Loki looked down at the small grey ball of fluff in his hands. “The perfect companion for Luna. Now all I have to do is keep it in this box until we exchange Solstice gifts. It shouldn’t be that hard.”
Loki set her gift in a large box and waved his hand over the top. “This should keep you breathing and out of trouble until she gets home from work. Just stay in the box until I give you to her.”
With those instructions, Loki placed the wrapped, but lidless box under the tree in Luna’s sitting room. “Time to go get everything else for tonight’s celebration.”
Loki waved his hand again and walked through the portal he had created.
Luna opened the door to her flat and dropped her bag on the floor. She was expecting to see her sitting room decorated for Christmas. What she found was a Winter Solstice disaster.
“Oh, bother,” Luna huffed as she looked around the room. “I should have known better than to try to decorate early. Nargles are always up to mischief in time for the solstice.”
Packages were missing ribbons and half the decorations were no longer on the tree. There were even pieces of her Yule centerpiece scattered among the decorations that had fallen from her Christmas tree.
“I guess I had better try to salvage something out of this.” Luna picked up a couple of baubles from the floor as she continued to look around the sitting room. “I’m never going to know what still needs to be done, if I don't know what I have. He will be here soon enough.”
Luna set the bauble she had collected on the small table beside her sofa before she took an inventory of the gifts under the tree. “Everything seems to be here. Some may need to be rewrapped, but everything is here. Wait, I don’t recognize this one …”
Luna picked up the empty box she spotted under the tree. “It looks like someone started to wrap something, but forgot the lid. Or, nargles have been opening my presents again. Seems like this happens every year on this day.”
“No time to worry over what the nargles might have done.” Luna set the box back under the tree and continued to clean up the mess in her sitting room. “Loki will be here soon with the food and we have a solstice to celebrate. They usually return what has been taken anyway.”
Loki smiled as he turned the handle on the door to Luna’s flat. He had managed to get all of Luna’s favorite foods. “Love, I’m home."
Loki’s greeting was met with silence. Something wasn’t right. Luna always answered him when he called out a greeting.
The sitting room was dark as he made his way through the flat. Snapping his fingers, Loki started a fire in the fireplace. A snuffle from the sofa caught his attention.
Loki walked over to the sofa and shook Luna’s shoulder. “Love, wake up. I have chicken and dumplings and apple turnovers for you. I even have what you need for a hot toddy or two.”
Luna rubbed her eyes and stretched. “I didn’t mean to fall asleep. The nargles made such a mess in here before I got home. I had to clean it up so we could celebrate.”
“Love, I don't think nargles got into your sitting room.” Loki tried not to chuckle as he watched Luna wake up. “I’m sure there is an explanation for what you found when you got home. What did you find when you got home?”
“Baubles from the tree all over the room. Packages scattered around, missing ribbons or pieces of wrapping paper.” Luna pointed to the pile of slightly damaged packages she had put back under the tree. “The strangest thing was the empty box I found. I didn’t recognize the paper and it looked like someone forgot to put a top on the box before they put it under the tree.”
“That is strange.” Loki’s voice trailed off as he spotted box she was pointing at. “I thought I put a covering on that box. Are you sure it was empty?”
“I’m sure.” Luna yawned as she started to get off of the sofa. “It looked like the nargles spilled it but there was nothing around it. Did you have something in the box?”
“Yes,” Loki started to scan the room. “I’m afraid what was in that box has caused most of the mess you found when you got home. It was supposed to stay in the box.”
“Loki, what was in the box?” Luna raised an eyebrow as she watched color creep up Loki’s neck. “Did you actually catch a nargle?’
“A little Havok, I’m afraid,” Loki sighed as he looked around the room. “Now, all I have to do is find him…”
“Did you hear that?” Luna turned toward the rustling she heard in the Christmas tree. “What is that?”
Loki was surprised to see a small gray face peeking out from the baubles on the Christmas tree. “It appears, my love, that your present decided to play in the tree instead of staying underneath it.”
Loki reached into the tree and carefully pulled out a small, grey kitten. “Love, meet Havok, your Christmas kitten.”