North Pole Gazette December 25, 2020 by Sparkly Sprinkles
In an astonishing turn of events, Pixie Powder and Figgy Frost’s assigned children both discovered the truth about the elves. Joe, who found out last season, tried to stop Jake from running to the living room, but Jake was too quick. Powder and Frost, along with Nim Noel and Lil’ Lil were discovered putting the final touches on the tiny Christmas tree they were leaving as a surprise for the boys.
“I just can’t believe it,” Frost said. “We were so close to the end.”
Powder agreed, although it was difficult to understand through all the blubbering.
Nim and Lil were unavailable for questioning as they were in Santa’s office discussing what to do next season. Mr. Grimly, head of the Department of Festive Fun and Frivolity, was also attendance.
Where does this leave Powder and Frost? What will happen to them next season? This reporter can’t wait to find out.
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.
BANG! CLANG! CRASH!
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.”
“Santa said what??” Figgy added another dollop of cream and a few more spoonfuls of sugar to his peppermint hot cocoa as he listened to Nim and Lil.
“Santa is concerned with how many “close calls” you’ve had with Jake. He feels that we should all be prepared for the…inevitable,” said Nim.
“The inevitable?” asked Pixie. “What does that mean?”
Lil smiled sadly at Pixie, forgetting that she was still learning all the rules and codes from The Book. “Here, let me show you.”
Lil pulled out her battered copy of The Book and flipped through the pages. “Ah, here it is.”
Chapter 8, Section VI, Footnote 2.1
Once a child stops believing or discovers an elf in the act of mischief making, all elf shenanigans must be erased from said child’s memory. Warm memories of Christmas should be left intact so the magic continues on to the next generation.
“But,” sniffed Pixie. “J-Joe found out and we didn’t have to erase his memory!”
Glitter sighed. “That is because I reminded Santa of…something. Something he’d forgotten and didn’t want anyone to know.”
“You mean you blackmailed the big guy,” snickered Nim.
Glitter huffed, glaring hard at Nim. “Anyway, that won’t work again. Joe knowing was one thing, but now other Mischief Makers are finding out about the arrangement and want Santa to let them do the same. It’s too much of a risk.”
“So…,” began Figgy.
“So…,” said Lil. “Once Jake finds out, we’ll have to follow The Book.”
* * *
“Ok team,” said Nim. “We only have a few more nights left until…until we have to say goodbye for-forever.”
“Possibly, maybe Jake won’t find out this year,” said Figgy.
“Right.” Nim nodded his head, knowing that it was a big maybe. “So team, what are we going to–hey, where did Lil and Pixie go?”
Glitter pointed her antlers toward the bathroom. “In there, but I’d be careful if I were you.”
“Why?” asked Figgy.
“They had scissors and they were singing.”
“What were they singing?” asked Nim.
Oh the TP in here’s delightful, But the lack of snow is frightful, Since we all soon will go, Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
The team sat in the Elfeteria at the North Pole, knocking back Mrs. Claus’ famous Peppermint-spiked Cocoa.
“That was too close,” said Figgy.
“Yes,” added Pixie. “Good thing Joe was able to convince him it was all a dream again.”
“We have to be very careful over the next few nights,” said Nim. “I don’t think the ‘it was all a dream’ excuse will work again…if it worked at all this time.”
The door creaked open and the team turned to find Santa standing in the doorway looking worried.
“What is it, Sir? Did something happen?” Lil asked, jumping to her feet.
Santa cleared his throat. “I’m afraid we have…a potential problem with Jake.”
Santa pulled a letter from his coat and handed it to Lil.
I hope this letter isn’t too late. I’ve changed my mind about what I want for Christmas. You see, last night I saw Nim, Lil, Figgy and Pixie dancing around the kitchen! What I would really like for Christmas is them to stay and play all year. Just think of all the fun we could have together!
Pixie and Figgy were speechless.
Nim and Lil were shocked.
Glitter let out a mournful bray.
“I was afraid this would happen,” said Santa.
“What happens now, Santa?” asked Pixie.
“I’m afraid this may be the last season for Joe and Jake.”
“But, what will happen to us?” asked Figgy.
Santa shook his head sadly. He never could get used to this moment with his Mischief Makers. It was a natural and bittersweet part of the career, but that didn’t make it any easier. “When a child discovers the truth, some of the magic disappears. When that happens, the Mischief Makers get…reassigned. I’m sorry.”
