Archive for December 17th, 2021

Advent 2021 – December 17

December 17 – The Fables

The sun had tipped the zenith, and the golden rays brought the memory of warmer days to the crowd as they moved along, each person or family going up in turn. And then one family stepped up and Molly smiled.

Kiaya, Zeke, and Gideon Fable had moved the Cove a few years ago, and the boy had fallen naturally into Lily and Kaylee and Zoey’s circle. Molly remembered his first year when there was an Advent calendar full of magic from the Snow Queen.

Now, he was carrying a rather large bag as his parents followed him up the steps. “Hi Jade!” Gideon said cheerfully. “Are you doing an Advent calendar too?”

Jade winked at him. “We’ll see,” she said. “What do you have there? It looks like a very large ornament! Will we have enough room on the tree for it?”

“Well, it’s not quite an ornament. I mean, I guess you could use magic to make it smaller and hang it on the tree, but that’s not what I was thinking. Because there will be lots of ornaments on the branches, but there won’t be any presents, and so the trunk might be lonely and that’s not really a good thing, and who knows who might come by, and maybe steal things, so…” He ran out of breath.

“You’re right,” Jade said thoughtfully. “We didn’t consider that. What did you think to fix it?”

“Dad, can you help me?” Gideon turned to his father, who helped by holding the bag open.

“This is Steward,” Gideon told Jade, as he pulled the large gnome from the bag. Steward wore a green cap trimmed with white fur that matched his long white beard, and his clothing was a green tunic, green leggings, and black boots. “He’s a protector. A steward, you know, so I thought he’d like to keep these ornaments safe. And this is his friend, Lantern-Keeper.”

Lantern-Keeper was also dressed in green, but while Steward’s hands were cupped together in front of him, Lantern-Keeper held up a bright silver lantern.

“Hello, Steward, hello, Lantern-Keeper,” Jade said, bowing her head to the garden gnomes. Molly half-expected the statues to return the gesture.

Then the fog wrapped around her, and when it cleared, they were at the Fables house, in the living room, where Gideon had lined up an amazing number of garden gnomes in neat rows. He was walking up and down the rows like a general inspecting his troops.

“So I’m looking for a few volunteers,” he was saying. “We need to make sure the Christmas tree is protected, because there are going to be lots of precious ornaments on there. At the same time, the tree will need some company, especially at night, which is why I’m thinking you all are the best folks for the job. Any objections?”

There were none. 

“Excellent. So, who wants to volunteer?”

To Molly’s utter surprise and Schrodinger’s delight, two of the statues moved out of line. “Steward, reporting for day duty, Gideon,” said the first one, doffing his green cap.

“Lantern-Keeper, reporting for night duty, Gideon,” said his companion, who did not remove his cap but gestured with his lantern.

“You’re sure? You won’t be able to see your families until after Christmas, you know.” Gideon was very serious.

“It will be an honor to protect the Cove’s ornaments,” the two gnomes said in unison. “And then we can have Christmas when we return.”

“They talk. And move.” Molly blinked and when she did, she was back at the tree, where Gideon was placing Steward and Lantern-Keeper in front of the tree.
This is Carter’s Cove, Molly, Schrodinger reminded her. Did you really think they’d be just ordinary gnomes?