Part III – Tomte

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Eric was the first to fly in the door pulling the distraught Eva into his arms while she continued to cry and whisper apologies into his chest.

 

“All is well, min kära flicka,” he soothed while rubbing her quivering back with his large hand in concentric movements.

 

“I killed Santa,” she snivelled as her impossibly blue eyes found his.

 

An unintended chortle came from his throat when Eric glanced over at the body on the floor. “That’s not Santa, kära,” he assured with a kiss to her forehead. “And he’s still alive and kicking, sort of.”

 

“You’re not mad?” she whispered when the attic room started to become crowded with curious glances from those who had flocked to the room with the noises of consternation.

 

“I am,” came the disgruntled voice from the floor while he set his hat to right. “My beard is gone.”

 

“Behave,” Eric growled lowly. “Don’t make me call your sister on you!”

 

The little man held his hands up in the air as a sign of defeat. “Don’t go crazy now,” he pleaded with a wobble to his gruff voice.

 

“Who’s your sister?” Pinnie asked with genuine curiosity as he tried to set his felt hat straight.

 

“You may know her as Dr Ludwig,” he answered with a strangled cough while pulling nervously at his collar.

 

“Oh,” Pinnie exhaled with wide eyes before agreeing, “She’s scawy.”

 

“Eric, who is this?” Sookie questioned with an unnerved Viggo and Bran on either side of her.

 

“It’s Nils,” Pam responded instead, walking with a surreptitious stride towards the gnome-like creature that stood no taller than three feet where they continued to stare at each other as if they stood toe to toe.

 

“How ya doing, toots?” he greeted.

 

“I’ve been better,” she noted dryly. At his inquiring glance she continued, “Life’s a lot easier when the rugrats get a proper night’s sleep.”

 

“I see,” he noted while glancing at the tired faces. “Mr. Sticky Fingers over there yours then?” Nils questioned with a glance to Little Spike who was stealthily peering into the jute bag he had carried inside and soon threatened to be swallowed by.

 

“Unfortunately,” she replied while pulling out the squirming little boy who complained loudly to that action. “Or not,” she amended, changing tactics with a kiss to his head while he desperately tried to move away from her lips’ further intents.

 

“Mummy, you’re embarassin’ me in fron’ of Santa,” he protested trying to release himself from her hold, only causing her to grin with glee that her changed strategy had achieved the intended effect.

 

“Santa!” Nils fumed, colouring him the same red as his clothing. “Don’t you dare compare me to that HACK!”

 

Little Spike instantly stopped fighting his mother’s hold and instead snuggled into the security it brought. “Not Santa,” he whispered apologetically into the cool satin of his mother’s pyjamas.

 

“Are you the Tomte from the barn?” Bran asked shyly, padding forward with his hand firmly attached to Sookie who followed with a trailing Viggo.

 

“Very astute, little one,” the Tomte confirmed before pulling a small, wrapped, hand-carved wooden horse from his bag. “You like the animals of the barn, I believe.” Bran nodded eagerly before looking up to his mother for permission to open it.

 

“You can put it under the tree with the rest of them,” she informed, mostly to Nils but Bran diligently followed her instructions and followed his father’s offered hand down the stairs.

 

“I’m sorry about your beard, Mr. Nils,” Eva spoke softly from the comfort of Eric’s arms.

 

With a curious glance he hopped onto the bed to gaze at the little one tucked in her father’s embrace recognising the fine features from a long time ago. “Niðsi,” he whispered reverently in Old Norse to Eric, distinguishing her as kin with the word for tiny relative. “She looks just like your mother. A true beauty.”

 

Eric nodded proudly at the compliment finding no words to counter the statement while beckoning Sookie and their son to his side. “And I see you found another for yourself,” he grinned with an outreached hand towards Sookie.

 

“This is my Sookie,” Eric offered proudly, placing a gentle kiss to the swell of her fertile stomach before pulling Viggo on the bed beside him. “And this is Viggo, Eva’s brother.”

 

“They certainly are yours,” he grinned with approval. “This one looks just like you at that age.”

 

“You’re vewy old,” Pinnie stated rather than asked, not an unusual occurrence as her intuition was known to reveal things she wasn’t necessarily capable of understanding or knowing, a gift she shared with her grandmother Emer.

 

“As old as this place, as long as there were people here,” he acknowledged. “I take care of me and mine on this land and will continue to do so as long as the blood of my line continues on. I knew your father here when he was just a wee sprout like you all and he still went by Eiríkr.”

