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"What do you mean," I growled at the young man on the other side of the telephone, "you're sold out through New Year's?"

"Harry," cautioned Murphy.

I shrugged her hand off my shoulder. That hand was not in possession of all the facts.

The movie theater employee was talking again. I listened - politely! - as one does in these situations. "No, I was not able to purchase tickets online. That shouldn't have to be required--"

"Harry," repeated Murphy. "Don't take it out on the kid. They're just doing their job."

"His job is to sell tickets to the biggest movie of the year," I said. "He's not doing his--hello? Hello!?"

I slammed the handset down in its cradle. This may have also been accompanied by the shattering of plastic.

"So, in addition to movie tickets, you're also buying me a new phone," Murphy said, calmly.


She reached over and unplugged the phone from the wall, sweeping the shards of plastic off the table into a nearby wastebasket. I pointedly did not watch her do this.

"I understand this is an important movie for you, Harry, but you don't need to terrorize the minimum wage over it."

"I know."

"I'm sure they have plenty of other problems without Darth Dresden swooping in like a North Shore mom."

I sighed. "I'm not that bad, am I, Murph?"

Murphy glanced theatrically to the destroyed telephone in the trash can.

I slumped back into the chair, defeated. "Shit. I'm sorry, Karrin."

"It's fine. Phones are replaceable." Murphy eyed me carefully. "Is this a Mab thing?"

"No," I grumbled. "Well, it's probably not helping, but this is all me. That's what makes it so terrible."

I swept my arms across the room. "See, this was one of the only things keeping me sane as a kid. And this new movie, it's bringing that all back."

Murphy nodded, her eyes understanding, but the corner of her mouth turned up in a smirk. "You were sane as a kid?"

"Relatively. You know what I mean. Shut up."

The doorbell rang at Murphy's front door, and she got up to answer it.

"It's just, this is Sithmas, right?" I continued.


"That greatest time of year when a million voices cry out in anticipation and are suddenly silenced."

Murphy held up a hand to pause my rant and opened the door. "Come on in, guys. What's the occasion?"

Will and Georgia, Chicagoland's resident werewolves, entered Murphy's house, followed by a short man in--

"Wow, Butters," I said. "When I said you rock the Jedi look, I didn't mean you had to take it literally."

Waldo Butters pushed the brown hood back off his face and beamed at me. "It's Sithmas, Harry. You thought I wasn't going to dress up for this?"

I shot Murphy a Look. See? See what I'm saying?

She just shook her head.

"I was just saying that," I said. "This is a Nerd Holiday. It's Geek Christmas, Geek New Year's. It's--" I glanced at Butters in his Jedi robes. "It's Geek Yom Kippur."

Butters winced. "That's... that's not what Yom Kippur is."

"Geek Bat Mitzvah. Geek Purim?"

"You-- I'm surprised you even know what Purim is," said Butters, shaking his head.

I nodded vigorously, eager to share my wealth of knowledge of the Chosen People. "It's when you take a lemon and a bunch of grass and you do the hokey pokey, right?"

Butters made a short strangled noise. Will's shoulders started shaking with suppressed laughter.

Georgia straightened her glasses. "Rosh Hashanah," she supplied, helpfully.

"There you go," I agreed. "That one."

"Hokey pokey..." Butters muttered angrily. "You realize it's a sacred and important holiday for my people, Harry, right?"

"The point is," I said, pushing past the divine retribution that was almost certainly coming my way later, "people haven't been this excited to see a Star Wars movie since April of 1999. It's a big deal."

"Wait, didn't Episode One come out in May?" Murphy asked.

"Yes it did," Butters and I growled in unison.

"So you called a theater and couldn't get tickets," said Murphy, clearly not getting it.

"I called every theater in the county," I said, waving my hands to get my point across faster. "I even tried the drive-in out past Lombard to see if maybe they've opened up for a special occasion. And the theaters that didn't have a waiting list a mile long told me I should have Fandangoed." I huffed impatiently. "I can fandango. I can also do the mashed potatoes and the hippy-hippy-shake."

"Come on, Harry," Butters chided, grinning. "The odds of successfully walking into a theater right now and getting tickets are three thousand, seven hundred twenty to one."

"Never tell me the odds."

"That's why," he continued, pulling out a printed sheet of paper, "I bought you a ticket the moment they went on sale. Since you can't do the whole internet pre-order thing."

My arms stopped mid-flail. "...wait. What?"

Will stopped even trying to hide his laughter.

"Laugh it up, fuzzball. No, seriously, what?"

Butters shook his head. "Ticket. Star Wars. All of us. The Force awakens in half an hour, Harry, are you going to be ready or does Murphy need to carry you?"

I was stunned. Floored. All sorts of descriptive adjectives for the way I was feeling right now about the polka-loving nerd in front of me. "Butters, man, when were you going to say something?"

"Call it an early-late Hanukkah present," said Butters.

I snapped my fingers. "Hanukkah. That's what I should have said."

"Still doesn't match up properly," Georgia said quietly.

"Thank you," I said, whole-heartedly. "Thank you thank you thank you. You need any curses broken, vampires killed? Buildings you're not terribly attached to?"

"Say thank you by being in the car already," Butters said, laughing. "We're going to miss the previews and it's going to be your fault."

I leapt out of Murphy's chair and raced for the door. "Merry Sithmas! Merry Sithmas, everybody!"