Jolly. Happy. Loving. Warm. Christmas spirit. These are the words one usually thinks of when they hear the words ‘Santa Claus’. But they couldn’t be further from the truth.
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The real Santa is anything but jolly. He lives in the North Pole, yes, and has elves to help him with his work. But the atmosphere is nowhere near giddy, merry, and joyful. And the elves don’t help. There’s nothing to help with. They do everything. All the elves at the North Pole, who look exactly like humans do, for as long as anyone can remember, have been enslaved by the supposedly kind and caring old man. Santa treats the elves as though they are merely pieces of machinery. He orders them without mercy and beats them when they misbehave. All the elves, even the followers, are terrified when their master comes to observe their work. If they make one wrong move, splatter one drop of paint, or drop one nail, the evil old man grabs the elf either by their pointy ears or their hair, and tosses them out onto the punishment field, where they are beaten ruthlessly. If the elf dies, so what? There are plenty more fish in the sea. As for burial, the elf would be thrown onto a heap of broken toys and be left to rot. There would be no funeral. An elf’s death in Santa’s eyes would merely be considered a lesson to the other elves, to make sure that they wouldn’t make a mistake. And escape? Ha! Oh yes, escape was every elf’s wildest dream, but they dared not try it. Security was too strong, and even if they did get away, they’d freeze before reaching warmer grounds. And if they got caught, it was over. They would be executed as soon as they arrived back at the factory, and their mutilated body would hang in Center Square for all to see, to serve as a warning. It was everyone’s worst fear to see a loved one’s body hanging on the post the next morning.
On this particular morning, there was no corpse in sight. But no one noticed as the sun slowly made its way over the horizon. Every elf in the vicinity was already hard at work and had been for several hours. Every elf. All, except for one.
Kashar sprinted down the corridor, slipping on his uniform as he ran. Why, oh why didn’t he wake up when Aelspar pounded on his door, shouting that it was time for work? Because he was half asleep at the time, that’s why, he told himself. Now, he was three hours late for work due to sleeping in. How was he going to explain that?
He slowed down as he reached the iron doors of the facility, now fully dressed. He decided to stick to the ‘Yes sir, no sir’ approach as much as possible as he took three deep breaths and opened the cold, gray door.
Immediately, the young elf got stormed by a faceful of white beard and red face. Great, he thought. I’m late the one day Santa has to observe my field.
“WHERE WERE YOU???” Santa bellowed, small flecks of saliva flying in Kashar’s face.
“In my dorm, sir,” Kashar said unemotionally, standing straight and making direct eye contact, showing that he was unafraid.
“AND WHY WERE YOU IN YOUR DORM???”
“I overslept, sir,” Kashar stated.
Santa brought back his right hand and swung it forward, striking Kashar so hard that he stumbled backwards and fell, landing on his back.
“HOW DARE YOU OVERSLEEP!! YOU KNOW THAT YOUR FIELD CAN’T RUN WITHOUT YOU!! OR DID YOU THINK THAT BEING ABSENT WOULD MAKE THEM SCREW UP AND MAKE YOU LOOK GOOD??”
“No sir,” Kashar said quietly, fighting back tears as the left side of his face throbbed in pain.
“You consider yourself lucky,” Santa hissed dangerously. “If you weren’t so valuable, you would have been dead years ago.”
“Yes sir,” Kashar whispered, now standing up, his cheek still in serious pain.
Indeed, Kashar was rather valuable to Santa’s work force. Him, along with his friends Ahbrar and Aelspar. Kashar was the smartest and figured out problems faster than anyone else did, while Ahbrar was a fine craftsman and Aelspar was a blackbelt in karate. The three were also the most rebellious of them all, so they got in the most trouble. Today was no exception.
“You,” Santa jabbed a finger dangerously in Kashar’s chest. “Go down and package legos. Move! Now!” Santa yelled, now pointing at the door.
“Yes sir,” Kashar mumbled, stomping at the door.
Packaging legos may seem like a comical punishment, but it was really one of the worst. Every box had to have exactly as many pieces as the instructions said, no more, no less, and they had to be precisely the right shape and color. Since most of the pieces were stuck together, they had to be pried apart, causing the sharp corners to scratch your knuckles. There were usually only one or two elves working at a time, so there was a whole mountain to package.
As Kashar opened the door to the packaging plant, he immediately noticed the giant mountain of legos in the middle of the room. As he approached the pile, he sighed, noticing that no one else was there. Duh, Kashar thought. Who would want to package legos? He sat down on the filthy floor, grabbed a box, and began to work.
