I roll my eyes and disclose myself in the drapes behind the Christmas tree. Little Miss Prissy comes waddling in, her face red. I smirk.
"I know you're in here."
I step around the curtain with her once blue now brown ribbon, hanging between my fingers. "Looking for something?"
My twin sister, Clara, balls her hands into fists. "You brat."
I walk up to her and place it in her open hand. "You may want to wash that." I wave my hand in front of my nose as I walk away.
"What did you do?"
"It took a trip with me to where I got those eggs."
She quickly opens her fingers and the ribbon flutters to the ground. "You rat."
"Ooh, good one, Clara. I think I'll use that one next time." I glance at the clock. "You may want to do something about your shoes. I hear egg yoke is hard to get out."
She storms--well waddles out of the room, yelling for our grandfather.
I don't understand girls and their ribbons. It makes them look a lot younger than they actually are. Clara's friends already act younger, they don't need to look it as well.
I straighten my shoulders as Grandfather brushes my vest. A fire crackles in the large, stone fire place to my left. Grandfather's one blue and one green eyes scrutinize my face. "Did you shave today?"
"Behave tonight, otherwise any presents you receive will be confiscated."
He turns, looking with adoration on Clara in her brown dress with pink ruffles. What is she? A chocolate covered strawberry? At least they look nice. Grandfather places his hand under her chin and lifts her face to meet his eyes. "You look beautiful tonight, my dear."
She bows. "Thank you, Grandfather." My impatient sister turns her attention to the tree, glistening with ornaments.
We hear the front door open. I take a deep breath before the butlers lead in the first guest--Aunt Martha with my beastly cousins, Cecil and Agatha. They immediately go to Clara's side. They squeal admiring each others' foofy dresses.
More cousins come and join Clara's side. Even they boys my age join her. I wish we still believed girls had cooties. But no, we have to be attracted to them. Well they do. Personally they all seem rather obnoxious. Don't any of these well to do families have daughters who are appealing? Because I'll end up being matched with one of these squealing girls in a couple of years.
I turn my attention on the Christmas tree. The amount of gifts is steadily growing. I catch the gaze of Uncle Lucas. He waves me over to where he stands with a group of men by the fireplace. I pass by Clara and her posse, receiving nasty looks from my female cousins. I swear I have the most ghastly cousins. I smile as I approach Uncle Lucas, who pats me on the back.
"Young man, what have you done with my nephew?" His grin covers his face.
I laugh in response with the other men, my face beaming as well.
"Are you as excited to open your gifts as your sister?"
And there I'm tossed in the same category as Clara. "I more just want Clara to grow up already."
"Oh let her be. Christmas is the one time that you can be a kid again," Uncle Cedric says goodnaturedly as he hands a glass of cider to a man who's a friend of my family. The friend nods, taking a sip. He then begins coughing and clutching onto the fireplace ledge. My uncle has the biggest grin on his face.
"What did you do? Put pepper in it?"
He scowls as we all laugh. If my male cousins spent a week with here with my grandfather they wouldn't be hanging out with the girls.
The sound of glass being tapped rings through the air, and we turn to face the source.
"Can everyone please gather around the tree?" Grandfather holds a champaign fluke and knife.
Chuckling at something Uncle Lucas said us men remain in a group the farthest from the Christmas tree. Clara and her followers are of course the closest, looking around excitedly. For Heaven's sake's she's sixteen. When she starts acting her age, I'll start treating her her age.
Grandfather smiles as he hands Clara a small square package. She blushes and unwraps it.
"Oh, Grandfather, it's beautiful." She turns her back to him as she pulls her hair to the side to allow him to fasten the gold locket.
He picks up the next package. "Friedrich." I tense up. I--he got me a gift? I walk forward, apprehensive. He holds it out to me.
"Thank you, Sir." I take the present in my hands like it's an explosive.
I pull the first piece of paper away. A cold gust of air blows through the room, extinguishing each light as it passes the flames, leaving us in darkness. The girls and women squeal. I set the present down on the ground slowly and stand up, balling my hands into fist.
Something passes behind me, making the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. The candles relight themselves and next to me, stands a man in a black cloak.
Grandfather bows as Drosselmeyer takes in the room, his one eye moving back and forth. I don't know what is going on behind his eye patch.
"I am sorry I am late. I was putting the finishing touches on my gift." He snaps his fingers and an object appears in front of him that comes almost to his chin. A blanket covers it. "Where is my god-daughter?"
Clara hurries forward and curtsies.
"My dear, you look as lovely as ever."
"Thank you." Her eyes drift to the concealed gift. "Is this for me?"
My sister smiles.
My eyes drift to her friends. They all smile at her but Aaron smiles a little too much. I send him a glare he does not notice.
Drosselmeyer takes hold of the sheet, and with a mysterious smile, he pulls the drape away in one fluid motion, revealing a girl.
Well a doll.
Well a nutcracker.
YOU ARE READING
She's the Sugar Plum Princess. She's also a doll. A nutcracker to be precise. He's the younger twin brother of Clara. This time it's not Clara who's going to Candyland. And this time Candyland might not be so sweet. Highest Ranking: #591 in Fantasy ...