Earlier that evening, the elves’ quarters had been unusually noisy, what with the anticipation of Easter candy on the morrow. They jostled one another at the sinks, each elf jamming his face close to the mirror, holding his beard free of the water with one hand and working his toothbrush with the other. Hans and Dieter had an argument over whose nightshirt was whose. Pillow fights broke out spontaneously at the east and west ends of the vast dormitory, spreading like two waves toward the middle until a great surge of shouts and feathers whitened the air with happy violence. When at last the ruckus died down, general exhaustion settled upon them like a comforter and they tucked themselves in for the night.
Each elf had his own bed except for Heinrich, the six dollmaking elves who went by one name. In the forgotten reaches of time, they had made one large bed for themselves. Therein they slept, tightly packed, their stubby arms and longish black beards sticking out over the covers.
That night, soon after falling asleep, Heinrich had a dream. In Heinrich’s dream, only five Easter baskets lay waiting by his bedside the next morning. One mouth, the dreamer’s, went without; one pair of fists, the dreamer’s, pummeled five grinning mouths that munched smugly on jelly beans. Heinrich opened his twelve sleeping eyes to find himself embroiled in a bloody brawl, fists flying, sheets and pillows tossed hither and yon. When things wound down, the six sat there bewildered, looking out at a moonlit sea of snoozing elves and consoling each other.
In cleaning up, one of them spat a tooth into the sink. Should Santa be told? Should Knecht Rupert? No. Both were asleep. They positioned their injured brother at the east edge of the bed, placed the tooth beneath his pillow, soothed him, and eased back into sleep.
Hovering voluptuous over Heinrich, the Tooth Fairy smiled to see where she was. She drew her toothsome treat from beneath the pillow, bit into it, savored its elfin sweetness, and replaced it with coins from her anus.
Gold doubloons, six of them.
“One for each of you,” she said, planting a kiss on Heinrich’s foreheads, hungering for the thick flat bone beneath. She ran greedy fingers in and out of his mouths, reading the raised runes of ancient molars.
As swift as thought, she drifted the familiar path to Santa’s bed. The blankets bulked huge as a bear over his rotundity. Behind him, Anya’s blip of blanket seemed an annoying afterthought. With a gesture, she paid out her invisible net of magic time until it compassed round both herself and her dozing lover.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish