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Katies Creepy Christmas
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Katie Slater rose early on Christmas Eve morning.
Though a busy day lay ahead, Palmer's Pond beckoned her for a short skate.
Katie tiptoed past her little brother's room.
"Kate the Skate," said Garrett, wide awake.
The name bugged her.
Katie's best friend Pam called her Slater Skater, a name she much preferred.
Katie glided effortlessly across the frozen water, until she rounded the bend. She stopped.
Stretching toward the sky stood an ice castle.
"Where did that come from?"
Katie carefully approached.
A girl with the eyes, ears, and nose of a pig opened the gate.
She had a pig tail, too, and not on her head.
"Greetings, Slater Skater," the girl said. "Welcome to Paradox Palace."
Katie recognised her voice. "Is that you, Pam?"
"You can call me Peg, now. Oink, oink, oink."
'Oink? What's going on' Katie wondered?
Pam is Peg and Peg's a pig?
"Come in," she said, "the King and Queen are expecting you."
Katie followed Peg into the Great Hall and the King's Court.
Huge icicles sparkled above.
The King and Queen relaxed across the other side of the room on their thrones.
A parrot sat on a perch between them.
'This must be a joke,' thought Katie, 'the thrones look like giant toilets and the perch looks like an empty toilet paper holder.'
"Merry Christmas, Princess," said the Queen.
"We've been waiting Princess," said the King.
"I'm a Princess?"
Trumpets tooted her arrival.
'Oh my,' thought Katie as she skated closer to the royal couple.
The King has the eyes, ears, and nose of a dog, but sounds like my father.
The Queen has the eyes, ears, and nose of a cat, but sounds like my mother.
And the parrot's face reminds me of my brother.
"Let's open presents," said the Queen, tail swishing.
"Go ahead, Princess," said the King, tail wagging.
A little worried, Katie checked herself in an ice block mirror.
"Whiskers, what am I turning into?"
Katie skated to the Christmas tree and picked out a present.
'To King, from Princess,' the tag read.
She watched the King open his package.
He held his gift, a blue ball, high for all to see.
"Thank you Princess," said the King, "I've always wanted one."
'I gave father a blue ball? Why can't I remember?' Katie wondered.
The King flipped the ball to the Queen.
"Throw the ball," demanded the King.
"Fetch the ball," commanded the Queen.
'Oh oh,' thought Katie, 'this cannot be good.'
The King obliged and dropped his new toy at the Queen's feet.
The Queen patted his head, "That's a good boy, Meow."
"Sit," said the Queen.
The King sat.
"Beg," said the Queen.
The King begged.
The Queen tossed the ball and joined the King on the palace floor.
They batted the ball back and forth, hissing and growling.
Next, the parrot landed on her head, squawking. Katie closed her eyes.
"Kate the Skate."
"Wake up, wake up, wake up," she whispered.
"Wake up, sleepyhead," said her mother.
"What?" said Katie.
She rubbed her face. "Do I have whiskers?"
"Whiskers? You silly girl."
"I had the strangest dream. You were a cat queen, Father was a dog king, and brother..."
Her mother placed her finger on Katie's lips and said, "Shush."
Katie dressed and slowly descended the stairs, still a bit nervous.
"Merry Christmas, Princess," said her mother.
"We've been waiting, Princess," said father.
'They've never called me Princess before,' thought Katie, 'or have they?'
Katie inspected her parents closely, they appeared fully human.
"Let's open presents," said her mother.
"Go ahead, Katie," said her father.
Katie walked to the Christmas tree and picked out a present.
'To Papa, from Katie,' the tag read.
'Okay,' thought Katie, 'I know I bought him a necktie.'
Katie's cell phone rang.
"Merry Christmas, Katie," said Pam.
"Merry Christmas," said Katie, "can you come over?"
Pam snorted. "I need mud, Later Slater. Oink, oink, oink."
Katie watched her father open his package.
He held his gift, a blue ball, high for all to see.
Katie put her hands out, palms forward.
"Stop, everybody stop, this nightmare is officially over."
Her mother placed her hands on Katie's shoulders. "Are you okay?"
Mother hugged her. "Everything will be fine, Princess. Meow."
Katie plopped on the couch and pulled up her knees.
Garrett crumpled to the floor, laughing so hard his stomach ached and tears streamed down his face.
Katie jumped up and pointed her finger at him. "Why you....."
Garrett leaped to his feet and scaled the stairs, two at a time, with Katie close behind.
He locked himself in his room.
Katie caught her breath. "I'm listening."
"Okay, okay, I'll tell you. Last night," he explained, "I heard you talking in your sleep and set my tape recorder next to your bed."
"You found out about my dream and told Mom, Dad and Pam?"
"Good joke, right?"
"Scary good." Katie felt relieved.
"Can I come out?"
"Sure, after all, we can't keep the King and Queen waiting, can we?"
"You are a good sport," said her father, "it's a good thing you stopped us when you did."
"Yes," said her mother, "we had no idea what happened next."
The thought of her parents batting a ball around gave Katie the creeps.
"A Christmas to remember, right Katie?" said her mother.
'If you two think you're off the hook,' thought Katie, 'forget it.'
Her father let in the cat and dog.
Katie shook her head.
Garrett saw the look on her face and giggled.
Katie heard him. "I liked you a lot better as a bird."
"What do you mean?"
"In my dream, you were a parrot Garrett, Squawk, Squawk, Squawk."
They all laughed.
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