About an hour later, a quarter of the lego pile was sorted into boxes when Ahbrar and Aelspar walked up behind him.
“There you are,” Aelspar said, sitting down next to him. “We’ve been looking all over for you.”
“Yeah, we were going to go raid your dorm next,” Ahbrar added, sitting down on Kashar’s other side.
“While you guys are here, could you help please? I would like to get this done before the day’s over,” Kashar asked.
“Sure,” Aelspar said, starting to package a handful of legos he had grabbed. “And also while we’re here…”
“Yes. I came up with a plan,” Kashar said in a hushed voice.
“You mean that…” Ahbrar stated, looking excited.
“Yes,” Kashar whispered. He glanced around before adding, “We’re getting out of here.”
The other two young elves silently mouthed “Yes!” and “Finally!” They were not known as the most rebellious elves for nothing.
“Ok,” Aelspar whispered, listening eagerly. “What’s your plan?”
“On Christmas Eve, Santa will be gone, right?”
The other two nodded their heads.
“Well, that means that the heaviest security will be going along with him, so guards are low. It also means that the doors will be unlocked.”
Aelspar and Ahbrar leaned in eagerly.
“So, hopefully, we’ll be able to run through the doors and escape the guards. If not, that’s why you’re here, Aelspar.” Aelspar smiled and nodded proudly.
Aelspar was a blackbelt in karate. He had no training, or so everybody thought. In his spare time, he had trained himself, and had done so for many, many years.
“And after we get out, well…we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” Kashar said. “Now you guys had better get out of here. I don’t want you to get in trouble.”
“Yeah, I need to go anyway,” Ahbrar said. “I’ve got a piece of machinery I need to fix.”
The two stood up. Right before they walked away, Kashar hissed, “Main hall, Christmas Eve, 9:53 at night. Wear your warmest. Be there.”
Ahbrar and Aelspar nodded their heads before heading out of the packaging plant, fully aware of what they were going to do in two day’s time.
The following two days dragged so slowly that Kashar could have sworn that somebody slowed down time. As each hour passed, Kashar felt butterflies in his stomach, and they appeared to be reproducing. Yes, Kashar was rebellious, but he had never done anything this serious before. Every minute seemed like hours, and the hours in a day seemed to have doubled.
Despite the time moving at turtle speed, the big moment of their escape came. Kashar, Ahbrar, and Aelspar were in the main hall at 9:50, helping to load Santa’s sleigh. Very soon after, Santa approached the sleigh, shoved the elves aside, and climbed in, dressed in his traditional red coat, pants, and hat. One minute later, Santa took the reins in hand, shouted, “Hiyah!” to the reindeer, who then started to take flight. Half a minute later, Santa was in the air, just a small dot moving across the night sky.
As soon as Santa was completely out of sight, Kashar whispered, “Ready?” The two nods he received was a good enough answer as they crept towards the doors – the doors to freedom.
Once they were as close as they could get, Kashar turned around to face the other two. “Ok, on the count of three…one…” the three quickly checked to see if they had everything…“…two…” they crouched, ready to run full speed…“THREE!! GO! GO! GO! MOVE! NOW!!” Kashar bellowed. They immediately sprang up and dashed through the slowly closing steel doors, their first obstacle down. As they sprinted down the tunnel, the air gradually became colder and the sound of a fierce wind met the elves’ pointy ears. They ran into the outside doors and pushed them open to meet a blizzard in full force, along with two huge bodyguards.
“Hey, how did you three get out h-” one began, but he never got to finish. Both he and his companion were knocked unconscious by Aelspar, who straddle-kicked them both squarely in the chest. And, dodging their fallen bodies, the three young elves ran away from the complex as though Satan himself was on their heels, the factory slowly growing smaller in the distance.
“Wakey wakey, eggs and bakey! Wakey wakey, eggs and ba-” the recorded alarm clock message was cut short by a girl’s hand, which was attempting to find the off button, but instead knocked it off the nightstand, muffling the sound as it fell on her bean bag chair, so all she heard was, “Mmfi mmfi, mgs nd mmfi!” until she groggily swung her bare legs off the bed, accidentally stepping on the cord and unplugging the alarm. The girl yawned and stretched, then sleepily stood up and stumbled over to her full-length mirror. She took one glance at her tangled mess of morning hair and plopped down in her desk chair. Draped over the corner of the chair was her school uniform, which consisted of a pleated navy blue skirt, a feminine blouse, a navy blue tie, a gray sweater vest, and a navy blue jacket with the Wickersham Academy for Young Women crest embroidered on the breast pocket.
