Previously on Nerissa's Life...
"Ooh-boy," Seville whistled. "That there jar wasn't filled with glitter. I'm thinkin' it must have been some kinda magical magic dust, for sure. MOUSES!"
"What to do, what to do... WHAT TO DO, WHAT TO DO... I know!" and Seville snapped his claws. "I know exactly what to do. I need to start yellin', for sure. MOUSES!"
On the other paw, it's possible no one can even hear me. If I've been miniaturized, I bet my voice has been miniaturized, too," and Seville let out a disappointed sigh.
"Hey!" the flattened elf under Seville's paws sputtered. "I can hear you just fine. Keep it down, would you?"
Seville stepped off the elf, allowing him to sit up. The elf immediately started to furiously brush something off his clothing.
"That cat hair or paw prints?" asked Seville. "FYI: if it's cat hair, it's not comin' off. Peep #1 had to take her jacket to the dry cleaners on account of my hair once, and the jacket came back lookin' exactly like it had looked before it went in."
The elf scowled and brushed even more furiously.
"Oh my mouses!" and Seville dashed to the mail car's window. Outside the train was a large, creamy-fawn coloured blob. "OH MY MOUSES! That there blob is my sister, Mason, for sure," he cried. "Mason! MASON! MAY-SAHN!!! Yoo-hoo! Over here! Down here! In here! HERE!" he yelled.
"That's weird," Mason muttered, looking around the living room. "Now where did Seville get to this time? Maybe he went upstairs for a nap." Turning to go look for her brother upstairs, Mason stopped in her tracks. "Do we have mice?" she asked herself. "I'm sure I heard something squeaking."
"I'M NOT A MOUSE!" Seville hollered. "IT'S ME. SIVVERS! I'm stuck in this ol' toy train."
Mason peered about the room, trying to identify from where the squeaking sounds were coming. Finally, she looked down at the train. Her jaw dropped in disbelief when she saw the train whizz past with Seville's face plastered to the inside of its window.
"How the mouses?" She held up a paw. "Never mind. There are some things I really do not want to know."
"MAY-SAHN..." Seville cried as the train headed away from his sister. "I'm stuck in here, and I can't get out!"
Mason shook her head to clear it. Coming to the conclusion that her brother must be trapped, she waited until the train circled the Christmas tree and approached her once more. "Time to be brave, Mason," she told herself, before stepping in front of the oncoming toy train.
The iron tires squealed as they ground to a halt against the tracks, and there was a screeching sound of twisting metal. The train teetered to the right, and then to the left, before coming to a full stop. Seville, the postmaster, and the two elves were all thrown to the front of the train car. Picking himself up, Seville ran back to the window.
Mason stepped off the train tracks and brushed herself off. Finding the car her brother was in, she pressed her nose against the window, and peered inside. "Is that really you in there, Seville?" she asked.
"Yes! YES! It's me. Boy-oh-boy am I ever glad to see you, Mason. I'm stuck in here, and I can't get out."
"But how did you get inside that teeny-tiny train in the first place?" Seville's sister asked him.
"Well... Well I was gonna take a nap in that there box," and Seville pointed to the gift box still under the tree, "and then I found a jar of magical magic dust that I thought was glitter, which, of course, I opened up to see if it was really some kinda sparkly nip. And then I sneezed, and then... Well... Well then I ended up in here."
Mason trotted over to the gift box. Finding the jar of magic dust, she held it up to the light to examine it. "Interesting..." she murmured. "Glitter capable of initiating a miniaturization response." She shook her head in disgust. "Peep #1 should know better than to leave something like this lying around, especially when..." and she glanced over to her brother trapped in the toy train. "Especially when Seville is around."
"Can you fix this?" Seville cried.
Going back to the train, Mason put her nose up against the mail car's window once more. "Ask those elves in there if they know anything about magic dust," she instructed Seville.
Seville turned to ask the elves but saw them frantically jumping around, trying to resort the mail that had flown about the mail car when the train had lurched to a stop. "Ummm... They look kinda upset," he told Mason. "I'm not asking 'em anythin'. At least not right now. You have any other ideas?" he asked, hopefully.
Mason thought for a moment and then went back to the gift box. She pawed about amongst the tissue paper, looking for anything else that might be hidden underneath. Finding nothing, she sat down on her haunches and sighed.
"Maybe you could call the North Pole and ask Santa!" Seville hollered out to her. "I think he might use the same kinda magical magic dust to make himself small enough to get down chimneys and things on Christmas Eve. He must have a way of makin' himself big again, 'cause he's gotta be full-sized when the kiddies sit on his lap at malls and things. Don't you think?"
"Mail arrival!" one of the elves cried out, and a multitude of letters all addressed to Santa at the North Pole, appeared from seemingly nowhere, before drifting down to the floor. The elves continued to work, sorting the mail.
"Oh for the love of mouses," Seville sighed. "Where is all this mail comin' from? And why-oh-why is it comin' here, to this train? I know I thought the train was headin' for the North Pole before, but it appears to takin' a very circuitous route around our Christmas tree, for sure.
"This train goes to the North Pole, all right," the postmaster chimed in. "As soon as the last letter to Santa arrives on December 24th, the train will make its final trip around your Christmas tree, before heading due north, arriving just in time for the final packing of Santa's sleigh."
"December 24th!" Seville cried. "But that's a whole week away. I can't be stuck in this here train for an entire week. I have things to do. You know, treats to eat. Nip to sniff. Stuff like that."
"Patience there, little feller. Christmas Eve morning will arrive before you know it and..."
