Are you guys ready for more Naughty and Nice? If you remember, we left off with Jack and Nick fighting. Will they make up today? Or perhaps they’ll fight more? You’ll have to keep reading to find out.
Are you up to date on Naughty and Nice? Here are the links to previous posts if you aren’t.
It was always strange waking up in an unfamiliar place. What was even stranger was waking up alone. Even when my family traveled, Jack and I always shared a bedroom.
I missed my brother. Guiltily, I replayed our last conversation in my mind.
“No, that was the whole reason you came here. You claim that you’re doing this for me, but have you ever listened to what I want? No!”
My words seemed harsher than I’d meant. I hated that I’d drawn a wedge between us, especially because we were currently trapped in an unfamiliar environment with seemingly no way out. It wasn’t the time to yell at each other over petty squabbles.
I made up my mind to find Jack and apologize. As soon as possible.
Except, when I left my dorm, Peppermint was already rushing me to Santa’s office.
“Okay, so Cocoa said you were going to tell the big guy about the new list-keeping program right?”
I blankly stared. Truthfully, I had no idea what I would say to Santa Claus.
“Can I eat breakfast first?”
“Oh! I already thought of that,” Peppermint said, shoving a peppermint chocolate chip cookie in my hands. “We’ll eat and talk.”
We were already speedwalking to the office before I could protest.
“So when you see him, you’re going to want to treat him with respect. He’s not really our king or anything, but he is basically the ruler of the North Pole. It’s best to only speak when spoken to.”
I blinked, chewing my cookie. This was a lot to take in. How was I supposed to explain our situation to the big guy if I wasn’t supposed to talk unless he asked me a question?
I wished I had the chance to talk to Jack before the meeting. He’d know what to say.
“Sound good?” Peppermint asked.
I hadn’t been paying very close attention to what she’d been saying. But I nodded nonetheless.
“One question,” I started. “What am I supposed to tell him about the new list-keeping program?”
“Oh you know,” Peppermint said. “Like what it is, how it will increase productivity…that sort of stuff. It shouldn’t be that hard. I’m sure he already knows. The meeting is more of a formality.”
Her words eased my anxiety. Hopefully, this meeting would go well.
“Alright now,” she said as we approached a large door. “Good luck.”
I gulped as she ushered me inside.
It was overwhelming. Here I was alone in Santa’s office. The version of me from a couple of days ago would have never dreamed of being here.
I thought of home. Had it really already been two days since we left? I wondered what Mom was thinking. I missed her.
“Ahem,” the owner of a deep voice cleared his throat. “Nick White?”
I nodded. Santa was…intimidating.
“I understand you’re here to explain the new list-keeping program. Is that correct?”
I nodded. Part of me didn’t want to say anything to this man, out of fear that he’d kick me out of the North Pole just for saying the wrong thing.
“Well go on then.” Santa folded his hands together. “I haven’t got all day.”
I swallowed. “Well, Cocoa and my brother and I had sort of a…race yesterday. We were trying to see who could complete more letters. Anyway, Cocoa noticed that we were able to go a lot faster when we raced against each other, so she wants to try that more often. Also, it boosted morale. She was thinking some sort of prize could be offered to whichever elf completed more letters?”
Turns out, once I got started with talking, it wasn’t so hard.
“Very well,” he grinned. “I approve of this new program. Now was that really the only reason you wanted to meet?”
I shrunk. Suddenly I was afraid again.
“Well, you see sir,” I muttered, trying to muster some of my earlier confidence. “My brother and I aren’t exactly elves.”
And? Shouldn’t he be freaking out that two non-elves infiltrated the North Pole?
“Well, um, we don’t belong here.”
“I know that. You’re lucky I haven’t kicked you out yet.”
“Wait, you knew we weren’t supposed to be here?” I exclaimed, forgetting my instructions to remain quiet unless spoken to.
“Of course. I’m Santa Claus, remember? I see everything.”
“Um, what?” I stammered. If Santa knew everything, why hadn’t he kicked us out yet?
“How do you think I know who’s naughty and nice?”
My mouth hung open. I’d never given much thought to the matter.
“So what are you going to do about us?” I asked.
Santa stroked his beard. “I haven’t decided yet. What do you think I should do?”
“Well, I was hoping you could take us home?”
“That would be ideal,” Santa replied, giving me hope. “But…”
That one little word crushed all my hopes.
“I can’t leave the North Pole until Christmas Eve.”
I nodded, and counted in my head. If we got to the North Pole on the morning of December 16th, that meant today was the 17th. Christmas Eve was in a week. That meant we would have seven more days here. Seven more days away from Mom and Dad. Seven more days of organizing letters.
I didn’t like that idea one bit. I wanted to get home as soon as possible. But as it was, I couldn’t think of a better solution.
“And you’ll take us home then?”
Santa nodded. “In the meantime, you can help work on this new list-keeping program.”
“Great,” I replied, only half-sarcastically. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. You may be excused now.”
“Phew,” I breathed.
That was a relief. Santa was the epitome of Christmas cheer in most books and movies, but he seemed really scary in real life. Especially if you were a boy who was on the Naughty List.
The meeting went about as well as could be expected. Now, I just needed to explain everything to Jack.
Jack. A pang tugged at my heart when I thought of my brother. How could I have left things the way I had? I had to fix things with him. No more excuses.
Aw, so Jack wasn’t even in this episode? Poor guy…
Anyway, I’ll see you guys tomorrow for a fun post with Gisselle! And don’t forget to check back later for the continuation of this series!