Mary Christmas 2: Christmas in July – Chapter 8 – by lostandwhatever

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Mary Christmas 2: Christmas in July – Chapter 8
By: lostandwhatever

Continued from Chapter 7.

Santa appeared on the screen. He wore white long underwear and red suspenders and his head was bare, but there was no mistaking the round old man with the white beard for anyone else. He did not appear jolly, though.

“Good evening mister president,” Santa said.

“Good evening,” the president said. He left out any honorific. What the hell do you call santa anyway? Your Jollyness? “I take it you have heard about the trouble we had today.”

“We have been monitoring the situation from up here and at our embassy.”

The embassy, that was another thing that irked the president. After setting up diplomatic ties with the North Pole, it was only customary to allow the elves to open an embassy in D.C. He did not sleep easy knowing that there were magic users living only 15 minutes from the White House, though. “It’s comforting to know that you are watching out for us,” the president said.

“We are also aware there was some sort of problem at that new facility you just opened up recently.”

The president kept his poker face on. Damn, the elves knew about Department 8. So much for top secret. “There was an attack,” he admitted. “It seems that your former employee has returned from hiding to cause us some more trouble.”

“Mary again,” Santa said with barely controlled anger. It was chilling to see a childhood icon like him appear to lose his cool, even for a moment. “That’s what we suspected as well.”

“We will keep you informed if we are able to determine her whereabouts. We would appreciate your help in apprehending her as we have discussed before.”

“Yes,” Santa said. “Of course, we will help you with her capture, but…”

Here it comes, the president thought. “‘But?’”

“We feel that it is time for us to work more closely together to stop Mary. She has eluded you for too long now, too many lives have been damaged by her. We could be of great help to you.”

“We have spoken about this before,” the president said. “And, my answer remains the same. While I agree that we are all frustrated that she is still on the loose, we do not require your help in finding her. We have some leads already relating to the attack. We will find her soon, and we will call for your help, then.”

“Mister president,” Santa said and let out a sigh. “When Mary attacks you, it is an attack on us as well. She damages our standing in the world. For centuries, we have only wanted to bring joy and happiness to you all. She is putting that holy mission in jeopardy. We cannot stand idly by when we know that we can do something to stop her. I insist that you allow at least one agent from the North Pole help you in your search.”

The threat in that last sentence, though implied, was quite obvious. If the president said, No, the elves would go looking for her on their own, unsupervised. Plus, it would damage relations with the North Pole. As much as the president disliked having elves as allies, he feared having more of them as enemies. “Well, if you insist, we will gladly accept the assistance of one of your agents.”

“Mister president…” the secretary of defense interrupted.

“Not now, Taggart,” the president replied.

“That is excellent news,” Santa said. “My agent will be arriving at the White House shortly. We would appreciate it if you would have someone greet her and take her to meet with your search team as soon as possible.”

“Amy?” the president said to Secretary of State Purcell.

“I will go greet her,” she said and left the room.

“Thank you,” Santa said. “I’m sure that cooperating together like this will bring a swift end to this whole mess.”

“I agree,” the president said. “We will contact you as soon as we learn more.”

“Good evening and good luck,” Santa said, and then the teleconference disconnected.

“Mister president,” Taggart said again. “I am concerned.”

“You don’t think I’m concerned?” the president said. “You think I want another elf anywhere near Department 8? Of course I don’t, but what choice do I have? You heard him.”

“But, sir…”

“After all, if one elf could break into one of our most secure facilities, what do you think a group of them could do to the White House?”

“We have other options,” Taggart said, giving the president a knowing look.

“We can discuss those options privately, later,” the president said. “For now, we play nice with this elf, and let her help us. We just need to make sure that she only sees what we want her to see.”

“Yes, sir,” Taggart said. “You had better tell Department 8 that as well.”

The president called to an aide. “Get Department 8 back on the teleconference. Let’s get this over with. I need to be on TV soon to address the nation.”

The teleconference turned back on to Angela at the conference table in Department 8. The cow had wandered off again, and she was alone at the table.

“Angela,” the president said.

“Yes, sir?” she replied.

“I just had a chat with St. Nick. I’m afraid he’s going to be sending one of his little helpers to join you.”

“An elf? Here?” she said. The president saw the fear in her eyes. “Are you sure about this?”

“We don’t have any choice. Just make sure she doesn’t see anything she’s not supposed to see. Do you understand?”

“Of course,” she said.

“She’ll be coming by this evening. Get ready.”

“I’ll go inform the staff and start preparing,” she said and stepped away from the conference table.

“All right,” the president said, turning his attention back to the situation room. “Where’s the draft for my speech?”

“Right here,” said his head speechwriter, handing the president a laptop.

