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“Figgy, Pixie, I’d like to introduce you to The Gru–I mean, Mr. Grimly.” Lil blushed with embarrassment at her slip.
“Yes, Mr. Grimly is head of the DFFF,” Nim quickly covered.
Mr. Grimly scowled and looked at each elf in turn. “I can see we have a lot of work to do. MR. JITTER!!!”
Another gnome popped out from behind Mr. Grimly. “Y-yes, sir?”
The two words sounded ominous when uttered by such a stern and forbidding gnome. What he lacked in stature, he made up for in demeanor. He was a force. A short, stout, scary force.
“Do you need us to show you around?” Pixie twisted her hands nervously.
“Do you want us to tell you what we’ve been doing here so far this season?” Figgy asked with a shaky voice.
Mr. Grimly tapped his toe and let out a deep, long-suffering sigh. “No. We will learn all we need to during the audit. Carry on about your business.”
He waddled away, barking orders as Mr. Jitter bounced after him.
“It will be ok, guys,” Lil said.
“Yes,” added Nim. “It will be over before you know i—.”
“Oh no!” said Pixie. “That sounded like Joe!”
The four elves raced to the living room, wondering what could possibly have happened.
Joe stared at the floor where two gnome statues lay.
“Th-they were alive! Just a few seconds ago they were moving.”
Had it been less stressful, the situation would have been funny. Joe, shocked to find moving statues in his living room, when he planned mischief and mayhem with elves every night.
Mr. Grimly came back to life with a small pop and cleared his throat. “Forgive me. I had forgotten about the…situation here.”
“Joe, meet Mr. Grimly. He’s here to…to…” Figgy looked at Nim and Lil for help.
“He’s here to write an article. For the Elf Times,” Nim said quickly.
“Yes,” said Lil. “It’s a magazine at the North Pole. They want to feature a few of the elves from the Mischief Maker program so he’s—”.
“I am here to evaluate Ms. Powder and Mr. Frost and I would thank you to let me get on with it.”
He scribbled a few notes on his clipboard, murmured darkly to Mr. Jitter and stalked to the Christmas tree.
“But he’s–he’s a gnome!” Joe spluttered. “I didn’t know gnomes lived at the North Pole too!”
“Oh yes,” said Glitter. “Gnomes, elves, hobgoblins, unicorns…all magical creatures live at the North Pole.”
Joe’s smile grew larger. “Oh wait until I tell Jake!”
“You can’t tell Jake!” Figgy blurted. “You can’t tell him any of this!”
Joe’s face fell. “Of course, you are right. It’s just…he loves gnomes.”
The team glanced down the hall, watching The Grump make his way to the bathroom, all thinking the same thing.
Jake may like garden gnomes, but they’d bet a year’s worth of gumdrops he wouldn’t like this gnome.