When my Creative Writing class ended and I still wished to continue writing I decided to ask for people’s help, again.
I posted the following on Facebook:
“So I find myself once again between classes (wow, THAT semester went fast) and I call upon you my friends and family for inspiration!
I need two things from you please! Just two words! An item and, well, a word. I will, if the muses are so kind, use them in a short story – and give you the credit.
For example: Item: Sausage; Word: Bludgeon
See? It’s easy!
For those of you who gave me sets of words the last time I asked and are thinking – “Hey! You still haven’t used what I gave you the last time!” – never fear! I have a complete list and I peruse it constantly. When the words “click” I’ll use them.
I look forward to seeing what you lot come up with this time around!
This week I have chosen Kim Glennie’s words: Item – computer; Word: fierce
Thanks Kim! Enjoy!
Do You Still Believe?
He looked out over the gathered group sitting around the massive oak conference table, holding each one for a moment with his fierce gaze. None of them could hold the look with him for long, as they all knew why he had called the meeting early this year and why he was so angry with nearly each and every one of them. They all fidgeted and squirmed as he sat at the head of the table and waited for him to say something, anything.
“As you are all no doubt aware the numbers are down again this year. In fact they are lower than they have ever been!” he thundered.
“But Mr. C. that’s hardly our fault!” protested a small man in an impeccable green suit, “Surely you can’t blame us for the numbers dropping!”
The big man addressed as Mr. C. turned his gaze towards the whining fellow. He was a dwarf of a man, dressed in an all green suit completed with top hat. Under the withering gaze he seemed to shrink even smaller.
“I damn well can! What have you been doing to promote your day then? You have 364 other days of the year when you are not busy working. Well? It only comes around in March. What exactly do you do to get the humans to believe in you?”
The small fellow looked away sheepishly and said nothing.
“That’s what I thought.” He looked at the rest of them seated around the table. “And the rest of you? What is it you do? Anything?”
“Some of us don’t even have special days,” said a high pitched voice from the end of the table. “How do you expect us to promote ourselves when we aren’t even attached to a specific date or anything?”
Mr. C. looked at the speaker, a tiny winged creature of indeterminate sex who was sitting on the table beside a small chest labeled with a tooth.
“Yeah,” piped up an enormous misshapen creature that was all shadows, claws and teeth. “I gots no special day neither. They’re just supposed to believe I live under the bed and that’s that. How do I go about promoting that? You got it easy, you do, with your biggest day of us all. Everyone looks forward to your day they do. You don’t even have to promote your own self, humans dress up like you and sit in malls and do it for ya!” he grunted.
There were murmurs of assent from around the table at that.
“You think so? I’ll have you know that even my numbers are down!” He pointed to the report showing on the screen of his laptop computer. There were gasps around the table.
“What do you think the problem is boss?” asked a small boy with wings who was carrying a bow and arrow. “My numbers are always high, but the humans love my day.” He put emphasis on the word “love”. There were groans around the table.
“I’m not entirely sure. I’ve put some of the elves on the problem and the best they can come up with is that the humans just don’t need us anymore. We are old fashioned and are getting left behind.” He sighed.
“So, even the great and powerful Claus doesn’t know what’s wrong! Ha! That’s rich! My numbers are just fine, aren’t they? Well? Aren’t they? Of course they are! And you know why? Because I give the humans something they need. Same thing with arrow-boy here. Humans love him. ‘Cause he’ll always be needed. And as long as the humans like chocolate, I’m golden.” With that, the giant bunny folded his arms and sat back looking pleased with himself.
Mr. Claus shot the bunny a withering stare.
“Be that as it may, some of us still have a problem.”
“So what if the numbers are down is it really that big a deal?” asked the dwarf in the green suit.
Mr. Claus looked at them all gravely one by one.
“The elves predict that if your numbers drop low enough and we don’t know where the threshold is mind you, but if they go low enough, you’ll cease to exist.”
At this complete pandemonium broke out around the table. Cries of “It’s not possible” and “What can we do?” were mixed with “Run the tests again!” and “We’re doomed!”
Mr. Claus sat at the head of table, watching his fellow beings panic and gave a heavy sigh. Was there any hope for them in this day and age?
Bobby woke up with a start.
It was a dream! Just a dream!
He ran downstairs just as fast as his seven year old legs could take him. There, under the tree were a bunch of new Christmas presents that weren’t there the night before.
“I believe in you Santa!” he cried! “I believe!”