Standing over last night's carnage the plump woman shakes her head disapprovingly. As she steps over the tiny bodies of passed out elves she reaches her destination; slumped on one of the couches in the corner of the room is a young man in his early twenties. She walks up to the sleeping man and gives him a solid, anger fueled, thump on the back.
“Chris Jr., what do you think you’re doing getting drunk before the busiest night of the year!” she spouts.
Chris rolls off the couch and awakens with a snort. His hands automatically go to his head and he lets out a low moan.
“I think I’m dying Granny.”
He rolls around on the ground and the woman eyes him with disbelief.
“You’re not getting any sympathy from me, you drunk hoodlum!” the woman spewed as she laid a blanket on him. As he continued to roll on the floor moaning, the woman walked out.
She went to discuss a last minute contingency plan with her jolly husband only to find him in the bathroom. After a series of miscellaneous sounds and a rather odiferous smell she knew something was wrong. “Honey, did you eat all the cookies as a midnight snack again?”
There was silence from the other side of the bathroom door. Then came a response that was barely audible, partly because of the door and partly because of the shame. “I was hungry. Don’t be mad.”
The woman wasn’t mad, she was fuming. Did she have to do everything herself? She was retired for crying out loud: she was going to be dragged from a comfortable night of reading by the fire again.
As she walked out of the house and across to another building she looked like a tea kettle about to boil over. She tromped over to a modest looking building; as she stepped through the door she was greeted by elves. “Mrs.Claus! Mrs.Claus!”
All of the elves clamored around her calves and Mrs.Claus announced “Everybody, it’s time for plan M!”
The senior elves gave a nod and immediately shot off to work. The younger elves tailed the more experienced elves. A younger elf tugged on the shirt of an older elf to get their attention and whispered “What is plan M?”
The older elf laughed, showing smile lines, and said “I thought for sure they explained it in training.” Another senior elf chipped in with “Hah, I bet they didn’t want to ruin the mystique for the youngins.”
“Plan M stands for the Misses; Mrs.Claus is the Santa for this Christmas. Do you remember the fiasco of 2001, when Santa hurt his back hanging Christmas ornaments? Don’t you ever think about how Christmas happened?”
At this, the little elves stared doe eyed at Mrs.Claus with new found respect. Everybody knew the tale of the 2001 fiasco. Mr.Claus had defied all protests not to get up on the ladder when putting ornaments up, possibly in an attempt to fight the concept of age, and had subsequently fallen on his bum. You can guess who was dragged from a comfortable night of reading by the fire. The little elves had found their unsung hero and they were determined to do their best to help her.
Mrs Claus went over to the closet and pulled out a red coat and fake beard. With an experienced hand she slipped them both on. The beard was surprisingly comfortable on her face; after her third time of filling in she decided to splurge on a high quality fake beard made of real hair.
She waddled over to the little elves who were holding up big black boots and she smiled at them and slipped her feet in. She was accustomed to putting them on herself but the little elves were too earnest to refuse. She walked past a beautifully embellished sleigh to a rather shabby sleigh that looked more like a little red wagon. The reindeer were promptly attached to the little sleigh and she hoisted herself up into the seat. Positioning herself she gave a once over to the reindeer, the sleigh, and herself. She’s still got it.
Seeing the little elves staring at her like she was the best thing since sliced bread Mrs.Claus gave a jolly “Ho Ho Ho” and then she and her deer entourage went off into the night.
After 30 minutes of rushing around the Pacific Ocean Mrs.Claus shifted uncomfortably in her seat. ‘This thing was obviously made for people with more supple bums. I’ve worked for decades and you’d think I could get a comfortable seat.’
Continuing West they passed Australia, New Zealand, Africa and Asia all the while heaving presents out of the side of the sleigh. The technology had upgraded, the presents would find their own way to people’s fireplaces, and Mrs.Claus was glad for it. She wasn’t sure how she would manage to wedge herself down chimneys anymore and it had been years since she last needed to use her lockpicking skills.
Mrs.Claus had distracted herself from her uncomfortable rear end by enjoying the scenic views but by the time the sleigh was over England she could stand it no longer. She landed the sleigh in a field adjacent to a quaint little village somewhere in the Cotswolds. She peered around and saw an older woman sitting in a rocking chair. They made eye contact and the woman waved Mrs.Claus over.
As if to greet her the woman said “I know a knackered old woman when I see her, besides the one I see in the mirror.” She laughed, “Sit down, old girl.” She motioned to the rocking chair next to her and Mrs.Claus sank into it, joints crying in relief. It was wood but it was malleable through years of loving and it felt like clouds after sitting on that sleigh. The woman had another tea ready like she was expecting company and offered it to Mrs.Claus.
The two women rocked in the chair, sipping their tea, and enjoying the comfortable silence. As Mrs.Claus felt feeling return to her body she stood up and thanked the other woman. The woman handed her some carrots and at Mrs.Claus’ questioning look she shrugged and said “For the deer.”
“Are you used to seeing flying deer in your field?” the bearded woman ventured.
“I see weirder shite on a Tuesday; sometimes I think th’ whole town’s on crack. Have a merry Christmas.”
After getting back into the sleigh the Christmas parade ascended and continued its trek across the rest of Europe, Canada, the United States, Mexico and Central and South America. Mrs.Claus missed Japan the first time, she was rusty, so she doubled back and made sure they got their presents, a little late but it was before the parents woke up and they wouldn’t believe their children saw Santa.
Pulling up to the barn triumphantly, the sleigh devoid of presents, the elves gathered and started clapping. She descends from the sleigh and rushes to the closet. Throwing off the coat and beard she turns and announces “Okay everybody; let’s finish plan M with style!”
The senior elves excitedly start shuffling objects around the space. The younger elves just bounce around with anticipation.
One of the senior elves yells “Hit it!” from the back of the room and suddenly the sound of a funky base enters the space. The following notes introduce one of the most fantastic dancing songs: ‘Lets Groove’ by Earth, Wind & Fire.
The younger elves squeal and start to twirl around. The senior elves sway, wobble, and snap. Mrs.Claus does a not-so-little victory jig and the reindeer click their hooves. After a few more encore songs Mrs.Claus sashays out of the building. Hiking back to her building she enters her library, there are some perks that come with the job, and she hung up her two favorite signs on the door: ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘I’m retired and I’m reading a good book. Enter at your own risk.’
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Lieb, I thought this story was clever, cheeky, and lighthearted! My favorite part was probably where Mrs. Claus met the fellow old lady and they shared a moment together. I liked the little details you added, like "after her third time of filling in she decided to splurge on a high quality fake beard made of real hair" and "Mrs.Claus missed Japan the first time, she was rusty, so she doubled back and made sure they got their presents". If you're looking for any constructive criticism, I'd recommend rereading for grammatical accuracy and to...
Your feed back is insightful. I know for a fact that I struggle with tense agreement so you pointing it out where it was is really helpful. Thank your for the thoughtful feedback!
hahah This was really cute! “I see weirder shite on a Tuesday; sometimes I think th’ whole town’s on crack. Have a merry Christmas.” lol :)
Thank you! I wanted to make the old lady a little racy so I'm glad it went well.