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!”

 

 

Saturday afternoon games or why I don’t like thick hedges.

My Saturday afternoon was taken over by a game of soccer. I wasn’t watching it, as it wasn’t on TV, or on a local pitch.

I will start at the beginning. The dog next door was barking, not unusual so I paid no attention while I was gardening, weeding to be exact.

The two young voices got me curious.

“I wouldn’t go in there. He looks mental.”

“Hey anybody at home?” This was repeated over and over again.

I stood on a bucket and peeped over the wall. “What’s up””

“Ah missus, this dog is sounding and looking a bit mad. Our ball is in the back and we dare not go in.” The speaker was ten at the most and was twisting the ends of his tee shirt around his hand as he spoke. His friend was hanging back close to the road in case the old woman turned out to be as crazy as the dog.

I nodded. “No bother, just go round the back of the house and tell me where you think it is.”

Easy peasy, I thought as I walked through my garden and hopped the lower wall into my neighbours. “Hi Boot, ” I continued to talk to the black labrador who is overweight enough to resemble a sealion. He and I walked around the large house and entered the back garden. I stood and scratched my head. The hedge was almost as thick as the house.

So the next ten minutes were spent with me scurrying up and down the hedge, dropping to my knees and peering into it. Boot watched all of this with interest. I suppose it was the most excitement he had in hours.

We found, three footballs, one frisbee and one shoe. None of which belonged to the boys. However we did find their mate Derek’s ball. Finally, tired of wearing a hedge, I became Judge Judy.

“Right, here you go, Derek’s ball and one for you guys.” I handed the better looking of the two balls over amidst a protest of “we can’t take someone elses ball?”

“Well it is all I have, take it or leave it and if you are asked where you got it,” I hesitated tempted to say — don’t tell them it was me. “Tell them I gave it to you.”

I returned home wearing a good bit of that hedge along with scratches and scrapes. Could I count this as a random act of kindness or plain stupidity? I will let you decide.

 

Be Careful what you wish for –

Be careful what you wish for, Isabella’s fairy godmother whispered in Isalbella’s ear.

Isabella ignored her because that is what isabella does best –  ignores people.

“Someday,” her best friend Betty said, “someday you will find out what it is like to be ignored.”

Tonight Isabella was having fun, it was the annual harvest festival ball, a fundraiser for a local children’s charity. Most people attending had borrowed or rented their costumes, giving as much as they could towards the charity but not Isabella. She had spent a weeks wage on her designer dress. She delighted in letting those around her know of this fact. Everyone admired her dress, as she expected. Then she noticed the tone the comments of admiration were being delivered in ,like a fond parent would say to a spoilt child, in order to avoid the nasty experience of a tantrum.

You are imagining it, Isabella decided. Concentrate on the ball and looking amazing, like always. So she did, she didn’t help the elderly lady find a chair, she simply pushed past and demanded that the host of the ball dance with her.  He did so with reluctance and plenty of people noticed but not Isabella.

She failed to help Betty when she felt faint due to lack of food and over excitement.Betty had given up her free time to help get the decorations in place. Isabella had been busy getting her hair and make up done.

“Just sit there Betty, you will be fine.”  Isabella commanded.

So Betty sat and promptly slid off the chair cracking her arm off a table in the process.

All of these events were witnessed by Isabella’s fairy godmother Grainne who was usually a patient, loving and forgiving fairy godmother but tonight her patience was wearing thin. She paid a visit to her boss. When she left the office an hour later she was grinning like a child.

When Grainne returned to Isabella’s side she was not surprised to see that everyone, except Isabella ,was feeling sorry and sympathetic towards Betty who was gone to hospital to have her arm x rayed. The conversation was about dreams and wishes. Isabella declared she would wish for time to stay still, because she loved evenings like this, where everyone was in good form and nothing bad was said and everything was simply fabulous and really perfect.

As soon as she uttered the words the world about her shimmered and glowed. People moved about her but failed to hear her speak. She asked for a fresh drink from a passing barman but he merely continued on walking.  This won’t do, Isabella decided.  She tried to move and discovered she couldn’t. She appeared to be stuck.

This is not funny, she thought and tried with all her might to shout, kick or squirm.

All about her the party continued on, the band was replaced by a dj and people danced around her. One or two commented on the very life like statue that sparkled and glowed but no one saw the tormented eyes that shone out at them. No one except Grainne. She wondered when she would be ordered to release Isabella from the spell but hoped it wouldn’t be for a long time because for Grainne that would be simply “fabulous and perfect”.

I know you know

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.