Mischief Makers Day 10: Hot Air Balloons

“We were stuck in that…glass prison all day!” Nim exclaimed, furiously pacing in front of Santa’s desk.

Santa’s beard quivered and his eyes twinkled. “Nim, I’m glad to see you are feeling better.”

Nim stopped pacing and smiled sheepishly. “Sorry Santa, it’s good to see you too.”

Pixie coughed.

“Oh! Pixie!” Nim turned. “Santa, I’d like you to meet Pixie the Birthday Elf.”

“Nice to meet you, Mr. Santa, sir.” Pixie gave an awkward curtsy.

“Ho, ho, hello, Pixie. Good to meet you too.”

Pixie cleared her throat nervously and looked away. She knew what was coming. “You’ve told the Birthday Beagle, haven’t you?”

“I’m afraid so, Pixie. The Council of Holidays would have been very unhappy with me had I not reported it.”

Pixie hung her head. “Of course. I understand, sir.”

“No, my dear,” said Santa. “Don’t look so glum. I have some good news.”

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Pixie’s head snapped up.

Santa’s eyes twinkled. “The Birthday Beagle has agreed to let you work with my elves for the rest of the season as long as you continue your duties as Birthday Elf to both boys.”

Pixie whirled into the air, a pink blur whizzing through the room.

“She seems happy about his decision,” said a smirking Nim.

“Oh, Nim! Isn’t it exciting??” said Pixie as they flew back. “I get to stay! I get to come out more than one day a year!”

Nim did a loop in the air. “What should we do to celebrate?”

Pixie eyed Nim. “You mean how can we get even with Lil and Figgy?”

“Exactly.”

“You have to admit, the snow globe was a clever idea.”

“Oh, ok.” Nim muttered. “It was very clever.”

And,” Pixie smiled. “It gave me an idea, but it will take some sneakiness.”

“Tell me more,” said Nim.

“Well…”.

After Pixie told Nim her plan, he couldn’t wait to get started.

“I bring a peace offering.” Nim floated to the couch next to Figgy and Lil.

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“Are those…snickerdoodles?” asked Lil.

“Yep, your favorite.”

Figgy and Lil eyed the cookies suspiciously.

“Oh come on,” said Nim. “They’re still warm.” He pushed the plate toward them.

Still cautious, Figgy and Lil picked up a cookies and sniffed them.

Figgy nibbled on his. “Seems ok,” he said to Lil.

Lil shrugged. The cookies looked delicious. And they were so hungry from all the scheming. They gobbled them up

Figgy suddenly slumped soundlessly to the floor. Lil’s eyelids grew heavy. She stared at the cookie and then looked up at Nim.

“You, you,” she started and, letting out a big yawn, slid down next to Figgy.

“Aaaaand they’re out!” said Nim.

Pixie zoomed in holding a balloon in each hand.

“Ok, now this is going to be the tricky part.” Her eyes twinkled. “Should we put them in head or feet first?”

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Mischief Makers Day 9: Snowglobes

“But Santa! Where did she come from? I’ve never even heard of a Birthday Elf.”

Santa smiled. “Well, I did tell the Birthday Beagle he could copy my idea. I just didn’t realize he had gotten that far along.”

Lil huffed.

“I think it’s great!” said Figgy.

“Well I don’t think it’s great at all.” Lil grumbled, glaring at Figgy.

Fifteen minutes later, Figgy and Lil were on their way back.

“What if we get them back for that jello incident?” Figgy said, breaking the tense silence.

Lil smiled, mischief lighting her eyes. “I know exactly what we can do. But, we’ll have to sneak in through the garage.”

Figgy looked nervously at Lil as they circled around to the front of the house. “I hope it’s not dangerous, Lil. I don’t want anyone to get hurt.”

Lil grinned making Figgy even more nervous.

They snuck in under the garage door. When they got inside, they crept around the closet toward the refrigerator.

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Lil, what are we–”.

Shhhhhhhh! Just go grab a that bag of mini marshmallows and meet me back here. If you see Glitter, tell her to keep Nim and Pixie distracted.”

Figgy did as he was told. He ran into Glitter and gave her the message.

“They’re pretty distracted right now. Pixie is helping Nim take off his cast.”

“Good!”

Figgy grabbed the bag of marshmallows and silently whizzed back Lil, who was setting a clear bowl propped on top of a paper plate.

