Ma drags out of a fag as she mops.
“What time will Santa come, Ma?”
“Will he have me Action Man, Ma?”
“Are ya sure Santa likes Guinness?”
“UP TA BED TA FUCK OR DERE’LL BE NO SANTA.”
Dat puts deh frighteners on me. I’ve no notion a sleepin’ but figure I’d best play along. Too much “quiet time” gone into dat Action Man. Up I go and lie with me eyes closed, listenin’ for deh tinkle of sleigh bells.
I’m awake, heart pumpin’, peepers wide. A thump from deh front room. Dat’s Santa down deh chimney I tink and I’m out a deh scratcher. I creep downstairs like a shadow, ease open the door, and dere’s Santa, in deh flesh. And he has me Ma by deh head a hair, like, and she on her knees. He yanks her up, smacks her cross deh pus, sends her flyin’ into deh tree, knocks deh whole fuckin’ ting, like. I dunno wot deh story is. Everybody’d led me ta believe Santa’s a sound old skin.
Ma’d hit me a few slaps earlier. Santa must a got wind of it, decided ta teach her a lesson, standin’ up for the kids, like. I twig deh blood dribblin’ from her mouth, lamp the way she’s shakin’, cop Santa’s lost deh run of himself. He shapes ta hit her again.
Santa swings round quick as a weasel, digs me inta deh kisser.
“BACK UP TA FUCKIN’ BED.”
I tumble onto me arse, blood pissin’, scramble upstairs through swirlin’ stars tinkin’ Santa takes dis stay in bed lark fierce serious, hide tremblin’ neath deh covers, chokin’ on tears and snot and blood.
Me auld fella’s plonked on deh edge of me bed tellin’ me how he arrived home ta find Santa goin’ mad, how he dragged Santa outside, warned him never ta return, how he told Santa ta shove his presents, cause he knew I wouldn’t want dem, not after wot Santa’d done to me Ma. Stinky yellow fingers stroke me burst lip.
“Cause you’re a good lad, you.”
Best not ask bout me Action Man.