The Top stood up. “Well, I suppose I’d better be heading home. Thank you for the gift and the hot chocolate, sweetie, I enjoyed the evening very much.”
Her Brat, with whom she had been exchanging holiday gifts, stood as well to give her Top a farewell hug. “Thank you for my present too, it was so nice to have you here! I hope you have a great evening, I know I will!”
The Top paused in the act of putting on her coat. “What do you mean, you WILL?” she asked ominously. “It’s almost your bedtime!!”
Wide-eyed, the Brat said, “But I want to watch the DVD you gave me! It’s Christmas Eve and I’m MUCH too excited to sleep. Bedtimes are for ordinary days!”
“Didn’t you say you thought you were getting sick?”
“Um…I feel fine!”
“And that you have to get up early tomorrow to make quiche for your family brunch?”
The Brat bit her lip. The Top nodded, and removed her coat again.
“I thought so.” She sat on the sofa and patted the space beside her; obediently the Brat sat down. “Would you like a bedtime story to help you sleep?”
“Yes!” The Brat was excited, she loved her Top’s stories. Unfortunately, she forgot her Top’s other, most effective method of enforcing a brat’s bedtime.
“All right then, over my lap.”
The Brat looked betrayed. The Top almost laughed; how could her eyes get any wider? “Nooooooooooooo! A story is enough, I promise I — oof!” The Top took matters into her own hands, pulling the Brat across her lap. “I find you always listen better in this position, sweetie.” She pulled down the Brat’s flannel pj bottoms, producing another howl.
“Nooooooo, it’s too cold! It’s too…” Instantly she realized her mistake as the Top, with a low chuckle, began to spank the Brat’s cold cheeks lightly.
“Oh, I’ll be happy to help you warm those up.”
Grumbling, the Brat settled in over her Top’s lap, wriggling occasionally as a slap landed in a tender spot. “I’m warm enough now! Can you tell me the story please?”
“All right, brat” the Top said with a last warning pat, “this is the story of Santa’s Naughty Elf.”
The Top Fairy at Santa’s Workshop looked curiously at the Barbie doll brought to her by a grinning elf from the Quality Control Department.
“And they all have moustaches?”
“Yes madame, all except the Ken dolls.”
“And what was done to the Ken dolls?”
The elf’s grin turned into a snicker. “They’re…what you’d call anatomically correct. They’re going to have to call this one “Long Dong Ken…”
Madame cut in quickly. “Yes thank you Dozy, you can return to work. Please let me know if you see any more of these…anomalies.”
“Will do, madame.”
After he had gone, Madame sighed deeply. Elves! They had their good qualities, of course; they were small and quick and clever with their hands, always full of energy and a sense of fun. The real job of Santa’s Workshop was to find and refurbish old toys that children had broken or forgotten about, making them look like new. Then Santa would slip the extra toys into charity toy drives and donation centers all over the world, to make sure that more poor children could have nice toys. Most of the elves loved their jobs; they were much like kids themselves in spirit, and the work made them very happy.
But every once in a while, you got an elf who was a little too creative and tried to “improve” the toys. The Top Fairy remembered an elf last year who had put Lego toys into boxes pre-assembled. That had just been a misunderstanding; but she had a feeling this incident was a case of very intentional elvish mischief that would need to be dealt with. Firmly.
This belief was reinforced when, after asking around, all the elves denied having altered the Barbie and Ken dolls or knowing who had. The Top Fairy knew naughty elves, though, and knew the culprit would get too cocky sometime. Over the next few days, more “improvements” surfaced, including farting princess dolls, pre-wrecked toy cars, and stuffed animal parts sewn together to create monsters worthy of a Godzilla movie.
But the last straw came only a week before Christmas, when a loud explosion echoed through Santa’s Workshop. Flying down the hallway toward the noise and smoke, the Top Fairy was terrified of what she might find. But when the smoke cleared, it revealed only a small dazed elf with red curls sitting in the middle of the floor, holding a piece of melted green plastic that might once have been a toy grenade or army tank.
“Dizzy!” exclaimed the Top Fairy. [At the sound of the name, the Brat squirmed and giggled, which the Top silenced with a warning smack.]
“Are you all right? What happened?”
The little elf got to her feet, a bit wobbly. “I’m okay, Madame. It was just…I was just cleaning this toy tank and it suddenly exploded in my hands!” She looked up at the tall, dark fairy with innocent green eyes were a bit too wide, and the Top Fairy became instantly suspicious. Looking around the workstation, the fairy spied a strip of explosive caps. And, even more damning, a box filled with tiny little moustaches.
“Dizzy, you wouldn’t have been trying to make the tank fire these caps, would you?” The elf shook her head, but under the Top Fairy’s intense stare she couldn’t quite control herself, and burst into a fit of giggles.
