“Well, I think she liked the flowers.” I admitted to Mykhayla, Wire and Heat the next morning when I saw them, “What’s the next plan of action?”
“Plan G.” Mykhayla told me, “Gifts.” She paused for a moment and looked up into the sky before her eyes grew wide.
“There’s only two weeks left until Christmas!” She exclaimed loud enough for the entire ship to hear.
“Christmas?” We questioned.
Her jaw dropped, “Do you not know what Christmas is?”
We all looked at each other sideways and then slowly shook our heads.
“Oh my God.” She said slowly, “This’ll be the best Christmas for you guys ever then!”
She then hurried us along to the top of the ship where Kidd’s ‘throne’ was and hurried to grab everyone else on the crew. She then commanded all of our attention and began to explain to us that Christmas was a wonderful time with the exchange of gifts, togetherness and food. I think we were all confused when she was done speaking.
“Not exactly.” Torri said climbing up the stairs and coming towards us, “Christmas is more about spending time with those close to you and enjoying one’s company. In my family it usually had a lot to do with the food. Cooking and baking for Christmas eve and then helping my mom out with Christmas dinner the next day. We all enjoyed and partook in it, creating memories to last forever.”
“Yeah, Christmas is fun. And that is what I meant to say.” She said with a nervous laugh, “So do you think we can pull off Christmas this year for these guys?”
Torri looked like she was thinking for a moment before she shrugged.
“If captain doesn’t mind shelling out the money needed I have no problem being in the kitchen all day for the next little while to make it happen.” She told the blonde, “But then decorations are all up to you.”
“Yay! Cookies!” She exclaimed, “I mean, yay! Decorating!”
Mykhayla and Torri looked at Kidd, his say was final.
“How long until we reach the next island?” Kidd asked the navigator.
“Four more days, captain.” He told him.
Kidd turned his attention back to them, “Can you create Christmas in ten days?”
“If you keep your men out of my kitchen, then yes.” Torri told him.
“And if I get some help with the decorations, it’s doable.” Mykhyla said.
“Alright.” Kidd said in defeat, “I’ll give you all the money you need for whatever, but you can’t disregard your regular duties either.”
“I thought I was banned from mopping.” Mykhayla wondered out loud.
“I wasn’t talking to you.” Kidd growled.
Torri nodded to Kidd and then turned to leave again, she was going to be busy the next little while.
I sighed again while Mykhayla tried to tell me what the perfect present to Torri might be for Christmas.
It was getting a lot colder though, we were going to be docked on a winter island for Christmas.
We were to dock either later today for early tomorrow, I figured I could roam the streets and find something she would like, I hoped.
“Oh, there’s another thing we could use.” I heard Mykhayla say more to herself than anyone around her, “We can skip up to plan M and have you two kiss under the mistletoe.”
“Mistletoe?” I repeated.
She nodded, “It’s a Christmas tradition,” Mykhayla told me, “When two people stand underneath the mistletoe the tradition is that they should kiss.”
I felt my face heat up again. Why would she suggest such a thing.
“Maybe.” I said after a moment, “Maybe.”
She seemed content with that and continued to list off things she would need to make the ship Christmas-y.
I decided to get up and go inside, maybe talk to Torri if she wasn’t too busy.
I found her in the dinning room, she had paper and pencils in front of her as she muttered to herself ingredients and food items.
“You look busy.” I said to her and sat down across from her.
“It’s only the start.” She said as she scribbled down more, “What’s up?”
“Nothing really.” I told her, “I just wanted to see what you were up to.”
“Deciding what I should bake and in what order, on top of the regular food supply.” She told me.
“Anything I can do to help?” I asked her.
She shook her head and said it was a good kind of stress to have.
I nodded and left her alone to her work, I made my way down to see Kidd in his room. I had had enough of that blonde for one day.
Open window displays showed fancy chocolates, beautiful dresses and garments, and real and fake gem jewelry. I didn’t really know where to start to look. I knew she wasn’t the biggest fan of sweet things, so chocolate was out. She was a tomboy so dresses and cloths were out. The island was clearly devoid of any weapon shops so I couldn’t get her any new knives like I thought I could have. I didn’t want to get her anything for the kitchen incase she took it the wrong way. That left one option; jewelry.
I walked looking into the displays of every jewelry shop I could find. Non of them jumped out at me. They were all of flowers, or stones that didn’t suit her at all.Without realizing it I wandered into the far end of the village. There weren’t many shops, and they didn’t seem to get any business.
There was only one Jewelry shop here. I gazed into the window.
These were much more Torri’s taste. I thought to myself.
There was one imparticular that caught my eye. It was a silver pendant in the shape of a phoenix on a leather strap.
I smiled to myself knowing what I was going to get her, I walked into the store.
I wiped the sweat off my brow as I went back down to haul in the last of the food. When the final crate was on the floor of the kitchen I started unpacking all the food there was, while humming to myself ‘White Christmas’. I loved snow.
“Okay.” I said to myself when everything was away, “Let’s start on dinner.”