Soon, she heard pounding on her dorm door, followed by her friends’ voices shouting, “Wake up, Lita! Lita, wake up! It’s Christmas! Come on, Lita!”
Lita wearily glanced at her page-a-day calendar. It bore the date ‘December 25’. It slowly registered into her groggy mind that it was Christmas morning. She stumbled over to her door and opened it, glancing at her two best friends, Marina and Tanya. Marina was already fully dressed, but Tanya was still in her pajamas. Lita stood in her doorway, glancing at the two, and merely stated, “It’s Christmas.” Then she looked at Tanya, broke into a huge grin, and they both simultaneously shouted, “PRESENTS!!!” and ran downstairs like a bullet, with Marina calmly walking behind them.
The two girls jumped down the last few steps into the huge living room and dashed towards the gigantic Christmas tree, which was surrounded by hundreds of wrapped Christmas gifts. They were soon joined by a whole schoolful of screaming teenage girls, all trying to find presents addressed to them.
“Hey Lita, this one’s for you,” Tanya shouted, tossing her a box wrapped in silver paper. Lita examined it thoroughly – it seemed to gleam more than usual. She shrugged her shoulders, tore off the wrapping paper, and opened the box to reveal a pair of beautifully made white ice skates resting on a cushion of red and green tissue paper.
“Wow,” Lita breathed, holding a skate up by its clean white laces. The blade sparkled, reflecting off the colored Christmas lights from the tree. She had never seen ice skates like this before – she wondered where they came from.
“Hey, you got ice skates too?” Marina asked. She held up a pair of gray ice skates, while Tanya held up brown ones. They both seemed to be just as well made as hers.
“Let’s go ice skating!” Tanya exclaimed, jumping up.
“Um, Tanya, you might want to get dressed first,” Marina said matter-of-factly, pointing at Tanya’s overlarge T-shirt.
“That was so much fun!” Lita exclaimed as she stepped out of the skating rink into the cold, December air. She held the door open for Tanya and Marina as she said, “I spent half the time falling, but who cares?”
The three best friends slowly made their way home, walking along a shoveled sidewalk which was right along the edge of a snowy forest, talking happily, their ice skates tied together by the laces and draped over their arms.
“Yeah, I spent half of my time running into walls,” Marina complained.
“That was funny,” Tanya said, thinking back and chuckling slightly.
“Hey, it’s not my fault that I’ve never skated before!” Marina said.
“It’s not that hard to learn how to stop!” Tanya sniggered, trying not to burst out laughing.
As the other two were trading remarks in a playful argument, Lita laughed as she listened in and glanced out of the corner of her eye at the forest. Then, something she saw made her do a double take.
“Oh my god! LOOK!!” Lita screamed, now facing the forest with one hand pointing inside it with the other clamped firmly over her mouth.
Marina and Tanya stopped at the interruption and quickly looked at the forest. “WHAT?? What? What’s wrong?” They asked at the same time.
Lita, unable to speak, just jabbed her finger in the direction of the forest and emitted tiny, squeaking sounds.
“Lita, what are you-OHMYGOD!!” Tanya shrieked as she put both hands over her mouth, while Marina just stood there, frozen in place, her mouth gaping.
Three figures had stumbled out of the forest and were heading in their direction. Even from the girls’ point of view, it was obvious that they had traveled a great distance. Their brown jumpsuits were too small for them, and they were ripped and stained here and there. They had no shoes, and hats that covered their ears. They had smudges, scratches, and bruises all over and looked near ready to faint. As they trudged closer to the girls, who were still frozen in fear, they could see that the figures were three boys who appeared just a few years older than their own ages of 14. As they came still closer, Lita could make out blood trickling out of the tallest one’s mouth, and all three had bloodshot eyes. Just before they reached the pavement, they collapsed, right at the three best friends’ feet.
“Oh my god, are you OK??” Lita cried as she crouched down, turning over the one with the black hair so he was lying on his back. She looked nervously at her two friends, who were crouching by the other two. “What should we do??” Lita asked incredulously as she ran her hands rapidly over the boy’s arms, trying to keep him warm.
“Call an ambulance,” Tanya said immediately, wiping the blood away from the tall one’s mouth. “Take them to the hospital. They need help.”