“Hey,” said a female voice from the teleconference with Department 8, catching the attention of the president and the rest of the situation room. “What’s this?” The ditzy blonde professor walked into the frame holding a large white box.

The young blonde girl, still holding poor little Alice like a doll, joined the professor at the table. “Oooh, is it a present?” she asked, excitedly.

“Lemme see,” said the professor. She set the box down on the table and started to open the lid.

“Wait!” Alice screamed in her tiny voice. “Don’t open it! That’s-”

But, it was too late. The lid came off, and the object in the box was visible to everyone. Lost in hypnotic wonder, the professor stared at the cutest thing in the world. So did young Ken and little Alice in her hands. So did everyone in the situation room.

“Oh,” the president said, smiling madly. “It’s so… cute!”

***

Secretary of State Amy Purcell waited at a gate to the White House for an elf to arrive. The sun had already set, and the elf was late.

A secret service agent stood quietly by her side. She asked him, “This is the gate the embassy said she would arrive at, right?”

“Do you want me to check again?” the agent asked.

“Yes, better check again,” she said. “We’ll wait here a little longer. The car should be here soon.”

The agent called into a hidden walkie talkie to check as a little redheaded girl walked down the sidewalk and stopped by them. “Excuse me?” the girl said.

Secretary Purcell looked down at the girl in her school uniform and glasses. “I’m sorry, sweetie,” Purcell said. “The tours are done for the day. Come back later with your parents.”

“But-” the girl said.

The secret service agent said, “According to them, this is the correct gate.”

“Well, where is the car?” Secretary Purcell asked. “Are they caught in traffic?”

“Uh,” the girl said. “My name is Candice.”

“That’s nice, honey,” Purcell said, not looking at the kid but scanning the street for cars.

“I think I’m the one you’re waiting for,” the girl said. “I’m from the embassy.”

The secretary of state looked down at the girl. She appeared to be an ordinary school girl, prepubescent and innocent looking. She was dragging a large suitcase along with her on wheels. “Oh,” Purcell said. “You’re the agent from the North Pole?”

“Yes,” Candice said. “I’m sorry I’m late.” She held out her hand. “I’m Candice Cain.”

“I beg your pardon,” Purcell said shaking Candice’s hand. “I didn’t realize you were an elf. I mean, your ears…”

“Oh,” Candice said. “Yeah, I put a bit of a glamor on my glasses.” She took off her glasses, and suddenly the girl had pointy elf ears poking out of her curly red hair. “I thought it might help me be a bit more discreet. You know, to blend in better.” The girl put her glasses back on, and her ears appeared human again.

“Well, it worked. I thought you were an ordinary child. That’s very clever.” The secretary turned to the secret service agent and said, “Tell them to pull the car over here to pick up the girl… I mean, the agent.” She turned to Candice. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to call you a girl.”

“That’s fine,” Candice said and smiled. “I’m starting to get used to it. I think the cab driver was confused as well. He brought me to the visitor’s center instead of here. I didn’t realize the mistake until after he had taken out my suitcase and driven off. It was a bit of a walk to get here.”

“I’m sorry about that. I would have thought your embassy had its own cars.”

“We don’t exactly have licenses to drive,” Candice said. “Looking how we do, we’d probably get pulled over a lot.”

“Oh,” Purcell said. “Of course.”

A black SUV arrived from the White House and pulled up next to them. The secret service agent opened the hatchback and asked Candice, “May I take your bag, miss?”

“Here you go,” she said passing the handle to the agent. As strong as he looked, he grunted a bit as he lifted it up into the SUV.

“Looks like you’ve got something heavy in there,” Purcell said.

“All of my gear is in there… and my clothes,” Candice said. “I hope you can find me a place to stay temporarily so that I can be close to the building.”

“We’ll set you up with a hotel room nearby,” Purcell said. “Don’t worry, and let us know if you need anything.” She pulled out a business card. “Here is my personal number. Call me anytime.”

The secret service agent opened a door to the back seat as Candice pocketed the card. “Thank you,” she said to them and climbed into the big car. Candice put on her safety belt, and the secretary of state noticed that the elf’s feet did not touch the floor.

“Good luck,” Secretary Purcell said and gave the elf a little wave. The secret service agent shut the car door. As the SUV drove off, Purcell stood there wondering if she should not have waved.

***

In the SUV, Candice looked out the window at the world passing by outside, but at her height she could not see much of the dark landscape through the shaded glass. Then, she noticed that she was not the only passenger in the SUV. An older man in a military uniform was seated in the row in front of her.

“Hello,” she said, holding out her hand to the general. “I’m Candice Cain.”

