This is the sequel to The Secret Plot Begins
LIfe at the North Pole was one laugh after another. Cookie was having a delightful time being one of Santa’s elves. This was the most fabulous job she had ever had. All the other elves were so friendly in welcoming her. Well most of them, Licorice seemed rather cold and distant. Cookie thought maybe she had done something to offend him, but Candy Cane told her that he was always that way. No one knew why.
The day had started out with another delicious breakfast by Chef Salvo. Cookie now knew why Santa was so roly poly. She decided that she may have to be careful about how many of Chef Salvo’s fine desserts she ate, but they were so good. Candy Cane was always walking around with creamy latte’s too, which sent Cookie’s tastebuds into overdrive. Caramel Marchiatto was a favorite of hers.
Everyone was busy at work making toys after breakfast. Sometimes one would have duck to avoid getting hit by flying objects. One never knew what may happen in Santa’s Toy Hop. The name “Toy Hop” stuck. Alabaster and Snowball wouldn’t live that one down. It was the last time they were asked to make any signs and Santa had them reading the dictionary to help wtih their spelling.
Licorice was pretending to work on fixing a toy train, but his mind was racing with other thoughts. It was too long to have to wait until close to Christmas. He was ready to put his plan to work now. Why did he have to stay here longer, freezing, while making toys, he was ready for his gold! Would Lolly really mind if he did thing earlier than they had planned? LIcorice grinned, perhaps he would get even more gold than Lolly had promised him, if he pulled things off earlier than planned. It was worth a try! He would get his gold and then get back to Tess. She was probably pining away for him, after all he was a pretty good catch. With his mind daydreaming about Tess, he wasn’t looking when THUNK, he got hit by a toy rocket.
Candy Cane blushed. “OOPS! Sorry Licorice, I wasn’t aiming for you.” Licorice grunted. Yes, he was going to put his plan into action soon. These elves were crazy, he had to get back his sanity, and he better get his height back as well.
That night he was up late mixing up his potion. Lolly had given him the secret recipe for some extra special treats for the elves. Everyone knew how elves liked their sweets, and he made these cookies extra sweet. No permanent harm would come to the elves, but like Frost, it would make them sick for quite awhile. Poor Santa wouldn’t know what to do, losing so many elves. Licorice would be sure not to give the extra special cookies to all of the elves, some of the elves would get normal cookies. But enough of elves would get them to send Santa into a frazzle. Then Lolly and the leprechauns would appear to save the day! What other choice would Santa have then to take them on, for there were lots of toys still to be made.
Licorice let out a low, evil chuckle as he mixed up the cookie dough.
When the sun came through the window, and Licorice’s Grinch alarm clock went off, he groaned. He let the Grinch song play out before turning off the alarm. It was one of his favorite songs. Better than the happy, jolly songs that they played all day long while making toys. Those songs made his ears hurt. He was sleepy, but staying up late would soon be worth it. His plan was to give out his cookies at lunch time and by the time the day was over, half of the elves would be too sick to function.
Jinx, Jangle and Tink were busy trying to put together a new type of toy. It was supposed to be one of the best toys for this Christmas, but there was one problem. Tink couldn’t remember how to put it together. He thought he knew, but each time he started sharing the directions with Jinx and Jangle, he would only get so far before forgetting again. He would start talking in gobbledygook, which no one understood. Then he would doze off. Jinx and Jangle were confused, something weird was going on with Tink.
Snowball was in the middle of putting a toy together when he bent over with pain, moaning.
“What’s wrong?” Alabaster was concerned, looking at Snowball, whose face was ashen.
“I think I see a bright light … the brightest light of all.” Snowball was squinting his eyes as Alabaster stared at him. “Oh, my head feels woozy!” Before Alabaster could do anything Snowball fell onto the floor. He fell backwards, fainting.
The elves stopped working and rushed over to Snowball to see what was wrong. Licorice rushed over with them, he would really stand out, if he kept working as everyone rushed over to see if Snowball was okay. Couldn’t do that.
Snowball began to wake up, wondering what had happened. Then the sharp stomach pain seized him once more. One by one the elves began to fall like dominoes. LIcorice was feeling elated, but had to keep a straight face and look concerned if he was going to pull this off.
