Holly and Ivy had been flatmates for a while now, but they still weren’t quite sure, either of them, about how the relationship might be evolving. Ivy found Holly somewhat, well, sharp, whilst Holly thought Ivy was, frankly, rather creepy. Things came to a head as Advent kicked in. They’d been pretending to watch the quarter-finals of a programme called ‘I’m Strictly an Apprentice, Kick Me Out of Here,’ or something, when Holly hit the mute button.
“So. We might as well sort it out.”
Ivy wrapped herself round a cushion and almost smiled. “I’m not sure I know precisely what you mean, Holly.”
Holly exploded. “You know exactly what I mean! You’ve invited a bunch of your relatives – Celyn, Hedera, Cuileann, I forget the rest – not to mention that Norwegian bloke – ”
“Nordman? And Hedera’s your relative, by the way.”
“Whatever. We need to spruce this place up a bit. Deck the halls.”
Ivy looked up from her iPad. “I take your point. Nordman likes his baubles. And I hear that flashy Lametta might drop in¸ probably drape herself all over the place. But – I’ve been doing a bit of research, and it’s quite obvious. Look – ” She passed the tablet to Holly. “Deck the halls with boughs of you. You wear the crown. I hardly get a mention. So I feel hardly worthy to usurp your unquestioned superiority in the hall-decking scheme of things. Tra-la-la-la-laa!”
Holly briefly prickled, but then wilted. “Well, if you put it that way… But – does that mean I have to do all the work?”
Ivy smiled. She’d thought of that. “Oh no. I suggest we go down the inn.”
“Yes, the inn. There’ll be a heavenly host of merry gentlemen there, all too willing to help. And my old uni chums Comfort and Joy’ll be there too, prob.”
Holly grabbed her bag and out they went into the night, where a single bright star was shining unnoticed above them.