And now for something completely different...
I wrote this last year purely for fun and for the amusement of a group of similarly 'Armitage addicted' friends. It's very silly, but if you can't be silly at Christmas, when can you?! I hope you enjoy it.
The wind whistled around the log cabin, situated alone in the middle of a vast expanse of snowy landscape. Inside a portly, middle aged man buttoned up his thick red cardigan and made his way over to the enormous package he had been waiting all day to open. The wooden crate stood about eight feet tall, and it took a small claw hammer to prise apart the sides and allow him to access the contents.
The Northern Lights raced across the night sky outside, lighting it like Mother Nature’s very own fibre optics, but nothing could distract the man from his task. The wooden sides fell away and he dragged them to the side of the room so he could inspect the masterpiece in all its glory.
‘The masterpiece’ was a chamber made of thick glass, framed with solid steel. Protruding from one side was a control panel comprising a disc drive, keyboard and monitor, but beneath it sat a substantial hard drive containing possibly the most advanced science known to man, or rather, to a select few men. But it was only the man in the red cardigan who had it within his power to operate the machine and unleash its full potential.
Nicholas rubbed his hands together with glee. For years he had struggled with what to give the womenfolk for Christmas. Now it seemed, all his problems were about to be solved.
* * *
Meanwhile, back in the UK, it was midday on Christmas Eve and a small group of women were preparing for a Christmas party. They had booked a small function room at Claridges. Food, drinks and music had been arranged and at that point several of them were travelling some distance in order to be there. Dresses and accessories had been purchased, however the one thought going through all their minds was that it was kind of a shame it was to be an ‘girls only’ party. One ideal – and unobtainable – man between all of them just wasn’t going to cut it though, so they’d have to make their own amusements.
* * *
At the North Pole Nicholas strode over to a second package sat on the desk in the corner of the room. The brown box had already been opened and he selected from it a slim, plastic case. Re-reading the blurb on the back, he smiled, “Yes,” he said aloud, “This is definitely the best one to start with.”
He returned to the machine and switched it on. It made a loud humming noise, combined with several intermittent chugging sounds before it was finally ready. He loaded the disc into the slot, selected the information he required and, taking a large slug of whisky from the crystal glass beside him, hit the ‘Create’ button with a very slightly shaky finger. Now all he had to do was wait…
* * *
In London the party guests were beginning to assemble. In one corner of the lavishly decorated room stood an ice sculpture fashioned in the shape of a medieval broadsword, through which flowed a crystal stream of vodka which Janet and Rose were enthusiastically partaking of. Meanwhile Maggie and Liza were pouring generous glasses of Chateau Gisborne and comparing notes on their respective journeys, one short, one considerably longer. Gradually the others began to arrive, Geri, Zara, Mia and Carrie, turned up together and were soon getting stuck into the refreshments, whilst lamenting the distinct lack of totty available that evening. Little did they know, the situation would improve radically before the night was through.
* * *
Nicholas was making a valiant attempt to distract himself with the latest Sebastian Faulks novel whilst the machine worked its magic. As he reached the end of the first chapter, his eye was drawn to something beginning to appear in the bottom of the chamber. He squinted as slowly the objects began to take a recognizable form, and he managed to identify them as feet, more specifically, a pair of clean but well-worn tan leather brogues. He smiled and let out a satisfied sigh before topping up his glass and settling back into his armchair.