by Vendikarr DeWuff
Heckla Dalls explained to Sonia Wayne that they had to load the sleighs constantly so they could keep Santa Claus supplied with gifts through the night. His bag held a lot of gifts, but it wasn’t infinite. They had to fly sleighs out to meet him so he had a fresh supply of gifts. And without the snowmen to do the heavy lifting, the elves had to load the sleighs. But seeing as they were so small, they couldn’t carry much, explaining why they were making so many trips from the warehouse to the sleighs.
Sonia and Bat-Mite began helping by moving gifts, but it wasn’t fast at all. Sonia thought of something while they worked and made a suggestion. She had seen in a movie something about a bucket line, in which they passed a bucket from person to person to help put out a fire. She said that maybe they could try passing the gifts between elves, and it might go faster if no one had to walk to the sleigh.
Heckla thought it was a good idea, and as they gave it a try, they found that it did make loading the sleighs go more quickly. Sonia was very proud of herself for thinking of it.
“I knew you’d think of something!” said Bat-Mite. “All the Waynes are so smart!” he said as he took a gift and passed it to Sonia.
“Bat-Mite, you know I’m not a real Wayne, don’t you?” said the girl as she handed the present to the elf beside her.
“Sure you are! You don’t have to be born a Wayne to be a Wayne. Dick and Jason weren’t, and no one could ever say they aren’t Waynes!” said the imp as he passed along another gift.
Sonia didn’t respond, but took the gift and passed it along. She didn’t do anything special, just thought of something she’d seen in a movie. She just felt that the more she heard and saw about the family that took her in, the more she felt like she didn’t belong. Even before Grandpa Bruce became Batman, Great-Grandpa Thomas was a doctor, and Great-Great-Uncle Philip had lived a charitable life. How could she live up to all of that?
As if in answer to her thoughts, a huge snow boulder came out of nowhere and impacted the line. Then a second, and then a third. Elves stopped passing gifts and began digging their companions out of the snow.
“We’re under attack!” said Heckla as another boulder crashed down onto Bat-Mite, who pushed Sonia aside as it hit. Sonia started digging through the snow and pulled the imp out. Elves started running indoors as more snow boulders crashed onto the runway, keeping the sleighs from taking off.
“What’s happening?” ask Sonia.
Another elf came running up screaming about an attack. Sonia grabbed him and said, “Calm down and tell us what’s happening!”
The elf, dressed in a red worker’s smock, said, “Bingle has raised a snow army! They’re moving towards the village! He’s going to shut us down!”
“If we can’t keep Santa resupplied, it will ruin Christmas for children all over the world,” said the lead elf. “But I don’t know what we can do!”
“Heckla, I’m sorry, but it’s getting dangerous,” said Bat-Mite as he brushed the snow off of himself. “I have to take Sonia home to keep her safe.”
And in a flash, the moment was upon her. Was she a Wayne? What would a Wayne do? Grandpa Batman would protect the village. Mom would save Christmas. She made up her mind.
“No, Bat-Mite. We stay and help,” said Sonia.
“Your mom is gonna kill me,” said the imp.
“No, Mom will understand. Now, let’s figure out how to stop them.”
Sonia, Bat-Mite, and Heckla exited the village and were once again assaulted by an intense Arctic wind. Sonia wished she had put a few more layers on before leaving the village.
“Wait! Wait! Wait!” said Bat-Mite. As he quickly snapped his fingers, his Batman costume changed from its normal gray and blue to a Santa Claus red, and he sprouted a white beard.
“What?” asked Sonia, noticing that her clothes had changed as well. Looking down, she saw that she was now wearing an emerald green bodysuit with red boots and gloves, accompanied by a domino mask and a crimson cape and hood.
“We’re facing the bad guy, so we have to protect your secret identity,” explained the imp. “Now, about a name… Elf Defender?”
“Bat-Mite…” said Sonia.
“Christmas Avenger?” said Bat-Mite.
“Bat-Mite!” she said a little more forcefully.
“Oh, I know, Mary Christmas,” he said. “That will–”
“Bat-Mite!” Sonia shouted. “Let’s just stop him, OK?” she added, then turned to the elder elf. “How can we stop them?”
“The snowmanimator makes them move; it doesn’t make them alive. So, if you damage them enough, they fall apart. Then Bingle would have to stop controlling the ones moving to create new ones,” said Heckla. “They have even been known to break by falling over.”
Sonia nodded her understanding to Heckla, and looked out at the advancing snowmen. They were tall and, unlike snowmen she had seen before, these had legs, not a round base. She remembered a self-defense trick Helena had told her about, that disabling an attacker’s knees stopped them in their tracks.
“Bat-Mite, we need something to knock their legs out from under them,” she said.
