Thorsten was livid, the color of his face a fine match to the obligatory uniform.
Season or no season, he couldn’t help feeling like an idiot standing there all in red and green, the snowscape stretching all around him. Composure was the trick. Composure and slowing down your breathing. After all, they had work to do and the Big Man would be checking on them soon. Anxiety mantras could only go so far while the eyes of the locals took you in as an outside element. The elf took a reluctant step forward and the bells on his boots jingled with joy. Suddenly he felt the urge to rip the damn things off and send ’em flying to the North Pole. To say Thorsten was devoid of holiday spirit was a wild understatement.
Seemingly unperturbed by the visitor’s foul mood the mayor of Knichelberg cast another pleading glance. The whole goddamn village did. Even the ever present good-natured orphans came down with a terminal case of puppy eyes. It was utterly sickening as only something saccharine could be. Still; he understood them.
Behind their backs the beast wreaked havoc, scorching roofs with holiday zest and fiery breath. The elf sighed as he watched the air freeze. He never should have trusted Bjorn with the job. He knew better than that, and now it was time to fix things. And quickly. You didn’t want the Big Man hearing about the “mishap”; elder god forbid the missus finds out. All the elves despised Mrs. Claus and it was by no means one sided.
“I’m sorry sir but I really don’t understand how this is our problem?”
The villagers’ bleak faces showed no trace of emotion.
Thorsten finally realized where he was; “Ich entschuldige mich; aber kann mich nur fragen wie all dass unser Problem ist?”
At the mayor’s signal a little girl came forward with a letter.
Thorsten gazed upon it, pupils dilated. It was already a long day and it showed no intent of stopping.
The words were there in black and white; there was no doubt whatsoever. There was also little they could actually do. Annika had wished for a dragon for Christmas. There had been no mention that the dragon should be a toy. In a way it wasn’t even a mistake. Still; Ol’ Red’s imps would be dancing with delight. Thorsten imagined Santa’s little lawyers having a field day with this situation and sighed again.
Bjorn was now beside him, wrench in hand after fixing the sleigh.
“So should I get the bazooka?”
“We will need to unwrap it. It was supposed to go to the NRA branch in Louisville, the damn thing’s even decorated with reindeer antlers.”
“It is the holiday after all,” came the answer through gritted teeth.
For a couple of precious moments they stood in silence, Bjorn eventually breaking the deadlock.
“Merry Christmas Thorsten.”
“Merry Christmas Bjorn.”
The elves watched the village from the hilltop.
It was burning.
©2021. Igor Milković
Igor Milković is an avid dog lover who has published a couple of short stories. He also finished law school, worked in the legal field and currently relocates nice people to nice hotels in the tourist sector. His favourite colour is still orange.
The story Dispatches from Rovaniemi was published in the first issue of the Morina kutija magazine available for free download here.
Igor Milković je veliki zaljubljenik u pse koji je objavio nekoliko kratkih priča. Također je završio pravni fakultet te radio u struci, ali trenutno se bavi premiještanjem dobrih ljudi u dobre hotele u turističkom sektoru. Njegova najdraža boja je i dalje narančasta.
Priča Dispatches from Rovaniemi objavljena je u prvom broju časopisa Morina kutija. Časopis je dostupan za skidanje na ovoj stranici.
Urednički komentar: Humoristične crtice teško je izvesti, ali ne i Igoru, koji nas bez greške može zabaviti ovom formom.