A Christmas story I made earlier

Another re-post! Faithful followers will have read this one before (twice!) But it’s a story I’m fond of…


Christmas Presence

Shorty scrambled over the top of the skip and landed next to me on the old cardboard that topped the pile of rubbish. I don’t know what was underneath that but it stank a bit.

Footsteps ran past.

They came back slowly.

Police car

A car started up and the blue lights stopped flashing ‘cross the top of the skip.

The alley were quiet, ‘cept for the scurry of rats.

I whispered, “That were close, Shorty,” and tried to sit up, which shifted the rubbish around us ‘cos I’m heavy, like. Bits of scrap splashed into water at the bottom of the skip and the smell got stronger.

Shorty took out a pack of fag papers and started to roll up. “At least we got a good haul of phones.”


“Come on, Griller. I passed you ‘arf a dozen I lifted from them carol singers.” He blinked at me and his shoulder twitched. “What did you do wiv ’em?”

“I put ’em in the backpack, Shorty. Like you said”

Shorty grabbed the bag. “It’s empty!”

“I think they come out when I landed in the skip.”

Shorty closed his eyes. The lids were twitching but he took a deep drag of the roll-up. His other fist loosened and his shoulders relaxed.

” ‘Ere Shorty, I thought we was out of smokes.”

He passed it over. “It were in one of their pockets. ‘S good stuff.”

I took a drag and the world went hazy. We shared the spliff in silence as footsteps echoed in the alley and turned the corner.

Debris shifted.

A large rat sat watching us from a chunk of wood. I seen a lot of rats, but this one were wearin’ a coat. And a red hat. Its little ears stuck up either side.

” ‘Allo.”

Shorty was speechless, which never ‘appens, so I filled in. “Who are you, then?”

“I’m the Ghost of Christmas Presents.”

“I seen that film,” I said. “The one with ‘im what were in The Italian Job.”

“Not that one. I’m the ghost of Christmas presents you once had.”

I thought.

“I ‘aven’t ‘ad any – not since I were a kid.”

“I never had any when I were a kid, either.” Shorty had found his voice. “I’d leave a note up the chimney, but Santa never came for it.”

battered books clipart

“Were you naughty or nice, though?” asked the ghost. “That’s the key to getting Christmas presents.”

Shorty snorted. “No chance then, is there?” He blinked. “Some church gave me a useless book once. It din’t ‘ave no pictures in it.”

My brain had gone cloudy, like soup. Memories bobbed to the surface.

“Me an’ me bruvver used hang up our socks and watch for Santa at the window, but we’d always fall asleep. “In the morning the socks was full o’ chocolates wiv a piece of fruit an’ a prezzy. One year I got a tiny teddy bear.”

The world was getting mistier. “That were before Dad’s accident. Mum went a bit funny after he died, an’ we was put in a children’s ‘ome.”

The rat-ghost wrinkled its brow – did rats have brows? “You must’ve had Christmas presents in the children’s home.”

“Weren’t the same,” I said. “An’ someone nicked Little Ted.”

“Ah. Right.” In the mist, the ghost looked like a little gnome with his red hat and coat.

“Shh.” Shorty hissed. “Sounds like the plod.”

Heavy footsteps passed the skip and carried on to the end of the alley. We listened hard till they faded. By then, the mist was gone

So was the gnome.

A tail whipped out of sight, dislodging a scrap of cardboard. Underneath it was a tiny teddy with an arm stickin’ up – in greeting, like.

I stretched out… carefully in case any rubbish shifted.

Its shiny black eyes reflected the streetlight. I stroked its soft fur – it was surprisingly clean – and I felt like a kid on Christmas morning.

The old carpet scraps felt warm and comfy as Mum and Dad’s feather bed… until they shifted again.

Shorty had pulled himself up to see over the skip’s side. “Come on, Griller. Let’s go while the…”

He stared at the opposite wall, speechless for the second time that night. I slipped Little Ted in my pocket. “What is it, Shorty?”

He stepped back, tripped on a bit of old wood and lay gazing into the sky above the skip.

“That poster…” He blinked. “It’s about free Christmas dinners they’re laying on at the community centre.”

“Lovely Jubbly!” This was more like Christmas. I was surprised he hadn’t mentioned it earlier.

Then I remembered our hasty arrival. “I s’pect when we jumped in ‘ere you didn’t ‘ave time to read it.”

Shorty whispered, “When we jumped in ‘ere, I couldn’t read.”

Find Shorty and Griller in Witch Way

blurb for book
cover of book

Available in paperback and e-book

Enjoy your festive season

Catch you after Christmas


10 thoughts on “A Christmas story I made earlier

  1. Adorable story, Cathy. The drawings are so cute, too. It’s so heartwarming. I love the line, “Shorty whispered, “When we jumped in ‘ere, I couldn’t read.” Fabulous! Merry Christmas, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful story! That last line really takes you by surprise. Wow!
    I really loved their vernacular throughout. It kind of reminded me of how the mountain folk talk here, such as in the Appalachians – except the ‘H’ is pronounced. But the sentence structure is nearly the same.
    Thank you for sharing!
    Have a Merry Christmas and I hope your New Year is filled with blessings! 🎅🎄❄⛄

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Let’s hope. The House Select Committee on the Jan 6th riot at the Capital, have finally finished with their investigation.
    They are turning their findings over to The Department of Justice. Their findings don’t have any legal binding, but it at least gives the DOJ plenty of proof about his clear involvement, collaboration in the rioting.
    The Jan 6th Committee has found him guilty on obstruction of justice, the retention of classified documents, tax fraud, and for his ridiculous hair. He could also be indicted on seditious conspiracy with the Oath Keepers (a white supremacist group) If The DOJ take action against trump it would mean being barred from holding public office permanently.
    He could also be indicted on seditious conspiracy with the Oath Keepers (a white supremacist group)
    Most people don’t think he’ll actually spend anytime in prison. I have my doubts about that, too.
    Well, that’s it in a nutshell. We have got to dump trump for good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wouldn’t call it of an earlier age. He’s a wanna be dictator, oligarch, demigod, etc.
      Did you know that he admired Hitler and watched his speeches, as well as tried to copy his mannerisms when he spoke?
      Did you read his tweet where he strongly suggested we do away with the Constitution? “Yes, Mr Dumpty! Right away, Mr Frumpy!” He’s suffering from delusions of grandeur. Our founding father set up this system of government to get away from a monarchy. I think our government is full of cowards who are afraid to tell Thumper where to go and hold him accountable for what he has done.
      Melania ought to be arrested for having married such a man and procreating with him! Her whole attitude toward us ‘commoners’ wasn’t any better. She butchered and destroyed the rose garden that had been put there for so many decades. To me it was a clear and blatant message she was delivering to us. It makes me want to cry.
      He’s very dangerous and should be put on trial for treason. The sad thing is, our government is too cowardly to do it.
      Are y’all having a good laugh about us over in Merry Olde England?


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