B or How the Bogeyman Didn't Save Christmas by Jessie G. Talbot by Jessie G. Talbot - Read Online

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Summary

Christmas is steamrolling Halloween, Thanksgiving, New Years, EVERYTHING and Santa Claus is loving every minute. He's the most popular! Neener! Big mistake. Then, in his workshop, he makes the biggest mistake of all.

Honoir Battle is a big ten year old boy caught in the middle when the Nanny, Santa's new monster toy, endangers him, his friends, Christmas and even the World! Who will rescue them? Santa doesn't have any friends left. But Honoir does, a very strange friend. So it's the BOGEYMAN leading a team of parents, elves, and Mrs Claus to save the day!

But will he actually save Christmas?

Published: Jessie G. Talbot on
ISBN: 9781533750686
List price: $2.99
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B or How the Bogeyman Didn't Save Christmas - Jessie G. Talbot

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CHAPTER ONE

A WEDGE OF WILD GEESE flew South across the moon over Beaver Crossing, a sweet town so unchanged by the years that beavers were still safely crossing there. The wind swirled leaves that shone like golden electric sparks under the streetlights. They added even more warm color to the Halloween decorations of 240 Avery Lane.  240 was the finest house on the block, a big Victorian, with a long line of orange, blue, and white pumpkins sitting along the porch rail and trailing down the front steps.

Up in the turret, little Polly Petersen was lucky enough to have a round, fairyland bedroom. She was taking down lacy pillows, bolsters, and six out of the seven teddy bears from her blue canopy bed. (Number Seven was her security bear. His name was Galahad. A very noble and protective guy.) She stacked the spare pillows neatly against the wall and arranged the other bears on top.  It was a cold night so she tucked them all under two blankets.

And she started to yell. Mama! Don't forget your vitamins! And brush your teeth! And go to bed! You have a big, dangerous day tomorrow and you need your sleep. You could get hurt battling the bigfeet if you're not rested!

A voice from downstairs called back. I've caught rogue yeti before with no problems, honey, I know what I'm doing. It's why they pay me the big bucks...

Polly yelled again. And Daddy! You need to make your lunch ahead of time! The food at your work is bad for you and you need to go to bed, too, and...

A man bellowed up the stairs, Angel, we know what to do, we've been doin' it for years! Now, say your prayers and I’ll be up to read to you in five minutes!

Okay! the little girl shouted back. Polly sighed. Her parents needed to take things more seriously. 'Big Mama' Peterson had a dangerous job. And Daddy! Not as much of a dangerous job but traffic was terrible. What if he had an accident? They needed to listen to her good advice.

She draped her robe over her desk chair and aligned her slippers just so underneath. Then she crawled into bed and pulled Galahad close. Still she worried. What if that yeti went crazy and started breaking Big Mama's bones? What if a meteor fell out of the sky and hit her Daddy? What if an earthquake buried them all under rubble? What if there was a tidal wave? What if? What if? What if?

Polly clenched her bear. Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the lord my soul to keep, the angels watch me through the night and keep me safe ‘til morning light.

An ominous voice drifted up from the darkness under her bed, That’s not how it goes.

Polly grabbed Galahad and threw the covers over her head. Mamaaa! The Bogeyman's baaack!

CHAPTER TWO

SANTA CLAUS WAS TRYING to sneak out a side door of his hectic workshop when the producer of INTL channel's Christmas Spectacular caught up to him. She had an elf clinging to her leg.

Mr. Claus? she said, smiling sweetly as if she didn't have a little man singing love songs to her kneecap. Santa, bubba, she said. I just wanted to take a moment to point out that the elves are being a little...ah...

They're being a lot foolish. Ach! Every year this happens. Embarrassment had St. Nick pulling the curls out of his white beard.

Cameras on me! Cameras on meeee! the elf piped.

I'll have your pointy ears for this, the producer promised.

Shoo! Santa peeled the starstruck elf off his guest and sent him back to the short crowd mugging for attention from the famous anchorwoman, the sound people, and the cameraman (who had on the ugliest, reddest Christmas sweater Santa had ever seen and that's saying something.)

It's almost Halloween, Santa explained, And it's time for our vacation. We have to have a good rest before our big day on December 24th. And you're all here early with the big lights and the glamour.  That's doubly exciting!

What? What are they doing here? his wife, the one-and-only Merry Belle Claus, arrived so suddenly Santa almost hit the roof. Her mouth was open in amazement as she stared around. They're early! she said. Why are they here two months early?

Surprise! Santa exclaimed, beaming.

There was a yelp from the excited crowd. The cameraman was having to fight to keep his camera. Mrs. Claus threw Santa a look of disbelief and went to help.

Santa watched as she pushed her untamed salt 'n pepper hair back and pulled a whistle from her tartan apron pocket. She blew a shrill blaaaat! There was a lull in the racket as the elves turned to look.

Live from Santa's Workshop, she announced. Professionalism. You! Give the man back his camera. You! Put that down. You! Pick that up. You! Stop that singing. 

There was a crash and the tinkling of broken glass. A soccer ball went rolling past Santa and he watched as a ballerina Helper Toy tippy-toed en pointe after it. She gave it a mighty, but graceful, kick all the way to the end of the workshop to the massive double doors of the main entrance. Two large Nutcrackers dressed in gold livery pulled them open and the ball disappeared into the snow of the North Pole. The elves streamed outside after it.

