Esco hed been trying all day, for the past three days in fact, every minute since he had read the hateful letter addressed to Kris from the angry child called “Bobby” he began to softly curse under his breath, trying again and again to get just the right combination of ingredients together to make his potion work as desired. He had books upon books, new books, old books, he had candles, chemical’s, flowers and liquids of every type imaginable strewn across the top of his work station, and yet each time he tried, he was only to be met with more failure.
“Some Alchemist I am.” He thought to himself.
His cursing began to get louder- to the point where now several workers from the workshop, including Kris himself could now hear his anger come into full bloom. He could hear the large wooden double doors softly open as the shadow of a large barrel chested man slowly drifted across the threshold. Kris appeared over his right shoulder, a look more of concern than anger was on his face.
“What is all of this then Esco?” He asked in a deep husky voice.
Esco raised his head to meet the concerned stares of the large man.
“I’ve been trying to perfect this elixir for three days now and its not going well.”
Kris walked up beside of him reaching into the front pocket of his red vest, he removed the spectacles and placed them on the bridge of his nose. He looked over Esco’s shoulder at the strange smoking concoction, before looking more directly at Esco himself. the little elf gave him a nervous glance.
“So- tell me Esco, how does one go from Chief Cocoa Maker to Alchemist just three weeks before Christmas?”
The small elf looked down at the floor dejected.
“You’re going to yell at me.”
“No.. No Esco, Yelling is not my thing. Now come out with it- tell me what’s troubling you.”
“Well, there’s this letter that I got got from Chancey over in the mail room, we weren’t going to read it at first- but it wasn’t sealed or anything so we ended up reading it before we put it back in the envelope, it was addressed to you, and it was so angry. The boy that wrote it was so hateful. He said hates you and he hates Christmas and he hopes you never come to his house again. So I was going to make a potion to use on him to-”
“To do what exactly Esco? you are not a chemist, alchemist or a sorcerer, you are an elf.”
“I was hoping I could use what I learned from these old books to make a special potion to change the way he feels about Christmas, the letter made me so sad Kris.”
“Let me guess- the letter was from a boy named Bobby Whittley.”
“How did you know?”
He pulled up a chair and motioned for the little elf to sit down beside him.
“You see Esco- Bobby Whittley is a small 11 year old boy from New York City. You see a couple of years ago he wrote me a letter asking for a very special gift, a gift that I could not deliver. You see Bobby’s parents were fighting all of the time, over money, over bills and mistrust, over alledged infidelities. None of which were the real problem of course, the real problem was that they were so busy trying to make money that they forgot how to be a family. Well long story short, the fighting escalated and Bobby’s parents decided to get a divorce, and so Bobby tried everything that he could to get them to stop fighting, and when his efforts to try to save his family from disaster failed, he wrote me a letter- not asking for toys or clothes or anything for himself, all Bobby wanted was for me to make his parents love each other again. All he wanted was for his family to stay together.”
“Geeez Kris- so what happened?”
“Eight months ago, The Whittley’s decided to proceed with the divorce and now live in seperate cities, one month Bobby spends with his father, and the next with his mother. Bobby blames me because I couldn’t stop the inevitable. So he wrote that letter.”
“So there’s nothing we can do for the boy then Kris?”
Kris rose from the chair removing the glasses from his nose.
“Oh.. The whittley’s are going to be fine Esco, sometimes we just have to let nature run it course. whatever happens will happen regardles of what we do here. in the meantime, Mrs. C would like some fresh hot Cocoa, could you make her some please?”
He watched as the befuddled- troubled elf disappeared into the hallway, and slowly a smile brightened his broad face.
“Alchemy.. HO! HO! HO!”
And so the night would arrive when Esco and the others would tend to the duties of their last minute preparations, everything had to be just perfect, snacks were made, and Kris would make his yearly rounds, and the following morning when Kris would return, he found a tired Esco sound asleep in a over stuffed chair by the entrance to the main workshop. Kris knelt down gently knudging him. Esco stirred and then sat up. Kris sat down beside of him, and watched as the tired elf slowly fell back to sleep. He softly picked up the sleeping Esco and carried him to bed. and so Christmas came and went and life went on.
About two weeks later Kris appearred in Esco’s doorway, he silently walked over and handed The elf a sealed envelope, which he slowly opened to find another letter from Bobby Whittley inside. after reading it he stood abruptly.
“YOU DID IT!” He exclaimed.
He patted him on the shoulder.
“No Esco, It wasn’t me.”
“But I don’t understand, it says that his parents called off the divorce! they are going to be a family again. if you didn’t fix it- who did?”
“Esco? do you remember a couple days before Christmas we were tracking that nasty little storm to the east of here that just up and disappeared on us?”
“Well as it turned out Bobby Whittley’s mother was driving him to Connecticut to spend Christmas with his father, well as they arrived that nasty little storm showed up and snowed them in, forcing all three of them to spend Christmas together. Against all odds Bobby’s parents when unable to run away from their differences were forced to sit and discuss them rationally, and they came to the conclusion they were better off together as a family than they were apart. Not only for Bobby’s sake but for their own as well, and their love for each other and their son was never lost at all, but simply misplaced. All they really needed to remember was why they wanted to be a family in the first place.”
“So all that was really needed was to leave them be and let them sort it out for themselves?”
“Sometimes in life Esco, people can let their petty differences drive them apart, oh they say and do hurtful things to one another, most that they really don’t mean, but in that whole painful process they forget that perhaps what they do doesn’t simply hurt themselves- but sometimes there are other lives to be considered. Lives like Bobby Whittley’s.”
“A Christmas miracle?”
“Well, it being Christmas didn’t hurt, its that one special time of year when everyone is a little nicer to each other, a little more thankful for what makes our lives so special. It isn’t money, material possessions or anything that you can hold or touch. Christmas reminds us Esco, that life itself is precious, and everyday that we can share in it together must be celebrated.“
He stood and slowly turned toward the door looking back briefly at Esco.
“Come my friend, we still have a lot of work to do, and we only have eleven and a half months to get it all done!”
Esco smiled to himself.
That Kris! always thinking about the future!
A.B.T./Rant. Copyright © 2013