***WARNING*** There will be profanities ahead***
Wirral Writers Christmas Story 2017
We Three Kings
The three Kings rode from the east. It was unseasonably warm and time was running out.
“Fuck language, fucking gearstick’s…ngh…get in ya bastard!”
“Dad. You’re so sweary.”
“Alisha, the day you get your own car and do your own…argh…bastard…Christmas shopping…grr…don’t talk to me about effing swearing. Gotcha!”
The Signal yellow Austin Allegro belched and farted and grizzled through early evening traffic.
“Take the A124, Frank, that’ll take us straight to Canary Wharf, right, right! Frank.”
“I always drive this way.”
“Every year’s the same.” sighed Alisha popping her right earbud back in.
“Mare, did you bring the list?”
“I thought you had it? I told you it was on the hall table.”
“I said I was putting water in the friggin car. That was your job, Mare. One list. One-”
“I’ve got it.” Alisha waved a white piece of paper at the rearview mirror.
At Blackwall roundabout, the traffic slowed, slowed and the not so trusty steed ground to a halt.
“Fuck! Fuckfuckfuckkity fuck!!” screamed Frank.
Alisha sank lower in the rear seat, aware of other drivers and passengers watching the beetroot faced man having a meltdown in the shittiest car in England.
“Once again,” said Mary, “Mind the language.”
“Why? Why should I mind my language?”
Mary indicated the backseat passenger with a head motion.
Alisha rolled her eyes.
“She’s seventeen years old, Mare.”
“It’s true mum. I am. And I do know swear words. In fact we did about them in English, for example did you know the word fuck-”
“It’s a real word mum. Did you know, it appeared as early as the 15th century in some poem about the monks of Ely fucking local wives-”
“Alisha King. I don’t care about the fucking monks of Ely. I just want to buy Christmas presents!” Mary cried.
“And you just used it correctly as a verb, or is that an adjective?”
Eventually on the move again, after a fashion, the Kings kangarooed along Upper Bank Street. Six eyes straining.
“I love the old traditions.” Alisha said, “Such as trying to find a parking space.”
“We should have taken the train.” Mary moaned.
“What, and carry all it all back with a million other sweaty bodies? No thanks.” Frank made a yipping sound. “There!” He ground the gears, and his teeth. “Shit! There’s a bike in it.”
They drove round and around the parking lot until they saw a shopper emerge from the mall. She was wearing themed tacky Deely Boppers; two gold stars danced about her head as she walked.Then they followed her,until she led them to a parking space.
“Yay!” cheered Mary as they pulled up. “Okay, what’s everyone need?”
“Samsung Galaxy S7; Pink Gold, please.” Alisha thumbed the dial, selecting a new tune and slunk off ahead of her parents.
“How about you Frank? I need to find something for Janice and the nephews. Oh, don’t let me forget your dad’s razor.”
“He doesn’t need a new razor, Mare.”
“That’s not the point love. It’s Christmas.”
“What, so we buy shit we don’t need or won’t use or that breaks in five minutes?”
Mary started to make her way to the shopping centre, “Come on love, get in the spirit will you.”
Frank looked at the press of bodies, the trolleys filled to overflowing, crying kids, mums with frayed tempers, the signs plastered across the windows, Christmas Eve Sales, took a preparatory breath and through gritted teeth said, “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men, and Batteries not Included.”