Alfie The Elf

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Alfie is a 14-year-old orphaned midget. He has just one wish – to grow tall. He believes that would help him gain lots of adoring friends and even impress Charlene, the girl of his dreams. He tries all tricks and tips to increase his height, but to no avail. Finally, he pins all his hopes on a miracle by writing to Santa and stays ‘good’ through the year. Christmas arrives, but Alfie’s wish doesn’t get fulfilled. Hurt, and deeply disappointed, Alfie runs away from his orphanage to look for Santa. That is only the beginning of a fantastical journey that takes him across mythical lands where he meets creatures straight out of fairy tales. With a wicked wizard out to dominate the universe and a worried Santa with his share of woes, Alfie has his hands full. Will he be able to achieve his dream? With the help of his best friend, Bullet, a pug and Pedro, an owl, he just might!

Fantasy / Children
Shaiju Mathew
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

Once upon a time there was an orphan named Alfie. He lived in an orphanage in the small seaside town of Bayville, near Rhode Island. Alfie was a midget. At fourteen years old, he was not more than three feet and five inches tall, as big as an average four year old kid. He had spindly arms and legs with bony fingers, and his ears were long and pointy. His eyes shone like round black marbles and his nose was small. He had black, poker straight hair that grew unevenly.

In Bayville where everyone was tall, Alfie stood out like a sore thumb, literally, making him the butt of many jokes. He had no friends other than an abandoned silver-fawn pug named Bullet that lived in the alley behind his orphanage.

Alfie prayed every day, Dear God, please make me normal. Please make me like other kids of my age. But his prayers remained unanswered. He exercised, avoided junk food, swung from tree branches, and even popped ‘wonder pills’ that promised an increase in height. But nothing worked. Alfie’s only hope now was for a miracle that would transform his life.

One day after school he went to the school library as usual to pick up some books. As he stood on a ladder checking the titles on the shelf, he overheard two little girls talking.

‘Hey Linda, what are you asking Santa for this Christmas?’ one of the little girls asked another.

‘I want a doll house. What about you, Christy?’ Linda replied.

‘I want a new pair of ice skates,’ Christy said.

Alfie’s curiosity increased so he jumped down from the ladder and approached the girls.

‘Excuse me ladies,’ Alfie called out.

The girls looked around but did not notice Alfie. They looked at each other quizzically and shrugged their shoulders.

‘Excuse me, I am down here,’ shouted Alfie.

‘Oh! Hi there, little boy,’ said Linda after finally spotting Alfie standing right next to her.

‘I am sorry to interrupt, but I happened to overhear your conversation,’ said Alfie.

‘Who are you?’ asked Christy.

‘I am Alfie. Can you tell me if Santa fulfills everyone’s wishes?’ Alfie peered closely at Linda and Christy, as he asked the question.

‘Yes, of course,’ said Linda. ‘But only if the kid is on Santa’s “nice” list.’

‘Nice list? What’s that?’ Alfie asked amused.

‘It is the list of all the kids who have been nice throughout the year,’ said Linda.

‘And the “naughty” list contains the names of those who have been bad,’ added Christy.

Raising her eyebrows, Christy added with a serious tone, ‘If your name is on the naughty list, Santa will not fulfill your wishes. That’s the rule.’

Alfie was surprised and excited by this revelation. After a moment’s pause, he asked, ‘How does Santa know who is naughty and who is not?’

Linda drew herself up and replied with all seriousness, ‘Santa has a magical book that records everything that a child ever does throughout the year.’

‘And whenever a child does something bad and naughty the book records it immediately!’ pitched in Christy.

Suppressing his excitement with difficulty, Alfie asked, ‘Have your wishes ever been fulfilled?’

‘Oh yes, always!’ both the girls replied in unison.

‘So are you saying that you can ask Santa for anything?’ Alfie whispered with his eyes wide and twinkling.

‘Yes, that’s right,’ said Linda, and added, ‘Why don’t you read this book?’ She pulled out a small and ancient looking book from her bag and held it out to Alfie. As he reached out for the book, he read its title: Make A Wish To Santa, written by Santa Claus himself!

Could this be…? Oh God! Yes, I think this is the miracle I have been waiting for, thought Alfie as he ran his fingers on the book’s well-worn pages.

‘Ummm… thank you! Uh… can I actually write to Santa and tell him my wish?’ Alfie mumbled excitedly.

‘Of course you can,’ said Christy. ‘In fact children from all over the world write to him asking for gifts and wishes.’

‘Turn the book over,’ said Linda. Alfie did as he was asked and saw what seemed like an address.

‘That’s Santa’s Post Box address. You can write your wish and post it to him on this address,’ Linda explained.

Alfie looked at the address longingly. He turned the book over again and looked at the picture of Santa with a big red bag filled with gifts riding a sleigh pulled by eight reindeers, and surrounded by happy and excited kids.

‘May I borrow this book?’ asked Alfie running his hand over the book, ‘In case you are done with it,’ and gave a sheepish smile looking at them.

‘Of course! We are done with the book, aren’t we Christy?’ Linda replied and looked at Christy who nodded in agreement.

‘Well… thank you so much!’ said Alfie gratefully, clutching the book close to his chest.

‘It’s our pleasure Alfie,’ the girls smiled and replied together.

