Christmas Gone Crazy – Extract Five

This time the music was more familiar. ‘Simply having a wonderful Christmas time’ was played as we jolted our way across the beautiful Swiss countryside. Initially we passed a large lake, that was so vast, it could well have been an ocean. Soon, we came to woodland. The evergreen trees were scattered with flakes of crisp snow and it wouldn’t have been hard to imagine Santa popping out from between the branches or ushering us into his workshop nearby. The whole place looked dreamy and Fiona was in good spirits.

 

“Just had a text from Lauren,’ she said as I tried hard to get a good shot of the surrounding trees, always looking for a perfect Instagram post.

“Is she chasing us?” I asked. “Does she want us to turn round and go after something else instead?”

“No. She just wanted to know if we had an angle yet. I must admit, a few tag lines have been going through my head.”

“Like what?”

“Party Jesus performs miracle of riding a reindeer in the buff.”

I had to look her in the eyes to see whether or not she was being genuine. Apparently she was.

“Erm. Anything else? Maybe something slightly more appropriate?” I jested.

“Jesus reappears in Santa’s backyard, surrounded by hippies?”

I snorted this time. Now I was glad she was the camera girl and not the journalist.

 

I looked at my own notes on my phone and realised that I had nothing better to offer but quickly she urged me to make a suggestion or two.

“Switzerland’s messiah promotes countryside living…?” I said feebly.

“Well we really are clutching at straws,” she said as she began to check through her camera bag.

 

Seeing her lovingly check each item in her bag and gently clean one of her lenses with a cloth, I could tell that she was serious about her work. Her smile was sweet and I found myself drawn to her. She was so intriguing and seemed to be honest as well as incredibly clever. She started to tell me random facts about Switzerland as we carried on our journey and the train continued through tunnel after tunnel, crossing lakes and sweeping past enormous mountains.  She knew everything there was to know about the country’s history as a famously neutral country and about its wildlife. I was learning lots and time seemed to fly by. Before long we were getting off at a station which was situated in the heart of a small village, sidled alongside a steep mountain.

 

Apparently the only way to get to Jesus’s village from here was by bus and then funicular. His village was not approachable by road as it was high up in a ski resort. We both shivered as we left the station and walked around looking for the relevant bus. Finding it, we were able to sit on it for a while before it departed, warming ourselves by rubbing our hands together and taking small sips from coffee cups, trying to make them last as long as possible. Fiona wanted me to play a game of impressions. Each of us had to try and do a different accent and the other must guess where it came from. Three guesses was the limit. The winner was the first person to guess five accents. I was right in the middle of trying to sound Welsh when the bus started off and we became aware of the thick layer of snow that was blanketing the village roads.

AD – If you enjoyed this, keep looking out for the next instalment or check out my book below. This book of short stories is about first impressions being often misleading.

Christmas Gone Crazy – Extract Two

This is the second part of my Christmas short, but weird, story. For the first part, click here.

Making my way through airport security, a few hours later, I thought I could sense snow coming. The sky looked heavy and the airport was dark. I found a spot on a bench and took out my iPad. Perhaps I could find out a bit about this freak and begin coming up with an angle. I managed to get a clip of him declaring his village the new ‘Jerusalem’. Just as I began watching his rant, a voice butted in.

“I know who you are. You’re the only person likely to know about this.”

I turned round to see a brown haired woman, about the same age as me, peering over my shoulder.

“And you are?” I said, half guessing.

“Fiona,” she said reluctantly. ‘Your camera girl.’

“Well, you may as well take the weight off your legs. The plane isn’t due for an hour,” I said, half smiling, half disappointed. Disappointed mainly because I wanted some time alone. Smiling slightly because she was a lot better looking than the last camera man I had.

 

Grabbing her a coffee, I found it obligatory to try and make conversation and see if we had anything at all in common. She turned out to be fairly left wing and quite a thinker. I did enjoy her retelling the last assignment she had. While waiting to get footage of a movie star emerging from a London nightclub, she had spent hours, in the rain, poised with her camera focused on the club door. In the two minutes that she snuck inside to the loo, the actor had not only come out, but made an announcement that he was having a sex change operation, and no longer wanted to be known as a male. She had got back from the bog, to find that the other camera guy had an exclusive and she had missed everything. Neither of us had much luck at all. That was the main thing we would discover about each other. We were both riddled with bad luck.

We queued up for the plane and were soon high above the clouds, sipping cheap wine and making the most of the on-board entertainment. She was watching old episodes of ‘Friends’ while I opted for a couple of episodes of ‘Fleabag.’ We both liked trash TV. The man who was sat at the end of our row kept getting up and going to the toilet and every time we got settled again, he seemed to want to make us stand up. Fiona tutted after a few times and he looked at her with disgust. Thankfully I was between them and could keep her from retaliating. The smirk on her face showed me that she was enjoying the challenge.

 

“Next time I’ll step on his toes,” she whispered.

She reminded me of my little sister and the way she used to torment me. We used to laugh for hours about anything and everything. I missed those days. Sadly, she had been gone five years now. I suddenly became somber.

 

“Cheer up,” she said, revealing a picture she had taken on her phone. It was the moody guy and she had edited it so that he looked like the devil.

I tried to smile. “You know, the Christmas Jesus guy is going to wind you up like mad,” I said, showing a picture of him riding a reindeer, with no clothes on.

“Think of all the fun I can have with him,’ she replied as she changed the photo so that it looked like Donald Trump. Somehow the guy really suited the yellow hair, comb over and pale blue suit. His face was already plump enough to pass as the President.

AD – If you enjoyed this, keep looking out for the next instalment or check out my book below. This book of short stories is about first impressions being often misleading.