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Shadows of the Past
Chapter 1
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Kareoke

Chapter 1: Bad Day

Bernard paced along the top level of Santa’s workshop, surveying the elves working below him. It was the beginning of November, an all the elves were working hard to meet the Christmas deadline. Bernard let out a sigh. They were pushed for time this year. There was a chance they wouldn’t make it.

“Bernard!”

Bernard rolled his eyes irritably as he turned to see Curtis running towards him. He folded his arms and gave him an annoyed look. “What is it now, Curtis?” he asked.

“I need you t help me sort the Christmas letters,” Curtis panted. He leaned over as he caught his breath.

Bernard simply nodded. “Ok, let’s go.” He briskly followed Curtis to the room the letters were in.

Bernard found the letters and quickly got to work. It was a tedious job, but one that had to be done. The head elf mindlessly sorted the letters. He accidently bumped his companion beside him.

Curtis let out a squeal. “Hey!” Before Bernard had time to register what had happened, Curtis roughly pushed him back. Bernard shot a glare at the young elf. He put his work down and advanced towards Curtis. Curtis gulped and ran away. He tripped over a toy on the floor and turned around to see Bernard looming over him. “You’re just mad about what happened a thousand years ago,” Curtis said nervously.

Bernard took a step back; startled that Curtis would mention his past. He glared at the elf after getting rid of the shock. “You weren’t even alive a thousand years ago,” he spat.

A sly grin spread across Curtis’s face. “That doesn’t mean I don’t know,” he went on. “I know what happened, Bernard. How could I forget?”

Blazing with anger, Bernard lifted Curtis up by his shirt. Curtis’s eyes widened in shock. Bernard couldn’t believe that he was brave enough to go there. “Don’t ever mention my past again, unless you have a death wish,” Bernard threatened. With that, he let go of Curtis and promptly left the room.

“But I need help!” Curtis called after him.

Bernard ignored the younger elf’s cry. He stormed around the work shop, pushing away anyone that got in his way.

Where is the moment we needed the most
You kick up the leaves and the magic is lost
They tell me your blue skies fade to gray
They tell me your passion's gone away
And I don't need no carryin' on


Bernard leaned on the balcony overlooking the rest of the workshop. He let out a long sigh. Curtis had brought back painful memories he would do anything to forget.

You stand in the line just to hit a new low
You're faking a smile with the coffee you go
You tell me your life's been way off line
You're falling to pieces every time
And I don't need no carryin' on


Bernard walked into the room with the radar equipment. “It’s still broken,” an elf informed him.

“Ok,” Bernard said with a nod. “Just try to get it fixed soon.”

Bernard turned away from the startled face of the elf and walked out. Normally he would be a lot more frantic at a time like this, but his heart just wasn’t in it right now.

Because you had a bad day
You're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don't know
You tell me don't lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
The camera don't lie
You're coming back down and you really don't mind
You had a bad day
You had a bad day


Bernard trudged into his room. He sat down on his bed and sighed. Pretty soon Judy walked in, carrying a cup of hot Cocoa.

“Hi Bernard,” she said softly. “You seemed upset. Do you want some cocoa?”

Bernard shook his head wearily. “No thanks, Judy. I’m fine,” he said, faking a smile. Judy nodded before leaving. But Bernard was sure she wasn’t convinced.

Will you need a blue sky holiday?
The point is they laugh at what you say
And I don't need no carryin' on


Bernard walked out of his room. He walked right past Scott Calvin, or Santa Claus, despite his friendly greeting.

So where is the passion when you need it the most
Oh you and I
You kick up the leaves and the magic is lost


Bernard walked straight outside. He shivered slightly at the change of temperature. He looked around at the vast white landscape.

Cause you had a bad day
You're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don't know
You tell me don't lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
You've seen what you like
And how does it feel for one more time
You had a bad day
You had a bad day


Bernard scanned the ground again. He gasped when he saw two figures in the distance. His immediate reaction was that they were intruders. Angrily, he ran towards them, cursing the broken radar system under his breath. He skidded to the halt when he saw who the intruders were. They were two teenage girls. Probably not more than 16 or 17-years old. One had short, brown, wavy hair. The other had long, blond hair. They were both crawling along the snow. They looked tired and out of breath. They collapsed in front of Bernard.

“H-help… us…” the brown-haired one said before going unconscious. The other girl quickly lost consciousness as well.

Bernard frantically began to search for a solution. He knew the girls would die if he just left them there. But he was sure he couldn’t carry both of them on his own. Think quickly, he raced back inside the workshop. He looked around for the elf he had gotten mad at earlier. He found him in the room he had deserted, still going through the mail.

“Curtis!” he gasped.

Curtis looked surprise to see Bernard. That surprise quickly turned to anger. “Bernard!” he exclaimed. “Come and help me finish this!”

Bernard waved him away. “Not now. I need your help!”

Curtis rolled his eyes. Bernard irritably waited for his response. “Whatever it is, I’m sure it can wait. Now just-” Curtis was cut off by Bernard.

“There are two unconscious girls outside freezing to death!” he exclaimed, getting it all out in one breath.

Curtis’s eyes widened. “Then what are we waiting for? Come on!” The elf raced past Bernard, who followed him out into the cold.

The Santa Clause and characters belong to Disney

The plot belongs to me, Dani MacInnes