Note: If you haven’t read Miki & Me, you should read that first. 🙂
A few Hawaiian words
make [pronounced “mah-kay”] = die
mahalo nui loa [“mah-hah-low nu-ee low-ah”] = thank you very much
ʻōkole [“oh-ko-lay”] = butt
Miki’s First Christmas
The holiday season was never my favorite time of year. I did love Christmas carols, but everything else was too crowded, too busy and too expensive. The pressure of shopping for presents, and the horror that was the post office, with everyone trying to mail their gifts off at the last minute, all added to my dislike of the season.
However Miki had never experienced a human Christmas before, and her child-like personality took a delight in everything. She was fascinated by holiday displays in the shopping centers, and the lighted decorations in people’s yards left her staring and speechless.
“Why don’t we have reindeer in our yard?” she asked me one day.
“Because we live in Hawaii, and there are no reindeer in Hawaii,” I said, somewhat Scroogily.
She frowned at that. “There is no snow or icicles in Hawaii either, but that is part of the Christmas season, isn’t it?”
“Well, it’s technically not part of OUR season,” I said.
“Then why were you singing about a white Christmas?”
She had me there. Nearly all the traditional carols referred to a winter season which we didn’t share in the islands, but it never stopped me from embracing them completely. I sighed in resignation. I’d wanted Miki to learn to be as human as possible, and that meant sharing in our traditions. I could hardly complain if she wanted to participate in one of those traditions that was pretty much shoved down our throats at every opportunity, could I?
“Okay, you have a point,” I said at last. “But we don’t really have a budget for expensive decorations like reindeer. How about we get some garland and a string of lights for inside the house instead?”
She jumped up and clapped her hands, and I had to smile. It really didn’t take much to make her happy, and I realized I’d have to make more of an effort to participate in the holiday this year. That also meant buying a Christmas tree – a habit which I’d gotten out of for the past few years. I did love the smell – there was nothing more Christmassy than the scent of a Douglas or Noble fir perfuming the air – but it was hard to justify the hassle when it was only me in the household. Now that Miki was living with me, it might actually be fun.
After work the following day, I took her with me to the nearest Longs Drugs and went to the “seasonal” aisle. Along the way we passed shelf after shelf of toys, and box after box of wrapping paper. There were even lighted reindeer on display, moving their heads from side to side, but in answer to Miki’s look of hope I gave a stern shake of the head, and fortunately she didn’t push it.
“Colored, or plain white?” I asked her, holding up a set of snowflake shaped lights.
“Colors!” she said happily, and I let her pick out a couple of garishly shiny garland as well. I knew I still had a box of tree ornaments packed away, so we didn’t need any of those. But I didn’t tell her yet about buying a tree….I decided it would make a nice surprise.
I put on some Christmas music that night, poured us each a cup of eggnog, and then we proceeded to put up the lights and garland. When we turned off the overhead light and sat in the darkness watching the snowflakes twinkle, I have to admit it made my cynical heart grow a few sizes bigger.
The next afternoon we headed to Uncle Larry’s to buy a tree. Larry Akina wasn’t related to me, but he was an older gentleman, and in the local Hawaiian custom of showing respect, he was “Uncle” to everyone. During Christmas, the big box stores like Sam’s Club and Home Depot brought in large shipments of trees, usually from places like Oregon or Washington state. Uncle Larry didn’t have as much selection – he only stocked 50 trees every year – but the personalized service was worth it.
For most of the year Uncle Larry was an auto mechanic. But when the Christmas season rolled around, he was able to make a few extra bucks for childrens’ gifts by closing down his shop and selling trees. He didn’t advertise, but through word of mouth his reputation had spread, and one had to get there early or everything would be all sold out.
We drove into the mixed residential/industrial neighborhood where he lived and I parked in his crowded driveway. Already there were quite a few cars, so I hustled us both up to the house to have a look at the selection of trees. Uncle Larry was busy helping a large family decide between two prospective trees, but I waved to him as I passed. Larry’s wife Mildred was busy directing traffic, and his son was manning the machine that bundled and wrapped the trees in netting once they were sold. It was quite the family operation.
