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Festive Flash

Latest flash fiction competition in the #cwipFlasherSeries


Festive Flash Competition

OH, MY WITTY WORDSMITHS – have you delivered! Meaning yes you HAVE delivered with your fabulous, ‘faux pas’ festive mishaps. (In fact some of you were so festive, your entries went a titsy bit over - and as marvellous as they were - we stuck with the 250 words - bah humbug to us)


This year we had more entries than ever before - proving that we are all out there – throbbing with wit and in need for an outlet as well as a happy appreciative audience. Well, CWIP IS your audience, and we are thrilled to read your hilairites. All of them a glorious mix of wry, rude, ironic, and punchy, festive mini essays.

The following words are funny - even on their own: We had: Charades, secret Santa gone awol, tampon décor, immortalised dog, Xmas in A and E, dead Santa, vibrator fun, false teeth mishap, wrong gifting, sherry overflow, the day after boxing day, optician mishap, buttock reveal, caught on baby monitor, tandem bungie jump gifting, older sex, pudding on fire, meat trick for a veggie, eating trifle from bowl, gender equality and Xmas, messy toddlers, Beef Wellington and a dog stitch, love bites, Lavender gifting, Grumpy Father Xmas, too many guests, turkey trots, bonking at Xmas, chocolate thief, Dave or Tom dilemma, a dead neighbour, another secret Santa with soap, parents-in-law pressure, awkward traditions, Elf on shelf drama, lost in Wales, Scotch Egg theft, parting gift cock-up, turkey burial, randy rabbit, rickshaw accident, cervical cap error, Tiny Tears gone wrong, Betrayal on phone, worrying cake icing, family row, gravy mishap, unexplained gifts, crackers, Tequilla slime, Thatcher T shirt, awkward table talk, dog guest, X large dressing gown, escaped hoover, bleached derrière, cat thief, hair remover, jam/sauce mix up, grandad’s gags, dogfood error, dog for Xmas, party puckering, stolen decorations, downstairs loo embarrassment, Santa attack, another elf - quite rude, step-family mayhem, nativity play disaster, Xmas vomit, burned biscuits, vicar mistake, dodgy donkey sitch, summer Xmas with gaping swim suit, masticating vet, mouldy Xmas food and er.. pants for all!

We love you for venturing in and giving such pleasure with pithy, succinct, knowing passages that painted pictures and conjured life’s disasters - all in 250 witty words or less. All entries were really good fun and laughter provoking. Just know you have made other people happy, that you can write brilliantly and thank goodness you are out there, making sure your witty voices crack on.


Brilliant! As we know, one person’s winning wit is another person’s also ran and vice versa - we have listened and wrangled, debated, and juggled - and with the help of the wonderful Deborah Frances-White - here is the winner! (Although we are all winners as we know), followed closely by these other five pearls of awkwardness.

The winner gets £100 to be spend on tights, fabric, crackers or what you will – runners up get sent a festive CWIP witty book bundle…

WINNER - Ellie Hughes

It was Christmas Eve and I was a proud new seasonal worker on the delicatessen of a well-known high-end supermarket. As yet another wax-jacketed local squire foolishly trusted 16-year-old-me to hand-carve their Christmas ham, I dejectedly contemplated the meagre collection of Christmas presents my family would be receiving from me the next morning. I glanced across the cheese counter as I nonchalantly hacked away at a hind leg of pork, and had an idea to improve my offering: a beautiful board of delicious cheeses for everyone to enjoy after our turkey! I asked my colleague if there was a staff discount. “Of course there is,” he replied. “We just put everything through on the scales as scotch eggs.” It was my first job, and this seemed entirely reasonable. What I didn’t realise then was that this subterfuge was intended as a harmless practical joke.

As I entered the staff room an hour later for my break, clutching my “scotch eggs”, the branch manager stopped me and asked me into his office. I was proud of my cheese board idea, and had not been discreet. Once inside, I unwrapped my little white packages at his request, each revealing a fraudulently-labelled, very expensive cheese. I was sacked immediately. The member of security tasked with escorting me off the premises, embarrassed by my tears, suggested that we slip out through the milk aisle to avoid a public walk of shame; where we bumped into my proud parents, stocking up on double cream.

RUNNER UP - Lindsey Jenkinson

Gordon's Bottom


“Has he passed a motion?” the vet brayed, through a spray of mince pie.

“No. It’s still in there. Sort of.”

The vet swallowed loudly and wiped her mouth on her sleeve. She caught me looking. “Not

had time to get dressed,” she said, apologetically. I clocked her outfit. Elf pyjamas. Well, it was only 7:30am.

The vet shoved the last of the pie into her mouth with one hand and lifted Gordon’s tail with the other, prompting a lethal fart from Gordon’s rear end. The embedded tinsel quivered in the wind. The vet, seemingly unfazed by the smell, went in for a closer look. Her enormous glasses only inches from Gordon’s furry bumhole.



The vet masticated for an awkwardly long time. I tried to focus on Gordon’s bottom. His grey fur really made the pink tinsel pop.

“How long’s it been in there?”

“He ate it last night,” I replied, noticing the vet’s crumb moustache.

The vet gave the tinsel a little tug. “S’nearly out so we’ll give him something to help it along.”

Injection administered, the vet picked up the mince pie box from the side and tore into one. Seconds later Gordon howled then sprayed a pile of wet brown, formerly pink, tinsel out of his bottom straight onto the vet’s Santa slippers, then he leapt up and ripped the pie clean out of her hands.

“That’ll be six hundred and fifty three pounds, please,” she said. “Plus ninety-nine pee for

the pies.

