This is my submission for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Annual Holiday Writing Contest. Enjoy!
Quirky Elf twisted her wrench.
WHIZ. An egg zoomed past.
CRACK. The shell split.
SPLAT. It hit the skillet.
SIZZLE. For 80 seconds.
FLIP. 20 seconds on that side…
WHOOSH. A perfect over-easy egg glided onto a plate.
She pictured herself offering a hearty breakfast to Santa before his long Christmas Eve journey. Until…
“Breaking rules again?”
Ugh. Head-Elf Zillow.
“It’s a breakfast machine. For Santa.”
Zillow checked her clipboard. “Out of bed, unauthorized use of workshop equipment, bringing food into the toy-making bay—”
Quirky fumed. Why bother explaining?
On naming day, Zillow handed out official elf names to the entire class. “Merry, Twinkle, Sparkle, Snowflake.” Then, Zillow’s tone changed. “Quirky.”
The other elves snickered. They’d always treated her differently.
It wasn’t fair! She only wanted to be herself.
I’ll show them all, Quirky thought. I’ll be the trouble-maker they expect.
At dawn, toys littered the workshop floor. Carefully packed bags were upended.
Panic-stricken elves cried, “We’ll never make our deadline!”
Guilt twisted inside Quirky’s stomach. Her sabotage would leave millions of children broken-hearted. Mischief and mayhem didn’t feel so good anymore.
Tears filled Quirky’s eyes.
Then, Santa’s booming voice filled the room. “Quirky Elf?”
Did he know?
Quirky stepped one pointy-toed shoe toward him. “Yes.”
“If anyone can save Christmas, it’s you. Do you have an invention to handle this mess?”
Her heart exploded with joy. “I do!”
With her swifty packer contraption repacking bags, Santa’s eyes twinkled.
“Quirky, you’re a genius! If only I had some breakfast…”