Alfie turned around to leave. But he stopped after two steps and looked back and asked the girls, ‘Oh, one more thing. Can you tell me by when these wishes get fulfilled?’

‘On Christmas Eve. It’s there in the book,’ Linda replied with a smile pointing at the book Alfie was holding.

‘Oh okay, very well then. Thank you once again and goodbye,’ saying so Alfie took leave from the girls.

After Alfie had filled in the register at the librarian’s desk to rent out the book, he walked with a spring in his step. Onlookers were amused by the sight of a tiny little boy clutching a book skipping down the street. But Alfie didn’t care. Santa was going to fulfill his wish!

On his way back to the orphanage, he stopped at a bakery, put the book carefully inside his bag and bought two cup cakes. I must celebrate today! He smiled and thought to himself as he stuffed them in his bag as well. Soon he reached the orphanage, but instead of taking the main gate, he entered the back alley. His whistle brought Bullet flying around the corner, barking and wagging his tail happily on seeing Alfie.

‘Ah! Bullet! Let me go!’ giggled Alfie as Bullet climbed on his chest and licked his face.

‘Stop it Bullet or I won’t give you your treat!’ said Alfie. The dog seemed to understand the message instantly as he got off Alfie’s chest, sat on the ground and gazed at Alfie through his large brown eyes.

’Here you go, Ta-da!’ hummed Alfie as he pulled out a cup cake from his bag. Bullet jumped and gulped the entire cup cake at once. Then he sat next to Alfie and watched him eat his cup cake, hoping to get some more.

‘Bullet, you must be wondering what we are celebrating today. Right?’ asked Alfie.

‘Woof!’ Bullet barked in affirmation and wagged his tail.

‘Buddy, you know what, there’s still hope for me! I can grow taller! Just like any other kid!’ Alfie said excitedly as Bullet pricked his ears.

‘Look!’ said Alfie as he pulled out the book from his bag. ‘Those girls in the library told me that if I write to Santa he will fulfill my wish and it is there in this book and they even told me that children from all over the world write to him and he grants their wishes on Christmas every year and his address is in there too!’ gasped Alfie trying to catch his breath. ‘Isn’t that super duper wonderful?’

‘Woof! Woof!!’ Bullet affirmed.

‘I am so happy Bullet! Soon I will be like other children. They will stop making fun of me and become my friends instead,’ Alfie beamed and hugged Bullet who whined in displeasure.

‘Come on Bullet, I will not abandon you ever. You are my friend for life. So cheer up!’ Alfie ruffled Bullet’s head. Bullet seemed to understand every word because he barked, jumped and wagged his tail vigorously to express his delight.

Alfie smiled at Bullet and then his eyes wandered to the darkening sky. The smile vanished as he said, ‘Oh no! I am late. Bullet, I need to go now otherwise I’ll be in trouble.’ He stuffed the book in his bag and got up to leave. Bullet followed him up to the gate of the orphanage and then turned to go back to the back alley.

‘Tra la la la la… dum dum,’ Alfie hummed a song and skipped through the front door happily and suddenly bumped into a pair of legs.

‘Ouch!’ Alfie looked up and met with an angry pair of eyes staring down.

‘Well, well, well. Where have you been all this while, Shorty?’ Mrs. Fiddlesticks, the matron of the orphanage, thundered.

‘I… I…am sorry Mrs. Fiddlesticks. I was caught up in traffic,’ Alfie stammered as he got up from the floor.

Mrs. Fiddlesticks was a tall burly middle aged lady with blazing eyes and flaring nostrils that gave her a perpetually grim look. She always tied her pepper salt hair in a bun and wore a no-frill collared black dress. She terrorized the children in the orphanage and whoever broke rules would be severely punished. Mrs. Fiddlesticks always reminded Alfie of a fire spitting dragon from the story books.

‘Traffic? In Bayville?’ Mrs. Fiddlesticks frowned and looked straight into Alfie’s eyes.

‘Err… Yes..,’ Alfie stammered.

‘Hold out your hand,’ Mrs. Fiddlesticks thundered. Alfie held out his left hand and scrunched his eyes shut. Mrs. Fiddlesticks pulled out a stick from the right sleeve of her jacket and caned Alfie three times on his palm. Alfie jumped in pain, pulled back his hand and shook it vigorously after each strike.

‘This will remind you to be on time and not make excuses for being late,’ Mrs. Fiddlesticks growled angrily.

‘I am sorry,’ Alfie replied blowing air over his palm to soothe the pain.

‘Now go to your room,’ Mrs. Fiddlesticks hissed as she clipped the cane back into her jacket sleeve and watched Alfie leave.

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dionnan01: Can not wait for this story to go on. I have read one book till now (Trapping Quincy)and I will read everything you write.I can find everything in your novels, I laughed, I couldn’t let the i-pad down till I finished the story. I am addicted to your way of writing, never stop!

ianniesekina94: My heart goes out to piper She haS suffered aLOT but I like how strong she iS And glaD she foUND sOMEONE TO Make Her haPpy I wish the aLpha will just back off and aLlow HEr to bE HApppy All the SaMe I love the story I will recommend it to friends

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Audrey Soto: This is a very sweet and short story but I still love it! 💕 Some grammar errors but very enjoyable and interesting.

Mary Ann Rogers: Loved it 🥰I’m still crying.

Lissy: Oh this book was amazing. I absolutely love it and the characters.

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