“The sun couldn’t have risen more sweetly” thought Tatziz and Jazz scratching his messy hair. “It was like a creation of goldfinger Depasta”, he sighed nostalgically trying to figure out where he was. There he was sitting at a bench gazing at a beautiful paved road which seemed to be leading deep in history, while the few bleary birdies were winging above a shallow pond.

  Despite the fact that the daylight hadn’t yet taken its place on the sky, some people had begun to make their appearance around. It was not clear if they were coming or going but from the look on their faces and the way of walking they didn’t seem to be in the mood for talking, even less for questions and unrealistic clarifications.

  Tatziz and Jazz on the other hand, wasn’t very accustomed to dialogues and analysis. Absorbed in technology and his weird inventions, he created unique widgets, which he shared with the people every Christmas. Every weird gadget that had to do with technology was created by him and then, in a completely magical way, it fell on earth like an overripe pomegranate.

  His hair was like a constant fight, while Christmas lights and wires were a standard accessory of his yellow jam suits. Only his striped shirt showed a little hint that he was a Christmas creature, but even that was harmonically lost in the monotonous course of the city.

  As time was passing by, more and more people seemed to pop out from a small metal worm, that was passing by every now and then beneath the ground. Some of them opened the nearby shops while others walked in a hurry towards the asphalt road.

  Only a salesman with a trolley full of bagels was moving slowly distributing warm breakfast to the people passing by for some change.

  “These people are very glum” said Tatziz and Jazz to himself.

  “Such a beautiful city and no one stops to gaze” continued while rising from the bench. “I’ ll go talk to this nice mister, but don’t you follow me or you will be scared” said to the little birds that were looking puzzled at the strange young man.
  “Merry Christmas ser! I am Tatziz and Jazz, do you happen to know where I am?” asked with a little embarrassment the Electronium.

  The man with the proud belly looked at Tatziz and Jazz severely as he approached his head towards his. “Are you kidding me young man? Christmas is very far from now and if you do not know that this is Thisio, then you must be coming from another country. Will you take a bagel? It’s warm” said the bagel-man still looking at him in a strange way.

“Thisio hah? Pardon me, but what do you sacrifice?” continued in naivety.

“If you came here to make fun kid, you better leave. I am not in a mood for jokes”, he said angrily.

  “But why, sir? Jokes are funny. But I am not kidding. Really! You know I am not from here. I am one of the five assistants of Santa Claus and we fell here due to a breakdown of our sled. We were going somewhere else to make the human’s Christmas. You see, we have a Christmas Factory on the Polar Star, but now we have to build it here, or else people will remain without Christmas” said Tatziz full of enthusiasm, in an effort to explain.

  The bagel-man didn’t seem to believe what electronium was saying and drew his bushy brows like an angry squirrel.

  In that instant, a street sweeper stopped next to the bagel-man with his offhand trash can and his brooms and rakes.

“Good morning, Iakovos, give me two crusty bagels”.

“Here you are Mr. Antonis, nice and warm. What’s on today’s program?” he asked the street sweeper forgetting for a while the strange young man and his story.

“Ifestou street is a mess again. Iakovos. People are very careless and I am tired of cleaning their mess” said the old man on his way to go.

  Tatziz barged in when he saw Mr. Antonis leaving. “I am sorry sir. I am Tatziz and Jazz Electronium, assistant of Santa Claus and if you want I can help you with the cleaning” said with sympathy.

  “Who are you? An assistant of Santa Claus?” asked the street sweeper. “Yes, and we fell with the sled due to a breakdown”, continued Tatziz. “Santa himself sent us a message and he called all of us at Technopolis in Gazi to set the Christmas Factory over there and construct from that spot Christmas for the entire world. But I do not know how to get there. Will you tell me if I help you?” he concluded happily.

  The bagel-man, who was listening to their talk commented to the street sweeper “He is telling these crazy things to me as well all this time Mr. Antonis but I haven’t paddled him yet, that’s why he is going on” mocked while making a tower with his bagels.

  Tatziz could understand the bagel-man’s attitude but one thing was for sure, he hadn’t yet taken the information on how to arrive at Gazi. “I am sorry, but could you tell me how will I arrive at Technopolis? Christmas cannot start if not all of us are there” he insisted pulling up his yellow overalls.

                                                                              “Ah! You do not stop!” said the bagel man angrily. “Enough with your nonsense, go away!”.

  Tatziz was scared and he preferred to approach Mr. Antonis the street sweeper. “If the people, Iakovos, had just a little bit of this “craziness” you are talking about and instead of other nonsense were saying those kind of things, our world would be way happier and everyone would wake up happy in this city. Believe me” he said while holding electronium. “Come here, kid. Do you see this walkway. It’s Ermou Street.

                                                                             If you go straight down, you will end up next to your Santa Claus”, said Mr. Antonis in a warm voice.

                                                        “Thank you, you are a very nice mister” he told him and gave him a cylindrical widget that seemed like a torch and a pair of black round glasses.

                                                              “This is for you, Sir. It restores the order and the beauty. It is my gift to you for your help” he told him and descended running towards Gazi.

  Of course Mr. Antonis didn’t believe him, but he had given magic a little chance. What if what he said was true? How could a poor street sweeper leave the world without Christmas? He could not bear to take on this responsibility. Besides, he now had a story to tell his granddaughters, that a morning in Thisio Mr. Antonis himself, had put some help into making that year’s Christmas.

                                                  “It’s ok Iakovos” said Mr. Antonis. “It is best to believe in magic than ignore it entirely, don’t you think?” he asked while peaking into Tatziz’s gift.

                                                                             “Nonsense. Whoever believes in these things he is idler and lazy Mr. Antonis” answered the bagel-man.

                                      “You think so?” asked the old man holding the strange little torch. “What do you think this button is for?” he asked loudly Mr. Antonis pointing at the grouchy Iakovos. 

  “Where should I know, press it so we can see”. Mr. Antonis pressed the red button full of curiosity. Right away came off a dazzling and flashy shine that could blind an elephant ten meters away. It was so fast that not even the passengers had the time to understand what had happen.

  When the light disappeared Mr. Antonis scrubbed his eyes and looked in front of him, understanding why the young man had given him the black glasses too. “Iakovos! Iakovos! Where are you?” he yelled, but nothing.

  The grouchy bagel-man had disappeared completely from the area as if someone had erased him from the landscape.

Then Mr. Antonis smiled cunningly gazing at the magic widget. “It restores the order and the beauty…magical” he told himself and started cleaning happily with his new gadget Ifestou street as well as all the people that had stopped believing that in the end, magic and Christmas, are up to us.

Article by George Lebesis for The Christmas Factory