Day 58 – Miracle on Princes Street

Expect many, many more of these.


Word count: 1227



Christmas spirit hit the high streets across the Western world like an atomic bomb on a large and densely populated city. There were rampages of shoppers storming the streets; miles and miles of tinsel coiled and wrapped around every spare inch of wall. Fake snow was being buffeted from loud clacking machines and the German Markets were now entering their second week of occupation. There were Santa’s grottos and giant sparkling reindeer; fake large candy cane and terrifically tall trees, baubles dripping off them like gold jewellery on chav.

December, despite bring joy to millions, had always been a month for Derek to dwell and descend into his own personal hell. Scrooge though he tried to be, he could not help being lured in by the guilt to buy his relatives and friends gifts. There was no way he would be able to escape un-loathed if he were to ignore the custom and to bury himself in his blankets and hibernate for six weeks.

And so it was guilt that had brought him to one of Hell’s little outlet stores on Princes Street the main shopping street in Edinburgh. A bitterly cold wind blew sharply around the corners and crevices. There was threat of snow on the weather channels, despite a clear sky above. Downing a mug of mulled wine, Derek cast aside his festive shopping fears and bravely walked into the demonic wave of zombie-like shoppers.

It was pandemonium. Arthur’s Seat might have risen from extinction and erupted again – lava pouring out like melted chocolate from a fountain. But no, alas, no such emergency was the root of this chaos. There were no resurrection of dinosaurs, there was no cash machine shooting out free money, there was no apocalyptic event at one end of the street; no earthquakes; no plane crash; no car accident and no burning buildings. It wasn’t even the last shopping weekend before the big day either. It was the start of the month – three solid blocks of shopping were left before it could all be drunkenly forgotten about.

Mid-crowd, Derek spied an opening to a shop. From first glance he’d gauged it to be empty. As he side stepped in, he discovered the grave error in his judgement. There was a wall of people. But Derek could not return to the outside world for there were at least twenty other people who had witnessed his sudden magnetic movement towards the store and chanced that he had sparked himself a bright gift idea and followed suit. Derek was pushed further into the cramped store and was soon surrounded by the chief reason the planet was dying.

Tat. Cheap tat. Thousands of it piled upon each other. Glittery wooden mice for the Christmas tree, novelty thingymagig’s for New Year’s Eve; strange contraptions that made hosting all those fabulous parties without one an impossibility. Books by alleged celebrities that no one would ever read lined the shelves; below that there were pointless little stocking fillers and odd arrangements of objects that no one under any circumstance would ever dream of needing. Derek thought to himself; there must have been miles and miles and miles of rainforests slain for the production and transportation of these wasteful curios that would have a maximum lifespan of three weeks after purchase.

Derek breathed. He could almost not cope. Quite what was keeping him going, he did not know. Currently a large portion of his strength was stemming from his fight for survival; but there was no answer at all as to why on earth Derek continued to still be in that shop. Perhaps there was something, though, in this shop after all?

As Derek was pushed and shoved by the torrent of flash flood shoppers, he caught the eye of a strangely greyish looking cardboard box. It was quite plain, quite ordinary. On the front it read the words “Two in One Cake Stand.” Derek smiled to himself. For that price he would want the secondary function to be a hand held thermal nuclear device.

There was a display product already set out slightly adjacent to the box and Derek could see its shiny ceramic surface. There was a glass top to it and it served as a very nice cake stand, though he did not quite understand the fabled secondary function.

Derek rotated the stand around and was still at a loss. He took the glass lid off expecting some miracle but was only met with slight disappointment. Not yet replacing the lid, he turned the stand upside down and his heart leapt with joy. There was a switch. A big red button.

As with all big red buttons, it brought Derek joy. It brought him more joy than to see decaying Christmas trees at the side of the road awaiting Council collection. It made him happier than knowing that come Boxing Day, there was at least another ten months before Hell returned to plague him once more.

The shoppers did not stop to look at his wonderment; they were blissfully ignorant of the events going on around them. They continued to run the race; the shopkeepers maintained the chaos and the outside world of mulled wine and gingerbread men were completely numb to the future that was being stolen from them.

Derek could not resist. The tension had been mounting for several seconds. Not a man who possessed willpower at the best of times, Derek’s resolve was depleted in simply coming shopping. There was now no reason or logic that would stop him from presssing this button.

A huge sense of relief and excitement glossed over him as he released his finger from pressing the button. The ground beneath his feet began to rumble. He placed the cake stand back on the table and looked around him. Everyone else could either not notice the rumbling or were completely ignoring it.

But Derek couldn’t: not when he was what was launching out of the cake stand. It opened up and a ball of flame burst outward as it did. From out of the cloud of smoke and ash, came a pointed dark green object. Derek knew instantly what it was. Around a few inches long, it launched straight up into the air and perpendicularly turned when it had reached a certain height. It then shot straight out the front door and up into the open air.

Derek ran outside to catch a glimpse of it disappearing into the sky – but by the time he got there something odd was happening. It was not returning back down to earth at frightening speeds. Was it going to land on his head? No, there was a much worse fate falling to earth.

Naively staring up at the missile, Derek could not anticipate the following events. The missile crashed into his head and knocked him stone cold to the floor. A second later a brilliant green light exploded from the device and a burst of the brightest white light exploded from it. It lit up for milies around. Everyone around was wiped clean from existence. Mulled wine mugs crashed to the floor; tinsel was no but piles of ash on the floor; the compulsory Christmas music was now drowned out by the torrent of air popping and the sonic boom that followed.

There was nothing left. It was over.


~ by S.G. Mark on December 4, 2011.

2 Responses to “Day 58 – Miracle on Princes Street”

  1. I love it when you draw from everyday scenarios of your life. Some great writing comes out of that.

  2. wow

    missile cake

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