I could smell the wonderful scent of fir in the air, and it put an immediate smile on my face. I turned to share it with Miki, and was surprised to see an expression of shock on hers.
“These….are the Christmas trees?” she said, looking around in disbelief.
“I think there are a few more in back, near the garage, but yes, these are the trees. Why? What’s wrong?”
“They are not living!” She gestured incredulously, and I glanced around in alarm.
“Keep your voice down!” I whispered. I moved closer to her and put my hand on her shoulder. “They have been cut down, that’s true. But they will last like this for several weeks, especially if we put a bit of water in the stand—”
She interrupted me then, though she did lower her voice. “But they are not alive any longer, Gina! You mean you will keep a dead tree in the house?!”
I stared at her. “Well…yes, of course! How else do you think people keep Christmas trees? They don’t grow in the Hawaii climate, you know! They come from the mainland, where they were chopped down and then shipped. People buy them like this and take them indoors.”
Miki pulled away from me and shook her head. “You can choose one, then. I don’t care which one you pick.” She wandered away with a shell-shocked expression.
I watched her go with a sense of confusion. What had she been thinking a Christmas tree would be like?! She’d seen me pick flowers and keep them in a vase indoors….how was this any different? Did this mean she no longer wanted a Christmas tree??
I began looking over the trees for sale, my mind still troubled by Miki’s reaction and wondering whether I should skip buying one. I glanced around but didn’t see her. “Women!” I grumbled under my breath, even though I knew it was not her female-ness but the non-human aspect of her personality which made her challenging to deal with. Eventually I decided to follow through on my original plan – maybe after she got used to the idea, and she saw how beautiful a Christmas tree was when decorated, she would come around.
I’d narrowed down my search to a lovely Noble fir which was slender but it was nicely filled out, when Miki appeared back at my side. To my relief, she seemed to have calmed down completely. In fact, she had a strangely satisfied look on her face, and it made me suspicious. I started to ask her where she’d been, when I overheard a customer accusing Uncle Larry of trying to unload trees that were brown and bare.
“What? What you talkin’ about!” Larry hurried over to where the man was gesturing.
I stared at Miki with growing dread. “What have you done?!” I asked in a horrified whisper.
“These trees deserve a decent burial,” she replied, an expression of stubbornness settling over her face.
“Oh my god.” I watched as a crowd started to gather at the end of the lot, and I could hear Larry’s voice growing louder in the midst of them. There was no way I could force Miki to fix whatever she’d done, not with so many people around. We’d have to come back later, and rectify the situation somehow. I grabbed her wrist firmly and began walking slowly to the car, as unobtrusively as possible.
“Ouch, you’re hurting me, Gina,” Miki complained.
“Wait till I get you home,” I responded grimly.
On the ride back, I questioned Miki sternly and she confirmed my worst fears – she had used her magical powers to accelerate the demise of many of the trees, leaving them looking like sticks of firewood, with dropped needles littering the ground.
When we got to the house I ushered her into the living room with a smack to the bottom. She yelped and spun around with a scowl on her face.
“That’s not fair, Gina!”
“Not fair?! What you did to poor Uncle Larry was not fair! Do you realize how much money he’s lost because of your little stunt?!”
“He deserves it! He was not treating those trees with respect!”
“That is how Christmas trees are sold here, Miki! He was doing the same thing that hundreds of people and businesses do! Now you’ve ruined Christmas for him, and he is a nice man!”
“He’s not a nice man, he’s a…a muthafucka!”
I was speechless. Miki had never used that kind of language before, but I suppose it was only a matter of time. The only education she’d had in human culture came from what she saw on TV or observed in the people around her, and clearly she’d been watching too many rap videos. But I intended to nip that in the bud right away.
“Sit down, young lady,” I said, pointing to the couch. I didn’t raise my voice, but something in my expression or tone must’ve gotten through to her, because she sat immediately, albeit with a mutinous look on her face. “Do you even know what that word means?”
After a long pause, she shook her head. I explained, and her expression turned into one of puzzlement.
“But I don’t understand, Gina. Why would someone do something like that?”
“That’s just the point, Miki. It’s so reprehensible that nobody would do it!” I paused. “Do you know what ‘reprehensible’ means?” She shook her head again, so I told her. Now her expression turned serious and she was quiet for a long time, lost in thought. Something suddenly occurred to me.
