Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sandra Claus

Just a fun lil story for y'all. Oh, and in other news, I fell out out a wheelchair onto my face into the street, unknowingly broke my knee, and a week later, spent an overnight in the hospital getting zapped and assigned a brace. WHEEE! Anyway, on with the story.

Sandra Claus
By Joseph Picard

The rumble-ready heels of Sandra's black, studded boots resounded with determined thuds as she marched down the marble-floored hallway to her father's office.

The diminutive elf guarding the door was getting on in years, with leathery skin, and very little shine left in his buttons, or his eyes. He watched Sandra get closer and closer for some time. It was a long hallway, and Sandra was not an unpleasant sight at all. Her black leather motif didn't match anyone else within a few hundred miles, so she always stood out.

When Sandra reached the elf, he only came up to her hip. She glanced down with no particular affection nor disdain, and stopped chewing her gum for a moment to ask, “Hey, beef jerky, is my dad in?”

The elf looked up with tired eyes. “Beejeeki, Ma'am. You've known me since I was born, please call me by my name, properly.”

Sandra sighed. Her stresses were not Beejeeki's fault. “Sorry, Beejeeki. I should be nicer to those who age.”

Beejeeki gave a forgiving smile. “I have done that, haven't I? I suppose with all the outsourcing, I should consider moving on to the Grey Havens in the next couple of years. But yes, your father is inside, waiting.”

“Thanks, Beefy. You know he'd be lost without you, right?”

Beejeeki smiled wider with a soft chuckle. “He might manage without me, I bought him a blackberry.”

Sandra smiled back, shaking her head slowly. “And who's going to teach him how to use it?”

Leaving the elf deep in thought, Sandra went inside. There, behind his desk, sat the old man, going over the yearly lists. Dozens upon dozens in his hands, spilling off of the corners of his oak desk, and along the floor. “Hey pops! I heard you got a new blackberry! How's that working out for you?”

Santa looked up, only now noticing his daughter coming in. His glasses slid down his nose a little, as they seemed trained to do. “Oh! Yes. Well, yes. Beejeeki said that he heard it would help me to organize things somehow, but in all honesty, it just tasted like a regular blackberry. If there was any magic to it, it hasn't kicked in yet.”

Sandra smirked, and sat down across from Santa. Her smirk was wiped away when she noticed the little present on the desk, labelled 'To: Jimmy'. “Oh. This. You were serious.”

Santa gave a hearty “Ho, ho!” and nudged the present further towards Sandra. “You're a big girl now! It's high time you learned the family trade. It's time to give giving a spin!”

She stood and picked up the bread-box sized, green-wrapped box in one hand. Instantly, by the power inherited from her dad, and a little magic some elf imbued into the wrapping, she knew were Jimmy was. “So what, do I carry this around until Christmas eve?”

Santa sighed. “It's the twenty-seventh, honey.”

“I have some time, then. Remind me in a couple hundred days.” Sandra took the box under her arm, and turned to the door.

“No, dear,” Santa said, “It's a late delivery. Jimmy was in a coma until this morning.”

Sandra sighed. “Wow, laying it on thick, huh?” She closed her eyes, and focused on Jimmy's whereabouts.

Santa nodded. “You can do it? I know it's not heavy, but do you need a reindeer to get there?”

“I know how to teleport,” Sandra huffed, “I'm two hundred, stop treating me like a kid.” She punctuated with a little pop form her chewing gum. She laid a finger aside her nose, and was gone in a blink.

When the world reformed around her, Sandra was mere steps behind a bus stop shelter. There was snow on the ground, in scraggly patches. The air was cold, and she regretted not grabbing a jacket before she came.

On the bench sat young Jimmy. Jimmy had the sense to have a jacket on. He looked about twelve years old. Maybe a little old for this, but Sandra didn't care enough to judge. She stepped out where she could be seen, and held out the present unceremoniously. “Merry belated Christmas, kid.”

Jimmy furrowed his brow and looked Sandra up and down. “What?” he said, showcasing the eloquence of a typical tweener.

Sandra rolled her eyes and sighed, still holding the gift out towards him. “Yeah, yeah, it's late, but I don't think I'm to blame for that. I guess you're looking pretty good, all things considered.”

His expression showed growing confusion. “I don't really take presents from strangers, you know. Who the heck are you? That could be a bomb, or you're planting evidence on me, or who knows what.”

Sandra let her gift-bearing arm droop down. “Now I know why dad just drops these off while you little snots are sleeping. Look, I'm the real deal, alright? Watch.” she put her finger by her nose again, and rolled her eyes as she disappeared.

She was soon before her dad's desk again, gift in hand.

Santa looked troubled. “What h-”

“I'm negotiating.” Sandra said before disappearing once again.

“Negotiating?” Santa asked the empty room, “Negotiating to give a gift?”

Sandra appeared in front of Jimmy again. “Ta da. Now take your present.”

Jimmy was impressed, but seemingly not eager to take the present. “I don't know if I should take it. I probably don't want it anyway.”

Sandra gasped with exasperation. “Then why did you ask him for it?”

“I didn't ask for anything.” Jimmy replied. Of course. He'd been in a coma.

“Well, literally for pity's sake kid, what do you want? We're pretty well loaded back home.”

Jimmy stared at Sandra, and thought, and stared, and thought. “Lift up your shirt, so I can see em!”

Sandra's eyes went wide with a scowl, and she crossed her arms across her front. There was only one thing to do, if she was going to do things right. With a slight quivering of rage, she extended a hand, then a forefinger, pointing squarely at Jimmy. She yelled out loud enough to be heard a block away. “Naughty!!!”

