By Seth Previty (Sun Valley High School)
The bell rang to dismiss. Barry’s class was just learning about France in the late 1700’s. History was not his best class; he just could not pay attention.
Walking down the same lonely, dirt path that Barry walked day by day, he passed a door in the middle of the path that he had not seen before. The thought came to his head of curiosity of what lay behind this new discovery. He retraced his steps to the oval shaped door.
He knew for a fact that the door was not there during his morning walk to school. He studied its exterior, the craftsmanship, and its location. There was no identification to which this anonymous door belonged to. There was no way to see what hidden article hid behind the door without going through.
Curiosity got the best of Barry. He opened the door. Inside was a dark, wet tunnel with steps that led to an unknown surface. As he ventured down this tunnel, there seemed to be a light that lead to an opening.
Upon reaching the tunnel, high pitched voices echoed and bounced off of the tunnel’s walls and were moving closer to him. With no hesitation, Barry jumped behind some barrels and lay on top of a surface covered by hay. He peered through a crack that separated the barrels to find he was hiding from two small men, who were suffering while carrying heavy equipment.
He listened to what they were saying. “He is getting more and more demanding each day. It is just because he is bigger than us. I do not know how much more I can take of this because my body is failing.”
While listening to the conversation, Barry noticed the rustling of hay next to him. A loud, high pitched scream interrupted the commotion.
Next to him was a small innocent man that looked at the giant in horror. More and more men came to see what the uproar was about. Piling in, looking up at Barry that stood over them, they all began to scream as well.
The pitch of their screams deafened Barry as he collapsed to the ground covering his ears. “Shut up, now!” Barry screamed, reaching the loudest point he could. Silence, nothing but silence surrounded him as he opened his eyes and took his hands away from his ears. The men were shaking and on the floor looking at Barry.
”Where am I and who are you all?” he questioned. No answer. “I am not here to hurt you. All I need to know is how I can get back home.”
A faint voice of one of the small men answered, “What was that, again I mean you no harm. How can I get home?”
“You are at the North Pole,” answered one of the elves. “There is no way out, at least no known way out, for nothing has ever found a way into the North Pole and lived.”
No way out? This had to be a dream of some sort; he was looking straight at elves. “Who is your leader here? I must talk to him so I can leave.”
Whispers cycled throughout each mouth of the elves.
“What are you saying?”Barry questioned.
“You cannot meet our leader, or you will be never seen again. It is a way to keep the secret of our being quiet,” said one of the small men.
“Really? Santa, the big red guy that delivers presents, eats cookies, and is jolly all the time?”
Confusion was on the face of the elves. “Jolly? Santa is the cruelest leader anyone could have. He forces us to build the toys unsafely to save money on safety supplies, he makes us carry tools that are four times our size and weight, and he threatens us with harm if we mess up or do not what we are told.”
“Well why don’t you stop him? This is unfair and cruel,” Barry remarked.
“He is way too big for any of us to handle,” the bravest elf answered.
“That is not it at all. Look, you guys have the numbers. In France, the poor outnumbered the rich and they too were treated poorly. They came together as one and took over the country.”
“Is that true? But how can we do that? We have been under his control for so long, we do not know how to stand up to him.”
“I will lead you. I promise you change,” Barry said sternly.
With that, the elves gathered in rows, piling from every direction. They came from the workshops, homes, and the trees. There were thousands of them. They marched to the building in which this no good leader resided.
The elves gathered pebbles and threw them through the windows. They used their hand built bows and arrows to shoot lit arrows to smoke out the once jolly red man.
He bolted out the door. A large man with his stomach drooping out was facing the crowd of elves. He was well groomed and was wearing the best style of clothing that any man could get. His hair and beard was as white as the snow that settled around his home. His face was redder than ever. “What is the meaning of this?”
Barry approached the front of the line. “They have had enough of your treatment and now it is time for change. They will not slave away hour after hour to make toys while you sit around and eat you cookies.”
“You think you can stop me? I will squash each and every one of you like a bug. Who is first?” the haughty Santa insisted.
“The question you should be asking is not who, it is how many of us will take you on,” Barry answered.
The elves start to march and move in a faster pace inch by inch. They surrounded Santa and climbed on him. Santa tried to fight back, throwing elf by elf off of him. Elves were flying in all directions. Some climbed Santa’s body to his face in order to blind him. The elves rapped rope around his legs and tripped the giant. Falling to the ground, a loud thud echoed as his stomach jiggled and shook like a bowl full of jelly. Santa tried to free himself but it was no use; he was pinned and tied to the ground faster than he knew.
“You are not in control here anymore. We now control ourselves,” Barry announced as a wave of cheers stalked behind him.
The elves carried the big jolly man to a reindeer and attached him. They gave the reindeer the order to drop Santa somewhere in which he could never return. As the animal flew off, Santa’s last words were, “Oh No No No No!”
A banquet was held in honor of the banishment of the cruel leader. Barry had thoughts of leaving, but he felt the elves needed him more. At the banquet, a toast was given. “I hereby proclaim that our new friend, Barry, be our new leader. For we can all have faith that he will do the best job.”Cheering roared throughout the hall.
Days went by with Barry as leader. He installed new safety measures, new hours for working, and a box in which the elves could ask for something if they needed it. Soon, all the numbers of expenses were coming and Barry could not pay them off. He raised the housing taxes but the elves believed the taxes were unjustified. The expenses rose and Barry could not do anything. He began to fall behind what he needed to do as leader and the elves began to get cranky. What they requested was not granted even if they asked many times. Barry began to change; he did not look the same. He began to gain weight, his teeth turned black, his eyes red, he began to lose hair, and he was developing a hunched back.
The first elf Barry had encountered when he walked through the wooden, round door walked into his office. “Barry, where are our new power tools that we requested? It has been a couple days now.”
“We cannot afford it,” Barry sternly answered.
“You said that would not matter. We want these power tools, Barry, so our work can be easier.”
“You listen to me, dwarf, I am in charge. I was elected to lead and lead I will do. You are not getting your power tools,” Barry yelled with spit flying from his blackened teeth.
The elf’s ears curled back in defense. “But you promised change, Barry,” he stammered.
“You are going to get change, don’t you worry. You are going to pay your taxes, you are going to work longer hours so we can make back some of this money that did not need to be spent. Everything will be taken away. Those houses the shop owners live in, torn down and turned into huts. How dare they make more money than me! Also, there is no calling me Barry anymore; you now must address me as Master Barry. Now get out of my office or you will be locked up in jail that most of you dwarfs should have been put in months ago.”
As the frightened elf franticly escaped the office, he retained only one thing in his mind as he left. He knew that there was no change coming today. He knew the change would not be seen tomorrow, the next day, or any day for that matter. He knew the future of the elf clan was in ruins if real change did not happen anytime soon.