My flight plan had been cleared by Norwich airport's air traffic control - my good friend Rapunzel works there. She has loads of experience what with all those years trapped in a tower of her own, with nothing but local bird flight and migrating geese skeins to observe. Usually, I wouldn't bother with logging a flight plan, but seeing as how I was returning home from some distance and would be flying quite high and fast, I thought I'd better check that the air space close to home was clear. Afterall, I didn't want to be sucked into a jet intake like poor old Sherry Bobbins, maysherestinpieces.
So, there I was, descending over Norwich, easily clearing the cathedral spire, my sights fixed firmly on home. Well, I say 'fixed firmly', but I may have been slightly distracted whilst rummaging in my hand luggage behind me for a humbug, which in hindsight, probably wasn't the best thing to do when coming in for a landing at 200 miles per hour. If only I'd switched my foresight on...
Now, usually I'd swerve aound Morrison's carpark, not for fear of being seen by the shoppers below - slack jawed mongs are too busy staring down at where their knuckles are scraping through all the puddles of drool they'd produced. Good job they've got oversized jaws, as I dread to think what else they'd push the trolleys with...
* shudder *
No. I avoid the store because of the cheap yellow light it gives off which makes me look jaundiced. Not to mention the hideous uplighting making me look more 'weathered' than I actually am. Not that I am to any great degree, you understand!
Anyway, having eventually located the humbug, I popped it in my mouth and turned to face forward again.
"Fark!" I exclaimed. Well, you try saying 'Fuck' and keeping a large boiled sweet in your mouth at the same time.
* Rrrrrrrriiiipsquelch *
Instead of last year's red nose* on the front of the Broom, there was an entire red body trimmed in dirty white fur with one and a half feet of gnarled ash Broom handle rammed up it's rather large chuff. It's eyes were watering copiously into it's bushy white beard.
Lawks! I'd knobbled Father Christmas! The reindeer scattered, breaking loose from the reins. Two of them headed for the football ground, one shot straight up and the rest barrelled off over the city leaving the sleigh to spiral downwards into the river.
I slammed on the brakes and Santa shot off the end, stripping the Broom handle as he went. He must have really clenched...
In a mix of mild horror and outright mirth, I watched as he tumbled through the air rather gracelessly - I expected more from Santa, perhaps a double salco? - and impacted rather heavily against Morrison's clock tower. It's a good job it had various handholds or he would have slid down on to the anti-pigeon spikes and we'd be eating Santa Kebabs for Christmas dinner!
It's at this point that I should point out that the clock tower probably isn't what you're imagining. It barely towers at all, being only two metres higher than the rest of the glass and metal roof. It's crowning glory is a black and yellow digital clock. Classy, eh? At least if it had a proper clock face, Father Christmas could have hung on to the hour or minute hand, a la Harold Lloyd, and I could have had more of a laugh as time ticked on getting ready to dump him unceremoniously onto the spikes below.
As I hovered there wondering what to do, holding my nose - Santa must have been eating cauliflower cheese for the last couple of days judging by the vile stench coming from the neatly stripped Broom handle - a spectral light appeared behind me, along with the smell of fish & chips mixed with Tweed by Lentheric. It could only mean one thing: Aunty X-Mas!
The late-middle-aged, rather overweight, Ghost of Anti-Christmas phased in on the back of Broom, even now this early on Christmas Eve, as tiddled as an excited puppy. There was only one thing I could do, so I did it.
"Ta ra!" I yelled in her face as she fully spectralised. "You can sort him out" and I pointed at the dangling Father Christmas, gunning the acceleratrix, leaving her sitting in mid air as I shot off towards home, waving over my shoulder.
* I couldn't just say 'instead of nothing' so I took some creative liberty and made up the faded and cracked red nose. I wouldn't be seen dead or undead with one of those monstrosities strapped to any form of my personal transport.