It was nearing the Christmas holiday when the situation of a poor shoemaker hit rock bottom. He only had enough material to create one pair of shoes. Given his situation you’d wonder as to why he would even bother with making this last pair, but he planned to. Before saying his prayers and falling asleep, he cut out the shoes he was going to make in the morning.

The next morning the good shoemaker came downstairs to his workplace to start on the shoes. He gasped when he saw that they were already done. He picked up one of the shoes to examine it after slow strolling over to his work area. The leather was good quality and the stitching was superb, there seemed to be no mistakes in what he observed. Without thought he put them on display for sale.

A fine gentleman of good taste walked in the shoemaker’s shop sometime after. It didn’t take the lad long to purchase the shoes that were put on display. The shoes pleased him so much that he paid the shoemaker more than what they were worth and walked out happy. Thrilled, the shoemaker purchased more material to make at least two more pairs of shoes. Later that night before praying and heading to bed, he cut out the two pair of shoes to make in the morning.

The next day the shoemaker found that both pairs were completed. He said a silent prayer to God before examining the shoes just to find that these were made of the same quality as the first pair. He immediately opened up shop and put the two pairs on display. After a week the shoemaker and his wife were extremely wealthy. The more material he purchased, the more shoes he cut out, and then they would all be completed come morning time.

The shoemaker and his wife discussed matters of how to figure out who was creating the shoes for him. After a while of discussing the couple decided to hide in a corner where they wouldn’t be seen and wait to see who appeared. Not long after two little naked boys appeared and began working on the shoes before them. They were skinny little things with pale skin that didn’t even reach five feet, had straight brown hair, and had pointed ears. They worked in silence and left after finishing every single shoe.

When the two little boys left, the wife voiced her concern about where they may have come from and why they were naked. The shoemaker brushed off her concern and stated he didn’t care as long as they came back and finished their work. With that, the wife decided to take it upon herself to create clothing for them while the husband had other things in mind. While she made clothes, the shoemaker thought of ways to capture them.

The next night they appeared again. The two little boys noticed the clothes that were set out for them and immediately got dressed. Singing with glee they proceeded to depart, but not after saying, “We are boys fine enough to see now!”

The wife then whispered to the shoemaker, “They look like little elves from the Christmas tales my mother used to tell me when I was younger.”

Then the shoemaker and his wife heard a loud clang, and rushed out of their hiding spot to see what it was. A cage was placed in an area thought to be where the elves had left the night before. Moans, whimpers, and the wife’s gasps crescendo throughout the work place.

“Ha!” exclaimed the shoemaker. “I caught you little buggers.”

The wife looked at her husband with a horrified expression. One of the elves foot was detached from his leg, the door to the trap had took it clean off. A river of blood flowed from the wound and puddled at the shoemaker’s feet. Tears fell from both of their little faces at what just happened.

The shoemaker then told his wife to get the iron so they can seal the wound and stop the bleeding. She didn’t move at first, but then left quickly after he barked the order at her again. When she left he proceeded to question them.

“Who are you? What are you? Where did you come from? How do you know how to make shoes? Why are your ears pointed?” To no avail, his questions weren’t answered.

“Well I couldn’t care one way or the other. You both belong to me now. From now on you’ll live here and create shoes to keep my wife and me wealthy. In return you get shoes and clothes and food once a day,” he stated before his wife got back with the hot iron.

He carefully instructed her where to put the hot iron. A blood curdling scream escaped the small elf’s mouth as the iron cauterized the area where he no longer had a foot. Tears flowed down the shoemaker wife’s face while a small grin was placed on the shoemaker’s. The elf passed out from the pain while the other stared at the shoemaker and his wife with hatred. After cleaning up the blood, the wife and shoemaker went upstairs to say their prayers before bed.

Day after day the little elves would create shoes for the shoemaker and his wife while being detained. The joy that was always on their little faces ceased to exist with their regular beatings if they did not do as they were told and sometimes they were starved. This went on for months and the wife one day decided not to stand idly by anymore.

This resulted in her death. The shoemaker took the needle that was used to stitch together the shoes and shoved it right through her left eye. The wife screamed and flailed about on the floor in pain as blood flowed between the fingers of the hand covering her eye. Not wanting her to bring attention to his place, the shoemaker then took a pipe from nearby and swung it across her head. She went still and with a nod of the shoemaker’s head, she was confirmed dead. The elves were in their cage whimpering at the scene that played out before them. The wife cared for them as if they were her own when the shoemaker wasn’t around. Now she’s gone, and the shoemaker couldn’t have looked any happier.

He laughed while moving around his wife’s body to begin the cleaning process. It wasn’t until he slipped in her blood and hit his head on the edge of his work station’s table. The elves didn’t know what to do since they were trapped. After a few hours, they realized that he too was dead.

It wasn’t until some months later that all the bodies were found. The shoemaker and his wife’s bones were on the workshop’s floor, and just across them were two little skeletons in a cage. No one knows what happened, but it is said that the voices of two little boys can be heard inside the building on a cold dark night.


This is a revamped dark version of the Christmas story The Shoe Maker and the Elves by Brothers Grimm. This was part of a challenge a fellow blogger introduced and I was happy to partake in. Hope you all enjoy this dark version of a Christmas classic. Merry Christmas!

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