The Nightmare Before Christmas

The events in the story below are for entertainment only and are not in fact true. Enjoy!

There were 8 people summoned in total to meet – representing the entirety of the city and its surrounding market towns. Women and Gentleman from all backgrounds all coming together anonymously to tackle the issue at hand – the pride of their city.

The first to enter the dimly lit snug attached to the main bar was a middle aged rotund character, clearly having little regard for their appearance or lacking in a mirror for the stubbly hairs creeping out of her nose gave the impression of an overfed and ill kept cat. Dragging behind her a dressing partition from what appeared to be worn down antiques shop, she placed it standing in front of the windows that lined one half of the room. Once satisfied that no one could see inside, she plonked down onto the sofa and wasn’t sure if she would ever get up again, retrieving the notes from her handbag before settling in for the night. Two men that looked like father and son entered with a pint of ale each and took their places on the arm chairs to her left. Changing the tone of the room a little, a very glamorous slender woman in her early 50’s arrived wearing a cape, handbag matching her shoes and driving gloves draped over her arm.

“Hello, hi how are you, so sorry I’m late you know how it is you see someone in the street and you just lose track of the time as you catch up.” she exclaimed as she pulled up a chair to form a semi-circle with the others. “Charlie you look frozen, are you sure you shouldn’t be sat next to the space heater” fussing over the younger of the two men as he went to take a sip of his drink. Shrugging he took a gulp and carried on staring intently at the coffee table in front of them.

“Amanda, what was the first rule of this meeting?” the rotund lady barked, glaring wildly at the scenario in front of her. Before even waiting for a response she continued “ no names. I don’t care if you know Tom, Dick and Harry, if they are in this room they are to remain nameless. Do I need to remind you again how serious this matter is?” with a sigh she returned to her notes in hand.

Within 20 minutes 3 more had arrived, taking their places around the coffee table facing the lady in charge. Tapping their feet, glancing at watches and tutting they each awaited the entrance of the final member. A portly chap entered the room wearing tracksuit bottoms with a farmer style jacket over a hoodie with boots, an eclectic fashion for a 30 year old. Shuffling awkwardly around the chairs, he approached the back of the room to grab a chair. Amanda had started shooing the others around to make room for him to pull up.

“Barry darling, why are you so late is it the bloody football again? I’m glad they won and are famous now, it’s wonderful for the status of the city but dear lord is it a bugger to get in and out of town” Amanda asked, ushering him and his chair to the rough oval shape the group had formed.

“Charnwood, I have warned you already about using first names, if you do it once more I will force you to leave.” Her bun lolling from side to side as her head moved like an angry pigeon. Amanda’s laugh transformed from an amused chuckle into a loud and slightly unbearable cackle. With one final flick of her hair behind her ear, Amanda silenced herself to a trill “ready”. A murmur of laughter and amusement passed from member to member in the group.

“You have been called to this very important meeting to discuss a matter of grave damage to the city’s reputation.” The leader of the meeting looked around the room and met with very sombre faces and nods of agreement. “The city council have brought shame upon us by presenting a rather abysmal attempt at decorating the tree this year. Now, we can all agree it is normally a cause for embarrassment, but with our new found popularity and fame brought to us by our beloved boys success in the premier league we all assumed that they would have made more of an effort. However 10 baubles and one string of tinsel at the top of a 20ft tree is disgraceful” Punctuating the last sentence with her fist on the coffee table. The women in the room looked horrified and flinched with each bash, Amanda once again trying to stifle her tittering but the volume increased with every thud.

An elderly gentleman rose up slowly from his chair and the room instantly fell silent.

“Harborough representative. I just want to say it’s a right chuffing mess. I was embarrassed to bring my grandchildren into town. Their faces were so sad when they saw it, I didn’t want our Jessica to cry so I told them that the council were just having a break”

The leader muttering under her breath retorted “Semper Eadem; Always the same. Reliable and dependable my arse” but it went by unnoticed. One by one everyone gave their thoughts on the tree, ending on a young girl in her later teens sporting a football scarf draped across her oversized pea coat.

“Blaby. I’ll be honest, I don’t care much about the current state of the tree but I would quite like the decorations to be only white, silver and blue. We should still be showing pride in our city and at least they’re pretty colours – like ice, so it’s fitting”

The meeting resembled that of AA rather than a protest and plotting an upraising against the government. The air in the room was electric with rage and excitement. The leader, the north west Leicestershire representative, talked them through various scenarios ranging from egging the town hall and putting baubles in the foundation at the town square to placing adverts and flyers in every shop to call for the immediate removal of Peter Soulsby as mayor. Barry, who had remained completely silent up to this point raised his hand.

“Leicester city, you have the floor.” the leader exclaimed, gesturing for everyone to hush.

“I think we can maybe embarrass the council in a similar way to the gunpowder plot?” Barry mumbled, hands fidgeting with the fabric of his jacket. There was a collective gasp around the room as they each believed he meant blowing it up. “Oh! No! No, I don’t mean that. But maybe we could cut the power to the city centre for the Christmas lights switch on?” He rambled as he frantically tried to clarify what he meant. The air was still, everyone held their breath unsure how to react.

“Barr- Leicester love, I don’t know how you plan on doing that there isn’t a cable that’s just clearly marked on a map with an arrow saying “cut here” Bless, you didn’t really think that once through did you?” Finally Amanda spoke up, patting his arm as she cackled out the final blow to his ego.

“No, but I do in fact work for the National Grid in Enderby so I could just switch it off at six thirty next Thursday?” Barry responded in a chirpy matter of fact tone.

“That. That is a good idea. No in fact that the PERFECT revenge!” The leader exclaimed as everyone around the room applauded.

_________________________________________________________________

Twas the night of the switch on, when all through the grid

Not a creature was stirring, not even arachnids.

The people were streaming to the centre that night,

In hopes of much more Christmassy sight.

The children were nestled all snug in their coats,

Whilst the mayors on stage all lit up as he boasts

“We’ve got lots of partying to do as a city,

so let us switch on so its sparkly and pretty.”

When out in the crowd a young girl shouts “freedom”

Then a rotund lady cried “Semper Eadem!”

The cathedral bells tolled for half past the hour

Leicester’s sky’s were clear, all eyes on the clock tower.

The city counts down from ten to one

When over walkie talkie, Barry cries “it’s done”

The city centre is plunged into pitch black,

There are gasps and screams “we’re under attack!”

A bang and a spark lit the tree up,it’s true

When out of the darkness flames grew and grew!

Semper Eadem was cried out again

“what does that mean?” “it’s always the same”

“For Leicester! For Charnwood! For Oadby and Wigston!

For Blaby! For Harborough! For Hinkley and Bosworth!

For Melton! For North West Leicester you see,

It looks like a unicorn vommed on the tree!”

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