Bard Challenge #24
An original story
Santa's Little Helpers
by Wildcat Winnie
On her eleventh birthday Lily wept with joy and trepidation. This winter, she and all other eleven-year-olds everywhere would be taken from their homes to work in Santa's factory. It was, she had been told, a privilege; but some who had returned, although sworn to secrecy, had told different. It was hard work, long hours and Santa's overseers were very strict. If you made a mistake (the wrong label on the wrong present!) punishment was harsh. At night, many exhausted children cried themselves to sleep.
It had not always been this way. A long time ago, when the world was less knowing and there were far fewer 'things' to be had, children's requests had been (mostly) easy to meet and Santa's Elves had been able to cope. Now there were too many things; too many children had become too greedy; "I would like" was becoming "I must have." The Elves were overworked and threatening to strike.
The idea came to Santa in a house in Vienna, where a particularly impatient and obnoxious boy had waited for him. The boy eagerly ripped off the wrapping paper; his face fell and he hurled the presents away. They were the wrong things. Was Santa stupid? The boy absolutely had to have the new 3D console and the latest killing game. That was too expensive, Santa said, and anyway the boy was too young for such things. "Bin nicht" am not the boy shouted, I'm eleven "Ich bin elf".