Madison McCurry (anchorwoman of INTL News) herself, wrestled her thick coat back on and ran out to join the fun, too. Her entire crew followed, whooping like children. They hit the snow.

GOOOOAAAALLLLL!

It was the producer's turn to look embarrassed. Maddie was an athlete until she blew out her ACS...her ACLU...her knee tendon about six times too often.  'Scuse me, she said and bolted to rein in her own people. And now music was breaking out. Mrs. Claus's finger was waggling in all directions.

Suddenly there was a trembling in the floor and a flood of soft plush and excited growls nearly swept her away. The Nutcrackers stood firm but they were batted aside by many multicolored paws. A whoosh of frigid air and the fuzzy herd was gone.

There go the teddy bears, Santa sighed. Usually the Helper Toys were as nice and calm as Mrs. Claus, their builder, but when Halloween rolled around they could be as bad as the elves. He noticed a tall wooden soldier running by. Brigadier! he called. What's the rush?

Suh, The Brigadier, splendid in a bright red uniform, stopped reluctantly and saluted. Suh, the reindeer are brawling for extra time in front of the cameras. Vixen's being a bit of a diva.

He paused as a big, blue grizzly bear with a Christmas stocking pulled over his head blindly stumbled past. The Brigadier poked the beast with the swagger stick he usually carried clamped under his arm. Something amiss, Bertram? he asked.

Stop that. The newcomer sat on the floor and continued his battle against the Stocking of Doom. His ears were stuck. Whoof! he said. Well, I've lost control of the bears.

No! Do tell, the Brigadier said.

Bertram ignored the tall toy. Princess is doing her best but the dollies are gonna break soon, too. Whurf, he snorted.

Santa remembered the ballerina doll's soccer kick and said nothing.

I have utter faith in Princess, the Brigadier said.

We knowww, it's so cute. Bertram growled and pulled harder. Where's Mrs. Claus? We need someone tough if we're gonna pull this show together. The stocking came off with a pop and a tangerine rolled out of the toe. The bear blinked in the bright lights. Two months early. Of all the ridiculous... he noticed Santa and gave a little jump. Oh! Erf. Hello.

Merry Belle's dealing with the elves right now. I'll help, I'm tough. Santa threw his chest out.

You're tough? Bertram asked and his round ears perked up. Then he actually snickered and the Brigadier smoothed his painted-on mustache to hide a little smile. Yeah, you're a real bruiser, Santa.

That stung a little. Well, she can't be bothered with every little problem around here, Santa said. What are you two for anyway? The two toys looked at each other.  You, Santa pointed at the soldier. Uhhh, you help with the elves. And, um, you, he pointed to the bear. You go to the stables and hold Vixen's hoof while she wails about being a star.

"And you, Santa?" the Brigadier asked, raising his eyebrow. Bertram also squinted at Santa Claus.

I'll do some thinking, Santa said.

Bertram groaned and set off.

Yes, very good, suh, The Brigadier saluted again and marched over to the nearest group of elves. They were courting prime time by diving from the top of a crane into a damp sponge. Stop that! It's silly.

Ach, Santa Claus repeated as he watched Mrs. Claus and the Brigadier take the elves and toys down a notch. But you couldn't blame any of them for going a little wild. A year's hard work was officially winding to a close. Party time! Even better, the televised visit to the Workshop, a tradition since 1959 and the first hurrah of Christmas, was going to be broadcast to the world the very next day, two months early.

The thought derailed his aggravation and he smiled.

Two entire months early! And why? Because the people demanded it. Because his holiday was the most popular. The best. Christmas, the Acknowledged Best! Despite the semi-chaos he puffed up with pride.

Hello, Santa, purred a familiar voice behind him.

He whirled around.

A large cat with golden eyes and silky black fur hopped off the bristles of a broom piloted by the witchiest witch there ever was. Punkin! Santa exclaimed to the cat, I didn't hear you fly in. How nice to see you! And you, too, uh, Morgan. The crone glared at Santa with her one good eye and he shuddered. Punkin approached on silent paws, her tail in the air.  There was a loud gobble! and a huge brown and orange turkey landed with a hard thud! beside her. Feathers flew. And Tom! Santa halloed again. Well, this is a lovely surprise.

Is it? said Tom and his wattles quivered as he picked himself up. Feathers floated through the air and he turned to brush himself down. Funny thing about Tom, from the front he looked like any other turkey. From the side he looked like a giant human hand.

My, such activity, said Punkin, glancing around as she sat on the floor, her long tail wrapping primly around her paws. She watched the producer herding her film crew back inside like a sheriff bringing desperadoes to justice. "And, yes, there they are. When we heard the news we couldn't quite believe it."

A bit early, ain't they? Tom said.

Santa was confused. His old friends didn't seem at all pleased.

Tom went on, Traditionally the show airs 12 days before Christmas, right?

It's airing tomorrow! Live. Isn't it great? Santa said.

The two stared at him.

"Before Halloween? I prefer tradition," Punkin finally said.

No, no, no. Traditions change. Santa shook his head. Especially traditions as young as television. My producer said the kids were demanding an earlier show. They can't have too much Christmas. Santa rose onto the tips of his toes and down again, lifted by all his good feelings. So, of course, I can't disappoint them.

The cat narrowed her eyes and her witch did the same. Tom Turkey's long neck