They started coming back the day after Christmas.
Viv and Marge returned first.
“Thank you again for coming with me,” Marge said to Viv as they walked in through the door of Groovy House.
“I’m glad to do it,” said Viv.
“Maybe next year we can get my sister to join us and we can do Christmas here,” said Marge.
“I’m just glad that we’ll be here to welcome in the New Year,” Viv said.
The next day Paul G returned, as did Ken. Strange Brew returned the day after.
Two days before New Year’s Eve, the entire Trollwork team appeared amass, bringing Lois and Mo back with them.
“Where did you all go?” Luna asked.
“I own a place well to the north of here, hidden in the mountains,” said the Troll. “Our team has always gone there for Christmas.”
“It’s really spectacular there,” Mo said.
“Well, you missed a great Christmas here,” Nancy said.
“It certainly was,” said Blue Sky.
“Anyway,” Nancy said. “At least you’ll be here for the New Year.”
“All of us,” said the Troll, “if that’s okay with you.”
“Hey,” said Nancy. “The more we have, the merrier it will be.”
Chuck and Darren arrived back the next day. They were both in very festive moods.
Chuck twirled around in his emerald and crimson gown. “I’m down for this new year,” he said. “I know it’s going to be great.”
“I don’t know what it will be,” Darren said, “but I mostly hope we have less drama in the new year.”
At eleven forty-five, on New Year’s Eve, Darren made it an official toast. “May the year to come have much less drama than the past two years.”
“Aww, what fun is that?” asked Mo.
“You wouldn’t ask that if you’d been here the past two years,” Sal said. “I’m surprised that this place survived it all. I think Luna and Dan must have nerves of steel.”
“I will wish that the upcoming year is productive and fun and everyone is healthy,” said Nancy.
“Amen,” said Cat.
The Groovy House door opened and Peter, George, and Fred came trooping in carrying a bunch of bottles.
“Sorry for the last minute arrival,” Peter said, “but there’s not very much in the way of New Year’s festivities in this town.”
“You know that you’re always welcome here,” Viv said.
“We were just making pre-midnight toasts,” said Marge.
“I have one, then,” said Fred. “May we never see or hear from the Reagons again.”
“I’ll second that,” said Paul G.
“May our new house keep us well and warm,” said Blue Sky.
“It better,” said the Troll, looking at Sowbug and Dandelion and Sorrel and Earthworm.
“We’ll make sure of that,” Lois said.
“May all the new people we get be wonderful and helpful,” said Patsy.
“May this year bring us lots and lots and lots of good stuff,” said Grace.
“May all the animals stay safe through the winter,” said Strange Brew.
“I don’t know what to wish for,” Luna said. “It’s just so great being with all of you. I’m just going to wish us all a lovely year together.”
The clock was nearing midnight but the door opened again to let in two more folks.
“I had to come back again to start the new year with all of you,” Birch said. “And I picked this guy up along the way. He said he knew you.”
“Happy New Year!!!” yelled Stan.