Literary Lion. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

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.

Apologies to those of you who were gearing up to rise to the Lion’s prompt yesterday, I hope you can forgive me and my newly realised technologically challenged ways.IMG_6091

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.

 

Kringle.

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.

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43 Comments

  1. 9th July 2015 / 3:15 pm

    It’s a great story and I should talk about it, but I want to know about the tennis. How was it? Who did you see?

    • 9th July 2015 / 3:23 pm

      Haha! The tennis was wonderful, I have post Wimbledon blues today though. You’ll be pleased to hear I saw Murray vs Pospisil, and then Djokovic vs Cilic. The atmosphere for the Murray game was electric, but Novak was an absolute pleasure to watch, he really loves tennis… even when Cilic had done something great and it meant Novak had lost a point, he’d still applaud his move and look impressed. We were actually trying to swap our tickets when we found out Federer was on Court 1, I was heartbroken not to see him, but Wimbledon found out and told us off! I did manage to catch him practicing though, he’s more Godlike in the flesh. πŸ˜€

      • 9th July 2015 / 3:27 pm

        I never thought I’d see a better returner than Agassi but Djokovic is amazing. I was lucky enough to see him in that magical year when he won 3 slams and had this ridiculous run of winning matches. How did they found out? There are snitches everywhere haha. And how hard was it to get tickets?

        • 9th July 2015 / 3:39 pm

          He certainly is. Oh wow, I bet that was an exciting time to see him, just on the cusp of greatness. I put an ad on Gumtree and then arranged to swap with someone via Twitter… and they were watching. I didn’t think it’d be an issue because I wasn’t selling them or trying anything funny, I just wanted to watch the player I love, and the guy that wanted to swap really wanted to see Murray… what exactly is wrong with that?!

          • 9th July 2015 / 3:42 pm

            I was hoping you had some well connected uncle or something. I was going to ask to borrow him for tennis slams πŸ˜‰ I saw him at the 02, at the end of that mammoth season. You could just feel his confidence. Will you be going this year? There are rumours it will be the last one.

            • 9th July 2015 / 7:31 pm

              No I’ve never been, silly really considering I lived near Greenwich for a couple of years. I did hear it might be coming to an end. Shame really, I hear the players quite like the atmosphere!

              • 9th July 2015 / 8:00 pm

                It’s superb. Love the lighting especially. Have seen all the top players apart from Nadal. Not a bad music venue either. My photo in my About Page has the t-shirt I got when seeing Depeche Mod there.

              • 10th July 2015 / 11:19 am

                Wow you’ve seen some of the greats then! I saw The Red Hot Chilli Peppers there, it was ah-mazing. I bet Depeche Mode were awesome πŸ™‚

              • 10th July 2015 / 12:24 pm

                They’ve had such a long and decorated career I should be able to reference one of their songs to brilliantly praise their gig, but no haha. Did they perform Love Rollercoaster and Otherside?

              • 10th July 2015 / 12:29 pm

                Definitely Otherside, and I remember Monarchy of Roses, and Look Around… it was just as that album had come out. Otherwise it’s a blur, my memory is that of a fish.

              • 10th July 2015 / 2:20 pm

                Are you watching the Djoker v the Choker? (copywrite: AlexRaphael)

              • 10th July 2015 / 3:02 pm

                Little bits in between work, it might be a quick game hey?! What do you think about Murray v Feds? I’ve managed to score tickets to the final, if Federer loses the tennis gods are definitely against me! ?

              • 10th July 2015 / 3:38 pm

                Haha, no, there’s no higher power, I’m just very resourceful when it comes to getting what I want πŸ˜€ It’s something I’ve had to pick up during my working life! I missed the boat on Seinfeld, have always wanted to go back, maybe I will one day…

              • 10th July 2015 / 4:06 pm

                “very resourceful” – Can I borrow you at some point? You sound like a female Roger the Dodger/Zack Morris/Blackadder.

              • 10th July 2015 / 4:18 pm

                HA, I’m not sure which is my favourite comparison there, I’m all three with a little more elegance.

              • 10th July 2015 / 4:27 pm

                Ok, throw in a Blair from Gossip Girl in there πŸ™‚

  2. 9th July 2015 / 3:22 pm

    wow, Wimbledon! and a cool Father Christmas story πŸ™‚

  3. 9th July 2015 / 3:35 pm

    “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.” the death of childhood narrated.

  4. 9th July 2015 / 4:07 pm

    Your descriptions are impeccable! I never trusted Santa as a kid. The thought of some old fat man breaking into my house to give me presents while I slept gave me the creeps! By the way, I’m so jealous that you went to Wimbledon. I’m sitting at my mundane job in this dank, beige cubicle listening to Wimbledon radio on my phone. I broke my headphones, so Sharapova’s grunt is making it particularly difficult to adjust the volume to a level that I can hear without disturbing my co-workers.

    • 9th July 2015 / 7:29 pm

      Oh gosh, that’s the one time you do need some volume control! I hope your co-workers didn’t think you were listening to something more sinister… ?

      Thank you! I’m actually quite a sucker for all things festive despite my chilly exterior…

      • 9th July 2015 / 9:22 pm

        Definitely not a sound I want to be broadcasting at work! Oh, and Azarenka is just the worst! At least with her, they might think I’m playing opera music πŸ˜‰

        • 10th July 2015 / 11:24 am

          Some of the men are bad too, Murray is terrible, it’s one of those things you can’t stop noticing once you notice it!

  5. 9th July 2015 / 5:49 pm

    Incredible piece. The way you contain so much in such few phrases is amazing. I love reading your pieces because there’s always so much more to them.

    • 9th July 2015 / 7:27 pm

      Thank you! I always hope my readers will go away either wanting more or wondering what the hell else is happening behind the story… So it’s lovely to hear that some do!

  6. 9th July 2015 / 7:10 pm

    I really love this. So much fit into such a short story- practically a whole lifetime!

    • 9th July 2015 / 7:35 pm

      Thank you! Now there’s a good idea for a series… lifetimes in under 400 words!

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