Trapped
ROW80-1 - 01/04 - Plan for 2016

Naughty or Nice

This week's Flash Fiction Friday challenge was to share the diary of one of Santa's elves. Battling with this on my iPad, so formatting is a challenge.

Edit - I got home and used my PC to fix this. I was considering a faster/better iPad before, but after my blogging battles, and the poor Scrivener compatibility, I think it will be a small lap top next for me. A Windows one. 

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Naughty or Nice

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Dear Diary: I am so tired of freakin' toys. And Christmas. We get a week off in January, and a month in the summer (complete with huge mosquitoes, up here on the tundra) but other than that it's flat out toy making, making sure we'll be  ready to fill Santa's sleigh once again. We start the year off with the basics, the dolls and stuffed toys and train sets and wagons, then as Christmas approaches Santa finds out this year's trends and we start to specialise. The basics don't work for most kids now, they all have their unique and special demands.

It's been decades since I sat on Santa's knee and wished it could always be Christmas for me. Be careful what you wish for. Don't get me wrong, we are mainly a happy group, all smiles and songs, but it's just that it's started to drag. I know I used to write In here faithfuly too, but there's really not a lot to say lately. Some days I wish I could get out and do something else. 

Dear Diary: Didn't I warn myself about wishing? We just had a meeting in the Great Hall, with Santa's CEO and some guy from HR. The big guy didn't even have the nerve to tell us himself- we are being  outsourced. Even though we work all year for free, there's still room and board and benefits, so it's cheaper to farm most of this out to some sweatshop in Asia. I might be let go, maybe kept on, but I'm not sure which choice would be the good news. The ones that leave will have to get a real job down south. Yes, we are all hard workers, creative, great with our hands, but there is the fact that we are only 24 inches tall. With pointed ears. 

Dear Diary: Seems like everyone hates their job now and does just the bare minimum. Or else is so paranoid about staying on that they spend all their time either talking about all the great things they are doing, or sabotaging the work of others - their supposed friends. The end result is less toys for the kiddies. Not my problem. -

Dear Diary:  Good news, I think. I have a reprieve from the worry of getting a pink slip. I'm going to be an Elf on the Shelf. Not a specific one, as that would not be every efficient.  No, I would inhabit a variety of elves, charged with monitoring the behaviour of children - that naughty or nice thing - and reporting back to the North Pole, This is basically a social experiment by a bored Santa to judge the overt surveillance factor of a physical elf as opposed to the vague "he sees you when you're sleeping" but hell, it's a job and looks interesting. 

Dear Diary: Okay, this is job different, but it's kind of cool. At least I'm not stuck in the workshop with all those paint fumes and bitchy elves. All the stores  are selling these shelf elf toys, supplied by Santa of course, dressed in red and green, with a little cap, pointed ears, a goofy grin, and long gangly limbs. The concept is that they are watching the children, and reporting back to Santa. They aren't really, just those where we've popped in are really watching them, but the little darlings don't know that, do they? But it is good to get out and see what real chldren are doing, as opposed to reading surveys from our pollsters. We take our job quite seriously too, documenting the actions of each child - good and bad-'and summarizing for our daily reports.

Dear Diary: Apparently us shelf elves are not that popular. Our coworkers up north think we have it too easy, just sitting around., and tease us whenever we return. Plus, most of the kids don't like us. There's that whole taboo about  touching us, meaning no cuddles. But it goes further, with them seeing us as Santa spies, likely with a cc link to ther parents.  Some of them fake It when we're around, but some are more proactive. Such as defying the edict and ripping off our long limbs, slathering them with gravy so their dog will gnaw on them, then burying the leftovers in the garden. 

Dear Diary: I'm really not feeling the love. I thought this was a more secure job, but it's really dependent on customer acceptance, and the whims of Santa. But it appears I'm stuck here, with no option of returning to my old job, no chance of advancement to something different.  I'd be depressed, if I thought it would do any good. The extreme option of ending it all isn't there, as the spell/curse means we are immortal, so we're stuck with it. 

Dear Diary: I just got another job offer. And I didn't even wish for this one, honest.  This Krampus guy contacted me, to work for him. While I kept working for Santa. Sort of a double dipping thing, I guess, or a double agent. He had a thick accent, from Germany or maybe Austria, and was ugly as snot. Sort of a cross between a goat and a demon. As he explained it, he's like Santa, but different. He looks out for who's naughty or nice, but he deals with them differently. As in the bad kids got stuffed in a sack and nap eaten with a stick. I liked that idea, and signed up with him on the spot. 

Dear Diary: I like this new job. It gives me a lot of satisfaction knowing that while Santa is focusing on rewarding the good children, the bad kids are getting what they really deserve. Word of this new twist on Christmas is spreading, with kids either behaving a lot better, or at least watching fearfully over their shoulder for this Krampus guy. The adults are spreading this new story too, although they appreciate more the baser instincts of the legend. Something to do with sex I think. 

Dear Diary: I just had another meeting with my new boss. Krampus is impressed with my dedication to the job, as well as some of the creative punishments I've suggested for those that are more naughty than nice. When I told him I was resigning from the Santa Snitch Brigade to focus on my new job, he seemed quite pleased, saying that now I could start to transform. When I asked what that meant, he just laughed, rubbed his hands together, and sent me off to bed. 

Dear Diary: When I awoke I felt different. My gangly limbs are filling out, my pointed ears are hairier- all of me is hairier actually. My teeth are starting to look more like fangs, my eyes have a red glow to them, and I'm feeling an unusual but pleasant stirring down between my legs. I think I like Christmas again.

Comments

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Rose Green

Really love your different take on the challenge. Thanks for sharing.

Joyce Juzwik

Oh my. So that's what it's like when an elf turns to the dark side. I can understand his frustration though. I mean, being 24 inches tall with pointed ears would tend to limit your employment opportunities. I'm very happy for him since he's obviously found his true calling. Remind me to NEVER have anything even remotely resembling an elf in my house.

Mike, this is great. So cool that you took 'the road less traveled' with your story. Love this!

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