Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Priority Mail 3

We arrived at the big house - my house - though it took longer than normal. I had to keep slowing down and even stopping to let her rest and catch her breath. The poor dear.

When we walked in the door, my dear wife popped her head out of the kitchen.

"Oh, a visitor," she said brightly.

My lovely bride does love visitors. It gives her an excuse to fuss and offer treats - especially since I sometimes try to avoid both (even though I secretly enjoy them!).

"Ah, my dear, this is Nendia," I said. "You remember her - one of the talented doll elves."

"Of course," she said, taking my cue. "You do such a wonderful job."

"Legs are important," Nendia said, beaming.

"I invited her over for some hot chocolate," I said. "We have to talk over some business."

Nendia smiled even more broadly.

"Oh, of course," my darling wife said, nodding sagely. Then she looked at the bag. "More special requests?"

"Yes," I said. "I have to look these over tonight."

"Of course," she said. I'll get some hot chocolate so you two can get to your business."

I ushered Nendia into my office and dropped the mail next to my rocking chair in front of the fire place. She looked around the room, taking in the decorations, the desk, the big stuffed chairs.

"You've been in here before," I said.

"Oh, but not in a long time," she squeaked. "It's too big."

"It doesn't seem so big when I get all the naughty and nice lists and all the gift lists to review just before Christmas," I said, then waved my arm. "Piled high to the ceiling."

She looked up, her mouth open. Then she looked at the bag.

"Special requests?"

Mrs. Claus came in with a tray bearing two steaming cups of hot chocolate, and a platter piled high with cookies. She placed the tray on the coffee table in front of two of the stuffed chairs.

"Ah, thank you, my dear."

"You two have a good meeting," she said. "I have some work to do."

She left.

"Please," I said to Nendia, gesturing to one of the chair. "Sit and have some."

She sat and picked up one of the steaming cups. She took a sip, then put it down.

"Santa," she said in a serious voice. "I've heard of special requests."

She stopped and looked at the sack.

"What have you heard?" I asked.

"Well, the elves say, some of the elves, that is, that, well, there are children who will not see Christmas this year."

"Yes," I said slowly, "some of the special requests involve such children."

"Oh," she squeaked.

"Not all," I continued. "But some."

To be continued ...


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