Voor een Xmas-wedstrijd op Wattpad heb ik een kort verhaaltje geschreven over deze prompt:

"One day, you noticed a package sitting outside your door. You open it to see a snow globe along with a note reading ‘Shake and the magic of Christmas will appear’. Skeptical, you shake it and an elf appears."

Voor de geïnteresseerden die geen wattpad hebben plaats ik hem speciaal voor de feestdagen hier op mijn website. Veel leesplezier!

“Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all— ouch!” Clara lifts up her knee to reach her little toe, but since it is wrapped in double socks and a thick leather boot, it’s kind of pointless. She glares at the brown package with the bright red bow that sits on her special Holly Jolly doormat. The offensive object caused her to falter and lean too heavily on her right foot. Who in the world would leave a package in front of a door, when there’s a special post-box for packages right next to it? And in the middle of nowhere at that?

A little sour, because all of a sudden her good mood is gone, Clara picks up the box and sticks her key in the lock. When she enters the trailer, the spicy smell of cinnamon from the diffuser she turned on this morning wafts in her direction. It immediately lifts her spirits right back up.

She puts the package on the thin shelf in the hallway and unwraps herself. Mittens, coat, shawl, hat, vest, boots, one layer of socks. Inside the trailer, the temperature is comfortable and with the package under one arm and her research bag in the other, she enters the small kitchen.

Right after she checked the groceries for tonight’s solitary Christmas dinner, she turns to investigate. The package doesn’t have any label or logo and there’s no card to signify a sender. There’s only the broad red bow that seems to be made out of velvet. Now that she takes a better look at it, it actually looks kind of expensive.

Clara pauses no longer but starts to pull at the loose ends of the bow. With one silky flow, the ribbon falls down on the table. There’s no Scotch tape, so Clara carefully lifts the rather heavy package until she can reach the open side of the brown paper and pull it away. There’s a box inside. A simple white and red striped box, made of wood, with a lid that is locked by a tiny silver bracket.

The inside of the box is littered with tinsel and in the midst of all that tinsel is a shiny, glass snow globe.

With a frown on her face, she lifts it. The snow globe is set in a solid gold footing that’s made out of three smooth circles. There’s water in the snow globe. She can see tiny air bubbles moving at the top, but other than that, the snow globe is completely empty. There isn’t even snow, it’s just a … globe.

She slowly turns it upside down, but nothing happens, at least, nothing happens inside the glass sphere. On the bottom of the golden foot there is a note. It wasn’t glued to the foot very well, because now it flutters down and falls on the floor. When Clara bends down to pick it up, she bumps her head and yells “ouch” again.

Rubbing her forehead, she reads the note. Her lips move while she deciphers the calligraphy. ‘Shake and the magic of Christmas will appear’. “Riiight.”

She looks at the snowless snow globe once more and shrugs. Doesn’t hurt to try. With both hands she takes the golden foot in a firm grasp and then she shakes it as if her life depends on it. Perhaps the snow is caked at the bottom and merely has to come loose.

However, no matter how hard or how long she shakes, nothing inside the globe moves but the three little bubbles that bounce happily in their cylindrical confinement.

In the end, when her arms begin to feel the misuse of muscles, Clara sets down the snow globe and cracks her neck.

Suddenly there’s a tall figure standing in the doorway. He gives her a terrible fright and with a loud scream she jumps a few feet backwards. “Who-who are you?”

It’s a guy. A tall guy with dark hair and clothes that make her think he just left Santa at the mall. Tight green leggings, frilly red booties that end in an upstanding point with a little golden bell on top. Clara is still too freaked out to laugh, but the guy merely seems bored. He has his arms crossed in front of his chest and doesn’t seem the least bit embarrassed about the green shirt with red zigzag trimming and the cute little hat he has on his head.

He heaves a deep sigh, looks her up and down once and says: “Congratulations, you’re the lucky recipient of Santa’s magic snow globe. Please relate your Christmas wish to yours truly and Santa will make your dream come true.”

Clara blinks.

“Who are you?” she asks a little anxious.

Another deep sigh. “Can’t you tell?” He unfolds his arms and gestures at his outfit as if that makes everything clear.

Because of his sudden movement, Clara jumps even further back, but there is a wall behind her, and the guy is standing in the only way out of the kitchen. Frantically she tries to remember where she put her cellphone. Oh, no, it’s in the hallway, still in her coat pocket.

Apparently the guy sees she doesn’t understand what’s going on, so he relaxes his stance a bit and explains: “I’m one of Santa’s elves. I’m here because of the snow globe, so if you would be so kind to make your wish, I can be on my way and we’ll all be merry again.”

He doesn’t look merry at all. He looks as if he’d rather be anywhere else but here. He’s clearly a crazy person, but at least he doesn’t seem to want to kill her, so Clara relaxes a tiny bit.

