Have Yourself a Creepy Little Christmas

by Tara Kerry

The small woman walked quickly towards her car, her arms filled with bags and packages. She had been doing some last minute shopping to complete the list of items needed for the holiday party that was being held the next night at the community center.

The parking garage, which had been full of cars and busy shoppers when she had entered the mall, was now as empty as a graveyard, and she wished she had been able to park closer to the building.

The blonde balanced her burdens as she tried to unlock the trunk.

"Looks like you could use some help," a man's voice announced, startling the woman. A bag fell to the ground as she jumped, and an orange basketball rolled under her car.

The shopper turned and saw a man standing there. The hairs on the back of her neck stood up as she looked at the man's eyes; there was something malevolent in them. "Uh, no. I'm fine. Thanks"

The stranger took several steps towards her. "What's a pretty thing like you doing out by yourself anyway?"

The smell of alcohol on the man's breath assaulted her nose and caused her stomach to turn. She tried to stop her brain from locking up in panic and to think of the best way to get out of this.

"Don't be shy, I just want to have a little fun."

"I don't think the lady wants to play." A voice behind the man growled. He turned and found himself having to look up to see the face of the woman who had spoken the words.

"Why don't you mind your own business?" He turned his attention back to the petite blonde whose frightened gaze was locked on the tall, dark woman.

"I don't think you heard me, leave now and you won't get hurt," she warned.

The man was frustrated by the interruption in his party plans and acted out his aggravation. He soundly pushed the fair-haired woman and she crashed into the side of her car and slid to the ground.

In an instant the man felt his arm roughly grabbed and jerked behind his back. He cried out in pain at the sound of bones snapping in the limb. He dropped to his knees as the woman released her grasp on him.

The injured blonde slowly shook her head trying to clear away the cobwebs. She felt an arm on her shoulder and instinctively flinched away from the contact. When she looked over at the woman who was kneeling down next to her, she thought she caught a flash of hurt in the woman's blue eyes.

"Are you okay?" the brunette questioned softly.

"Uh, yeah. Thanks." She ran a shaking hand through her short hair, something she did when she was nervous.

"Are you sure? You're as white as a ghost." The smaller woman nodded, so she assisted her to her feet, glad the woman didn't flinch at her touch this time. "I'm Lara, Lara Jacobs."

"Abigail Price. Thank you for helping me." She looked around for her attacker, but he was nowhere to be seen having taken off while Lara was helping her.

"Don't worry about him, he'll turn up at a hospital and they'll get him then."

She bent over and began picking up some of the dropped packages. "Let me help you get these in your car."

Abigail turned the key in the lock and opened the trunk as Lara placed the bags of toys, gift-wrap and other holiday items into the space.

"You must have a big family," Lara commented on seeing all the purchases.

The blonde shook her head. "No, not really. These are for a holiday party at the community center. I do some volunteer work there."

"That's great. When is the party?" She placed the last package in the trunk and closed it. She didn't know why, but she didn't want to let the woman leave.

"Tomorrow night." She knew she should be getting home, but found herself rooted in place. "Is your car on this level? I can give you a ride to it if you want."

Lara shook her head. "That's okay, I'm not parked that far away. I guess you need to get home."

"Thanks again, Lara. I don't know what would have happened if you hadn't shown up." She shivered involuntarily at the thought.

"You take care of yourself, Abigail Price," Lara commented as she watched the blonde get into her car. She waved as the car slowly drove away. Noting the small rainbow sticker in the back window she thought, until we meet again.


"Hey, Abby, I'm glad you're here. We have the costumes in the music room." Gayle, a bubbly redhead she worked with, led Abigail towards the room.

"Costumes?" the blonde questioned. "What are you talking about?"

Gayle stopped. "Didn't Jayne tell you? We rented Santa and elf costumes, and since you're the only one small enough to fit in the elf costume, you got volunteered."

Abigail rolled her eyes when she saw the costume. "You've got to be kidding."

"Oh come on, Abby. Think how excited the kids will be to have Santa and one of his elves handing out the gifts.

"Okay, Gayle. I'll do it, but I don't want any pictures taken or anything."

"Oh yeah, sure." She decided not to tell the blonde about the photo op with Santa and his elf they had planned for the kids. "I'll just leave you to get changed."

Lara walked into the room with a large piñata filled with treats under one arm and a bag of gifts held in the other. She scanned the room and her eyes fell on the most adorable elf she had ever seen. A big smile pulled at her lips as she walked over to the woman. "Hi, Abigail."

The elf recognized the voice immediately and turned around. "Lara, hey. It's good to see you." She was surprised to see the woman there but was happy at the same time.

