Saturday, November 12, 2016

Up on the Housetop by Dax Varley

Christmas is in the Air

When Sophie climbs up on the housetop to rescue her cat, she finds a sleigh, eight reindeer, and a cute teen elf who claims to be Santa's designated driver. That's where the magic begins.

Here's a bit of a teaser....

“Shut it, Ziggy, you dumb cat.” I rolled over in bed and tugged the pillow over my head.
“Grrr…” I sprang up, half groggy, half annoyed. Then I snapped to reality. Ziggy was outside. His meows came from above.
Like me, my cat enjoys climbing up on the roof of our house. I do some of my best thinking up there. Unlike me, Ziggy can’t seem to find his way down. I rescued him twice last week.
I glanced at the bedside clock. Ugh. Of course Ziggy would pick 2:00 a.m. Christmas morning to disrupt my visions of sugarplums. And worse, in about four hours my bratty little brother Sean would storm in here and drag me downstairs because, heaven forbid, I don’t witness his Santafest.
“All right, all right. Hang onto your whiskers, I’m coming.”
I slipped on some wool socks, raised the window, and with the coolness of Cat Woman, I hitched onto the ivy trellis and scaled up. Brrr… You could store leftovers out here. My flannel jammy bottoms and long sleeve tee barely cut the chill. Oh well. I could endure it all of the two minutes it’d take for a kitty rescue.
I carefully avoided the string of Christmas lights as I heaved myself up and over and… What the holly? Parked smackdab in the center of our roof was an enormous sleigh and eight for-real reindeer! The shock caused me to stumble back, nearly tumbling off the roof and going splat on our family of plastic snowmen.
Was this some kind of joke? Had Dad hired Reindeer R Us to pull off some big thing for Sean?
I ventured a few steps closer. That’s when I heard, “Achoo!”
I froze. Overwhelmingly and literally. I swear, it had to be thirty degrees out.
Please tell me Dad hadn’t talked some poor schmuck into playing Santa. Was some out-of-work actor waiting to Kris Kringle his way down our chimney?
I tiptoed to the side of the sleigh, careful not to spook the reindeer and get trampled like the famous grandma in the song. There, sitting on the sleigh’s edge, legs dangling, was a guy in a green sweatshirt and jeans. He kept his head down, his attention on whatever game he had going on his phone. He quickly buried his nose in the crook of his arm and, “Achoo!”
“Who are you?” I demanded with the authority of every butt-kicking cop I’d seen on TV.
His head shot up, then his expression cratered. “Dang it. No one’s supposed to see me.”
“Why? Are you a burglar? Because I know Mom hid the newest iPhone for me for Christmas, and I’ll kick you off this roof before I hand that over.”
“No,” he said, hopping to his feet. “The opposite of that. I’m one of Santa’s elves.”



  1. Thanks Dax for being my guest today. I love the cover and your excerpt is great!

  2. I really love all these Christmas stories, Penny. This one looks good. I will have to check it out. Thanks for sharing. Stacey