It was Advent and the Dollbearers had not come this year.
Outside the snow drifted down, a white curtain blotting the kaleidoscope sky. The second hand on the clock spent an eternity sweeping to its next station. From downstairs, the sounds of shrieks and jingle bells went on.
The wheezing noises were from under the bed this time. Jewel turned her head, damp curls pressing into even damper pillow. She swallowed past the bright terror in her throat. Carefully she dangled the ha’penny over the edge and let it drop. There was a satisfied sigh.
“’tis the Season” it whispered.