John Timberland stretched his six foot body out as he climbed out of his car. Rubbing his blue eyes he shook his head at the scene before him. Several people were shouting at the desk clerk at the front door. Walking up the poor man looked at John with a pleading look.
“What are you going to do about this?” A woman was almost screaming at the man.
“I apologize ma’am, we are doing all we can to remedy the situation,” the clerk was saying.
“Remedy?! REMEDY!!!? No, I want this done NOW not when you are ready!” The woman shouted raising the volume of her voice.
“I’m sorry ma’am, as I said we are doing all we can...” started the clerk.
“Well you should be doing a hell of a lot more! I demand a room now! I paid well in advance and I want the room I requested!” The woman went on.
John walked up a moment later, “if you wish, the lodge can issue you a full refund.”
The woman turned and looked John up and down. He could almost feel her sneer at him. “I don’t see how it is any business of yours a lowly bus boy!” Turning back to the clerk the woman stated, “I wish to see the owner NOW! Then perhaps after I have your job, then I can have this business taken care of. Where is he? I demand to see him now!”
The clerk turned red faced toward John another pleading and embarrassed look on his face. Straightening up the clerk said, “I am sorry Mr. Timberland. They have been here all morning.”
This time it was the woman’s turn to be red faced and embarrassed. “You are John Timberland? Then I apologize to...”
John’s face went from a smile to a scowl, “as I said the lodge will refund your deposit and transportation will be provided OUT of here. This type of behavior isn’t tolerated here.” Holding up his hand to quiet the startled woman, John continued. “This is a retreat not your own personal torture chamber. Now then I suggest that you leave of your own volition before I have you forcefully removed!”
Sputtering, the woman spat out, “Well I never!”
“No, and you won’t not while I am the owner here! Ah! I see your ride is here. Now if the rest of you feel the same as ... this one.” John said indicating the woman. “Then you can also depart with her.” John pointed to the bus that had pulled up, a look of disdain on his face.
Turning in a huff the woman stormed toward the bus. “This isn’t over John Timberland!”
“Oh but I think it is! By the way don’t come back you hear!” John called to her retreating back.
Most of those that were with the woman were right behind her. Almost all of them huffing and sneering as they turned their backs.
The clerk walked up beside John, “Thank you sir, I wasn’t sure I could hold out much longer!”
“I’m just glad I got here in time to save you from an embarrassing situation. You did very well Phil, considering.” John told him as he clapped the man on the shoulder.
The clerk nodded as John walked on into the lodge. An hour later John was out on the slopes checking that they were going as he expected them to. “Everything’s as you wanted it sir.” John’s ski area maintenance chief reported.
“Good, if all goes well we should get another few inches of powder tonight. I want the crew to recheck all their equipment before they groom the slopes tomorrow.” John advised the man.
“Yes sir, I’ll have them start right away!” With that the man moved off with several of his crew.
John just shook his head as he look at several of the runs. Still a little upset, John decided to take one of the black runs to blow off steam. Starting down the hill John didn’t notice the clouds that were rapidly moving in. Almost half way down there was a sudden clap of thunder near the top of the hill. Feeling the impending avalanche behind him, John started to race faster down the course.
Crap John thought he was too far from the turns and bottom to make it. Looking at the nearby mountain side, John saw the cave almost too late to stop. Activating his avalanche beacon he headed into the cave. Barely two feet inside John snapped on his flashlight as the avalanche covered the opening of the cave. Looking around John sighed wouldn’t do to survive an avalanche and then get mauled by a hibernating bear.
Taking the beacon off he left it near the covered mouth of the cave then went to explore. Further in John was surprised when the cave not only opened up into a huge cavern but there was more than sufficient heat. Breathing a sigh of relief John saw no signs of bears, but better to be safe than sorry.
Walking around John noticed that the further he went into the cave the warmer it got. Rounding what appeared to be a huge outcrop of rocks John stopped his mouth agape. There in front of him was another opening! The strange thing was there was warm air coming though into the cave, what was going on?