“Now what?” asked Figgy as he munched the marshmallows.

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“Did you see Nim or Pixie?”

“No, but Glitter said they are taking Nim’s cast off.”

Lil couldn’t help but smile. “So it’s finally ready to come off!” She scowled, remembering she was supposed to be mad. “Ok, here’s the plan. You take those marshmallows and make a trail from the Christmas tree to the counter.”

“O-kaaay,” said Figgy. “Then what?”

Lil waved her arms with a flourish at the bowl and paper plate. It was only then that Figgy noticed the bowl was propped precariously on a pencil that was tied to a tripwire. Next to the trap was a snowglobe with a sign that read: Elf in Captivity, Do not disturb

He looked at Lil shrewdly. “Remind me never to get on your bad side.

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Mischief Makers Day 8: Googly-Eyed

“Where on earth did he get to this time?” Lil asked, frustrated.

“Probably off pouting. The ninja course was a big hit,” said Glitter.

“It was, wasn’t it?” Figgy grinned.

“Nim! Where are you?”

“Don’t worry,” said Glitter with an odd smile. “He’ll come out. Eventually.”

Lil gave Glitter a questioning look, then shook her head.

“Ok, let’s get started” said Figgy. “Let’s get the pancake mix, sprinkles…oh, and we’ll need an egg.”

Lil flew to the fridge.

“Be careful Lil, you don’t want to break an eg–.”

“AHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

Figgy zoomed to the fridge.

“What is it Lil? What’s wrong?” Figgy gasped.

They hovered in front of the fridge, eyes wide and mouths open. Every single item in the fridge was staring at them with big, small and medium googly eyes. Lil was speechless.

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Figgy giggled. “This must have taken FOREVER to do.”

“Nim and Glitter must have spent all night doing this!”

Figgy, still laughing, glanced down at the floor. A bowl of green jello was directly below them.

“Lil, what’s tha—.”

CRASH! GLOOP! GLOP!

Nim and Pixie, hovering silently above them, dropped a heavy, green towel on their heads. Figgy and Lil crashed into the bowl of chopped up green jello. They were covered.

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“You did NOT tell me this was part of the plan, Nim and Pixie!” Glitter was splattered with small chunks of jello.

“Pixie?” Lil wiped green goop from her eyes. “Who’s Pixie?”

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Mischief Makers Day 7: Night Ninjas

Day 6 Story: Scrooged

Nim watched Lil and Figgy setting up the course: the Ninja Warrior course. This had been his idea. He and Lil had discussed it at length during a planning meeting in July.

Nim was jealous and angry. They were doing the course without him. Trying to keep Glitter from calling him a Scrooge again, he sat with a tight smile frozen on his face.

“Figgy, you look like you are going to rob a bank.”

Lil fixed Figgy’s ninja outfit before adjusting her bandana.

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“Looks good guys.” Nim’s voice was strained, but he was trying.

Lil floated over to Nim and put her hand on his shoulder. “I know. This was your idea. I’m sad that you can’t participate too. That’s why I got you this.”

Lil pulled out a tiny black belt and handed it to Nim.

He smiled and looked into Lil’s eyes. “Thanks, Lil. This means a lot.”

Lil smiled. “Your leg is almost fully healed, Nim. Just a few more days.”

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“Come on, Lil!” shouted Figgy. “Let’s test out the balance beam.”

With a quick grin for Nim, Lil raced off to the course.

Pssssssttttt!”

Nim turned, expecting to see Glitter. His eyes widened. An elf, dressed in pink, peeked out of a cabinet door.

Nim was speechless.

“Hi,” said the elf.

“H-hello,” said Nim. “Er…who are you?”

The pink elf smiled nervously and cleared her throat. “Name’s Pixie. I’m a Birthday Elf.”

“Birthday elf? What is that?” Nim was suspicious. He’d never heard of a “Birthday Elf”.

“You know, an elf that visits kids on their birthdays.”

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Nim shook his head. “That is the most ridiculous…”. Nim trailed off at the look on the poor elf’s face. “Sorry. Didn’t mean to make fun. I’m Nim.”

“I know. And that is Lil, and over there is Figgy.”

“How–?”

“I’ve been watching you guys.” Pixie noticed the look on Nim’s face and quickly added. “Not in a creepy I’m watching you way though. Just watching all the fun.”

Nim still looked unsure.

