Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Christmas Story - Part 2

The elves of the North Pole are some of the most serious creatures to go about on two legs. The fact that they take everything so lightly tends to hide from the ambitious their deep connection to reality. Moreover, the elves have a constant, positive care for everyone and everything around them, but to the self-centered they appear as complete sycophant idiots.

Thus Bert, chief secretary and messenger of all Santa's messengers (there being fourteen of them), who seemed somewhat frivolous and terse with Harrie Pawter's cagey disappointment, called a tryst with Coswald, Codger, Lodger, Roger, Patton and Flabby. He approached each of them individually in the Supper Hall the night in which Pawter smashed a toy; for though no elf but Pawter knew of the smashing of the toy (after which he promptly cleaned up the pieces and secreted them away), Bert did catch that unmistakable whiff of...directness - he had no other word - and that particular lack of twinkle-twangle.

But who is an elf to judge, one might ask. Who is even Santa to judge? Bert was not judging Pawter, not suspecting any dark  motives. Only he set about as any elf would: not to expose (for they know not how) but to prevail upon the charm of twinkle-twangle, and putting it where it ought to be. This was the purpose of the tryst he wished to hold with the elves to whom he gave notice in the Supper Hall.

Being not at all direct in their ministrations, the seven of them actually held the meeting three weeks later.

"Harrie is such a worker!" began Bert to the other six. "Wouldn't you agree, Codger?"

They were seated in Bert's living quarters - a modest space of squat, rounded arches and rounded corners: the interior, like most of the elves' homes, had no sharp, hard edges. Windows were rounded, yet not perfectly circle; the walls and the aforementioned rounded corners were not plumb; the low roof flowed like a wave.

Codger said, "A terrific worker is Harrie Pawter!" The others couldn't help also answering in the affirmative. "In the shop for flying toys, under my administration of worker-cum-inspiration, we could not imagine how it would be without him! Yet, there are moments in which he seems to get away, so to speak, from the inspiration that flows out to one's other fellow workers - you know the inspiration I refer to; and I wonder if maybe I'm not giving enough...inspiration - that maybe he's just a bigger hole to fill, if you catch me..."

"He does seem direct, but what could he be with more twinkle-twangle!" said Flabby in a burst of sincerity.

Roger joined him with, "And more: think of the ideas that would happen in only Santa-knows-where of all the workshops!"

Coswald snickered with delight. Patton chuckled. They had such hopes for Harrie the Elf. In the firelight they hatched a plan that, to be honest, was really no plan in the sense of being manipulative - no hatching to bring about Harrie. They just started admiring Harrie Pawter, more so in fact than in any other time. So they decided to bake him a big cake; a towering cake of many steps leading to a pinnacle with some kind of surprise on the top and a surprise inside the cake - many surprises, of all kinds of sweet jellies and creamy textures and rummy fruits, and they would bring this cake to Harrie's house and blow a trumpet at his window and dance around the cake when Harrie opened the door!

They did this the very next night. They spent all day baking the cake. They brought it to Harrie's house, blew a trumpet, and there was nothing. Pawter was not in any of the workshops that day. He was not in any of the streets. They blew the trumpet and shouted his name and the smell of the cake flowed through the window they opened. But there was nothing. So they opened the door. They went into every room. They looked under every object. They looked into every closet. No one was home.

Harrie Pawter had vanished from the North Pole.

End Part 2.

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