The Christmas ElfbyMyhands316©
There I was again, in my silly-assed Elf costume. Yes, I was trying to make some extra money. No, it wasn't for presents. It was because my heater was on the fritz again, and it gets cold this time of the year. Oh, I could have chopped some wood. That is if I was tall enough to lift my dad's ax enough to do some good. Then there was all the cleaning out of the old chimney... anyway it was too much work, or money. I had neither the time or funds, so here I was trying to make enough to get ripped off by the repair man again.
Yes, before you ask. I fit the elf description like the preverbal glove. I'm five feet two inches tall, five four in my hooker heels... yes I have the long curly ribbons of Chestnut colored hair and the little perky... got I hate that term... nose.
Today my thirty C breasts were being ogled by the teenage set, as they were being pressured into family time by parents who were hoping for at least one more family orientated Christmas, before they get too old to enjoy it.
Yes, I was thankful that my parents left me the house. But still it wasn't that great of a deal. Sure I don't have to worry about a place to live. That is if it doesn't fall down around my ears from my lousy repair skills. It would really great if I could find a boyfriend who knows all about home repair to help me on the weekends. The only problem with that... I'm into girls. Well, women actually.
Anyway, I was standing there, my cheeks hurting, as I smiled at all the little children and their parents as they came to see George. Or rather George dressed up as the Jolly fat-man, who would make their lives better, when he brought all the cool presents on Christmas Eve. Not the best place to meet a prospective date or mate, but it did pay well for a short time.
The rest of the time I was stuck doing my normal job at the daycare center. Yep, I'm a teacher. Not that I'd ever become a millionaire, but I did love my kids and they loved me, most days.
"Have a Merry Christmas." I waved at the little girl sitting on George's lap as I tried to snap the picture before she could cloud up and cry again. I sighed as I saw the line of kids around Santa's Village. I knew it was going to be a long one. "Here's you candy cane. You be a good girl now." I'd patted her head and send her to her parents who look tired and bored. Then I turned around and saw her. She was wrangling two little twin boys in a single stroller.
"Hi... welcome to Santa's workshop." I greeted her.
"Hi, they just want to sit on Santa's lap.... I can't afford the picture." She said with sad eyes.
"And who are these two cute little ones?" I asked, keeping in character. It was hard. She was exactly the type I'd be interested in. She was medium height, well built and just all around sexy. I didn't want to be drooling over her when the husband came up to gather his prizes at the other end of the line.
"Jacob and Joey...." She tried to smile as she looked around. She leaned down to me and whispered. "Please tell Santa not to promise anything. I can't afford it... we're here just to keep warm and they begged for this." I saw the wounded pride as she told me just how bad things were for her and her kids.
"Right this way..." I nodded and smiled. I helped the boys onto George's lap.
"Well Hello and what do you want for Christmas?" George boomed in his great big Santa voice.
"A new home, a new bed, and Mommy not to cry anymore." One little boy said as his brother just sucked his thumb and sniffed. "I'd like a new Teddy too if I've been really good." He finished, looking up with pure trust.
"Yea, I'd wanna new Mr. Bunny... We lost ours in the fire." The other brother finally said and then stuffed his thumb in his mouth again.
I had to take a deep breath before I said. "Merry Christmas!" and took their picture. I know the mom said no picture, but I'd cover it. These kids really needed a Merry Christmas if anyone did.
George still in his role asked. "Well maybe your Daddy will be able to find you what you need, before I have to hunt you down this year, because I know you two are on my good list." He chuckled and hugged the boys, trying to make them smile.
"We don't have a daddy... we never did." The talkative boy said seriously. "Grandma says we're better off; because he was nothin but a two timing woser." He added, not really knowing what he was parroting.
I took a second to look over at the mother. I looked past the blush, to the too thin blouse, and old oversized coat that covered her wounded pride. I could see she had suffered. I could also see that she loved her boys more than anything else in the world. I took an extra candy cane and held them out to the wounded woman.
"Merry Christmas...!" I said and handed her the picture and candy canes.
"But I can't..." She said, trying to look like she was looking for her obviously empty wallet.
"Don't worry about it. It's been taken care of. I hope you get everything you deserve this year." I smiled my best elf smile and winked, before turning around and tending to the next child in the too long line.