"I hope you don't mind. After you left, I found a basketball in the garage and I thought it probably belonged to you, so I thought I'd return it, and add a few things."

Abigail spied the gifts Lara was holding. "Wow, that's great. The kids will be thrilled with the piñata."

"I'm glad." She paused a moment taking in the full red and green elf attire. "So you're one of Santa's little helpers? Does he ever let you take the sleigh out?" She gave her a crooked smile.

Abigail couldn't help but smile back. "If I take a peek at Santa's list, will it say you've been naughty or nice?"

"Hmmm, I'd have to say naughty. " Her smile grew as she lowered her voice. "I guess I need someone to help me be nice."

Abigail felt her cheeks grow warm as a light blush spread over her cheeks. "Maybe I can put in a good word for you with the Big Guy."

Gayle walked up to the women. "Hey, Abby, who's your friend?"

"Oh. Gayle this is Lara; Lara this is Gayle." The two women shook hands. "Lara brought some stuff for the party."

"That's wonderful." She motioned another volunteer over who took the items from Lara and disappeared. "And uh, we have a little problem."

Abigail could tell this "problem" was going to somehow involve her. "And what would that be?"

The redhead smiled nervously. "Well, the guy who was supposed to play Santa can't make it, so we're trying to find someone to take his place."

"You mean I'm wearing these pointy little shoes with bells on them and we don't even have a Santa?" The blonde looked up at her new friend, her eyes twinkled with an evil gleam. "I think I know someone who can help you out."


"Okay, stand up and let's take a look at you." Lara stood up to her full height and pulled on the red velvet jacket she was wearing "Alright, let me fix your beard."

Lara looked down at Abigail who was a good six inches shorter than she. "Do you want me to get down on my knees?" she teased as she ducked her head down closer.

"Very funny," the short blonde commented with a smile as she straightened her friend's newly acquired white whiskers.

"Oh, don't you two just look adorable!" Gayle exclaimed excitedly. "And just in time too; the photographer is set up."

Abigail lifted a lone, questioning eyebrow. "Umm, Gayle. What photographer?"

"Well, we thought it would be great to be able to give the kids a picture with Santa to take home with them."

"That sounds like a great idea," Lara agreed, knowing some of the kids had probably never had the chance to have their photo taken with Santa. "Are you ready, my little elf?"

Abigail realized how much this would probably mean to the children. "Sure, Santa. Let's go see some kids."

An hour later all the kids had been given their chance to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what they wanted for Christmas. They also had their picture taken with him and his elf, a highlight for many of the children.

The children raced off to where the adults had set up the piñata, leaving Santa and his tired elf behind. Lara saw the photographer was about to pack up her camera.

"Could you do me a favor and take a photo of me and my elf?

The woman smiled. "Sure, I think that can be arranged. Okay, I think it would be nice to have the elf sitting on your lap. Is that okay?"

Abigail paused just a moment before she sat on Lara's lap. The photo was taken, but Lara kept the smaller woman from standing up. "Oh no. You need to tell Santa what you want for Christmas."

"As long as it's chocolate I'll be happy," she joked.

"Ah, a woman after my own heart." She helped Abigail to her feet before standing herself. "Would you like some punch? I noticed they used dry ice to give it a cool effect."

"Maybe after I change into my regular clothes."

"Yeah, good idea, it'll be easier to drink once I take this beard off." Lara stroked the fake hair.

The pair picked up their photo and began walking back to the music room where they could change out of the costumes. Lara's mind began trying to work out a way to spend more time with her new friend. She wasn't sure what it was, but she felt like she had known her a lot longer than a few hours.

"So will you be spending the holidays with your family?" she inquired.

"No, my folks are visiting my sister and her family in Hawaii this year. I couldn't get the time off, so I'm going to stay here. What about you?"

"I'm on my own as well." She paused briefly. "Umm, if you don't have any plans, I'd love to have you come over to my house for Christmas dinner."

Abigail didn't have any plans, and she really liked Lara and wanted to get to know her better. "That sounds great, I'd love to."

"Cool. I'll give you my phone number and directions to my house after we change."


Abigail began shutting down her computer programs and getting things ready to take off until after Christmas. She was glad the firm she worked for had decided to be closed Christmas Eve. Gayle popped her head around the corner and peeked into Abigail's office. The redhead was the young attorney's secretary, and while she was good at her job, Gayle could be a little too enthusiastic at times. "Hey boss, are you ready to get out there and deck the halls and all that stuff?"

"Yeah, just turning my computer off and I'm headed out." She clicked 'shutdown' on the menu.

"So what are your plans for the next couple of days? Sleeping in, watching Christmas movies?"