“No, they’ll never get here in time. Let’s just take them back to our dorms. It’s closer, anyway,” Marina said, trying to stand up with the shortest one’s arm draped over her shoulders.
“Yeah, c’mon. Let’s go. They need heat,” Lita muttered as she placed the boy’s arm over her shoulders. She stood up, and was surprised at how heavy he wasn’t – for his size and build, he looked too heavy to carry. Lita pushed the thought aside and headed towards the academy with Tanya and Marina following her, all thankful that the lobby’s personnel were gone for the holidays.
The first thing Kashar was aware of when he regained consciousness was the warmth of his surroundings. Then he noticed that he was lying on a thin mattress and pillow with a blanket tucked rather snugly around his body. It then registered in his mind that someone’s hot breath was on his face. He opened his brown eyes to see a girl’s face directly over his. She was pretty and looked youthful, but nevertheless, he went into panic mode.
He threw up his arm and grabbed her shoulder, and then flipped both he and the girl over sideways so that she was pinned to the wooden floor next to the mattress with Kashar on all fours over her. He brought back his right hand and formed it into a fist while the girl thrashed around like mad, screaming for help, trying to push his hand off her shoulder and failing; he was too strong. Her long brown hair, which was originally covering her ears, was now splayed on the floor, still mostly covering them, but enough was exposed for an idea to pop into Kashar’s mind. Be brought his hand forward, but instead of punching the girl, he moved the hair covering her left ear aside and took a sharp intake of breath. He was staring at a rounded-out human ear, not the pointed elf ear he was expecting. It soon began to register in his mind that this was not the enemy; this was just a teenage human girl, and that he was still on top of her, with one hand on her shoulder and the other on the side of her head. She must have realized that he wasn’t moving, for she stopped her attempt to get him off her.
“Oh…” Kashar mumbled, blushing and scrambling back very quickly. “…sorry,” he finished quietly, not making eye contact with the girl, who was now leaning on her elbows. He couldn’t believe how stupid he was. How can I be so paranoid? he asked himself. If she were an elf, I’d be in shackles and in a dungeon. He mentally smacked himself for not considering the facts before he acted.
Suddenly, he heard knocking at the door and jumped at the sudden sound. The knocking was followed by voices shouting, “Lita, are you alright? We heard you screaming, do you need help?”
“No, I’m fine, thanks,” the girl he attacked called towards the door. He figured that her name was Lita. “Wait a minute,” she added before standing up extremely red-faced and opening the door to face two other girls.
Kashar only heard snippets of their hushed conversation.
“Is he awake yet?”
“Yes, he just woke up, then he attacked me…”
“Ours are still unconscious, have been for hours…”
“Maybe we should just have him wake them up…”
“Yes, that’d be safest…”
A minute or two later, the girl named Lita said, “Mm’k, just let me tell him,” and then turned to face him. “Hi. I’m sorry for surprising you like that, but I was checking to see whether or not you were okay. You see, we found you and two others trudging out of the forest down the street right before you fainted. Then we brought you here.” Lita said all this very gently and smiled warmly when she finished.
“Who’s…‘we’? Where’s ‘here’?” Kashar asked, a confused expression on his face.
“Oh, sorry. I’m Lita,” she put a hand on her chest, and then held it out to her friends in the doorway. “And these are my two best friends, Marina-” Marina smiled “-and Tanya,” Tanya gave him a small wave. “And here is my dorm in the Wickersham Academy for Young Women.”
“Where’s that?” Kashar asked.
“New York City,” came the reply.
“Oh,” Kashar muttered. He had heard of New York from talk in the factory once or twice, and knew that it was far enough south for him and his friends to be safe. “What’s the date?”
“Christmas Day,” Lita said excitedly.
“Mm,” Kashar said. He wondered how he could have traveled so far south in such a small amount of time.
“Ok,” Lita started, now sitting cross-legged across from him on the floor. “I need a favor from you. As I said before, we found two other guys with you and they’re currently in their dorms-” she again gestured towards her friends, who waved energetically “-unconscious. Since I don’t want them to get hurt, or your friends to have heart attacks, it would be safest for you to be the first person they see. C’mon, I’ll show you.” Lita stood up and extended her hand to help him up. He took it and felt a pleasant warmth travel throughout his entire body. As they walked out the door, Tanya and Marina stood aside, both, as Kashar carefully observed, with round, human ears.
