Second Sunday of Advent
The air in Santa’s office was almost electrical. Shinny Upatree was standing next to Santa’s enormous desk. Mrs. Claus sat in a rocking chair, no longer crying but with at worried expression on her face. Wunorse Openslae and Bushy Evergreen had both been summoned and everybody was talking at the same time, so nobody could hear anything clearly. Santa raised his hands and let his booming voice fill the room: “Please! One at a time!” which was followed by complete silence. Then Shinny started by telling what he had seen when he arrived in the kitchen. Mrs. Claus told him about how she had activated the manual alarm once she understood that the recipe book was missing. “Where is Pepper and Mary?” asked Santa. Shinny told him what he’d asked them to do and they would probably be here soon.
“Let’s have some cocoa while we wait”, suggested Santa and he pushed a button on the desk. Before long an elf with red cheeks and a big smile came through the door. On the tray she was carrying there was a lot of mugs with steaming hot cocoa. She offered everyone a mug and they gladly took one. Nothing is quite as soothing as a mug of hot cocoa in a stressful situation. Pepper and Mary came into the office just now so they got a mug as well. Lila Sweet-tooth had the best job in the world. She was responsible for bringing cookies and cocoa to everyone. You could always see her and her tray somewhere in the village. She was sad that there wasn’t any cookies, but there was still cocoa so she stayed by the door in case someone wanted more. Besides; Santa hadn’t told her to leave and the office seemed very secret and exiting right now.
Bushy Evergreen drank his cocoa very fast. That’s how stressed he was. He said: “I don’t know when I can get the toymaking machine up and running again. It doesn’t need cookies, but it does need the spirit of Christmas and since there’s no cookies for the elves, there’s no Cristmas spirit to fuel the machine. I tried to eat some cookies I had hidden in a drawer but it was no good, they were too old – there was no magic left in them. I can’t do anything without those cookies. He looked around to find Lila and get a refill.
“Have you seen anything strange in the stable lately?” Santa asked and looked at Wunorse Openslae who was polishing one of his bells. “Hmm” said Wunorse, “the reindeer always gets restless this time of year, but Rudolf has been ekstra nervous. Maybe he thinks he’s not allowed to join you on Christmas Eve. I’ve calmed him down with ekstra carrots.” “Good.. good!” said Santa. “Let me know if something strange happens”.
Santa sighed. “I don’t think we can do much right now”, he said. “We’ll have to wait and see and keep an eye out for strange things. And most important: let’s keep this to ourselves. We don’t want any panic – especially not this time of year!” Everybody nodded and left. Lila was right; it really was something secret. She was on her way to the kitchen to get clean mugs and more cocoa, when her best friend Glimmerheart came out of a storage room. “Hey, where’ve you been?” he asked. “I could use some cocoa”. “Then you’ll have to walk with me to the kitchen to get some – I’m fresh out!” Lila said.
They walked in silence for a bit. Then Glimmerheart bursted out: “what’s the secret?”
Lila looked at him – surprised. “W..what do you mean?” she asked. “Arh come on!” he said “I can see it in you eyes. You know something important and you’re about to explode because you’re told to keep quiet. So what is it?” Lila fought with herself. Then she said: “ok, but have to promise not to tell anyone!” Glimmerheart promised and Lila lowered her voice while they walked. Under a bookcase a set of eyes followed them very carefully..
To be continued..
Part one of this story can be found here
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