“Miki? Do you have a mother?”
She raised her eyes to me. “Not anymore…..she died.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” I said, and couldn’t help but hug her.
“You saw her, Gina. When you found me.”
I didn’t understand what she meant at first. When I found her?? She’d been alone and unconscious when I found her. Then it struck me.
“You mean your tree? That was your mother??” She nodded. “But….I thought that was your home! You said it was your home!”
She tilted her head to one side and looked at me. Even though I thought of her as a kid most of the time, her emerald eyes looked suddenly old beyond their years.
“I said what you would understand, Gina. I inhabited the tree, so it was what you humans would call a ‘home.’ But it was the tree that created me, so it was also like what you humans would call a ‘mother.'” She shook her head. “I don’t think humans have a word that means the same….I cannot explain it further.” She gave a long sigh, and in it was the world of grief that I’d only seen when I first found her.
I didn’t know what to say. I finally comprehended how great a loss she’d suffered, and her reaction at seeing the dozens of cut Christmas trees lying around became so clear. Of course it had been a shock! She seemed so human at times I forgot that she had a completely different background.
She pulled away and looked at me. “Are you going to spank me, Gina?”
I shook my head. “No, I’m not. I had planned to,” I admitted, “but I can understand now what you reacted the way you did.” She buried her face against me and I held her close.
“But I want you to listen to me, Miki.” I reached down and put a finger under her chin, lifting her head so I could look her in the eye. “You cannot use your powers like that in public! It’s very dangerous, because if people discover what you are, they will take you away, and I couldn’t help you. Do you understand me?”
She nodded. “What will happen to Uncle Larry?” she asked.
I groaned slightly and rubbed the back of my neck. “Well, I do have to figure out how to fix that situation,” I said. “Poor Uncle Larry counts on that money to buy his grandkids something nice for Christmas.”
“But…I thought he had a job,” Miki said, frowning.
“He’s a mechanic, but it doesn’t bring in that much,” I said absently. “It was different when he was younger. But nowadays all the cars are built with multiple computer systems in them, and things have changed so much he can only work on the older cars. He just doesn’t get as much business.” As I spoke, I stood up and began rifling through my desk. I’d figured out a way to help him, but we’d have to act quickly.
“Okay, I going to give him some money,” I said. I pulled out a sheet of paper and began writing, penning a note that said some members of the community had heard about what had happened and had chipped in to help, because he meant so much to all of us. I left it anonymous, but it was very much the kind of thing a caring neighborhood in Hawaii might do, so I’d no doubt it would be believed. When it was done I read it out to Miki, who smiled for the first time that evening.
“How much are you going to give him?” she asked.
“Only as much as I can afford,” I replied wryly. “Which is basically the $2000 Christmas bonus I got this year.”
Miki looked distressed. “But you earned that money!” she said.
“Uncle Larry earned it too,” I replied, pulling out an envelope and picking up my bag. “Okay, I need to run to an ATM machine and then back to Uncle Larry’s house. Hmm….maybe I better disguise myself a little.” I went into the bedroom and pulled out a pair of sweatpants and an extra large sweatshirt. I grabbed a grungy baseball cap and stuck it on my head. Whenever I dressed like this in public I was frequently mistaken for a man, so I figured it was unrecognizable enough for a quick visit.
“I want to come too,” Miki said. “Maybe I can apologize to Uncle Larry.”
“Absolutely not!” I said. “No one can know you had anything to do with this. If you want to come, fine, but you’re staying in the car.”
It was still early evening, but the sun had gone down and the darkness was welcome. I withdrew the cash and sealed it up in the envelope with the letter, then drove back to Uncle Larry’s house. Amazingly enough there were still a few trees left, and a lot of people. I parked the car in a shadowy spot near his driveway, and looked around for him. He was several yards away, talking to a customer and making change from a battered old cashbox. Maybe I could slip it in when he wasn’t looking?
I got out of the car and walked casually over, pretending to look at the trees on sale. Out of the corner of my eye I kept track of Uncle Larry, but he seemed caught up in conversation, while several people lined up patiently to make their purchases. There was no opportunity to approach him quietly or slip the money in without him noticing. I’d just have to wait for my chance.
