They live in the wild forests. They live in the same sorts of places as humans and other people. They have long hair, are pale-skinned and extremely tall and beautiful, look just like humans except for their pointed ears, take great physical harm from cold iron, are immune to all injury and illness, live forever, live for five hundred to six hundred and fifty years depending on sub-race, are shorter than humans, love humans, hate humans, practice magic, are innately magical, are cross-fertile with humans, cannot have children with humans…
E is for elves.
There are quite a few interpretations on this fictional species/race, too. Elves are usually depicted as living longer than humans and having pointed ears. All else is the storyteller’s option, and even those two details are not requirements. So this time I’m sticking entirely to discussing the ones in my own fiction, and two characters in particular. I’ll refer to them only by first initial, so as not to cause one to make snide comments and the other to have an anxiety attack (’cause then he’ll want coffee, and then I’ll want coffee, and sometimes that’s just not a good idea).
R is a minor character in Changing Magic, the not-actually-fantasy novel I mentioned. He’s also a major supporting character in one I’m working on with my twin titled Project Brimstone, which is a contemporary science fiction story. (You did read my A post, didn’t you? The one about alternate universes?) In Changing Magic, R lives in a city populated entirely by humans… except him. He never claims to be human, but he denies being anything else. Everyone else there humors him; he’s been around a long time, he’s well-liked by most people who know him, and what harm does it do if that palace guardsman with the pointed ears wants to pretend that he’s not an elf? The reason for his denial is complicated, and that does get explained somewhat in the course of the novel. By the time he appears in Project Brimstone, he’s mostly over his ‘issues,’ but now he does have a reason to disguise his appearance, what with people like him not being all that common in early 21st century America, especially not on the Kentucky-Tennessee border.
J… is the same species as R. (Please don’t tell either of them I said that.) J had a Bad Experience many years ago, which makes his insistence on ‘passing for human’ rather a bigger deal than R’s. For R, it’s a matter of personal stubbornness and holding a grudge; for J, it’s a matter of life and death.
[major plot spoiler!] J is one of the main characters in The Excalibur Mission. That’s a science fiction novel set a little more than a century in the future, right here in our own Solar system. In an alternate universe, of course, because I don’t write stories set in the real world. (There’s a joke in that somewhere, friends.) He’s also a close relative of a character whom I’ll discuss in my next A-Z Challenge post (which ought to be a lot more coherent than this one).