 

“What was daddy like?” Eva asked losing the shyness her embarrassment had caused, the sleeves of her pyjama wiping away the tears that had fallen.

 

“Always hanging on his mother’s skirts like that one,” he said pointing to Viggo who looked very proud to be just like his much admired dad. “Used to drive his father mad always seeking the females for companionship…”

 

Eric coughed pointedly with pleading eyes not to elaborate further. Nils, however, completely ignored him as he continued his narration, “Always scared of the dark that one, made his mother sit with him till he fell asleep.”

 

“Pussy,” Pinnie giggled.

 

“You catch on quick,” the little Tomte smiled before putting a finger to the tip of Pinnie’s nose causing her to giggle even more. “Or you know him very well.”

 

“Both,” she smiled proudly before taking his now free hand. “Lemme show you our Christmas twee.”

 

“Very well, little one,” he said following her with the large bag in hand as the rest of the remaining family followed the odd couple down. “Mind your step.”

 

“You talk like Uncle Ewic,” she said with a roll of her eyes.

 

“You sound like your mother,” he noted, as she indeed carried the same monotonous drawl in her ordinary speech.

 

“Pinnie likes Mummy,” she answered slightly confused with the literal insinuation.

 

“Don’t we all,” Nils grinned as he encouraged the kids to help him empty the contents of his overflowing bag to place among the rest underneath the pine tree.

 

“Pamela, did you and-,” Niall whispered lowly gesturing towards the small creature.

 

“Yes,” Pam answered plainly while casting a lascivious wink to the Tomte who tossed her a kiss through the air with a heated look. “And so much more than that.”

 

Niall spluttered momentarily, flummoxed at what to do with a former paramour in such close proximity. “Surely not?” the Prince of the Fae begged hoping he had taken a misinterpretation of her words.

 

“What?” she shrugged. “It’s not like there’s much entertainment here in the windy shithole. Eric didn’t even get a TV here till 1992. We have fun.”

 

“Anytime,” Nils grinned, their whispered conversation not going unnoticed by him. “You know where to find me, toots.”

 

“I’ll keep it in mind,” she purred in return.

 

“Pamela!”

 

“What?” she smirked with great triumph dancing in her eyes. “What is it you always say…”

 

“You know you love me,” he grumbled.

 

“Indeed I do,” she beamed back before planting a solid kiss to his mouth causing a chorus of ‘EEEW!’ to ensue.

 

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“So this is it,” Nils spoke seriously, holding the wooden box in his hands that Eric had handed to him after the kids were all tucked into bed again with the promise they could play with the Tomte in the morning. “Back where it belongs.”

 

Eric simply nodded, preparing himself to see the item that meant so much to them both but he had not dared to gaze upon since having it in his possession again.

 

“You do not wish to keep it with you?” the Tomte asked when Sookie came to sit beside Eric after handing Nils a warm drink laced with his preferred liquor, or rather his preferred liquor laced with a warm drink. “It was meant for you.”

 

“What is it?” Sookie questioned as both men remained decidedly silent to which Nils opened the lid to reveal the crown that once ruled the territory they now owned a small piece of through a land deed. Her hand twined with his as she felt the pang of pain travel through their shared bond.

 

“You worked so hard for this,” Nils offered trying to hand the box back. “I failed us all that night, I should have kept those wolves away from the goats.”

 

“It took me taking back this crown to understand how powerless we all stood,” Eric informed before turning his gaze on Sookie. “It took her to make it happen, even when I didn’t handle it the best way.”

 

“The men of our clan have never quite come to understand the nuances of women,” the Tomte chuckled. “I am not surprised by that in the least.”

 

“It was just a trick of my blood,” Sookie said in an effort to downplay her importance.

 

“No,” Eric denied sternly gazing intently into her eyes. “A trick with faery blood took down Russell momentarily but it never amended the damage caused by him. I think it’s why I couldn’t let him die the true death when all sense told me it should. The moment I knew you were truly mine, that we were to be parents. That was the moment where I felt what was stolen was returned to me.”

 

“Fjölskylda,” Nils agreed wholeheartedly after experiencing the same sense of achievement upon seeing the blood of his line thrive once more.

