It was one of those bright winter days when it felt that nothing could go wrong, or maybe it was just all that rare bright sunlight reflecting off the snow making the blood go to your head. In the inner courtyard the resident couriers were busy constructing effigies of the Fathers in snow to celebrate their sudden abscence. The resemblance was striking.
Lox came into the main room carrying a covered wardrobe hanger, and an old fashioned bishop’s mitre and staff. She locked Lapis and Scorpio with a single look.
“Since Father has evacuated with the others,” she said, poker faced as ever, “one of use has to fulfull one of his duties for him.” Here she tossed the parcels over the sofa and crossed her arms smuggly. “And I am afraid a woman won’t do.”
She unlaced the wardrobe hangar to reveal rich red velvets against satin, adorned with gold thread embellishments, with a tangle of white wig curls crushed underneath.
“Oh no…” started Brother Scorpio.
Lox let an evil smile play over her face. “Father’s St. Nikolas costume. One of you has to go to the Party at the Brewery tomorrow night in it.” She leveled her gaze at the two brothers as they calculated their strategies.
Lapis took a quick glance at Scorpio, then quickly stepped up before he could make the first move. He shook out the velvet robes, giving them a keen look of appraisal, then wrapped them around him with a flourish. He hunched his back to make his wirey frame even smaller under the massive costume. “Looks like I’m too small and scrawny, Lox. What a shame.” Lapis put a look of dissapointment on his face as he fumbled his way out of the voluminous layers of velvet and lace, then tossed the robe to Scorpio with a grin.
“You wouldn’t want to disappoint the Children, would you, Brother?” Lox smiled seriously as she shook out the curly white beard and held it up towards Brother Scorpio.