I began cutting potatos for a shepard’s pie as I thought about my strategy for taking on the mountain of baking I would have to do.
I walked out to take in a breath of the cold, crisp, clean, snowy air before I called to everyone that dinner was on the table. They hurried past me as I stretched out a bit before heading inside.
A white Christmas. I thought to myself, been a while since we had one of those.
I went back inside to eat quickly, and then clear the table.
Mykhayla came in after I finished and dumped everything to make her ornaments out on the table after she promised to clean it up when she was done.
I shrugged and finished the dishes before setting out to start on chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles, and peanut butter cookies. It was going to be a long night.
I yawned again and stretched out as the last of the cookies were cooling and the last little bit of food was in the oven.
I started setting baked goods out on trays to be taken out. Mykhayla was busy running around putting snowflakes, wreaths, garlands, holly, stars, and banners saying ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS’ everywhere she could.
The cookies, tarts, brownies, fudge, and even Christmas cake were set out on the designated dessert table.
I mixed up eggnogg and brought out a bowl of it before setting out the actual food.
Everything was set up completely. The in and outside of the ship looked like Christmas just threw up everywhere, and the amount of food I had set out almost made me want to throw up. It was perfect.
I told Mykhayla to grab everyone to start the party. She ran out to grab them instantly, giddy as a school girl.
I sighed and walked down slowly towards our room.
The crew was loud and rowdy, enjoying the drink and food and each other’s company.
Killer looked around the room nervously, a dark blue box in his hands tied up with a silver ribbon. But he didn’t see the person he was looking for. He had already checked the kitchen, the hall ways, the deck, the crow’s nest, and her room. But he couldn’t find her anywhere.
The taller blonde approached a much shorter one.
“Mykhayla!” He called over the others and the music in the small room.
The blue eyed girl looked up at him, her face stuffed with cookies.
“Have you seen, Torri?” He asked desperately.
“I lost her at the food table.” She admitted through the crumbs in her mouth.
Killer sighed and headed out to look around the ship once more.
One of the look outs told him that she had gone out into the woods by herself about the time the party had started.
Killer sighed again and hurried inside to grab himself a coat before he hurried in the direction they said she had gone.
I stared down at the yellow mess at my feet. I couldn’t stop now. I wasn’t going to depend on anyone for unnecessary help again.
I caught my breath completely before continuing to run and toss my knives at various targets I made up in my head. I had to improve myself, I wasn’t going to stop until I was happy with my level.
My body felt cold, but my mind was at peace. I stared up into the sky watching all the snow fall down onto my form, not enough was coming down to cover me completely at this rate.
“Torri!” I heard someone calling my name to the right.
I looked over and through the treesand I saw Killer advancing towards me.
I sat up and waved. He hurried over to me.
“I thought you were at the party.” I told him as he sat down next to me.
“I thought you were there too.” He said to me as he caught his breath.
“What are you doing out here anyway?” He asked.
“I was training.” I told him shortly.
“Why are you training during a holiday?” He asked.
“I have to improve myself.” I told him, “Nothing’s going to stop that. Now why are you here?”
He turned away from a moment and unzipped his jacket to pull out a small, dark blue box with a silver ribbon.
“I, uh, wanted to give you this. It is a Christmas tradition, according to Mykhayla.” He said and handed the box to me without looking at me.
“Oh, thank you.” I said and took it from him, “I feel bad now, I haven’t gotten you anything.”
“You don’t have too.” He said softly, “Open it.”
I pulled the ribbon and opened the box to show a beautiful necklace. It was a silver pendant in the shape of a phoenix attached to a leather strap.
“It’s beautiful.” I said without thinking.
“I’m glad you like it.” He said.
“I love it.” I said and pulled it out of the box and slipped it on over my head, “Thank you.”
“Don’t worry about it.” He told me.
We sat there in comfortable silence for a moment before he stood up.
“We should probably head back to the ship, shouldn’t we?” He said.
I nodded and stood up, we then started to head back towards the ship.
There was a lot of commotion going on in the gallery when we got back, what cut through it was Kidd’s yelling in objection. Killer and I both looked at one another before bolting up the stairs.
When we got to the party room I saw Kidd and one of the under crew men standing across from Mykhayla.
“What’s going on here?” I asked and turned my attention to Mykhayla.
“Well,” She started nervously, “I thought it might have been a good idea to add in some fun to, you know, put up some mistletoe, and now they aren’t obeying the rules of Christmas!”
I looked up at the ceiling above where the two men stood. On a long piece of string there was a little tassel of mistletoe on the end of it.
I sighed and tossed a knife at it, causing the mistletoe to fall helplessly to the floor and my knife to get embedded in the wall.
“How about no mistletoe.” I told her, “Where did that tradition even start?”
“If it keeps me from being killed, I’m okay with it!” She said and jumped for joy.
I rolled my eyes at her and grabbed my knife from the wall. I felt the necklace readjust itself against my chest. I looked down at it and smiled at it. This was a good Christmas after all.