I continued to look at the trees, when suddenly I heard a child’s voice. “Can I help you, uncle?”
Startled, I turned to find one of Larry’s grandkids looking up at me inquiringly. At first I panicked, but then I realized it was a perfect opportunity. “Can you give this envelope to your grandpa?” I said gruffly, in my deepest voice. “It’s very important that he gets it.”
The boy nodded earnestly. “You wanna give it to him? He’s right over there.” He pointed.
“Nah, I gotta go, I’m late for dinner. But you go take it right over to him, okay?”
I handed him the envelope and went quickly back to my car. Miki was waiting for me, looking very pleased with herself. “Did you give him the money?” she asked.
“Well, I left it with his grandson, but I’m sure it’ll be okay.” Just to make sure, I drove past the driveway on my way out. Uncle Larry was still talking to customers and gesturing, patting his grandson’s head absently as he did so. But in his hand was the envelope, so I know it was delivered safely. I exhaled deeply in relief. At last we could all enjoy the holidays.
If I hadn’t have been so preoccupied with my anonymous gift, I probably would’ve wondered about Miki’s satisfied expression when I returned to the car. As it was, I didn’t find out the reason behind it till the following evening.
I was watching the nightly news on TV when the newscaster mentioned the incredible thing that happened to Larry Akina. Wow, I thought, my gesture made the local news!
The scene switched over to his home where a young woman was holding up a microphone to an animated Uncle Larry.
“First all dah trees when make! One minute dey were healthy green, the next minute brown as hell! Den I got all this cash from the community – I tell you, make me feel so warm, you know?” He turned his eyes from the journalist to face the camera. “Mahalo nui loa, tanks so much! It means so much to me and my family.”
“Yes, yes,” the woman brought him back to interview, “but you were saying the most surprising thing happened this morning?”
“Dat’s right! I woke up and found DIS in my back yard!” The camera panned slowly to the left, to take in the incredible sight of at least two dozen Christmas trees growing in his yard. Sprouting happily from his bright green zoysia grass were several firs and a few pines! I felt a bit faint. It wasn’t possible!
“Mr. Akina has no idea who planted the trees, or where they came from,” the news journalist was saying. “But they’re all perfectly healthy, and he plans to sell them at a premium. A real Christmas miracle, wouldn’t you say? Doug….back to you!”
“MIKI!” The yell echoed through the house and brought her running.
I pointed at the TV screen, which was showing a last still shot of Uncle Larry smiling next to his trees. She glanced at it and smiled. “Did he like them?”
“Did he like them?! Are you kidding me?! What the heck did you do now?!”
“I revived some of the dead trees, Gina! They will probably not grow for very long in his yard, but I think he will cut them down anyway, won’t he?” She was looking quite pleased with herself again.
“Yes, he will probably sell them, but that’s not the point! When did you do this!? Was it when we drove back there?” My eyes narrowed. “I told you to stay in the car!”
“Yes, I know, but you were doing something to help Uncle Larry, and I wanted to do something too! After all, it was my fault he didn’t sell all his trees.”
I closed my eyes and counted to five silently. “Why didn’t you tell me what you were planning?”
She didn’t speak, and a faint blush colored her cheeks.
“Was it because you knew I wouldn’t approve?” I asked, already knowing the answer.
She bit her lip, but behind the discomfiture I detected a bit of glee. She was definitely tickled by her actions, and I knew I couldn’t allow that kind of recklessness to continue. I took hold of her arm and pulled her with me to the bedroom. She knew what was about to happen, and began protesting immediately.
“Stop it, Gina! I didn’t do anything wrong!”
“No? Let’s have a discussion about that, shall we?” I sat down on the edge of the bed and pulled her over my lap. Her shorts and panties were pulled quickly down to her knees, and when I had her bare-bottomed, I paused to let her predicament sink in.
“Do you know why I’m about to set your naughty okole on fire?” I asked.
“NO!” I could tell by her tone that she was scowling again.
“No? How about starting with the fact that you disobeyed my instructions to remain in the car?” Not waiting to hear her response, I brought my palm down several times over her wriggling backside.
