Rufus and the Angel (eBook)

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38 pages | eBook | 6x9"
Date of publication: 12/24/2014
  • ISBN: 978-1-941984-26-0
  • Model: 7374 words

Fireborn Publishing Main Page

Heat Rating: 1 Flame

 

Rufus the elf is grumpy the angels won't help decorate the village's tree. He also hides intense interest and burgeoning feelings for one of them, but when Santa presents a special toy for delivery, his hopes are realized at last.

Rufus the Christmas elf is grumpy over the festive season, because none of the Christmas angels will help him top Santa's tree this Christmas Eve. Their belligerent teasing sets his nerves on edge until one of them asks him to ice-dance on the frozen pond. Shortly after this magical dance routine a random kiss in the snow leaves Rufus hankering for the tangible affections of an angel he has secretly admired for some time--one who appears almost as impossible to capture and hold as the thistledown riding the twilight breeze. While Rufus considers his options, Santa asks him to deliver a remarkable old toy to a dying hospital patient. This toy has a special significance, clouded in mystery, and only his favorite angel Thadeus can reveal its hidden secrets. With a little bit of time travel, Rufus is taken back to a day long past and shown by Thadeus why the Christmas gift is so important, and why too, Rufus has special relevance to his favored Christmas angel.

CONTENT ADVISORY: This work is a re-release story.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

The elf children leaned forward as Rufus read to the gathering from his crinkled, leather-bound storybook. It exuded an aroma of aging and dusty attics as its spellbound and eager young audience waited for the next page to turn.

"I know that in the toilet bowl there lives a very ugly troll--he won't come out with Mum and Dad about. But, when I go there by myself, he's sitting on the cistern shelf!" Rufus leapt up and roared like a troll, his hair rising and swirling from his sudden charge to his feet.

The children screamed and bolted to action like gazelles in a boisterous ballet. Moccasin-clad feet drummed dully on the worn floor rugs in the tangled rush for the door.

"Rufus!" Santa snapped, appearing from nowhere. "They'll never go potty again if you keep telling them stories like that!"

"Aw, they're laughing, Santa," Rufus pointed out. "They know it's not real." He pulled his errant dark hair back into line and glanced at the boss.

"Everything's real if you believe in it strongly enough," Santa barked.

His whiskers twitched, and hid his mouth so well it was hard to tell if he laughed or genuinely rebuked Rufus.

"Tone it down, elf. Haven't you got any stories about adorable kittens or puppies to tell 'em?"

Rufus pursed his lips and looked into space as he considered where he might find such stories. The fluffy clouds overhead mimicking the shape of sheep gave him little inspiration, until he remembered he'd seen sheep in a gift book.

"I'd have to borrow one of the intended Christmas presents."

"Hop to it then." Santa shuffled away, hunkering down in his red coat as Rufus stared after him.

No point in finding a new book now, the children had scattered like swiftly thrown jacks. Rufus could hear their shouts as they played knights and dragons in the cool afternoon air. Their voices were animated and mildly shrill while they acted out their vivid pantomimes and wildest imaginings. He glanced out the window and wondered if it would snow before midnight, or after, and if he'd manage to coerce an angel to top his tree this year. How quickly that troublesome issue had rolled around again.

Later that night as he walked down to the frozen pond and watched the Christmas angels float over the empty skating rink, he pondered once more how he might manipulate such wily creatures to his own agenda. It seemed like only a short while ago he'd admired these same angels last year, exuberant in their cavorting Christmas games, as they laughed and stubbornly refused to help him. It was quite an honor to be the tree decorator, but any blunders in design and decoration would be gossiped about for months. Rufus couldn't bear the thought of such shame, let alone the possible reality of it.

"Angels waste magic on dancing and play," he muttered. "They're barely fit for anything 'cept gaudy decorations."

One of them snorted with mirth and Rufus realized he'd been overheard. He growled, annoyed at their keen hearing, and bothered by the fact they always had each other for company while he was often alone. Although they appeared to be made of thistledown--and humans would think they were--he knew better. Like wisps of fancy, they floated and whirled and entranced him. The cadence of their celestial cotillion was all beautifully choreographed under the sparkling, haphazardly strewn stars that lay distant and winking in the lavender twilight.

For long moments, day's end seemed to resist the descent into the ebony cape of night as he watched the angels' display with resentful admiration. He sighed, long and hard, and ran his hand through his soft forelock and tucked it behind his fine tapered ears, then frowned as he yanked the brim of his woolen hat a little lower.

He seriously needed to catch one of those angels to top the Christmas tree in Santa's village; otherwise he'd have to use a starfish instead. Everyone would laugh if he decorated the hallowed Christmas tree with one of those for a second year in a row. Rufus pressed his lips together for a moment and considered his options.

"Which one of you would like to decorate Santa's tree this year?" His breath looked like steam in the twilight hues as he called out his invitation. He watched its fogginess separate into long ghoulish strands of mist and float off as the angels rollicked with exuberance.

"It's not our purpose to decorate trees, fat boy," one of them called out with a gaiety that belied the sarcasm behind the comment.

Rufus's mouth drooped to the shape of a grim crescent. "I'm not fat," he protested. He pulled at the belt holding his paunch in. Well, maybe a fraction, but did they have to say so?

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About Karly Maddison:
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uthor website: www.karlymaddison@weebly.com

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This book was added to our catalog on Tuesday 14 October, 2014.

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