[Author’s note: You really need to read Part I and Part II of this story if you’re to have a hope of understanding what I’m on about. Go on, do it! Somebody one Twitter told me they were good, and if you’re not prepared to believe firm anecdotal evidence like that then you’ve no place reading blogs, frankly]
When light returned it was illuminating a far different dwelling from the grand hall that Donald and the ghost of Hogmanay present had just left. This dwelling was no castle, a single room encompassed the whole lower floor and the table that stood at its centre barely had room for the three thin, sad children who sat at it and the three unoccupied places that had been laid.
“Mum, I’m sober!” complained one of the children.
The child’s mother turned from her work over the little stove. She had probably been a great beauty once, Trump thought, but her face had been hardened by a lifetime of hard, thankless toil fighting the UK government. Still she managed a smile for her grumbling offspring.
“Hush-up dear. Your father will be home soon and then we can all have a nice little Hogmanay drink and go out to try to find a copper to fight.”
“Will it be a bottle of The Famous Grouse?” enquired the complainer, excitement in her voice.
“There’ll be no Grouse for us,” opined a second bairn, “That old scrooge Trump disnae gi’ da enough bawbies for good stuff like that!”
“There’ll be none of that talk in this house!” said a figure who, unseen, had entered the front door.
“It’s Salmond!” exclaimed Trump, “This is Salmond’s house and family!”
“DAD!” shouted the children, excitedly and Alex could no longer hold the stern visage he’d been pretending, his face broke into a beaming smile.
“Mr Trump is as kind and generous as an employer can be, and it’s not his fault we’re held in hopeless, endless, alcohol-free poverty by the Wastemonster government,” he lectured, kindly, “But I know your mother wouldn’t see us go into Hogmanay unplastered. Nicola, how about it hen?”
The matriarch approached the table, beaming, “Well, I have put a few Scottish pound notes aside and managed to get us this…”
In the centre of the table she laid a tray containing 4 grey tinnies.
The children groaned, but Alex’s voice was as upbeat as ever, “Tesco’s own-brand lager! Why that’s champion, pet! It’s 3.5%, and that will see us all plenty wasted this Hogmanay night.”
The children, sensing what was expected of them, smiled and made a show of licking their lips at the thought of the delicious lager.
“But where’s my Tiny Wings?” asked Alex, “Does he not want a sip of lager this Hogmanay?”
“I’m here father.” came a voice from the corner of the room. Trump hadn’t even noticed the child sitting there, so small and quiet was he, but now he watched him rise uncertainly to his feet and shuffle painfully slowly across the room.
“The child can barely walk!” he cried.
“Aye,” his ghostly companion confirmed, “He’s weighed down by the mighty chip on his shoulder, but surely you have no care for such things, Donald?”
“Can nothing be done for him?”
“He needs money for polls, publishing and ‘miscellaneous’, Donald. Did you never think that the money you spend on such fripperies as gold toilet seats for your aeroplanes might not be better spent elsewhere?”
By now Tiny Wings had reached his father, who scooped him up as if he were as lightweight as a feather. “I have a special surprise for you, Tiny Wings,” he said. He reached into his jacket pocket. “Look, I managed to help this little fellow gain his independence from Threshers.”
Donald craned to see what Salmond was showing to Tiny Wings. It was a gin miniature, which looked pitifully small in Salmond’s huge, workman’s hands.
“Gin?” exclaimed Trump, “Why no Scotsman should have to drink gin on Hogmanay! It’s a drink for ladies and puffs!”
Tiny Wings however seemed delighted with the meagre bottle and was beaming so brightly that all 12 of his teeth could be seen.
“It’s lovely, dad! A tiny bottle for Tiny Wings!”
Tiny Wings’ joy was infectious and, within minutes, the whole family were laughing and joking, cracking open the lager and gleefully shouting traditional Hogmanay threats.
“They have so much happiness,” marvelled Trump, “Yet they have so little.”
“How about you in your penthouse and the Queen in her castle?” asked the spirit, “You have taken and taken from Scotland and never given a penny back…have you found the same happiness that Alex and his family have? Would you have the strength to find heart, even if you knew that you and your whole family would have to go to bed this night still sober enough to drive?”
“O’ wise spirit. You have shown me so much. Let me awake from this dream so that I may run into the world and make my amends!”
“I am returning you to your bed, Donald, but you were promised three spirits and three you shall have…and the last is the most terrible of all!”
When Trump next awoke the sight he saw was too horrific for him to even scream. Stood, next to his bed, was a skeleton some seven feet tall. Only its skull and boney hands were visible, the rest of him hidden under a robe that was patterned with the familiar red, white and blue of the Union flag. The apparition carried a pole, a foot taller than itself, from which hung the tattered remains of the Saltire, reduced to just a few ragged shreds.
