After seeing this adorable artwork, I absolutely had to make a story to go along with it. This isn’t really canon to Fairy Tales, but it was a lot of fun anyway. The art was made by the amazing @lamthetwickster and commissioned by @nightmares06. Thank you both, and Merry Christmas to all!
Approx. reading time ~5-10 minutes
After the hustle and bustle leading up to the holiday, nothing suited Jacob more than lounging on the couch.
The living room was kept tidy, with the rug vacuumed and the coffee table free of the usual craft magazines that adorned it. There was a low fire in the fireplace, behind a worn metal grate to keep any errant sparks at bay. The furniture, well worn from years of use, had been pushed aside from its usual arrangement to make room for a tall addition that glittered and glowed.
The Christmas tree was rumpled on one side, so they’d set it up with that part facing the wall. The rest was adorned with sparkling ornaments, and a string light that Jacob had been tasked with adding on. His mother was way too short to reach the top of the tree.
There was white felt wrapped around the base for fake snow, and a tidy little pile of wrapped gifts arranged around it. With the fireplace going and the soft light from the tree reflecting around the room, it made a typical Christmas setting.
The wood sprite fluttering around the room made things less typical.
Jacob smirked as Bowman hovered near the top of the tree to observe the plastic star. Wings like leaves, vibrant green and strong, flapped steadily to keep the four inch tall person airborne. He had no idea how much he actually fit in with the rest of the decorations, with his green clothes and hair.
Jacob dared to break his concentration. “So whatcha think? Pretty nice tree, huh?”
Bowman threw a look over his shoulder. Even from several feet away, Jacob didn’t need to imagine too hard to know he was frowning skeptically. “It’s not even a real tree,” Bowman called out.
“Well, yeah, we’re not gonna just cut one down for decoration,” Jacob answered, pushing himself to his feet. At his full height of six foot five, he was barely below Bowman’s level anymore.
The sprite glided away from the tree, banking in a wide arc around the room. He kept himself well clear of the fireplace as he did so. He paused to glance over some framed photos on the wall, before flying back around towards the tree.
Jacob knew he wouldn’t be able to resist it. Bowman landed delicately on the end of a spindly branch, avoiding the fake pine needles the best he could. Above him was a red ornament ball painted with swirls of gold glitter.
“Are these supposed to look like fruits? ‘Cause they don’t,” Bowman pointed out, reaching up a tentative hand to brush at the ornament.
Jacob found he didn’t actually have an answer. “Uh. I dunno what they’re supposed to look like. They’re just there to make the tree prettier.”
Bowman shot Jacob a bemused glance. The little guy hardly seemed to mind that, with Jacob standing, he was all but looming near the Christmas tree. “You giants. There’s no hope if even you don’t know why you do weird things.”
Jacob was almost tempted to flick the little branch he was on. He lost his chance when Bowman, as curious as ever, fluttered into the air again and drifted downwards.
“And why is it that the obsession with boxes never ends?” Bowman said, landing on a gift wrapped with gold-colored paper and tied with a shiny red ribbon. Jacob’s mom had wrapped almost everything in that paper, meticulously keeping things boxed and tidy under the tree.
It was little wonder that Bowman would focus on the shape of it all before anything else. Jacob crouched down to watch with a grin as Bowman’s tiny little hands brushed over the bow on top of the box. “Squares and boxes are just to bug you, dude. No other reason.” He reached out and nudged at Bowman’s side.
It got him the expected reaction. Bowman whirled around to swat at Jacob’s hand, and his wings tensed up pointedly. However, as he took a step backwards for more space, Bowman’s tiny green boot caught on the ribbon tied around the box.
Jacob snorted as Bowman toppled, landing right on top of the mass of red ribbon atop the box. Before he could say anything more, the sprite shot him a glare and rolled over, his wings awkwardly flailing. There was no stopping the confusion as Bowman managed to kick part of the bow and loosen the tie. Jacob could only watch the sprite make it worse.
When he finally managed to sit up, Bowman had ribbon wrapped around his waist and over one shoulder. One of his wings was hopelessly tangled, and he sat atop the Christmas gift with a look somewhere between confusion and betrayal. “What in the Spirit’s dance is wrong with this thing?!” he said, turning his glare up to Jacob.
Jacob pursed his lips, but couldn’t hold in his snickering for long. “It’s got a wood sprite tangling it all up, that’s what,” he teased, and Bowman’s one free wing flared open indignantly. “You fit right in with the Christmas decor, gotta say.”
Bowman huffed and tugged at the red ribbon sullenly, before pausing again. “I do not,” he said. “This red is the most opposite color for me that it could be!”
Jacob smirked while Bowman glanced around himself. “That’s the point,” he insisted. Then, eyeing something stuck to one of the other gifts, Jacob reached out to pluck it up. The tiny bow, barely the size of his fingertip, came easily; it was an older one that always got reused every year for one of the smaller wrapped parcels under the tree.
With a wide grin, Jacob placed it on Bowman’s head. What little glue remained on the little bow did enough to cling to the sprite’s wild hair, and he looked up in surprise. “What?” he asked. One hand reached up to touch the bow, and he leaned away from Jacob to give him a better angle on his accusing glare. “Why did you add more ribbons?!”
“‘Tis the season, Bowman,” Jacob said, shifting so he sat cross legged in front of the present. “I’m tempted to hang you up on the tree. You’d fit right in with the rest of the ornaments.”
“Don’t even think about it,” Bowman warned. Even as he did, he managed to tug part of the ribbon away from himself. “I’ll bop you!”
Jacob’s grin never wavered. “Aww, you’re messing up your bow, Bowman. Here, let me fix it.” His hands descended, and though Bowman tried to kick and punch at Jacob’s fingertips, he couldn’t stop the human from pinching the red ribbon.
“Blast it, Jacob!” Bowman complained, even as the ribbon was looped very loosely around him once. He shot a glare upwards, and Jacob paused with that mischievous grin before relenting. The ribbons were pulled away, and Bowman could scramble out of the way as Jacob set to fixing the fancy bow on the square-shaped gift.
Bowman fluttered into the air, taking a perch on top of Jacob’s head while he worked. “You’re lucky you listened, human,” he announced, one wing slapping down pointedly on top of Jacob’s head.
“Yeah, well, as funny as it’d be to have you looking so festive, gotta keep all these things looking nice for mom. You messed up the ribbon pretty good, here, bud.”
Bowman scoffed. “Yeah, well. These ribbons are too blasted big anyway.” Then, a second later, the bow that Jacob had placed on the little guy’s head fell into view as the sprite tossed it away.
Jacob snickered. “I think you need a little more Christmas spirit,” he said, finishing off the bow and pushing himself to a stand. On top of his head, Bowman wobbled in place but didn’t flutter off.
“… There’s a whole Spirit for this stuff?” Bowman asked as Jacob turned away from the tree. Jacob chuckled. “What? I’ve never heard of them before, you said humans didn’t have any Spirits like sprites do!”
“We don’t,” Jacob admitted. “But I’m pretty sure some gingerbread cookies might help explain it to you.”