NOTE: This is from the first draft of a Christmas Adventure.
The full story, completely re-written,will be released this fall,
is now available
in a Traditional Softcover Book and E-Book formats for popular E-Readers
Kindle, Fire, IPad, Computer, etc.
“Can two lowly fishermen save the Queen, her daughters and Christmas?”
* Caryn’s Magic Towne – Chapter One *
A small village in a remote corner of Caryn’s imagination where, once a year, the residents come alive to celebrate the spirit of Christmas:
~ * ~
During the night, or when no one’s around, the village residents quietly stir. They have their own work to do and, this year, they have a problem to solve… a big one! You see, the Christmas celebration cannot begin until the Queen lights the village tree, but she’s going to be late… very, very late! Her children have been kidnapped! She is distraught, worried and focused on finding them. Well of course she is! Wouldn’t you be? Christmas will just have to wait! This has never happened before. What to do… what to do…?
But then, I’m getting ahead of myself so, let’s go back and see how all this started. Besides, I don’t know what will happen or how such tiny people can solve such a huge problem. Hmm, guess I’d better just read along with you and enjoy this story of Christmas.
Gee, after all that work and preparation, I hope they get to celebrate this year. I wonder what will happen… what indeed? Hmmmmmm….! Let’s see ––
Well? What are you waiting for? Please –– Hurry up and turn the page! I’m anxious to see how all this chaos will turn out!
~ * ~
1 – George’s Plan
Christmas was fast approaching and a beautiful village tree had been selected but, boy-oh-boy was it tall… and large… in fact, it was huge… the biggest one ever! Well, moving such a large and heavy tree can be quite dangerous so the village council decided to keep everyone well away from its path as this precious cargo slowly inched its way along the roadways and streets to its final destination, the central village square.
Its arrival was scheduled and notices were mailed to every address in the valley. Then, signs were posted at the village gates telling everyone that, next Saturday, when the tree was being moved from the train to the truck and then into the village, the main road would be blocked to all other traffic.
Nutcracker soldiers were stationed from the entrance all the way to the village square and told to keep everyone away until the heavy truck had safely passed through. Of course, soldiers take their orders very literally so the council was confident they would keep everyone out of harm’s way.
Everything was in readiness it seemed –– well, almost everything. There are some people who just don’t read very much. This time it was two fishermen, rather nice people you see but too busy to read their mail.
Early one morning, after they delivered their catch to the wholesaler, they decided to drive into Magic Towne and see the decorations and, perhaps, even have some hot chocolate, a rare treat for them. They sang and counted the days till Christmas as they drove along the winding country road. It was an enjoyable way to pass the time and a much needed break from their daily work, but, when they reached the fork where their narrow road and the highway merged, a roadblock stood in their way. The entrance gate was only yards away but nutcracker soldiers stood between it and them and, for some reason, as they sat there deciding what to do, they still didn’t read the signs.
“Gee George,” said his partner. “I don’t think we can get in. We didn’t buy a ticket or anything.”
“Right –– No tickets –– Well then Ollie,” he grumbled while shifting gears to turn around, “guess we’ll go home.”
“Aw… I really wanted to see Magic Towne too… all the lights, and all the decorations, and ––”
“Nope, not today Ollie, this was a wasted trip!”
And off they went back down the road to the north point and home sweet home. There was no singing during the long ride back and disappointment eventually turned into frustration, so George decided to come up with a different plan for the following week.
(They really should have read their mail… or the signs… or even asked someone!)
It startled George so that he straightened up with a jerk, lost his grip on the fish and up into the air it went! “Whoa ––” he yelled reaching after it. “Come back here you!” he sputtered while his hands flailed all about grabbing at the errant fish. It bounced from one hand to the other and, for a few seconds, sounds of his half said words and sputtering metaphors filled the air until he finally regained his grip.
“Whew,” he breathed as he put the fish down and glared at his partner with a very annoyed expression. “For crying out loud Ollie,” he yelled. “Don’t sneak up on me like that! You scared the bejeebies out of me. I hate it when that happens!”
“Oh, gee… Sorry George. Um, is that fish for us, tonight… you know, for dinner, for you and me?”
“Well, it almost wasn’t you idio ––” Catching himself in mid-sentence, he sighed and continued. “Oh, never mind! Yes Ollie, yes, it is. We had a good catch today and I saved this one for dinner.”
