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Up On the House Top... BAM!

Spending Christmas Eve fighting my way through armies of giants, undead soldiers, werewolves and other assorted monsters was NOT what I had in mind for the day. But when an elf crashed a sleigh into my roof and told me Santa was being held hostage in his own work shop; I had no choice but to round up a team and head off to save Christmas.

My mom and I had just gotten back from a holiday party my grandma had thrown, my mortal grandmother that is, not my dad’s mom. My dad is Zeus, King of the Olympian gods. Anyways we had gotten back around eleven at night. I crawled up the staircase to my room. My family had engaged in an all out snowball war that lasted up until we left. My mom stayed down stairs watching a movie on the Hallmark channel.

I crashed onto my bed and turned on the TV. Angel my pet cat curled up next to me. Her fur had changed snow white for winter. I fell asleep about an hour later. I slept peacefully no dreams, no nightmares when a sudden crash over head jolted me awake.  Angel jumped and clung to the ceiling shaking. I looked at my clock and saw it read two thirty in the morning.

I looked up and Angel and whispered, “Get down here you chicken!”

She dropped back onto my bed and turned into a reddish brown hen and started clucking. I shook my head and crept down the hall to my mom’s room. Luckily she had gone to bed and was still fast asleep.

“What do you think hit the roof?” Angel asked.

“I don’t know hopefully it was a tree branch or some heavy snow.” I said trying to reassure myself more than Angel.  Being a demigod the more likely answer would be anything from blood thirsty harpies, to stampeding wind spirits, to a crazy flying pig! Trust me they’ve all happened.

Still in my pajamas I pulled on a coat, my boots and grabbed my staff from thin air. I was about to walk outside when I heard a groaning noise coming from the living room. I stood and listened to the groaning. Suddenly the fire place expanded and a figure tumbled into the darkness. I launched myself at the intruder and willed my staff to transform into a knife. I crashed on top of it and the figure started screaming and thrashing. Angel ran over and flicked on the lights. I held my knife at its throat and almost dropped it when I saw what I was trying to kill.

 It was an elf! He was short, maybe two feet in height.  He had brown, windblown, hair with some snowflakes stuck in random places, red cheeks and big green eyes the color of a pine tree. He wore ski goggles, an aviator’s jacket and snow pants.

 I loosened my grip and lowered my knife. The elf chuckled a little trying to shake off his nervousness.

“Who are you?” I asked.

“The name’s Charlie,” He had a deep voice for someone his height. “Head of Santa’s Sleigh Management. And you must be Joseph Mierek” The elf replied extending his hand for me to shake. However I didn’t drop my knife or him.

“How do you know my name?” I asked not entirely believing he was a real elf.

“Kid it used to be my job to know names. Before I became head of Sleigh prep I used to work in the mail room and I remember every name and vital statics about each kid. Like when you were 5 you asked for a bike and an Animal Planet Jumbo Dino Play set.”

“Lucky guess.” I replied. I still had the Dino set in the attic somewhere and I had given the bike to one of my mom’s friend’s kids.

“And when you were 7 you asked for your father to come back.” Charlie said losing his smile.

I dropped my knife, no one knew about that wish not even my mom! I started to believe this guy was for real.

Taking a few deep breaths to calm my nerves I put Charlie down and asked my next question. “Why are you here?”

Charlie put his ski goggles on his fore head his eyes told me he had witnessed horrible things but he kept a straight face. He pulled out an iPad and presented it to me. A video appeared and I pressed play. I saw an aerial image of a small village; dark shapes bolted through the streets or flew through the air, several buildings were smashed or frozen solid. A large Christmas tree in the center had been set ablaze casting shadows. I heard roaring and distant screams and a rhythmic pounding like the beat of a giant drum. The scene changed and I saw a massive building with a mob standing at a huge set of doors. Six Hyperborean giants were using a battering ram on the doors while smaller giants, undead soldiers, hellhounds and other assorted monsters milled around them. The doors flashed with red, white, and green lights every time the giants struck the doors preventing them from breaking in. Up on the battlements I could make out small figures raining arrows and giant snowballs down onto the attackers.

