"Hey! Watch it!"ÃÂ cried Andrea Brown as she scrambled across the living room of the large, Victorian-style house. Of course, no one heard her amidst the cacophonous, roaring noise of the party. No one saw her dashing through the maze of legs. See, Andrea is an elf, but not just any elf, mind you. She is a Santa's Helper Elf or S.H.E. for short. Her partner, Joe Frybird (who is just a normal Helper Elf or H.E. for short) called her to that lavish home. She was as small as an ant, maybe even smaller. In fact, both Andrea and Joe measured only about an inch and a half above the floor, giving them the ability of semi-stealth. The two were in charge of snacks, and so far were already fifteen minutes late to the meeting for which they had been summoned to the house. The Elf darted in and out of the shifting legs in a dangerous, pattern-like form, precariously working her way toward the stash of sweets she had concealed behind a bouquet of fake plastic roses.
Santa's little helper reached the roses with little breath to spare, but still had the sense of mind to vanish from sight. After regaining her breath and her strength, Andrea looked about the room for any sign of Joe. Her partner was nowhere to be seen.
"Typical,"ÃÂ she thought to herself as she grabbed the plate of goodies. "Can't he just be on time for one d--" "My, my, my, don't we look smashing tonight,"ÃÂ the slightly English-accented voice echoed from behind her.
"Joe! Where were you?"ÃÂ Andrea interrogated, whirling.
"Oh, I was just listening to the music. Luther Vandross and Vanessa Williams, ah, what a combination,"ÃÂ he replied. "Crinkle, crinkle,"ÃÂ went the bowl of plastic covered treats as Joe pondered over his decision and then finally picked a red fun size SnickersÃÂÃÂ® bar. "And by the way,"ÃÂ he began again, seeing the frustration growing in the eyes of his fellow elf. "Sorry for being late. You know I can't resist making an entrance."ÃÂ Andrea grinned in reply. She had one of those smiles a person just couldn't forget. It was a lovely smile. The way her blue eyes crinkled into an expression of mirth was beyond anything anyone could imitate and would give any feeling person the same feeling.
"Well, come on Andrea, we are still twenty minutes late for a meeting we should be at by now!"ÃÂ "Right behind you,"ÃÂ was the obedient, almost dutiful reply. "Um, just where is the meeting anyway?"ÃÂ "In the basement, it's easier to hide down there. I'm sure by now they're all waiting on us."ÃÂ Without another word, the pair began to work their way toward the basement door, a towering Goliath still looming some ten yards away from them. The forest of legs never stayed the same, so the two elves needed to have a keen eye ready at all times. But just a keen eye wasn't enough, and a reason why was about to become evident. Out of nowhere, a brown, ominous mass humans call a "Hush Puppy"ÃÂ came screaming toward the vulnerable Joe Frybird. *Sneakers, shoes, and sandals were an elf's worst enemy. The hardened, lethal rubber soles could mean only the worst for someone their size. Joe had barely turned to heed Andrea's desperate, hysterical cry of warning when the shoe collided with his minuscule elfin body. The *crushing collision sounded a barely audible "thwap"ÃÂ, a sound so chilling it made a person feel as if every bone in their body had frozen, and the leather-padded toe knocked him toward the stairs to the second floor. It left him about five yards from the door, but left a gap between them of a size that was to an elf's Grand Canyon. A hailing shout could not be risked, so they continued to work their separate ways ever so slowly toward the basement door. Joe's consistent, dragging limp became an off-balance walk as his magical body began to heal itself after the collision.
Joe reached the basement first, carefully descending the mountainous steps toward the elf congregation. When at last he joined the group, he was first met with harsh, reprimanding words from the leader and was then asked the question, "Where is Miss Brown?"ÃÂ This prompted Joe to look about himself.
"I, but, she was with me!"ÃÂ Joe said, dumbfounded.
"Well, she isn't now!"ÃÂ was the reply from the head elf.
Just a few feet away from the door, Andrea Brown desperately attempted to avoid the hazardous legs and feet, and was so far successful. As she reached the door, a shoe brushed her back, sprawling her sideways and leaving her prone to being stomped. She rolled and dove to avoid this fate, slowly returning to her feet. She began to stumble her way toward the door, just as a broom began its way toward her.
"Oh my goodness,"ÃÂ a fretful Joe Frybird said with a quiver in his voice. "How could I have lost her? We were separated after a shoe hit me, but I saw her as I was going under the door."ÃÂ As the panic grew amidst the elves, one watchful half-elfin had been keeping an eye on the steps for any sign of their lost companion. When at last he saw movement, he unleashed a cry of triumph, calling the other elves to attention. Once the entire group had noticed Andrea, they rushed to assist her remarkably agile and flexible elf body..
After the elf was treated and had said she could participate in the meeting, an elf asked Joe where the snacks were. At these words Andrea and Joe gave each other a look of despair and said simultaneously, "Here we go again!"ÃÂ