How can you possibly have fun when you’re freezing outside in subzero weather, snow mounded on your head, shoulders, and around your feet, gluing you to the spot where you stand?
You shiver heavily as a clump crawls under your shirt and down your back.
Your nose begins to run.
You try to move your legs. They don’t even budge. The snow is far too heavy.
You look up at the large building that stands before and above you.
“Hello?” you call out to it, teeth beginning to chatter. “Anybody there? Help!”
You sigh, your exhale visible in the chilly air. You look around you for any signs of life, twisting in either direction to the furthest extent possible in your current situation.
Out of nowhere, you feel a pair of big hands hook under your armpits, lifting you up and out of the snow.
“W-whoaaa!” you find yourself exclaiming.
Instead of setting you back down, though, they lift you up even higher. You are then slung over a shoulder covered in shaggy, thick brown fur like a potato sack. You feel whatever it is begin to walk, assumingly towards the structure, a large warm hand on your back to hold you in place.
You give up on trying to turn your head to get a better look at your captor-savior. Looking down, you see the brown fur give way to white fur, a pair of stubby though powerful fur-covered legs supporting whatever it is that is holding you. It has broad, flat-footed grey-purple feet with black toenails. You can just see a long, equally hairy arm swinging back and forth with the walking motion on the opposite side of the creature’s wide back, bits of brown color dotting the otherwise white forearm and ending in a long-fingered hand, its color scheme the same as the feet. Its fingers are thick though, each one a good inch in width, making the fingers appear shorter than they really are. Its arm is so long that its fingertips lightly brush the snow on the ground with each stride, leaving a small indentation beside every footstep.
Whatever it is, it’s pretty tall. You must be at least six feet off the floor, and then add a few inches for the thing’s head.
You feel it stop.
Then you see a soft light fall upon the snow, a wave of warm air accompanying it.
You are carried inside, the warmth enveloping you, making the snow melt. Your clothes are completely drenched, chilling you to the bone. You like the cold and all, but the heat sure does feel nice.
You see a pair of gigantic, red double-doors shut behind the creature as it walks further inside. They’re wonderful pieces of work, really, and you wish you could stand there and get a closer look at them. Carved tree branches reach up and along the hinges. Each door has a large, rectangular stained-glass window sitting towards the top, decorated with red, orange, green, and blue geometric shapes, the main design in the middle being an orange circle within a light green diamond. Large, round, golden doorknobs rest peacefully on the doors. They seem to be inlaid with sparkling diamonds. Long, rectangular reliefs decorate their faces.
You hear something softly jingling throughout the room.
The creature lifts you up and places you into a large, fluffy red chair before a beautiful fireplace.
Beneath a pair of thick, bushy white eyebrows shines a pair of bright green eyes that glint like stained glass themselves. Long white whiskers grow from a round, brown nose, parting into two bundles and falling down to its chest, looking like a man who has let his moustache grow to the length of a beard, hiding his mouth. The fur on the top of its head is drawn back into a short, poofy ponytail that sticks straight out from the back of his head.
“Gwab na nefta pluta,” it warbles in a deep voice, making a “stay put” motion with its hand.
You nod. You’ll stay right where you are. The fire feels great, anyway, and you don’t want to move.
You find yourself admiring the craftsmanship of the fireplace. Its walls are made of stained wood, but they do not burn along with the fire. There aren’t even the slightest signs of scorch marks. It sits on an inch-high shiny marble pedestal. Lines are carved into the golden shelf that lies on top of it, crisscrossing one another in a weaving pattern, framing the small rectangles that sit within the loops. A few white candles sit on top of the shelf, some of them placed neatly in stone candleholders. Above the center of the fireplace sits a sword holder, also made of stone, a thin square frame surrounding large concentric stone diamond shapes. Resting on it is a pair of long sheathed swords, their golden hilts shining in the firelight.
You hear a jingle just to your right.
You look over the arm of the chair.
Your gaze is greeted by a pair of large, orange-gold eyes.
You yelp and jump back, nearly falling out of your chair. You hear a loud jingle and something fall to the floor, as well.
Slowly, you sit back up and just barely peek over the side of the chair.
It’s just a Santa hat laying on the floor.
No…wait. There’s something in it. A little tiny person.
You see a long, pointed ear jut from a hole on the side of the “hat.”
The elf sits back up, swaying slightly, its eyes rolling around in its head cartoonishly. It sure does look like it’s just dressed in a modified Santa hat, made of a stiff felt-looking cloth. A jingle bell hangs from the tip instead of a cotton ball, and there’s no white fluff around the brim. Instead, a worn brown leather belt wraps around the elf’s stout belly, coming together at a thin silver belt buckle. It seems to have a teal long-sleeved shirt on underneath, covering its thin arms. It wears a pair of teal-and-navy blue striped pants that are cut off mid-foot, leaving its toes exposed. It only has four of them. Only four small fingers, too. You can just barely see its brown eyebrows in the hole cut out for the elf’s face. Its cheeks are mildly flushed, matching its pudgy red nose. It can’t be more than seven or eight inches tall.
The elf finally focuses on you. It jumps a little, the end of its hat shooting straight up just as its eyebrows do, the bell jingling.
You chuckle. Feeling a little more confident, you sit up straight again and lean on the armrest, still looking at the elf. It stands.
“Hello there,” you greet it with a smile. “I’m sorry I scared you.”
It puts its hands behind its back and traces circles on the floor with its toe, smiling and revealing a set of white rounded teeth. It puts its finger up, expression now as if it forgot something. It runs away, jingling with every step, and quickly returns with a goblet that is about as big as it.
It holds the hot chocolate out for you to take, which you happily do. You’re much warmer now after spending time in front of the roaring fire, but your clothes are still damp and you could use something that warms you from the inside out.
“Oh, thank you!” It smiles again. You begin to see a few more elves peep around the corners—similarly dressed but with slight color variations in their underclothes—slowly populating the room.
You smile wide at all of them, and they smile back. Some of them whisper amongst themselves, glancing at you. Others approach you, obviously curious.
“Shoo, shoo. Vy must you always be in way?” A deep voice booms throughout the room. It has a thick Russian accent. There’s no way that this is the same voice as the creature that carried you in here. The elves step aside, scattering, though staying in the room. Most of them are looking up at something behind your chair, the rest are still focused on you.
You hear thick, heavy boots clomp against the tile floor, growing nearer with each footstep.
Still holding onto your goblet, you stand and turn to face your host, the elves at your feet stepping back, their hats jingling.
Your jaw drops, your eyes growing wider as your eyebrows shoot up. You nearly drop your goblet.
You’re facing a large, jolly-looking man who is positively beaming at you.
Wait…This is a building in the middle of a snowy wasteland. Hidden from all civilization. Odd creatures. Out-of-this-world craftsmanship. Elves...
The man laughs. It echoes throughout the entire room. It's thoroughly jolly, filled to the brim with happiness, which permeates into your own consciousness. You can't help but smile.