“All y’all celebrate without me,” I said. The clock ticked away behind me, signaling the final thirty minutes of the year 2015. “I just want to read tonight.”
“Oh, no you don’t,” Aura Lockhaven replied, grabbing my left arm. Perhaps I should have written the Enchantress of Hartshorn a little less authoritative. I certainly should not have given her a mesmerizing voice like a cross between a Celtic harp and a waterfall. “We aren’t letting you off that easy. You rather created us, or don’t you recall the past two years. So, dance with us. Drink with us. Celebrate 2016 with us. It’s almost midnight, and you’re still dressed quite 1974. Really, now. Tweed with navy? There is a wee difference between being charmingly retro and being cheap about your wardrobe.”
I snorted. “Says the woman who wears a bikini to work.”
Aura smiled. With a giggle, she said, “Whose fault is that, Mr. Writer and Artist?” Aura looked over her shoulder to the blonde warrior, now clad in a clubbing dress and reposed in my other chair. “You could help me, Iryndelle. He created you, too.”
Iryndelle grinned. “Don’t look at me, Enchantress. I belong to a totally different storyline. You’re the written character, the queen of his fictional universe as he calls you. I’m just a lowly graphic novel heroine. Getting him to recognize New Year’s Eve is the responsibility of you printlings.”
“Lovely,” Aura grumbled.
It seems I wrote myself into a corner with these characters. They’re taking over. I sighed. “No, you go ahead. 2015 was a long year. I just want to rest tonight.”
“Rest tomorrow when you’re recovering from a hangover,” Elisabeth Lovejoy snapped, taking my right arm. Her grip was like iron. I forgot how strong I wrote her. “We’re about to make you famous, so get your writerly butt, and the rest that’s attached to it, out of that chair and dance with us!” Elisabeth tugged on my arm. “Aura, he gained weight.”
“I don’t know a gym membership spell,” Aura muttered.
“That master’s degree went to his head. Metaphors and alliteration are heavy,” Iryndelle quipped.
“I’d kick your ass out of that chair, but you’d probably write a nasty death scene for me if I did,” Elisabeth said. She’d do it, too. So would I. Eh, too much work.
“Aura. Elisabeth. Iryn. I’m too old for this,” I said.
“Old?” Sagacius roared. I forgot about him. Next to Aura herself, he’s my senior-most character. Sagacius is not someone to be ignored. “You don’t know the meaning of that word, boy. Egads! I could tell you about old … I could tell you about ancient, eldritch, arcane, and mythical, but you’re an insufferable know-it-all with your Oxford English Dictionary and penchant for etymology. Old, indeed!”
The wizard must have cast a spell on me, because I stood up and said, “You’re absolutely right. 2016 is going to be the best year ever. Three hundred sixty-five days to do accomplish great things and have fun doing them. Let me get dressed. This calls for a white dinner jacket. And champagne. We need lots of champagne. I think Benny Goodman is in order, too.”
“A white dinner jacket, with your fourteen inch long hair? Oh, merciful heavens!” Aura muttered. “This isn’t London, and you aren’t John Lennon.”
“Benny Goodman?” Elisabeth asked. “Is it about to be 2016, or 1936?”
As I left the room, I heard Sagacius sigh, and say, “I was hoping for Taylor Swift. Ladies, we have been created by an anachronistic boar.”
“At least, he’s changing those socks and that shirt,” Aura said.
Happy 2016! May the upcoming year bring you more love, abundance, happiness, and joyful surprises than you can shake a stick at.
DAZ Studio 4.8 Pro -> Reality 4.2 -> Luxrender 1.5
Aura Lockhaven, Iryndelle, Elisabeth Lovejoy, and Sagacius copyright Nathan Boutwell, 2016.