"We found them near the reindeer stables," we heard.
I peaked around the corner again to see who it might be and there were Jacob, Comet, Abbie and Dancer surrounded by a guard of elves and reindeer.
"And I found the girl and Dancer near the elves dormitory," said a large elf.
I turned to Rudolph and whispered, "What are we going to do?"
"I'm not sure. Maybe we wait here and see where they take them and then we can try and rescue them," whispered Rudolph.
It seemed like a good plan to me so we hunkered down against the wall to listen.
"I don't know who you kids are or what you want but I know you come from the North Pole because of Dancer and Comet. Am I right? What are you doing sneaking around my home?" asked Sandy but she continued without leaving a chance for an answer. "I can see Dancer doing something like this but I wouldn't have thought you would stoop to sneaking Comet."
Dancer snorted through her nose at Sandy. "That's rich coming from you Sandy. You've all but ruined Christmas for the entire planet and you're upset that we're sneaking around your home trying to save the day! You should be lucky we didn't bring the stun ray guns. We could have you know. We've perfected them now. They stun the person and it makes them go to sleep and they wake up five minutes later having forgotten the last ten minutes. Comet, why didn't we bring those guns? They would be very handy about now!"
"Dancer, I'm thinking Santa wouldn't want us shooting his sister, even if it is for a good cause. Hello Sandy, it's been a long time since I've seen you. You look great, much the same. It's too bad you've gone to the dark side," said Comet.
"But I haven't, not really Comet. It's all been a big mistake and I don't know how to undo it," said Sandy.
"What do you mean?" asked Comet. "Didn't you put a force field around the North Pole to try and ruin Christmas?"
"Yes and no!" exclaimed Sandy. "I am responsible for the force field but I wasn't trying to ruin Christmas. I was just trying to remind my brother that I exist, that I am important. He has just carried on without me as if I didn't matter at all to him. I found this spell and decided to try it out. I know he always makes a trial run with the reindeer about a week before Christmas and then again the night before Christmas Eve. I thought I'd put the force field there for the first trial run, leave it there for a day or so and then remove it. You know, make him realize that I'm still important. I thought he might even contact me about removing it but nothing from him and now I can't remove it. I've been trying for the last couple of days and I can't reverse the spell."
Rudolph and I looked at each other in amazement. Sandy didn't want to ruin Christmas, she just wanted to be reunited with her brother and for him to recognize that she is important. We could work with this!
"I'm storming through the front door and hoping for the best," said Rudolph to me right before he walked around the corner and into the room.
"Rudolph!" gasped just about everyone.
"Hello Sandy," said Rudolph.
Sandy gasped with relief, "Rudolph, you're just the reindeer I need right now. I'm in dire straits! I've put a spell..."
"Yes," interrupted Rudolph, "I heard. I guess the question now is what are we going to do about it?"
"I don't know what to do. I've tried everything to break the spell and nothing works," said Sandy.
"You haven't tried everything Sandy. You haven't gone to the North Pole and consulted with Santa about what the two of you might be able to do together to break the spell," said Rudolph.
"I don't think Santa wants to see me right now," said Sandy.
"I think you're wrong Sandy. Santa always wants to see you. It's like I tell you every time I come to visit, Santa wants you to come back," said Rudolph.
"You mean he used to want me to come back. Right now, he just wants the spell broken so he can deliver the toys. I'll get you the spell book and you can take it back with you. I'm sure Santa can figure out something," replied Sandy.
"Sandy, you know you have to come back with us. We don't have time to figure things out without you. We need you. Santa needs you. Christmas needs you," said Rudolph. "We have the portal we usually use open and ready. Let's go. "
"I'll come with you, but on one condition. I get to stay in the reindeer barn until after you break the news to Santa that I'm there. I'm not sure I want to be in the room when he's told I'm back in the North Pole."
"Deal Sandy," said Rudolph. "Anyone else who would like to visit the North Pole with us is welcome to follow us through the portal."
"I'll just get the book and then I'll be ready," said Sandy.
"I'll come help you," said Rudolph.
They headed off down the hallway and the rest of us were left to look awkwardly at each other.
"Well, I'm going back," said one elf. "I've missed the North Pole and this may be my only chance for another 70 years."
The elves and reindeer looked at each other and then they all started saying they wanted to go back too.
"We have to let everyone know we are going back to the North Pole for a visit," said one reindeer.
"Yes, we should at least let them know what's going on," said an elf.
Jeffrey took charge and sent elves and reindeer to different parts of the South Pole to let everyone know what was going on and if they wanted to go back and visit the North Pole, they were to come immediately. Everyone but Jeffrey left the room. We looked awkwardly at each other. No one knew what to say so we said nothing. Silence isn't necessarily a bad thing. Abbie and I sat down while Jacob leaned on Comet and Dancer walked around the room. We were waiting as best we could.