“Lady,” Jimmy said, trying to hold back laughter, “If you are who and what you say you are, you've got to check your info. I don't think you can label me naughty. I think I'm out of your jurisdiction. I'm Jewish.”

They stared at each other in silence for a few long seconds. “Great.” Sandra finally said with a patient, even, yet punchy tone, “Happy Chanukah.” Sandra 'nosed' her way back to her dad's place.

“Pops. Did you happen to notice that Jimmy's Jewish?”

“What?” Santa said, looking up over his glasses again. He put down the current list he was checking, and called toward the door. “Beejeeki. Are you still out there? Could you bring me the file on Jimmy Anderson?”

Beejeeki's voice rolled in through the doorway. “Sir, anticipating possible troubles given Sandra's inexperience, I placed the file in your top left drawer.”

Santa smiled. “Ah! I doubt even a whole basket of blackberries could do that!” Santa cheerfully replied, “Thank you, Beejeeki!”

“Yes,” Sandra added dryly, “thank you for the heartwarming vote of confidence.”

“Not at all.” Beejeeki said with a smile in his tone.

Santa pulled out the promised file, and rolled it open. “Hmm. Hmm. Jimmothy Van Anderson. Born to... and.. hmm. Yes, yes, right here, I think his Catholic baptism sort of speaks to not being Jewish. Sandra dear, I think little Jimmy's been having... a little fun with you.”

Sandra crossed her arms over her front again and grumbled quietly, “The little snot would sure like to.”

Oblivious, Santa cheerfully encouraged Sandra. “Now, now, go back and tell him you know better. Don't be so hard on the lad, he's very young, and can be forgiven some foolishness.”

“Young compared to us, Yes,” Sandra said, “but alright. I'll give it one more go.” Sandra checked that she still had the present, and popped back over to Jimmy. “Wow, kid, you're still here? Bus service sucks here, huh?”

Jimmy smirked. “Oyvey.”

“Can it, Rabbi Anderson. I looked up your file. You're Catholic. Now take the damned present.”

“Rabbi Anderson?” Jimmy questioned.

“Fine, fine, you're not a Rabbi, but the point is, you're not Jewish, Jimmy Anderson. And you're darn lucky I didn't mention your little request to dad, or you'd be choking on coal right about now.”

Jimmy looked stunned, blinking for a few moments while looking for words. “Who's Jimmy Anderson? I'm Jimmy Bernstein.”

Sandra grimaced at the present clutched in her hands. Some one had messed up the recipient enchantment on the wrapping. With a smile that looked more like a grimace, she gently put it down next to Jimmy. Jimmy Bernstein. “As I said before. Happy frigging Chanukah. If you'll excuse me, I have an elf to eviscerate.”

Inspired by Alvin the Chipmunk meeting Mrs Claus, Dr. Who's daughter, and Regan popping by to visit me.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cold Nos summons Regan Grier

I found out today that cold Nos conjures Regan. When I'm getting to know my characters, I ... not-so-intentionally create a bit of an imaginary friend to talk with, about things in their world.

Apparently, while Regan was 'with me' for Lifehack, I was in the middle of my Nos binge. Since then, I've had a Nos here and there, but generally, they'd spend a couple hours in my backpack before I got home with it, maybe left it on the desk for a day or more, and by then, it was very not-cold.

Today, my beloved bride brought me home a can of the stuff, and I broke it open fairly quick to help fuel a tedious session of cutting little bits of santa-themed bits of paper of my daughter's pre-school.

The smell of it reminded me of why Nos was no longer my favourite kind of energy drink. Nos may also be short for 'noxious'. The scent that still manages to heighten anticipation a little, so I took a sip.

Ding! Regan popped into my head, clear as a bell.

"Well, hello there, Regan."
"Hey dork. You gonna make that flash cartoon with me in it soon?"
"Yeah yeah, Regan. I don't have a ton of time these days."
"Aw COME ON, I'm a star, I need to get out!"
"You've been 'out' for a long time, miss."
"Ha, oh bloody Ha. Seriously, I'm stuck in your head, and there isn't even cable in here."
"Oh shush, I gave you cameos in two books now. It's not like you never get out."
"In one of them, I came off sounding like a total whiny bitch, and the other cameo was a little depressing, like that whole friggin book. Where's my X rated Alisia-wrestling book??"
"In your head Regan, just in your head."
"But if I'm in YOUR head, that means the X-rated Alisa wrestling in also in YOUR head."
"...... you just blow my mind. Or folded space. Or something."
"So.... porn for me?"
"Shut up, Regan."

That said, it was nice of her to visit. I've been busy enough with life in general, that my writing has gotten into a slump. My lack of homework for the writing guild, and my lacklutre chapter for a potential new book.. well... meh. Anyway, Regan's visit gave me a tiny morale boost, and maybe some new direction.

I'd also been meaning to blog about my recent adventures in public transit, big downtown hills, appointments to plan my next wheelchair, and TWO universities that have been using me as a guinea pig. But it's just not as interesting if you're not the one getting jabbed for blood. I accidentally signed up for 2 studies, thinking "yay for science"-

- but didn't plan on 3 hours of commuting in either direction, much less both studies wanting me in the same weeks. And GF strong. And of course work. Thank goodness for my mum, who's been doing a lot of babysitting. I haven't seen a ton of my own lil gal lately. I'm 'almost' done with the science. Yay. At least they like throwing some money at me.