James Patterson, author of Kiss the Girls and other novels that have sold quicker than airplane parts during the Blitz, intends to write a children’s book. Patterson, known for fulminating at book critics, hopes to demonstrate with “SantaKid” that there’s a kinder, gentler James Patterson behind all the fury. Return of the Reluctant has obtained an early excerpt of his story. We leave readers to decide if there are, in fact, two James Pattersons co-existing in this universe.
Beautiful pearly teeth filled her mouth. She was ready. Really ready. Everything was good, really damn good, about this smile.
Kimberly the Elf was a North Pole trainee. It was her first day.
“It’s a good smile,” Rufus the Elf whispered. “I wouldn’t change a single thing about it.”
They had come to the toy factory to work and to smile. They had three hundred gifts to wrap and send out. Three hundred gifts, and if they were feeling really good, maybe they’d have three hundred and one.
Rufus the Elf had to smile. He had already smiled twice that morning, and he knew he would smile again.
“Tough business,” Kimberly admitted. “But we’ll make it through.”
“Just keep smiling,” he said to her. “It’s the right thing to do.”
Kimberly had imagined this moment, this tremendous new life, so many times. It became easier to smile as the toys poured out the chute like coins flying from a Vegas jackpot. God, she loved smiling and wrapping toys.
Rufus looked at Kimberly. Kimberly looked at Rufus.
There was work to do, and it was good work. As good as the smiles they rode in on.