IN THE CUPBOARD

Laura and Steve were sitting in the kitchen eating their lunch when they heard an almighty kerfuffle in the cupboard behind them.

“What an earth was that?” asked Steve as he jumped to his feet and moved towards the cupboard.

“It sounded like the ceiling fell in the cupboard and the shelves hit the deck with it,” Laura replied, as they both moved towards the cupboard door. “This could be a catastrophe. All the party food and booze is stored in there.”

The kitchen wasn’t large and it was only a couple of steps to the cupboard so in seconds they were standing at the cupboard door.  Steve grabbed the handle and was about to turn it and pull the door open when they heard a groan from inside.

“What the …” Steve started to say.

“It sounds like there’s someone in there.” Laura replied helpfully.

“Duh. Yes I worked that out for myself.” Steve replied his hand still on the door handle. “What I meant was how could anyone get in there?”

Laura and Steve lived in a small detached house in a quiet village in the countryside. There was no way anyone could have got into the cupboard, unless they had broken into the house during the night and hidden in there. 

“Hang on!” Laura said looking round the kitchen for something they could protect themselves with. Her eyes lighted on the rolling-pin which was in the drying rack. She had been making mince pies all morning ready for their party the following day and had left it there to dry after having washed it up. She dashed to the sink, grabbed the rolling-pin and was back at Steve ‘s side in a couple of bounds.

Laura nodded and Steve pulled the door open wide with a sharp tug. Laura brandished the rolling-pin over her head was ready to strike whoever was inside the cupboard should it prove necessary.  They both stepped forward a little to survey the scene of devastation inside the cupboard.  It was a large walk-in larder style cupboard. Inside there were packets of dried goods smashed open on the floor, mixed in with broken bottles and tins and cans scattered everywhere.

At first they didn’t see anyone inside as they looked over the broken packets and general mess. Then on hearing another groan they looked more closely.

“What the…” Steve started again.

“It’s a…” Laura began to say before being interrupted.

“Call me a gnome or a dwarf and I’ll scream, or turn you both into toads,” said the diminutive figure lying in the midst of the debris.

“How on earth…?” Steve began another question.

“…did I get here?” the little man asked. “A question I would like answered as much as you. Well don’t just stand there staring. Can’t you see I’m in a bit of a predicament here. aren’t either of you going to help me up?”

“Sorry,” Steve apologised, “but..”

“But you weren’t expecting to find an elf in your cupboard.” the elf finished for him.

Laura leaned forward as Steve held out his hand to the elf to help him up. “Wait,” she said at the last-minute, just before Steve made contact with the elf. “How do we know it’s safe?”

“Firstly Miss I am not an ‘it’. I am a ‘he’ and secondly I am less than two feet tall lying amongst your dry goods, what danger could I possibly be to either of you?” the elf replied extending his hand further towards Steve’s outstretched arm.

Steve leaned in a little more and made contact. As he did so Laura shivered a little  imagining all sorts of possibilities that could have happened as they made contact. Nothing happened and Steve pulled the little man to his feet. Once standing the elf straightened himself up and brushed his clothes down.

“Well this is a bit of a to do,” the elf said as he finished tidying himself up. “Now we have met let me formally introduce myself,” He added extending his hand once more to the both of them.

As they shook hands the elf told them his name was Cayo. They told him their names in return.

Laura looked in dismay at the piles of ruined foodstuffs in the cupboard, and the mess that she was going to have to clear up. That really wasn’t what she wanted to be doing. “So tell me just how did you end up in our cupboard?” She asked.

“Goodness only knows.” Cayo replied. “Would you mind if we sat for a moment?” he asked moving towards the kitchen table.

“Of course,” Steve said. Realising that Cayo couldn’t get up onto one of the chairs himself he helped him up and poured him a glass of water.

“Thank you.” Cayo took a sip of the water. “One minute I was packing presents into boxes by postcode and the next thing I knew I was falling in your cupboard amid the packets and tins.”

“Packing presents?” Laura asked.

“Of course , what else did you expect an elf to be doing this time of year?” Cayo replied.

“Are you serious?” Laura checked, as Steve chuckled beside her sure they were having some kind of joke played on them.

“One hundred percent serious,” Cayo told them. “Yes Santa is real, and I am one of his helpers. Yes I know it’s a stereotype, but hey work is work. Neither of you made some crazy wish for an elf in your cupboard did you?”

“What postcode were you packing up?” Steve asked now more interested.

“BN44, why?” Cayo told him.

“That’s our postcode.” Laura said incredulously, “And I was wishing for some help for our party.”

“And I was wishing for someone to take me away from the packing for a while.” Cayo said. “I bet I know what happened. Our two wishes found a way to join and voila here I was.”

Steve laughed. “You’ve gotta be joking us.”

“So, go on, a better explanation have you?” Cayo asked him leaning forward on the table.

“None.” Steve admitted.

“Is magic really that easy?” Laura asked skeptically.

“Of course,” Cayo replied. “If you really want something you can create it, make it real, make it happen.”

“Well what I want right now, really really want is a tidy kitchen, a cupboard full of unbroken bottles and packets. For everything to be ready for tomorrow and for you to be back packing presents wherever you were.” Laura said clapping her hands together.

With a sudden flash her wish was granted. The kitchen and the cupboard were returned to normal and Cayo had disappeared leaving both her and Steve wondering if they had dreamt it or if it had really happened.

 

2013-12-06 cupboard elf

 

 

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