At the base of the alps, amidst the deep winter snows, stood the tiny village of Maryville. An eye-catching array of quaint shops and friendly people, Maryville was viewed by many as a fantasy destination. But for the residents who lived there, what appeared to be a dream life could also be a nightmare.On the other side of the snowy mountains lived an evil giant, The residents of Maryville referred to him as ‘Vin the Horrible’, a savage, hairy beast who once a year ravaged their peaceful community. As hard as they tried, the good people of the village were powerless to fend off his aggressive rampage.
As the new year approached, Gustav Mueller, the mayor of Maryville, called the townspeople together to discuss the problem, just like he had done every year for as long as anyone could remember.
“This will be the last season we’ll let our town be attacked by that marauding giant!” he shouted over the crowd, who had gathered in the town square.
“You say that every year, Gustav,” Helmut Klunk, a plump old Innkeeper, replied. “You can’t go on making empty promises. How can we possibly stop a giant of Vin’s size?
“Yeah, ‘Vin the Horrible’ is a hundred feet tall,” an onlooker bellowed, supporting Helmut’s position.
“I’m open to suggestions,” Gustav said. “Can anyone think of a way to defeat the giant?”
A little boy named Hans made his way to the front of the group.
“Why don’t we just move away from here?” he suggested.
“Who let this lad speak?” Gustav growled.
“No…wait…he has a point,” Helmut Klunk agreed. “Why do we need to stay in a village if we know it’s going to be ravaged every year. We could build a new life elsewhere…someplace the giant couldn’t find us.”
The crowd came to life. There was a buzz of energy amongst the villagers, the likes of which they’d never been seen before
“Hans is right!” an old lady exclaimed.
“The boy’s a genius,” the town cobbler added.
“Then it’s settled. Tomorrow we’ll make preparations to leave this village,” Gustav declared. “‘Vin the Horrible’ can do as he pleases with what we leave behind.”
The people cheered, and a night of celebration ensued. The next morning, every man, woman, and child went to work, gathering up all the valuables from Maryville. By the end of the day it was done. They were ready to move.
After a good night’s sleep, a caravan of people made their way from the barren town, leaving the picturesque village at the mercy of the evil giant.
***‘Vin the Horrible’ grumbled as he stomped his way toward the snowy valley. Towering above the mountains, he surveyed the landscape, a perplexed expression adorning his gruff face.
“Where are you?” he snarled, staring down upon the empty streets.
Angered by things being out of order, he reached forth and clasped his monstrous hand onto one of the buildings, ripping it from the ground and hoisting it into the air.
“Are you in here?” he asked, gazing into the windows.
Seeing no one, he put it aside and grabbed the Inn, tearing the largest structure in the community away with one quick swipe.
“Surely there’s someone hiding in here,” he roared.
There was no one to be found.
“Mary Lou!” he shouted, shaking the entire landscape.
“What is it, Vin?” his wife asked, making her way into the room.
“I’m putting the snow village away until next year, and I can’t find the plastic figurines. Have you done something with them?”
“Why would I move the people, Vin?” Mary Lou asked. “We have a billion grandkids. Maybe they got a hold of them?”
“I think this should be the last year for the snow village,” he griped. “There’s too many Christmas decorations in our house as it is.”
“That’s fine by me, Honey. I hate crawling around hooking up all the lights, anyway.”
*****“Did you hear that, Gustav?” Helmut Klunk asked from his position on the carpet, behind a table leg. “It looks like we got out just in time.”
“Yeah,” Gustav said, wiping his brow, “but where do we go from here?”