Nnneh…so on the Writer forum contest…and not the New Yorker as I had planned – previous, previously – I was awarded, drum-roll, a bronze medal for this piece of crap. 

Comments and critique ranged from ‘I don’t understand’ to ‘your loverly language.’  It was actually a piece I drafted up and then down and then threw it away because it is a loser, huh :)?  [plus a critical flaw]

The piece that won was two girls kissing and bigoted grandma not accepting of their romance, marriage, you know the modern issues, until from memory – grandma jumps in for a threesome, three orgasms, filmed by Grandpa – and straight to Xhamster.  She got 7 votes, I got 3.  Second place he got 4.  I told the prick the dope-testers would disqualify him – and my justice would prevail ultimately…

I got a first place once – but that’s so feminine – I’ll put it up if there’s some kind of public riot or a mob display.

Also – my story is about a horrible father-in-law and mine is not horrible – so I don’t want comparisons drawn  NOT EVEN BY YOU. 

You have to read it slowly, it’s very difficult…advanced eyes only.

Country Christmas Eve

1400 words

Coals hum in the grate. Flame ripples along the hot beach catching the splintered peaks and spreading a glowing bonsai. The inferno sighs…

It sighs, sunken the many centuries the depth of a man’s body, and the flame tears the length of a man’s body.

The man clings atop the spit rod. His flared trousers flap one inch over the iron grate. Bound by growling jets of heat he roasts at his shins, and at elbow patches. He crackles at the split of metropolitan skin and prays for his mummy.


He mouths for the attentions from rural networks on his mobile telephone wedged somewhere useful up the back pocket, he thinks, perhaps? Cinders upon the ground, he sees the cinders. Wrists tied and the journey is his way alone to Hell’s eternity.

‘Be quiet you foolish boy,’ exclaims his tormentor, Knight Seigneur General Babi Koo, warrior and high-cleric of the Devises coven. The Evil looms at this fire bucket, down there; and leather-clad this torturer rotates his still pale victim astride the spit-rod. The rod squeaks, a phone tumbles into the embers.

Babi’s belly rumbles for his supper, the prong held in fist. Man-meal crisps at extremities, a hair band pops and his face enflames – mmm mmm – finally. He drips from exposed flesh portions at the sandal.

‘A-heh heh’ and ‘a-heh heh heh,’ cries the carcass in the death throes…


…I giggle again, actually. Actually I shift my damp cheeks on the sofa. That fireplace fantasy twinkles in these kind eyes worn upon my cheeks. I check and somehow my mind has freed from bondage of spit-roasting, no longer clasped in manacles of day-terror, no longer enchained in clutches of heated projection, so to speak.

I comprehend more reasonably with a glass in my hand how or why this torturous festive season so often provokes a reputedly courageous man such as ‘me’ toward the psychic ulcers. They pop, they produce the dangerous hallucinations and the composite giggles into my sweaty palms.

‘A heh heh heh.’

I do it again, giggle and gather wits, perch closer to the edge of the blue sofa and survey the wider scene surrounding the fire.

‘A lovely fire,’ I say like some catwalk biscuit. I clap slow-time, honk as a seal stranded on a saddle inside enemy interior, inner sanctum, nae the sitting room lair of my FATHER-IN-LAWThese are the thunder FX, maestros, I thank you.


He lays the prong in his grate and reaches with his palm toward the base of the spine, aside his high chair, aside the magnificent fire, y’know, and removes the guard visor from his eyes. I breathe easily.

‘Easy, commando,’ I breathe.

Dressed for dinner in the blazer, the pink corduroys, his lacquered hair weaves a black blind at Gestapo towers – greased to the ninety degrees in a Valentino styling that he remembers. The head touches almost the ship’s timbers, the beams of this civil war-era cottage. A real-world thatched house and horrible shit-hole, I consider as I understand the word…under cards stringed along every spare surface of the wattled walls – by a servant, villager – some moron-arse church volunteer hanged robins and hanged baby Jesus – and why not – between the landscape portrait paintings of the eighteenth century, and that Gainsborough fellow is prominent. Other peasants toil at the Wainwright and the greeting cards flutter over a dressing of scatter cushions over many more antique chairs surrounding me and my sofa I sail alone.

