Hog Wild Squirrel Popper!
Not only did I decide I needed to get the sock money versions for my own darling sons, who are probably too old for them but are getting them anyway, I also decided that someone needed to get a set of them for Mooney and Marissa's darling little wolf pups, too! Enjoy today's bit of flash fiction hilarity!
Marissa was chatting with the other mothers near the desert table, which she’d helped stock, when she realized that letting Mooney buy their share of the gifts for the Guts and Butts Gazette’s Annual Secret Santa Ball had been a very bad idea. The ball had begun a couple years ago as Nick’s response to seeing a family being kicked out of their apartment after the father lost his job and the mother wasn’t able to pay the rent and buy food. It hadn’t been a shifter family, so he hadn’t been exactly sure how to help them out. A shifter wouldn’t have thought twice about a local alpha butting in to help them, but humans tend to get creeped out by that sort of thing. After seeing some Christmas movie with Zeva, he’d decided that a Secret Santa Ball was the perfect way to help a lot of people in the community that might otherwise refuse the assistance.
He’d dropped the whole thing in Marissa’s lap since she was human and the only “wife” at that time in the mostly-bachelor McMahon pack. The tradition was started and now that Marissa wasn’t the only “pack wife”, she had plenty of helping hands with which to find people in need and arrange the help they needed in a form that could be slipped into Santa/Ralph’s bag of goodies. That was the neat thing about the ball; the “help” really did come from most everyone in the community. The G&BG only provided little gifts for the kids and all kids around town and their families were invited so that it wasn’t some charity event but rather a community gathering.
Which brought her back to realizing she really should not have let Mooney do the shopping for this year’s grade school age kids’ gifts. Ziva had taken care of the baby gifts, of course, since she was a new mother. Elly had tackled the toddler and pre-school kids. Gloria had the teens. It had been her job to do the grade schoolers. Oh, Goddess Love her, everyone was going to think she was responsible for this, she realized as a foam ball went flying past her face to land in the punch bowl.
Mooney had bought vinyl animals that spewed yellow foam balls when you squeezed them. And given them to a bunch of kids from age five to eleven, who were already excited because it was almost Christmas. Children who had just been consuming massive quantities of sugary snacks and drinks and were probably growing restless from being on their best behavior for over an hour…
Just then, the first battle scream split the air as an angry little girl stared at the foam ball now stuck to the side of her piece of chocolate cake, which she promptly smeared in the face of the boy who had popped it out of his toy. Marissa groaned and looked for a place to hide, but the ornery kid who’d just started what was sure to be an epic food fight was her own little blond darling, Thor.
“Oh, man,” Gloria said from beside her. “I’m going to step outside for a minute. Just call me when it’s time to begin clean-up, ‘kay?”
“Traitor!” Marissa said with a half hysterical giggle. “Desertion in the line of battle!”
“Na, those are your kids,” Glo said as she ducked a flying brownie. “When Moon-Moon and I have some, I’ll step up to the plate, but I ain’t got a stake in this!”