Elf Tiny Olaf had been on his way home from The North Pole messenger office when the explosion hit. The Pole had been in turmoil since former Head Elf Ol’ Mittens had died in an unfortunate apple cider colonic incident and the election had reached an impasse with both candidates developing a strong, and polarizing following. Olaf finished his last delivery, a box of parts to the toy construction plant, and planned to grab a baguette to pair with some soup for dinner before heading off to the Petite Pint Pub to have a frothy beverage and hope that he finally caught the eye of Lil Lana, the unrequited love of his life.
Lana worked at the pub, but also at the elf daycare during the day. The first time Olaf laid his eyes on her he felt the warm, sappy feeling of love from the tips of his curly-toed boots to the floppy top of his elfin hat. He had been on a delivery – baby blankets for the elf offspring – and it was Lana that accepted it. Olaf was only able to speak because he had to ask her to sign for the parcel, but otherwise he was entirely love struck into silence.
Things were running, but not nearly as they would in previous years at The North Pole. With Santa gone and the elves divided due to the election, toy production was way down. Santa’s return was nowhere on the horizon, though some still held onto the hope that he would return and so kept to their schedules.
Olaf thought about his first actual conversation with Lana. He hoped it would occur later that night when he showed up for his night cap, but then the bomb went off. He was jolted and almost lost the baguette he had just purchased. When he looked up he saw it was at the office of Dimpled Dawson, the left-wing candidate up for election. The quiet winter’s night was now in a state of chaos with the street a mess of debris and elves running from the stores and homes. Olaf spied the pub and made a run for it.
He entered and it was empty so he shut the door and locked it.
“Hello?” he shouted. “Anyone here?”
He heard a shuffling behind the bar. He rushed to it and spied over top. Lana cowered, holding a small baton.
“Are you okay?” he said.
“Don’t touch me!” she said.
“I’m not going to hurt you,” he said.
Lana stood up and peered around at the empty bar.
“Where did everyone go?” she said.
“When the explosion went off, it seemed like everyone emptied out of everywhere. The street was utter chaos. I came in here to get out the disaster,” he said.
“What the hell happened?”
“It looks like things have gone entirely gonzo and someone bombed Dimpled’s election office.”
“These damned idiots! Don’t they know it’s Christmas?” she said, her shoulders slumping.
Olaf placed a hand on her shoulder and was pulled from the moment as he couldn’t believe he was actually talking to Lana. He was at a loss for what to say next.
“I have bread,” he said taking his hand from her shoulder and holding up the baguette.
Lana looked at him quizzically.
“Yes you do,” she said.
“Yes, I do,” he said.
“Did you want a drink to go along with that?” she said.
“Ah, sure?” he said.
Lana went around to the business side of the bar as Olaf sat on a stool opposite her. She poured them two petite pints and then came around and sat on the stool next to him. He tore off a couple pieces from his baguette and handed her one and they both took a bite and a sip from their drinks.
“You work at the messenger’s, right?” she said.
Olaf was stunned that she might have remembered him.
“I do,” he said.
“I remember you delivering some blankets to us at the daycare one day.”
“Yes, I remember that,” Olaf said, not adding the caveat that he also fell into a deep adoration when he took in her green eyes and raven dark curls. “You play music here too, right? I remember seeing you a couple times.”
“I do. I’m not sure I’ll be doing it again if this,” she gestured outside, “continues to get worse,” she said.
“I think he might actually have bailed on us this time. I’m worried Santa is gone forever.”
“I don’t know what to think. I haven’t actually had time to worry working the two jobs. I do hope he comes back though. I’m not sure what would happen to all of us if he didn’t,” she said tearing another piece from the bread stick.
“At this point I don’t think anyone would even accept the results of an election anyway. It’s less than a week before the day. Even if he does come back, will any of them give him any notice?”
“He does have that magic touch.”
“True enough, but he’s going to have to use it all to get everyone back in working order,” he said.
“I don’t even want to think about it anymore,” she said. “Tell me more about yourself.”
Olaf’s brain was empty.
“I love chestnuts,” he said.
Lana laughed and took a sip of her drink.
“I also love soup and baguettes and the first time I saw you I think I fell in love with you but now I can’t believe I’m saying this and I probably should shut up but I can’t stop because if I stop then it’s your turn to speak and I don’t want to hear what you have to say so I’m just going to keep talking until I leave this place or die or they bomb this bar but I don’t think they would bomb the bar because everyone loves the bar and – ”
“Shhh,” Lana said placing one of her elfin fingers on his lips. Olaf nodded and she removed her finger.
“I’m trying to stay quiet but you haven’t said anything yet,” he said.
“I’m trying to think of what to say,” she said.
“What’s your favourite carol?”
“I don’t really know,” she said. “I also like chestnuts and soup. Buttery baguettes are nice as well. What’s your favourite carol?”
“I don’t have a favourite per se, but Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas is in the top five,” he said.
Olaf noticed a couple people run by outside and quick-stepped to the windows facing the street. He looked up and down and saw no one besides the emergency crews cleaning up the debris from the explosion.
“Looks like things have quieted down out there, I should probably be getting back home,” he said.
As Olaf turned to walk back to his seat, he heard the opening chords of one of his top five favourite carols and the soothing vocals of Lil Lana. He stood in place and took in everything he could from that moment. He knew he wouldn’t remember it all, but what he forgot wasn’t worth the memory.
Lana finished the song and put the guitar back in its case.
“Are you still going home for soup?” she said.
Olaf was still lost in the song, and he finally snapped out of it.
“Ah, um, I, ah, yes,” he said.
“Okay good. I kinda feel like a bowl if you want the company,” she said.