 

“Family,” Eric translated for her to which she could only smile proudly to her integral part as a mother to his children. “A tethered branch that seemed only tainted by death and frozen in time grew with new life, metal is ancient but blood is eternal,” he explained while his hand lingered over the swell of her stomach that announced more of that to come.

 

“Eric,” she whimpered with tears escaping the corners of her eyes. He kissed them away softly before they both felt the dip on the sofa beside them.

 

“My Queen,” Nils said humbly before placing the matching band of metal to Ulfrick’s crown upon her head. “You have returned life to Eric and these barren lands. Welcome to the family.”

 

Another small box fell into her hand, not wooden but one of soft velvet, placed there by the hand of her vampire. “Merry Christmas,” he whispered into the shell of her ear before another cool band of ancient metal slipped over her finger.

 

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A/N: Think of that ring what you will I’m not commenting on what it really is either way 😉 

 

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I borrowed from Scandinavian lore with the Tomte. My mother used to read me Astrid Lindgren’s (of Pippi Longstocking fame) ‘The Tomte’ around Christmas time when I was a lil’ bit myself and we always had a craft like puppet of him in the house around the holidays. With the more intricate description I found on Wikipedia it reminded me a little of Dr Ludwig thus this story was born that became a true homecoming for Eric with his new family and gave meaning to why Eric was so fond of the ‘windy shithole’.

 

Literally copied and pasted from wikipedia:

A tomte, nisse or tomtenisse (Sweden) (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈtɔ̀mːtɛ]), nisse (Norway and Denmark) (Norwegian pronunciation: [ˈnìsːɛ] or Danish pronunciation: [ˈnesə]) or tonttu (Finland) is a mythological creature from Scandinavian folklore typically associated with the winter solstice and the Christmas season. It is generally no taller than three feet, has a long white beard and wears red or other colorful clothes.[1] It is known as a gift bearer[2] and is considered one of the Swedish and Norwegian versions of Santa Claus, although not the same thing.

 

The Swedish name tomte is indeed derived from the term for a place of residence and area of influence: the house lot or tomt. Nisse is a common name in Norwegian, Danish and the Scanian dialect in southernmost Sweden; as a nickname for Nils, and its usage in folklore comes from expressions such as Nisse god dräng (“Nisse good lad”, cf. Robin Goodfellow). Other names are tuftekall, tomtegubbe or haugebonde (“mound farmer”), all names connecting the being to the origins of the farm (the building ground), or a burial mound. The term nisse might also be influenced by Norse niðsi, believe to mean “tiny relative”, and the Germanic water-sprite nixie.

 

I hope you all enjoyed your Christmases and/or other celebrations and this little story! Many thanks for jumping on with the giant family again… so depending on how drunk I am there will be something on New Year’s Eve otherwise see you all in the New Year and have a wonderful celebration! Thoughts welcome as always 🙂

 

Special thanks to MsBuffy and her editing skills on this.

 

A new outtake (complete) is available that picks up after the events of Meet Me Under the Stars:

AMND

Click to continue to read A Midsummer Night’s Dream >

24 thoughts on “Part III – Tomte

    1. You’re welcome and I hope you continue enjoying your holidays too! The Tomte is an interesting character, so many incarnations of good ol’ Saint Nick before Coca Cola hijacked him… Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

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  1. Oh loved Nils… so he wasn’t the usual Santa but a Tomte!
    I have a stuffed Tomte puppet at home..my sister in law got it in Norway two years ago when she was on vacation.
    I can’t imagine Pam and Nils together though ..it seems so odd!
    Happy New Year.
    Take care

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like the Tomtes they’re cute especially the ones with that homemade craft feel. Yeah they’re an odd couple but Pam could have just been goading Niall but Pam does seem like the I’ll try anything once type.. Happy New Year to you too, hope you had wonderful holidays so far!

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  2. I think my favorite part was when he acknowledged that it wasn’t the crown that fixed the hurt Russell caused it was the love of family. As far as the ring goes well royals do where royal seals as rings…

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    1. The crown was the symbol of what was stolen from him the metal is pretty worthless in that sense. Christmas is about family, at least in my book so I felt it a fitting acknowledgement… *remains decidedly mute on subject of ring*

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  3. I knew I’d read of the “tomte” before. I loved the “Pippi Longstocking” stories as a child and read them over & over. The ingrates loved the video.

    I’m not going to ask about the ring. I love that Eric simply reached over and placed it on Sookie’s finger. That’s enough for me.

