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Jingle Bells and Clockwork Elves (2010)

 Jingle Bells and Clockwork Elves

When it was over once more he descended again into the twi-lit world where he had constructed his dreams. The elves had gone, returned to the caverns where they would hang suspended in dreamless sleep, leathery wings tucked up behind them and their pointed ears angled to the ground, there to rest for another year. The reindeer were cooling in the stables, their furnaces clicking and sputtering, their noses dimming to a dull glow as the heat fled them. Gone was the chatter of voices, the clank of iron and clatter of distant mechanised objects. The only sounds now were the gentle tread of his step and the hiss of his breath on the air.

Soon comes the next part. The shuttle will start its furious back-and-forth, the paper will spill from the desk wet with the glimmer of fresh ink. The list will start anew, and he will work. Reading; sorting; good from bad, trick from treat, Always sorting.

Until next year.