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DZ-Jay's Random Blog - Christmas Carol: A Short Story - Part XXII


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Following the advice of my 12 years-old nephew, I sprinkled the first few chapters with some elfy characters with proper names. It wasn't too hard, there were a few elves making an appearance already and performing some actions; they were just anonymous. I just added names to give them life.

You know what? I think it worked. The narrative feels more lively and the North Pole less impersonal. Santa doesn't just work with a bunch of elves, but with actual living helpers with real lives and vocations. Yes, that's right, lives and vocations. The name is just a start, but as soon as you put a name to a character, all of a sudden that name comes with a surge of baggage: why they named him like that, who is such a person destined to be, what motivated him or her to do whatever service they perform for the plot, etc.

It's weird how much a name provides. I guess it's similar to when your mother buys you a pet fish as a kid: if you just have "fishy in a bowl," you'll probably never feed it and it'll just go belly-up in a couple of days -- but give it a name, and pretty soon you'll be so attached to little "Mr. Finns," that you'll cry when your mother finally flushes him down the toilet.*

* Simulated re-enaction, not an actual event.

Anyway, so we have elves with names. Below are the final names I settled in. Once again I have to thank my wife for some inspiration.
  • Tobias Honeywood -- Tobias, or Toby as everyone calls him, is Santa's lead toy designer. He started as a regular toy engineer, working his way up the ranks and showing off his prowess at toy design which landed him at his current position. He is the one who discovered the Evil Snowman's wet puddles on the floor of the warehouse on that fateful night before Christmas, and rang the alarm.
  • Krystle Clovermoon -- Krystle works as a professional and highly experienced gift-wrapper. As you can imagine, she is furiously busy on the night in question. She was born on a very clear night of the Harvest Moon, and so her parents, Timothy and Joy Clovermoon named her for the beautiful crystal-like stars which shone brightly that night. (Actually, the brightness of the full moon occluded all the stars that night, but they were inspired by it anyway, so let them be.)
  • Mabel Dashington -- Mabel is Krystle's fellow gift-wrapper and best friend. They work together wrapping presents and teaching the others their best ribbon decorating techniques. Together with Krystle, Mabel went to check out what was causing the commotion when the alarm went off. Quick to wit and always an elf who speaks her mind, she asked Santa directly what was to happened after the Snowman's attack, and what could be done about the missing presents; thus, putting to words what all other elves were thinking.
  • Patricia Dashington -- Little Patricia, or "Trish," is Mabel's younger sister. She's cute and adorable, and her main job is to go around Santa's Workshop delivering milk and cookies and other snacks to all the hard working elves during their busiest night of the year. She was walking by Santa's office when she overheard him talking about Finnley Elf to Carol and freaked out. Her comments on Finnley's scary Halloween stories about a creepy Ghost in a cave (which gave her "nightmares for weeks!") sparked Santa's memory about the legendary Ghost Of Christmas Presents -- a legend which he then related to Carol, setting in motion her adventure.
As always, I do not know how the actual ending of the story will be written (I have apparently no control over such matters), but I have a deep feeling that some of these elves will make an appearance once Carol returns. Specifically, I have an idea of having Toby Honeywood volunteer as the look-out guarding the North Pole complex (now that security had to be enhanced), and announcing to everyone Carol Greenleaf's return.

Then there's Mabel Dashington, who in my mind right now is the one who coins the title "Christmas Carol" as a cheer congratulating Carol for saving Christmas, and thus christening her with the honor. Well, at least as it stands right now. Who knows what the "writing me" will do. Sounds pretty good to me, though. *sigh*

So that's it for now. Until the next update ...

See ya'!

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