As Santa left the room, Figgy and Pixie cried out, hugging each other and sobbing. Nim and Lil, who had known this and seen it countless times in their short jobs as Chief Mischief Makers, looked at them sympathetically, but they too were heartbroken.
To everyone’s surprise, Glitter took the news the hardest.
* * *
The team didn’t have much energy for the night’s mischief. When they got back to the house, Joe was already setting up the tower of cups for the remote control car crash they had agreed to. When he greeted the elves, he sensed that something was wrong but, wisely, knew not to ask…yet.
“Er, who wants to test it out?” asked Joe as he set the final cup on top of the tower.
Nim, Lil, Pixie and Figgy looked at each other, then up at Joe. Worry filled his voice and lines of concern crinkled his eyes.
Nim suddenly straightened. “That’s it team. Enough wallowing.”
Lil followed suit. “Yes, we have until December 24th so let’s not waste time feeling sorry for ourselves.”
Pixie and Figgy, knowing they were right, pulled themselves together, smiled and some of their old spark came back, filling the room with light and warmth. The lines disappeared from Joe’s forehead and he grinned.
Glitter paced in front of the stables, waiting for her informant to show up.
“Psst! Ma’am?” A tiny reindeer peeked out from behind a post.
“There you are,” said Glitter. “What news?”
“You were right, ma’am. The Beagle and Bunny are trying to recruit the others.”
“So far, they’ve got the Tooth Fairy and Queen of Hearts on their side, but the Leprechauns are holding out.”
Glitter nodded. “Good work, Junior.”
Junior saluted and pranced back inside the stables, leaving Glitter to her thoughts. So. The Beagle and the Bunny were recruiting. “We’ll just see about that..” she murmured.
* * *
Oh sledding hill, oh sledding hill so beautiful and snowy Oh sledding hill, oh sledding hill Into the sink we’ll go-y We’ll build a sled, of Christmas treats And race each other through the streets Oh sledding hill, oh sledding hill Into the sink we’ll go-y
As Pixie and Figgy sang the last few notes of their song, Nim and Lil skidded to a halt on the kitchen counter spraying snow everywhere.
Pixie looked up, startled. “Nim, Lil? I thought you were finalizing the plans for the Christmas Eve Eve Pep Rally?”
Nim shook his head, panting. “We have some news.”
“About the DFFF’s investigation. There have been…a few developments.” Lil straightened up. She was smiling.
Nim and Lil told them about Glitter’s network of spies. Tiny reindeer who could disguise themselves as a number of woodland creatures…including bunnies.
Figgy scratched his head. “A bunny? Really?”
“Yes,” Lil said. “Once disguised, they infiltrated the Easter Bunny’s lair and–”.
“But, don’t they have antlers? Like Glitter?” asked Figgy.
“And do they learn to hop like a bunny?” asked Pixie.
Nim frowned. “They are specially trained forces who–.”
“Maybe they wear costumes,” pondered Figgy
“They would have to be really good costumes to fool the Easter Bunny and Birthday Beagle,” said Pixie.
“And they must have a whole team of make-up artists ready to transform them at any time,” added Figgy.
“And another team to make them spy gadgets and gizmos!”
“THE POINT IS,” Lil interrupted. “We have some good news.”
Pixie and Figgy looked eagerly at Nim and Lil.
“The Easter Bunny and Birthday Beagle have been recruiting others in an attempt to reduce the Magic of Christmas,” said Nim.
“They’d already recruited the Queen of Hearts and a few other minor holiday mascots, but then, they got a little too ambitious.” Lil paused for dramatic affect. “They tried to recruit….the leprechauns.”
Pixie and Figgy gasped. Every creature in the North Pole knew that the leprechauns were not to be trusted. They were too tricky and, truth be told, volatile to work with.
“I guess the Beagle and Bunny got desperate after the audit didn’t turn up anything. It was a last-ditch effort to overthrow Santa…and it failed spectacularly.”
After a moment of stunned silence, applause, cheers and happy shouts filled the kitchen.
Figgy and Pixie threw sleds at Nim and Lil and dragged them up the slopes. They spent most of the night and into the wee hours sledding, singing and celebrating.