Updated: Dec 7, 2020
He jogged at an easy pace, the feather in his green felt hat bouncing with each step. In all honesty it had something of a seventies Robin Hood about it, all green tights, belt and short tunic but you take what you can get.
It was Christmas. A time of cheer and goodwill to all. It didn’t feel much like Christmas this year. Not with the lockdown, the virus and the fear. Christmas was being sucked out of the world. Well, not on his watch. Not today, not ever. His mum’d killed Christmas for him as a child and he’d vowed that would never happen for his own kids.
And so the Ealing Elf was born. A bit of magic in a grey world. A reason for children to smile and gaze out of their isolated windows in wonder. He started with a gentle jog through the neighbourhood, dressed head to toe as Santa’s helper, little scared, truth be told.
But it wasn’t long before he started seeing little pictures of green Elves in windows and ‘Run Elf’ or ‘Go Elf’ signs in the windows. It gave him a warm glow to be helping bring a little joy to this troubled world. If one child believed in the magic because of the elf, his job was done.
A week later he was just doing his stretches at the end of his road, 3pm as normal, when the weirdest thing happened. Something he hadn’t expected, not in a million years.
Another elf appeared!
How do you greet a fellow elf? What’s the protocol? He nodded. The other elf nodded back. He shook his head bewildered. The other elf shook his head. So he started his jog. The other elf tagged right along. The kids were so excited he could see them jumping and laughing in their windows as he passed. He waved. The other elf waved. The children waved.
Next day he wondered if the second elf would show again. He was there alright. But there was something very different this time. And that difference was best described as … another four elves. He looked at himself, his arms, his legs all covered in green. He looked at them in a mishmash of green outfits, short and tall, thin and big. All stood waiting patiently. He raised his right hand in salute. They all raised their right hand in reply. He started his jog. It’s a very strange feeling to be leading a group of green elves in a jog around a London Borough in broad daylight.
The kids loved it. They went wild when they saw this band of elves jogging down their roads, waving and clapping.
He was nervous as he pulled on his tights the next day. He was a little apprehensive of what he would find when he started his jog.
He could see them as he came out of the house. Sixty green elves, all socially distancing, of course, across the road and it appeared, with the saluting police motorcyclist, an escort to clear the roads.
Submitted for Writers' Forum Flash Fiction December 2020