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Lights Out

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“Traditionally, one would hang candles, you know,” Jocko pointed out from his vantage point on the couch. “This could be considered a form of sacrilege.”

“Jocko, if you’re gonna criticize, the least you could do is help.”

“Sorry Patsy, but someone needs to supervise this whole operation. If everything goes up in flames, I need to be here to explain it to Hellman.”

“How many times do I have to tell you, electric lights are fine,” Pat replied from somewhere behind the tree. “Oh that reminds me, Hellman sent me a Christmas card. It’s up on the mantle, and it'd make great kindling. When I get finished with the tree, let’s say we get the fireplace going.”

Jocko laughed. “He really sent you a card?”

Some branches shook and Jocko assumed Pat was nodding. “Hey, by any chance are you stuck back there?”

A pause before a muffled reply. “Maybe.”

Jocko laughed again as he got up and walked over to the tree. It was larger up close, even bigger than himself, and he struggled to find Pat’s slender frame wedged behind it. Getting an idea, he put his drink down and spun the tree in its stand, and Pat finally emerged, his legs tangled up in the lights.

“Care to unwrap me?” he asked, raising his eyebrows.