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Autumn and Xmas

by  scamp

Posted: Sunday, November 7, 2010
Word Count: 965
Summary: Our writer's group up here in the 'Hielans' have been asked to produce some short stories to be read out on local radio, any comments appreciated, but anyway, I hope to raise a smile Awrabest Ian

Loch Droma
Dreich the October day, and yet!
There’s a blaze of fire from the slender deer grass
which flames the moor.
Leaves, garbed in russets, oranges yellows,
and fading speckled greens,
wait to fall and mulch.

A wee lochan is flat-still .
Its black mirror reflects the swathes of bracken
flanking the Bens with Autumn.
As the heather turns and the haughty stags
lead their does down to the vivid green mosses.

Rain clears to drizzle.
A weak sun swims through,
melding the watercolours onto
a subtle tinted and textured palette.
It hints of bruised crimson brambles
and a chestnut’s gleam,
As foot tramped leaves
moult into their earth.

Fatima was truly well-named. The gaudy sign above her booth proudly proclaimed –


She sat inside on the reinforced stage. Great rolls of flesh wobbled down her huge body as she breathed in and out. Her seat was made of extremely strong, high tensile steel. Behind her, a wee table groaned with her light hourly snack of 3 tubs of Mackies’ honey-toffee ice-cream, 5 buckets of marsh-mallowed popcorn, a big steak pie and deep fried, battered chips.
Fatima smiled at the voyeurs, but deep inside was really miserable. Sure she was making loads of money, even after her Agent’s massive cut, but how would you like to be laughed and sniggered over as your day job.
Only at Xmas time did Fatima become genuinely happy.
- Not because the crowds were much larger and cheerier
- Nor because those who gazed at her bellies were full of seasonal cheer
But, because for the first time in her life children just loved her to bits . It seemed that every kid in Glasgow came to see her and to ask politely if they could borrow one of her stockings.

Xmas Greetings

Tony and Cherie sat sipping vintage champagne by the fireplace reading the Estate Agent’s glossy brochure of properties on sale for the uber rich.
Sales of ‘A Journey’ had exceeded all expectations. Even John Prescott had ordered a copy but asked for it as an audio book. Peter Mandelson had purchased 10,000 copies. He intended to send them to a long list of people who he thought deserved a very special Xmas present from him
Just then there was a knock at the front door. Cherie turned to one of the three waiting servants and said,
‘Helga go and see who that is, Oh and if it’s carol singers or Big Issue sellers tell them to get lost.’
Helga returned with a very nicely wrapped Xmas gift hamper marked as coming from Harrods. The attached card said –
‘Wishing you a very Happy Xmas, and no hard feelings, Gordon.’
The next day, still chatting over their surprise present, they watched as the Butler decanted the Mouton Cadet and the Head Chef placed two plates of beautifully carved turkey, goose and Foie Gras in front of them. Tony’s teeth gleamed from the candelabra as he reached into the hamper, pulled out a Xmas cracker and presented it to Cherie.
Chief Superintendent MacPhail listened carefully to the white-overalled criminal pathologist who said,
‘ Semtex in a cracker, that’s a new one to me Guv

A Karol
It is not at all surprising that the compilers of the authorised King James edition of the Bible omitted the fact, well kent in them times, that the shepherds were playing 3 card brag.
Even worse, to those of an extremely strict religious persuasion, was that they were also a little bit inebriated, or in Glaswegian 'Hauf Pissed.'
Now before you leap to your feet from the sofa yelling imprecations or fat waz just take a wee minute to reflect on how these shepherds lived back then. Huddled underneath their plaids way up high on the shoulder of Beinn Alligin, snuggled against the dry stane dykes of the fank, the snell winds coming hurlin and burlinn round their blue-bare shanks, they looked after their sna-covered flocks.
So when Big Jamie said 'how's about a wee game o chance lucky lads?' which one of us would have backed awa?
Then when Sandy from Badfearn said 'I think our drams are ready boys' the night was just made for carousement.
From under the heath covered hide the twisty worm dribbled drop after drop of silken, golden liquor distilled lang since from the fine guild berley and the gurgling ice-keld burn.
' Aye boys' said The Mackenzie frae Cabarfeidh, as he took a lang, deep draught o' the uisqe baigh, 'that's the stuff tae mak a very man where there wass none before.'
Jamie just spread his plaid on the peaty ground and said '3 card brag lads, who's in?'
The nicht rang on wi songs, clatter and the cairts until the Mackenzie, who had sneakily glimpsed at the straight run he held in his haun, tried to conceal his excitement by seeming to look up at the star-pierced heavens in wonder, while he raised his stake.
'Will yese just tak a wee look at that big star pointing due East my friends. Have yese ever seen the like?' His eyes drooping a wee bit, Stuart glanced down to the glen far below where he seemed to see horsemen in a line making their way Eastwards. He shook his heid - they seemed to be wearing shining objects on their heids !
A voice intruded into his deep sentimental wanderings as Jamie said 'See Ya Mackenzie.'
Turning away from the ghostly images down below he just could not help the grin of victory as he laid down his cards.
His visage of triumph crumbled as Big Jamie snapped down his cards on top and shouted ‘3 Kings!’