Too cold for ice cream
Mike walks to the back of the ice cream van and opens the door “Can I play in the snow uncle mike” said a small girl sitting cross legged on a red sofa wedged tight in the back of the van. Mike looks down at the grey slush. Tommy turns round in the drivers seat where he is putting a steering lock on the steering wheel “ no because you'll get dirty and have all the fun and we'll get yelled at by your mum” Mike takes a clamp out of the back of the van and fits it to the left rear wheel. Tommy joins Mike at the back and they start pulling on the sofa “well can I play with your computer then uncle Mike” Robin looks over at the open laptop next to her on the sofa “not that one wait till we get in” Mike and Tommy put the sofa down on the pavement Robin waves at a CCTV camera hovering across the street and watches herself wave back on mike's laptop. Tommy closes and locks the back of the van. Tommy and Mike pick the sofa back up and Robin stands up on the sofa and jumps into a pile of the grey slush sending it flying in all directions
The door to the flat opens and Mike enters backwood then Robin on the sofa followed by Tommy holding the other end of the sofa. “I'm cold” “that's because you jumped in the snow” replays Tommy “I'm wet” “I know” “I'm cold and wet and dirty and I need a wash” Tommy and Mike put the sofa down in the living room full of boxes of canned drinks. Tommy walks into the bath room. robin hops off the sofa and follows him. Tommy reaches into the shower tuns the knobs till the cold water becomes warm. He tuns to Robin “don't be too long we need you dry before your mum gets back” Tommy heads back into the living room. Mike hads the sofa upside down and is pulling staples out of the bottom “she going to be OK in there on her own?” “ yeah she'll be fine” Tommy didn't sound convinced but he thought a grown man washing a young girl was a bit wrong even if she is his niece. he starts helping Mike remove the upholstery.
Robin runs through the living room raped in a towel into the room she shers with her mum leaving wet foot prints behind her. Tommy goes to turn off the shower Robin marched back into the living room with a hair dryer “who wants to dry my hair” “give it hear” Mike holds out his hand to take the hair dryer. She holds the hair dryer close to the chest and looks at him with suspicion “can you do it like mummy does so I look pretty for Santa” “how would it be possible to mack you look ugly” she hands over the hair dryer
Robin and her mum Emma hadn't lived with Mike and Tommy long. Mike had got the flat using a new start grant from the GHS. It's not easy to get a new start grant there's a lot of paper work Mike wouldn't have been able to complete it while going through withdrawal but Tommy had filled out the forms before for Emma when she got pregnant without a license and under age but her application was unsuccessful when mike's application was successful it was agreed the they would use the grant for a deposit on the largest flat they could afford and Emma and Robin would move in with them once mike had completed his rehab program.
Emma opens the door to the flat and drops a box full of fabric “are you still up” Robin is sitting cross legged on the floor moving a cartoon mouse round the screen of one of Mike's laptops. “she said she's too excited to sleep” Tommy is pulling a nail out of the wooden carcass of the sofa. “she's got you two rapped round her little finger” Mike looks up from a laptop he has in bits on the floor. ”I'm not rapped any round ones finger” “go get the rest of my stuff out the car” “fine” Mike leaves the flat “now I think it's time you got to bed I'll be in to read you a story after I've helped uncle Mike unload the car” Emma heads back out the door and down the stairs.
They come back in ten minutes later and dump there boxes next to a pile of wood and red fabric. Emma goes into her bed room. Mike nods at Tommy and they head down the stairs. In the ice cream van Mike takes a box full of vegetables out of the freezer and parses them to Tommy. Then he opens the drinks fridge the glass door of which had been coverd with posters so Robin couldn't see in and takes out a dead skinless fox.
“ have you got any idea how to cook that thing” Mike shrugs “I'm just going to wing it” Fox is not often eaten not because tastes bad but because it harder to catch then pigeons and squirrels. Mike and Tommy had set up a trap under the ice cream van in the hope of catching something special for Christmas and it work first time so they set it up the next night and once again they caught a fox. The first fox was saved for Christmas dinner the second the skinned and sold to a friend with a burger van.
Emma come out of her room the holding “the hungry hungry beaver” Mike is trying cut the fox down to a size which will fit in the oven. “she asleep?” “ yeah she was asleep before the hungry beaver had eaten his way through miss browns herb garden, I'm pretty shoer all kids books are about drugs or sex” she goes over to one of the boxes she had brought back from work, digs around in it and pulls a fox skin poncho out. She lays it on the floor folds it neatly then raps it in brown paper. Mike hacks at the fox with a knife trying to remove the hind legs and Tommy feeds the off cuts in to a hand crank mincer. “so how was work today” Emma turned to Tommy “insane I cant believe how many people leave shopping till Christmas eve. I sold my best stock weeks ago. next year I may hold some back for Christmas eve and up the price, oh and I even sold that gray material with the tea stains on”
at ten midnight Mike is still struggling. he has got all fore legs off and is now hacking away at the neck and Tommy is cutting the liver to make pate despite not know how pate is made. Emma finishes put up the plastic tree and stars untangling the faery light
two long hours later the three of them sit on a sofa which has been patch up with bits of fabric Emma can't sell. Mike has put the joint of fox meat in the oven and half calculated half guest it will be roasted perfectly by round about lunch time ish. Tommy had made shore no part of the fox had gone to waste with a variety of dishes none of which look like they were meant to and Emma decorated the living room rap of robin's presents inclining the fox fur poncho from Mike and Tommy which she had spent hours making, and put all the presents under the tree. “well I'm ready for bed” Tommy get up goes to his room “me too” Emma head to the bath room to cleans here teeth and take off her make up off. Mike spreads out on the sofa pulls his blanket over him self and falls asleep. Emma walk across the live room and in to her bed room. The bed crick as she lay down. “Santa?” Robin rubs her eye, get out of bed and creeps to the living room. It light by faery light which as far as she know have just magically appeared along with a tree and tinsel and baubles and presents. She fills her lungs with air then shout at the top of her voice “ wake up it Christmas”