FROM THE DESK OF
DONA PENZA TATTLE, ESQ.
ASSOCIATE WRYE BALDERDASH
"T'was the night before the Christmas break, when on top of a ladder, Wrye could be found stirring, wobbling, and tottering, making Tattle sadder. The extra large stockings were not to be hung off the desk, she declared, but by the chimney, where ole Saint Nick would find them securely there. Wrye having visions of characters all snug in a wonderful book, conceded and pointed to the sugar plum stories perched in a nearby nook. With Tattle in her candy cane striped 'kerchief, and Wrye in his fur lined cap, they had just settled their brains for a Love of Literature Leap with a zap."
As Tattle recites her version of a famous poem, hands primly cupped within each other, a halo upon her head and angel wings fluttering from behind, Wrye looks at her over the rim of half glasses that resemble those worn by Santa. "You're right, let's leap. You're an angel?"
"A kind angel with an angelic heart." She
not to Wrye but to the world in general. "The wings are better to leap with m'Claus."
"Aye, call me Pseudo-Clause. The Christmas Critiquer," he said, doing the moon-walk he leaps backwards, calling, "Oh... Oh... Oh!"
Tattle lands on a pair of knitting needles, pointed upward and yelps, Wrye winces and says, "That’s gotta hurt. Christmas tree!" Wrye notices her confusion and clarifies, "Christmas trees are like bad knitters, they both drop their needles."
"What a pain in the.... oops! Jolly ole Saint Obvious," she returns, first removing the knitting appliance, and then taking in the milieu of the Kingsley Nursing Home, within the pages of JULIE EBERHART PAINTER'S MORTAL COIL, a romantic comedy. "Poor dears," she says, checking out the worried expressions on the aged. "There's been two murders and Detective Bill Watts has been called in to investigate what has been dubbed the Ponytail Perp." She rose, flitted her wings, lifted one leg creating a figure four, and spins as if on a music box.
"I hear,” said Nipper to the Gramophone, obscure RCA reference intended, he finds himself also investigating and intrrrigueeeed by Ellen Lange, most would, the lovely lady who runs the home. One thing led to the next, which led to the next, which, welll, ends up with him falling in love, yup, tries to date her, commmplllicaations, happy to even have her ten-year-old daughter, Patti, along."
Tattle accompanies Wrye's long oratory with background music provided by her Ozark Jaw Harp. Why? Angels need a harp.
The sound reminds him of On Top of Ole Smokey and in Pseudo-Clause persona, he reacts, "Ho... Ho... Ho... down?"
Ignoring the query, she continues, "Ah, but Ellen becomes overprotective and decides there is no place in her wee family for the once divorced Bill. Was that fair? Meanwhile, Patti goes missing, ouch, which forces Ellen to turn to Bill. Was it fate? Was it destiny? Was it Memorex?"
Wrye fingers his faux beard, loosening part of it and the mustache droops as if a faulty fake eyelash, flopping as he speaks. "Look there, read... Ah ha! The lost child incident turns out to be nada, alright!" The two high five, she misses and smacks the top of his head. Undaunted he adds, "But our boy Bill has the hero glow, as do I most days, and precious Patti ends up liking him, sweeeetnesss, starts seeing him as a father-figure. I feel tears on the horizon..."
Tattle checks out her cherry tart red lipstick in a shiny Christmas ball. "And Ellen's wintery attitude melts, she starts to like Bill, too. Only..."
"I knnnoooow. The murderer is still out there. Eeeeh!"
"And Ellen is abducted." Tattle using her mouth harp tries to da da da daaaaa to make it sound dangerous.
"More... more... more..."
"Nope... leap time, m' PC Père Noel."
"Watch out for the..." Tattle observes Wrye as he skids directly into a Scotch Pine tree blazing with Christmas lights. "Oh, I see you found it."
"Don't go there."
"Balls!" He dusts pine needles off his red and white fur trimmed jacket, twitches his nose as if magic is about to happen and declares, "It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, and here we are right in the middle of ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS by CINDY K. GREEN, a romantic contemporary Christmas story."
"Yes, yes, and there is Kathryn Graham, a writer at Redburn Weekly who has been assigned, along with the exuberant and jovial Nick Pringle, to work a story about the toy drive for the local orphanage. Do you see that Mister Woof Woof?"
"Dog?" His face slapped with righteous indignation.
"Yes, Santa Paws."
"And Shaggy Dog humor lives in you." He bows and wows. "I remember now, Nick's enthusiasm for Christmas annoys Kathryn, ho ho ho ho, while Kathryn's hatred for the beloved holiday baffles Nick."
