There is an elf at your door, followed by another, then another. They are all competing to seem loyal and win favors. This means, of course, that you have a clear power over them. They all want to tell you about the elf who got away. As politely as possible, you tell them all to go away, and that you’ll deal with the matter yourself. However, you won’t do that. Not exactly, anyway. You’ll contact the almighty Jerry Falwell (again).
“You know what, Jeff?,” he tells you when conjured, “Of all the people in this mess, you’re the one who contacts me the most!” You tell him about the missing elf. “Of course! I knew that! What, do you think I’m deaf, dumb and blind?!” “Well,” you say, “what should I do about it? How exactly am I to proceed?” “You? How are YOU to proceed? You are not to proceed at all, Jeffrey! This is a job for your most loyal elves themselves. You are to remain here until I tell you otherwise!” “Are you sure about this?” Falwell slams down the phone on his end.
You are failing at just about everything in your power. The direct gift deliveries have fallen short under your watch, and so have the charity gifts. And now an elf escape? On some of the screens you see certain elves diligently at work, as others pace frantically, almost as if choreographed. And you thought (and were told) that elf escapes were relatively common! If so, what’s with all this to-do — this pacing?
You mistakenly knock over a coffee cup (you are still semi-human, and semi-humans are entitled to a good cup of Joe). “Well,” you say, looking down at the stains on your Santa suit, “this is a fine mess.” Suddenly, another elf lets itself into your office, strolling in like it belongs. It’s ELLE, as the name tag reads. ELLE is a transexual elf with particularly ferocious looking eyes and slight buck teeth. “Spill somethin’, didja?,” says ELLE. “Why on earth are you elves suddenly coming up here?” “Sorry, sir, but I’ve heard about the big, bad trouble, and I was wondering if I could help you out, you know?” “Yeah, well the sign on the door clearly states, ‘ELVES KEEP OUT.’ It could hardly be clearer, could it?” “I know, but…” “It clearly offers a language, and that language is English, and you are all screened as English speaking elves, right?” ELLE nods a big fat Yes.
“Okay. So what’s the problem?” “The elf escape, sir. That is the problem, and I was just wanting to offer my services.” “Your other-elf corralling services, correct?” “You are correct, sir.” “Of course I’m correct! I’m always correct, ain’t I?!” “Yes, yessir.” “And you sniveling little shits always come up here and tell me stuff like that, that I’m always right, and can never do wrong…” “That is the edict, sir. You are correct.” “Well,” you boldly suggest, “what if the edict is wrong?” “Oh, no no no. The edict can never be wrong, sir.” “Why not?” “Because you, Mr. Falwell and God himself wrote it, right?” “That’s what they say. But what if we’re wrong? Hell, what if there is no edict?” The elf is trembling. “I-I-I was too scared to suggest so, sir. The edict is all I care to think is there, sir.”
“You can calm down, ELLE. I already know about the problem. Jerry knows it, God knows it, and all the other elves know it. The only way you can help me now is to get back to work and let me strategize here.” You didn’t want to tell ELLE what Jerry had told you — that elves themselves were to go out and fetch whichever little devil escaped. “Okay, but the escaped elf is Andy, sir.” “Okay. Andy ain’t so bad.” “Andy ain’t so bad, sir? Andy’s one of the worst elves we’ve got in here!” You look at ELLE coldly. “Future conversations are to be held in the future, do you understand? This is a future conversation. I already told you to leave, and that meant now. Got it?” “Yessir.” With that, ELLE creeps back outside.
For some reason you think of that old filename: Subject: Trevor Richards. Sin: Excessive Masturbation. Punishment: He gets caught. You still can’t believed how you bungled that one. At the same time, being in the psych ward was a type of freedom. This is not.
Anyway, while you’re thinking of files, you decide to look at Andy’s file. Incredibly, it is now missing. You start sweating. Why are you suddenly so nervous about this? Why do you even care? You don’t know why, but you do care. You quickly rush out of the office, descend to the elve’s workshop and find your way to ELLE’s table.
ELLE tries to look even busier than she was. You tap her on the shoulder and she stops stitching together blue jeans. “It seems that Andy the Elf’s file is missing. Now, what do you know that I don’t?” “Nothing, sir.” “Oh, hush with that! Now isn’t the time for false modesty, old girl!” You slap ELLE gently on the back. “Now tell me, what is it you know?” The other elves try to press on with work, while still eavesdropping.
“Well, I believe that Andy was called out to fully form the Girl Death Guild.” You no doubt look confused, which makes ELLE assert herself better. “I believe that’s true, sir.” “Called out? Called out by whom?” ELLE jumps off the workbench and bows before your feet, pleading, “Please believe me, sir!” “Alright, alright! Get up, please!” ELLE obeys. “Now, called out by whom?”