The rest of the day, as I watched the covertness of the other children, as they asked for the next biggest bestest toy that cost more than my car. I kept thinking about that woman and her twins. It made me realize just how far this season had wandered away from what it was supposed to mean. No child really needed the new X-box thingy that moved when you did, so they didn't have to hold a remote anymore.
I was heartedly thanking God, when eight o'clock finally got there. My feet and smile were both flat. I was too tired to even scold the teenager when he tried to pinch my butt, as I tried to walk past to the changing room. I knew I had to get home and get ready for the next week at my regular job and wash the elf costume so I didn't have to run home in between jobs. One more week and if my bosses were in a really good mood, I might have enough to keep warm throughout the rest of the winter.
As I was walking out, I saw her again. She was hanging out next to the pizza place. I knew Quan, the owner of the Pizza place, was good about letting people have the extra pizza he had left over. He would have thrown it away, so if someone was there, he would offer it freely. I've even know him to bake an extra because he knew someone was waiting and hungry.
I even watched him add some extra pieces before he handed her the box. "Merry Christmas" He said in his broken English and handed the boys a free breadstick. "If you need, I'll have extra... not tomorrow, but next day. I take tomorrow off." He nodded as she blushed again.
"Thank you. I'll repay you as soon as I can...." She promised.
"You just pray for Quan; and God will pay." He smiled and walked away.
"Mommy look it... it's Santa's elf... isn't she pretty?" One of the twins said with awe in his voice.
"Yes Joey, she is pretty. But I think she's tired and has to get her rest for tomorrow."
"Can we see her tomorrow?" He asked smiling at me.
"Hi, I'll be here tomorrow after six..." I started telling the smiling boy and ran my finger down his brother's nose.
"I don't know. We have to try and find the other shelter tomorrow. We have only two more night at the one we're at now." She wouldn't look at me, as she talked to her son.
"Well if you can, I'll be here in the evenings until Christmas Eve... I'm Christy by the way...." I looked up at the mom.
"Hi Kissty...!" the boys beamed.
"Hi... I'm um Beth... thanks for the picture. My parents will like it... even if they will never say so." Again she couldn't hold back the wounds from her face.
"It's nothing. I throw away so many, one extra won't matter." I reassured them. "Well I hope you have a great Christmas. Christy the elf needs her sleep. Do you need a ride anywhere?" I asked on impulse.
"NO... no I can't thank you enough as it is. We'll make it just fine. It's not that far." She took her Pizza box and started wrapping her boys up.
Without thinking about it, I waved goodbye and headed out to my dilapidated car. Well to be nice, it wasn't that bad, just old. It still ran and it hadn't broke down on me yet. Oh, I'm sure if I could afford it, I could get a more economical one, but I hated thinking about getting rid of it. It was my moms and now it's mine.
I was halfway to the car, when the sky opened up with windblown freezing sleet. I quick stepped it to the car, unlocked it and jumped in. I sent up a silent prayer and turned the key as it rattled to life. I sat there rubbing my hands as it took its time to warm up. I had one thing in mind. Getting home where I could shove a quick batch of store bought cookies in the oven to warm the house while I took my five minutes of hot water shower.
I made it all the way to the exit before I saw a brown blur fighting against the wind. I took my elf hat to wipe off the fog and saw Beth straining, pushing the over burdened stroller, with her coat covering her boys. It might have been the lights, or it might have been my imagination, but Beth looked blue. Kicking the heater on full blast, I pulled over and swung open the door.
"Beth... you and the boys, get in the car. I'm not letting you catch your death of cold." I shouted over the wind.
Just then, a gust of wind took the full box of pizza and splattered it all over the wet street. Seeing the look of horror on Beth's face, I grabbed my hood and pushed the button for the trunk. I jumped out and grabbed the rest of her bags before the wind could take them and started shoving them into my trunk.
"Get the boys in the car... I've got this." I had to yell as the wind started howling. I knew it was going to be a bad one.
"I can't... That was our dinner..." She tried to say, as I pushed her into action.
"Boys and you need to get out of this before you catch your death...!" I used my teacher to errant child tone. Five minutes, that seemed like an hour, later. I was rubbing my hands over the lukewarm air coming out of my dash. "Where were you going?" I asked smiling back at the two boys in the back.