With an embarrassed flush on his face, Ollie looked more closely at the fish. “Yeah, that’ll be really good with that rice thing you make sometimes, and those little green balls –– or, um, I mean sprouts. That’s it, yeah, sprouts. Oh boy! I’m getting hungry already!”
“Well don’t get too hungry yet, we still have work to do before dinner!”
“Oh, okay George, I’ll go get the wagon so we can finish work and start dinner.”
It took only a few minutes before Ollie was back with the wagon they used to move fish from the dock up the hill to the icehouse and George was gazing into nowhere, deep in thought, scratching his chin and smiling about something.
“Here we are George, wagon. Oh, and I changed the pulleys so it’ll be easier to pull up the hill. Now we can take more at a time so we can get… done… faster…. George… George, are you here? I’ve got the wagon.”
“Hmm, oh yeah, what Ollie?” mumbled George as he awoke from his daydream. Did you get ––”
“Yeah George, right here, wagon, big wagon, ready to load so we can finish and have dinner…” He leaned close and whispered, “Remember… fish, rice and green balls?”
“Oh –– Right –– Good! Hey Ollie, I have an idea. Let’s hurry and put the rest of our catch on ice so we can go see if Caryn’s Magic Towne is all set up and decorated yet.”
“Oh, gee, I don’t know George. Those soldiers wouldn’t let us in last week, remember?”
“Yup, I remember” he said with a grin. “That’s why we’re going to sneak in past the roadblocks and the soldiers.”
“Sneak ––? Oh yeah… sneak into Caryn’s Magic Towne… that’s a great idea! Then the soldiers won’t see us and send us home again! Um, how are we going to do that George and, um… do you think we can sneak in for an early peek tonight…? Can we, can we… huh… tonight… pleezzzzzzzz…?”
George squinted at Ollie for a second and shook his head. “Isn’t that what I just said?”
“Oh, right, I guess you did. Okay but we have to put these fish on ice first…. Don’t we?”
George rolled his eyes and started picking up crates. “Sometimes I wonder about him” he muttered.
He reached for another crate but stopped when he saw Ollie just standing and watching. He stared at him for a second, then, clenched his fists and yelled, “Well…? Don’t just stand there like a dumb statue! Get a move on and help me put these crates on the wagon!”
“Okay, okay…! You didn’t have to yell George. I’ll help. I always help… whenever you need help, I help! I do what you tell me and then other things too.”
His voice died to a mumble as he picked up a crate, put it on the wagon and turned to get another one, all the while grumbling. “I always help. He didn’t have to yell. I would have helped. He knows I would have… didn’t have to yell. That was mean… yelling at me like that… humph…!”
George eventually realized how his outburst must have sounded. His head went down, hands to his face and he peered through his fingers at his life-long best friend. A deep sigh escaped his lips as guilt and remorse put a lump in his throat and words of apology in his mouth.
“I’m sorry Ollie… for yelling at you I mean… I, well… I lost my temper for a second.” He hung his head again. “I really am sorry!”
The two men had been fishing the rich waters off the coast of Caryn’s Magic Towne and selling their catches to the local food distributor for most of their lives and consumers regarded their seafood as the best in the land. It was hard work but they both enjoyed the freedom of being on the open sea and doing such an important job.
George never thought of Ollie as the brightest person in the world but he was an excellent fisherman and an even better friend. Actually, they were more like brothers, family in fact. Even though he had already apologized, the lump stayed in his throat, his face remained red with embarrassment and he became very, very quiet.
As they continued to silently load the wagon, Ollie reached for another crate but George stopped him.
Ollie, that’s enough. Anymore and it’ll be too heavy to pull up the hill.”
His partner hesitated for only a second before continuing to load crate after crate onto the wagon. George was puzzled. He knew how much weight they pulled up the hill every day and the wagon was already over their limit. “Stop!” he ordered but Ollie kept loading without interruption. “Stop, that’s enough!” he yelled, but crate after crate continued to be stacked onto the wagon by his silent partner.
George stepped back, took off his gloves and watched Ollie putting ever more crates onto the wagon. “I’m really sorry I got mad” he said again sheepishly hoping for forgiveness.
