Naughty or Nice?

Constance Claus or Mrs C as some call her was pleased, everything was running smoothly in the run-up to Christmas Eve. She had a long list. It was so long it rolled behind her, around the workshop, out the door and into the main square where Summer, her perfectly white cat was using it as a bed.

The elves were working at a frenzied pace due to a bet that Noel would beat the record for putting wheels on bikes in a single day. He was on hour number 8 of 12 and it was showing. His beard was a damp sponge as sweat flowed from his forehead. Constance stopped to watch him and was pleased to notice that the kindly younger elves had equipped Noel with a cold drink which sat on his hat , the long straw flowed from the bottle straight to Noel’s mouth.

Happy they were looking out for each other Constance looked back at her list,

“Check the Reindeer have passed their fitness test.” She smiled at the line underneath – and your husband as well.” She frowned. It was a long time since she saw him, breakfast to be exact.

Standing on the nearest empty chair, Constance gave a piercing whistle. Everyone except Noel stopped working to look at her. “Has anyone seen Santa?” When she was met with silence, Constance felt a moment of worry then she brushed it to one side.

The elves shuffled in a group to stand before her. “He never leaves the workshops, he is bound to be here, somewhere, we will go find him for you.”

“And I will go and check on lunch for you,” she smiled as she left to check the kitchen hoping he was sitting having a giant slice of gingerbread and some milk.

However, the kitchen was empty, ten minutes later the elves began to report in:

he is not in the bedroom, he is not in the reindeer house, he is not in summers house, he is not in the workshop on any of the floors or in any of the cupboards.

They fell silent. “Oh no, we have lost Santa, ” the elves were rushing about in circles, panicking. “Broken Candy canes! We have lost Santa,”

One tiny elve piped up, “perhaps he has gone away for a holiday.”

“Don’t be stupid Dilly, he never goes on holiday. He is the holiday.” The others answered.

Dilly responded by crying loudly.

“How will we find a lost Santa, we can’t tell anyone.” Constance stared at the ceiling then lowered her eyes at the sound of someone munching on a cookie.  “Bob can find him!” She said then wondered aloud, “Where and how did you get those sugar-coated cookies?”

Santa’s four-legged friend looked around the room,then he tried to hide behind the tiniest elf in the room.  It didn’t work, neither did his reindeer costume. reindeer 6

I am not a sniffer dog – I am a reindeer.

There was a loud official knock on the kitchen door. Everyone including the cookie munching Bob turned to see who was doing this when no one ever knocked on doors in Santa’s home.

Taking a deep breath Constance stepped forward and slowly opened the door.  It was George, the giant elf who everyone almost, nearly but not quite forgot about each year as his job was to protect the boundaries of Santa’s home.

“We have a situation, Mrs Claus.” His voice was deep and officious. He appeared to look happy, something which never happened and was deeply troubling every other elf in the room.

“A..a.. situation. How what and where? We never have a situation beyond the threat of running out of time to get the job done.’

“Well, perhaps you should follow me.”

“Why?” Constance was puzzled. This was a first for her just like hearing George speak in such a serious tone.

“I need help as it is a little bit delicate and he is moving too fast.”

“Who?” Constance was getting tired of this. “Just tell me straight.” She and the elves walked outside after George.

His answer was to point upwards.   Everyone stared high into the sky.  There he was, but he was not sitting in his sleigh practising his driving skills nor taking care of the fluffy white clouds or the birds who were flapping and diving out of his way.

No, he was sitting on Rudolph and they were racing about the sky, doing loops and summersaults, diving towards the ground sending snow flying from treetops along with hundreds of birds who had been enjoying a mid-day nap until they were rudely awoken by the racing, giggling Santa. Then in a sizzling flash they sliced and diced the clouds up into tiny marshmallows, Santa grabbing chunks and throwing them to the elves below who were enjoying the show, clapping and laughing.

“This is not funny,” Constance told everyone. Hands-on her hips she wondered just how much sugar Santa had consumed to get him in this state then forgot it as the elves asked,

“We need to get him down but how will we do it?”

“I could write him a speeding ticket or careless driving ticket or an over the sugar limit ticket.” George was bouncing on his toes with excitement. He never got to arrest anyone, imagine being the one who arrested Santa!

Constance’s words knocked the smile off his face. “I know the one person he will listen to and he will be down in an instant.”

