26/12/2019

CHRISTMAS STORIES - a seasonal gift for everyone

Here are a few of the seasonal stories I have written over the years.
They come to wish you a very Happy Christmas and New Year 2020.
These pottery crib figures were a joint effort between me and my children about 40 years ago, and I bring them out each Christmas. I might not see my children every year now, but they are always in my heart.
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CHRISTMAS EVE AT THE DINER

 Sally’s feet ached. Christmas Eve had been a long, hard slog.
Lorry drivers had merely grabbed a burger without leaving a tip, every family had brought over-excited, noisy children, and someone had thrown up in the toilets.
The moment the last customer left, Sally grabbed the keys to lock up – with luck she’d be home before midnight – but just then a couple stumbled out of the darkness.
“Don’t lock us out,” the man pleaded, “My wife’s in labour,” and as Sally held the door open for them, one brilliant star came to rest in the night sky over the diner.
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NOT ALL SANTAS

 I still believed in Santa until he took off his red coat that time and hurt me – my own Pa!
This year I couldn’t face Christmas again so I packed my bag and hit the road.
I almost didn’t get into Brad’s truck when I saw his Santa hat, but I was more afraid of Pa catching me, so I chanced it.
Then Brad stopped at this diner and bought me dinner.
Here it comes – payment time, I thought, but he just showed me photos and talked about what he’s bought his kids.
Not all Santas are monsters after all.
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ROAST POTATOES
It wasn’t even a proper fight – he said his mother’s roast potatoes were crisper than mine, I said he could go home to his mother any time he liked, so he slammed out of the house. When I tried to stop him my hand went through the glass door.
Blood spurted everywhere, and before the ambulance got here I’d bled half to death.
Then the police got involved, accusing him of attempted murder, and when I said I’d done it to myself they assumed I’d tried to commit suicide.
How can I tell a shrink it was all caused by roast potatoes?
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SABU’S CHRISTMAS GIFT
 Sabu’s baby sister’s death from cholera was the final straw – wearing only shorts and rubber sandals he walked to the city, his mother’s wails ringing in his ears.
He swept a school in exchange for lessons, ate the scrapings of more privileged students’ plates, slept in his broom cupboard.
Each Christmas he walked home – each year there was one child less in the village.
It took him five years to qualify, two more to earn enough, but finally he drove a rattling lorry home, where eager hands helped him unload its contents.
On Christmas Day clean water began flowing from Sabu’s pump.
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SINCE  GOD  WAS  A  BOY
 Paco’s ancestors had been goatherds since God was a boy – his grandfather maintained it was goatherds who visited the stable when Jesus was born, but the gospellers called them shepherds because goats were too common.
 Paco loved his work. It was usually undemanding – you walked, the goats ate everything in sight, you moved on. He much preferred the gentle clonking of their bells to the honking of car horns in town.
 But today the graveyard needed cropping, the wall would contain the herd while he ate his mother’s Christmas dinner, and he’d get a decent wifi signal on his phone for once.
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IF IT HAPPENED NOW
“What’s up, babe? Your latte’s getting cold.”
“I’ve gone off coffee, Joe – get me an orange juice instead.”
Joe returned from the counter wearing a worried frown, “You’ve been moody all week and now you’ve gone off coffee – are you breaking up with me?”
Mary couldn’t meet his soft brown eyes. “You might want to dump me when I tell you – I’m having a baby.”
“I’m going to be a dad? That’s brilliant!”
“It’s not yours.” The words dropped like a stone between them and Joe leapt up so violently that other customers stared. “Whose is it then? I thought you loved me.”
Mary shrugged helplessly. “I do love you, Joe, but I didn’t have a choice.”
“You mean someone forced you? I’ll bloody kill him!”
“It wasn’t like that. This angel turned up and told me God’s been watching me and decided I’m the right one to have His baby. The angel said this baby will save the world one day.”
“And you expect me to believe that?” Joe’s voice dripped scorn.
Mary shrank back in her seat, her hands protecting her belly, and a tear trickled down her cheek. “I’m having a hard time believing it myself, but it’s the truth. I’m dreading telling Mum and Dad.”
Joe sat down slowly and wiped her tears with his calloused carpenter’s thumbs. “I can’t deny it’s a bit of a shock, Mary,” he said gently, “But I love you and we’ll work it out.” He grinned suddenly. “I’ve always wanted to be a dad.”
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THAT'S ALL FOLKS!  Thanks for reading - feel free to leave a comment.







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