A Fairy-Tale for Grown-Ups to my publisher, Wipf and Stock. Now begins the process of preparing the book for publication. Expect a short book trailer from me in the near future along with all sorts of other promotional material. After all, I want you all to go out buy it as soon as you can (it is certain to be far cheaper than my academic book which is currently sitting pretty at $79). I hope to do some readings on YouTube as well as organize some local stuff once I know when the book will be published. On that front, I believe it will take anywhere from 3-5 months from today(ish) before we can expect to see it appear anywhere. Still, I am overjoyed to finally have the MS submitted. To whet your appetites, allow me to give a little excerpt.
From Chapter II
Alfred was often teased when he spent time with other boys and girls his own age, especially as grew older. The age of twelve was particularly difficult for Alfred. Nearly a teenager and having some of his friends and schoolmates already in their teens, it was deemed inappropriate by them when Alfred continued to profess belief in Father Christmas. Already in secondary school things progressively got worse as the cruelty of some of his schoolfellows increased with age.
He often found himself with his things spilled all over the ground, having them knocked out of his hands when he mentioned elves or fairies. He had one friend through all of this: a young girl in his year, Winifrid Wendelyn. She would listen with rapt attention to the stories of Mr. Cyning, whether told by the old man himself or by Alfred. But even one friend can sometimes not be enough to deal with bullying.
Alfred’s parents were worried. They decided it was perhaps best if Alfred spent a little less time with his godfather. Mr. Cyning continued to tell stories in the pub, but they usually kept Alfred busy during those times.
The forest remained one of Alfred’s only escapes, but even it had become less of the safe haven he had once remembered. He often took Wini with him, but she did not like it much. Alfred couldn’t blame her. The forest had changed. It began to feel colder to him: not colder in temperature, but less friendly. If Alfred continued to see things in the forest he kept it to himself now. Whether Wini ever saw anything during their trips, she did not say. There were times, however, when his parents were uncertain whether it was a fear of bullies or a fear of the forest that kept him quiet. Things came to a head one day when Alfred came home babbling like a madman.As Alfred and Wini walked home from the forest one day in the Autumn, he looked around at his surroundings, taking in the beautiful outdoors. (Carlisle is a wonderful town to see in the early stages of autumn.) The leaves had already turned their different colors and were beginning to fall. The sidewalk upon which they were strolling was particularly leaf strewn. Had it not been, he might not have heard the sound of someone walking behind him. Alfred quickened his pace. Alfred had been told that certain creatures only come out at night, but the sun was slowly setting. “If we can only make it to the corner, we’ll be home free,” Alfred thought. He grabbed Wini’s wrist and began to run. Just around the corner was his house where he could shout for his mother and father to come out and greet him as he came home. Then something quite unusual happened.
Just before they reached the corner, with the footsteps behind them quickening in the leaves, Alfred had a sudden boost. of bravery. He let go of Wini’s hand, ran, slid in the leaves as he stopped, about-faced and started to run in the other direction, toward whoever, or whatever, had been following him. Alfred had closed his eyes, involuntarily, as he made for the one following him. Thus, he did not see that nothing was behind him. As he continued to run, however, he opened his eyes just in time to trip ripping his pants and scraping his knee on the sidewalk. “Who tripped me?” Alfred exclaimed, as he sat on the concrete, nursing his wound. When no reply was returned, Alfred stood up and limped back home, not noticing a slight rustling in the bushes, nor the large ring of mushrooms next to him that bordered the side of the inn. Wini was crying, her wrist was hurt. They gave her some ice, and some ice cream, and called her parents. The Wendelyns collected their daughter and Alfred saw very little of her after this.
His parents did not know what to do with him once he got home. “I was chased by a something, I think it was a goblin,” he shouted as his parents tried to calm him down. “How can I calm down? I’m telling you, something was after me. I need to see Mr. Cyning.” His parents looked concerned.