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The elves just had one more night before it was time to leave for the season. One more night of fun and mischief. One more night working with Joe until…maybe forever.
“Oh come now, if we are quiet, there is no way Jake will find out,” said Figgy.
“Besides, Joe said he would suggest a slumber party so he could keep an eye on Jake. Warn us if he woke up,” said Nim.
Pixie and Lil were nervous. They were so close to escaping discovery. So close!
“Good news!” said Nim, flying through the door. “The ornaments arrived in the nick of time.”
The colorful strands, twinkling lights and tinkling bells distracted the group and they all but forgot about the possibility of Jake finding out they were real. It was their last night of mischief and they wanted to do something really special.
“Where are the trees?” asked Glitter.
“Joe put them on top of the cabinets,” said Figgy. “I’ll go grab them.”
Figgy zipped to the top of the cabinets and scooped up one tree, twirled and reached for the other, but the tree he’d just snatched threw him off balance and fell hard in the sink, knocking dirty dishes everywhere.
The Mischief Making team froze and held their breath. All was quiet for 1, 2, 3 seconds and then…
Stomp, stomp, stomp!
Stomp, STOMP, STOMP!
“I knew it!”
Joe came skidding into the living room after Jake and looked in horror at the elves. “Er…this is all a dream, all a dream, Jake.”
“Nice try, Joe, but I’ve been wide away for hours just waiting to catch them!”
Pixie burst into tears. Figgy fell to his knees and Nim and Lil sighed in resignation.
Nim patted Figgy on the shoulder. “It was only a matter of time, we new that this was coming.”
“What’s wrong?” asked Joe. “So he knows, now we can all play. Set up tricks for Mom and Dad, plan—.”
Joe stopped when he saw the grave looks on the team’s faces. Suddenly, he knew that his time with the elves was coming to an end. “So what happens now?”
“I’m afraid we will have to…erase your memories of us,” said Lil.
“WHAT?!” Joe and Jake both stared incredulously at the elves.
“Erase our memories of Christmas?” Jake gasped.
“No, no,” hurried Nim. “Just your memories of…us.”
Joe’s eyes filled with tears.
Everyone looked at Jake.
“I’ll just pretend I don’t know. Then you can come back next year and I can help too.”
Pixie and Figgy smiled, looking hopefully at Nim, Lil and Glitter. “Could we do that?”
“Well…,” began Lil.
“I’m afraid not,” said Glitter. “For many reasons, but mostly because it wouldn’t be fair to all the new children who don’t have Mischief Makers yet.”
This was news to Pixie and Figgy. “Aren’t there more recruits?”
“That’s what Santa wanted to talk to us about the other day,” said Nim. “There are fewer and fewer elves signing up for the Mischief Maker program so we need all the elves we can get.”
“But…,” began Figgy. “What about Joe and Jake?”
The team looked at each other sadly, not knowing what to say.
“Then you have to go where you are needed,” said Jake with a small smile.
“Yes,” added Joe. “We would feel horrible if other kids didn’t get to experience the fun we did.”
Nim and Lil smiled proudly at Joe and Jake. They had grown so much since their first year. In stature and in character both.
“There’s just one thing,” said Jake, smiling at Joe. “Please don’t erase our memories. We had the best time with you…even if you did make a lot of messes.”
Each elf’s smile brightened the room and they turned to Glitter.
Glitter’s heart filled to bursting as the Christmas magic swelled. “I think I can convince Santa…just one more time.”