As a new blogger, I completed the "April Platform a Day" Challenge at Robert Lee Brewer's site. He sprayed firehouse information at me, and I asked questions liked "What's Pinterest?" Thankfully much of the social media and blogging concepts I learned then seem like second nature now. A community sprung out of the challenge which now goes by the name "Wordsmith Studio."
During December Wordsmith Studio is hosting a weekly writing prompt. Please stop by to check out the prompts and participate. I couldn't resist trying my hand at a 700 word story when I saw this photo prompt:
|Photo by Gerry Wilson|
The Elf Spy
By Lauri Meyers
I dropped my backpack where Mom says it’s a major trip hazard. Whatever, she'd leave it there too, if she had to carry 8 text books every day. As I walked to the kitchen to snag a snack, I felt the chill of someone staring at me. My parents weren't home yet, and Addie's bus didn't arrive for another hour. I couldn't resist the urge to turn around, and I scanned the empty room.
Then I saw it. An elf sat with little green legs crossed on the mantle. I froze wondering if it had noticed me. Of course it sat there innocently with a wide smile, but his stare gave his secret away - more than wood hid behind those eyes. I grabbed my backpack and bounded two steps at a time to my room. I needed to study anyhow, and my room had a lock.
"Hi Honey, I'm home!" Mom knocked on my door awhile later.
"Shhh," I whispered. "Get in here." I locked the door behind her.
"What's with all the secrecy, Evan? Am I part of a spy mission?" She smiled.
"Mom, I haven't played spies since fourth grade," I huffed. "Did you see it?"
"See what?" she asked. I took a deep breath. My mom could be so clueless.
"Oh, yes! You saw the elf I got? Addie is just going to love it. All of her friends have one."
"They what?" I asked. "You can be so naive," I whispered under my breath.
"What was that mister?"
"For ... Christmas Eve?" I covered. "Mom, don't you know how dangerous elves are? They wake up at night to cause mischief. You don't want one in the house."
Mom smiled coyly, probably thinking I still believed in Santa, which of course I don't. "Well, I'll need someone to keep an eye on that elf then." She leaned in close, "Do you think you could be in charge of elf surveillance?"
Clearly Mom was trying to be funny, but she was on to something. I was the best person for the job. I nodded and opened the door.
"Thanks for picking up your backpack today. I think I stumbled through the door just out of habit!"
I started to create a plan to monitor the elf over night, but only got as far as adding "night vision goggles" to my Christmas list. Rummaging through the closet, I found the old nanny cam Mom used to put out when we had babysitters. I stuffed the bear in my backpack and headed downstairs. I set the bag down with the zipper open so the bear's camera eyes could see the fireplace.
Surveillance planning is exhausting work, so I slept pretty well even with the intruder in the home. I woke up early to make sure I had time to check the video before school. Instead I found Dad already up cleaning a spill.
"Good morning champ. Looks like the dishwasher has a leak," he said. I glanced sideways at the elf of the mantle and grabbed the bear. I ran into Addie on her way down to breakfast.
"Mister Bear! Oh where did you find him?" she squealed.
"Oh, he was just in my closet," I replied and tried to escape to my room.
"Are we having a babysitter tonight?"
"I'm kinda busy Addie," I said. She looked so disappointed I added, "You can play with him after school. Ok?" She smiled and skipped to the kitchen. As I headed up the stairs, I heard her yell in certain agony "Daddy, my princess plate melted!" I needed to watch this video and fast.
After locking the door, I rewound the tape and pressed play. The elf and his perky red hat weren't moving, so I hit fast forward. Right at 3:03AM I saw his booty move just for a second, then static started. I fumbled for the fast forward again with sweaty hands. The footage of the elf on his shelf returned at 4:03AM.
"Mom, I need to show you something." I tried to sound casual. Out of the corner of my eye I saw movement. The elf wagged his finger at me "no, no, no."