Jack Squires

Do they Know It's Christmas?

 

“Did you have to make everybody feel so guilty?”

Bob shifted his gaze shoeward. 

 

He stared at the ground for a moment then opened his mouth as if to say something, 

 

But, not wanting to look like a twat, turned to Bono for a response.

 

Bono was ready. 

 

Bono was always ready.

 

“They’ll never listen, 

 

It’s the only way to get through to them” 

 

The Edge detected a touch of spite amongst his conviction.

 

‘There are loads of other ways’ he thought.

 

It was too late now anyway.

 

The three men were interrupted by the sound of breaking glass.

 

Midge had dropped another jar of beetroot chutney.

 

 

1460

 

“Should have kept my damn mouth shut”,

 

Was the last thought that went through Ivan’s head as the twelve-foot cedar spike commenced it’s swift, yet, unceremonious journey from his anus, right through to his mouth.

 

“Only two more then we can clock off” said the executioner, 

“Let’s get him up”.

 

Coming in early had been a good idea after all.

 

“No rest for the wicked eh?” Joked his apprentice, though it was difficult to hear him through his hood.

 

High up in one of the castle’s many towers, from a maroon banner-clad balcony, Vlad III Drãculea watched the two men raise his former publicity manager up, to become latest addition to the now seemingly-endless sea of moaning impalees.

 

The sunset gave the whole sky a deep, vermillion radiance.

 

Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight.

 

Vlad contemplated.

 

“Hmm, yes, very good” he muttered.

 

Just then, it started to snow, it was a Christmas miracle!

 

All is calm

 

The Children cowered in the corner where the tree had been, 

 

Matilda huddled tight against her older brother, she had turned her head away, it was too much to bear.

 

Christopher, his face smudged with coal dust, soil and icing sugar from the skirmish, stared up at the enormous man now standing over them.

 

Santa smirked, exhaling hot air from his flared nostrils, dislodging a few crumbs of pastry from his long, unkempt tobacco stained moustache.

 

He reached all the way down to the floor and picked up the last intact mince pie with his thumb and forefinger, blew off some detritus that was stuck to it and tossed into his cavernous mouth. 

 

Rows of jagged yellow teeth gnashed in a frenzied melee.

 

Eyes bulging, he inhaled, puffing his chest out, extending to full height.

 

“He must be over nine feet tall” thought Christopher.

 

He turned away, and, anticipating what was about to happen, put his hands over his sister’s ears.

 

For a moment, Santa held his breath, and all was calm. 

 

Then the onslaught began.

 

“HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!”

 

The children had never heard a man make a noise so loud. 

 

It was deafening. 

The blare of relentless ‘Ho’s’ was all encompassing and shook their every fibre.

 

The gigantic man was now keeled over, his body completely empty of air, his face, red and congested from straining to force out the last of his breath. Blue veins popped from his turgid, trunk-like neck, his cracked, white lips were quivering.

 

A single crumb fell from the corner of his mouth, for a moment, the only moving thing in the entire universe.

 

He lurched. 

 

In spasm, he stood bolt upright and let out a pained groan, then slowly toppled backwards.

 

The bigger they are, the harder they fall,

 

And Santa was very big,

 

And he fell very hard.

 

Any remaining glass in the windows shattered with the shockwave caused by the gigantic body hitting the living room floor and the gust created blew the children’s hair back.

 

Silence.

 

It was over.

 

 

Jack Squires is a UK-based artist, writer and musician. He is one-third of Leicester Zine Library and half of curatorial duo Ne Plus Ultra. His play 'It's a Wise Child' was showcased at Lakeside Arts in Nottingham as part of UK Young Artists 2019.