Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Unexpected fireworks (part 1)

Another day of work on the new fireworks factory.

Perhaps it’s time to tell what happened to the old one.

Last November, the factory was working at capacity to produce all the poppers and sparklers we needed for Christmas. It was also making sky rockets for professionals (never for children!).

I remember the day of the fire.

I was checking some names on the naughty and nice list. It was snowing steadily outside. Six inches had fallen since morning.

Suddenly Nobli came bursting in to my office. He was black from the top of his pointed cap to the tip of his pointed shoes. Trials of smoke rose from him.

“My goodness, Nobli,” I said. “What happened?”

“The factory. Fire. That bear.” He stammered.

“Ring the bells,” I bellowed as I grabbed my coat.

Soon all the bells in the village were ringing. As I ran toward the fireworks factory, elves began flooding out of the other buildings.

“Get the fire equipment,” I called out. Several elves turned and ran to the fire house.

I heard the fire sleigh sirens as I neared the top of the hill above the factory. We had built the factory on the other side of the hill, away from the village, for safety reasons.

Smoke was pouring out of the roof, visible even in the steadily falling snow.

Nobli caught up with me, panting heavily.

Where did the fire start?” I asked.

“In (gasp) the (gasp) dining (gasp) hall,” he said.

“Looks like it spread. Are the fire doors sealed?”

“I sealed as many as I could,” Nobli gasped. “Then I ran for help.”

“Is everyone out?”

“I don’t know.”

“That’s bad,” I said.

By this time more elves had joined us. The fire sleighs were already sliding down the slope.

“We have to go down,” I said to the elves around me. “Not everyone might have gotten out!”

Just as we started down the hill, the factory blew up with a mighty explosion! We were knocked off our feet.

Then the rockets started flying all around.

“Run!” I yelled, scampering back up the hill.

I jumped over the top. All around elves were flying over the top as well.

Debris from the building and the exploded rockets began to rain down on us, even as more rockets were bursting in the air above us.

We waited until the explosions stopped and the biggest pieces of debris had fallen.

I looked up. The snow was falling black with ash.

“We have to go see if anyone was hurt,” I said to the elves around me.

(Oops. There’s the dinner bell. I’ll have to finish the story tomorrow!)


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