Advancing further John tentatively approached the opening. A small male’s head popped in for a moment then was gone. “He’s finally here!” John thought he heard a male’s voice say. Were they talking about him, John thought?
Suddenly three short females walked into the cave through the opening. “Hello sir.” The oldest appearing of the three said. “We have been waiting for you for a very long time, sir.” She said her light brown hair gently lying to the side of her face. “I am Triance. These are my sisters Frila, and Miadas.” All three bowed to him. “Please come, sure we have a place prepared for you. It has been for some time.”
John could only stare opened mouth at the three short females. They weren’t children; that was obvious, but what they were he couldn’t say. They all took his hands and gently led him out into the sunlight. Wait! Sunlight? Warmth? What in the world was going on? “I’m sorry I seem to have been hurt far worse than I thought. I should wake up in a few minutes.” John said as he suddenly stopped seeing the small town not twenty feet away.
The younger two females started to giggle. They quickly quieted when the one called Triance gave them a stern look. “I know it’s a lot to take in sir. Torran will explain as soon as we have you settled.”
John could only nod as he was led to a central building larger than the rest. Once inside the younger two left as Triance stood aside and waited. A few moments later a small male about three and a half foot tall entered the room. “Ah! Finally you are here sir! We have been waiting for you a very long time. Now I know you have a myriad of questions, I am here to answer all that you have.”
John again could only nod though a million questions were going through his mind not a single one would leave his mouth. “I...” John started then stopped really unsure of what to say let alone ask.
Sighing Torran started for John. “Yes sir, we are what your kind would call elves. Though recently in your time our distant relatives the Quendi have been depicted. They are very tall and try to not associate with your kind.”
“Elves? Uh huh. You really expect me to believe you?” A bewildered John said.
“I apologize sir; I know it is a lot to take in. You will have time to gain all the knowledge you need.” Here the one called Torran smiled. “It was foretold that you would be difficult and tall. I am sorry to say that you are rather painful to look at also. I do not mean to insult you sir but you are the first we have ever seen in person. Your kind is extremely ugly to us; again I apologize as I said we mean no disrespect.”
“Ugly?” A startled John stated. “Here I thought I was rather handsome. That might explain why I haven’t had a date in so long.” John said as he scratched his head.
“Oh no sir! It is just to us that you are that way! I am sure that in your time to your kind you are quite spectacular.” A slightly red faced Torran said.
“Alright,” John said finally starting to get a handle on things. “You said you have been waiting for me for a long time. May I ask why?”
“Sir, you can ask anything that you wish. Nothing is denied to you, it was foretold ages ago that one of your kind would appear. They would enter the rift at a time of personal peril, bringing with them a knowledge that we need. The one of your kind would be alone and hurt, though not physically. They would have a great love of all children but none of their own.” Torran said.
Crap John thought they were right on every account so far. “What else was foretold?”
Here Torran smiled widely though not sure it just felt so right and satisfying to answer this human’s questions. “The human would be a great leader but would need time to heal his heart. He would be fair but firm just who we need to lead us.”
“Lead you? Are you an army? Are you planning to attack someone?” A worried John asked causing an appalling look to appear on Torran’s face.
“Oh no sir!” Torran said, causing John to breathe out a sigh of relief that made Torran’s face light up even more. “You really are as the writings said!” Here Torran bowed to John as did Triance.
“Please! I am not a god or a king, I feel very uncomfortable when you do that!” Again Torran’s eyes went wide as did Triance’s.
“You really are the one!” Triance whispered as she stared at John. “Praise be to the creator!”
John looked at her with a confused look. “Torran what am I to lead you to or for? What do you and your kind do here?”
Almost bowing again Torran stopped and said, “We are builders and makers. We are here to help you as we have been for a very long time.”
“Yes but ... wait! You said my time? What year is it here?” John asked.