The video stopped and I handed the iPad back to Charlie who was looking at the tree in the corner of the room.

“So Santa is real? And he’s under attack from an army of monsters?” I asked stunned. Charlie nodded his head.

“That video I took when I escaped to find help. I have no idea what’s happening now.” He replied grimly.

“How did you find me and how did you know I was a demigod?” I asked. He typed something into his iPad and presented it to me again. On the screen was a map with my address and a bright dot glowing on its location.

“We’re able to locate demigods the same way monsters do. Your scent was the strongest.” I tapped the dot and a picture of me appeared along with a list of statistics. I looked back at the map and noticed that there were only a few other dots but none were glowing as brightly as mine. Most demigods would be at Camp Half-Blood for winter break since we don’t normally celebrate Christmas. Looking more closely at the other addresses I recognized three belong to my friends Steven Martin, Ryan Richards and Andrew Dawson. The other three were my cousins Kylie Deere, Jonathan Mierek, and Ashlee Madry.

 “How did you get here?” I asked becoming aware of the fact that the North Pole was 3400 miles away.

Charlie smiled and walked into the fire place. “I’ll show you.” He replied and an invisible force pulled him up. I looked at Angel and she tilted her head asking if we should follow. She climbed onto my shoulder and I stepped into the fireplace. I waited for the same force to pull me up but nothing happened.

“Hey Charlie!” I shouted. “How the heck does this thing work?”

“Whoops, sorry it only works with Christmas magic!” He replied.

I groaned and willed the winds to carry me up through the chimney. Surprisingly there was just enough room for me to fit. Two sliding doors opened to my roof like an elevator. I stepped out and my jaw dropped. Standing on my roof were eight Reindeer harnessed so a sleek red sleigh. I approached the reindeer calmly reaching a hand out and letting one nuzzle my hand. Angel sat on my shoulder smelling them.

“They have a strong magic aura.” Angel said. I looked at them again and they all seemed to be glowing faintly. Each had a name tag around there necks. I looked at one and was shocked to see “Blitzen” spelled out in Greek. I blinked then found it spelt in English.

“Their tags change according to the native language of the person who reads them.” Charlie shouted from the sleigh.

I walked back and inspected the sleigh. It was fire engine red with gold and green trim. The runners were intricately designed with a lot of curved metal, some of the pieces moved to keep the sleigh level on the roof. The sleigh it’s self was impressive; it had a single driver’s seat, two rows of large leather benches and a huge empty space in the back where the presents would go. Up front a computer was set into the dash like the ones on a luxury car.

“What’d you think?” Charlie asked. “This baby’s got everything, heated seats, Hermes Express GPS, iPod plug in, and a dozen cup holders! Showing it off like a brand new car.

I whistled, for a sleigh this was bad-a**.

“So you ready to go?” Charlie asked.

“Go where?” I replied.

“To the North Pole!” Charlie exclaimed. “Santa won’t be able to hold them off forever.”

I actually started to chuckle and Charlie demanded to know what was so funny.

“There is no way in Hades I’ll be able to take on an entire army of monsters by myself.” I explained. “I’m just one demigod and there are hundreds of monsters!”

“You got a better plan?” Charlie asked.

“As a matter of fact… kinda.” I said.

I ran back inside with Charlie and Angel at my heels. I rummaged through my nightstand and brought out a dream catcher. It had been given to me by Hypnos and it allowed me to enter other people’s dreams. I presented it to Charlie and explained its properties.

“So what?” Charlie asked.

“With this I’ll be able to get help from other demigods faster. It shouldn’t take that long.” I explained.

“Alright,” Charlie said. “But we don’t have all night.” He looked at my clock and it read three in the morning. “Santa makes his run at midnight so we have to rescue him before that.”

“Twenty-one hours, don’t worry we should have plenty of time.” I said placing the dream catcher around my neck. Immediately eyes felt heavy and I collapsed onto my bed.

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