The Elf Who Came In From The Cold

By Bruce Lambert

Malcolm Mugglesworth was angry. He tipped over the doll's house and began to kick the dolls as they fell to the ground.

The other elves in Santa’s workshop hid behind their benches, as they watched this very un-elfish display of temper. The North pole had never been the same since Malcolm had been given a promotion in Santa’s workshop.

As the number one elf, Malcolm could now look back upon his climb up through the heady heights of elfdom; back to that first cry of glee that he had given as he pushed Grey Goblin off the magic toadstool, and told the assembled elves, “a goblin not an elf could be; the magic toadstool rightfully belongs to me”.

Those wise old elves, impressed were not. They chose instead a gnome with a flair for figures, a head like a top and ears which caused sniggers.

Now Masterful Malcolm, though livid with rage, was quickly aware that he must set the stage, so with plotting and intrigue, he quietly dispatched, all of his rivals as the power he snatched.

Of all these events poor Santa was spared. A workshop for toys was for all that he cared. A production line system, where his helpers the elves, could diligently work whilst filling the shelves.

Till letters to Santa from all over the globe began to flood in for presents still owed. "There must be a breakdown somewhere in the system," an overworked Santa did mutter at last, then walked to the workshop and looked in with a gasp.

The presents for children were spread everywhere, with monopoly money piled high in the air. The tinsel and paper were strewn all around and there in the centre raised up from the ground sat masterful Malcolm; alone on the stool. The sides of the toadstool were slippery and steep, and all the old goblins slid down in a heap.

One look was enough, and Santa did act, for through all the chaos there still showed one fact. Though Malcolm was selfish and ruthless and cruel, he hungered for power and was nobody's fool. Thus, if power for Malcolm would bring peace to the elves, then power for Malcolm would soon fill the shelves.

With logic as this then old Santa did act, as Santa and Malcolm then drew up a pact.

The Goblins were outraged and stood to a man.

Grey Goblin stood with them as a free-thinker can.

Now elfin time passes, though some with dismay can clearly look back and remember the day. The day when the goblins were put to the test, by one Malcolm Mugglesworth; forget all the rest. The goblins were beaten, both hobgob and grey which led to a state of some moral decay.

The nub of this story in as far as it goes, is as easily seen as The Emperor's New Clothes. The essence of substance was seen somewhat lacking, as Malcolm so kindly arranged Santa's packing. The tempo of work did not keep quite apace, as Malcolm so blatantly turned about-face. The wind 'cross the North Pole now turned somewhat chill, a perfect barometer of its economic ill.

Now each elf in the workshop as he crept up to bed, could feel in his heart with the utmost dread. The terrible tales he had heard of old were surely the tales of the elf who came in from the cold.