RUNNER UP - Rachel Woollett

To Russia With Lust

The only reason I sat on an itchy hassock through the two-hour Christmas service was that the Belarusian church organist, Victor, was my lover, and I’d brought him a little something.


Victor had been a good boy all year, or at least since July, when I first met him buying bratwurst at the meat counter in Lidl, and my Christmas present to him was a night of unfettered festive lust. I was going to pull out his knobs, blow his pipes and build to a syncopated crescendo.


His Christmas card, with the full-frontal, nude photo of me on, was in my handbag and contained a voucher with an IOU for an entire oratorio of unholy sexual favours.


After the service, I sidled up to my Eastern European Adonis, who was chatting to the vicar. An elderly verger shuffled across, holding a red envelope.


‘This must be for you Vicar,’ he said. ‘I found it on a seat.’


As Father O’Reilly opened the envelope, the blood drained from my face. I noticed it wasn’t addressed to ‘Vicar’ at all, but ‘Victor’. It was my full frontal! It must have fallen out of my bag!


The man of God pulled out the card, got an eyeful of my shaven haven, then read the words ‘To the man with the most magnificent organ I’ve ever seen’ underneath.


The awkward silence that followed was broken only by the verger, holding a china plate aloft, asking, ‘Anyone for a minge pie… I mean, mince pie?’.

RUNNER UP - Anna Harvey

Whole Thing


The flushed faces were lined up on the sofa that Dan’s mum said cost more than a new kitchen. They knew I was crap at charades after last year. Dan whispered: St. Nicholas: The Real Story in my ear. He grinned up at me holding his glass of it-has-to-be-French wine as I stood in the middle like an overboiled sprout in my green dress. He couldn’t wait to tell our friends what an idiot I looked.

I did the movie sign.

Dan’s dad guffawed. “What’s that? Film?”

Impossible-to-act-words rolled around in my head.

“Go on,” Dan prompted, “Five words. Whole thing.” He plucked the Christmas hat off Lollie the pug’s head and threw it at me: his plan from the start.

Lollie’s owner, former Shakespearian actor Aunt Catherine muttered, “Do get on with it,” crossing legs clad in what she called ‘slacks’.

I made a T with my fingers and Dan’s family chorused “THE” like they’d just got a question on

University Challenge.

“Third word,” Dan explained.

A premonition of another Christmas flashed up, my future children standing right here. I bit my

thumbnail. Dan shouted “Bite” and shrugged when I fired him a filthy look.

Nick-o-lass. Lass? I pointed to myself. They shouted: “Girl”, “Dress”, “Stain”.

My brain was screaming suggestions:



I reached under my dress, pulled down my pants and stepped out of them. So there was no doubt, I put on the dog’s hat before signing a large circle to the silent room.

RUNNER UP - Chrystel Marincich 

A Summery Christmas

For this (humiliating) Christmas story to make sense, you should know I am from South America;

we equate Christmas with a shiny sun and boiling weather. Our Santa wears a short-sleeved vest and shorts. Naturally, the way my family celebrates Christmas is playing the ultimate pool volleyball match (why this has not become an official sport already is beyond me).

You should also know that I am very cheap. Like the-last-time-I-bought-a-new-bathing-suit-

was-15-years-ago cheap—I don’t care if it doesn’t really fit me anymore, and that it is (slightly)

translucid, it still works perfectly fine, thank you very much. Or so I thought.

The setting: a bright summer’s Christmas day, the family gathered in my parent’s backyard,

the most competitive of us playing pool volleyball. I jump to spike the ball, when I suddenly feel a bit of a breeze on my behind. It took me a few seconds to realise why. My bathing suit had decided enough was enough, and it embraced the art of spontaneous deconstruction, splitting right down the middle. I asked my laughing family to turn around so I could get out of the pool, my sister holding the two parts of the bathing suit from behind so I would not flash an unsuspecting innocent. At least only my immediate family was present. And part of the extended family. And family friends. 

Did I learn my lesson and buy a new bathing suit? Of course not! I told you; I am cheap.

#handmedownsrule #cheapwins!

RUNNER UP - Nan Bovington

This year I’ve cracked it! Three rules for the perfect Christmas Day; don’t sleep, label

everything, organise the fridge.

‘This fridge isn’t organised’ he says .

‘It’s prioritized’’ I say.


‘The trifle is outside,’’


‘The garden is colder than the fridge.’

‘‘And the Beef Wellington?’

‘Done,’ I say, pointing smugly at the magnificently decorated pastry parcel, resting like an

overpampered courtesan on the lowest shelf of the fridge.

‘Bonzo is whining’’

‘His food is in the labelled bag in the fridge door.’

Seconds later Bonzo is hoovering the contents of his bowl.

‘Does Bonzo normally eat paté and mushroom duxelles?’ he asks, squinting at the label.

‘Of course not,’ I reply, ‘shallots are poisonous for dogs and there’s Armagnac in the patė.’

Three interminable seconds drag by before I begin hyperventilating, then scrabbling in the

bin, finally excavating an empty bag labelled, ‘Bonzo Food’.

In excruciating slo-mo, I rewind to last night, and see myself weeping copiously to my ‘Sad

Christmas’ mix, draining the Christmas Madeira, while ‘enrobing’ the beef fillet from the wrong bag.

‘Daddy? Why is Mummy crying into the bin?’’

The other child arrives, ‘Mummy, Daddy, I’ve seen The Christmas Squirrel!’’

‘Not now, Dear’

‘But it’s sitting in a bowl outside and has frozen cream on its whiskers, and hundreds and

thousands all over its face. Can we keep it?’’

The first child reappears wailing.

‘What now?’’

‘It’s Bonzo, he’s thrown up over the presents under the tree and fallen over. I think he’s


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