Chapter 19 (Merry Christmas!)
Kaylin made a silent scream when she felt something behind her and saw what it was. A plump man in a collared shirt and tattered pants sat cross-legged behind her. Now that she looked, she could make out shelves, pillows, and old furniture all in this little, hollowed pile. He must live here.
The man looked as scared as the girls were. “Why are you…” He stuttered, in a low voice. Elmi gave him a look of sympathy. “I’m so sorry that we had to barge in here… Uh, we’re just being chased by one o’ those black magic…”
The man paused a moment with low eyebrows, looking like he was making a decision. Then, he popped to attention with a bubbling anger in his face. “Ugh! Those messed up little berries. Need something?” his skin turned a daring red.
Elmi was speechless. “I-I… I… we…” “Oh?” Annabel said with a smart smirk. “Say, you could do us a small favor.”
“Wake up, Bear!” Della squealed at the poor man, jumping on his bed. “IT’S CHRISTMAS!” He groaned, but listened and got changed. The four girls excitedly bounced around him as the drowsily lumbered downstairs.
Bear had insisted that the Cubs eat their oatmeal and apples for breakfast before opening presents and eating sugar cookies. They were -and mostly Della- hyped for the day. They gobbled down the food and jumped to the tree, spying gifts lined under the fir tree. Bear smiled at them as he walked in. “Let’s get started.”
Wrapping paper and bows lay scattered across the floor, cluttering the area. Nobody cared enough to pick them up, they were too busy enjoying and admiring their presents.
The memory flickered sadly in Elmi’s mind. We will find Bear. What luck.