He turned to look at her as if he had just noticed she was there. Apparently, he had been preoccupied when she had entered. “Why, hello there, little girl,” he said, shaking her hand. “Are we dropping you off at home?” he asked. “It’s a bit late for you to be out. Isn’t it? Even for a Friday.”

She forced a smile again. “Actually,” she said. “I think we’re probably going to the same place. I’m an elf from the North Pole. I’m going to be helping with the investigation to track down Mary Cole.” She removed her glasses to show off her pointy ears again.

“Oh,” the general said and eyed her suspiciously. “Well, excuse me. I just assumed you were a schoolgirl because of the outfit. That’s kind of an odd thing for an elf to wear.”

Candice looked down uncertainty at the sweater and plaid skirt she wore. “Are these not the type of clothes a normal human child would wear? We ordered them from a human clothing store.”

“Yes, those are human clothes,” the general said. “The thing is you normally only see kids wear those if they go to a private school with a uniform dress code. You wouldn’t usually see a kid wearing those unless they were heading to class, though.”

“I see,” Candice said. “We were looking for something formal to wear to fit in better.”

“You look good in that outfit,” the general said. “I’m not one to complain. I’ve worn a uniform most of my life.”

“Right,” Candice said. She realized that the clothes might have been a mistake. She started to question other assumptions she had about dealing with the humans.

“Hey,” the general said. “Did you say your name was Cain?”

Candice’s stomach fell. She knew where this question was leading. “Yes,” she said.

“Candice Cain?”

“Yes.”

The general smiled a little. “Anyone ever call you Candy?”

Here it comes, she thought. “Sometimes,” she said.

The general chuckled. “So, you’re Candy Cain? Get it? Like the sweet?”

“Yep,” she said. “That’s a good one.”

“Oh,” the general said, realizing that she was not particularly amused. “I guess you’ve probably heard that one before a few times, eh?”

Too many times, she thought. “My parents were trying to be a bit cute,” she said.

“Sorry,” he said. “I didn’t mean any offense. Candice is a fine name.”

She decided it was time to change the subject. “So,” she said. “Why are you going to this Department 8 place?”

“Well,” he said, appearing faintly embarrassed. “As it turns out, I have a cow to milk.”

To be continued…

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I write mature transformation fiction: fantasy and sci-fi stories where characters change ages, sizes, genders, etc. | lostandwhatever@gmail.com | DeviantArt | Patreon | Ko-Fi

Comments

6 Comments

  • You are really dishing these out this week! I’m really exited to see where all of this is headed!

    I have to say that I love how you bring all these different themes together! AR, TG, shrinking, all these transformations. Very few stories like that out there, with all kinds of changes. You’re really adept at putting this together and coming up with the devices the elves use. I’m in love with this series!

    It’s a shame people don’t comment more.. I’m sure tons of people read this, but are either too shy or can’t be bothered to say something. That’s why im taking the time to write this long comment, to give well deserved praise and feedback!

    Anyway, looking forward to your next chapter! You’re awesome and a fantastic writer! You got me hooked 🙂

    • Thanks again, Seremedy. It does feel good to know there are people out there who like what I write. Writing is a very solitary thing most of the time, and it’s rare to get direct feedback. That’s one of the nice things about working with the group Bela put together. There’s a lot of back and forth between us. Honestly, I’m as excited to see where this story goes as you are. This is definitely the most elaborate and ambitious thing I have ever tried writing. It kind of scares me to work on it sometimes, but knowing that there are people out there enjoying it, helps me keep going. Also, it’s funny that you mention people commenting. One of my favorite writers of TF fiction, Tainted Sins, just posted a bit of a rant about writers and feedback on the ARArchive website forums. It inspired me to start commenting more on the work of the creators I enjoy. In that area, Seremedy, you’re way ahead of me.

    • Also, expect more chapters by early next week. The last few were a lot of work to write and edit, and I need a little time to get the next chapters done. (A little behind the scenes on my writing process: I tend to write a chunk of chapters, put them off to the side for a few days, and then go back to read over them and edit them. When I finally post them, I try to spread them out, but they were mostly all finished at the same time.)

  • I planned already since chapter 4 to comment but never did, i´m sorry.
    Well but apart from that, i´m with Seremedy, when he says, that it´s quite awesome, how you put all this transformations together.
    I didn´t enjoy the first part that much, mainly because it´s one big story i´m honestly too lazy to read, but this one is in perfect length chapters and less dark to this point. Also, at least in my book, it´s interessting to see, that the readers don´t know, who the real villian is (at least i think so).
    Also huge Thanks to post somethink from then and now, it´s nice to see that there´s still new content coming up even when Bela can´t post regulary.
    I´m curious how this will work out and how the story will continou.:)

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