The Chamber at the North Pole
Tumbledew the Elf struggled to keep up with Santa Claus as he strode down the underground corridor. They stopped at a heavy security door and he keyed the access code. The portal opened slowly but silently. Tumbledew stepped toward the entrance, but Santa blocked the door.
“Not yet,” he said, his voice deep and commanding. “Listen first. This the most important job in our entire operation — more than making or delivering toys, more than maintaining The List.” His eyes did not twinkle. They were grey. Serious like the last hour of Christmas Eve. ” What you see here is not merely your job but your mission. Do you understand?”
Tumbledew nodded, the bell on his hat jingling dully. Santa entered the room and the elf followed.
Dozens of pipes with valves and gauges ran from the walls and ceiling into two great tubes that stood in the center. They were plain black metal of a sort he’d never seen before with a large thermometer in the center of each and a clear porthole. He looked into one, then the other, and gasped.
“Yes,” Santa said. “Them. The Misers. The chambers keep them quiet. In hibernation, if you like. One must stay below zero. The other above one hundred. Forever. If they wake, Christmas is over.”
Tumbledew’s eyes grew wide. “But Santa,” he said, pointing to the thermometer on the right, “that one says 62 degrees!”
Santa shouted and ran for the alarm. Behind him, the eyes of the Heat Miser opened.
New week, new story! This one came to me pretty much all at once. I wish I had a bit more room to build out the “lore” of the chamber and Tumbledew. You pretty much know the Misers and their propensity for ending Christmas and launching into large musical production numbers.
Honestly, I thought the story would be lighter in tone, but, it didn’t turn out that way. Oh well. There’s always next time, right? Heh heh heh.
Want to play along next Friday? Join the group and wait for the Friday morning link!
(Photo Credit: Gutife on Pixabay)