“But I was trying to HELP him, Gina! How come you can help him but I cannot?” Her tone was still belligerent, but that would be changing once I got down to business.
“I never said you couldn’t help, Miki. In fact, I believe I was very understanding about the entire situation. I didn’t punish you for destroying his property. There was only one thing I said you must not do. Do you remember what that is?”
She was silent, but I couldn’t tell if was because her memory was failing her, or she was refusing to answer. Either way, I had a lot more spanking to deliver. I hiked my knee up higher, and began delivering rapid smacks to the underside of her buttocks, right where they met her thighs. She started to shriek and struggle, but I kept it up till her sit spots were bright red.
“Okay, okay, I remember what you said!”
I paused. “Yes?”
“You told me I must not use my magic in public. But there was no one around, Gina! I can sense if there are humans around, and there weren’t any at the time!”
“Is that right?” I said mildly. “I didn’t realize you had that power.”
“Yes! So you see, Gina, I am the best one to judge if I should use my magic. You should not be telling me when I can use it or not!” she said triumphantly.
“You are not the best one to judge, because you are still very ignorant of the human world, Miki! Did it ever occur to you that he might have security cameras?”
“Oh!” There was a long pause, then she answered in a very small voice. “No.”
“No, indeed.” I reached over and pulled open the drawer of my nightstand. I’d learned early on that any kind of wooden implement was useless, because Miki’s power over wood turned them into sawdust at will. However I did want to use something stronger than my hand this time, because it was vital that she learn this lesson.
I pulled out a spatula I’d purchased that had a plastic handle, and an end of heavy duty silicone that was very smooth and curved. It seemed like a more stringent version of my hand, and when I brought it down with a loud THWACK! and saw the red splotch it left, I knew I’d been correct in my assessment.
I continued spanking her now bucking bottom, and Miki’s howl also confirmed the effectiveness of my new implement. My strokes were slower, but harder, and interspersed with a very stern lecture.
“Miki, if you are going to live with me, you will have to agree to follow my rules. We can talk over everything, but you will have to accept that I know more about the human world than you do, and any limitations I impose are just because I want to keep you safe! Do you understand?”
I paused then, observing that her rear end was positively glowing, and her exclamations of protest had subsided to apologies and promises of better behavior.
“Yes, I understand, Gina. No showing my power in public, I promise.”
“Good, because if we have to have this conversation again…..” I put down the spatula, pulled back my arm and gave her five hefty whacks, all across the fullest part of her bottom.
“Owwww! We won’t, we won’t! I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” Her pleas were heartfelt, and I was satisfied that she wouldn’t be tempted to disobey again anytime soon. I pulled her shorts back up and lifted her upright to sit on my lap. She gave a whimper as her bottom made contact with my thighs, but was happy to snuggle in my arms. As always I was amazed at how she weighed hardly anything at all, although I could feel the heat from her thoroughly spanked bottom radiating through her shorts.
“All right,” I said eventually. “Let’s get ready for bed. Tomorrow night I thought we might go driving around and look at some lights.”
“Oooo, really?” Miki’s eyes lit up, her punishment already forgotten. “Can we have some more eggnog too?”
I chuckled. Brats seemed to be the same whether they were of the human or sprite variety.
“Maybe, if you’re good!”
I hadn’t had a chance to go Christmas shopping for Miki, but I had thought of something that I hoped she would like. The next evening as we were preparing to go for our drive, I stepped outside and then brought in a six-foot tall Norfolk pine.
“What’s this, Gina?” Miki asked, surprised.
“Our Christmas tree,” I said proudly. “And look, it’s still alive!” And it was, because it was planted in a large tub.
The happiness on Miki’s face let me know I’d found the perfect Christmas present. “I thought you said Christmas trees didn’t grow here,” she said, touching it gently.
“It’s the only kind of tree we can grow,” I explained. “So after Christmas I can put it back out in the yard to keep growing for next year. Most people prefer the other varieties because Norfolks don’t have that lovely scent.”
Miki looked up at me from between her lashes. “We’re not ‘in public’ now, are we?”
“Why are you asking— Wait a minute, what are you planning, young lady!”
