Jack woke up. He must have fell a sleep sometime in the boat. The thing is, when people fall asleep in a boat in the middle of the ocean, they generally expect to wake up in that boat. Jack, being a person (despite the joking claims of his older sister several years back), expected the same, so it came as a shock that he woke up in his bed, in his room, staring at his ceiling.
Was it all just a dream? He pondered.
Then he woke up for real.
Nope, still on a boat.
And then he woke up for real for real. He seemed to be in some kind of forest. It was daytime, and the sounds of crickets was deafening.
Jack waited a few seconds, pinched himself, and then thought,
Okay, I should be in what I think is reality about now.
Just as he was contemplating this bit of news, an elf jumped out in front of him.The elf was wearing long, green, flowing robes.
Stupid reality. It seems to not care about what I think as of late.
Jack knew it was an elf the moment he saw the ears. That last thought sounded racist, even to him. After all, just because a man had pointy ears, did that mean he was an elf?
Yes, he thought.
Argh, there was that racism again. What was wrong with him?
He noticed the elf was talking to him.
"Ah, a human," the elf's sharp features didn't seem very pleased to see him, and his tone of voice seemed similar to the tone one would use when spotting the remains of a dog's meal.
"Erm, hi," Jack started cautiously.
"Oh, it speaks. Delightful."
Well, it seems I'm the only one trying not to be offensive. Why do all elves sound like British people, anyway?
"Yeah, most people can do that," Jack replied, with a sheepish grin.
"Well, all right then, let's get this over with." The elf pulled a long, straight, simple sword from his sheath, and pointed it at Jack.
"Hey, what's this about?" Jack asked, panicking.
"I see you aren't from around here. Probably teleported from another dimension." The elf gave Jack a wink. "Don't worry, that happens a lot. Well, since you're new, I suppose I should explain the rules. You are in Albine, a land in which humans and elves have been at war for centuries. It has been common protocol for any human and elf meeting together to have a duel to the death."
Aha, Jack thought. Albine. No wonder they all look so pale.
Duels to the death had been pretty common to Jack lately.
"So, where's my sword?"
The elf laughed. "You mean, you don't have one on you?"
"Ah, no. Not really."
"I see. Sorry about that then, and I want you to know that this is nothing personal."
"Wait," Jack said, desperately. "You're just going to kill me?"
"What about honour, and giving the other man a fighting chance?"
"Well, technically, you're the only man here."
That was it. Jack's fate was sealed.
(P.S. Sorry to Spook and other British (or United Kingdomian) people reading this chapter. I'm not suggesting anything, honest.)