“See, in there is the short one-” she pointed in Marina’s dorm, where he could see Ahbrar unconscious on a mat “-and in there is the tall one,” she said, pointing inside Tanya’s dorm, where he could see Aelspar stirring on an inflatable mattress. “Oh, he seems to be awake,” Lita said, allowing Kashar to go through the doorway. She smiled and gestured to the open door. Kashar gave her a small smile in return and walked towards Aelspar. He kneeled by his side and gently shook his shoulder.
“Hey, you. Wake up. We’re safe,” he said quietly, so that Lita couldn’t hear him.
“Hhmbwah?” Aelspar mumbled, attempting to sit up.
“We’re safe. We’re in New York City. That’s far south enough to not have up all defenses,” Kashar said bitterly, remembering his reaction when he woke up.
“But…who brought us here?” Aelspar asked.
“Three teenage human girls. They’re human, I know, I checked!” Kashar added hastily, seeing the look on Aelspar’s face.
“You’re sure we can trust them?” Aelspar interrogated.
“No, but it’s not like we have a choice, is it?” Kashar answered sourly.
“No,” Aelspar muttered. Then he looked concerned. “Where’s Ahbrar?”
“He’s still unconscious in the room across the hall,” Kashar answered. “And we should go explain everything to him when he wakes up, which will be any minute now, so get yourself up and we’ll be there when he does.”
Aelspar nodded as they both stood up and walked out of the room into the carpeted corridor. They were just about to step into the next room when Lita laid a hand on Kashar’s arm, stopping them.
“Wait,” she said. “You never introduced yourself. What’s your name?”
Kashar was unsure about giving out his Elvin name. It might slip out to certain unwanted visitors. He glanced at Aelspar, who just shrugged. He turned back to Lita, and thought for a second before saying, “I’m Kashar, this is Aelspar, and the unconscious one is Ahbrar.”
“Kashar, Aelspar, and Ahbrar?” Lita asked incredulously. “Those are strange names. Not that it matters, though.”
“Aelspar, these are the girls who brought us here…Lita, Marina, and…and…”
“Tanya,” Tanya finished, nodding and smiling at Aelspar. Aelspar found himself slowly smiling back.
“Okay, now that we know each other, you should go help…Ahbrar-what’s-his-name,” Lita said, gesturing towards Marina’s dorm.
Both Kashar and Aelspar nodded and walked towards the tossing elf. They both kneeled down on either side of him and gently shook his shoulder, whispering, “Hey, Ahbrar, wake up.”
“Eeh?” Ahbrar groggily asked after being shaken several times. He blinked sleepily, trying to keep his eyes open. “Wh…where are we? What’s going on?”
Aelspar looked at Kashar and said, “You explain,” moving to a cross-legged position with his arms crossed across his chest.
“Thanks,” Kashar said to Aelspar sarcastically before turning to a very confused Ahbrar and launching into an explanation about everything he had told Aelspar earlier.
Ahbrar was still thoroughly confused after Kashar was finished. All three stood up and left the room, but didn’t walk five feet before they were once again stopped by Lita.
“I just remembered something that I should have mentioned earlier,” Lita started, Marina and Tanya nodding in agreement.
“These are the girls you told me about?” Ahbrar interrupted, pointing at the three girls. He looked disbelievingly at Kashar before asking, “You’re absolutely positive that they aren’t evil e-” his sentence was cut short by Kashar’s hand, which had clapped over his mouth before he was finished.
“Evil what???” Tanya asked, eyebrows raised.
“Um…evil…evil…” Aelspar started, trying to quickly explain Ahbrar’s slipup.
“Educationers,” Kashar finished, still covering Ahbrar’s mouth.
“Educationers?” Lita asked disbelievingly. “O-kaay. I wasn’t aware that I looked that old.”
“You don’t,” Kashar said assuringly, shaking his head quickly. He then turned to Ahbrar and said annoyingly, “And yes, I am positive that they aren’t evil…educationers.” Marina and Tanya sniggered at this.
“ANYway, as I was saying before I was so politely interrupted-” Lita glared at Ahbrar for a second before continuing “- I remembered something that I should have told you earlier.”
“Okay, what?” Aelspar asked calmly.
“First, come in here,” Tanya said, grabbing one of Aelspar’s and Kashar’s arms and dragging them both inside her dorm. Marina grabbed Ahbrar and dragged him in, while Lita silently followed, shutting the door behind her.
