This short story is best read with a glass of mulled wine and a sleepy festive smile.
CAUTION: Contains explicit language. (I had to draw the cutesy line somewhere).
Merry Christmas, dear reader.
'That won't hold together, you tit.' Chris picked bits of melting ice from the palm of his right glove.
Phil scrunched the snow into a tighter ball. 'It'll hold long enough to hit that fat one in the chin.'
'Go for the eye.' Tyson leapt up from behind the crumbling wall. 'There might be a shard of ice left in it and then...YAOWCH!' Tyson clutched his eye and pretended to fall back down.
Phil snickered. Chris didn't.
A large dollop of sleet streamed over their heads.
'God's sake!' Chris hunched his shoulders. 'These dickheads are throwing faster. We've got all this stuff laying about. Come on!'
Tyson slid his hand along the top of an abandoned gate. He rolled up a thin slither of yellow snow. 'Hell yeah!' He held it in front of Chris's face.
'Piss off.' Chris peeked over the top of the wall. 'Get more snow. Put that stuff on top.'
Tyson sniffed the yellow blob. 'Smells like dog and cat piss.'
'Good, but it's not enough to hit them with on its own. It might miss.'
'How are these, Chris?' Phil held three large snowballs in one shaky arm.
'Great. Save them for the final attack though. They're so heavy they probably won't travel that far.'
'I've got some little ones too.'
'Let's have them.'
Phil handed Chris two snowballs that fit perfectly into the palms of his hands. Chris lobbed them at a shoulder sticking out at the left side of the opposition's fort. The first hit on target; the second knocked the first one off.
'Woo!' Phil punched the air.
'Arms down, tit.'
'Oh ay.' Chris said, glancing over the top. 'Something's going on over there.'
'The Holy House. Front garden.'
"The Holy House" was no different from the other semi-detached houses on the street, except for the fact that it was coloured a faded pink. It was holy because the Harrisons lived there.
Paul and Anna Harrison, the kids, walked out from their front porch onto the grass.
'Hey, hey! It's the Protestors!' Tyson shouted.
'Protestants.' Phil muttered in his ear.
'Protestors doesn't make any sense.' Chris didn't turn his head.
Tyson wasn't listening, he was busy gathering more snow.
A snowball hit Phil square in the nose. 'Aww, you've got to be...'
'I told you to keep your arms down. It makes you a perfect target.' Chris turned around. 'The bright red scarf doesn't help either.'
'You do know this isn't actual war, don't you?' Phil wiped water off the tip of his nose.
'Of course it isn't. These twats don't have any honour.'
'Oi! Protestors! Catch!' Tyson hurled the yellow-tipped snowball at the Harrison children.
Phil flinched. Chris jumped up.
The snowball fell before it even crossed the road. Paul and Anna looked at the fallen snowball then stared at Tyson.
'Waste!' Chris dragged him down.
Paul and Anna remained in the exact same spot and stared at Chris' fort. Paul was the eldest so he took Anna by the hand.
Everyone stopped preparing ammunition to see what would happen next.
'They don't look happy.' Phil spoke.
'They're religious. They never look happy.' Chris said.
Phil turned to him. 'Maybe they think it's a hate crime.'
'What's a hate crime?' Tyson whispered.
'They're religious and we're not.' Chris snapped, "We threw something at them. Put it together.'
'Do we hate them?' Tyson spoke up.
'Well I don't.' Phil said, 'My mum says she raised me Christian. I was christened and everything.'
'I was christened too,' Chris said, 'and I've never been to church a day in my life since.'
'Still counts.' Phil turned to grab more snow.
'How would these two know you were christened? You probably went to the wrong church.'
'Don't they keep record?'
Chris looked at Phil and squinted. 'A church record? Don't be a tit.'
'Should we do something?' Tyson asked, 'Let them play?'
Phil tucked his scarf beneath his coat. 'I think they're going somewhere.'
'A quick one then?'
'Shut up, you.' Phil smirked.
Chris stood up. Phil and Tyson stared at him. The opposition did nothing.
Chris raised his hand and waved.
At first Paul and Anna did nothing. Then, a few seconds later, Paul shifted his head slightly. It might have been a nod but Chris was too far away to tell. Chris knelt back down behind the wall.
'Can we get back to the game now?' Tyson whined.
'You hand them directly to me.'
Tyson slinked back.
Chris straightened up and turned to Phil. 'What else do we have?'
A snowball slammed into the heel of Tyson's boot. It shattered, casting soggy bits of dead grass around his side of the wall. 'YAOWCH!' he cried out.
Chris looked up and over. The fat boy was stood up. He had two large snowballs melting in each hand. He wasn't looking in their direction.
Anna was now kneeling down in the snow gathering a large heap. Paul was still standing, wiping something from his gloves. He may have been grinning but Chris was too far away to tell.