With a mischievous look at me, she reached out and wrapped her fingers around the trunk of the little Norfolk. Suddenly a cloud of resin-y scent rose from its widely spaced branches. It was like standing in a forest of Douglas firs. I stared at her in amazement.
“Is that okay, Gina?”
I opened my mouth, then closed it again. I didn’t have the heart to scold her. Especially since my expression betrayed how much I was enjoying the sensation of having a “real Christmas tree” in my living room.
“If we have company, it has to stop immediately!” I managed at last.
“Yes, ma’am,” she agreed, a dimple appearing next to her mouth. “Merry Christmas, Gina.”
“Merry Christmas, Miki.”
So cute. I love it. kind of like seeing Christmas through a child’s eye. Thank you for adding to our joy.
Thanks, Nicky, I’m glad you could appreciate Miki’s child-like nature. ☺️ Thanks for your participation and enthusiastic comments!
Good to see Miki again. She gets cooler with each story.
Thanks, Woodsy. I’m sure more of her unusual background will emerge over time. 😄
Hahah, Miki went too far eh. Although if there’s nobody around, is it still considered “public”? She had a point right?! LOL. I really enjoyed this story Alyx, as I did the last one. You are so talented in dialogs! Also enjoyed the humor. *Imagining your wooden spoon or ruler turning into sawdust on Miki’s butt …* Ah, so satisfying a view…. LMAO. Happy holidays, Mayor Ma’am. Again, thank you for hosting the Xmas Exchange. 🙂
Trust you to side with the brat, Peachie! *LOL* It’s a good thing there are lots of other implements besides wooden ones! 😏 I’m glad you enjoyed the story. Yes, dialog is a favorite part of writing for me. And thank YOU for participating in the Xmas exchange — it’s a really special event. 🙂
Love it! ❤ Thank you, Alyx. I love reading about Miki and Gina. 😛 Poor Miki, she didn't like the Christmas tree tradition at all! We have a fake tree, but it looks pretty real.
Thanks, Ash. I actually had a Norfolk pine in a big pot, which I dragged in and out each Xmas. Now I have a fake Charlie Brown tree…it even comes with a Linus blanket. 😆
I love your story lines, Alyx!, (Bit coins, wood nymphs…) and really enjoyed reading your story about Miki & Gina :). And even though I don’t consider myself a brat, I have to say, I found everything Miki said and did completely logical and fully understandable! 😀
Wishing you (and Miki and Gina) a very Happy New Year 2021!
Aw, thanks, Kati! To be honest, Gina could understand Miki’s motivation too, which is why she went easy on her….mostly. 😉 😆
Wishing you a very Happy New Year as well, and crossed fingers that 2021 will be a much better year than the last one! 🤞 🤗
Loved this story, Alyx! For many reasons…. like I love the Hawaiian references (it makes me miss it more), all the magic stuff (its clever and magic goes well xmas), and I quite like the spanky stuff too 😉 (makes me miss you more). Only you could tie those things so nicely into a Christmas bow. 🤗
Aww, thanks, Honey! 😘 I’m really happy you liked it, for all those reasons! It was a blue, blue Xmas without you 😢 , and I couldn’t possibly miss you more. But I’m glad you’re safe in Australia, and I’ll just keep working on my arm strength for when we’re together again. 👋 😆 🥰
I really enjoyed this story, Alyx! It was fun to read, and I loved the dialogue between the two characters. Some of Miki’s responses made me laugh, but you also incorporated some more serious themes and showed how responsive Gina is to Miki, which was sweet to read. I always look forward to your stories, and after reading this one, it reminds me why! 🤗Thank you again for hosting the Holiday exchange. 😃 And sorry I’m so delayed with my comments!
Been reading some of your stories. So much depth to the characters and their relationships.
Hi Woodsy! Happy to hear you’ve been reading my stories and are enjoying the characters and their relationships. Always a bit hard to know if I’m getting it right, so thanks for commenting! 🙂
Aw, thanks, Beck! I’m really happy you enjoyed it, and very pleased you participated this year. Gina and Miki are fun to write, due to the local connection. Not to mention I like writing about fantasy elements and from a toppy viewpoint as well. 😉