"I see connnflicccct,' she says as she begins to juggle three Christmas balls.
"You emasculated my tree."
She giggles, "And where do snowmen go to dance?" She waits, then answers, "Snow Balls."
"Speaking of which, I see snow!" Wrye announces and scoops up enough of the white fluff to form a snowball. Throws it to her and now she is juggling four. "And Nick begins a campaign to win Kathryn over. Will he? Should he? Ho ho ho. I'm not talking just about her attitude toward the noel event. And in the Christmas alphabet there is no L."
Tattle's brow lifts in that you-wouldn't-dare gesture as Wrye begins to wind up like a major league pitcher with a second snowball. "Nick has been falling in love with the woman since they first met. Is this knotty or nice? Nick decides to become Kathryn's Secret Santa, how sweet, having gifts delivered daily, and lo and behold, Kathryn's attitude begins to slowly change. Success?" She puts her juggling to rest. "Onnnly, she seems to be falling for the Secret Santa, Cyrano de Bergerac moment, and distancing herself from Nick, irony slaps, leaving Nick jealous of himself... Connnfuuusing."
"Ut oh, said the gardener, trouble is a Hoe-Hoe-Hoe-ing about."
Tattles evades the pun. "Even a shared kiss between her and Nick, lovey dovey, doesn't seem to turn her away from the ever so perfect Secret Santa. Dag! I'm rootin' for Nick. Now, he believes he'll never be anything more than a friend, incoming... duck... sadness invasion, and even at that, a distant friend. Tissue alert! Meanwhile, da da da daaaaa, Nina not Pina or Santa Maria Phillips seems ever so interested in Nick. Cat fight? And Nick considers that it might be time to accept reality. Heartbreak! Yet can he? Will Kathryn's heart ever open to Christmas? And will she find out the truth about her own feelings toward Nick too late?"
Smacks Wrye's hand as he attempts to read ahead. "Tsk... tsk... we'll read later, m'Saint Nick."
The duo land softly in the midst of NOELLA'S GIFT by DONICA COVEY and the mystical wonder of a romantic contemporary Christmas story. "It is so cozy here," announces Tattle as she takes in the homey warmth of Holly Harper's home."
Wrye musing, as if burning his candle at both ends, elucidates, "Which burns longer, a red candle or a green?"
"Neither! Candles always burn shorter." Tattle does the finale tap dance that one might see in a Vaudeville act. "But where are Holly Harper's Christmas decorations?"
"Hates Christmas," informs Wrye yet ever the optimist rummages about for sugar cookies. "However, once she finds a raggedly dressed Noella on her doorstep, a little lost six-year-old girl, her feelings slowly begin to change. Readers will be on a collision course for planet Warm Your Cockles."
"Oh, who is that yummy man?" Tattle does that hip waddle that suggests more naughty than nice, tilting her now tarnished halo.
"A police detective, Jaxon Cole. Look out, Tattle, mood grenade. He found out that Noella's parents had died, but neither he nor Holly seem to get anything more out of the child, only a growing sense of sadness. Yes, I'm crying, and yes, I am PC."
"Holly decides to keep the girl at least through the holidays, good for her, while they try to figure things out. In the meantime, a freak snowstorm traps the three of them in Holly's home, of course it does, why not? And that's when, ironically, the thawing begins. He he ho ho ha ha. The bitter detective and the woeful Holly see things through the child's eyes, yet as Jaxon grows close to Holly, she suddenly turns as frosty as the weather."
"An old snowman is... what? Waaattter. Will this hot hunk and frigid female co-exist without getting wet? Will they ever find the Christmas spirit? Hope so. I like them! Will they ever know the love Noella seems so determined to spark within each of them for the other? YIT (Yenta in training). And will Noella ever receive the gift of her heart?" Tattle dabbles at her eyes. This is sooo... sooo..."
Wrye pats her shoulder. "There... there... Hot chocolate time, I feel your angelica heart."
Back in their office, the two merrily exchange their Christmas gifts. Can you guess what? Well, Champagne Books, of course.
Hope you enjoyed! Next month we'll be warming up to the characters from T. M. HUNTER'S HEROES DIE YOUNG, JANE TOOMB'S NIGHTINGALE MAN and LOVE THY NEIGHBOR by PATRICIA BATES.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good holiday,
Dona Penza Rutabaga Tattle, Esq.
and Associate Wrye Balderdash
of Blather City, Wannachat
Created and written by
Angelica Hart and Zi
KILLER DOLLS ~ September 2009
SNAKE DANCE ~ February 2010
CHASING GRAVITAS (working title) ~ July 2010