Merry Christmas, Everyone
Christmas at Worthington Manor was spectacular, to say the least. Throughout the cold November, Sims, the elderly gardener, worked to cover the vast lawns in front of the main school building with fake snow. Inside too, the girls decorated. Chelsea, Peaches and Chloe sprayed the windows, Celia collected assorted greenery from the woods and Kelly wound the banisters with tinsel. Between them, Taylor and a gang of first years spray painted the walls with some festive scenes, like children throwing snowballs, and a drunk man peeing in the snow.
Andrea and the emos spent days trying to rig up battery candles to glow eerily from out of the suits of armor. Polly had more success making carols play non stop. This had been the tradition every year for as long as anyone could remember.
Another annual Christmas tradition was the show performed by the teachers. Miss Fritton endeavored to show the girls a modern play, but quite frankly, the last few years had ended in disaster, with Matron falling off the stage, drunk and the bursar getting his head stuck in the ass costume.
Which was why…
"Girls, I have some excellent news." Miss Dickinson smiled. The sixth formers didn't bother to look up from their conversations. They were in English and were supposed to be reading, though only two pwople actually were; Celia was immersed in 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' and Andrea was half reading 'Carmilla' , and mostly listening to Kelly's whispered accounts of her night out with Flash. Taylor was on Kelly's other side, interrupting the story every two minutes. The resg of the class were flicking through magazines and gossiping.
"What is it, Miss?" Kelly asked, sensing that nobody else was particularly interested.
"Miss Fritton was telling me about your Christmas traditions here at St Trinian's…" Miss Dickinson's voice was drowned out by the laughter that erupted as the girls remembered previous attempts at entertainment.
"OY!" Kelly yelled as their teacher's cheeks pinked with frustration. As the girls quietened, Kelly nodded at Miss Dickinson. Quite flushed now, Miss Dickinson adjusted her glasses and cleared her throat. As grateful as she was to the head girl, it did feel a little demeaning that the girls listened more to Kelly than to her.
"As I was saying, Miss Fritton was telling me about how the teachres usually do a performance for you… Well, I can quite imagine it," Miss Dickinson added, dryly.
The girls looked ready to start shouting again, but a glance from Kelly kept the giggles muted.
"But I had an idea," Miss Dickinson continued. "I thought you girls could do the show."
This time, even Kelly couldn't quell the excitement.
For about five minutes, the girls squealed excitedly, exchanged insults and jibes, and started to discuss their show choices loudly.
"I think we should do Cinderella," Taylor suggested.
"It's so over done though. Snow White's better." Andrea argued.
"You just want that 'cos someone dies, Morti," Taylor snapped.
"Chav!" Andrea retorted.
"Oooh, so original, Andy Pandy." Taylor cackled, turning to Becky, her mate. Andrea slammed her book onto the desk and stood up, leaning over Kelly to flick Taylor.
"OY!" Kelly shouted again. "Sit down, Rea. Shut up, Taylor. Let's actually listen. Maybe Miss Dickinson actually has an idea."
"Actually, Kelly, I was rather hoping to leave it up to you girls." Not for the first time, Miss Dickinson wondered if she was mad.
Kelly's lips curled into a ruby red grin. Miss Dickinson had said the magic words.
"Don't worry, Miss. Leave it all to me."
In the staffroom, the teachers were discussing Miss Dickinson's proposal.
"Are you sure it's wise, Camilla?" Matron asked. "I mean, the sixth formers today are much worse than we were at their age."
Miss Fritton peered through the steam of her mulled wine. "I'm not at all sure it's wise, Matron. Though, the girls have survived much worse than a little show. I'm sure this won't bother them at all."
"It's not the girls I'm worried about," Matron answered. "Ruby's invited the parents."
Camilla briefly closed her eyes. Sometimes, she wondered if Miss Dickinson had taken leave of her senses. Taking a fortifying gulp of far too-hot wine, she spluttered, "God help us all!"
Back in the classroom, Kelly had taken charge. Stood by the board with her arms folded, she dared the other girls to call mutiny.
"We're doing a pantomime," she said decidedly. "And as I see it, we have three choices: Cinderella, Snow White or Alice in Wonderland."
Before Kelly could call for a vote though, Miss Dickinson interrupted. "Isn't this a religious school?" she asked. Kelly glanced at her in surprise.
"I suppose…" she said, uneasily. She had a nasty feeling she knew where this was going.
"Well then, I think we should do the Nativity." Miss Dickinson clapped her hands enthusiastically.
Silence greeted Miss Dickinson's suggestion before the room erupted into cackles of laughter. Chelsea laughed so hard that she fell out of her chair. Miss Dickinson bristled.
"Well, as much as you find it amusing, we're doing it. It's what…. What Miss Fritton wants."
Kelly didn't believe the lie for a second, but she had to hand it to Miss Dickinson. Lying to get what she wanted; Kelly was almost proud. She offered a brief smile to the teacher, and then nodded at the girls.
"Well, who are we to defy the headmistress?" Her smile became as big as the Cheshire Cat's.