In the North Pole there’s a certain order to things. Elves begin to work early in life usually by age 50. They start out in the Peanut Palace sorting and counting raisins and peanuts. Why not Peanut Raisin Palace you ask?” Well as everyone knows there is always more peanuts in the mix. One year, pounds of peanuts and racks of raisins later each elf gets a chance to move up to the next level. An evaluator is dispatched to rate each elf’s performance. If an elf is always on time, works hard, and does a good job he or she will get to move up. This happens each year of an elves working life, he moves up stays the same, or in some rare instances moves down.
Gilldorff was a good worker, really he was, but he’d been stuck in Chocolate Covered Brazilian Nuts for the last 10 years. He passed Peanut Palace, and conquered Candy Cane Cave just fine, but for some reason he couldn’t move beyond Chocolate City. Every Elf’s dream including his own was to make it all the way to the Sleigh Safety Staff. Those fortunate fairy folk got to take the reindeer out for test runs, and it was rumored that they even got to accompany The Big C on Christmas Eve every once in a while. Gilldorff would have loved that, but he had no hopes of reindeer riding especially after yesterday. After yesterday, he’d be lucky if he wasn’t sent to the Deer Droppings Disposery. That’s where elves that like to cause trouble are sent. His neighbor, Willy, was sent there for planting an exploding marshmallow Santa in the Big C’s outhouse. It really was kind of funny; the clausmyster was stuck in his winter underwear until mid July, and besides Willy was part Wood Sprite, it was in their nature to practice pranks. Gilldorff had pleaded with the Elf council to give Willy another chance, but it was no use. When someone offends the Big C it’s not taken lightly no matter how humorous the offence may be. Maybe that’s why he couldn’t get out of Chocolate. Maybe they don’t promote prank supporters. Gilldorf supposed that it didn’t matter much why he was stuck there anyway because he was quite sure he’d be leaving soon.
Yesterday was evaluation day. The tight-lipped pointy-nosed evaluator had just finished chastising Gilldorff for being late to work, again, when a conveyer belt loaded with Chocolate Covered Brazilian Nuts spun sporadically out of control. The appalled evaluator was repeatedly pelted with chocolates. One even managed to get past his gritted teeth. He had turned varied shades of blue before Gilldorff was able to expel the chocolate with a forceful application of the Heimlich. The Evaluator was ungrateful for Gilldorff’s service and left in a haughty huff, steam billowing excessively out of his elf ears.
As the energized evaluator left, Gilldorff heard his co-worker Darogantatious, Dar for short, laughing, “you will never get out of hear now!” Dar was a very young elf that had progressed quickly from Peanut Palace to Chocolate City, skipping Candy Cane Cave entirely. He was always 10 minutes early to work and stayed 10 minutes later than everyone else; a model elf; the evaluators loved him. Gilldorff had tried all his working life to be early to work in fact, he always left home 30 minutes early, but for some reason everyday he ran into dastardly delays. Just last Monday for instance, he was only a block away from work with plenty of spare time, but as luck would have it, he found a bawling Abominable – abominable snowman that is, but not being made of snow, they prefer to leave that part off. Gilldorff couldn’t just leave the poor freezing fur ball to drowned in his tears so of coarse he stopped and found that the Abominable had a silver sliver in his toe. One hour later the Abominable left with a thoughtful thanks and a treated toe. Gilldorff was 20 minutes late to work when he’d planned to be early. This kind of thing seemed to happen everyday. There was the wood sprite who wished his weeping willow away, the penguin with the parted pizza, a bear without his bankcard, and the disoriented duck just to name a few. Gilldorff wanted to be early so very bad, but he just didn’t have the heart to ignore his needy neighbors.
Gilldorff went home from work that day feeling desperately down in the dumps. He slowly sauntered down the street towards home kicking a stray silver jingle bell. He stopped at his mail sock, pulled out a pile of letters, drudged through the doorway and plopped in his poof chair. He opened a reminder about his tailors appointment, and a letter from the Elf Pet Affairs Department informing him that he could not have a pet malamute and remain living in the suburb of Sugar and Sweets – elves being on the smaller end of the food chain must be careful of the animals they choose for pets. As Gilldorff was about to stand up, he noticed a small card he hadn’t seen before. It had the letter C raised and embossed in red and silver glitter. Gilldorff felt a lump in his throat because he knew who used that emblem on his stationary. The card read.
What would the Big C want with me thought Gilldorff, “Oh ya, I’m going to be sent to the reindeer doo doo den, boy that evaluator didn’t waste any time?” He went to sleep with a heavy heart. He didn’t feel much better the next morning either. When he arrived at Claus Central he was ushered into “The Office” by two large elves dressed in green and purple, they were the Big C’s right hand dudes. As he entered the room visions of shovels haunted his head. Then in an instant his hand was being shook vigorously by a round bearded man decked in red velvet. “So glad you could make it Gilly old boy, I’ve been watching you since you were knee high to a snow beetle, “Here it comes,” thought Gilldorff, “Willy’s new bunkmate.” Santa continued, “due to your superior service and unceasing kindness to the citizens of the North Pole, I hereby promote you to the highest order of Elf worker. Gill, welcome to the EIA.” Amazement and relief swept through Gilldorff’s body. He wasn’t in trouble! He was going to be part of the EIA, whatever that was, but before he could ask, a trap porthole in the floor opened and he was sucked inside. Gilldorff found himself inside a musty dark room. He heard footsteps at the far end; a door opened and in it stood Willy the Whistler.
“But . . but . . I thought you were in . . .”
“I was but the big C gave me a second chance thanks to you, and here I am head of Elf Intelligence agency. Gill you have been chosen because of your compassion, caring and kindness to be a part of the most important team an elf can be on. Your mission will be to inform the Clausemyster of the naughties and nices of the children from the 39th parallel to the 67th. You will begin your training tomorrow and enter the field in one-week, congratulations.”
Gilldorff was one elated Elf. He skipped smiling all the way home and thought to himself, “maybe it pays to be a nice elf after all.”