A Christmas Story

25 Dec

Scents of turkey, pies and everything in between captured my family’s room this morning. Before we ripped apart the gifts under the Christmas tree (I felt like such a kid again), and between helping put the final trims on Christmas dinner and cleaning up the house in anticipation of afternoon guests, I paused to pen this story.

I haven’t named it yet but it’s based on a prompt on Writer’s Digest.com that asked writers to write about following an elf on the shelf after they discovered he had stolen money from their wallet, in 500 words or less. I had trouble picturing myself or any adult following a wooden elf in pursuit of cash, but wrote my rendition below. Enjoy and merry Christmas everyone.

“I know I had it,” Maketa pledged beneath the glazed glare of the doorman. She revisited every nook in her clutch in pursuit of the crisp Benjamin until her best friend Stacy poked her head out the door, letting wafts of pounding music escape into the wintry night air.

“Is everything ok?” she asked.

Maketa sighed. This is so embarrassing, she thought.

“No problem, girl, come on,” Stacy breezed, slipping the sleepy doorman the dough.

Relieved, Maketa repaid her gratitude by ordering the first round of drinks on her card. But even as sipped and nodded to the pulsing beat, the missing money irked her.

A few drinks later, she was scouring her apartment for the elusive bill, returning over and over again to the table where her clutch once laid. Nothing. Nothing but that stupid grinning elf. The thing was a cruel cross between Pinnochio and Chuckie. Maketa found it buried in the bottom of a box of ornaments in a thrift store and bought it in anticipation of her first Christmas away from home. Now, its wooden stare simply annoyed her.

“Fine. I give up,” she yelled to the walls as collapsed on the couch and succumbed to a drunken slumber.

But it was short-lived. Maketa lazily opened one eye as the hardwood floors groaned.

“What is it now?”

The walls’ shadowed revealed the source: The little ugly elf struggling to lug something in his wooden arms. She laughed at the insanity until the green tint of the man’s possession got her full attention: “My money?” she slurred before drifting back to sleep.

“Almost there,” Elf told himself.

He felt horrible for stealing the green paper in his arms from the giant girl, but it was the only way to buy Tarbie’s freedom. He had met her on his first night at the Broken Cup, the local hangout for all things plastic and wooden. As he sat there with a shot of polish, he watched as Tarbie danced on stage next to hundreds of others with an identical red lipped smile. But there was something that made her stand out from the rest.

After the performance, he searched the crowd of plastics for her to buy her a drink. He had no clue what plastics liked and readily admitted so. Tarbie simply smiled and followed Elf to the bar.

But before she sat down, Tammy, another plastic, scurried over and whispered something in Tarbie’s ear that made her eyes no longer match her grin.

“I’ve gotta run,” she breathed and with a flash she was gone, her ponytail bouncing through the crowd.

“They’re all puppets,” growled the tinman from his neighboring stool. Elf followed his stony gaze.

That’s when he saw him. In the shadows, the plastic man with hair hard as cement and a menacing grin that Tarbie, Tammy and all of the other plastics raced toward with an air of despair.

Elf hoped the paper with $100  etched on it would be enough to cut Tarbie’s strings.


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