Since decorations and merchandise are appearing–scandalously, I might add, in the stores, I thought I’d post another little snippet from my Christmas vampire novella. In this one, Arthur is being talked into working at a Victorian Christmas Village by his persistent assistant, and he’s trying on his old outfit–
“Oh, Arthur, you look—wonderful.”
I preen just a little as I turn round for her inspection.
“So, I must say they did take proper care of the fabric, Mimsy, did they not?” I tell her. “Who did you get this time?” I say as I tie my cravat in a perfect four-in-hand around my starched white shirt collar.
“Henson Restorative Fabrics was the name,” she answers. “They were the only ones that would do it after I tried three other dry cleaners; the last one recognized the outfit for what it was and wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole.”
“Did they have any trouble with the fall front trousers?”
“Not at all,” she says. “I told them to take extra care with the buttons, as per your instructions.” She gives a little twist to my waistcoat and straightens the shoulders on my frockcoat, then reaches for the hatbox. I of course watch her carefully as she opens it, lifting out the black beaver hat with gloved hands. They only tremble a little. I gently take it from her and settle it square on top of my blonde head and I give a little frisson of satisfaction, my lips parting. This is exactly why I don’t like to put these clothes on. They remind me too much of what I’ve lost.