Christmas spirit (by the River Lea)
By Alan McCormick & Jonny Voss.
It’s Christmas Eve and down at the anchor of hope down by the river Lea, Leonard the hopeless disabled Santa is on his seventh Pride.
Melancholic Mike whose eyebrows dance for a local ska three-piece offers some advice: ‘There ain’t no Christmas spirit no more, Santa, it’s about advertising, capitalism and exploitation. Kids these days would fall behind Pol Pot and mow you down without a blink for the sight of a Moshi Monster.’
Tiny Hat Pete chuckles and says the best Christmas spirit is found in a full Tequila bottle.
Gypsy tache Vladimir lends a chicken shout to the air and voices the following to a silent middle-European fiddle beat:
‘You’re all on the path to your despair
with the chasing heart of a fallen hare,
but when you’re skinned and savagely eaten
it’s only then that you’ll find yourself beaten.’
Leonard the hopeless disabled Santa shakes his head, drains his last Pride of the afternoon, and looks out at the winter wasteland of marsh and tundra.
‘Thanks, Vlad, for your sad gypsy heart and thank you, Pete, for your love of alcohol; it’s good to find love in this lonely loveless world. And thank you too, Mike, for offering me your advice but I must say you’re wrong about children and Christmas.’
‘What’s got into you, Santa?’ asks Mike.
‘Christmas Spirit,’ replies Leonard gesturing with a smile towards a noisy boy scraping a stick along the towpath railings.
‘Would you like a salty crisp?’ Leonard asks the boy.
‘I’d prefer a Capstan, Santa,’ replies the boy.
‘Good lad!’ shouts Pete.
‘Ho ho,’ chortles Leonard. ‘I’ll add it to the list.’
Then Leonard puts on his Christmas cape and hat, picks up his empty sack, and with an appropriate seasonal whistle starts up his Pride to Go Mobility Scooter and sets off northward along the river towpath.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Alan McCormick’s stories and illustrated writing with Jonny Voss have appeared widely in print and on on the net at 3:AM, Dead Drunk Dublin and Nthposition. Find more of Alan and Jonny’s work on their site Scumsters. Dogsbodies & Scumsters, a collection of Alan’s fiction and Jonny’s illustrations is out now on Roast Books.
First published in 3:AM Magazine: Monday, December 24th, 2012.