This short was written for Wirral Writers, as part of the tradition of writing a Christmas story. This is the first such story I have written – and it does not follow the usual Christmas cheer stereotype.
It’s a version of the famous poem by Clement Clarke Moore; with a cynical twist.
Twas the night Before Christmas
When all through the house
Father Christmas raged.
He wrenched the stockings from the chimney as the children huddled beneath their mothers wings and familiar nightmares danced in their heads, their bowed heads with eyes the colour of sugarplums.
They had just settled down for their mid-winters nap, when out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, that they flew to the windows to see what was the matter. The full moon lit the car slewed into the apple tree, the side lights flashing on and off.
And mother knew it was Nick.
He had made his rapid, disjointed way; whistling and shouting by turns. Calling them by name, “Little Pigs, Little Pigs, Let me come in.”
Now he dashed and danced in an orgy of destruction, loathing and meanness. Paper was shredded and strewn around the room as lights on the tree hiccoughed on and off, on and off. And between each explosive flash of illumination he lashed out. A white face, a frightened face, a crying face, he tore through them like a hurricane. Four huge eyes stared and flinched as Father Christmas, beard askew, demolished their toys – all new.
By turns he laughed and cried, screamed and moaned – on and off, on and off. By turns he slapped and punched one Little Pig after another. Black boot tips sparkle with reflected lights. The skewed fairy smiled her beatific smile from her secure pinnacle. And the sounds of Christmas rang out; glass popping like crackers underfoot, the buzz and zing of an activated thing, paper rustled like dead leaves, “Ho Ho Ho!” He grabbed a bottle and chugged like a train, ears jingle-jangled. They didn’t stir, but remained quiet as a mouse.
They drew in their heads, like fledglings and held tight to mother’s nightie. Then she was wrenched from their grasp, their desperate fingers recoiled as they hunched tight together as Ignorance and Want beneath the cloak of the Ghost of Christmas Present. Mother was lifted in the air and Father Christmas held her name tight between his teeth –“bitch”. His broad, red face laughed and shook, his eyes shone bright as he turned his head, filling his children with dread.
Then, to their surprise he let go his package and laying a finger alongside his nose, he gave a wink and a nod and sprang out of the door to his car, whistling and singing. Grass churned, mud spattered. He cursed and railed as the vehicle pounded its way back and forth to release itself. And they heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all and to all a goodnight.”