(Missed a Chapter? Click on ‘Elf On The Shelf’ on the top menu to find your place and catch up!)
‘OH DEAR, OH DEAR.
WE’RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME.
SHOUTING, LYING, VANDALISM, CRUELTY.
DOES NOBODY WANT A HAPPY CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR?’
James screwed the note up and shoved it in his pocket before Lola came downstairs for breakfast. She was miserable enough as it was, without starting her day with more rubbish. Later, he decided, he would get Mum or Dad alone and ask which one of them was writing the notes and suggest maybe being a bit less cruel. He thought the whole point of the crazy Elf On The Shelf thing was for it to be funny, not terrifying.
On returning from school, James found another note from the elf. This time it was tucked under the arm of one of his Stormtrooper action figures, which was hanging by its neck on a string tied to his bedroom door handle. Damien was on his chest of drawers holding the ball of string and very clearly laughing, his painted mouth wide and eyes screwed up with glee.
James felt sick. He threw the elf down the stairs, untied the Stormtrooper, and sat on his bed to look at the note, his hands shaking the entire time.
‘I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING.
ISN’T CHRISTMAS SUCH A MAGICAL TIME OF YEAR?
ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN. ANYTHING AT ALL.
BE GOOD, JAMES,
When James went down for dinner, he saw that someone had rescued Damien and balanced him on top of the mirror in the hall. The elf’s painted face was back to its usual smug smile, and James touched the screwed up notes in his pocket as reassurance that he hadn’t imagined the whole thing.
He was sure he hadn’t.