Continuing with the Christmas excerpts from Maelstrom, Ricky confronts the band over having ignored his instructions not to go caroling.
Spurning his coat, Ricky chased them to the tour bus, which was painted for the occasion with red and white stripes like a peppermint stick. He ignored Calvin, who seemed impatient to get going, and cornered everyone against the bus door in the lightly falling snow. “What the hell was that all about?”
“Christmas cheer,” Kalila told him. “Really, Ricky, you should study up on your culture.”
“But I told you I didn’t want you to go caroling. Please tell me this was a special thing you did just for me.”
Vic sneered. “You’re not that special, human. We already did Jeff Truitt and a couple other music reporters.”
“And we have several more people on our list,” Kalila said. “So we need to get going.”
“What others? This is not acceptable.”
“Oh, Ricky.” Nevin shook his head sadly. “Where’s your Christmas spirit?”
“We’re conforming to human expectations of behavior,” Bo pointed out. “In case you didn’t notice, I could’ve banged your sister-in-law, but I didn’t. We have things completely under control.”
“That’s because we’ve got snacks on the bus,” Vic said. As if on cue, two blondes in Santa hats opened a window and leaned out, waving and shouting, “Merry Christmas!”
Ricky shook his head. “Jesus Christ.”
Vic adjusted his scarf. “That’s what it’s all about. Excuse me, but one of these young ladies is type O and I need a little refreshment before our next stop.”
He shoved his way past and got onto the bus, with the others following suit. Nevin was the last to go, after giving Ricky a hug and wishing him a Merry Christmas. Ricky watched the tour bus head down the street, then went back into the house, shivering and in need of an egg nog with a lot of extra rum. In fact, screw the egg nog. Just the rum would do.
to be continued...