“It would be so much fun, Madame, can you see Dorky in QC trying to test one of these and then running around with his beard on fire?” Dizzy laughed so hard she doubled over, until she was surprised to feel a hard smack on her rear end! “Ow, Madame,” she whined, rubbing her backside.
“You’ll be saying more than “ow” in a minute,” growled the Top Fairy. “You’re the one who’s been changing all those toys, aren’t you?” The guilty look on the elf’s face was as good as a confession. “Don’t you realize someone could have gotten hurt? Not just Dorky, but what if Quality Control had missed the caps and some poor child had burned herself?” Dizzy looked startled and even more guilty, and the Top Fairy nodded sternly. “I think you need to learn a lesson about things being used as they were intended.”
Glancing around the workshop, the tall fairy spotted a rocking horse with a broken handle waiting to be repaired. Grasping the errant elf’s arm, she led her over to it. “Tell me, Dizzy, what is this for?”
“It’s a rocking horse, Madame, you’re…you’re supposed to ride it.”
“Yes, but do you know what else it can be used for?” Without ceremony, the Top Fairy hoisted the little elf facedown over the saddle, raised her skirt and pulled down her striped stockings. Dizzy started to kick in protest but a sharp smack to her bare bottom quelled her for a moment.
Worried, Dizzy stared at the knotholes in the wood floor and listened as the Top Fairy behind her went through the tools at her workstation, occasionally chuckling to herself or testing items of wood or rubber against the desk. At last there was silence…then ominous clicking as Madame’s boot heels came closer…and then, a thick wooden ruler was thrust in front of the little elf’s nose.
“What is this, Dizzy?”
“A ruler, Madame.”
“And what is it used for?”
“Measuring things, Madame.”
“And how would you like it if it was used for something completely different, like spanking a naughty elf’s bottom?” Without waiting for an answer, the Top Fairy applied the ruler with great efficiency, eliciting squeals and yelps until the elf’s behind was a bright shade of pink.
[Without pausing in her storytelling, the Top resumed spanking her Brat, a slow even warmup covering every available spot. The Brat yelped once in protest but then realized she wasn’t spanking very hard, and wisely quieted down.]
“Or what about this?” She held out a flexible spatula used for smoothing adhesives, then began to spank Dizzy with light flicks of the wrist, raising howls and small red spots everywhere the spatula hit.
“Is the message sinking in, Dizzy?”
“Yes Madame Top Fairy ma’am! Sinking in hard!” wailed the elf as she squirmed and tried to escape the evil spatula.
“Good. Then we’ll just finish up with one last item, to drive the point home. Do you recognize this, Dizzy?” And at first, the elf didn’t recognize the wide strip of black leather dangling in front of her nose…then as realization dawned, she yelped and kicked vainly, crying, “Noooooooooooo! Not Santa’s belt!”
“Oh yes,” said the Top Fairy. “Because what does Santa do?”
The elf sniffled piteously. “Brings toys to good girls and boys?”
“That’s right. What kind of toys?”
“Very good! Nice toys, not exploding toys or other things that may make a naughty elf laugh but might upset a sweet little child!” The Top Fairy doubled the belt and whipped the leather across the elf’s reddened buttocks – but not too hard, just hard enough to leave a light red mark and elicit a yelp from the now contrite elf.
“IpromiseIwon’tchangethetoyseveragain!” Dizzy cried very very fast.
“I know you won’t, little one,” the Top Fairy replied, applying one last hard WHACK with the belt, then standing back and admiring her candy-apple-red handiwork. Gently she patted the sobbing elf’s round little bottom, and pulled her leggings up. “That’s all, we’re done now.” She helped Dizzy down from the rocking horse and gave her a quick hug as the elf furiously rubbed her burning backside.
After that, Dizzy was a very good little elf indeed, although she wasn’t surprised when on Christmas morning, she received a stocking full of clementines and chocolates…all with little moustaches.
With one last warm smack, the Top smiled as she rubbed her giggling Brat’s bottom for a minute, then pulled her pajama pants up. “Do you think you’re ready for bed now, sweetie?”
The Brat wriggled as her pants came up, and nodded sleepily. “Yes ma’am.”
“Come on then, up and to bed.” The Top escorted her yawning brat to the bedroom, tucked her in, and kissed her forehead gently. “Sweet dreams, sugarplum.”
“Thnk yuuuu….” the Brat’s words slurred, as she fell asleep almost instantly. Chuckling to herself, the Top thought, “If I could only market that as a sleep aid!,” turned out the light, and let herself out, heading home to her own bed and the warm Christmas love that awaited her.