Ollie finally stopped and chuckled. “I know you are.” Then he put a hand on George’s shoulder. “Don’t worry. I’m not mad at you. I know I don’t get it sometimes… and… and… well, I just wanted to make you um, stew in your own bed for awhile.”
“Stew in my own bed…? Ollie, that’s supposed to be stew in ––” Then, he thought better of correcting the man he had just verbally attacked. “Oh never mind. I get it. You’re right! And I guess I deserved that silent treatment.”
Ollie smiled and stared at George for several seconds, still silent, gloating a little. He wasn’t going to let his partner off that easily.
“Okay, okay Ollie, I get it! I really did deserve it. You win. I was a jerk. Okay?”
“Yup, you were!”
George sighed. “Okay, are we done?”
“Yup…! Guess so!”
“Good, now, let’s get this wagon up to the –– oh no, look at it. Too full, too heavy; we’ll never be able to pull all this weight up ––”
Ollie put his hand on George’s shoulder and pointed up with his index finger as if to say “Wait a minute and watch this.” Then he walked over to the end of the dock and began cranking a pulley wheel. The wagon started to move and George’s mouth opened in total amazement.
“Ollie, how… how did you do that?”
“It’s just ship’s rigging George; block and tackle. I finished building it this morning.”
George watched as Ollie easily cranked the heavily loaded wagon all the way up the hill and then examined the pulleys and ropes. “How did you learn how to build such a complicated thing Ollie?” he asked still trying to figure out the pattern of loops and blocks.
“I read a book George. You said we had no time to read the mail and you put it in a drawer somewhere, so, I read a book on ship’s rigging. Block and tackle, it’s the same idea and, it works!”
Ollie’s invention did work, quite well in fact. So well they could pull three times the weight up the hill in each load. In short order, they finished putting their catch into the ice house and gave each other a “high-five”.
“Good, we’re done, and in record time thanks to you,” chuckled George. “Come on, let’s get cleaned up and go see what they’re doing to Magic Towne.”
“Cool, okay George, let’s do it!”
They went inside, cleaned up, had a quick bite to eat and hurried out the door. The fish, rice and ‘green balls’ as Ollie called them, would have to wait till another day but when Ollie headed toward the garage, George yelled, “Not that way, come on, we have to walk!”
Ollie stopped dead in his track and spun around. “Walk, we can’t ride in the truck? I fixed it so it runs better now –– and the heater works too –– and it’s really cold out tonight!”
“You fixed it? Well, that’s great but it’s way too noisy. The guards would hear us coming and stop us. We have to sneak in remember?”
“Oh –– Right –– Sneak, um, couldn’t we drive most of the way and walk for just the last bit? It’s a long way!”
“No Ollie, I told you, the truck makes too much noise. We’d get caught for sure.”
“But I put a new ––”
George held up his hand, “We’ll walk!”
“–– muffler on it too. And it’s ––”
“Come on Ollie, let’s go. It’s a long walk.”
“–– and I, uh, um…. George…?”
“Yeah, what now?”
“Maybe we could ride the train.”
“You know… those tracks up by the west hill…? There must be a train if the tracks are shiny from the wheels.”
“Nope, come on, we’ll walk… don’t know about any trains… don’t even know where they might go. We’ll walk… on the road… come on. Let’s go!”
“Oh! Okay George. Wait a minute though. I have to go get my backpack.”
“What do you need a backpack for?”
“To carry some things, you’ll see. Don’t worry, I’ll be right back.”
George scowled as he began to shiver in the cold. “I wish he’d hurry” he mumbled while shifting from one foot to the other. “What’s he talking about anyway… carrying stuff… what stuff?” He continued shifting his weight back and forth while grumbling and becoming ever more impatient. “It’s really cold tonight. Hmm, maybe we should take the truck. If he fixed the muffler –– Nope, no way, I don’t want to get arrested by those soldiers, nope, we’ll walk. I’ll warm up when we start moving. Yup, we’ll walk.”
A few minutes later, Ollie burst out the front door hollering, “Here I am George! I’ve got everything I think. Are you ready?”
“Am I ready? Burr, it’s about time! What took you so long? Come on, let’s go! My feet are really cold!”
“Okay George. I’m coming.”
If you’ve read this far, thank you. I hope you’ve smiled a little, enjoyed this fanciful chapter, will make a comment – AND – that the New Year will bring you a future filled with laughter, happiness and all the best.
R. H. Politz