ELLE explains: “The call was issued a long time ago, sir. I’m too in the dark to know all of it, but I do know that world leaders are involved.” “Human world leaders?” “Yes, sir.” “Which ones? Where did you hear about this?” “Well, it’s never just been one message, but a conglomerate of them. They issue out in psychic bursts from time to time. We elves pick up these calls with our powers — our elf senses. Most of the time we can block them out, but the psychic link is definitely more prevalent in some of us.” “And world leaders?” “Well, not just them. Frustrated people, potential maniacs, basically anyone thinking really sinful, murderous thoughts.” “And what do elves do exactly when they escape?” “They often possess the humans, make them act out their negative psychic messages. This is if the elves are themselves already naughty.”
“ELLE is right,” says Halfpint, one of the smallest elves in the whole bunch. “Some of the elfkind have consciences, and strong willpower. Others are more likely to read and follow these psychic links like a script. This particular impulse was very strong. We all felt it. It promoted the random murders of females, justifying them as population control.” “And what is Andy going to do out there?” “Well,” squeaks Halfpint, “I believe Andy’s going to heed that call.” Before you leave, an elf named Stargazer adds, “Yeah, and the bastard must have stolen a bunch of my raspberry iced tea!”
Before you head outside (in violation of Falwell’s orders and corresponding trust), you run up to your office. There you look at one of the uniquely cryptic dates on your future events calendar: 3/6/18. Nothing is written there. It’s perhaps the only date on the calendar where nothing whatsoever is written. Still, you have bigger fish to fry. Someone with a psychic murder-rape connection is out there, smack dab in a raspberry flavored nightmare.
The elves smell worse due to the stress: A mix of hyper anxiety-inspired crap, crotch rot and overpowering fungal body odor. You are actually forced to pinch your nose as you head for the door. “Wait!,” the great Ramshackle exclaims. You turn to face him. “What rhymes with ‘properly’?” “What?,” you ask, perplexed. “I said, ‘What rhymes with ‘properly’?.” He smiles. The question repeats in your head. It stopped you in your tracks. You try to answer it, and fast. Copperly? Bopperly? Topperly? Nothing seems to fit. “Ha!,” he laughs. “I got ya! The only way to rhyme with that is to use multiple words. There is crop early, drop early, shop early, or stop early. The only other word that sounds like it is ‘property,’ and that’s not a direct rhyme.” After your stunned silence, you finally say, “I don’t give a single motherfuck, Ramshackle. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an errant elf to castrate.” You quickly slam the front door shut behind you — beyond you — and step out into the frigid cold.
While out there, you think to yourself, ‘Boy, they weren’t kidding about this Jack Frost stuff! He’s not only nipping at my nose, but my nuts are nipply as hell, too!’ Now you say aloud, under your breath, “Okay, now what do I do?”
Suddenly the winter clouds part and, while the sun bursts upon you with refreshing warmth and intensity, Jerry Falwell’s upper torso and burly face rise from the snow in front of you. “You need the address, for GOD’S sake!” He hands you a slip of paper. “The address, sir?” (Hours later you’ll wonder where that ‘sir’ even came from.) “Yes, the address for Andy.” “You mean he’s actually residing somewhere, as in he owns or rents property at a specific physical location?” “Yes.” “I’m sorry, but didn’t he just escape a little bit ago? How do you know all this while I don’t?” “One of the elves could have told you, if you ever listened to them.” “But they speak in useless quips and riddles!” Without saying anything further, you grab the slip of paper. “So, what am I to do now?” “Have the elves travel there, you idiot. Use common sense.”
Later (or whatever)
You step out of your Claus car, impressed that Falwell didn’t lash out at you more harshly. It just seemed okay to disobey him on this, and you were somewhat correct. This had to be your mission, not theirs. It would be a moronic thing to get in trouble over. Back when you were a normal human, you would be chastised for looking lazy at work. Even if there was a big work slowdown, you always had to at least look busy. Yes — Busy busy busy! Now your literal, self-assigned task is elf castration, or something like it. Murder? Whatever it takes. That’s right: You weren’t joking about that. When you find Andy, you’ll lop his cock off, then offer it to other deviant elves as a stocking stuffer. Well, okay, maybe not. You are playing this by ear. You’re excited, even though this whole thing makes you feel kinda’ sick.
Falwell’s note gave Andy’s address as “Central Park, NYC.” You sigh. Andy’s not exactly renting an apartment, is he? The note added, “Btw, your discipline produced panic among the elves and caused a slowdown. Great job, idiot!”
Why? Why did Falwell torment you so? Or, rather, why do you let him? You are trying your best. You are supposed to punish elves from time to time. He told you that, so you do it! As you stand in the cold, your mind heads back to the office. You think about how mail is piling up while you’re gone. Notes from anywhere and everywhere stacking up auto-magically, in bin after bin after bin. You wonder about how long this elf-castration mission will take.
You suddenly find yourself running, trying to get to the park ASAP. You ponder the intent of enlightenment, and if society has any of it. If it does, will it share some with you?