Snow covered the ground and countless stars filled the night sky. The sun would not rise above the horizon for months. The world was beautiful and cold.
Two friends sat on the porch, which looked out over the whole world.
“It’s that time of year again.”
“Yes, I suppose it is.”
“Aren’t you excited? You must have lots to do in order to get ready.”
“Not really. There is very little to do, honestly.”
“Oh, did you get all the gifts done early?”
“No, there weren’t many letters. Fewer kids believe anymore. Parents have taken over most of the heavy lifting. Surely you’ve noticed something similar?”
“Not at all. Probably helps that my situation doesn’t really depend on people writing to me. They just expect eggs and chocolate. That hasn’t changed.”
“You’re lucky, then. I’ve started dreading Christmas.”
“You cannot mean that.”
“It’s true. It just reminds me of how things used to be. I had to let go of 75 percent of my staff.”
“I know, a lot of them came to me for work.”
“That’s something, at least.”
“Actually, I could only take on a few of them. My work is really low maintenance. Most of them left.”
“Oh my. I wonder what’s become of them.”
“I can’t imagine.”
From inside the house came a loud voice. “Nicholas! You better come see this!”
They exchanged question-filled glances before standing and entering the house.
“What is it, dear?”
The television was an old model that sat inside a large cabinet. Even so, it seemed out of place in the quaint home. The news was on.
“… from all over the country. Christmas decorations have been torn down. Trees and presents have been set on fire. The authorities have not released casualty figures from the resulting house fires yet, but it is expected to be in the hundreds at the least.
“To repeat, there has been a large and well-coordinated attack on Christmas…”
His friend scratched his chin thoughtfully. “Well, Nick, I think we know what happened to the elves.”