Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Victoria Blisse: Christmas Spirit
Victoria Blisse says: As you might guess , one of my favourite things about Christmas is Christmas Spirit. I love the hope, the generosity and the love that the festive season inspires in people.
Whenever I write a seasonal story I try my best to pack it full of the good things about Christmas. It's not physical things that count, though I love the food and the carols and the decorations but it is the feeling that warms you that is the very best Christmas present you can get and that can happen without all the traditional trappings, they are but enjoyable extras. Christmas Spirit is the magic that lights adult and child eyes alike as they look through the murk of economic uncertainity and the fog of bad news and evil doings to the pure joy that is waiting for Santa to arrive.
Do you believe in Santa? He believes in you.
Jodi is a toll booth operator and she meets Mike when one night he forgets change for the toll. There is an instant connection and they decide to meet up on Christmas Eve for a date. However plans are almost ruined when Mike's car refuses to start but then Santa swoops down and gives them a lift on his sleigh.
Our couple get to know each other intimately during their stay at Santa's grotto and are surprised to find out that Father Christmas has a job for them both but will our virgin lovers take on the task?
The greasy spoon was wittily or predictably called “The Greasy Spoon.” It was a small red-fronted café with a yellowing ‘“Open”’ sign in the window. When Jodi walked in she was hit by the smell first—Mostly grease with a hint of bacon—and the sound second. She could hear the crick-crack of the bacon frying, and that was it. The room was silent. The third thing she became aware of was that every stare in the place was directed her way.
“Ah, eh, Mikey.” A harsh, spittle-filled male voice piped up. “Who’s the lady?”
“Hiya, Lee,” Mike said. “This is my friend, Jodi.”
“Ah, eh, Jodi.” Lee leered at her, his dark beady eyes running over her frame. “It’s real nice to meetcha.” His Scouse accent was so harsh even Jodi as a local needed to concentrate to work out what he was saying.
He wiped his hand on his apron and offered it to her from behind the old, brown, melamine counter. She took the proffered hand, shook it warily and was very conscious of the sticky feeling of his fingers on hers.
“Whatcha having, Mike?” His focus changed as he swept a small stub of yellow HB pencil down from behind his ear. Jodi hadn’t seen it there until that point, because his large ears stuck out so much from his bald head.
“I’ll have my usual, Lee,” he replied. “And Jodi will have?”
“A big breakfast. Extra bacon no tomatoes. I don’t like fruit in my fry-ups.”
Lee looked at her with newfound awe.
“Oh, and a big mug of tea and a couple of rounds of toast. Cheers.”
Jodi walked off to find a table as Mike paid for their meals and took her coat off before sitting down.
“Well, Lee really likes you,” Mike stated as he sat down on one of the melded-to-the- floor, plastic chairs across from her. As he slid in, his leg bumped into hers. She apologised, but it took a moment for her to move her knee so that their legs were no longer touching. Her mind was filled with images of her naked legs wrapped up with his, his gentle touch rioting through her senses and making her crave for a lustful touch. He smiled uneasily, and she grinned back over the yellowing melamine top that might well have been white, once upon a time a very long time ago.
“Is that a good thing?” Jodi asked with a nervous giggle.
“Well, yes. It means you’ll get bigger portions, and they’ll be properly cooked. Lee likes me, and I’m not dead yet.”
When the food arrived, it looked, well, interesting. Jodi wondered what the bad option would have looked like. Grease, in her mind, was meant to be consumed in vast quantities now and then, all in one go. This was easily her grease ration for the whole of next year.
“This is a first,” Jodi said after munching on the corner of a piece of stiff, fried bread, “I’ve never been out to breakfast with a customer before.”
“Well, it’s good to know I’m a unique experience,” he replied. “And I have never been to breakfast with a beautiful tollbooth assistant before either.”
The compliment did not go unnoticed, and Jodi’s cheeks flushed as red as the thin, cheap, tinsel festooning the window beside them. After this grease, Jodi thought, I’ll be turning as green as the cotton-covered baubles too.
Again silence where both parties assessed the opposite person. Neither had really seen the other in daylight before. So, as morning had truly broken, they were seeing each other in literally a new light.
Jodi thought Mike looked a little nerdier in the light of day, but under the bright white, top that he wore she could see the outline of his surprisingly pert muscles.
Mike saw the dark-green of Jodi’s eyes properly and was amazed by the intensity in them. She looked paler by daylight and much more delicate. Both decided they still liked what they saw and continued to munch away happily, forking in fried egg and bacon as if it were their dying meal. The radio suddenly blared into audio range, and Jodi started singing along.
“A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight,” and Mike joined in with the, “walking in a winter wonderland.”
“I like Christmas,” Jodi said. “I like the pretty decorations.” Then she raised her hand and leaned in. “Present company excepted.” she whispered eyeing the tatty Christmas tree and its few dog-eared baubles. “And the food. Ooh, I love the food. I’m making mince pies later, a few hundred of’ ‘em probably, for the old folks by me. It’s my festive goodwill thing. I’ve made the Christmas cakes already. I’ll ice those and bake mince pies.”
“That’s thoughtful of you.” Mike said, smiling, “It must take a long time to bake all that.”
“Well, not really,” she replied. “And I enjoy it. I love the smiles on the old dears’ faces as I bring them their Christmas treats. So many of them are on state pension and can barely afford to feed themselves let alone buy luxuries. I see it as doing my bit, you know?”
Mike nodded his head.
“I mean, you can always think that someone else is looking after the poor and needy of the world and go on with your life. But what if no one really is? I think it’s best to make sure to do something myself."