Winter wind spiraled red leaves through a blustery gray full-moon sky as Velma opened the front door to the quiet rooming house and made her way upstairs. She fingered the package in her coat pocket. She hoped getting Vesta a Christmas gift wasn’t too…. forward. And that the other girls – admittedly Velma didn’t know them as well – weren’t….jealous. Vesta had driven her around and befriended her in the dining hall. After all.
Scarlett burst into the room as Velma put her kettle on its single burner. “Oh, Velma! I’ve just done a runner after nearly knocking that hunky gardener right on his backside! Can you imagine?” Velma smiled and took the package out of her pocket, planning to show her dear old bubbly friend the permanent tribute to a lovely, three-leaved, endangered, dainty flower. “And…I’ve bought you the most outrageous Christmas present!” Velma winced.