This week’s prompts are at the bottom. Feel free to seize the prompts, twist them, form them, play with them as you will. All comers are welcome. The words below are just practice for me. I had a lot of fun writing them, and you know what I always say, “Practice makes perfect.”
A lot of people have no idea that the North Pole is a municipality and society unto itself. They have a lot of the same things that we have down here in the South.
Elves commute to work every day, but not all elves work in toy factories. True that the toy manufacturing industry is the primary employer. There are supporting industries there too. Toymakers have to source the materials used to make trains, dolls, nutcrackers, and the like. If you know where to look, you can find petrol stations, furniture stores, art galleries, stationery stores, movie theatres, and hardware stores. There are doctors, hospitals, mental health professionals, and counsellors. There are grocery stores, restaurants, even bars, and strip clubs.
The entertainment industry is important, up North, where winter can last the better part of the year. Elves, like everyone else, need to get out and kick up their heels from time to time. They need to go to golf courses and arcades. They need to play skeeball, billiards, and pinball. They need to participate in activities. These interactions are vital for good mental health, especially in such a foreboding environment.
It was last Christmas Eve. I was sitting up late, hoping to have a word with Kris Kringle about a gift for my wife. It was late. I was tired and had started nodding off when I was startled by a sudden noise that didn’t belong. Jerking awake, I saw not Kris Kringle, but a woman. She was tall, taller than I, and sapling-thin. Her lips were full and lush. She wore her Mercury red hair spooled below her shoulders and was busy pulling an overstuffed hessian bag from the fireplace.
“Wha? Who are you?” I asked.
She started and froze; stopped what she was doing, one hand on the bag and the other over her breast. Her dark eyes were wide, surprised.
“Shit!” she exclaimed, “You scared me near to death. Aren’t you familiar with the rules of Christmas Eve? You are not supposed to be awake. What are you doing up?’ She rose to her full height and stared.
“I’m waiting for Kris Kringle,” I answered. “I need to consult with him about a gift for my wife.”
“That bastard? He won’t help you, even if he could, he won’t. He’s not coming this year. You’re stuck with me.”
“Who are you?” I repeated.
“Oh, sorry, I’m Jessica. Jessica Kringle, Kris’ soon to be ex-wife. I’m doing the deliveries this year. Kris is in the Caribbean with his new skanky ‘ho. This one’s a stripper. She calls herself Holiday Snow. She works at Olaf’s Ice Cabaret, you know, the place on the south side of Glacier Way. Nothing but a cheap tart, she’s got her claws in Kris, though. He most likely doesn’t even remember my name by now. God knows he forgot where he’s supposed to be on Christmas Eve. Enough about me though, you have a question about a gift for your wife. Can I help?”
“Yeah, well, I was thinking of getting Siobhan a jigsaw puzzle for Christmas. You know, one of those big ones with fifteen hundred or a thousand pieces, or maybe a power drill. Do you think she’d like something like that?”
Jessica Kringle covered her eyes and shook her head, “No.” was all she said.
“How about socks?”
She continued shaking her head and held up her hand to stop me.
I persisted. “A new vacuum?”
“Jeeze, NO. What the hell are you thinking?”
“Calendars come under the heading of office supplies, so NO. And, don’t even mention anything that has anything to do with dieting.” Jessica said.
“Well, what should I give her, then?”
“Give her something that will make her feel appreciated and loved. Give her something that says you understand her and care for her. Give her something she will use, and when she uses it – she’ll think of you. Get her something handmade that ties in with something she likes. For example, does she like wine?”
“Don’t buy her wine then – get her a one-of-a-kind clutch bag that will hold a bottle of her favourite plonk. Does she like fly fishing? Try a trip to Henry’s Fork. Is she a reader – Gift her with a first edition. I can’t tell you what to get her! You’re the one who knows her. You’re the one who professes to love her. All I know is if she’s been naughty or nice. I can make suggestions, but you have to make the choice.”
“Shit,” I said, “You’re right, Jessica. Can you help me get her a plane ticket to Hilo? You know, like it came from your husband?”
“My soon to be ex-husband, you mean.” She put her index finger against her cheek and studied me, seriously studied me; as if memorizing my face for a test.” I looked back at her, hopeful. “I suppose I could do that,” she finally said, “but I won’t. Instead, I’ll give you two tickets to Hilo. You take her, make it a second honeymoon or something. I’ll just give her a thick, soft, terrycloth robe, instead.”
The air whooshed from my mouth in relief, “Thanks so much, Jessica. Can I give you something, a Christmas present?”
She looked around the room. “I could go for that bottle of Single Malt over there,” she pointed to the whisky on the bar across the room.
I rushed across the room, grabbed the bottle, and brought it back to hand to her.
“Thanks, amigo,” she said, “I got a feeling I’m gonna need this. Tonight already has the makings of a long fuckin’ night.”
She waved her hand and several packages floated out of her bag positioning themselves beneath the Christmas tree. She laid her finger aside of her nose and waving her fingers, up the chimney she rose. She sprang to her sleigh, to her team gave a whistle, and away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
This week’s prompts are:
- old country love songs
- you brought this on yourself
- ghosts on the radio
You can start writing whenever you want, just write, get the words down – and have fun!