It’s official. I always thought I was quite adept when it came to all things technological, but apparently I am wrong.
I was off on a jolly to the Wimbledon tennis championships yesterday – something I have been wanting to do ever since I was small – and I had scheduled this week’s Literary Lion to post magically in my absence. Or so I thought.
This week’s prompt was likely dropped into the jar by a festive visitor. Whether you chose to believe it was Santa that gave me the prompt is totally your prerogative, but I think this word has the bearded man’s name written all over it.
The word is ‘Merry’.
As always, you have a week to pen a piece of flash fiction in 400 words or less. Include the tag ‘Literary Lion’, pingback to this post, have a butchers of each others work, and give me a mention on twitter and Instagram so I can share the words.
Only 169 sleeps til Christmas. Here is my merry tale.
Those fluffs of white weren’t fooling anyone he was rosy. Glistening strands of silver hair that caught the firelight in their synthetic forgery.
I don’t know why I’d never realised. Yes his belly was round and his cheeks were flaming, but that’s what the diet of the inebriated will do.
Hold the mince pies but don’t forget the sherry.
I wanted to check my stocking one more time before some shut eye. I found him slouched in the armchair, buttons undone, beard around his neck, necking the bottle. Moments ago I’d tentatively poured a dribble into one of those small sherry glasses. It was crystal etched with florals and the ruby liquid sang between its light catching edges.
For sipping only.
As I tipped the bottle I envisaged the authentic festive father slurping between present placing, trying not to see pine needles all over the floor, leaving with crumbs in his beard. But this was not that, and he was not authentic.
I tried to wonder if the real thing was just waiting on the rooftop for the sleeping household, but then I remembered catching Mum slipping a coin under my pillow when my last baby tooth fell out and I realised it was all a lie. No chocolate wielding rabbit, no tooth trading fairy, and no man in a red suit being pulled by horned creatures across the sky.
The only man in red was sat in my front living room with a bottle of empty sherry and a head that would flinch at the slightest sound in the morning.
Merry Christmas to me.