What Direction Now? Life at the intersection…

Little Jimmy


Sit down, Little Jimmy, and I’ll tell you a story…

The elf balloon was first given as a tribute, a gift to the queen of cats, who hissed along with the subtly shrinking rubber sphere, which, unbeknownst to the cuckold elf, had snuck a quick, pin-prick kiss with a pine tree branch, on the way to the cat castle. The queen yawned royally then finished off the love-lorn orb with one swipe of her gilded claws.  The elf shook in his pointy shoes, thinking his fate would surely follow that of his gift; waiting for the bloody blow, the color drained from his body, from the tips of his ears to the skin under and around his fingernails. The queen was so amused at the now snow-white elf that she let him live and with her most saintly, convincing smile, made him promise to come back and bring all of his elf friends to visit her. Days later, when they all arrived, she invited each of them to stand before her individually, gift balloon in hand. For each elf, she would purr and smile her best cat smile until suddenly, she would reach out and pop his balloon with a roar. By the end, all of the elves were white as paper and just as tremblingly frail. The elves lived in constant fear for months, until one warm July day, a big fat man with a long white beard—who just happened to be on vacation at a resort near the cat castle—spied all of the paper elves listing around the castle courtyard, and pitying them, decided to rescue them. The queen was powerful, of course—and she didn’t want to lose her favorite playthings—but she knew better than to argue with old St. Nick; she wanted a new golden scratching post for Christmas, after all. So, Santa took the elves up to the North Pole, two-by-two, in his sleigh—it took him about a hundred trips. He wanted them to be his friends, but they were so traumatized that they would cower in every corner of the house all day long. He discovered that only the monotonous buzz of the toy factory would cam them down, so he let the elves live there—and without even asking them to, they began to help build the toys; their industrious little white hands were perfect for putting together the tiniest parts of the model trains and painting the eyelashes on the dolls. In the end, the elves loved life with Santa…and now you know why all elves are so pale, why “Balloony Pee-Pants” is their most powerful insult, and why, to this day, Little Jimmy, no cats—even stuffed ones—have ever been seen anywhere near the North Pole.
“Elf balloon” was brought to you by a bad, long day…(can you tell?)

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What Direction Now? Life at the intersection…

About Andrew.

Andrew Cartwright grew up in Indianapolis, IN, but has lived over the years in such places as Denver, CO; Fairfax, VA; and Rivne, Ukraine. He is a former nonfiction editor for both Indiana Review and phoebe; he has also worked for the intersectional feminist journal, So To Speak, and the national literary magazine, Electric Literature. His work has appeared in The Normal School Online, Copper Nickel, Esquire Ukraine, Literary Hub, and Word Riot.

For more information about me and links to other writing, visit my author page at cartwriter.com