A few years back the kind people at Do Some Damage published my flash fiction story Secret Santa. I liked it then and reading it back again I still do. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year folks!
David Cook exited Canary Wharf tube station, feeling
icy sleet on his face and hearing staccato out-of-tune squeaks and parps.
Turning the corner Primrose was a sight for sore eyes.
“You’re a gentleman and a scholar,” said Primrose. A
beaming smile exposing bad, nicotine stained teeth as he pocketed the pound
“A cold morning for it, Primrose,” said Cook. “You
look a seasonal picture though.”
“Aye,” said Primrose. “But the elastic on these Alan
Whickers is cutting me friggin’ arse to ribbons.”
Primrose poking and pulling at his buttocks tottered
on stilettos. His red silk dress rode higher; revealing a scary glimpse of
hairy goose pimpled flesh, suspender belt and stocking top. Primrose’s only
deference to the bitter weather was a three button M&S cardigan, straining
across his barrel-chest, and a Santa hat.
Cook laughed and took a copy of The Big Issue.
Saying, “Take care my friend,” as Primrose readied to let loose with the
As Cook reached the First Global Bank building he
heard the old transvestite honk out the first few gruff and wobbly bum notes of
‘All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth’.
Cook spotted the diminutive, mutton dressed as lamb,
Georgie Bell. He could count on one hand the number of times Georgie had spoken
to him since she was appointed FGB International Director. Making no secret
that she regarded him as a middle-aged has been.
Reaching his desk Cook said a cheery, “Morning all.”
In her office Georgie feigned not to hear and
continued to tap on her keyboard, a sour look on her face like a bulldog
chewing a wasp.
Cook thinking, silly, stuck-up bint.
Firing up his computer Cook hacked into Georgie’s
email account. The Human Resources email confirmed his suspicions; today was
going to be the day.
Accessing the Pietersen account he began coding
instructions; marvelling at the transactional procedure. One pence, disguised as
a currency fluctuation, was deducted from a multitude of FGB international
accounts each day and deposited into the Pietersen account. Miniscule amounts
skimmed and totalling a tidy six figure balance.
The email arrived at 15:45, instructing him to go
immediately to HR. Waiting for the lift he spied two security guys locking down
his work-station. FGB was following standard dismissal security protocol.
Georgie, not bothering to attend, sent her deputy,
the snivelling Derek ‘Jellyfish’ Ponting. Cook was told by the HR manager that
regrettably his position was redundant. Hearing corporate platitudes: Deficit.
Tough trading. Efficiencies. Rationalisation.
The Jellyfish limply shook Cook’s hand and gave him
a meagre redundancy cheque. Saying, his tone as camp as a row of tents,
“Wishing you a, err... happy early retirement, David.”
Cook was escorted from the FGB building with not so
much as a thank you for thirty five years of unblemished service.
Doing the sensible thing, Cook found the nearest bar
and downed the first of several large malts.
Cook tracked Primrose down to a hostel for the
homeless in Vauxhall. Finding him semi-conscious in the canteen amongst empty
cans of Tennent's Super.
Primrose insisted on taking his beloved alto to the
Starbucks where Cook plied him with black coffee and cash and more black coffee
and a guarantee of more cash; if he followed instructions to the letter.
Leaving Primrose tooting and wailing a stuttering
version of ‘We're in the Money’, Cook hailed a black cab. Falling into the back
seat as the driver regaled him with a barrage of insight on: London traffic.
The Coalition Government. The idiotic Mayor. Tottenham Hotspur FC.
Cook managing to interrupt him for long enough to
say, “Heathrow Airport.”
Primrose padlocked his rusty bicycle to the railings
of the, oh so chic, L’Antipasto. Thinking, you can’t be too careful with these
The party was in full swing as Primrose made his entrance.
He’d made the effort: Burlesque corset. Tutu. Fishnets. Four inch heels.
“I’m looking for the lovely Georgie,” Primrose
hollered. “You’ve not seen a stripogram like me before, darling.”
Heads turned; watching Primrose stride to the FGB
table and moon at the po-faced Georgie.
Georgie gagging and spraying a mouthful of mange
The Jellyfish, finding his backbone, jumped up.
Saying, “Get out you drunken, filthy slob.”
“I’ll take my leave then,” said Primrose. “You’re
all a bunch of philistines and snobs!”
Theatrically sweeping back his long, greying locks
Primrose planted his forehead square into Ponting’s pudgy face.
In the resulting confusion Primrose pulled a package
from his new Prada handbag and dropped it on the pile of parcels in the middle
of the table. Snaffling slices of turkey breast, a handful of brussel sprouts
and a couple of roasties and washing them down with two large glasses of crisp,
Belching loudly and breaking wind Primrose slipped
out the fire exit; leaving a silent but deadly gift for the clientele to
“Ladies and gentlemen,” said Matthew Strauss, FGB
Managing Director and guest of honour. “The unfortunate interruption is over
and the... air is now clear. Shall we continue with the festivities?”
“Here, here,” and glass tapping chorused around the
Ponting gingerly dabbed his swollen nose with a
blood stained handkerchief.
“Let’s have the Secret Santa,” shouted an acolyte.
Georgie stopped rubbing the vegetable stain on her
sparkly designer dress and gushed, “Matt, would you do us the honour of being
master of ceremony?”
“This... oddly shaped one, is for... Georgie!”
Paying reverence to tradition Georgie got to her
feet and enthusiastically shredded wrapping paper; revealing a fleshy pink,
‘Rampant Rabbit Big O’. Shaking like a frightened schoolgirl as she digested
the digits on the slip of paper sellotaped along the shaft.
Georgie not wanting to believe the balance of her
‘Pietersen’ slush fund account. Her addled brain thinking: Zilch. Nada. Zero.
Reading the gift tag tied delicately around the thick base Georgie peed her
I Cook-ed the books: Go f**k yourself!
Secret Santa x
A Numbers Game
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