IT’S THE BEST TIME OF THE YEAR
Amy Lowell & Martin Peters
It wasn’t quite Christmas yet but that didn’t matter. They would be heading off for break any day now and what better excuse was there for a party? And a costume party, at that. Amy enjoyed the chance to dress up, put together a costume and perhaps even become a character for a little while if she was feeling up to it. It was nice to be around others who enjoyed it as much as she did as well, there were some who hated it, grumbled and complained and took any excuse to get out of it, but not Amy.
The knock on her door had her scrambling around the end of her bed, bells jingling and jangling as she went, and by the time she actually got it open she was giggling to herself. The bells were only going to get more entertaining as the night went on, and not because of any alcohol that might be involved. Amy didn’t drink, everyone knew that about her. Aside from the one glass she had with her dinner on the day she abstained of her own free will, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t go along to the parties and have fun like everyone else.
“Amusing yourself?” Martin was smiling but in that slightly perplexed way that told Amy he hadn’t heard her coming. “What’s so funny?”
Amy jumped up and down on the spot a couple of times and gave her head a little shake. The curly-toed boots and festive hat rewarded her with the same ringing that her set her giggling in the first place and she offered Martin a wide, happy smile. He was laughing. “Nice,” he conceded, nodding his head.
“What are you supposed to be?”
“I’m Santa,” he said to her, spreading his arms a little. When she narrowed her eyes sceptically, looking his rather plain ensemble up and down, he went on, “What? Santa has three-hundred sixty-four days off a year, you really think he sits around in his red suit all that time?”
“You don’t have a beard.”
Amy’s eyes narrowed even further. “Or a belly.”
Shaking her head she gave a loud tut. “I didn’t realise you were such a Scrooge,” she said, one hand on her hip.
Martin’s bottom jaw dropped indignantly. “I am not a Scrooge!”
“You’re not wearing a costume!” Before he could argue she lifted a hand to stop him, going on to point a finger right at his nose. “No excuses, no buts. We still have time, and I think I know just what to do.”
“Ah-ah!” The finger was up in front of his face this time and she fixed him with a stare. “No excuses,” she reminded him, “and no buts. Costume. You. Now.” She gestured out the door and followed him out after leaning in to grab the festive little purse -- green and red and a holly pull on the zipper -- she’d bought for the occasion. “Honestly,” she sighed loudly as she strode after him as he made his way down the corridor. “I don’t know how you thought you could get away with it,” she said, shaking her head, setting the bells jingling anew.
She could practically feel Martin roll his eyes as she walked past him and pushed her way into the stairwell leading down from her floor. “It’s one party,” she told him cheerfully, “a costume won’t kill you.” And she fully intended to see to it that he got the best costume possible in the little time they had available to them.