"Actually I'm going over to Lara's house for dinner." A smile pulled at her lips at the thought of the woman. She was actually going to be spending the night there Christmas Eve but didn't think Gayle needed to know everything.

"Santa Claus?" Abigail nodded. "Cool, where does she live? I don't think I've seen her around before."

The blonde pulled a piece of paper out of her briefcase and handed it to her secretary. The woman's eyes grew wide as she read it. "Oh my gawd, you're going to the old Jacob's place? Everyone says that place is a haunted house." She paused as she realized something. "So that was Lara Jacobs at the party yesterday?"

Abigail was a bit taken back by the words shooting out between Gayle's lips. "Uh, yeah, that was Lara Jacobs. Why?"

"Oh nothing, it's just that no one ever sees her out of that house is all. It's really weird, nobody knows what she does in there. There were those rumors about her family bloodline descending from vampires; maybe you should take a pumpkin pie laced with garlic over with you," she teased and handed back the slip of paper. "Have a Merry Christmas, Abigail."

"You too Gayle."

The attorney watched her secretary walk out of the office, leaving her to think about what the woman had just said. She folded the paper and shoved it into her pocket. It seemed Lara Jacobs was a bit of a mystery woman, and she was looking forward to learning more about her.


Abigail pulled her white Toyota Celica GT up to the security call box outside the gate and pressed the button. She smiled when she heard Lara's voice project from the speaker. "Hey Abigail. Come on up to the house, you can park right outside the door if you want."

"Okay, thanks. See you soon."

There was a buzzing sound and the gate slowly opened. The blonde drove through when it was safe and continued up the drive to the house. Her eyes grew wide when she saw the size of the place. Man, I'm having Christmas at the Wayne Manor. She quickly wondered how many people lived in the place; she really hadn't asked Lara about her family.

The attorney parked the car and grabbed her duffle bag off the passenger seat. As she walked towards the door, it opened and Lara stood there waiting. Abigail's eyes moved up and down the tall woman's body. She was wearing faded jeans, black boots, and a button-down shirt in a shade that really complimented the blue in her eyes.

"Glad you found the place," Lara stated. "It's kind of off the beaten path."

"Well, your directions were really good." Abigail surprised the woman with a hug. "This is some house."

"Thanks. Come on in and I'll show you around."

The attorney was overwhelmed by the tour of the large house. The place was beautifully decorated with art and artifacts from differing centuries and countries, and she was fascinated by the collection of armor and weapons. She was glad to have Lara there to show her around be cause she was sure she'd get turned around in the place.

"How about we have a snack?" Lara suggested. "Then we can decide what we want to do next."

"I'd love to take a look at the grounds, if that's okay."

"Of course, there are several fruit tree orchards on the grounds, including apples and peaches. Of course the trees are bare this time of year." She pointed to a room they hadn't gone into during the tour. "If you'd like to wait in there, I'll be right back."

"Okay, if you're sure you don't need any help," the blonde answered.

"Nah, I'll be fine," Lara assured her. "There are some weapons in the room; I noticed you liked the ones on the second floor. Feel free to pick them up to get a better look."

"Alright, thanks."

Abigail entered the room and spotted the beautiful 7-foot Douglas fir Christmas tree in one corner. It was decorated with gold ornaments and what looked like a million little white lights. She turned and found herself face to face with a Santa-hat-wearing skeleton. She jumped. "Shit." She was glad to see it was just a model and not something from the living dead come to attack her.

The small woman continued her exploration of the room. She was drawn to a wooden case set on the cherry wood desk. Well, Lara said I could examine the stuff in the room. She slowly opened the lid and peered down at the weapons exposed. It was a set of sais, their blades nicked and scarred from obvious use in battle. She wrapped her hand around one of the leather bound handles and removed the sai from its case. The object fit perfectly in her small hand and she picked up its twin with her other hand. She was so focused on the weapons she didn't hear her friend enter the room and place the tray down on a side table.

"They're beautiful, aren't they?" Lara asked as she stood behind Abigail and looked over the woman's shoulder.

"Yes, they are." She returned the sais to their case. "I hope you don't mind I picked them up, I just felt the need to hold them."

"No, not at all. Would you like to know more about them?" She motioned for Abigail to take a seat in one of the chairs by the fireplace. "They have a pretty interesting history."

"I'd love to know more about them." She paused and looked over at the skeleton as she sat down. "But could you tell me about that first?"

"Ahh, yes, Fred. I hope he didn't scare you too bad. I'm so used to him I sometimes forget others might get a bit of a shock from him." She walked over to the fireplace and flipped a switch; a fire started in the hearth. "Gotta love technology." She smiled as she sat down in a chair next to Abigail and motioned for her to help herself to the tray of goodies on the table next to them.