The figure did not move or speak and it was some minutes before Trump trusted his voice enough to speak.
“Y…you are the third spirit?” he stammered. The skull nodded forwards a fraction of an inch. “I have seen Hogmanay past and Hogmanay present, are you to show me what lies ahead?”
The same almost imperceptible nod was his reply.
“Know then, spirit, that I am mighty afraid, but I know you must show me what you must.”
The spirit reached its hand towards Trump, extending a finger that looked like it would stop a man’s heart at a touch.
“COME!” it commanded in a voice that I hope the estate of dear Terry Pratchett don’t hear about.
The instant that Trump tentatively touched the bones of the hand he found himself standing by a road on top of a hill, moors stretching off in every direction.
“I know this place,” he said, slowly looking around, “It’s the Scottish border, South of Jedburgh. My chauffeur used to drive me this way.”
“READ THE SIGN!” intoned the spectre in a voice like…look, I’ve bought all of his books, been to signings, everything, surely you can’t get shirty about me using that voice. I bought the ‘Music of Discworld’ CD; you must owe me for that, at least.
“The sign, but it just says ‘Scotland’. I’ve passed it a thousand times.” protested Trump, but he turned to look anyway. “Welcome to North Northumberland’,” he read, “No! Surely not! It doesn’t even have a Gaelic translation underneath!”
By the time he had cleared his eyes the scenery had changed and he was gazing out over an unspoiled seascape. It took him a minute to register what the spirit was showing him.
“The wind-farms, they’ve gone!” he yelled in glee, “The view from my beautiful golf-course is restored!”
“LOOK BEHIND YOU!” he was ordered with a voice like…you know what, screw you guys, you can’t copyright capital letters! I’ll see you in court!
Where his golf-course had been stood a huge estate of mock-Tudor houses, their driveways cluttered with BMWs and Audis. A gigantic billboard next to the housing read, ‘HS3 grand-opening in July. London in 2 hours!’
Trump fell to his knees, “Who has done this to my mother’s beautiful country?” he wept.
After a little while he realised that the grass beneath his knees had been supplanted by cold marble and, wiping the tears from his eyes, he realised he was on the floor of his own Holyrood office. Salmond was labouring away at his usual post, but overseeing him -from Trump’s own high desk- was none other than the buffoon-faced Boris Johnson.
“They’ve replaced me with Boris?” he wailed, “How could they do this? I’m an political powerhouse, beloved by the people, I’ve got over 2 billion Twitter followers…they tell me that I’m great and that Obama is a Kenyan and that 9/11 was a false-flag operation and…”
He stopped, realising that they were in a small, messy, malodorous bedroom. A scrawny young man was typing furiously on his computer, stopping occasionally to check the book by his side, ‘The Ladybird book of Architecture’. As Donald tried to read the screen full of un-punctuated text the author typed his final comment, in bold capitals, “JET FUEL CANT MELT STEEL BEEMS”
“Are these the people who follow me and praise me?” asked Donald in a tiny voice, “Say it isn’t so, ghost, tell me that my supporters are wise and noble!”
The shade merely pointed at the author, who was now Googling ‘Rothchild’.
“DONALD, HERE’S YOUR TRUTHERS!”
“You are too heartless, spirit! Spare me your torments! Return me to my bed!”
“THERE IS ONE MORE THING YOU MUST SEE!”
“Then show me, apparition, that our business may be concluded!”
Suddenly they were in a tangled and overgrown wilderness. The grass stood nearly knee-high and tangles of bramble bushes surrounded them. Dotted around them occasional stone islands stood proud of the untended weeds. It took Donald a minute to realise that they were in a cemetery and that it was gravestones that he could see.
The stone that lay in front of them was the only one that showed any signs of having been recently visited, as the thorns had been cleared from it and a single thistle had been laid carefully in front of it.
Trump closed his eyes, “I do not wish to see this! I will not see this!” he wailed.
“READ THE STONE!” ordered him grim companion.
His legs trembling Donald took a few steps forward and bent to read the inscription carved by unskilled hands on the pitifully small monument.
“Tiny Wings,” he read aloud, weeping, “Wee, blue, broke.”
He fell prostrate in front of the little grave and wept for many minutes before he noticed that the cold ground had been replaced by his own soft mattress.
The story concludes in Part IV
3 thoughts on “McChristmas carol – Part III”
[…] Continues in part III […]
[…] note: You know what? Don’t bother reading Part I, Part II and Part III of this story; you’re an intelligent person, you’ll soon pick up what’s […]
[…] Part III – In which we see Hogmanay in the Salmond household and meet the terrifying, and possibly copyrighted, Ghost of Hogmanay Yet to come. […]