This tale is my contribution to the “A Merry Minion Christmas – Assorted Tales From the Realm of the Dark Fairy Queen”
Genre Holiday Humour / Traditional Tales (with twist)
Author/Pen Name Ailsa Abraham
Dedication : I dedicate this work to my Daddy, without whom Yule just isn’t what it should be. Also to my FB friends who make every day so special. Thank you all.
Keira’d had an overdose of Christmas and not in a good way. Sister Mary-Kathleen and the staff at the home had done their best. That was the problem, they were trying too hard. All the jollies were forced and unnatural. The other kids were at church and she’d only escaped through complaining of bellyache. Said it was that crap dinner they served up last night. She hated eating turkey, threw the sprouts at Ashok and deliberately slopped the sludgy gravy all over the table.
Yeah but why should this year be any different? Christmas at home (snort) had always been Mum and ‘whoever she was with’ getting off their faces and shouting, then taking it out on her. Even that time in the foster family it’d been a nightmare with their son telling her that she wasn’t wanted, that she was a tramp, while being sweetness and light in front of his parents.
There’d only be Mrs. Dillon downstairs and she was deaf as a post so she’d have the TV on ear-blasting level. Now was the only time to do it if she was going but she’d have to be quick. Nipping into the kitchen she filched a few notes from Mrs. Dillon’s handbag and in ten minutes she’d legged it across the fields and was thumbing a lift on the main London road. There wasn’t much traffic but an older woman in a smart car pulled over and gave her a lift. Keira’d dreamed up a story. She was hitching to the station to get a train to meet her brother in London. She’d be spending New Year with him and his mates. Kiera was very inventive. Unfortunately the woman was a nosy old cow and started asking a lot of questions so, seeing a burger van in a lay-by coming up, Keira said that she was feeling car-sick and needed to stop. The woman looked worried and annoyed but said that she couldn’t hang around.
The only customer there was a cool-looking goth female with a spiky punk hairdo, dyed jet black but shining with a purple reflection. Keira ordered a burger and a mug of tea but when she felt in her jeans pocket, the money she’d nicked from the handbag was gone. The guy behind the counter snapped his fingers.
“Come on kid, if you order stuff you gotta pay for it, that’s £2.50”
“S’OK, Tony. Put it on my tab.” The goth exhaled a stream of lilac smoke from her black-painted lips and thrust out a black, fingerless-gloved hand, the nails matching the lipstick.
“Keira” She shook hands awkwardly. Her new benefactress pointed at the beat-up plastic table and chairs.
“Might as well take the weight off.” She had a pint-sized mug of black coffee and chain smoked her weird cigarettes that seemed to give off slight sparks as she inhaled. “Pissed off with Christmas, then?”
“How d’ye guess?”
“Well, kid out here on her own this early on Boxing Day isn’t having a good time. Right?”
“I’m going to …”
“Yeah, whatever.” The goth waved a dismissive hand as if to say I know you’re going to tell me a pack of lies and I’m not interested.
Keira felt ashamed. It wasn’t a familiar feeling for her but this weirdo had just paid for her burger so she said,
“Yeah, I hate Christmas.”
“True. What’s to like?”
“I mean – that nativity stuff. Like, born in a stable? Right!”
“Yeah. Expect those two might believe it though.” Tink pointed at a derelict parked car. A young man sat chewing his nails in the driver’s seat while the woman lay asleep in the back with a tiny baby on her chest, wrapped in an anorak. “She had the baby in there last night.”
“But why don’t they go to a hospital?” Keira was aghast.
“Illegals. Scared to death they’ll get deported. Way it is.”
Defensively, Keira nodded but said,
“OK, but all that stuff about animals speaking at Christmas and that?”
“Don’t believe a word of it!” A passing Labrador remarked as he lifted his leg against the back of the caravan.
“Oi! Watch where you’re doing that, mate!” The plastic snowman on the caravan door grumbled.
“Sorry, pal. I expect you’re another of those Christmas myths she don’t believe in.”
Things were turning decidedly weird and Keira wondered if Tink’s odd smokes were the reason.
“I suppose you’re going to magic up Santa now to make me think he exists.”
“Magic up? What, like now I’m some kind of fairy or something?” The goth gave her a twisted smile and shook her head ’til all her jewellery rattled. “Gimme a break, kid, you don’t believe in fairies.”
The dog, the snowman and Tony the burger-seller all suppressed giggles until Tink shot them a look. Leaning forward on the table she glared into Keira’s eyes.
“Do you believe in happy endings then?”
“Not for people like me.”
“OK. What would you like for Christmas, Keira? Say I’m the Secret Millionaire.”
“A family.” It was out before Keira could stop it. Tears filled her eyes.
Tink produced a newspaper from her studded shoulder bag. “Recognise anyone?”
The paper was several years old but next to a photo was the headline Hunt Continues For Missing Millie.
Tink retrieved two helmets from Tony and grabbed the stunned Keira’s arm.
“Come on, kid. Guess I’m going to make several people’s Christmases this year. Get on the bike and hold on.”
As the Happy Endings Fairy and Keira roared off up the road, they didn’t hear the Labrador say to Tony,
“Pity, I was getting quite used to this. All back to Santa’s for a quick pint, then?”
“On you,” said the snowman. “You peed on my feet!”