"My grandfather was a doctor and he kept Fred in his office for decoration I guess. Well, my Grandma Sheridan was known for her wicked sense of humor and pulling tricks on people. One day she snuck into my grandfather's office and dressed Fred up for Christmas. It kind of became a tradition after that and she would decorate the skeleton for whatever holiday came up." She picked up her glass of eggnog and took a sip. "I just kind of took over the job."

Abigail nibbled on a tasty cookie and laughed. "That's a great story; sounds like your grandma's quite a character."

"Yeah, she's really something. I'd love for you to meet her someday. She and my grandfather live in Key West. I try to get down there for the holidays, but it just didn't work out this year."

"I'm sorry," the blonde sympathized.

"I'm not." Lara admitted. "Then I wouldn't be spending Christmas with you."

The attorney smiled shyly. "Thank you."


The pair had decided to save the story about the sais for their walk of the grounds. They'd finished eating their cookies and eggnog and had put their coats on for the stroll, since the Christmas Eve temperature was dropping.

The pair ambled down the path through the garden; Abigail could imagine how beautiful the area would be in the spring when all the plants and flowers were in bloom. Lara led her out the back gate and towards the open area of the orchards.

"Since I was a child I was interested in Greek Mythology, " she began. "I read everything I could on the subject. While I was in college I stumbled across a group of stories they didn't teach us in school. Stories about a fierce female warrior named Xena and her companion Gabrielle who was the one who recorded their adventures in scrolls."

"Wow, that sounds really interesting. Can you tell me more about Xena and Gabrielle?" Abigail reached her hand out and took a hold of Lara's hand.

The brunette smiled and gave the hand a gentle squeeze. "I'd love to. From the scrolls I've read, it seems at first Xena wasn't the nicest of people. She was the leader of an army and was quite successful in battle. Through certain events Xena was overthrown as the commander and that was probably the best thing that could have happened to her. She saved a young Gabrielle and other villagers from a group of slavers and they were pretty much inseparable from that time on. And that's when their adventures began."

The women continued walking hand in hand through the leafless trees as Lara continued telling her stories of the Greek women's exploits. They stopped once to look at a group of bats hanging from a high branch hibernating. A return trip led them back to the living room where they sat together on the floor in front of the fire, sipping cups of steaming cocoa.

"So, Gabrielle threw her staff into the river." Lara explained.

"My sister, Heidi, and me used broomsticks once as staffs," the blonde interrupted. "We'd seen them on some martial arts movie. My mother, not to mention Heidi, was less than pleased when I swept my sister's legs out from under her and she fell on her arm, breaking it. " She realized she'd interrupted her friend's story and smiled sheepishly. " I'm sorry, please go on."

Lara laughed. She had learned from the time she had spent with Abigail that the young woman had a story for just about everything, and she just loved that about her. "Well, I'm not really sure what happened for a little bit after that because either there are some missing scrolls out there or Gabrielle didn't write the events down. But with her staff gone, Gabrielle then picked the sais as her next weapon."

"The ones in the case." Abigail's eyes moved to the box on the desk. "Are those Gabrielle's?"

The taller woman nodded. "I spent a great deal of time and resources finding those, but it was worth it."

The attorney realized she had spent all afternoon and evening with the woman and still didn't know what she did for a living. "Do you mind if I ask what it is you do?"

"Not at all. I guess the easiest way to put it is I'm the equivalent of a female Indiana Jones." She saw green eyes go wide in surprise and smiled. "Most of the stuff I sell to museums and that helps to fund my personal expeditions for the items I really want, things that wouldn't really be of interest to curators."

"I don't know what to say; that's just really cool." It was probably one of the only times in her life that Abigail had been left speechless. "So what happened to Xena and Gabrielle?"

Lara placed her empty mug down on a nearby table. "I don't really know," she admitted. "I figure there must be some scrolls out there waiting to be found that will shed some light on Xena and Gabrielle's later years."

Abigail nodded. "I'm sure one day you'll find them. Are you getting ready to go on any exciting expeditions?"

"Actually, I think I'm pretty close to locating Xena's chakram; I'm hoping to find a scroll

or two with it if I'm lucky."

The blonde looked into the blue eyes watching her and felt herself fall into them. "Do you think you could use a partner?"

"Nothing would make me happier." She leaned forward slowly as Abigail did the same.

As their lips touched, a clock began chiming the midnight hour. "Merry Christmas, Lara."

They kissed again. "I guess Santa thought I was good after all because he gave me exactly what I asked for." Lara smiled.

"We'll have to be sure to leave out some really nice cookies next year as a thank you," Abigail joked as she moved in for more kisses.

This was going to be a very memorable Christmas.

Back To Main Page