"The shelter on Fifth, but it will be doors closed, before we can get there. Do you know anywhere we can stay dry tonight? Thanks for the ride." Beth said as she tried to pull the freezing cloth of her top away from her pink, wind chapped body.
"I know just the place. It might not be the warmest, but it is dry." I smiled at the boys again. I pulled out of the parking lot and headed home. Fifteen minutes later, as I turned into my neighborhood, Beth finally asked.
"So, um... where are you taking us?" I refused to look, since I wasn't that good of a night time driver, and her hard nipples wouldn't have helped my state of mind. "Do you know of a shelter in this part of town? Do they have an extended stay program? Maybe if I could stay in one place for more than a week, I could find a job and pay you back for all you've done." She stammered as I just looked forward, knowing if I wasn't carful, Jimmy Tatum would rush across the street on his bike and scare the devil out of me again.
As I pulled up in front of my big rambling rancher and sighed. It looked deserted with no lights or any decorations out. It was one of the few that hadn't decked the halls. I know, I always promised to get to it, but there just weren't enough hours in the day. I looked in my mirror and saw the two boys leaning against each other, starting to doze in the warmth that had finally permeated my car.
"There's no place like home." I told Beth.
"I can't... what will your husband say bringing strangers home?" Beth gasped.
"Don't worry. For tonight at least, I have a dry place for you to stay. I feel safe with you and your boys. You can't go out in this weather; and if I don't miss my guess, I'll have to take my Dad's truck to work tomorrow, if we're not snowed in. It's only getting colder. I'll go light the way, and then help you get the boys into a warm bed. We can talk later, after you take a shower." I said really fast so she couldn't interrupt me.
I headed out the car and unlocked my front door. Running through my house, I hit the on button to my stove and took the porta-heater to the spare room and plugged it in, warming the cold room where I intended to have the boys sleep.
When I came back out, Beth was slowly wrapping the boys in her jacket, trying to pick them both up at the same time. Taking my own coat off, I ignored the cold wind and went to the opposite door and grabbed the boy closest to me. I nodded to have Beth follow me into the house. I let her in first and closed the door with my foot, as I held the boy next to my warm chest and headed down the hall.
"The second door on the left." I told her as I followed with my precious cargo. I've always loved kids. That's why I became a preschool teacher. As soon as we had the boys laying down, and surrounded by pillows so they wouldn't fall, I pointed out to the hall.
"I'll put some water on for hot coco." I told her as I headed into my big kitchen. "You can hover over the stove to get warm." I added, as I rinsed out my hot water pot. Well in most houses it's a coffee pot, but since I don't drink coffee....
"I can't thank you enough... I don't know what I'd do if..." Beth started.
"We can talk about that later. You can have the shower first... I'll bring in some towels and an extra robe, after I get all your stuff out of the car. You need to get warm, but the water only lasts for a few minutes." I told her, keeping her too busy to thank me again.
"Okay... thanks again...." I know she would have gone on, but I showed her where the main bathroom was and left her there, with two fluffy towels. I headed out to the car to get all of their stuff.
It took me three trips to get it all into the house, and I was more than ready for my shower by the time I was done. I'd loved to be able to take a bath, but since the heater wasn't working right, neither was the hot water tank, I knew I was out of luck. By the time I was finished, the Pizza was being delivered. I paid the boy and ignored his obvious attempts at looking down into my robe.
We sat there, looking like two mummies, wrapped in terry cloth from head to toe. I sat her down and offered the warm Pizza and cup of hot coco. Her stomach grumbled after the first few tentative bites. She smiled guiltily and finally fulfilled her hunger, making sure there would be enough for her sons when they woke up.
"So, how long have you been homeless?" I asked as I finished my third piece.
"A little over a month now." She said, as she contemplated taking another slice.
"What happened? From what your son said... there was a fire?"
"Yeah... Our apartment burned down and the owners are out of state and refuse to find us other places to stay." She shrugged.
"They also said something about a grandma?" I asked, not really wanting to push her.
"Yeah... my mom and dad.... We were staying with them until we had to leave." She said flatly. Taking the towel off her head I noticed the longish blonde hair spilling out, now clean.
"What happened?" I asked in reflex.
"Long story," she sighed. "Why did you help us?"
