Paul sat at his girlfriend’s parent’s house.


He’d agreed to go for Christmas. Well – it wasn’t so much an agreement as an order, but he wasn’t going to complain out loud.


He still felt terrible and it was at least two days after drinking with Andy. The night was still a blank. He remembered talking to Andy about stories. Well, not so much remembered but that’s all he’d been talking about recently. And then there was going to bed and his terrible hangover.


Which wasn’t being helped by the snoring of his girlfriend’s dad.


Paul looked across at the sleeping man, mouth open, drooling onto his jumper. On the TV the latest in a long line of Christmas special Soap Operas. He had long since cared which love triangle was being displayed for his pleasure now. But the remote was firmly locked in his grasp.


His story experimentation had been going quite well. The Fairy Tale generator was fantastic. He felt a terrible pain starting behind his eyes. He was talking about stories, how story engines could be used.


“Christ.” He hissed. The pain becoming splitting. 


Paula’s dad moaned and grunted, mid-snore. “Wha? Wha? What was that?”


“Nice. I was just saying Nice, Pete. The Jumper. It’s very nice.”


“Ah yes. Wife’s idea. I think it looked smashing in the catalogue.” He pointed the remote at the TV like it was a weapon. Let’s see what’s on here, shall we? Oh, I like this one.” And he settled down for another, indistinguishable soap.


Five minutes later he was asleep again, snoring but this time drooling on the other side of this jumper.


He looked down at his Christmas presents. A novelty pair of slippers – bunny. And the Christmas Jumper.


Bright Red, of course, with a snow scene, chunky reindeer and holly.


He sighed. At least it wasn’t soap. But they hadn’t met the delightfully eccentric grandmother yet.


Still, the Wine was OK though.


“Cheers.” He toasted the TV.


***


Author Sanders Toasted through the Write Portal. “Cheers, you miserable bastard. I had to go through that, I don’t see why you should have it any different.”


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