“Ok,” Lita started, slowly walking towards the other five, who were either standing by the frosted window or sitting on Tanya’s unmade bed. “You three” she pointed at the guys “were found unconscious and we brought you here. Right after we put you in your beds, the three of us” she gestured to herself and the other two girls “got together, and then we realized – this is a girls only school. And we have three unconscious guys in our dorms. So, we decided that it would be safest if you three stay in one dorm. And I do mean, stay in one dorm. No exploring, no stealing food, no nothing. There’s a door to a bathroom right over there” she pointed to a half open door with light shining through the open space “and try not to be too loud. It’ll be kind of suspicious if any of our classmates heard a male voice behind a closed dorm door, or behind any door for that matter.” She stopped for a minute and paced a few times before adding, “Oh yeah. As for food, we’ll sneak you what we can from our meals down in the Mess Hall. If you’re a picky eater, like I am” Marina and Tanya snickered “then tell us what you’d like and we’ll try to get it for you. I’m not guaranteeing anything though – you may have to deal with what we can manage.” Lita stopped pacing and looked up at her two friends. “That’s it, right? Is there anything I forgot?”
Marina thought for a second before adding, “Yeah, where are they going to sleep?”
“Ah yes,” Lita said, nodding and beginning to pace again. “Marina and Tanya, are either of you willing to give up your beds?”
“No, it’s my study spot! And I also come up with my best story ideas on it!” Marina stated.
“Ok then, what about you, Tanya?”
“Uh, not really, no. I kind of can’t sleep anywhere else,” Tanya said, shrugging her shoulders and looking embarrassed.
“Ok then, I’ll give up mine. I’ll use my sleeping bag instead. Since they’ll be sleeping in my room, they’ll have to stay in my room too. That’s OK with all of you?”
Everybody nodded, showing their approval.
“Great. Okay, if we’ve got everything covered, let’s move these guys to my dorm, and then we” she turned her head towards Marina and Tanya “need to get changed for the Christmas party. It starts in an hour, you know,” Lita said, turning and opening the door. She held it open for the others and shut it behind Kashar, who was the last one out.
As they walked silently through the corridor, curiosity overcame Lita as she tapped Kashar lightly on the shoulder and asked, “Hey, how come you don’t take your hat off?”
Kashar turned quickly towards Lita and opened his mouth to answer, but then he realized what she was asking. He quickly reached his hand up and felt the hat, finding that it was completely covering his ears. So, he thought. That’s why they think I’m human. If he took his hat off, his pointy elf ears would be exposed to the world, and it would be obvious that he was an elf. That was the last thing he wanted.
“Well? Why don’t you?” Lita’s questioning voice interrupted Kashar’s thoughts.
“Oh…um…” Kashar stammered, trying to find a reasonable answer. “Because…um…because it keeps my ears warm. Th-they get cold really easily.”
“Oh? Okaay, if you say so,” Lita said with a twinge of disbeleivingness. She turned away, eyebrows raised, and walked faster to catch up with Marina and Tanya. As they talked silently between themselves, Kashar silently thought about Lita’s question. He would have to find a new way to hide his elf ears, and soon. He couldn’t wear that hat forever.
“Okay, in we go,” Lita’s voice came from ahead of him. She was opening the door of the room that Kashar had woken up in, and she walked in with the door wide open. “Ka-Kashears, could you close the door behind you, please?” Lita asked after everyone was inside.
“It’s Kashar,” Kashar corrected, closing the door as he walked in.
“Oh, sorry. Kashar…Kashar…Kashar…” Lita repeated silently. She stopped muttering Kashar’s name under her breath, which had made his heart give an unknown flutter, and started talking again. “Alright. There’s only one bed in here so far, and it only has room for one person, so you three will have to take turns. When I get back from the party, I’ll drop off two more mattresses so you’ll all be comfortable. She walked towards a small closet door, opened it, and started rummaging through the many racks of different outfits. “There are plenty of things for you to do in here, just don’t break anything and put them back when you’re finished,” Lita said from inside the closet. “Ah-HA! There it is!” She emerged carrying a beautiful ice blue floor length dress with white sparkles at the bottom of the skirt that looked like new fallen snow, fading from the white of the sparkles to the blue of the fabric. “Now, if you don’t mind, the three of us have a party to get ready for, so we’ll be seeing you later.” She smiled and waved happily at the three elves, and then walked out of the room with Marina and Tanya on her heels, leaving a dumbfounded Kashar staring at a closed door.