Jeffrey interrupted the silence, "Would you guys like a cookie? Sandy makes the best chocolate chip cookies. Mrs. Claus isn't the only cook in the family."
I was ready for a snack. I hadn't eaten much at lunch and it had to be close to dinner time by now. We followed Jeffrey to the kitchen. There was a plate of chocolate chip cookies and Jeffrey poured us all glasses of milk. They were the best chocolate chip cookies I had ever had! I ate three before I was interrupted by Abbie.
"Thank-you for the cookies," said Abbie as she gave Jacob and I the eye. We'd forgotten our manners. She was always the one to remember her manners and remind us of ours.
"Yes, thank-you," said Jacob and I around the cookie crumbs still in our mouths.
"I'm glad you like them so much," said Jeffrey. "Have some more and remember to drink your milk too!"
And we did. Jeffrey ate a couple of cookies but the reindeer skipped the cookies and ate the carrots.
"Rudolph, why don't you eat the cookies?" I asked. "They're delicious."
"Reindeer don't eat cookies. We don't like them," said Rudolph.
"I guess I'll just eat your share," Jacob replied.
"I think you already have," said Comet.
"Well, well, I think it's time we get back. I hear noises in the main room and we'd better check on Sandy and Rudolph. Let's go see who has made it back," said Jeffrey.
We cleaned up quickly and then went back to the main room which was overflowing with elves and animals. We had to squeeze by a bunch of elves that were jammed in the hallway just so we could even enter the room.
Sandy and Rudolph entered the room on the opposite side and moved to the center of the room as the elves and animals parted for her. She stood on some sort of stool and said, "It looks like everyone would like to visit the North Pole. I am glad. I know you have missed our home as much as I. There is a small portal that we must all return through. The children, their reindeer, myself and Jeffrey will go through the portal first. After we have talked with Santa, Jeffrey will come back through the portal and then I believe you will all be allowed to enter the North Pole. Please be patient and thank-you for coming back with me to the North Pole, if only for a visit. I appreciate it."
As she got down from the stool, everyone started clapping and cheering. We left the room to applause and I once again felt like a superhero, a very confused, very full of cookies and still slightly cold superhero.
We walked back to the portal. It was cold. I looked into the portal and could see the reindeer barn but there was more than just the reindeer in there. There was Mom, Dad, Santa, Mrs. Claus, Pete, all the penguins who had helped look through the books, Max, all the reindeer and a bunch of elves and I realized I really had no idea what to expect when we got back. I think I'd leave the explanations up to Rudolph.
Sandy also saw everyone waiting for us in the reindeer barn. "I'll let you go ahead Rudolph and talk to Santa. I'll wait right here until you've explained everything," said Sandy.
"I'll stay and wait with her," I said. I thought someone should and since the whole idea to come to the South Pole was kind of my idea and I knew that would come out in the explanation, I didn't really want to go back and face the music yet. I was cold but not that cold. I had no idea how mad Mom and Dad might be at me for disobeying, not to mention Santa and Mrs. Claus. I didn't want to be on the naughty list.
"I'm going back," said Abbie. "I'm too cold to wait here."
"We'll just leave Ethan with Sandy while the rest of us explain what happened here and we'll show Santa the book if you'll give it to Jacob," said Rudolph.
Sandy handed the book to Jacob. She tried to stay away from the portal so Santa wouldn't be able to see her. Rudolph, Jacob, Comet, Abbie and Dancer all went back through the portal. I saw Rudolph nod and Jacob hand the book over to Santa. There was a lot of hand gesturing, head nodding, some stern nods from Santa and my Dad, a few tears from Mom and Mrs. Claus, some more talking and then Rudolph came back through the portal.
I looked over at Sandy. She looked a little pale and a little sick. I hoped she wasn't going to throw up. There's nothing worse than smelly throw up to ruin a good rescue!
Rudolph started talking right away, "They are more than anxious to see you Sandy. I explained everything to them about how you have tried to break the spell you cast but haven't been able too. I told them the reason you cast the spell in the first place and they think that we can come up with a solution together, if you're willing. I told them you were. Santa said he would love for you to come back to the North Pole."
"Are you sure Rudolph? Is it going to be okay?" asked Sandy.
"It's going to be more than okay. You'll be back home where you belong and between you, Santa and the rest of us, we'll figure it out!" replied Rudolph.
"Then let's go," said Sandy.
Sandy and Rudolph walked through the portal and I followed.
Check back tomorrow to see what happens when Sandy goes back home to the North Pole!