    Thanks so much for continuing to share these amazing characters & their stories with us! They are so much fun & bring great amounts of laughter & hilarity to so many of us. I hope we continue to see them from time to time!

    My condolences on your extra day of the holiday. It starts here in America as soon as the school supplies get put away in August, or the Hallmark ornaments come out in July. We Americans though are clueless and have no idea what bureaucrats are, anonymous or otherwise. Are they what we might call lying, bullshitting politicians?

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    1. Why does everyone think I sound like the grinch who stole the Second Day of Christmas. It’s another free day, I have no complaints whatsoever… As for bureaucrats they’re wonderfully boring and intelligent people that make this country run like clockwork making it one of the happiest and wealthiest in the world while politicians debate and pretend it’s all them and take the credit for giving everyone a mandatory extra day off at the cost of the employers.

      The mini ingrates loved the video I assume? Although this normal sized ingrate likes it too…

      Yeah I like these nut-jobs too, especially since I came to the realisation they’re all vaguely familiar…

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      1. Hell no! You’re not a Grinch for stealing a second day! In fact, your overwhelming lack of Christmas spirit just cracks me up overall. Believe me, I can relate! Americans need to declare one just we can go spend even more money that the GOP is determined to steal from us as to obliterate “the middle class,” but then all that spending could cause a flourishing economy… Your country is quite harmonious from all I’ve learned about it. The people seem pleased with it all around. That’s rare!

        Yes, when my ingrates were minis, they loved the Pippi video. It was cute because there was quite a bit that wasn’t left out, and it was so well done, almost as if the book had come to life! I admit that I enjoyed it too, and enjoyed watching them as they watched it!

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        1. Just because my Christmas spirit isn’t Coca-Cola induced with a plethora of plastic crap doesn’t mean I don’t have any Christmas spirit… my tree is a fucking work of art as was the bûche de Noël for dessert all to maintain the harmonious mood we have going here without the need for hallucinogenics 😉 We’re happy because we don’t expect much because we’re realistic with our expectations so it’s disputable how happy we really are but if happiness is offset by the amount of unhappy than we are very happy and extremely fortunate in such a small patch of land… I’ll have to ask the bureaucrats to calculate it and how efficient our happiness is to the economy…

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          1. I just like to think that your country is filled with happy people… and tulips. 🙂 I would agree wholeheartedly with you on that happiness thing; my hubby & I have that going.

            I just like to tease you. 🙂

            I hate the Coca-Cola Christmas marketing crap that never fucking ends here. What is the dessert you mentioned? I think I can translate part of it – something of Christmas (or the celebration), but the first part I can’t determine. I’m sure your tree is lovely. I’ve never worked too hard on the tree. It’s only in the last few years I’ve gotten any excitement over putting one up & decorating it. Let’s just say it wasn’t one of the more joyful experiences for our family.

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            1. Well the tulip aren’t a year round thing but they’re the first flowers we get after winter so they wake up our year to spring. We have a love hate relationship with them because they started and ended our most golden age in history and it’s all people talk about when we’re abroad along with the windmills, cheese and wooden clogs.

              I know you like to tease, and I lay it on thick because Bill the constipated cat has taken residency and he’s a pain in the literal ass while he makes his presence known and holds the muse hostage…

              Bûche de Noël means yule log, it’s french it usually looks like a tree branch but mine was a more contemporary version here’s a link http://cuisine.journaldesfemmes.com/dessert/recette-de-la-buche-mogador-de-pierre-herme/ and mine actually looked just as good if not better… I love decorating my tree with my grandmothers vintage ornaments and things I’ve made myself along the way and the smell of pine permeating the house. I’m not to good with feet but I think it’s 10 or 11 feet tall, nearly reaching the ceiling in the bay window I love seeing it light up the house when coming home 🙂

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              1. OK, being a Lutheran, I’m very familiar with yule log. For some reason, that was always a big thing in our annual Christmas pageant along with some of our hymns. People make them here too, but I want to save that link because that looks just too yummy, and easy enough that even I could do it!

                That would be nice decorating a tree with vintage ornaments with sentimental value to them, especially a real tree. I have zero creativity for making anything. Real trees are farmed & outrageously priced here, and they are messy. I love them though! Seeing one through a bay window like that… Sigh… that just says “Christmas.”

