Curious is a adjective that, when used in this comment, means "Arousing interest because of novelty or strangeness." Of course, 'curious' is also a remarkably polite word, raking right up there with the likes of 'eccentric' and 'No, your new haircut looks fine.' When one says 'eccentric' one usually means 'Bizarre beyond all reason' and when one says 'No, your new haircut looks fine' one usually means... 'Bizarre beyond all reason.' Now, upon this fine winter day, Kagen McCree's word 'curious' meant and should have been replaced by the slightly less polite phrase 'What the hell is that?'
Kagen McCree was no stranger to excessive winter decorations; on the contrary, he expected them. He had been a student of Hogwarts, and the school was not one to skimp on the garland. This being so, he was not shocked, but thankful that the village had been decked out in such a way, for it reminded him simpler times. Caught up in the sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas, Kagen had wandered the village in a state of complete peace, and, while he was careful about keeping his merriment hidden behind that stoic mask of his, he could not quite strangle the hitch from his giddyup.
The young man had been pleasantly strolling across cobblestone streets, light eyes taking in every glorious sight, when he rounded a bend and stopped dead in his tracks.
In the past, Kagen had taken a number of trips to the village. How could he not? A man had to eat. McCree had toured the winding cobblestone pathways on numerous occasions, and he thought he knew the little village quite well, however, this shop planted a wee seed of doubt in the back of the young man’s mind. It had been empty for the longest time, showing not even the slightest signs of inhabitance, and then, over night, the little establishment had burst to life.
Garland, strings of red and green beads, fat round ornaments, popcorn, fruitcake, wrapping paper, ribbons, and bows all dangled, wound, and wrapped their way around the face of the shop and circled a long rectangular window just to the left of the door. Tiny, tiny bursts of color also dotted the dangling greenery, and, taking them to be lights, Kagen leaned a bit closer to inspect them, only to have a little "light" poke its head out of the foliage and stare at him. It was a bird, small as his pinky finger and as bright as any candle.
As he leaned closer to inspect the creatures, which must have numbered in the hundreds, movement from within the shop caught his eye, and Kagen approached the large window to peek inside.
The interior of the shop was equally, if not more decked out than the exterior. Along with the assorted items that decorated the outside of the shop, the inside was alive with bright red and green creatures of all sorts, and, just beyond the window, brightly colored puppies and kittens romped and wrestled amongst one another, each one adorned with a festive golden bow.
The initial shock at seeing the shop had only just begun to fade when a grunt from behind him pulled his attention from the window, and he turned around to glance back. Across the street, lugging far more on her smallish person than seemed appropriate, a young woman all in brown was struggling with a heavy load of trunks, bags, boxes, and, balanced on the top of the pile, a round object covered with a small brown blanket.
Kagen stared at her for a long moment, watching her struggle along inch by laborious inch. This was usually the part where he ignored her and went back to his own business, after all, who was he to say that she should not be trying to heft such a load, to say that she needed a bit of help, perhaps the help of a fit, redheaded ministry worker? McCree shook his head to clear his thoughts and was about to turn to go when the woman's eyes caught his, holding him rooted in place.
McCree almost sighed aloud. He could not very well walk away now.