Friday, December 5, 2014

Santa's Little Helper

By Sarah Reichert

Her creepy, dead-eyed stare pierces into my back.  I glance away from my list, filled with hours of things to keep me away from my work in progress.

Her eyes are like blue stones above her smirking elf mouth.  A stare-down ensues.  Her red felt hands fold demurely in her lap.  

A sugar plum spy, laced with wagging fingers and tsk-ing tongue.  She’s looking right through me.  I feel a nervous sweat break out on my forehead as I hear her jingling shrill voice begin to reprimand.

“Sarah…Saaaaaarrraaahhhh…What are you doing, Sarah?”

I swallow down my guilt like a kid caught stealing, only instead of candy, I’m stealing time away from my book. 

“Just…I’m just busy!  I’ve got things—“!
“Saaarrraaahh…you’re lying to me.  You wouldn’t lie to Santa’s little helper, would you?”

“No!  Of course no…not…no…wait a minute!  You’re supposed to be spying on the kids.  I’m an adult!”

She only answers with that damn smirk. 

“You wouldn’t…tell…Santa.” My voice trails off weakly.

“Oh, Saaaraaahhh,” she giggles.  “I won’t tell Santa.”

“You won’t?”  I let go of a tense breath.

“I’ll tell your editor.” Then she laughs like a maniacal, Claymation holiday special gone horribly wrong.

“Okay!  Okay!”  I click open my work in progress and stare over the screen at her.  “Santa’s little narc is more like it.  Big elf is watching,” I mutter.


“What about the cookies?” I counter.

“What about your word count?”

“What about the packages?  The shopping?  The Christmas cards?”

“What about your giant, gaping plot hole?  Reindeer could fly through it,” she giggles with a sound like candy canes on a chalkboard.

“The kid’s school play!  Won’t someone think of the children?” I yell with my fists in the air, a la Charlton Heston.  I channel quite the Oscar worthy performance.

“Who are you yelling at?” Says my husband from behind me. 

“Damn, dirty, Christmas elf.” I mutter quietly.  He looks at the cheerful, red-donned cherub on the mantle.

“Are you talking to the elf again?”

“She’s nagging me!”

“Stay out of the cookies, Sarah.  I think you’ve had too much sugar.”

“Too much elf is more like it,” I mumble.  I start typing.  And once I start, it’s very hard to imagine why I didn’t want to be here in the first place.

It’s more a gift to myself than anything else. 

“See?  I tooooold you!” she whispers and I swear she winks.

“Shut it, Magic Sparkle-Farts,” I say, but with a warm smile.  “Just remember, snitches get stitches.” 

She giggles.

How do you keep up with your writing in the busy holiday season?


John Paul McKinney said...

Does your elf have any cousins? I need one badly. Thanks for the smiles, Sarah.

Anonymous said...

Too funny! I came across this flash fiction contest with the Elf on the Shelf as a prompt. I think you ought to enter!

Kerrie said...

You crack me up! I agree with April, send this in to the contest.

Kelly Baugh said...

Great post--love it! And so happy to find someone else who thinks EotS is super-creepy. My kids are terrified of the one we got as a present. And I never even knew they were so hideous to adults as well. I do like this guy though:

Shirley Drew said...

Hilarious!! And elves ARE creepy! Not as creepy as clowns, maybe, but still creepy!!

Dean K Miller said...

Remind me to say "no thanks" when you invite me over for a critique session or glass of wine. I've got enough voices in my head already! (Too funny!)

Patricia Stoltey said...

Absolutely priceless, Sarah!

Sarah Sullivan said...

Elf on the Shelf is totally creepy!!!! I think it's odd that "they" couldn't have come up with a cute little doughy elf that you'd like to cuddle instead of cudgel because you're afraid it might stalk you in the night with it's beady little eyes and maniacal half smile. Maybe you should get rid of that thing! Obviously it's distracting you from your writing!

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