“I only get out one day a year you know.”

“Yes, well…”. Nim smiled, a sudden idea popping into his head. “We could be partners!”

“Huh?”

“You and me! We could be partners for the rest of the season…causing mischief and mayhem and–”.

“Wait a minute, Nim, I’m not so sure that’s a good idea.”

“Oh.” Nim seemed to deflate.

Pixie smiled. “It’s a great idea!”

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Mischief Makers Day 6: Scrooged

“Over here Lil!” Figgy pointed to a stack of toilet paper almost as high as the Christmas tree.

Lil laughed and lobbed another roll over to Figgy. “Here you go!”

Nim watched their antics, scowling.

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“You might as well just accept it, Nim,” said Glitter. “He’s here to stay. At least until you get better.”

“She doesn’t have to look like she’s having so much fun,” Nim grumbled.

“Stop being such a Scrooge, Nim.”

Nim had never, ever in all his 124 years been called a Scrooge. He felt sick thinking about it. “I–I’m not being—”.

“Oh yes you are. Sitting over here grumbling, groaning and grimacing. You might as well say ‘Ba Humbug’ and be done with it.”

Nim bristled. “I…”. He bowed his head, ashamed of his behavior. “You’re right, Glitter. I’ve lost the Christmas Spirit.”

“Then get it back. And fast.”

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“Almost done, Figgy!” Lil handed him a pair of popsicle sticks and wooden skewers. “Your skis and sticks.”

“Wow Lil, these are great!” The skis had his name and were decorated in red and green.

“Hey guys,” Nim said in a falsely cheery voice. “Need a little extra Christmas Spirit?”

Nim came zipping down what was supposed to be a ski lift, but what turned out more like a zip line. He was going way too fast.

“Nim, be careful!” yelled Lil.

Both elves watched, horrified as Nim slammed to the floor, twisting his already injured leg.

“Oops,” said Figgy.

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Mischief Makers Day 5: Elf in Trouble

Oh Little Elf on Santa’s list
Of bad and naughty sprites
You cannot do a single thing
But sit and sulk all night

Oh Nim you are a bad elf
You’ve ruined all the days
Now Lil must do it all alone
While Glitter huffs and brays

“Stick to the real words Nim,” Glitter said and added more bubbles to his bath.

“Santa told us to make you relax,” said Lil. “He sent this letter for you.”

Nim took the letter with a gloomy frown. This was a busy time of year for Santa. Sending a personal letter with everything else he had on his cookie plate could not be a good sign.

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With trembling fingers, he cracked the seal.

Dear Nim,

Ho, ho, hope this letter finds you well on the road to recovery. I don’t like scolding my elves so I’ll just say this. If you cannot relax and get well, I’ll have to pull some of the Toymakers out to bring you back to the North Pole.

I don’t want to do it, Nim, but if I get another angry parent letter…I’ll have no choice.

I’ve sent a temporary partner for Lil so Glitter can stay and keep you company.

Be good, Nim. I expect to see you fully recovered in one week.

Santa

Nim looked up in outrage. Glitter was pawing at the floor nervously.

“Who is it?”

“Well…he’s new to the Mischief Makers,” said Lil.

“A newbie? Santa sent a newbie to replace me?”

“He’s not a replacement, Nim.” Lil’s voice sounded too bright.

“He’s a temporary fill-in until you get well,” said Glitter.

“And? Where is this intruder?” Nim felt ridiculous sitting in a crockpot full of bubbles while some interloper was out invading his territory.

Lil sighed. “Figgy? FIGGY!”

“Figgy?” said Nim. “Like…the pudding? Ridiculous name for an elf.”

A green clad elf flew merrily to the crockpot and landed in front of Lil with a perfect triple backflip. “Yes Ma’am! Reporting for duty!”

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“Figgy, I’d like you to meet Nim.”

“Hello sir! Can I just say how happy I am to be a part of the team.”

“No,” Nim said coldly. “You cannot.”

Figgy’s face fell. Lil’s lips lowered. Glitter grimaced.

“Well,” said Figgy after a pause. “This is awkward.”

Lil laughed nervously. “Why don’t you go toast the bread Figgy. I need to talk to Nim.”

Figgy zipped off to the kitchen.

“The bread?” asked Nim.

“It was Figgy’s idea. We’re going to wear the toast and write…”. Lil’s voice trailed off at the look on Nim’s face.

