At last, the police had something to do. The armed forces had something to do (in their own back yard). The right-thinking doctors, nurses and teachers had something to do. It was time to throw out the trash!
There had never been a Christmas like this. Well, not in recent memory. It gave the people hope for a brighter future, something they could tell their grandchildren about.
Marzena moved at the sound of boots marching towards her. Just another drunk or some fornicators, she thought to herself before pulling more tightly into the recess in which she lay.
She had been listening to the disturbing noises, the shouts, the bouts of gunfire, the smashing of glass, the explosions, and the brutally barked orders that snapped through the night. If only she could make herself a cloak, like the one the kid called Potter had, she would throw it over herself and sit it out until morning. But, on the edges of her perception, she did not think that there would be a morning. The night seemed to promise to remain for all time and she shivered at the thought.
At times like this, the man with the baseball bat, thought it was good to cheer the season and take what you can get. His pockets were full of what he had been able to acquire, mainly jewellery from an Eastern European who had wanted to stay open for a little too long. Now he knew what it was like for a ball to be hit into the Bleachers.
The big man had been on his way home, after his successful hunting, when he felt the need to relieve himself. It was a sudden need that he knew would not go away. Tonight would have to be the ‘old piss in the alley routine’ and this made him happy. It made him feel younger and more rebellious. The alley that he chose was desirably dark and away from the hubbub of the high street. Here, he would not be disturbed. He would enjoy his trip to dark side.
Once he was some way in, he unzipped and unleashed. He liked that bit. It sounded majestic. Full of majesty. So,he let the thing flow and began to hum a holiday treat.
‘The weather outside is frightful
Having a piss is so delightful
And when you find a place to go
Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow.’
He could have been a contender.
He was in mid-verse and flow when he heard the shuffling further into the alley. Rats. Rats. This was a ghetto area for those from elsewhere, those who should never have been allowed here. Rats and rats, they all shared the same nest. He had given the Bleachers Treatment out once already tonight and was not averse to giving ‘rattus norvegicus’ an additional dose of rat puree.
Marzena did not have an invisibility cloak or a further three-feet into which she could push herself. All she had was the flimsy covering of the night, her absolute silence, and the soundless incantations of her prayers.
“Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name…”
It wasn’t God who first answered her but another.
“What have we got here? What has dead Santa got for Little Johnny?”
Around the western world similar things were happening. In Russia, they called it a Pogrom, as in the good old days. In the rest of Europe and the West, it was merely a Christmas Cleansing. It was a census that would clean the dirt from the edges of society and make it a decent place in which to live once again.
He stopped when he saw what Santa had brought. He smiled, licked his lips and decided not to rezip.
“What’s a beautiful babe like you doing in a place like this?”
He threw the baseball bat from one heavy hand to the next and then twirled it in the same fashion that a majorette would twirl it.
“I must have been a good boy; a very, very good boy,” he smiled as he moved towards his gift. “We’ll need to unwrap the present, won’t we?”
He gloried before placing his baseball bat carefully on the cold concrete.
Marzena knew what was coming next and she thanked God for this slight advantage.
She had defeated the landlord’s attempts and now, God willing, she would defeat this monster. He was too confident and over-confidence would breed mistakes. He wasn’t to know that she had an envelope opener; who would? He also didn’t know that her right shin was about to swing at speed into his unsuspecting sweetmeats. When they met, the outcome released itself in an unusually high-pitched scream of pain and surprise. The letter opener was at his throat before the last of his girlish noise was finished.
“One more move, you rapist, and you’ll be smiling through your throat.”
“Calm down now, little lady, I didn’t me no harm.”
With the envelope opener at his throat, she eased herself out from under him. The windbag groaned in a way that was overly theatrical and stunk of deception. He was planning another foray when his own baseball bat descended on his head and brought an end to his festive outing.
Her fear had been replaced by a newly found self-belief.
“Thank you,” she said to a God that had helped her.
“Ho, ho, ho,” the chorus came from behind her.
She turned and saw a dozen or so fake Father Christmases staring at her with looks that spoke of lust and greed. The Santaristas had been out and about the city with their special brand of Yuletide mayhem. Throughout the West, similar militias were enjoying the season of goodwill.
Before Marzina had the opportunity to form a defensive stance, a blue light formed around her.