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