“Year?” Torran asked. Looking at Triance they both started to speak in a strange language. John shook his head it was almost as if they were speaking every language at once but none of them at the same time. A moment later Torran’s eyes lit up. “Ah! I see now. Sir, here there is no year. You might say that you are outside your concept of time. Later we will show you how to access all times.”
“All times? Just how long have you been here?” A startled John asked.
“I believe,” here Torran started talking to Triance in the strange language again though this time John could actually understand a little of it. “It was about your year 4000 B.C.? Yes that sounds about right.”
John sat with a thud in the nearest chair. This was impossible! They were immortal? “You never age. Then I will be gone and you will still be here alone again.” A worried John said.
“Oh no sir, when you entered the rift, you might say time has all but stopped for you. Though we have been here for six thousand and sixteen of your years we have aged maybe 16 years. As far as we have figured one day here is one year of your time.” Torran happily explained.
John’s mouth was hanging agape again as all he could do was stare at the two elves. Well he thought if that is what they wanted to be called so be it.
“Yes sir, we would like it if you did refer to us as that term.” A now broadly smiling Triance said.
“Did you just read my thoughts?” An astounded John asked.
“No sir,” she replied. “You were projecting your thoughts outwardly rather loudly also.”
“I apologize for that, I didn’t mean to cause you distress,” John told a suddenly gasping Triance.
“No human has ever apologized to one of our kind! Thank you sir! It is an honor to know one as kind as you!” A startled Triance said. Looking over to Torran John could see that he also had a startled look on his face.
Yawning John was suddenly feeling tired. “Is there somewhere I can lay down? I think I over did it today.”
“Sir? I am so sorry I forgot to tell you! This building is yours! Everything in it, this is your home now.” Triance said a worried look on her face.
“It’s alright Triance; we all make mistakes at times. Please don’t worry ok?” A smiling John told the worried elfin woman.
“You do not wish to punish me? To take advantage of me? Your kind has done this in the past.” Triance revealed to John.
A shocked John shook his head. “That will not happen! I have so much to thank all of you for. I could never do something so deplorable! You are a married woman besides that alone makes it a horrible crime to me.”
“Married?” A confused Triance stated. “I do not understand that word.” Again she and Torran conversed in that strange language though this time John was catching every third word. “You mean my mate! Yes sir, thank you, we have never met one of your kind that felt that, and then again we haven’t seen one of your kind in many years.”
“You’re very welcome, though I am starting to catch on to a great many things; I am still confused as to what I am doing here. I mean I don’t feel special; I am just a regular guy. Lonely as you stated but a regular one none the less.” John told both of them.
A shocked Triance and Torran looked at each other with startled looks and conversed again. “What does han mean that han is just a regelmessig guy?” Triance asked.
“I believe that han is what is known as ydmyk. I...” Torran was starting.
“You know it isn’t nice to talk about someone when they are sitting in the same room.” John said. Both of the elfin people turned to stare at John both of their mouths hanging open. “Crap what have I done wrong now?” John asked.
“Nothing wrong! You ... you were speaking Alfheim! By the great creator! It has already started! You do not have all of it but you understand and speak more of it than not!” Torran said his eyes wide in shock and surprise. “Snakke læring the more you hear the more you lære!” A now trembling Torran said.
“Uh huh. What do you mean it has already started?” John asked of Torran.
“As we told you sir.” Triance stated. “You are the leader we have been waiting for, the one that will give us back a sense of being and purpose. I am sorry sir but it is hard not to bue to you!”
“I still don’t have all the words yet but I am getting almost all of them.” John related to Triance.
“Yes sir, it shouldn’t be long now.” Triance said.
John told them he was going to sleep a bit. Both nodded and left quietly looking at each other. ‘I’m still unsure what all this is, ‘ John thought as he laid down and was out a few moments later. What he thought was hours later John awoke feeling a lot better. Getting up he found a change of clothes. These were more like those that the elves wore all natural fiber he thought. Looking closer John could almost swear that the clothes were made from plants!