"You needed help." I shrugged back. "I couldn't just let you try and trudge through the storm. I could tell you were freezing." I yawned. "There are some extra covers in the hall closet. You can have the couch... the other spare room is full of my junk and there isn't enough time to clear it tonight." I told her as I stretched my sore back.
"Thank you... I don't know what I'd done. I didn't expect the storm." She sighed and I could see the hurt in her eyes.
"We can talk about that tomorrow. As long as you promise not to steal from me, you can stay..." I smiled to take the sting out of my words. "I have to get up early. Make yourself at home. There isn't much in the fridge, but you and the boys are welcome to what I've got." I stood up and closed my gaping robe. I didn't want her to think I was making a pass at her. I didn't think she traveled down the same road as I did.
The next day I was too busy to think about the visitors I had in my house, as I went through my Monday headache. I drove my dad's big truck through the slush to my second job, thanking my lucky stars, most people didn't want to brave the roads. They still had a week before Christmas. Hell, even some of the stores, thinking they made all their holiday money, were taking down their decorations and getting ready for the big returns day.
By the time I smiled my last elfish smile, and gave out my last candy cane, I had completely forgotten that I had left someone and her kids in my house all day. Yeah I know naive of me. But what can I say, I'm an optimist. What I didn't expect as I turned my corner was to see my house lit up. That's when it all came rushing back.
The next surprise was when I opened my door and felt the blast of warm air greeting me. I smelled something good and was greeted by the two little boys.
"Hi elf Kissty... Hi...." They ran up and hugged my legs.
"Hi yourself. How are you doing?" I asked, as twin sets of grey green eyes looked up at me.
"We was really good. We didn't even make a mess or nothing. Momma said we should be good for you letting us stay in your house today. I didn't know elves live in houses. I thought you lived at the Norfth pole with Santa...?" he babbled at me while his brother looked on, nodding in agreement.
"I'm just a part time elf." I told the serious eyed boys. "Most of the time I'm just a teacher. But some years, when Santa is really busy, he calls me up and asks for my help. Not all of us can afford to live up there in Santa's village." I told them as I put my cap on top of my coat.
"Hi, I hope you don't mind that I turned on your heater... it was cold." Beth said from behind me. "Did you know they had the gas only on halfway? Without enough gas flow your heater won't work." Beth said, unsure if she had over stepped her bounds.
"You fixed the heater? Great... the repair guy wanted ninety bucks just to look at it. I've been using the stove to heat the house until I could afford to call him." I said stunned.
"Oh, did you know your hot water heater was on vacation? That's why it only would have a limited amount of hot water. I turned it on, so I could give the boys a bath." She blushed. "I hope you don't mind... I could pay you back when I can get a job." She stammered as I looked around my now spotless house.
"Um wow... did the house fairies come help you clean?" I sniffed the warm moist air. "Whatcha cooking...?" I asked as my mouth started watering.
"Just some chicken soup. You didn't have any noodles, so I used some out of the Mac and Cheese instead. You said I could cook for the boys..."
"Man, I could get used to this." I exclaimed as I saw the uncertainty in Beth's face. "Let's eat..." I smiled.
"We already had some Elf Kissty. Momma was just keeping yours warm for you." I was dutifully informed.
"I'll tell you what..." I looked at Beth.
"Joey... he's the talkative one." She answered my unasked question.
"Joey... when we're here in my house, you can call me Miss Christy. When I'm helping Santa is the only time you have to call me Elf Christy. Okay?" I knelt down to looking at him on his level. "That goes for you too... Jacob."I held out my hand to the hesitant child, who was sucking his thumb.
"Come on boys... You need to get ready for bed, while I talk to Miss Christy." I saw the flash of hope, and the mask, as she herded the boys to the room I gave them the night before.
"Give me Christmas kisses...." I held out my arms as they came and gave me a quick peck and rushed off to the bedroom, leaving Beth and I alone.
"Here, let me get you a bowl of soup." She hurried off flustered.
Part of me knew Beth felt like, if she made herself useful enough, that I might let her stay. I thought it was a damn shame a woman with two small children had to live like this. I also knew for a fact that she wouldn't ask. If I told her to pack up her boys, that I was taking them to the shelter; she would have thanked me again for being so helpful.