George looked depressed. His claim to fame was being squashed.

Pulling her phone from her pocket she dialled a number. The elves were laying bets on who it was Constance was ringing. “Some real police. – No the FBI – No. His dentist he is terrified of him.”

Someone even better Constance said, as she approached Dasher. Leaping nimbly on to his back she took to the sky. Constance and Dasher did not race about like Santa, they flew to a large cloud and waited for him to come to them. Words were exchanged, the elves saw Constance lean towards her husband with her phone in her hand and five seconds later he was on the ground. Constance and Dasher joined Rudolph and Santa then turned to the astonished elves.

Constance slid from Dasher and stood to smooth out her skirt fully aware that every elf was dying to ask her who she rang. She took her time and tried not to smile as Santa marched off muttering and grumbling about wives not allowing husbands to have any fun at all.

Finally, when she was ready she said, “His mum!”

 

 

Book Giveaway

I have copies of my latest story, available for those of you who follow this blog and would like to read it in exchange for a review. To obtain a copy simply email me at; matthewsmaria92@yahoo.com

This book has been structurally edited, edited and proofread so it will be interesting to receive some feedback about it. It is set in County Cork and though both characters are from completely different backgrounds, Mark is a city lover, Anne is a country lover, they are attracted to each other, but his belief he should sell his family home which was recently inherited sparks a challenge in Ann; to prove to him that he would be better off keeping the farm and house.  Who will win or who will compromise?

Romantic Irish novel with a dash of humour

Romance

Bob’s Diary. ..I am not a Reindeer!

After the Christmas Reindeer story, I thought I was safe for a few weeks. Life can be cruel can’t it?

I knew there was trouble brewing when Maria and Sara offered me jelly babies.

Bob 1 no ideaThey are up to something

 But I didn’t expect this…

 No sir, I got to talk to Sir Bob about this…

reindeer 3

I am not a reindeer….

reindeer 2

  I have the answer..

reeindeer 5

 I am a Superhero.

 

Maria’s Stuff: Flash Fiction

Emma said, “They called him Kevin. ”

As he watched her she appeared to be struggling to speak. A trickle of water leaked from the corner of her eyes. Her small white hand covered her mouth.

He looked at her aghast. He was hopeless at coping with tears. He would rather face a great white shark than have to put his arms around his best friend and comfort her.

The air in the kitchen shimmered.The man before Emma imagined the warm air as an entity. It rushed in through the open back door shook hands with the frigid temperature in the room to kick off the cold wall before racing outside. Along the way he saw it scoop up her distress and carry it away.

If he was asked to describe his feelings he would have said they were as brown as the worn boots on his feet. He struggled to grasp the correct word to comfort. For Emma was more to him than a friend. She was a life line to reality. Without her he would gladly slip into the realm of his fantasies, his characters he wrote about, the stories others believed he struggled to create were an escape route from the nastiness of this world. A world he feared and wanted no part of, without her.
A nudge from Emma made him look at her. Her blonde hair glistened in the pale sunlight, her body shook with tremors. Then he looked at her eyes and smiled. “Go on let me in on the joke. Who did they call Kevin?”
His large hand gently removed her smaller hand from her mouth and the laughter poured from her like water bubbling in a pot, in fits and bits. He sat and waited. He was used to waiting.

When she recovered she said, “The children called the new pet pig Kevin. Because they love the stories you tell them. What do you think of that, my Kevin?”
He pretended to be disgusted then winked at her and said, “Fitting.”
Their laughter bounced and floated through the house. As it moved it warmed every centimeter of the old stone building.

Bob’s Diary: Maria’s Kindle Deal

Hi, I have been asked to remind everyone that

 

E-Book Cover

 

Maria’s first book is on Kindle Countdown deal from the 10th of November to 17th November.

Amazon.co.uk : Here

amazon.com : Here 

 

 

 

 

Not that I would be caught reading it.

(Though she said I’m in it – so where is my picture?)

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Bob’s Diary: And you think she has been neglecting you, the blogging community?

Hi,

Things have been hectic. Maria has been busy which is okay but the service in the kitchen is terrible.

I mean it is getting to the stage where we are queuing to get in to be fed.

 

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I think I will start a petition for meals to be served on time.

Maria’s Stuff: The fight against evil.

John walked into the lecture room and every one in the audience focused on him. He often wondered if people were disappointed when they saw him. They expected a knight in shining armor what they got was a nondescript man.