Stepping outside there were several gasps. John looked around seeing more elves working outside the buildings around the one he was in. Sitting on a bench in front of the building, John shook his head. He still was confused as to what he was doing here, plus what he was to lead these elves ... Suddenly a thought hit him, NO! There was no way! Going back inside several of those outside waved to him as he went in.
Looking into the mirror in the building he noticed that he had a full growth of a beard. He’d thought that he had a beard and now, here it was? Since when did he have any type of telekinetic ability? Shaking his head again, he hesitated a moment, and then thought, ‘no time like the present to try.’ Concentrating John thought, <Torran? Triance? Could you both come here please? Also could you bring your mates with you as I will have need of you both for a time. I am afraid it will take you away from your mates. I wish to apologize to them for that.>
Less than a minute later John heard in his head, <We are both on our way sir! Thank goodness you have discovered the thought talk!> John nodded as he waited for them to arrive.
A few moments later both Triance and Torran walked into his building. “We are here sir.” They both stated. John started to look outside around his building then came back in to find a confused pair of Elves.
“What seems to be the problem sir?” Torran asked.
“I asked you to bring your mates; at least I thought you both had mates.” A concerned John stated.
Both of them started to smile, “I am sorry sir,” Triance started. “We are mates, you seemed to be tired and stressed when you first arrive. I apologize for not advising you sooner.”
John’s face broke into a huge smile, “Ah good! Here I thought I’d be taking you away from your mates. I was going to apologize to them for taking so much of your time from them.”
Again both of their mouths dropped open, as there were several gasps from the doorway. “He really is that vei?”
“Yes,” replied Torran, “he also has the talk learning as well as the thought talk.” There were more gasps as John heard several say that it was a blessing that he could almost speak and talk in Alfheim.
“I still have questions Torran, though I believe that I know what I am to do with all of you and your abilities. Much of what I have seen and heard so far falls into the category of a legend that is common in my time. I’m not sure if you and your people have ever heard of Santa Claus?” John said as he looked at all those that were within his sight.
A moment later a very old looking elf person walked in the door as there was a hush as the elder approached John. “Hello sir,” came the strong voice of the elder.
“Hello to you also sir.” John said drawing several more startled gasps from all those that were present. Nodding the elder elf took John’s hand and led him out into the area in front of the building. Suddenly there were other eleven elder elves that appeared all nodding to the one that was with John.
Releasing John’s hand the elder walked to the others and talked to the others a few minutes. Then the entire group of twelve turned toward John, “We have waited a very long time in your world’s years. Many thought that you would never appear but at last you are here. For so long we have been without guidance or direction. With you we hope that now we will have both.”
“I thank you also; before I came here I had no family. Sadly they have all passed leaving an emptiness within me. I will do the best that I can,” here John turned toward the others. “I will do all I can for all of us.” Turning back to the twelve elders John bowed to them drawing an even larger multitude of gasps.
“We thank you sir but you are in need yourself. This was anticipated many years ago. There is only one out there that can enter here with you. She is much like you, she has been hurt greatly. She needs the love that only you can provide. Sadly you will have to find her and bring her here. You are the only one that can bring her here.” The elders told John.
Nodding John thought back to all the things that he’d heard about Santa. All the legends that were out there about the man and where he was from. Never in his wildest dreams had he thought it might be him. The fact that he had almost all the time he needed was another great aspect of this also. <Do I have magic?> John asked.
<Of course, though at present it is weak it will soon grow to where you need it to, > the head elder thought to John.
<Good I want to start as soon as I can, this feels so right. For the first time in my life I feel like I will finally make a difference in this world.> John thought to the elder.
<Oh, you will do far more than make a difference to this world. You will bring a joy and happiness that will be unparalleled. We are proud that we will be afforded the chance to help you sir. Santa, > the elder said with a smile.
“Thank you, all of you, soon we can start.” John said as those assembled cheered.