What A Character Entry December 2020
|On the night before Christmas, at the North Pole, one elf devised his revenge, much worse than coal.
Written for "What a Character! : Official WDC Contest" December 2020
On the night before Christmas, at the North Pole, one Elfenezer Spruce consulted his pocket watch for the sixth time in the last three minutes. "Where are they? What's the hold up?"
The disgruntled elf spent the last four years devising his revenge, a fate much worse than a lump of coal. "I should be wearing the mantle of Klaus, not that wannabe Kringle."
He paced around the igloo he built for shelter two weeks ago, and checked his watch twice more before Noble and Doug Fir stumbled in from the cold. “Were you always this late to your shifts at the Shoppe?”
“Well, duh,” Doug answered. “Good thing, too. Otherwise we would still be working there, and not here to help you.”
“Yeah,” Noble chimed in. “What he said.”
“That explains so many things,” Elfenezer mused. “So, did you do it?”
“What?” the brothers asked in unison.
“Get the reindeer?”
“Which one?” Noble asked.
Elfenezer smacked himself in the forehead, sliding his palm down to cover his face. “Any, or all of them?”
“:We got Comet and Cupid, but Donner and Blitzen took off and warned the other five.”
“I thought we agreed you needed to get Rudolph for sure?” Elfenezer was losing patience. This wasn’t going according to his plan at all. “Maybe we need to take a step back and review the plan again, hmmm?”
“Yeah, yeah!” Doug clapped his hands with excitement.
“Sure. Whatever you say, Boss,” Noble said.
“Step 1 - steal the back up reindeer.”
Doug turned as red as Rudolph’s nose. “I… uh-”
“You imbecile!” Noble smacked his pointy hat right off his head. “What were you doing off on your own for the last two hours?”
“Well, I got two of them, but the third and fourth chased me, and then I was exhausted, and….”
“You fell asleep?!”
“You know I have narcolepsy!”
“Both of you stop!” Elfenezer shouted over them. “So we have two of the six back ups?” They nodded. “And then Comet and Cupid?”
“You’re really starting to jingle my bells, Noble. Spit it out already!”
“I had them, and I put them in the pen we set up….”
“They flew back.”
Elfenezer smacked himself in the forehead with both palms, sliding them down his face again. Looking at them through his fingers, he asked, “Should I even ask if you remember the rest of the plan?”
“No,” Doug said, and looked at Noble.
“Yes,” said Noble, looking back at Doug. “I mean, no.”
“Yes, what is the rest of the plan?” Doug asked.
Elfenezer started pacing again. “Well, he has all of the reindeer, so we didn’t slow him down any. But, we can still smash up all of the toy making machines and steal the toy blueprints. We should still have plenty of time for that. Especially since we scrambled the Nice and Naughty lists, and tampered with the Gift Placement system.”
“The whaaa?” both Firs asked.
Elfenezer was just beginning to realize if he wanted anything done right, he should have done it himself. “So, we have to assume he’s running his normal schedule then. And, we have nothing left to do, until we hear the harness bells when they take off.” He sat down. “I do appreciate you both being here.”
“When Doug asked me, I wasn’t sure. But, I’m glad to be here.” Noble sat down with him. “Tell me again though, Elfenezer, why go to these lengths to ruin Christmas. Isn’t your quarrel with Kringle?”
“Yes, it is. Which is why we have to ruin Christmas. When next year’s Christmas is ruined because they’ll be so far behind schedule, the blame will fall squarely on Kringle, and he’ll be out as Santa. They’ll have to name a new Klaus.”
“And, you think it will be you? After you were fired for not following the blueprints?” Doug asked.
“Allegedly,” Elfenezer replied.
“And unauthorized tampering with the equipment?” Noble asked.
“Yes, yes,” Elfenezer waved his hands at them. “Supposedly shoddy workmanship as well. All of it nonsense.” Any or all of these breaches of protocol could potentially cause damage or harm to the child who receives the assumed substandard end product, and were grounds for immediate termination. Of employment, in Santa's Toy Shoppe, of course. “Trumped up allegations to get me out, because he was threatened by my ideas for streamlining and making the Shoppe run more efficiently.
“And all of this after I gave him fifteen years of loyal service to Kringle. The nerve he has! I only made improvements to the equipment and as a result, the toys. But, I hadn’t put the changes through Kringle’s stringent testing for new items. Therefore, he declared they were not safe for him to leave under trees. And that put the Shoppe even farther behind schedule than it already was.”
“So, why would they make you the next Klaus?”
“Because, there was nothing wrong with my changes. In fact, they would have increased production by twenty percent at less cost. We will expose Kringle for the fraud he is, and prove it’s not him, but we, the elves, who make the magic of Christmas happen.”
Just then, they heard the bells. Elfenezer poked his head out of the igloo, and saw the distinct red glow of Rudolph’s nose flying away in the night. “Alrighty boys, let’s go ruin next Christmas, and get Kringle canned!”
They each threw a grappling hook over the wall, and pulled their ropes tight. Climbing over the top of the wall, they dropped themselves down into a snowdrift below. They tip-toed over to the Shoppe, and peeked in the window. Only the enchanted cleaning crew, a broom, mop and duster, were left behind. Elfenezer waved for them to follow him. He whispered, “I’ll get the mop, Doug get the broom and Noble, get the duster.”
“Got it,” they both replied.
They burst into the Shoppe, and grabbed the mop, broom and duster, shoving them into a closet, and turning the lock. “Now what?” Doug asked.
“You two start smashing. I’ll go for the blueprints.”
Elfenezer searched Santa’s desk for the keys to the file cabinet. He found them in the bottom of a peppermint candy bowl.
Opening the drawers, he started pulling out files and shoving them in his messenger bag.
Suddenly, all of the lights came on, and a familiar voice said, “Looks like someone made the Naughty list again this year.”
Santa crossed the room, and slapped handcuffs on Elfenezer, while two other elves got Doug and Noble. “I have to say, Elfenezer, I knew you were upset with how we left things, but I didn’t think you would ever go this far.”
“You know as well as I do, it should have been me, Kringle. I should be Santa Klaus!”
“Elfenezer, you’ll have five years in the peppermint cane mines to think about it. Would someone who should be Santa be capable of trying to destroy Christmas?”
“No, I suppose not,” Elfenezer muttered. “But, tell me one thing. How did you know?”
“After Comet and Cupid escaped, Donner and Blitzen figured out the game you were playing. Dasher and Dancer raced to tell me, while Prancer and Vixen enlisted Rudolph to be the decoy. You didn't even notice he took off early. Haven't you learned by now, you can't beat reindeer when it comes to playing games?"
Word count: 1189