It had been about a week since Eva busted me out of prison. Since then, police had dropped by the house at least three times to see if I had comeback to it. Once or twice, I could have sworn that Garrett was with them. Each time they came though, Eva was always ready to hide me. The first time she hid me in the practice room. The second time she turned me into a kitten. The third time she turned me invisible so that they couldn’t see me. However today, she had gone a new route. I was literally draped around her neck…as a golden necklace.
All I could do was dangle from her neck and wait for the cops to leave. I was unable to move, speak, or act…all I could do was just hang on and wait. I couldn’t see anything either…just feel and hear. I had been hanging on for about 20 minutes before I finally heard the door to the house reopen.
“Well, it appears that he hasn’t come back.” The police chief said gruffly.
“Yes, that’s what I told you time and time again, sir.” Eva said hotly…clearly frustrated with the constant intrusions.
“I do apologize ma’am, but since this was the place we found him, we have to make sure that he doesn’t come back.”
“If he does, then I will call you…but would you please stop searching my home for someone who isn’t here? If you come back, I’ll sue.” The police officer must have felt threatened and I could hear him sigh.
“Yes ma’am…we’ll be on our way.” The sound of footsteps could be heard wandering out of the door and, finally, I heard the door close. I thought that Eva would just change me back but nothing happened.
“Hold on, Christian…I have to make sure that they’re really gone this time.” I felt her body move; probably going to the window to see the officers leave. It took a few moments more…but finally…
“Okay, Christian, we’re clear.” I heard a snap and suddenly I fell off of her neck and began to grow back to my normal size and shape. I breathed in, happy to actually have lungs again and I smiled. I stood up and stretched…I wasn’t a big fan of becoming an inanimate object. “Maybe I should turn you into a necklace more often…at least three officers were staring at me. I think that you looked good on me.” I laughed and shook my head.
“I’d rather you didn’t.” I said.
“Aw, you sure?” She said jokingly. I walked over to the couch and I sat down, exhausted. “I’m kidding, Christian.”
“I know.” I whispered. I leaned back and breathed slowly, closing my eyes and trying to rest my head. I could hear Eva moving behind me and walking towards the couch.
“May I sit with you?” She asked. I smiled without opening my eyes.
“You don’t need to ask my permission for that.” Eva giggled and then sat down next to me on the couch. I felt the cushion sink next to me and I sighed happily. I wish that more days could be like this.
“Christian,” Eva spoke up, “may I ask you a question?” I nodded again, without opening my eyes.
“Yes, of course.” I answered. Eva hesitated for a moment.
“Have you ever…celebrated Christmas?” This time I did open my eyes. I turned and glanced at her in confusion. I knew that Eva had a very limited amount of experience in the ways of humans and holidays…which became obvious after Halloween. However, it was almost unbelievable that Eva wouldn’t know about celebrating Christmas. Everyone new about Christmas, right?
“Of course.” I answered. Eva’s eyes seemed to light up at my answer.
“What’s it like?!”
“Hold on a sec,” I replied, “do you mean to tell me that you’ve NEVER celebrated Christmas before?” Eva suddenly blushed and looked away from me sadly, as if she had become much more interested in the color of the coffee table.
“Well, no.” Eva moaned. “I haven’t really…celebrated Christmas before.” I nearly jumped off of the couch in shock.
“Never?!” I cried. Eva shook her head.
“I’d like to though…if you want to.” I nod and look around the house.
“Well, I think that we can certainly celebrate Christmas this year…but how would you like to do it?” I asked.
“Well, what kind of stuff do you do on Christmas?” Eva asked. I paused and thought about all the typical events that people took part in during the Christmas holiday.
“Well, you typically find a tree, and you decorate the house… and I remember that we used to show the nativity story in church.” Eva nodded but kept probing me for more information. “I also remember that some families used to ride in horse drawn sleighs…some would travel from house to house singing Christmas carols…” Eva gasped and clapped her hands in ecstasy. I laughed at her excitement and shook my head. “Look, I’m sure you want to try all of that stuff…but let’s go one step at a time. Typically we start by decorating the house.” Eva beamed and leaped to her feet.
“Wait here, please!” With that she took off into a deeper part of the house. I sat and waited for her to return. As she was gone, I began considering what kind of gift I should get Eva…it would have to be something special…especially considering all that she had done for me recently. I had no idea what she would want though…and I only had about a month to figure that out.
“Take a look at this!” I looked up to see Eva running to me holding a magazine. “I picked this up just the other day at the grocery store!” She flipped it open to show dozens upon dozens of articles about Christmas décor and atmosphere. Pictures of living rooms and houses with excellent decorations could be seen and Eva was staring at them happily. “This is what a house should look like for Christmas, right?” I looked and nodded.
“Yes, but a lot of that stuff is super expensive. I don’t know how much money you have, but I’m broke. We can’t afford any of it.” I argued. Eva laughed and patted me on my head.
“You’re so silly, Christian.” She giggled. “We don’t need to buy this stuff…I can simply create it.” I leaned back and I stared at her. I glanced at her…then the den…and then the picture. I was feeling rather skeptical.