But Seville had gone back to the train car's window, frantically pawing at it to get his sister's attention.
"Mason! MASON! I have to tell you what the postmaster in here just said," and he relayed everything to his sister.
Mason thought for a moment. "Have no fear, brother dear, for I, Mason the Cat, know just what to do."
"Hmmm... That sounds suspiciously like somethin' I would normally say," Seville told his sister.
"And you could be saying it right now, too, if you hadn't foolishly allowed yourself to be miniaturized, and then trapped inside a toy train," Mason snapped. "Hold on there Sivvers, give me a moment. We'll get this show on the road..." She stopped mid-sentence and burst out laughing. "We'll get this story back on TRACK in just a moment."
"Very funny," Seville scowled. "I sure do hope you know what you're doin'."
"Just don't go anywhere," Mason told Seville, before heading off to gather supplies.
"Where am I gonna to go? In case you hadn't noticed, I'm STUCK in this here train goin' nowhere."
Moments later, Mason returned, bringing with her what she needed to rescue her brother. She dragged over the calendar that normally hung on the wall in the kitchen, and very carefully tore the page for December out, before using Seville's magic marker to X out every day of the month up to, and including, December 23rd. She then used the same marker to make out a gift tag, addressing it to Santa at the North Pole, and stuck it to the calendar page for December, with a little tape. After that was done, Mason got the toy train back on its tracks, and started it moving again. She watched with satisfaction as it started to chug its way around the tree once more. Finally, Mason opened the jar of magical magic dust, and sprinkled a little over the page from the calendar, being very careful not to get any on herself.
There was a popping sound, and then a crackle, and before Mason knew it, flashing lights began to fill the living room. She watched as the page from the calendar vanished before her.
"Mail arrival!" an elf cried, catching the miniaturized calendar page as it fell to the floor. "It's addressed to Santa," the elf stated.
Seville dashed over to the elf holding the page from the calendar. "Ho-ho!" he cried. "Lookie there, my little green pal. That there is a calendar. And just LOOK at what it says. Look at that. Look!" and he pawed at where all the dates leading up to Christmas Eve had been X'd off. "That there calendar says today is the 24th of December."
"Well I'll be," said the postmaster, approaching Seville and the elf. "My, time does fly when you're having fun. It's time for us to be heading up North."
"Mason, you are brilliant," Seville whispered under his breath. "But you'll never hear me say that to your face."
All of a sudden, Seville could feel the train picking up speed. Faster, and faster, and faster it went, until it eventually lifted right off the train tracks. Soaring through the air now, Seville ran to the window and looked down. He could see his sister on the floor of the living room, looking smaller and smaller as the train flew higher.
It felt like only mere minutes had passed when Seville felt the train begin to descend. Very gently, it glided onto train tracks covered in snow, and headed toward a massive wooden building Seville recognized as Santa's Workshop up at the North Pole.
"HO! HO! HO!" Santa cried, coming to greet the train as it pulled to a stop. "What happened?" he asked the postmaster. "You're a full week early."
"Ummm... 'Bout that," Seville interrupted. "Perhaps I can explain."
Once Santa stopped laughing, he picked Seville up in his arms. "My my, you do get yourself into mischief there, little one. You're just like my elves."
Seville opened his mouth to protest about the comparison, but thought better of it.
"Santa, do you know how to make me my proper size again, so that I can go back home?" Seville asked.
"But you're already your proper size, Seville. The miniaturization process was reversed on your journey up North. And as for getting you home, I'll have Rudolf take you in the sleigh. It was needing a test drive, anyway."
"But what about the rest of the mail?" the postmaster cried. "Children are still writing letters to Santa - to YOU - but we've already left the Seville the Cat station."
Seville's eyes grew wide. "There's a Seville the Cat mail station? MOUSES!"
"Rudolf will take you and the train back to Seville's house, too," Santa told the postmaster, explaining that the train and crew would have to be miniaturized for the journey south, but Seville would remain his proper size.
"ALL ABOARD!" the postmaster cried, and before Seville knew it, he was sitting in Santa's sleigh with the toy train next to him, as Rudolf went through his pre-flight checklist.
"Thank you so much!" Seville cried, as he waved down to Santa on the ground below . "I'll make sure your favourite cookies are waiting for you at my house this Christmas Eve. The ones with the nip icing!" he added, knowing Santa liked them best.
Minutes later, Rudolf came to a stop on Seville's front lawn. Mason dashed out of the house, and gave her brother a big hug. "You were gone a whole half hour!" she told him. "I was getting worried," and hugged him once more.
With Rudolf's help, the two cats managed to get the toy train back on its tracks, and watched as it chugged its way around the Christmas tree once more. The three then headed back outdoors.
Seville turned to Rudolf to thank him for everything. Rudolf blushed, his nose turning red. "I'll see you two on Christmas Eve," Rudolf said, "but for now, I really must get back to the North Pole. There's only a week left 'til Christmas, you know."
Seville and Mason both gave Rudolf a hug and together, they watched as the reindeer rose higher and higher in the air, eventually disappearing from sight. Going back into the house, Seville looked about the living room for the jar of magical magic dust. "Hmmm..." he murmured. "Mason, you see that jar of magic dust lying around anywhere?"
"That, brother dear, has been put away until further notice. And by further notice, I mean never to be seen again."
"But nothing, Seville. That was a close call you had. Magic dust is not something a cat like you should be messing around with."
"Awww.... MOUSES!" Seville complained, but not too loudly, for deep down, he knew the magic dust being out of his reach, was likely for the best.