Only an Idiot….
Free stood silently at Eruka's front door, the sharp winter air turning his breath into mist as the ground changed to white. Her Scotland home seemed more of a tavern than a home from its outside appearance. She even had a frog sign hanging above the door that would sway in the December breeze next to the unlit lanterns nailed into the black brick wall. Free continued to knock on her door, and quickly resorting to banging. "Froggy! Yo! What's this shit? Open up! It's Free!"
Still no response. Taking his hand from the door, he rubbed one leg against the other. Being immortal prevented any pain but it didn't stop him from feeling the cold. If he stood outside any longer he would have to turn into a werewolf to stay warm. Knocking on the door once more, he clutched onto the box in his other hand. "It's a week before Christmas woman! You haven't talked or called or anything!"
Placing his present carefully on the front steps, he walked down into the snow until he made it to the window. It was small and set rather high, maybe she was worried about perverts. It forced him on his toes as he stretched his neck to check inside. "I'm not a pervert," he grinned. "So I'll just take a peek."
Inside he could see her darkened kitchen; there were no traces of light coming from anywhere. Complete silence flew through the house and the door to her room was closed. Back on his feet, he decided to try the next window, the one to her room. Standing on his toes once more, he could see a bump under her blanket growing big and then quickly shrinking. Free placed his ear against the glass, hearing murmured snores from beyond the window. "She's sleeping? What the hell?!"
Feet completely on the ground, he returned to the front door and banged even louder. Finding himself still alone in the cold he looked away, wondering how a girl can sleep so hard. Peeking to his side he noticed her mailbox stuffed with overflowing mail. One of the envelopes had a frog mark on it. "Does she send mail to herself?" he wondered, reaching for it. Curiously flipping it over, he could see his name on it. "This is for me?"
He quickly slid a claw through it and pulled out the letter. He was surprised how neat her hand writing was for someone who was obsessed with frogs.
"Dear Free, this is Eruka Frog. Sorry but I'll have to miss Christmas. I usually do because of my hibernation which means no matter how hard you yell or knock I'm not waking up. Even Medusa can't budge me. See you in the Spring-sincerely, Eruka."
"What the….until Spring? That'll take forever. Crap," he muttered, slipping the letter into the envelope. This year would have to be without her. Picking up her present, he walked back towards the city, finding a hotel for the night.
With the snow melted completely and the plants raising their heads back into the sunlight,
Spring had returned once again after a long winter season. A cool breeze accompanied the warmth that awoke the animals from their long naps. Eruka was no different, flickering her eyes open before stretching under the sheets. It took a few minutes to move normally again, it had been three months since she moved about. The chirping birds outside told her she didn't wake up early. The next step was cracking her back. With her cozy, gray pajamas it wasn't difficult to see her back bend within her hands.
"It's great to sleep for so long. I can stay up for days now and not have to make it up!" Sliding her feet into a pair of froggy slippers, she pulled her arms into the air one more time and moaned. She noticed a familiar scent leaking into her room, it was hot. "Smoke?" she wondered. Leaving her hat behind, she unlocked and swung open her door, stepping into the living room. At the breakfast table was a plate of bacon and eggs at an empty seat across from another. "Who…" turning her head, she could see a tall, short haired man at the oven wearing an apron.
"Goddamn shit!" he yelled out, jerking the pan of ham around in his panic. He hit his head against the cabinet and managed to burn himself a little. Eruka then smelled a scent, something from the forest. Looking at the corner of the living room she could see what she believed to be a Christmas tree, completely decorated but unlit. "Wait," Free said, taking off his apron. He ran over to the wall and plugged the lights in. Before the witch's eyes, the tree glowed beautifully with reds, greens, and whites. At the top was an angel whose wings shimmered liked diamonds, enhancing the reflective ornaments that dangled from branches and the coil of laces that sparkled in the lights.
Free could see the radiance dancing in his friend's eyes. Her mouth popped slightly open, she couldn't released her clamped hands which swung by her waist. "Pretty cool huh? Took me a month to think of this," Free grinned. "I came by to check on ya once a day and then you started moving more so I fixed breakfast. I'm glad you woke up or else I'd have to eat both pl-"
"You did all this? Why?" Eruka asked. "It's Spring."