John was neither tall , nor an impressive man. He knew he would be skimmed over in a crowd. But here, he was regarded with awe. He held power. Here his past victories reigned. He had experience in the world of tracking down evil. His greatest wish was to pass his knowledge on to others in an effort to rid the world of as much insanity as possible. Each day began with this lone thought rattling around in his brain: Imagine a world where everything is as it should be. How wonderful and amazing would it be to have evil fade into insignificance and be forgotten?

Eilis sat among the audience. She had one thing in common with John. She was as ordinary as ordinary can get. She wore nothing startlingly out-of-place. Dressed in scruffy jeans, checked shirt and long hair framing her ordinary face. She was careful to don a normal expression, one of an audience of two hundred all wearing the same benign look, striving to understand the words being delivered at a precise rate.

John took a deep breath and before he began his lecture he scanned the group before him. It was always this way, deliver your lecture to an unappreciative looking group of students and then hope that one of your points would stick with even one of them. He was hoping for a miracle. Still, as he continued on delivering his lecture he wondered which one it would be and what they would get from it.

What he failed to realise was the miracle would take his world in a direction he had never thought it capable of.

Maria’s Stuff: An Introvert Living in a world of Extroverts

My side of the tale.

Having now lived for 50 odd years on this planet I have acquired a disguise of being a sociable person.  Truth is I hate big parties, weddings and events.

Bliss was found at an early age in between the covers of books, old or new I didn’t care. I would home in on a book shelf and find a cosy quiet corner and lose the world and myself in a book. The reasons are not generally known by those I hang out with these days but truth is I seemed to have been born with a sign on my head saying kick me, or target for bullies.

Primary school was a nightmare, I would have been happy to sit in a corner and read or dream but everyone was expected to play with everyone. Teachers were relentless in their coaxing, cajoling and often scolding if you were seen to be not mixing.  When I was spotted writing with my left hand this was blown up into an insufferable event. Teachers tried to convince me to do the normal thing and write with my right hand. A conversation overheard by two teachers about my lack of writing skill still stays with me today, 49 years later.

I found freedom and happiness in unexpected places. The two I loved most were my grandfathers company and the library. Both were a fountain of knowledge about different worlds and experiences.  I learnt to let callous taunts and scathing remarks go in one ear and out the other. I sought refuge in my mind. I learnt that not everyone has to conform to the boxes set out for them.

The point of this post.

Is to ask parents not to push or prod their children into doing the socially acceptable thing. Some of us need time alone, time to explore, learn and most of all let the creative side flow.

If a child asks for sketch pads and crayons don’t feel obliged to run out and buy the newest version of paint for the computer. Let them be themselves.

In Ireland last week a couple were fighting the system regarding home schooling and educating children.  Their eleven year old daughter appeared with them on TV and I admired her for her well-chosen comment. She spoke quietly and well. I sat back and thought, I would vote for her.

I would love to know other introverts feelings on how society functions and how they fit  or didn’t fit into the world they were growing up in. More importantly how did it make you feel? And how did you cope?

Bob’s Stuff: Baby sitting or invaded?

I was waiting for ages.

waiting by gate

 

I thought we were baby sitting. Normally a job I love, kids, toys, fun and food. What more could a sociable dog want?

smiley bob watiting

Definitely not this…..

2 babies

 

 

 

 

 

peekingI was hijacked into babysitting….kittens?

 

 

 

 

 

playing kittens

 

 

 

 

 

kitten with ball

 

 

 

Nope Robyn is pure spitting evil. If you don’t hear from me by Tuesday send in the army. Take a look at this….

 

 

maddy

Maria’s Stuff: Free on Amazon – Kindle Deal

As many of you know I have taken a giant step for me and self published my 1st book. It was a tough decision to make but I knew I had to start somewhere. Self publishing like blogging is a journey. And I decided the only way to thank those who support me in my blogging journey was to make the book available to you.

The book is available free on Kindle from August 27th until August 30th. The link for American readers is simply: http://www.amazon.com/Moving-On-Maria-Matthews

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The first  chapter is available here to give you a taste of it.

 

As my two readers pictured here are not good at giving reviews, I am asking for reviews on Amazon or Goodreads.

 

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Once again thank you all for encouraging me to keep writing. (I promise I will get better at it as time goes by.)

E-Book Cover