An Unexpected Christmas Eve
I had a request to bring back Jeff and Mike for Christmas. Which... I guess at the end of Meet the Family Part 2 I unintentionally alluded they'd return. But, when I tried to think of their Christmas story, my mind kept on drawing a blank. There were a few ideas I had in my head, but none really fleshed themselves out. Then, this one started to form. It doesn't star our favorite monster/human couple, but I was able to have them make an appearance, and I think you'll like it!
If there's anything you'd like to see for January's Flash Fiction Friday, let me know!
The dashboard light blinked at me like Rudolph's nose during a storm. I pulled the lever but the sleigh kept spinning in a downward spiral.
"No, not today!" I moaned as I continued to try and get it back in flight. The wind pushed my red hat to the floor, making my hair fly in my eyes as I plummeted to the ground. This was not how I imagined my Christmas Eve.
I pressed the red emergency button and braced myself for the impact. A silver beam shout out of the hood and I turned the steering wheel to guide it. If I had done my calculations correctly, I knew exactly where I'd land. The beam wouldn't prevent the crash, but would make it significantly less fatal.
Not that it mattered. Dad was going to kill me for taking my sleigh out on my own on Christmas Eve.
Well, not kill. Santa wasn't a fan of corporal punishment. But there would be a lecture about being a good example to the children of the world and he may not give me any extra cookies.
But some things were more important than cookies.
I landed with a loud thud and the sleigh spun in circles, making the snow from the ground swirl with the smoke coming out from the jets. Air bags popped out upon landing. At least those worked. I coughed and sputtered as the air bags deflated and the sleigh came to a stop. I turned the key in the ignition and it let out a pathetic spurt.
Two men walked out to the backyard, coughing and waving away the smoke that came from my sleigh. One had dark brown hair and wore a sweater with reindeer on it. A human. The other man was green.
Good, this was the right place.
"Why is there a sleigh in my parents backyard?" the human asked.
Jeff rolled his eyes. "Mike, this is Ivy Claus. Ivy, my fiancee, Mike." He walked over to me and crossed his arms across his chest. "Ivy, are you allowed to be out alone on Christmas Eve?"
"Please don't tell my dad!" I begged as I climbed out from the sleigh. "There's a gift I have to deliver. I meant to put it with dad's stuff but one of the elves lost it and I thought my sleigh was ready to go out but then it malfunctioned. I just need to borrow something to get it up again and I'll be gone before you know it."
Mike's eyes widened. "Claus as in... Santa Claus?"
I gave him a little wave. "The one and only."
"You're not how I imagined."
I decided to ignore his comment, but I got that a lot. Most people don't expect to see a brown girl with dark curly hair to be the daughter of Santa Claus. People were usually confused when they saw him too. They were always debating if he was white or black or whatever. But Saint Nicholas was from what's now modern day Turkey so... what did they expect?
I turned to Jeff. "Can I get some juice and see if it'll perk up my sleigh?"
Jeff sighed and surveyed the scene. "It's for something good, I hope?"
"Fine." He turned to Mike. "Stay here, I'll be right back."
Which left Mike and I to stare at each other awkwardly.
"So... you have your own sleigh?" he asked.
"Yeah, I've been working on it for months. It's my baby," I answered as I walked around it and popped the hood. Another puff of smoke poured out. "I thought it'd be ready by now but... I guess not."
"How did you find my parents house?"
"Dad's magic snow ball."
Jeff returned and had a bottle of purple liquid in his hand. It was basically like car oil but magic. Which should do the trick. I grabbed it from him and poured some in the hood. There was a low humming sound, which was promising. Then, it gurgled. Not so promising. Followed by a stream bursting into the sky like a geyser and splattered all over my new paint job.
I moaned and pulled my red hat over my ears.
"Is where you need to go close? Maybe we can give you a ride," Mike suggested. Helping Santa's daughter has got to put you on the nice list for life, right?"
"You'd think," Jeff and I said in unison.
But, Jeff relented. "Where do you need to go?"
"There's a hospital about ten miles from here," I answered.
"I think I know which one you're talking about," Mike said. "Let's go."
I grabbed the gift sack from the sleigh and we piled into Jeff's car. Within twenty minutes, the car pulled up to the hospital and Jeff had barely parked before I darted out and ran inside. Finding the room wasn't difficult, as most people had already been released to go home for Christmas.
The teenage girl was asleep, which was much deserved. Notes from the nurse were written on the dry erase board hanging on the wall, and It's a Wonderful Life played quietly on the TV in the background. Beyond that, the room was empty. No Christmas tree. No cards. No flowers. The nurses hadn't seen me walk in thanks to the elf dust I'd nabbed from Dad's office, but I didn't have much so I needed to be quick. I placed the packages on the tray beside her bed as silently as possible, then tip-toed back out.
Dad was standing in front of the glass window for the nursery, smiling and cooing at the newborn baby. There was only one, and she'd been born just that night.
"So what did you bring them?" he asked.
"A couple pacifiers and onesies for the baby. A robe for the mom." I peered through the glass next to Dad. The new baby slept soundly in their bed. I smiled. "Did Jeff call you?"
"An elf messaged me."
"I'm sorry I left without telling you. I just couldn't let her or the baby be all alone. It didn't seem right. Not even her mom is here or anything and she really is just a kid still... and I'm 316 years old now, I'm perfectly capable of going out on my own-"
Dad pulled me into a hug before I could finish my defense and his chest rumbled with laughter. "You shouldn't have snuck out. But...maybe it's time I stopped being so protective and let you join me on my sleigh. I could use the help sometimes."
Jeff and Mike walked up to us, panting from running. I had kind of left them in the dust back there. Mike paused and stared at Dad. "Wow... that's really Santa, isn't it?"
Jeff smiled. "Yup."
"I'm never going to have a normal holiday with you, am I?"
Dad chuckled again and squeezed me tighter. "Merry Christmas, Ivy."
"Merry Christmas, Dad."
"But no solo sleighing for two weeks."
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