“Nevermind.”

“Well,” said Nim stiffly. “You’d better get going.”

“Nim, I…”. But Nim had turned away, humming his sad and mournful version of Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem.

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Mischief Makers Day 4: Cookie Clutter

“Let’s see, Barrel, what else do we need?” Nim sat on the counter directing the St. Bernard.

Barrel, a St. Bernard the size of a teacup, barked with enthusiasm.

“I think you are right,” he said. “You can never have too many sprinkles.”

Barrel nosed and pawed out containers of sprinkles.

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Scushhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

“Oops!”

Sprinkles covered the floor.

Nim floated unsteadily to the ground to clean the mess. As he passed an open pantry drawer, he lost his balance and flipped backwards. He landed hard in a pile of red hots.

“OWWWW!”

Lil and Glitter came fluttering into the kitchen, witnessing the end of his fall.

Glitter, already regretting the shaving cream fight of the night before, lost her antlers. “That’s it Nim! You have GOT to stop helping! You’re making things worse!”

“Now Glitter, he’s not–”.

“You heard Santa tonight, Lil!”

“Glitter, we said we wouldn’t talk about this tonight!” Lil whispered jerking her head towards Nim.

“Well, I think he needs to hear it.” Glitter fumed.

“Hear what?” Nim looked nervously between them.

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“Well…Santa is concerned.”

Glitter huffed.

“He feels you should be spending your time getting better. Healing quickly so you can participate in the season.”

“But, I am participating. What about the shaving cream and the Christmas village?”

“Nim, those were…kind of messy.”

Glitter snorted.

“Messy? You both helped make the mess last night!” Nim cried.

“And we were scolded for that,” said Lil.

“Scolded?!” Glitter bellowed. “Scolded? We were told that if something like that happens again we are all in danger of being reassigned!”

Silence fell like heavy snow.

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Glitter took a few deep breaths to calm down. “Our mischief is supposed to be merry, not messy.”

Nim scooted through the pile of sprinkles. “My mischief is merry…isn’t it?”

Lil helped Nim to the counter. “What Glitter means is that we should be wrapping up cabinets or decorating the doors with lights and streamers.”

“Not…destroying the house,” Glitter mumbled.

Lil started to clean up the mess while Glitter set out the Christmas craft they had brought for the boys.

“But,” Nim climbed on Barrel’s back. “I can fix that! I can make this season great again!”

Lil watched in horror as Nim rode Barrel to the top of the tree. Too late she realized what he was about to do.

“Nim! Noooooooo!!!!”

“Cowabunga!” Nim swung like Tarzan on a string of garland and crashed into the window. With a yelp, Barrel fell to the ground and the Christmas tree teetered, tottered and then toppled to the floor.

“Oops,” Nim mumbled before sliding down the window and crumpling in a heap.

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Mischief Makers Day 3: Snowmen at Night

“Glitter, stop fretting,” said Lil as she flew through the twinkling stars.

“I can’t. I just know he’s done something.”

“He wouldn’t.” But Lil sped up a bit…just in case.

“Nim?” Glitter tip toed around the kitchen table, searching. “Didn’t we leave him right here?”

“What’s that?” Lil pointed to a pile of white fuzz on the floor.

Glitter cantered closer.

Shave-y the snowmen
Was a jolly happy guy
He had lots of pals
And some friendly gals
Made him homemade apple pie!

It’s coming from the bathroom,” Lil whispered.

“Just follow the trail,” Glitter groaned.

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Lil looked down and saw a stream of shaving cream leading from the kitchen to the bathroom. She sped into the bathroom with Glitter galloping after her.

“Oh Nim!” Lil cried.

Nim sat on top of the mirror. Shaving cream snowmen surrounded him in various shapes and sizes.

Glitter stomped and snorted. Lil gasped and giggled.

“Isn’t it great?!” Nim asked.

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Glitter took a deep breath, ready to launch into a tirade.

“It’s amazing, Nim!” Lil squealed.

Glitter’s eyes popped. “Amazing???!! Are you crazy, Lil? It’s a disaster!”

But Lil wasn’t listening. She’d joined Nim on the ceiling and, before Glitter could make another protest, she got a shaving cream ball in the face.

Glitter spluttered. She shook. She stomped her hooves in the shimmery snow. As she looked up at the two elves, there was an unsettling gleam in her eyes.