“You’re serious?” I asked.
“Yes.” She answered. “I can make this whole house look like the pictures here.” It was my turn to laugh.
“Eva, I don’t mean to be rude but…you’re magic has its limits you know.” I pointed out. Eva got rather miffed at my response.
“So?” Eva hissed. “I can do this!”
“Eva, your magic isn’t strong enough for something this big. Remember what happened LAST time you tried to redecorate the house? You nearly blew it up!” Eva held up her finger accusingly.
“That was before I went through my magical maturity…now my magic is far more powerful and I can do this without any problems.” I folded my arms and raised an eyebrow.
“Really?” I asked.
“You wanna bet?” Eva challenged. I laughed and nodded.
“Sure, you’re on! What’s the bet?” I asked. Eva paused and paced back and forth. We were both smiling. This wasn’t the first time that we had placed bets before…and we loved doing it too. It was all in good fun and it was one of Eva’s ways to push herself farther when practicing her magic.
“Okay, I bet that I can have this whole house look perfectly decorated for Christmas by the end of the afternoon. If you win…what do you want if you win?” I smiled and thought. There was nothing really that I wanted, but I knew something that Eva would want.
“If I win, and you can’t do it, we’ll both ride on a horse drawn sleigh through town.” Eva beamed and wrapped her arms around me in a hug that nearly knocked the wind out of me. I smiled at her as she squeezed me tightly. I hugged her back and I held her close.
“Okay…then if I win, we still go on that horse drawn sleigh ride…but you’re going to be the horse.” I groan but never stop smiling. I had a feeling she would say something like that.
“Okay, deal…” I muttered, “…but don’t get your hopes up. Just do your best.” Eva let go of me and grinned wickedly.
“You go out and pick a tree, Christian.” Eva laughed, pushing me towards the door. “I’ll stay here and get to work. By the time you get back, this house is going to look a lot different.”
“By different, you don’t mean in flames do you?” I joked. Eva rolled her eyes and shoved me toward the door. I laughed and walked outside, trying to figure out just how she was going to try and pull off the decorating. I picked up a wood axe behind the house and made my way to the woods. As I walked through the grass and fallen leaves towards the woods I wondered if she could actually do it. It was highly unlikely. Though Eva was excellent at transforming objects into other objects, she wasn’t very good at decoration or just magically creating things.
I wandered through the woods for a good two hours before I finally found a large tree that looked good enough. It was large and a very healthy green. The limbs looked strong enough to hold ornaments and its smell was quite intoxicating.
“Eva will like this one.” I picked up the axe and got to work chopping away at the trunk., With each swing I felt the tree shudder and I felt my muscles tighten as I struck the wood time and time again. After a few minutes, I had finally knocked the tree down and it feel to the forest floor with a crash. I tried to lift the tree up, but I knew that I couldn’t carry it back. I would need some harnesses and rope…which I didn’t have.
“I probably should have planned this one better.” I look back in the direction I came and sigh. “I’ll head back and get the equipment and come right back.” I stood up and was sure to mark where I had been. I then took off back towards home. As I began to near the cottage I looked up…and saw a large stack of smoke flying up from above the trees…in the same direction of the cottage.
“EVA!” I shouted. I took off into a mad sprint for the cottage. I felt the fear climb in my chest as I streaked for the house. I knew that Eva probably would mess up…but what if she had caused the house to burn down!? What if she was hurt!? These questions caused me to run faster towards the house. As I broke through the clearing I saw….
“What?” I gasped. The house looked practically perfect! The chimney in the back was pouring a steady stream of smoke out of its top. The rest of the house looked just fine. But it was still odd…I had never seen the chimney in use before. What was she burning inside? I ran over to the door and opened it wide to see what exactly was going on.
“Oh my…” I didn’t finish. The house was spotless! There was a wreath over each door and there were hanging wreathes draped over the upstairs balcony. The fireplace had two stockings hanging from it and the fire was burning bright inside. Two snow globes sat over the fireplace and The rugs and mats were all replaced with colorful and festive ones. The house looked like something right out of a magazine! It was indeed a beautiful sight!
“Welcome back, Christian.” Eva called happily. She came skipping from another room. She was wearing a pright red wool sweater and jeans with fur boots on. She had on mits and a scarf around her neck. She looked positively festive and radiant.
“Gorgeous?” She finished for me. “I know…but it needs a tree. Did you find one?” She asked. I nodded remembering that I had left it.
“Yeah, I found one…but it’s too heavy for me to carry back. I came back to grab a harness and ropes so I could drag it back.” Eva smiled slyly and shook her head.
“No need for that…I’ll go with you and help you bring it back.”
“That’s not necessary,” I said. “I am more than capable of dragging it back myself.” Eva shrugged.
“Yeah, but that will take hours! I have a better idea to get it back quicker.” She then took me by the hand and walked me outside. Once we were outside she gave me a funny look. “After all…I DID win the bet didn’t I?” My eyes suddenly went wide and I realized what she was planning. “You ready to get saddled up?” She asked. I chuckled a little and then stepped back so that she had room.
“Just promise not to feed me any of that horse feed crap.” We burst out laughing.