Wow! They were falling fast. Licorice could hardly believe it, he hadn’t expected the cookies to work so quickly. He covered his face with his hands,hiding his evil smirk. The elves kept falling, and soon Licorice’s smirk was beginning to grow wary. Why were so many falling? He hadn’t given out the special potion cookies to everyone! They were dropping like flies, what was going on?
The door to the “Toy Hop” swung open. “HO! HO! … Whoa! What has happened to my elves?” Santa looked around with a deep frown, all his elves were on the floor moaning and groaning in pain. Well, almost all. Poor Licorice was the only one standing, looking so confused.
Santa gazed down at him, for Licorice was really small. “Can you tell me what happened, and how you managed to stay standing?”
“I… I … don’t know Santa. They were dropping so fast.”
“Sooo you have no clue as to what happened?”
Licorice began feeling a funny knot in his stomach. He didn’t like being questioned by Santa. He liked the old man, couldn’t complain about the gifts he brought him. If he told him the truth he would be furious!
“No clue at all, Santa.” he replied in a subdued voice.
“Soo I guess you don’t recognize this? Santa held up a piece of paper with writing on it.
Poor Licorice, His heart fell! Santa was holding up the extra special cookie recipe, how had he found it?
Licorice didn’t know what to do, should he confess?
“No, I don’t know what that is. ” he said, but his voice shook.
“Hmmm… interesting ….certainly interesting…!”
Licorice wanted so badly to get back to his cottage and call Lolly and get the first ticket out of here, after he got his gold of course!
“Well, looks like we have trouble on our hands. I can’t operate my “Toy Hop” without my hard working elves. You wouldn’t happen to have any suggestions would you?
LIcorice couldn’t believe it, was it really going to be this easy!”
Straightening up as far as he could go he said, “Yes, Santa! I believe I may have an idea for you. I know some hardowrking leprechauns. Lolly is their boss.”
Santa was quiet, and his face got redder by the minute. “Hardworking leprechauns you say, You mean the same ones who plotted with you to hurt my elves?”
The color drained from Licorice’s face, he had no words.
Santa shook his head at him, “Santa knows when you are naughty and he knows when you are nice.”
“Okay, everyone, showtime is over! Back on your feet!”
Licorice watched in shock at everyone rising to their feet and acting fine! How did they recover so fast?
“One should never, never try to hurt Santa’s elves. Tell your leprechaun friends that special potions don’t work on Santa’s elves, they are protected.”
“But, but .. they were writhing on the floor?”
Santa let out a hearty laugh. “My elves are amazing actors! They have played charades many times. I told them all to act sick.
Licorice couldn’t look Santa in the eye and he grew sadder by the minute as he saw his dreams of gold fading away. But maybe not all was lost! He could still get back to Tess.
“I promise Santa I will never mess with leprechauns again! They are bad news, and if you could make me taller again and send my back home, I will be as good as gold.”
“Are you sure you want to go home?”
“Most definitely! You see there is a young lady there, Tess, who I know is pining after me.”
Santa let out an impish grin, “Pining you say?”
“Candy Cane and Cookie can you please tell our surprise visitor to come in?”
With bright smiles they ran outside, leaving Licorice slightly confused. The door opened and when Licorice saw who walked in he was stupefied! It was Tess and she towered over poor Licorice .
“Oh Tess, so good…” Santa held up his hand.
“You may not want to waste your breath. Tess, would you like to say something to Asher? He is no longer Licorice, he doesn’t deserve to be an elf!”
Tess had a lot to say and she started rattling things off at him. Santa stood back and smiled, turning to Alabaster. “You were right, I do believe she will talk his ear off. When you get a woman fired up, watch out. A good idea to send for her. Thanks for the help.”
“Well, talking is something that woman excel at, you know.” Alabaster replied.
Santa let out a hearty chuckle, “Oh yes, when Mrs. Claus gets going .. I often find myself… ”
“Find yourself what, my dear?”
Santa turned around to see Mrs. Claus standing there giving him a pointed stare. Then she looked at Alabaster, “What is it that woman excel at?” Alabaster gulped … looking at Santa … looked like they were both in the doghouse, when it came to Mrs. Claus.