© Dominic Sceski 2014
Santa Claus storms through the main gate of the North Pole. His boots thud loudly against the wooden floor made out of oaken planks, which are polished almost as fantastically as his boots. The warmth of the room aggravates his skin, a sudden change after racing through the frosted wilderness while being chased by the White Witch’s wolves. As the great, heavy oaken doors of the main entrance close behind him, Santa takes in his surroundings. About two hundred elves fill the large hall. They look up from their work of crafting weapons and armor and immediately seek out their leader, whom they know has just arrived. At such a time like this, the gate would only have opened for one person; and that would be the Big Man, old Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas himself. Santa notices the concern on the faces of his loyal elves, and he smiles sympathetically and reassuringly.
The elves don’t respond. Not a glimmer of the slightest expression flickers in their eyes. Santa feels no need to blame them; after all, the situation is dire. Ever since he left the North Pole to find the two son’s of Adam and the two daughter’s of Eve, the White Witch noticed that he left and moved in her troops on the North Pole. For a long time had she kept Santa at bay, but now she had taken the initiative to destroy Santa and his elves once and for all. Led by General Frost—Jack Frost, that is—, a huge army of Ice Knights was on the North Pole’s doorstep. When the White Witch gathered all evil to her, Santa was under no impression to assume that Jack Frost would be included, but included he was. Indeed, for centuries Santa had been keeping General Frost under control, but now the White Witch had given him the means to wreak havoc on Santa and his elves. General Frost’s power source, as far as the elven scouts can tell, comes from a large ice crystal in the center of their camp, guarded tirelessly by a squadron of skilled Ice Knights. The power and energy that comes from the ice crystal is neither good nor evil, but simply raw, great, and unpredictable.
Santa walks through the huge hall. The room has a fantastically high, vaulted ceiling. Bulky columns placed at regular intervals of twenty yards uphold the lofty roof, and each pillar is made of fine marble. At the end of the hall, upon a wooden dais with a short flight of steps leading up to it, a huge fire burns in a stone hearth. Arras and paintings, handcrafted by the elves themselves, hang along the walls above the platform, and seeing them always brings happiness to Santa’s heart. Making his way up the stairs onto the dais, Santa nods to the archers reading their bows and fashioning sticks into arrows. They nod back, some murmuring “Mr. Claus” and others “Father Christmas”.
Santa is helped by a few elves in removing his heavy outer coat. After thanking them, he stands tall, and approaches the edge of the platform, whereupon he calls out in a loud, booming voice, “My dear dwarves!”
The dwarves pause and look at Santa. Indeed, they are most certainly dwarves. Santa himself cannot comprehend how the humans began calling them “elves”, which is totally absurd. Obviously, elves are a different race. In fact, because of Santa, dwarves currently exist in Narnia, although he is terribly disturbed at the fact that they are aiding the White Witch. Never before has Santa felt so sad and discouraged. His own nation, his own family, aiding the White Witch? It is horrible to even think about.
Once all of the dwarves have ceased their work and turned their attention to Santa, the saint continued, “My friends, I have successfully given the gifts you yourselves made to the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve. I have also managed to bring Christmas to some of the Narnians. But make no mistake, my brethren: the White Witch is powerful. Even now, as you know, General Frost and his army is ready to assail our front door. Such a preemptive attack, if anything, signifies that our enemy has great power and is in full confidence that he can walk through our main gate. But will we let that happen?”
The dwarves roar their dissent. They are ready for battle. For so long they have been on edge, waiting for the enemy to strike. And now they have come. Santa continues, “Then make ready! Gather all of our weapons! Prepare for battle! And pray to the One that we can hold our own against our enemy!”
The dwarves all grunt and return to their work, laboring with more enthusiasm and determination. Grim but satisfied, Santa turns to Silvege, his second-in-command, and begins to consult with him on battle plans. After a moment of conversation, Santa notices that Silvege’s cousin, Goldenrod, is intently watching him. Goldenrod is the only dwarf that Santa had ever seen with blonde hair. The girl is very nice, and very bold. She would, perhaps, make a great warrior one day. But she is too young for the battlefield, even to be watching. As Santa and Silvege continue formulating a gambit to overcome Frost’s forces, Silvege notices how Santa keeps on looking over at Goldenrod. At last, Silvege is obviously bothered by Santa’s lack of attention, and he says, “Santa, is something wrong?”
“Silvege,” Santa replies, “I do not think it is right to bring young Goldenrod to the battlefield.”
“She is as safe as she can be at my side, Nick,” says Silvege. Only Santa’s closest friends call him by his nickname, and indeed Silvege is one of them. Santa trusts him, but he still isn’t sure that his judgement is valid. “And anyway,” adds Silvege, “we have more pressing matters to attend to.”
“Very well,” says Santa. He returns to discussing the dwarves’ strategy.
Not five minutes pass when some sort of commotion breaks out by the gate. Santa turns his gaze to the giant door, seeing about twenty dwarves working together to pry open the main entrance of the North Pole. At first, Santa feels as if he should rebuke them. But he stops himself from doing such a thing; he trusts his dwarves. They would not act so foolishly in such a time as this. No, Santa assumes that they are opening the gate for a good reason.
And a good reason it is. A dwarf scout almost trips as he hurries through the opening made by the dwarves. He is covered in a light layer of snow, and his hair is wet from both perspiration and snow melting on his head. He wears a white coat, fashioned so that he might be able to blend in with the frosty terrain. Several dwarves have gathered around to help him up, fretfully asking if he is well, if he brings tidings about the Narnians, and most importantly, if the enemy has made any move to attack the outer wall. Santa hurries through the cluster of dwarves to reach the scout, and as he arrives at the thin, gray-bearded dwarf, he hears the scout cry out in a hoarse voice, “They are coming!”
Many of the dwarves gasp, and others grit their teeth and scowl. So the time has come. Santa stares down at the scout, who asks in a voice that seems to have been distorted by an icy, merciless touch, “What should we do, sir?”
Santa’s brow furrows, and he bows his head in thought. For a moment, everyone is silent. Then, he raises his head. “We will fight. We will fight until our enemy is defeated. Defeat is no option. Victory will be a choice, but it is the only choice. Nothing less. Our people will survive, and this enemy….this oppressor to the whole of the North Pole, Narnia, and the real world, shall be vanquished!”
The dwarves give a shout, crying out for the enemy to hear their readiness to fight—and to win. Santa nods his head with satisfaction as they return to their work. He turns around to return to the dais at the end of the hall, when his eye suddenly catches Goldenrod’s blonde hair. She is hastening to help a group of doors bring in metal to be made into swords. And Santa frowns, thinking, “Oh, the things that little one will have to see if she does not depart from the battlefield.”
Suddenly, Goldenrod looks up from her work and their eyes meet. Her gaze is fierce, and even more than that, it is intimidating, even to Santa. And her eyes speak clearly what her heart wishes to cry out, “I don’t care. I will fight…”
“…You can’t stop me…”