                I can only imagine how annoying it must be to get all those generalized questions. I was fortunate enough to have known a lovely woman while growing up who taught us all about the Dutch & the laid back attitudes, and the beauty of her country. I’d be mortified to hear someone ask of windmills & clogs! Tulips are my favorite flower, and as a former gardener, the homeland of my most beloved flower makes it a special place to me! 🙂

                Just so long as we continue to tease one another! 🙂 We both have a wicked wry sense of humor… I mean “wicked” in the New England definition; “wicked cool,” “wicked great.” Everything’s “wicked.” It’s wicked hilarious! 🙂

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                1. I think the Yule log and the Christmas tree are both Pagan remnants that the protestants had no issue incorporating. It was pretty easy to make for me but I know my French patisserie well so it’s difficult to gage but I’ll copy my recipe for you it’s in English.

                  The trees come from Belgium and really aren’t that expensive I think mine was about $40 the smaller ones are half that or less.

                  I remember we were on holiday in the states and we blabbering in Dutch in a rural supermarket and one of the employees was so startled by it she legitimately thought we were aliens. LOL. We always came across emigrants though and they were always so happy to practice their Dutch with us again. I think tulips are actually from Turkey or Russia originally but we cultivated them into what they are now and got crazy rich off them.

                  Wicked means exactly that to me, the youth in London always use it like that. Humour is good, keeps us healthy… Just wait till you meet Bill the Constipated Cat and his opinions…. it might actually be a Bill we like 😀

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  4. Thank you for sharing the bit of Norse lore. I love your Nils character already. It’s cool that he is Ludwig ‘ s brother. That means she’s been a part of Eric’s life and history all along. What a wonderful Christmas story.

    I hope we get to read about the escapades of the children for a long time to come. You started something precious when you created them.

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    1. You’re welcome, I always enjoyed that book as a child and the Tomte are very much connected to the thought of family and little children so I felt it a really nice fit as a Christmas theme. I thought it was funny for Eric to still have some long lost relatives including Dr Ludwig, they did sort of banter like you would with a grumpy aunt. I’ll see where inspiration strikes, the kids are great and some have had a little more prominence in the stories than the others but I keep them in mind for outtakes during the national holidays.

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  5. I love the kids! I have one like Viggo and Bran and one like Pinnie and Spike. I can’t imagine having all of them, though. Nils is cute, it’s nice for Eric to have more family(kinda). I hope they show up again. 🙂

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    1. LOL I think the whole bunch is something only one with vampire or fairy stamina can keep up with. I figured something other than geography was making Eric hold on to that windy shithole and I’ve always been charmed by the Tomte so it came together here. The Viggo/Bran ones are special kids and they’re reminiscent of Amnesiac Eric to me albeit a more child appropriate version. Pinnie and Spike are great crowd pleasers but I imagine two of those would be a hassle to contain… One of each seems like a nice balance 🙂 I’ll see when these kids creep in again, they’re my go to family for Holiday times, I already have something else lined up that wasn’t supposed to exist for New Year’s and I don’t know if the kids will work for a Valentine’s story but maybe it can be cute as well… as long as they don’t start giving each other valentines that family is related enough 😉

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  6. Aww, lovely ending! It’s easy to imagine Eric with children around him as he loves intensely when he does love. I can also imagine him being over cautious with them too so it cracks me up. I loved the Tomte and the info at end. The kids are hilarious and easy to imagine for me as I have a large extended family! Pam’s kids remind me of my brother’s kids when they were little – it was like having wild animals come to visit!

    England, like America, over commercialises Christmas and I’ve already seen lots of christmas cards for sale early. At the end of August our shops will start moving in the Christmas things, but they also start putting Easter eggs out after Boxing Day. I do love Christmas, although it was much better when my son was little and then I’d put the tree and decs up on 1st December and watch christmas stuff every day! I love the whole giving thing (I really don’t care about receiving unless it’s from hubby and that’s a whole story in itself lol) and decorating the house but I enjoy it more when I watch the kids lapping it up. I turn into a Pam when it comes to shopping for presents, even though I hate shopping normally! I think I’ve actually bought most of this years presents as I could afford to snap up bargains this year – although that means I’m going to get told off my nephew and niece for spoiling their kids too much. At least I mix educational gifts in with them lol, I tend to buy lots of books as presents the kids in both sides of our family have been raised to love their books. My FIL and sister can’t live without a book to read so I love buying books for them and we read some of the same Authors so it’s a bit self serving of me too!

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