Elf Service

(700 words) It was late afternoon in October, the start of winter, and we were on the ring road, ‘Route 1,’ heading back to Reykjavik along the south coast. It had been a bright day, spring-like even. In just two months’ time though, temperatures would scarcely be above freezing and the 800-mile road could be treacherous. The coach pulled up and we trouped out to gawp at an area of low cliffs with exposed basalt columns. Hundreds of hexagonal grey columns stood neatly in rows, five to fifteen feet high. Gugga told us how visitors had once heard beautiful singing coming from among them. Elves it was believed.