His face sparked a gentle red, causing him to rub the back of his head and look away. "Well, you know…I read the note you left behind and it got me thinking. You can't celebrate Christmas right? Or even New Years. Plus, I kinda got lonely without anyone to celebrate with. All my old friends are dead. I'm immortal after all."
"So you broke into my house, brought in a tree from the forest and started cooking in my kitchen?" she asked sternly.
"Well…yeah. I know it's kind of wrong but it…"
Walking over to him, she slid her hand across the tree and smiled. He smiled back, seeing the bliss in her eyes, the watery, shaking bliss. He stuck his arms out, expecting a hug. Eruka poked him softly in the chest with her head. "Thanks."
"What the hell?" he chuckled. "That ain't no hug!"
Before she knew it she was locked between his large, muscled arms. Trying her best to wiggle free, she could hardly move anymore. "You're killing me you ox!" she fussed, kicking him in the legs. "Oh, whoops. Wasn't thinking there," he said.
"Anyway…I really appreciate this," she sweetly said, growing red as she looked at the tree. "It's my first time actually being in the same room as a Christmas tree. I only see them in movies and stuff."
"Well, I got the best one I could rip out of the ground," he said. "But the fucking splinters, man!"
"You should have just used a saw you idiot," she chuckled. Looking at the trunk, she noticed something poking out from underneath the branches. Kneeling down, she pulled it out. "What's this? A present?"
"Yeah, open it. I didn't know what kind of stuff you like so…"
Eruka stayed on the ground, keeping the present on her lap. This would technically be her first time ever opening a Christmas present….this would be her first ever getting a Christmas present. Free found a spot on the couch and watched from behind. Pulling the ribbon gently, she could hear Free laughing. "Just the rip that thing open! Do it American style!"
Letting herself go wild, she ripped it off until not a trace of paper was left. Popping open the top she looked inside, pulling out a variety of items. "A set of pajamas with flies and frogs on them? And a Sounds of the Swamp CD?" Finding more inside, she pulled out a sleeping hat with a green ball at the end, a pair of frog slippers with tongues sticking out, a soft yet thick lily pad pillow and a heavy blanket made of sheep wool. "Is this…all stuff for hibernation?" she asked.
"Yeah…I heard you talking about it when we worked together so I kind of thought it would be useful but…"
"I hibernate in the winter when Christmas comes, the same time you would give it to me," Eruka stated. Free nervously grinned, realizing the foolishness in his logic. "And it looks like you already got a pair of frog slippers. Good thing I bought this back up present in case-"
"Idiot," she said quivering, rising from the floor. She plopped onto the couch with lily pad pillow in hand, and placed her head against his arm. "Such a stupid gift….I just can't stop smiling. You even got me crying and I'm a frog!"
Smiling, he wrapped his arm around her back until it hung in mid air. Eruka squeezed the pillow as she curled up on the couch, finding her smile impossible to take away.
"So, what's the other present?" Eruka asked, grinning mischievously as Free hid the small bag away in his other hand. "No way, that's next year's present," he grinned, moving it from her stretched out arm. A mischievous grin stretched across her face before she began to crawl along his chest to get. "Haha! Try harder if you want it!"
She did, climbing his arm like a mountain until the awkward balance of weight brought the couch tipping over. Eruka fell onto his chest, feeling his arm around her. "You okay?" he asked. She reached for the bag and snatched it out of his hand. "Got it!" she cheered. He took that as a yes. Pulling out a small box, she found a transparent bracelet with little diamonds floating inside. "This is beautiful!" she said. "You…did all this…for me? I really can't believe this. What kind of idiot are you?"
"You're the frog that hibernates at home during Christmas," he chuckled. He began to lift himself up but Eruka moved onto her side and rested her head on his chest, closing her eyes. "It's been a busy morning," she happily said. He found it humorous; it had only been ten minutes. Wrapping his arm around her again, he closed his eyes too. It was more her day than his anyway. At the start of spring she celebrated her first Christmas, a Christmas that would be celebrated by the two every spring afterwards-a holiday Eruka nicknamed an Idiot's Christmas. Who in their right mind would wait until spring to celebrate Christmas? Only an idiot who befriended a frog.
Author's Note: Now for my present, Reviews!