The imp nodded, and suddenly there was a large cylindrical machine over Sonia’s shoulder with a hose attached that led to a pistol-type head with a trigger in her hand; Bat-Mite was wearing a similar contraption. They reminded her of a machine she’d once seen in a ghost movie with her parents.
“I ain’t afraid of no snowmen,” she said to herself with a smile.
Sonia pointed her weapon at one of the approaching snowmen. Even though it released a flurry of snowballs moving at an incredible speed, the snowballs passed through the snowman. She then aimed the gun low, and it cut the snowman off at the knees. Its leg remained in place, and it toppled over, hitting the ground and dissipating into a coating of snow.
She soon found herself being pelted by snowballs, and she turned her weapon toward the source of the attack. A second snowman went down, and then a third. She glanced over to see Bat-Mite using his own weapon, but instead of snowballs, it was firing icicles.
Seeing the setting switch on her gun, Sonia moved it, and then her weapon began firing icicles. The shards of ice tore through the snowmen, and they went down more quickly than they had with simple snowballs. Sonia laughed as they hit the ground.
A snow boulder landed on Bat-Mite, and Sonia ran to his side. Seeing his hand sticking out of the snow, she tugged at it. He then disappeared and reappeared at her side.
“It’s too slow, ‘Mite. There are dozens of them,” said the teen.
The imp shook the snow off his costume and said, “Try setting three.”
Sonia moved the setting, and the top of her cylinder popped open, and her own snow boulder launched into the sky. It landed among a group of snowmen, causing them to break into clumps of snow indistinguishable with the boulder.
“Cool!” Sonia said with a laugh.
Slowly the two whittled down the number of snowmen until there were none. Then they felt the ground shake. Approaching them was Bingle Jells, riding atop a snow mammoth. On his head was the snowmanimator, a helmet with red and green lights across its surface.
Sonia fired her weapon, and her snow boulder impacted with the beast. But it was so large that the impact had no effect.
“It isn’t working, Bat-Mite,” said Sonia. “What now?”
“Try these,” said the imp, as two pistols appeared in her hands.
Sonia grinned and fired the guns at the approaching snow mammoth. She had to laugh at the sight of colored gumdrops firing from the barrels, expanding as they hit the air. By the time they reached the mammoth, they were larger than artillery shells. By keeping the trigger pressed, the gumdrops fired in rapid succession, ripping the snow mammoth apart.
As the beast collapsed, Bingle jumped off the back, calling out, “I’ll be back! I will stop Christmas, if it’s the last thing I do!” He began to run off, but his exit was slowed by the snow, which was much deeper now than before.
Suddenly, Sonia had snowshoes on her feet, and she ran off toward the escaping elf. As she approached, she leaped at him, doing a somersault, then springing over him. At her new school, Sonia had joined the junior cheerleading squad for neighborhood football, so she was familiar with basic tumbling and gymnastics.
Sonia grabbed the helmet off the elf’s head, then stood before him. He stopped in his tracks as Bat-Mite and Heckla ran to catch up with the two. Sonia reached out and grabbed the elf by the collar, holding him until they arrived.
Heckla approached and addressed the elf. “Bingle, after this, we can’t allow you back in the village. We are going to have to exile you, so you can’t cause us any more trouble.”
“It’s not fair,” said Bingle. “If I can’t have Christmas, no one should.” He paused and added, “And I would have got away with it, if it wasn’t for her.” He pointed at Sonia.
“Sounds like you’ve been watching too many cartoons,” said Sonia, giggling. With that, Bat-Mite sent the wayward elf away.
“He’s at the South Pole now,” said the imp. “He’ll be back, but by then, the entrance to the village will have moved.”
Heckla walked up to Sonia and extended his hand in a gesture of thanks. “If not for you, Christmas would have been lost.”
Sonia grasped his hand and shook it, simply saying, “You’re welcome.”
Bat-Mite then said, “Heckla, I need to get Sonia home. I can come back after to help move the entrance, if you want.”
“No need. Santa can take care of it,” said the elf, and he waved and walked back to his home.
“Bat-Mite, why didn’t you just melt all the snowmen with your magic? Wouldn’t that have been easier?” asked Sonia.
“Sure, but I thought a snowball fight would be more fun,” he answered.
Sonia just stood there and laughed. The imp walked up to her and took her hand, and then they were back in her bedroom, with Sonia once again in her pajamas, robe, and slippers. She yawned and climbed into bed.
“I’m so tired after all that,” said the teenage girl. “Boy, am I gonna sleep.”
“Maybe you’re already sleeping,” said Bat-Mite with a twinkle in his eye.
“Wait! What? Wasn’t that real?”
“Maybe it was,” said Bat-Mite, “or maybe it was all a dream.” He then touched her forehead, and she was sound asleep.