“I eh…” Her throat feels like sandpaper and she clears it. She actually doesn’t have a clue what to say. “I wouldn’t know what to wish for … Can’t you just leave?”

His shoulders slump and an other one of those heavy heartfelt sighs escapes him before he says: “Look, lady–”


“Whatever. I’m only here because your turn was up and you shook the snow globe. You’re stuck with me, so just make your wish and I’ll get out of your hair. What do you want? Family reunited for Christmas? New boyfriend? Mittens?”

Dumbfounded Clara stares at the guy with the thick eyelashes, who calls himself an elf and now tries to get her to believe he can get her a boyfriend. She shakes her head to get rid of the tinsel from the box that somehow ended up in her brain and is now inhibiting her to think, and bristles: “I don’t need a boyfriend and my family is already together.” With a loud thump she sets the empty globe back on the table and forcefully adds: “And I already have mittens.”

The elf-guy—are those pointy ears really real?—refolds his arms and purses his lips. “So you don’t have anything you want to wish for? Nothing at all? Not even a teensy weensy little wish?”

Clara, getting annoyed at his persistence, copies his stance and says: “Why do you want to know my wish? And, more important, how did you get in this trailer? It’s miles away from the nearest town. Did you pick the lock? Did you escape from some institution? Are you a crazy person?”

In the blink of an eye, the guy is gone. Or so she thinks. When Clara gazes around with wide eyes, she suddenly hears his voice again. It’s coming from somewhere a little lower. At least, she thinks it’s his voice, the pitch is a little higher. Her eyes fall on the snow globe and with a shriek she slaps her hands against her cheeks. “What happened to you? How did you get in there?”

She leans forward until her nose almost touches the glass of the snowless snow globe that is no longer empty. Inside it there is now one tiny elf. He’s leaning against the glass and has a tiny boring expression on his tiny face.

“How … wha– How did you —”

Clara doesn’t even have time to formulate her sentence, before the elf is once again standing in the doorway of her kitchen. This time, she has no difficulty believing he really is something more than just a guy. That, or she’s hallucinating.

“So, are you ready to make your wish now? Mind you, I can not actively change someone’s feelings or beliefs and I’m no genie, so no instant changes. If you wish for something grand, expect it to take time.” He still sounds like he’s reading from a phone-book.

Knowing the guy is something more than a guy is one thing, believing he can grant a wish is an other. But, Clara decides she might as well dig in to the whole ridiculous situation and come up with a good one. She places her hands on her hips, juts out her bottom lip and searches the ceiling. There’s no wish on the ceiling. She closes her eyes to concentrate, but after two seconds she opens one eye again to peak at the guy who’s still looking at her with his bored expression.

He’s actually kind of cute. If you discard the outfit, that is.

Shocked she’s even thinking about that, she shakes her head. Come on, think of a wish. Just one wish, one stupid wish and she can forget all about snow globes and elves and wishes and get on with the preparations for her next survey.

Still … She opens her other eye as well and cocks her head, wouldn’t it be nice to have some company for the rest of the day? Since her groceries were brought over last week, she hasn’t talked much to anyone, she could do with some nice conversation. And apparently he can’t leave until she makes her wish.

With a sly smile she turns and pours some milk in the saucepan. Then she casually says: “You want some?”

Deflated the elf sighs: “You’re going to drag this out?”

Clara spins around and nods. “I’ve been here on the North Pole for two whole months now and tonight it’s Christmas. I want company.”

For a moment his eyes lit up. “Is that your wish?”

Chuckling, Clara shakes her head and turns back to watch the saucepan. “No, I want your company. Tell me, are you really one of Santa’s elves?”

“Do you need another demonstration?”

Quickly she waves her hands. “No, no, that’s fine. Soooo …” She drags out the word, purses her lips and asks: “Is this your job? Go around and grant people’s wishes?”

“No, that’s just because I pulled the shortest straw.” There’s exasperation in in his voice and Clara giggles.

When the milk is hot she pours it into two green mugs and adds cocoa. After stirring it she hands one of the mugs to the elf. “Do you have a name?”

A little less grumpy he answers: “Of course I do. It’s Pyry.” When she raises her eyebrows he elaborates: “It means blizzard in Finnish.”

When he doesn’t move, she motions at the door. “Let’s go into the living quarters. I’m tired from collecting snow samples all morning.” She waits till he steps aside and then pushes herself past him trough the narrow doorway. He smells like candy canes. Perhaps she shouldn’t sniff so loudly.

Her cheeks turn red and she quickly drops down in the beanbag in the corner of the cramped space. Outside even more snow is piling up and she is glad she won’t have to go out again until second Christmas day.

Pyry sits down a little awkwardly into the office chair and takes a sip from his cocoa. “Are you ready to tell me your wish now?” he asks, eyeing her with a look that says he has little hope she will.

Clara beams at him, nods and finally says: “I wish for you to keep me company all through Christmas.”