Short Story: A Christmas Incident on the Motorway

Here’s a short story which I wrote all on my own for Christmas, such a brave boy. I’d also like to take this opportunity, before the drinks start flowing and I lose the capacity for words, to wish you all a very merry Christmas!

The young officer sighed as he scanned the scene. Alone at junction eight of the M3, he called for backup. “Two car collision,” he dolefully reported over his radio, “requesting backup.”

PC Waite didn’t need this; he was an hour short of shift completion. Sixty minutes of peace he longed for, and then he could go home. Home, where his wife would be prepping tomorrow’s feast. Home where his two children were excited about Santa Claus paying them a visit. Home, away from his duties, from all the hassle, for two whole days he needn’t worry about other people’s problems.

He worked the motorway patrol, usually with a partner, but Callum called in sick; skivalitis. He was instructed to continue, but should a situation arise he should immediately call for assistance. Such a thing did, “bloody typical,” he vexed as he slid his finger over the mouthpiece of his radio to mute it and avoid detection of his annoyance from HQ. He approached the first car, a small Volkswagen over-decorated in tinsel, fairy lights and bells. He clocked the driver at a mere ten miles an hour, with the window rolled down. He had observed the elderly male leaning out and peering down at the road below, as if he was frantically looking for something.

Even at this slow speed the multitude of bells attached chimed. Just when PC Waite considered pulling him over, as driving so slowly, without due care and attention was a twofold offense and dangerous, but lesser so than the distraction to other drivers caused by the bells ringing. However, as he pulled out, a, what can only be described as sleek, black, personalised, custom-built heavily armoured tactical assault vehicle hurtled up behind him, lost a wheel for want of braking, and crashed into the rear of the Volkswagen.

If PC Waite hadn’t seen such an oddity in all his years as an officer, which were few, the icing on the cake was the third vehicle, a clown car of all things, of which the assault vehicle appeared to be in pursuit of. This car though, had raced off.

The old gent in the Volkswagen looked dazed and confused, still frantically searching for something, now checking the glovebox. “Please sir,” Gavin tapped on his window, “take your hand out of the glovebox and put them where I can see them.”

“Oh,” the aged driver stumbled on his words, “I….I’m erm, I’m sorry, officer. I was, well, I was looking for my, erm, something. I erm, yes, that man in the black, erm, car, he’s a maniac! He crashed into me!”

“Yes,” Gavin replied dutifully, “I observed the incident. But I must conclude, you were driving extremely slowly, under ten miles an hour on a motorway, sir, I should inform you is highly dangerous, and against the law.”

“I was, looking….”

“Yes, you told me,” Gavin interrupted, “can I ask exactly what it was that you were looking for?”

“I’d erm, rather not say.” The man added embarrassed to his emotions, on top of the flustered he already displayed. “It’s, erm, rather personal.”

“I see,” Gavin replied, looking over the exterior of the car in astonishment. “Furthermore, you realise the masses of tinsel, fairy lights and bells you have attached to your vehicle is extremely distracting to other road users?”

“But,” the odd fellow pointed out, “it’s Christmas.” At this point he looked up at Gavin as if to plea his innocence. Recognition suddenly struck the driver, “Gavin? Gavin, is that you?”

PC Waite did not recognise the suspect and raised an eyebrow. The driver continued; excitement glowed in his tone. “Well, your dad told me you joined the force, well I never, you’ve grown up so fast.” The driver noted the policeman’s confusion. “I’m his brother, William!”

Gavin gasped, “Uncle Billy?!”

“Yes,” the man smiled. Gavin couldn’t believe it; he hadn’t heard of his uncle for so long, not since the operation. Yet he knew he must act professional. “Please, sir, stay in your vehicle, I need to check on the others involved in the incident. In the meantime, erm, William, I suggest you consider telling me what it is you’ve lost, on the motorway, as it may harm your defence if you later rely on something you didn’t inform me of at the time, okay?”

“It’s kind of hard to say,” the officer’s uncle confessed, and with a deep embarrassment he looked soberly at his own lap.

Gavin turned on his foot, knowing this would take some paperwork. He had heard rumour about the nature of his uncle’s painful operation, but never wished to believe it. Evidence would suggest his older brother was not lying. He approached the second vehicle and crunched something underfoot, nearby its rear door. He lifted his boot and observed yolk, with confusion. “An egg?”

The driver of the unknown personalised assault vehicle sat at his steering wheel dressed in a tight black bodysuit, cloak and facemask. At least he observed COVID-19 regulations, Gavin figured. Though when he put his head through the driver’s window, he was sent reeling backwards by his sense of smell.

There was a funk about this mysterious chap which owned a universe by itself. It was a pungent stink of body odour which overpowered the junior officer. The man inside detected the issue by facial expression alone.

“Part asbestos, part nomex,” the driver said in an irritated, husky tone.

“Excuse me?” PC Waite queried.

“The reason for me smelling,” the fellow expanded. “My costume is polyester-based, part asbestos, part nomex covered body-armour; a little body odour is normal. If you had to run around chasing bad guys with as much ferocity and exertion as me, wearing this getup, you would smell equally as bad.”

“I see,” PC Waite snorted, although he didn’t.

“Whatever it is you want, officer, I must inform you that you have allowed a principal criminal mind get away,” the man spoke in a deep tone.

“Were you alone in the vehicle at the time of the impact?” Gavin asked, as he thought he saw a strange character dressed in a red waistcoat, green tights and a yellow cloak flee the scene.

“My assistant was with me,” the driver explained with a sigh, “we’ve been through this so many times in the past; some say he flew away; others suggest he laid an egg.”

Gavin looked perplexed, though it might explain why there was indeed an egg under his boot. “He is a bird,” the stranger elucidated, “you see?”

After much deliberation Gavin responded. “I think I see what is going on here. I am in touch with modern culture, you know.”

“In which case,” the driver retorted, “allow me to fix my wheel and attend to capturing the assailant, which, if you were a better policeman, you would be assisting me with.”

“Please wait, sir,” Gavin insisted, “I need to report back to my base.”

“I only talk to chief commissioner Gordon,” the driver informed Gavin.

PC Waite moved away from the vehicle, and called in on his radio. The voice was his direct superior. “Ah, PC Waite, any progress down there? I mean, have you established the cause of the crash?”

“Yes sir. But you’re not going to believe me.”

His chief replied, “try me.”

“Very well sir,” Gavin explained, “jingle bells.”

There was a momentary pause, “jingle bells, are you sure, jingle…?” The chief sounded astonished.

“All the way,” Gavin added nervously.

The voice over the radio sounded part alarmed, part concerned. “I am sending backup, PC Waite, are there any dangers on the scene your fellow officers should be made aware of?”

He didn’t want to, but Gavin replied, “Batman smells.”

“I see,” came the reply, “any witnesses?”

“Robin, flew away, or he laid an egg,” PC Waite replied. “Can’t be sure at this early stage, sir.”

“And the condition of the vehicles?”

“The Batmobile lost a wheel,” Gavin sighed with embarrassment.

“And anyone else involved?”

“The Joker, sir, but he got away.”

The sound of his chief scratching his head with worry concerned the young officer. After a cold silence his radio spoke once more. “I think you should relieve yourself of your duty with immediate effect, PC Waite. Either you are under a lot of stress, or your idea of work banter is beyond what is expected of an officer of the law. Is there anything you’d like to inform me about the incident, I mean, what about the other person involved?”

Gavin sighed and took a deep breath, “it’s my Uncle Billy, sir, I erm, I believe he’s somehow managed to lose his willy, on the motorway.”

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