Here is a short silly Christmas story I wrote yesterday before bed as a little writing exercise :) Hope you enjoy!
Snow clung to the windows, and the lights, usually so bright from his study, were hardly visible tonight. A warm fire was burning in the hearth and Nicholas had turned his large red velvet chair so that his feet were toasty and his face was pleasantly glowing.
He chuckled and placed another letter on the large pile next to him. A particularly grumpy elf was standing dutifully with a dustpan and a brush to collect any stray letters and to prevent any of them from getting into the fire.
The elves were curious little creatures. Most of them loved working in the workshop, adored the snow but preferred the large, warm halls of Nicholas’ castle and the large hearths. Most of those being so tall, that the elves on cleaning duty had to climb on each other’s shoulders, creating a most precarious tower of ten or eleven elves high, just so that they could dust the top of the enormous construction.
Nobody knew exactly how the elves had ended up on the North Pole, not even the little creatures themselves. The polar bears swore that they had always lived in their snowy land, deep inside the glaciers. One particular bear, G’root Bêr (who everyone except Nicholas called Geebee) claimed that the elves had appeared after it had rained for a whole week straight—which was unheard of at the North Pole which is probably why nobody believed Geebee’s theory—a gigantic rainbow appeared and the elves had simply sled off into the snow. The elves themselves when asked, shrugged and murmured that the North Pole was their home. The arctic hares believed that the elves in fact knew very well where they came from and that they were simply too secretive to share.
Nicholas loved Geebee’s theory best, probably because it helped explain something rather peculiar about the elves: they changed colour according to their mood.
Now this didn’t mean that the little things changed every five minutes or so, just that their overall mood lately was taken into account and it would slowly change the colour of their skin. The sour goblin standing next to Nicholas, picking up another stray letter only a fraction of a second before it would have hit the fire, was a rather dull blue and it had been this colour for as long as anyone could remember.
Elves who are in love turn bright pink—which as caused quite some trouble at times. Elves who are incredibly cheerful and content are red and elves who are playful and happy are green. But what amused Nicholas and his wife the most was when an elf had a very strong emotion. That was the only time they would turn colour in a blink of an eye.
When a elf suddenly felt ashamed they would turn yellow. When an elf would suddenly turn angry they would go entirely orange. When an elf was upset they would turn purple and when a elf would be so happy they burst out in tears they for some reason turned soft brown. When an elf was cared they turned white. There was one poor little elf who was frightened all the time and stayed a perpetual state of ghost white.
‘Quicky! Open the door man! Quickly! Hurry!’
Nicholas looked up from a particular amusing letter from a little boy in Portsmouth who insisted he had been good all year, even though Nicholas knew for a fact that he had dipped his sister’s long blond curls in ink only the week before.
‘What is it?’ he bellowed good humouredly and the big oaken doors to his study opened. In came a little elf, as white as snow.
‘My good man!’ Nicholas said surprised. He leaped up from his chair and kneeled in front of the shivering elf. ‘What’s wrong?’
‘It’s my sister,’ the elf said shivering and near tears. ‘She was sorting your letters from Germany when suddenly she started to cry and turned so blue and purple that she’s—she’s—she’s nearly black!
The elf who had been attending Nicholas gasped and the little fox that had been sleeping on the pile of unread letters woke up with a start and rolled onto the ground.
‘Where is she now?’
The elf wasted no time but hurried out of the room, leading Nicholas up several stairs and through corridors, down a set of stairs, round a corner, past the dining room and finally to a small door that Nicholas vaguely remembered led to a storage room.
When he opened the door it turned out to be a cupboard and there was the little elf, sobbing and hiding behind a bucket and several mops.
‘Hello Jenny,’ Nicholas said with a kind smile. Even though there were currently 879 elves living in his castle, Nicholas knew them all by name.
‘S-santa,’ Jenny cried between her tears.
‘S-she didn’t—she didn’t write!’ The little elf said and grew an ever darker shade of blue and purple until she was nearly as black as night.
‘It’s that girl from Portsmouth,’ Jenny’s brother quickly said. ‘She didn’t write this year.’
‘I know that we shouldn’t w-w-write them baaaack,’ Jenny sobbed, tears streaming down her little face. ‘But I wrote Jenny Green because we had the same n-name. She was so nice. She said she would write back—why hasn’t she written back. Something is wrong. Something—’ She couldn’t talk anymore, burying her little head in her arms.
‘I remember Jenny Green,’ Nicholas said and chuckled. ‘Delightful girl.’
‘She doesn’t believe in me anymore—in us.’
‘She didn’t write,’ Nicholas corrected her. ‘That doesn’t mean she stopped believing. I always got the impression that Jenny was one who would believe for life.’
‘Then something happened. She would have written.’
Without a word, Nicholas picked Jenny up and held her warmly in his arms. Jenny hiccupped and already turned a little less black. Her brother sighed with relief. An elf only turned black when they were dying—or dead.
Nicholas made his way up to the tallest tower where he kept a very special telescope. He placed the little elf in front of it and changed several dials and complicated looking levers.
‘This telescope shows only what you most desire to see in the mortal world.’
The elf nodded and put her large blue eye to the lense. First nothing happened. Then the little creature started to shake and shiver more than ever.
Through the lens she could see Jenny, decorating a Christmas tree, singing songs to a small happy baby. Then she took a picture of the wall and showed it to the child, her lips moving rapidly and a smile spreading on her face. The telescope zoomed in and Jenny could see that it was one of her letters. Framed. The walls were filled with them.
Jenny smiled and slowly her skin grew soft brown.