An improvised table on the set of the Wicca Horror Show seated its four principals. Sunlight streamed in from the glass balcony door, brightening a take-out feast from Cracker Barrel. Somehow an obscure topic had taken hold of the festivities.
During a lull, producer Ed plated more fried turkey, wearing shades against the balcony light. "I hear Comrade Governor outlawed the holiday, including Christmas. And here we are without face diapers."
Talent agent Bigmon set his wine down hard enough to slosh some out. "Comrade Governor can go pound it. Does he know who I am?"
"Ahem." The dwarf Hecabano lingered over the wreckage of his repast. "Master Ed and I were debating the use of punctuation in dialog. I maintain that it can't be heard. Why use the more ephemeral elements like colons and semicolons?"
"It's all in the presentation," Ed maintained. "Suppose the speaker makes that slight pause before a clarification. That implies a colon."
"Or a double dash." Wicca tossed another chocolate scotch, as undead did not eat.
"Wrong again!" Ed glared at the chuckling dwarf. "A double dash is a hard stop for emphasis." Both looked to Wicca, who grinned impishly but took sides only when it complicated things.
Hecabano wiped gravy with a finger. "It matters naught, as no one has ever thought about it. We crave only to get on with it, and discover the tale's outcome."
"Well," Bigmon said, tossing down his napkin. "This is almost interesting. You writers just come up with a show for Saturday night. I got a date with Bunny."
That engendered a classic Wicca eye roll. Bunny Prescott had won Bigmon's Wicca lookalike contest by filling out the costume with eye-popping finesse. Never again, the upstaged diva vowed. "Have a good time, Home Pie."
"And that's another thing," Ed said as Bigmon slung his coat over a shoulder and departed. "Lose the jive. You're like Spock on The Voyage Home. He couldn't get it right either."
"True," Hecabano pointed out, "but our Mistress of Malarkey has engineered a most refreshing colloquial subgenre."
"Ya!" Wicca's approval of the dwarf's support melted to suspicion. "What he said. I think."
Hecabano pulled over a small wood crate filled with delicacies the diva disdained. "This was a worthy experiment, if a waste of money. You say limoncilla is flowery; amuselle is liquid candy; and gin is like juniper berry Kool-ade."
"You see?" Ed jabbed a finger. "I can just smell your semicolons, because there was more of a pause than commas need."
"Gong," Wicca agreed. "He's got you, Imp Boy."
"Can we get past this?" Hecabano peeled a gin. "I wonder how Team Dan is passing the holiday, or if they even remember, as it is unknown in Outworld."
Ed blinked in fond reverie. "Sure they do. They mark calendars from Earth so as to stay current. I'm sure they're thinking about us. More like wondering if the nutjobs have blown the place up yet." He reached a hand to each: Wicca's, soft yet cold; Hecabano's, rough and calloused. "What's left to be thankful for, except having a way out via the portal."
"Bring it," Wicca said. "I look forward to mounting expeditions here for some fun hell raising. If they think they have problems now, wait until my pact with you expires, Ted."
Her pact with Ed meant doing nothing without his approval as long as she had the horror show. He hoped the loonies wouldn't make it necessary to experience a real one. "To the time we have left here." All three toasted the sentiment.