"Ok Rosie," I say, "now we need to fly as quick as we can to that next cloud over there" I point at the next cloud. We zoom out of the cloud we are in into the next. Rosie shrieks in delight, and I smile at her happiness. We continue on like this, until the air grows cold, and a mass of white appears beneath us.
"Ok Rosie, we need to start going down now."
We descend onto smooth snow. I stand there, letting Rosie take in the view.
"I've never seen snow before" she whispers
"Never? Not even fake snow?" I ask
"Never. Katie went to the snow with her brother Danny, but Mummy and Daddy wont take me."
"Well you live here now." I assure her, while thinking about what a poor little girl she is.
We follow the path leading to, and through the cave entrance. The guards on duty (an elf and an adopted teen age boy) bow and smile at us. I smile back. Rosie looks up at me questioningly, and grips my hand tighter.
"It's ok, every ones your friend here, no one would try to hurt you"
She looks up at the elf guard. He smiles and gives a small wave. Rosie smiles and gives a tiny wave. I smile at the guard and start walking again.
We come to the two great oak doors leading to the present room. I put my hands on her head and concentrate again.
"You don't need to be light anymore" I say.
When the job is done I push one of the doors open and walk through, with Rosie holding my hand again and following. We stop and she stares. The present room is a large, round room, you could probably fit about eight cathedrals in it. There is a wide balcony three quarters up the wall, with hundreds of large machines stationed on it. Colourful tubes come down from the balcony on a lean, and stop in large bins ready to hold the thousands of toys that come from one machine. Some of the bins are already starting to full up, ready for Christmas in two days. On the ground floor there are more machines, with shorter tubes leading to more large bins. All of the bins, whether with tubes from the balcony machines or the machines on the ground, are lined up in two lines, with a wide pathway in the middle. Busy workers scurry across the path.
"On Christmas Eve, that pathway is cleared, and Santa drives out, in his sleigh, and the workers load the slay with millions of presents. Then he drives out, up and away through those big doors we just passed through, which will be held open for him." I tell Rosie. She looks at me in wonder.
"Is this where all the presents are made?" she asks
"Yup, and where you'll be working, but first you've got to be trained. Lets meet your trainer."
Rosie looks at me with fearful eyes.
"Don't worry" I say hurriedly," he's really nice"
We walk down the path and in between two bins. We come to a candy cane making machine. I tap the young man working the machine in the shoulder. He turns around and smiles.
"Hello Emily!" then he looks down at Rosie, "and whose this?"
"This is Rosie, I collected her today" I say.
He squats down in front of Rosie, so his face is level with hers.
"A pleasure to meet you Rosie, I'm Tom" He says to her, smiling. He reaches up, and grabs a candy cane from the machine. "Here, have a candy cane"
Rosie takes the candy cane, saying "thank you" so cutely I almost cry.
Tom stands up and says, "I can take her now, if your ready".
I nod and bend down beside Rosie.
"I need to say good bye to you now, Tom will look after you, but I promise I'll see you later". I say. I let go of her hand and hug her.
"Good bye" she says, her voice muffled in my chest. I let her go and she takes Tom's hand.
"see ya later" he says cheerfully. And leads her to a small door in the wall.
I turn away and walk back to the path. I stop and look around. Tinsel is hanging from the balcony rails. In the light it sparkles green, red, white and blue. Almost every thing is covered in Christmas lights. I think what a beautiful place it is.
I turn on the path and walk to another door. The door that leads to the Clause Family house.