Mother Christmas

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

My Christmas story. Art work from the AI program Dream from wombo.art, cues: 'girl' and 'festive'.

Long periods of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer… 

What? 

Offence? Abuse?  Tedium?

Another quiet afternoon; times are hard in retail this festive season. The Great Stagnation, they’re calling it; the continuing stagnation.

But hark! What’s this I hear? First the echoing clacks of shoes on marble, then these three emerge into view, tired refugees from the mall’s main aisle: Mummy, Daddy and Teenage Boy. They’re dowdy and unfashionable: meet the drabs.

Mum in her late thirties I’d guess. She’s carrying the shopping bags. The logo says they’re from the Intermarché, the anchor tenant at the far end, way down. Dad is wearing shapeless cords, a thick workman’s coat and a flat cap.

The stereotypes just come to life in front of you.

Teenage Boy wears his universal uniform: tatty jeans, discoloured hoodie (hood up) and scuffed trainers. He’s the one walking a little in front of his carers, kicking aimlessly at the litter. He’s the one who notices me first. And turns to face his father in delight.

“Hey, check her out!”

And then with puzzlement, “Why does it say, ‘Mère Noël’?”

Yes, he’s clocked my pop-up grotto, carefully placed here at the fag-end terminus of the mall, close to the toilets and the car park lift. My grotto’s frontage is exactly one shop wide: they put it in front of a derelict outlet, one which went bust months ago. They cleared the unsold goods and ditched the carpets; peek into the gloom behind me and you’ll see dust-sprinkled rubbish and untouched envelopes paving those cold tiles on the other side of the glass.

This was the location they wanted to disguise in this peak shopping period just before Christmas.

Not that I’m much of a disguise. There’s a thin metal frame over my head decked out with fake holly and ivy, LEDs sparkling gaily. In the centre is the branding: ‘Mother Christmas’. So you know I’m here to spread joy and season’s cheer.

I sit, or rather loll, below this festive arch on a surplus recliner, dressed in my themed outfit. My chair is flanked by two large Christmas goodie-bags: the one on my left is official.

Mummy and Daddy have now noticed me, prompted by their tyke of a son. I see thin, pinched disapproval on Mum’s face - I craft an insolent scowl for her - and the flicker of lust on her husband’s which rapidly shifts to his other main emotion.

“Go back to where you came from, putain de salope !” 

Such a contemptuous growl! But something to divert me - an inadequate who projects self-loathing onto others: so I’m an effin’ slut, am I?

I feel sorry for his wife so give him back what he deserves.

“I come from your street, espèce de salaud hypocrite !” I yell raucously, “Don’t you recognise me with my clothes on, connard?”

It’s not blindingly original but it suffices. In his fury he makes to advance - then thinks the better of it. He’s right to be wary: my little chatte reposing to my right has risen languidly, arching her back to glare at him. Her fur stands on end, her hiss fills space.

Cet animal est très méchant, quand on l'attaque il se défend.

People have heard what these little creatures can do with their sparking, sizzling incisors.

Grumbling at each other, the two adults trundle on towards the pay station.

The teen looks back at me, woebegone.

I taunt him then: put my hands on my knees and nudge them apart; push my chest up; lick my lips with a sneer.

Show him my olive curves.

He cracks: looking away as I knew he would. Thumb in his mouth, he scampers after his parents in unconscious regression to the imagined safety of his childhood .

---

They dressed me in a short red jacket (which I wear open and loose) over a low-cut leotard and leggings, both of figure-hugging green lycra. I’m half Père Noël, half elf and half falling out of it.

Forget Mother Christmas: I am the enticingly-buxom Mistress of Christmas.

My sponsors wanted, indeed demanded reactions.

---

My authorised bag has samples from adjacent shops: cheap perfume from the cheap parfumerie next door; amuse-bouche fancies from the pâtisserie further down; surplus minitat from bargain toys opposite. 

Teen Boy was too scared to ask me for any of my offerings.

---

I’ve been here eleven days so far: more than long enough for the local rackets to check me out.

See this young chap? He walks the floor of the outdoors shop on the main drag. He lectures urban ramblers on Gore-Tex.

Now he heads across, entering my lair without trepidation. Moggie ignores him - he’s on her white list.

Phénix covertly hands me a pay card and whispers, “Fifteen, please, Mère Noël.”

I reach into my second bag, the one on my right and retrieve a large tin together with an empty bottle labelled as a common painkiller. I transfer fifteen white tablets then transfer the pay card into my purse: click-and-collect.

Phénix gratefully departs to share the joy with his fellow assistants. They’re all bored out of their minds, greedy for a quiet afternoon bliss-out. Displacement popping to avoid life’s mediocrity.

---

I know this guy: he’s a stringer for the local paper. This is the second time he’s sidled up.

The first time Albert approached me (and how he must hate that name!) he flashed his journalist union card to prove he was kosher. Then he asked me what I did when I wasn’t being Mother Christmas.

“A girl like you”, he said, “must have many offers. Are you an actress or a model?”

“Kind of,” I said, “But I’m very selective. I prefer longer contracts and I rather fear I may be out of your league.”

Not being super-endowed intellectually it took him a few seconds to process this, then he had the good grace to blush rather alarmingly. 

I piled it on.

“Perhaps a taster though? Try before you buy?” I said, taking his spare hand, the one not holding his interview-phone and pressing cold fingers against the warmth of my half-exposed breast.

He choked at this, pulling his hand back with amazing alacrity, stabbing at his screen. With the recording app turned off, he made his excuses and left.

A few days later he’s back, confidence restored. This time Albert, who wears a faded blue suit with no tie and is in his early twenties, is trying for man of the world.

I can hardly repress my inner merriment: ho ho!

“Tell me, how’s business going?” he asks, with his phone pointing at me.

I strike a starlet pose for the video - I suppose that’s what he’s angling for.

“Do you have a buyer for this piece you’re doing?” I ask innocently.

“Not yet,” he confesses, raising his device to get a better view of my embonpoint, “Oh by the way, I’ve figured you out. You’re the daughter of rich parents and you’re doing this for work-life experience before moving on. Like that Billy Joel song or was it Pulp?”

“I’m busy” I say “and you’re putting off the punters.”

Demonstrably untrue; this fag-end of the mall is deserted.

“Now push off.”

He retires crestfallen, “Can I see you again?”

I nod tiredly. I’ve already forgotten him.

---

They want to: attack me; have sex with me; swear at me; date me; ogle me. 

Occasionally a little one will sit on my lap and I will present them with a free bonbon, which is probably what my mission ought to be.

I’m an illegal immigrant, a terrorist, a criminal, a parasite, a whore, a dealer (that is somewhat true, though the placebo effect is amazing), an actress researching a part (near miss) and a spy (near miss).

I am Mother Christmas, a Rorschach humanoid fabricated by Aldebaran Robotics, commissioned for research by the Société de Psychanalyse Freudienne of Paris.

Look at me; look into a mirror. Joyeux Noel, each and every one of you.


Submitted: December 15, 2021

© Copyright 2022 AdamCarlton. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Stories by Boz

Nice story. The true commercialization and exploitation of the holiday.

Tue, April 12th, 2022 11:38pm

Author
Reply

True. Also some vignettes on the dull, humdrum and hopeless lives of the underclass.

Wed, April 13th, 2022 11:12am

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