“Game on,” she whispered.

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Mischief Makers Day 2: Tinsel Town

“Poor Nim, he’ll be so sad he missed the hot chocolate bar at Santa’s workshop.”

“I just hope he stayed off that leg,” said Glitter.

They flew into the kitchen, skidding on the counter.

Lil gasped.

“Oh deer,” said Glitter.

Houses made of Lego blocks were scattered throughout the room. Most of them were half constructed and covered in snow, tinsel or sequins.

“Hpsmee.”

“Nim? Is that you?” Lil whipped her head around.

“HPSMEE!”

Lil flew frantically around the half-built Christmas village.

“He’s over here, Lil.” Glitter stood at the tallest tower and stared at the pair of elvin legs sticking out the top.

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“Goodness, Nim! How are we supposed to get you free without hurting your broken leg?!” Lil worried.

“Like this,” said Glitter. She backed up, put her head down and took off at a full gallop toward the tower.

“Glitter noooo!”

“Wtsmtter?!”

CRASH!

Lego bricks exploded in every direction and Nim sailed out of the tower. A heap of tinsel and garland softened his landing.

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“Ooops.” He smiled sheepishly.

“What were you thinking, Nim?!” Glitter fumed.

“Are you ok?” Lil fussed.

Nim hung his head.

“I was just trying to help.”

“Trying to help? TRYING TO HELP?!?!”

“Glitter!” Lil’s tone was fierce. “Why don’t you go set up the hot chocolate bar while I start cleaning this up.”

Glitter stomped away, snorting and mumbling under her breath.

“I can help you clean up…” Nim rubbed his cast.

Lil sighed. “Just–just stay put, ok? You’d better just let me do it.”

“I was just trying to help,” he repeated.

“I know, Nim. But you need to rest and heal so you can get better faster. Then you can help.”

Nim hung his head. “Ok, Lil. I won’t try to help again until my leg heals. I promise.”

Lil smiled. Somehow, she doubted that.

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Mischief Makers Day 1: Broken Bones and Promises

“Ow! Ow…OUCH!” Nim hopped on the window sill holding one leg and grimacing.

“Oh no! Nim, what happened? Where does it hurt?” asked Lil. She landed lightly next to him.

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“I think he broke his leg,” said Glitter. “He landed too hard.”

Nim glared at Glitter.

“Well you did,” said Glitter. “You were whirling and twirling.”

“Let’s get you inside,” said Lil.

Lil and Glitter held on to Nim and flew inside to the kitchen table.

Glitter, having worked in Kris Kringle’s Hospital when she was a young doe, took a close look at Nim’s leg.

“Does this hurt?”

“OUCH!”

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“It’s ok, Nim. We can fix it.” Lil looked hopefully at Glitter. “Right?”

“Yes,” said Glitter. The elves sighed in relief. “Not with magic though.”

“What do you mean ‘not with magic’??” asked Nim.

“You broke your leg landing on a window sill while showing off. Had you broken it at the North Pole, it would have been an easy fix, a magical break. But here…we can only use magic to make Christmas fun. We can’t repair broken elf bones.”

“How long will it take to heal?” asked Lil.

“Two weeks.”

“TWO WEEKS!!!” Nim exploded.

“But that’s HALF the season!” Lil cried.

“You’re lucky, Nim. It takes humans 6 to 8 weeks to heal from a broken bone.”

Nim sighed and Lil slumped while Glitter wrapped Nim’s broken leg in tinsel and toilet paper.

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“Now, now. It could be worse,” smiled Glitter.

“Worse? Worse than being laid up for two weeks of the season?”

“Well…you could miss the whole season.”

Nim crossed his arms. “We might as well give up on getting that trophy.”

“There’s always next year, Nim,” said Lil sadly.

Glitter scowled. “What do you mean by that?”

“Without Nim…”.

“What am I? Chopped venison!?”

Lil blinked. “I, well…I guess you did come through last season.”

“But…” Nim cleared his throat. “You just aren’t very…mischievous.”

Glitter puffed out her chest and stomped a hoof. “You’ll see. I promise to create just as much mayhem as Nim would have!”

Nim coughed, hiding a laugh. Lil looked doubtfully at Glitter.

With a huff and a snort, Glitter spun around and galloped to the tree with a long piece of tinsel in her mouth.

“Well come on then, Lil! Let’s get started!”

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