Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holiday Hell

Many men would rather poke their eyes out with a stick and Nick, Jazz's vampire honey, is no different as you can see.

"Have a wonderful Christmas!" one perky clerk chirped at him as he passed by while her eyes told him she'd love him to unwrap her anytime.

"Only fourteen shopping days left!" Another had to chime in as she presented him with a smile that had way more holiday cheer in it than was necessary.

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way!

I saw Santa kissing Santa Claus.

All I want for Christmas is ---

"Give me any time period than this one," Nick growled, literally, as he prowled the mall from hell. He really should have chosen the Magick Mall for his gift shopping needs, but since they don't have a Nordstrom, Sephora or Victoria's Secret, he was screwed and doomed to shop at the mall that offered all three and more since he doubted Jazz would appreciate receiving a check or even gift cards. Not to mention reloading her Starbucks card wouldn't go over too big either. No, he had to vampire up and do this thing.

He hadn't celebrated the holidays in decades and couldn't remember if he and Jazz ever had, but he vowed he'd do what it took to do it this year, even if he began to think a stake through the heart wouldn't be all that bad after all. 

And what idiots are at a mall at eleven o'clock at night?! Other than him, that is. And all for those holiday bargains. The late night shopping hours were great for him since he was a vampire, although he could venture out during the day when it was cloudy. But we're talking sunny California and lately, December was more like July. Hence, his showing up now.

He hated shopping. He tended to order his clothing on line and have them delivered. But he doubted that Jazz would appreciate the personal touch, although he did find something for Krebs on line and even an elegant dog bed for Fluff and Puff that he knew they'd enjoy reclining on when they were on Jazz's feet. He even picked up a few DVDs for Irma's collection.

Now was the most difficult, yet interesting, shopping chore ahead of him.
"Would you like to try our new perfume, Midnight Madness, for your lady's pleasure?" One clerk asked, holding out a crystal bottle.

He reared back and just barely kept his fangs hidden. No way he could tell her he could smell that one and more.
"No thanks, but I may be back." He knew Jazz loved different perfumes to wear according to her mood and that one should work for her.

And what did Nick learn? That Sephora held more smelly stuff than his enhanced senses could handle. That he could see why Jazz spent a small fortune on skin and body products and he REALLY WANTED THE HADES OUT OF THERE.

Victoria's Secret was another hellish trek as overeager clerks were only too happy to assist him and he didn't think it was because they were thinking of sales. Not when he kept finding notes with names and phone numbers tucked into his jacket pocket. He winced at the grand total, but the idea of Jazz modeling the colorful silk chemises and thongs he picked up helped soothe the pain.
By the time Nick left the noise and mayhem of the mall and walked out to his Jeep Wrangler, he experienced something he hadn't felt in centuries.

He had the headache of all headaches and the knowledge the way things were going he'd be doing this again on Jazz's birthday.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Holiday Magick

"It's listing to the right."
            "It's straight."
            "You call that straight? I called it old man crooked." Jazz shot Krebs a look that said 'fix it or else!'
            Her housemate blew out an exasperated breath as he stepped back a few paces and studied the tree. She was right. It was leaning a little too far to the right.
            "I'll have to secure the damn thing to the wall," he muttered. "You had to have a ten-foot tree, didn't you?"
            "The room cries out for a large tree." She held her arms out to encompass the huge living room that was bright with twinkle lights threaded through green garlands decorated with red velvet bows. Holiday music played in the background.
            Krebs grunted as he struggled with the heavy tree. He shot a glare toward the man lounging on the couch. "You could help, you know. Vampire strength. Pick the tree up as if it was a toothpick and all that."
            "This is your tradition, not mine." Nick grinned. "Besides, I'm enjoying the show you and Jazz are giving me as you argue about decorations and a tree taller than most giants." But he took pity on the human and went over to help steady the tree. "Perhaps someone will add her magick to the tree." He lifted an eyebrow at Jazz.
            "What would you guys do without me?" She held her hands out. "Getting close to the date. Want the tree to be long. So stand up straight and stand up strong. Because I said so, damn it!" To go with the holiday spirit her magick left her fingertips in red and green sparkles, traveling to the tree and wrapping it in power. The tree immediately stopped listing to the right. "And no holes in the wall," she told Krebs.
            "That works for me. Think you can do the lights too?"
            "Putting lights up is guy work! I put up the ornaments and icicles." She held up a silvery strand of tinsel.
            Krebs gritted his teeth as Jazz directed the placement of the strands of lights. "I thought this was guy work."
            "It is, but you still need to know where they go." She handed him the star tree topper.
            "What did you do before you had me to boss around?" Krebs asked.
            "I had a three-foot tabletop tree, but this is so much better." Jazz sorted through the ornaments until she found the one she wanted and carefully placed it on a branch.
            Fluff and Puff slid into the room, chattering away to themselves. They headed for the red basket filled with candy canes and grabbed one, growling and snapping at each other as they fought over the peppermint treat until it broke in half. Each retreated to an opposite corner to enjoy their booty while keeping an eye on the other to make sure it wasn't taken away from them.
            "No, the angel has to go up there." Jazz pointed up and up and up.
            Krebs sighed. "I'll get the ladder."
            "I can take care of that." Nick levitated to the branch Jazz indicated and carefully hung the ornament.
            Between Jazz's direction, Krebs and Nick doing her bidding the tree was decorated from top to bottom.
            "Any reason why you couldn't do the witchy thing and just send the ornaments onto the tree?" Krebs asked.
            "Sure, but it's not as much fun as making sure they're where they belong. I do great work." She beamed as she studied the tree.
            Nick and Krebs exchanged a look. "Who does great work?" They asked in unison.
            "Me. After all, I was the brains, you were the brawn." She waved off their words. "It's a beautiful tree." She stood back, smiling brightly.
            With the drapes open, the tall tree was perfectly framed in the huge bay window that faced the street. With icicle lights decorating the house, twinkle lights blanketing the shrubs and lighted lollipops and candy canes along the cement walkway, the house was a holiday confection.
            "Let's need to go outside and see the full effect!" Jazz grabbed the men by the hand and pulled them outside. They stood on the sidewalk to admire the final effect.
            "Even prettier than last year," she pronounced.
            "I have to admit you do good work, Jazz baby." Krebs hugged her.
            "Jazz has always loved the holidays," Nick said.
            "Especially presents." She looked from one to the other with an expectant expression.
            "You know the rules. We wait until the morning of December 25 and not one minute sooner. It's cold out here. I'll make Irish coffee," he offered, heading for the front door. "You can drink that, right, Nick?"
            "Thankfully, I can." He slipped an arm around Jazz's waist as they walked up the walkway.
            Krebs opened the door and hurried stepped back as a wave of noxious stench flowed outside.
            "Gross!" Krebs stared at Fluff, or maybe it was Puff who lay sprawled on the floor by the tree with half eaten candy canes surrounding them. "They ate peppermint and that came out of them?"
Jazz held her nose as she waved her hand through the toxic air that grew worse by the minute. "I should have remembered that peppermint doesn't agree with them."
"I guess we'll be drinking our Irish coffee in the kitchen. Or maybe the carriage house." Krebs led the way toward the back of the house. “Hey witchy roomie, just in case, can you conjure up some gas masks?”