“You going to Francis’s party?” asked Frince, as the four-inch tall Christmas ornament elf shook his partner in crime, Mince, a little. “Am I alive?” asked Mince, as he climbed to his feet. Silver, gold, blue, green and red glitter shimmered from the cracks of light seeping into their ornament box as it fell in the nostalgic air of the small fellow waking.
It was Christmas Eve, once again. It was duty time. Historically, in this house, Frince and Mince came to life on the 24th of December, at midnight. The woman of the house and her husband always erected a Christmas tree and decorated it with ornaments and lights of varied hue to shine in the late dark cold night. The woman, three years in a row, now, decided to go with a “theme” for the tree. While stunning to those who saw these Christmas trees, the older ornaments of past tradition were usually mostly left in their decorative, glittered and dusty, ornament box. This year she titled her Christmas tree’s theme “The Ice of Winter”, and their tree was adorned with mostly store-bought silver ornaments and blue and dark-blue lights and metallic silver stringed strands.
Frince and Mince made their way to see the tree; both found it to be baffling. “Back to business.” “Due course.” They scurried to the shadows of a near sofa and discussed hunting options. The two elves were connected magically. It was unnecessary for them to speak aloud, many times, because they shared natural extrasensory perception. They could hear each other think with minimal effort. This kept them safe from their one known danger other than living and walking-while-awake humans, their big fat lazy old nocturnal cat.
Their duty? To find the mouse, Streak. They caught Streak, one year, eating cookies left out for Santa, and the cat caught and ate the mouse right in front of the elves. How did the elves see the mouse again? Streak came back into physical form a few days later, as the elves lay down to rest for another 362 days. They usually only come to life once a year. Why were they on a hunt for Streak? For one, to prevent confusion. If Streak was to eat more cookies, it could upset the woman. If the cat was to eat the mouse, it could mean another costly trip to the vet. The mouse was sure to come to life anyway for most of the year. The elves commonly only lived three magical days, themselves. So, it was up to them to find this mouse, and that is what they sought to do.
“I seen him.” “No you did not, you are still waking.” “We will see.” Mince thought he saw the mouse streak around a corner to his normal creviceway hideout in the corner of a back room. The two elves, sure the humans were asleep, ran to the opening in the corner. The mouse was, as guessed, nowhere to be found. “If not be him here, as you were accurate, why not frequent the cookies?” “I want this to be quick and easy, this year. I think your idea is supreme.”
The two elves traversed the normal shadows of the house to finally find a plate of cookies on a small book-table with a moodlamp lit on dim. “That is not a Christmas tree.” “You are correct, Mr. Natural Eggnog. It is still stunning, though.” The two elves shared a short-lived moment together appreciating the aesthetic value of the green and red sugar cookies and white and brown fudge cubes on the large crystal platter with shimmering golden trim.
Then, as if they were not even visible, as if no small cookie crumb could be thrown to them from the short table, Streak climbed unknowingly onto the high-class platter. Frince and Mince both saw the small mouse and made their way to the table. The tiny creature was exceptionally fast and would be nearly impossible to catch if the two elves were to mess this chance up. They positioned themselves behind a large mug of warm milk, as Streak was sure to extract one good crushed nut from a large chunk of fudge and scurry off to some place of safety as soon as possible.
Frince noticed that the small scoundrel was not even paying attention. The mouse removed a large chunk of a walnut, and Frince motioned to Mince. Mince leaped a good four steps from the mouse and was on him, had him behind the ears by the neck. The tiny creature might have actually got away, however Frince was just behind Mince and hoisted the mouse into the air by his short hind legs. “We have him!” thought Frince, almost loud enough to wake the woman. “That we do” thought Mince, quietly enough to near the man into a supposed year-long length of slumber.
The happy elves held onto the small mouse and bounced and danced to the fire. A small faggot was only burned on one end. Mince held the mouse to the log and Frince went and found a small thread of sorts to tie the mouse down. Upon his return, he and Mince tied down the mouse, and Mince drew his “long-sword” – the four-inch tall elve’s ritualistic version of a Katana. Frince almost fell asleep – it was almost too easy, this year.
Just then, however, both elves saw the cat. The old, overweight feline monster was creeping up to them, one paw per inch, one noiseless step at a time. He was spotted, able to pounce, howbeit, at any time. Mince near shaded himself a new hue of white and glanced to Frince for some attempt of request for authority. Frince looked to the cat, calculated their possible escape, and said, “Take him.” Mince quickly came down upon the small mouse, decapitating him, and the cat leaped into the air.
Both elves jumped away from the slain mouse to escape the deadly cat. The cat caught Frince, Mince stayed within dangerous reach, moving. Soon to bite the head off the magical little elf, the cat looked to Mince to see if there was any last reason for not pursuing his natural wishes. Mince had to think quick, his sword would do him no good; he remembered the warm buttermilk by the cookies. Mince aimed his sword in that direction and the cat knew there was warm milk over there. The large fluffy animal lifted his paw off the terrified elf and strolled toward the buttermilk. Halfway to the moodlamp, the cat lay on his side and slept. The two elves were exhausted, too, and sat for a moment.
Their annual deed was done. They walked to the Christmas tree and watched the fading lights glow bright blue and dim to darkness repeatedly, decided to turn in. They made their way up the stairway-ladder to their ornate ornament box to conclude the Christmas night. As Frince was closing their lid for slumber, he noticed a large, shiny black boot make the chimney floor’s ashes cloud into its surrounding air.