We endure In this room a miserable silence as nature has ever intended, and the wives ever away at the aga boiling a hoof. Distant laughter resonates from their kitchen party. Logs cackle for me. I scratch my pony-tail and adjust my leather waistcoat. I monitor hairs across my sandals. Tassels swing upon father-in-law’s loafers.

Up there – suddenly – I am distracted sincerely from the scene, our near-on conversation that approaches re: the Christmas traffic jams. The dirk winks at me, short and stumpy from aside those flames.

‘You like it, eh, my beast?’ mutters the father-in-law, or says possibly to me…

‘…Hungarian dagger delivers a coup de grace,’ he says, ‘in hunting parlance kills wild boars,’ he confirms and studies me intensely. He guffaws in a fond memory of murdering little pigs and levers the steel from the wall.

I guffaw properly but my high-pitch squeal infuriates and provokes this father-in-law otherwise known as general. He swings the blade throughout the width of my sofa, the blade cuts wind. The tip rests on my Adam’s apple.

‘Wild boar, you said?’ is what I whimper.

He says: ‘Twenty-two years, twenty-two years and six months apparently I have tolerated your fucking face foaming over my furnitures, foaming into my fine wines of, if you don’t mind me saying, my new world order, Heimlich…’

‘Andrew,’ I interrupt him.

‘Indeed so,’ he says – ‘upon my daughter rutting, and be damned you truffle-dodger,’ he says by ‘George the Fifth,’ he says, swallows in his despairs. ‘Well enough is enough my piggy-bank, you fuck and shit and fuck-fuck-fuck and fuck…’

He disintegrates and the shield hand clutches at his chest. I swill my last drop of spittle, he trembles now with ever the more ‘fucks’ from the lip, he bares his teeth, snarls in a total delirium of monstrosity.

I take my chance, dart from the blade’s tip, hurl myself toward the farthest wall. My nose smears along the floorboards.

I stand up, blood drips down my chiny-chin. I return with the 1812 cavalry sword hoisted from under the medal display cabinet.

‘Fuck you, bogey,’ I sniffle. ‘Indeed you, as you foul people say in that regiment of your passions, I fucked her, eww…eww…ewww,’ I say or imitate my own self in my own labours. ‘And I fucked her the most years I can remember now or how…

…She loves it,’ I say, and gleam with dexterity. My sword twitches once or twice. Whilst the general sips his champagne and ‘Good,’ he says, and ‘very, jolly good,’ he says, ‘you carry on, Andrew.’

‘Hoh-hoh,’ I taunt as the primate ‘til my chortle turns to the impromptu doggy-arse stamped about his room. My arse waves the beacon of all good sedition and delivers to his facial zone. I affirm now that ‘I am the cowboy, honey,’ I say and show him exactly how in the most obscene gesture over shoulder with lollypop.

‘Malingerer,’ he declares and thrusts with his dirk…

…I spin, parry, the one arm held in balance behind my back.

He slashes. I hack from the cavalry manual and sever the key limb from his body. Right arm appendage falls to his carpets.

‘I shall spare your life, soldier,’ I say the wisest musketeer of some realm to come and remind him of our whispered Twitter mantras, my brothers and good sister readers: ‘Me too?’ I fart from the mouth, a silence echoes.

‘Hasta la Fiestre Sempra, baby’ I retrieve all dignity, a perfect Cuban dialect.

I say all the finery/and words and dash to the front door, sword held in my teeth. SAS helicopters hover in background airs; I rush through the ploughed fields of England scenting hounds unleashed behind me at the farmyards.

By the next morning we are emboldened, able to exchange the regular seasonal trinkets. Tradition observed for the one more year, a hangover shared for two sees snow drifts beyond the Dickensian panes. Always, away in view the carol singers gather in that delightful porch singing a ‘Jingle Bells’ medley of crap.

I apologise under my breaths for the amputation.

He relays to me the wonderful anecdote of Mau-Mau transit executions on the steppe. And I thank him for generous hospitality; aromas of roasted guinea-fowl diffuse in all of our wide nostrils. I praise him later again for his choice of my book token and for the new socks plus the garters combination presented in the finest of boxed-set boxes. END