THE REAL FATHER CHRISTMAS – AND HIS ELVES
“Surprise!” Bet you didn’t expect to see me now, did you?”
Jessica’s brother certainly did not! He saw Elf Starshine as he really was. At just shy of six foot tall, he wasn’t the tallest of the Elves. Even so, the tinsel did little to cancel the effect of the bovver boots, balaclava and black clothing. Elf Starshine’s green eyes darted round the room as Moses came to. His first thought, as he sat up in bed, was flight. However, he was too sleepy and the feline Elf Starshine was too quick.
It was a good job that Elf Starshine had stopped time for everyone else in the house. The boy crashed to the floor under his tackle, winded and confused.
“Naughty, naughty. My boss wants a little word with you.” Moses shouted but no one heard him. “Shout all you like, no one else can hear you but it will be so much less painful if you cooperate.” With his arms trapped in a full-nelson and the Elf astride him, Mo was starting to believe him. When his head was knocked none too hard against the floor, he really did believe him.
“Good. Now you be a good boy and we’ll soon be out of here.” Mo tried to nod. “Promise?” With one more “little tap” on the floor, Moses promised.
Further details of the abduction of Jessica’s big brother are not really necessary here. Suffice to say that it involved rope and an uncomfortable ride in Rudolf, the Robin Reliant. It also involved the usual festive present sack.
Jimmy and Jake
It was their busiest time of year and Elves Cobweb and Bindweed were sharing “Santas Slay”. Maybe they did only have a couple of litter louts to deal with but these two were worth it. That fire in the litter bin and the frequent littering of their neighbours’ gardens made them so. They were also an easy capture as they always hid in the woods when they went for a secret smoke. Their way home would then be festooned with coke cans, chip papers, dog-ends, fag packets, etc.
As you know, even Elves as tall as these two can move noiselessly when necessary. With the darkness of the evening and the attire of the Elves, Jimmy and Jake had no chance. Jimmy was a slim, pale, strawberry blonde with pouty lips. Jake was tall and rather “baggy” with a round head and mousey hair cut short and rather raggedly. That Christmas Eve, both boys were soon sharing an over-sized present sack. They certainly weren’t too old to be taken to see Father Christmas!
Here We Go Again
Both vehicles arrived at HQ(NP) at more or less the same time and Elf Yewtree swung into action.
“Oh bugger, is it that time of year already? Hang on a minute, I’ll be there directly. Just need to do my vocal exercises.” The Old Boy buckled the enormous belt round his robe as Elf Yewtree left for the loading bay. “Ho! - Me, me, me, me, - HOOO! That’s better. Ho, Ho, Ho! (cough, splutter, hawk). I really must practice in the off season. Here we go again: Ho, ho, ho! - Meeery Chrismas! Ho, ho ho! I really must find a new catchphrase.” So saying Old Father Christmas grabbed the new holly wreath and left his private chamber. As he made his way to the “Throne Room”, he took a last chance for a gargle with sloe gin. He’d only just had time to seat himself when the Elves arrived with the first of the year’s presents.
“Ho, ho, ho! And what have you brought for my inspection this year, my faithful elves?”
The First of the New Consignment
Elves Cobweb and Bindweed hefted an over-sized sack into the Presence and dropped it.
“Oops! That was careless of you, Elf Bindweed.”
“Yes, I’m so sorry, Elf Cobweb.”
“Never mind all that nonsense, you two, just get it opened.”
The chain was unlocked and removed and the contents of the sack decanted unceremoniously. None of the elves could resist laughing.
“Why on earth did you do that to them?”
“Oh, come on, Santa, it was a laugh. Sorry, I mean ‘Father Christmas’.”
“Yeah, and besides, it IS Christmas.” In truth, even the Old Man himself could hardly suppress a chuckle as they rolled out of the sack. The two scantily clad boys had been taped chest to chest. They were desperate not to come face to face in case it looked like they were kissing. That didn’t prevent the ribald remarks from the assembled company.
“Very well,” said Father Christmas, “let’s take a look at them.” He hoped he would be able to regain his composure by the time the presents could see again. The socks that covered their eyes were yanked off. The festive Sellotape that held them in place pulled unpleasantly on their hair. It was probably a good job for the more delicate Elves that the other socks were still in place. They had been jammed into the unfortunate yobbos’ mouths and taped over many times.
Being able to see their surroundings struck the presents dumb. So, there really IS a Father Christmas! “Ho, ho, ho! And what do you think of your new home, my fine fellows?” Once they had recovered, their answers would not have borne repeating here. What a good job they were unintelligible.
“Talk to them, please. I DO regret unpleasantness; it doesn’t do my reputation any good, you know.” The two boys succumbed to reason quite quickly. You could tell that by the look of terror in their eyes as they looked from one Elf to the other. “Thank you, my good Elves, Ho, ho, ho! I think they better understand their situation now.
“In a moment my good Elves here are going to separate you. May I suggest that you behave? Well, may I?” The Elves moved in again and Jimmy and Jake nodded enthusiastically. “Good, I’m sure we don’t want any more unpleasantness, do we?” There was a pause before two heads shook rather tentatively. Every time the boys moved, the effect they had on one another enhanced the mirth of the onlookers.
The pair was forced to stand up. Elf Bindweed started unwrapping the presents while Elf Cobweb held them still. The non-festive gorilla tape came away with many muffled screams, and not a little leg-hair. Even once Jimmy and Jake had been separated, their ankles, knees and arms were still bound. They stood tottering and looking red raw while the Elves enjoyed their discomfiture.
“Do you really think that tinsel was a good idea?”
“I thought it looked festive.”
“Yes. They wanted to look jolly. - Didn’t you?” As Elf Cobweb put it to them like that, they thought it would be wiser to nod enthusiastically.
“Very well, take them away and help them to see the error of their ways. I’ll see them again when you think they’re ready to be delivered. Who’s next?”
Elves Cobweb and Bindweed dropped a present sack over each of their charges and laid them down. Once the sacks had been pulled over their feet, the litter louts felt themselves hoisted off the ground. Soon they were scrunched in the bottom of the sacks as the Elves slung them across their shoulders.
There then followed a two-Elf chorus of, “Hey, ho, hey ho, it’s off to work we go.” It receded into the distance as Jimmy and Jake were carried to the workshop.
“Ah, so this is Moses.” boomed the Old Man as the next present fell out of a sack and onto the floor. “I’ve heard about you.” As Elf Starshine hauled him to his knees, Mo looked around unable to believe what he was seeing.
He was still in the knee length cotton shorts and blue t-shirt that was his accustomed night-wear. Other than that, his hands had been bound palm to palm behind him. To add to his discomfort, his elbows had been drawn very close together. He was also hobbled so that he could still walk, just, but could not run. He decided that he needed to explain himself.
“Please. I’ll change. Honest. I’ll be much nicer to my sister.”
“That will do! Be quiet and listen. I see you know why you are here. I’m afraid you have not been a very good boy this year.” The customary “Ho, ho, ho” was missing from Father Christmas’s other catchphrase. “This good Elf will take you and get you ready to be Jessica’s present. You will then be loaded onto the sleigh and delivered. I don’t think I will need to speak to you again.”
Mo didn’t dare to say anything more as Elf Starshine put a rope round his neck. He was then led, rather faster than was comfortable, from the Presence towards the workshops.