Jack had only just finished delivering snow days to Europe and the last thing he wanted was to deal with a hyperactive child.
Too bad Man in the Moon seemed to particularly hate him at the moment and misguided him in his own judgment. Why he had decided to visit Jamie after such a tiring day, he'd never know. Now he was practically trapped in the house, watching the eleven-year-old amidst his sugar high rambling.
These were one of the few situations when he wished he could turn unseen anytime in his favor. Why didn't Man in the Moon make him a wind spirit instead? Or anything that could allow him to easily slip away would be good.
Apparently, Jamie had plentiful of energy to burn from the four loads of Starbucks he had guzzled and worst of all, he was currently pacing back and forth by the window, crumbling Jack's plans to mysteriously disappear while he wasn't looking. He could always use the front door but little Sophie was playing in the living room and she would most definitely not hesitate to cling to his legs….and she wouldn't let go….
"Seriously!" Jamie continued, ignoring Jack's frustrated groans. "It's almost Christmas! And they wouldn't even give us a break. Come on, the teachers decide to give us a three week break, which is good news and then they suddenly throw a load of homework at us at the same time with our exams. Don't you think that's cruel?"
"What's cruel is what you're putting me through" Jack grumbled half-heartedly, leaning against the door frame and banging his head slightly in hope to soothe the headache pulsing in his temple. He was hardly listening to the child's angry rant, although Jamie just kept repeating everything over and over again, even as the words entered his left ear and made their ways out the right, one would easily be able to understand.
"A ton Jack!" still Jamie went on, flailing his hands in emphasis. "A TON! And oh! I forgot to tell you."
"Yeah, yeah" the child just brushed him off with a gesture, ignoring the grim inflection in the other's tone. "You think all that is bad enough, today, our history teacher tasked us to prepare an oral report….ON RUSSIA! Why not other places that I know about, like here….or Disneyland! But seriously, it HAD to be Russia."
"Disneyland his not a country…." Jack couldn't help but say. Hey, he was paying attention after all.
"Yeah, but don't tell Sophie that…."
"Anyway….all the books in the school library have been borrowed and the national library practically has nothing but ancient scrolls and the internets down and….and" He paused for a moment and growled, kicking a rubber ball out the door. "Hey Jack….Jack…" he cleared his throat. "JACK! Are you even listening?"
The winter spirit was startled out of his pleasant state of reverie. "Alright! I heard you the first time and yes I happen to be listening." It's not like you're giving me a choice, he added to himself and mentally groaned again. "Look kiddo" he began, hoping Jamie would just leave him alone after this. "I just caked London with two feet of snow and you know how hard a task that could be…so if you don't mind, I'll be on my way." he made it half way to the window when Jamie suddenly piped up again. "Wait! Jack, didn't you say Mr. North was Russian?"
"Uh…no" said Jack reluctantly, knowing exactly where this conversation would eventually lead to. "I said he was Polish"
"No, you didn't" Jamie broke off his pacing for a moment to recollect his memory. ""You said he was not Polish but Russian."
"No, I didn't….I said he was Polish."
"Well he surely doesn't talk like he's Polish" Jamie pointed smugly. Seeing that he was gaining the upper hand of this argument, he continued. "Come on Jack! You said he was Russian, so maybe he could help be a little with my oral report and that would be it! Just a few questions and-"
"Jamie" the guardian cut him off there before he could begin his ramble again. He let out a long suffering sigh and ran a hand through his hair. "Do you even know who North is?"
"Of course, he's Santa Clause!?" The child answered with a little too much enthusiasm than he was expecting. "Your point being?" and then the realization dawned on him as he looked out the window at the light layer of snow covering the porch. His face fell slightly and Jack started to hope that maybe he was gonna get that nap after all, but that hope soon diminished when Jamie's eyes lit up with another notion.
"It'll only be a few questions, I'm sure he won't mind. I won't even ask for a Christmas present and it'll only take a few minutes, please?"
"Kiddo, considering how hard it is to understand your sugar high blathering at the moment, I doubt that it would only take a few minutes."
"Jamie, I am really tired right now and you want me to take you all the way to the North Pole which is a continent away?"
The child nodded, making it seem as if flying halfway across the world was just an easily done task. When Jack gave him nothing but a blank look, he added "Please, I promise I won't bother you for the next—um…two days."
Jack took a moment to ponder at that thought. It would be nice if he had two whole days to be dead to the world, curled up in the tree by the lake. No snow days for you thank you very much. "Alright fine" he relented "I'll take you there for just a few questions and then you'll leave me alone for a whole two days?"
"That's two days Jamie" The winter spirit clarified, not knowing if he was hearing this right. "No snow days in your room, no blizzards to cancel your exams."
"Yup, I know"
Jack eyes him skeptically before sidling over to the open door. "Aright…lets go then…"
Santoff Claussen was abnormally silent, especially when Christmas was only a few days away.
The tall walls of the hall shut out most of the clamor going on at the factories down below but no matter how thick the layers of wood were, there would still be occasional loud curses from the yetis or the sound of metal, scrap and tools at work piercing through.
But now there was nothing, save for the sound of dancing flames burning in their sconces. It felt as though he was inside a cavern with only his own thoughts echoing in his head. jack looked back to the large double doors of the antechambers that led on the way to the globe room, where he had left Jamie to ask North whatever question he wished, which in his opinion was already taking longer than they compromised.
He made his way towards the globe room and upon shouldering open the grand double doors, he was met by North's boisterous voice, the scent of dust that seemed to have replaced the air and a load of books that have grown into piles around the table and at the center of it all was North, browsing through an ancient book while explaining something about a war and Jamie perched precariously at the edge of his seat, his eyes twitching visible, ready to bolt anytime North was not looking.
No wonder the yetis and elves were not working. They were probably off celebrating their day off, or maybe two days off depending on weather how long the old Cossack would like to talk about his mother country.
Jack internally groaned again as he noticed this day was never going to end. He then concluded that Man in the Moon temporarily hated him today and went off, brewing up a plan on getting Jamie out of here.
In the rule book, written angrily by Toothiana herself in bold upper case letter were the words "Never ask North anything about Russia" then there was a thin line drawn over it and right below, it was replaced by "Don't even mention Russia in front of North"
Based on the rule submitted by: The One Named MoonLight
Since Toothiana knows all the languages, it'll be logical for her to ask North about Russia at some point.
Sorry for another late update. Summer has started for me but once again I have been dragged into yet another two week long road trip together with my cousins. Ugh, never before have I felt so anti-social. Anyway, I can't seem to get my writing schedule in tact, I am working on like five stories at once and I have no choice but to put some of them on hold. Please bear with me still, with my other stories on hold the least I can do is try to maintain regular updates.
Thanks so muck for your support guys! Reviews are welcomed.