‘What if we don’t …?’

Welcome back to the daily prompts. Day five – bit of apparently unseasonal fun.

‘What if we don’t …?’

Not yet summer and Santa’s elves were already grouching and grumbling at the workload.

‘Kids want too much these days.’
‘What happened to the orange and a colouring book stuffed in an old sock?’
‘I remember when kids were happy with just one present – one!’
‘Yep, can you imagine it now?’
‘Why do we always have to remember batteries?’
‘You mean chargers, these days.’

Over their honeysuckle tea break, Nimiel pushed his shoulders back and squeezed his back muscles. ‘All this hunching over itsy toys with their myriad of wires and electronics is killing me.’

Alys groaned from her low stool, and stretched her legs out. ‘I know what you mean. Everything takes so long.’

‘More toys, more complicated toys, and a damn sight more kids too.’ Galthir grimaced and sipped his tea.

The three sat in silence for a while, mentally going over their various aches and pains, thinking of the long months still to come.

Nimiel stopped stretching and gazed up into the high cavern’s roof, where lanterns hung low to brighten their work benches. He rubbed his eyes against the glare.

‘What if we don’t…?’ he said, and paused. Such a shocking thought.

‘What if we don’t what?’ Alys turned to him, green eyes curious. ‘Make the toys?’

‘Go on strike you mean?’ Galthir stirred, frowned.

‘Yes.’ Nimiel spread out his arms, spilling the remains of his tea on the stone floor. ‘What if we just don’t make all this stuff?’

Alys jumped up. ‘It’s not like they need it!’

‘But what happens when the kids wake on Christmas morning and there are no presents?’ Galthir wasn’t happy. After all, it wasn’t the kids’ fault Christmas had got out of hand.

‘No, no!’ Nimiel was in full swing now. ‘There will be presents – Santa’ll have to run a publicity campaign, tell parents the elves are on strike and it’s up to them this year.

‘Oooh, love it.’ Alys giggled. ‘Make the old parents do some work for a change. Nice one, Nimiel.’

Galthir laughed too. ‘Sounds perfect.’ He stood up, headed for the workroom door. ‘Let’s celebrate. Anyone for something stronger than honeysuckle tea?’

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