AMMC Anthology: A Minion’s’ Minion’s Christmas
Marissa Ames (author of Mistrel and Darion), Laura James, Ruth Long, and Nick Johns, are putting together a nice anthology of fantastical Christmas tales for holiday consumption. As soon as I heard the theme, I knew I had to involve my two pickiest, yet Christmas-loving, readers. My two youngest minions jumped at a chance to help craft an original story with a magical Christmas theme. They spun tales of danger and spells and talking trees and guard dogs so fast I could barely write it all down in time. It’s not the stuff I usually write, but I loved working with them so much I wanted to share the result with everyone. With a little embellishment from their writer father, I present to you an original family tale of a fantastical Christmas:
A Minion’s Minion’s Christmas
By J. Whitworth Hazzard, with E. Hazzard and A. Hazzard
The stockings were hung; the lights all twinkling. Christmas eve came quickly for Mom and Dad but slowly for the two excited children pacing about the tree. Their faces illuminated by the dancing lights of the the evergreen tree set into the bright red stand.
Daisy the Danger Dog played around the two bright, rambunctious children, happy to be part of the family. The little girl hugged the dog about the neck, while the little boy fretted over the space under the tree.
“Will there be enough room?” Edward asked. “Santa brought big presents last year.”
“Yes, silly,” Anna chided her twin brother. “Santa knows what he’s doing. He wouldn’t let Mom and Dad get a tree without enough room under it.”
Edward looked skeptical, “How do Mom and Dad know what Santa is going to bring?”
“I don’t know. They just do!”
A grump of a middle-age man–thin but athletic, ruggedly handsome, charming, and humble—stumbled down the steps with a wrecked tube of wrapping paper and complained, “God d@#$, tape. Why are we always out of tape?”
Mom sat in her rocking chair, playing on her phone, sang out softly, “Little ears.”
“Right. Where is the pancake-flipping hobo-licking scotch tape?” The roll of wrapping paper slipped out of his arms as he spotted the two youths. “What are you two doing up? Santa is on his way. Scoot up to bed. NOW!”
The two little rascals groaned and schlepped up the stairs, dragging their feet more dramatically with every step. Edward and Anna retired for the night to their specially-built Christmas campout tent and promptly fell asleep.
The last chime of midnight from Grandfather’s clock woke the sleeping children. Edward and Anna crept from their tent and stole downstairs to peek at Santa’s bounty. There were new and shiny presents under the tree to be sure, but a mysterious and horrible sensation stole over the children.
Something was very wrong.
Daisy the Danger Dog was growling at the tree. The tree turned in its stand and came to life. A nasty smile formed in the branches at the top of the tree, right below two bright red glass ornaments, and the tree spoke:
“Greedy children, you have two of each present. One evil and one good. Choose wisely and read the spell in the book I shall reveal to make them come to life.”
Two magical hallways opened in the living room, and at the end of each stood a pedestal with a golden book.
“What should we do?” Edward fretted.
“Open the good presents, silly.” Anna put her hands on her hips, frustrated with her brother.
Edward snapped his fingers, “I know! I can invent a machine to tell the good from the bad. I’m going to be an inventor when I grow up.”
“Great idea!” Anna hugged her brother and then reality snapped her to the moment. “Wait. We don’t have time to invent a machine. We can get Daisy to sniff them and tell.”
The children brought each present to the scrappy basset hound for inspection and growled or barked at each one in turn. The ones she barked at were ripped open with speed while the ones she growled at were thrown back under the tree in the “EVIL” pile.
When all the presents were opened, a veritable army of Skylanders action figures and Bratz Monster High dolls stood before the children. Edward and Anna were giddy with excitement at their great fortune, for Santa had never, ever brought this bounty to the “technically”-good tots before.
“Let’s read the spell and the toys will come to life. We’ll have playmates forever!” Anna said. Edward picked a hall and rushed down towards the golden book with Anna in tow.
“Who’s going to read it?” he asked.
Anna beamed with pride, “I will. I’m a great reader.” Anna opened the golden book and read the magical incantation aloud. “Isis Mentos Oogety Huffly PUFFLY!”
A fierce wind blew through the secret corridor and the toys beneath the Christmas tree came to life. Anna and Edward ran down the hall and scooped up their toys, ready to play every game they’d ever dreamed of with their new best friends.
But the starry-eyed youths were in for a nasty shock, as the toys began to play with them; biting and scratching. Edward and Anna yelped in pain and shooed off the malevolent toys, kicking them into a corner.
The tree began to laugh; a deep evil sound that made the children’s blood run cold.
“You read the evil spell book. Mwuahaha. In just fifteen minutes the sun will rise and the toys will be evil FOREVER!”
“Oh no!” Anna cried. She wrung her hands and hugged her brother. “We never should have listened to that tree.”
“Yeah. That was pretty poor decision making on our part,” Edward deadpanned. “I know! Throw all the evil toys into the hallway and then we’ll read the good spell book. Quick!”
Edward and Anna scooped up the nasty gnashing toys and threw them into the evil hallway. They ran to the good spell book as fast as they could and read the spell book. “Isis Mentos Boogety Huffly Puffly!”
The wind picked up and a golden glow surrounded the evil tree and toys. The hallways started to close and Anna pulled Edward back into the living room just as the magic corridor snapped shut, sealing the evil toys away forever.
Daisy the Danger Dog barked at the tree, but it was de-magicified now. The two children crept off to bed as the sun’s first rays peeked in through the window and fell into an exhausted slumber. When Mom and Dad came to wake them to open presents they groaned and fell back asleep.
Dad took a sip of coffee and bumped fists with Mom, “I told you it would work. More sleep for us!”