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Rated: E · Fiction · Contest Entry · #2239548
Created a character using the given prompt - What a Character! - Official WDC Contest
A amazing story told to me by a retired Elf on a shelf:

It happened a long, long time ago, in a faraway place known by many children as the North Pole. A terrific miss-deed took place at Santa's workshop on the eve of Christmas. It seems there was some animosity floating around Santa's helpers as rumors go. Truth be told it was all started by one bitter player called Crusty. Crusty was one of Mrs. Claus' tree ornaments; a cute gingerbread man who seems to come alive only during the busy season. Feeling a bit left out of things (he dreamed of being an elf), Crusty thought the shop could use some spark and decided that he would play a trick on Santa's elves. Truth to tell, the only other person who thought Crusty was real was Mrs. Claus. It seems that all the cold winters had taken its toll on her. Santa knew something was amiss but didn't want to upset her so he played along with her game.

Crusty was real though, but being only 8 inches long, no one really knew he was real because he was hard to see unless he was hanging on the tree. Elf #2, however, had his suspicions! It may have been the one time Elf #2 overheard Mrs. Claus talking to the Christmas tree. He heard her having a conversation with the tree but then realized she was talking to someone called Crusty. Elf #2 said that he finally saw the ornament speak back to Mrs. Claus and didn't want to break his trust with her so kept his mouth quiet. He said the ornament was quite the character as he spoke both English and Italian. In Italy, where Crusty came from, it was not unusual for the special ornaments to have this particular attribute. I guess those hand glass blown ornaments have had some life blown into them.

Getting back to my story as told to me by Elf on the shelf, it seems that each Christmas Eve the elves would make a printer run of all the Christmas labels to go on the packages for Santa's Christmas Eve deliveries. This required a pre-printed label for each girl and boy who had been good and were on Santa's good list. Just before the time for the elves to go into the print shop to print labels, Crusty planned to slip in early to replace the ink in the printer with slow disappearing ink. Well, that was his evil plan.
Who could imagine that a cute gingerbread man could be so mean. But, you must understand that Crusty thought he was real; he was the only one outside of Mrs. Claus and Elf #2, as everyone else in the shop had their heads on straight. Not Crusty. Being the head ornament of the most important tree, caused him to act out or "put on airs" of superiority. After all, Crusty was special; made by hand, shiny glass, very unique creation. Crusty had been picked up by Santa on one of his side trips to Italy; special birthday gift for Mrs. Claus.

Crusty managed to get in and do his dirty deed but lo and behold Elf #2 saw the whole caper coming down. He remained quiet and when Crusty left, he went in immediately and put back the real ink then left to inform Santa of the low down, dirty rotten crime. Elf #2 was a true patriot and a hero because he saved Santa the embarrassment of having a delivery with unmarked packages for all those boys and girls.

Now Crusty not knowing that his dirty deed was intercepted, was waiting with bated breath for the evenings events to take place. What he didn't know was that he was about to be retired from Mrs. Claus' tree, which was a big deal. Mrs. Claus always had a nicely decorated Christmas tree in the middle of Santa's work shop and Crusty was one of her favorite ornaments. But after hearing about his cruel plan, her heart was broken and decided to replaced Crusty with a bigger gingerbread ornament. Crusty was no longer needed.

That evening as the elves put the labels on all the Children's packages, Crusty did not understand why his plan didn't work. Poking around in the printing room, he was caught by Elf #2 who told him that his plan was discovered and the correct ink switched back. Crusty tried to talk his way out of it but Elf #2 would not have it. Crusty became as crispy as the outer layers of a slice of bread! Also, Elf #2 sent him packing.

Now there is another good side of this story. Elf #2, who intercepted the dirty deed was promoted to Elf #1. He saved Christmas that year and it really was the only right thing to do. Can you imagine delivering all those packaged without identification? Just think, a girl might get a truck and a boy might get a doll. Oh well, is that really all that bad, especially if the boy got a GI Joe?

Well, all is well at the North Pole. Elf #1 is enjoying being top elf. Mrs. Claus, she is hanging in there. It appears however that she now talks to her new gingerbread man. He doesn't talk back though as he is one of the cheaper, newly molded types, unlike the special glass ones from Italy.

Several years later ...

I heard through the grapevine, that Crusty found a new place, a position on one of the children's Christmas trees. It appears that when he was let go from the shop, that night, he hid in Santa's bag and took up residence at one of the children's homes. Let's hope he has learned his lesson and remains a good gingerbread man and can hang around year after year on the Christmas tree.

Word Count: 971
by Seabreeze 12.11.20
© Copyright 2020 Seabreeze (sandywrite at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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