Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (23) Another Highfinch Curate (Part 07)
He didn’t want to broach the subject in front of the ladies so he waited until they were on their own back at the Vicarage that evening.
“What’s the matter sis?”
“Christmas is the matter” she replied
“But you love Christmas” he reminded her
“Yes but It’s such a busy time, there is so much going on, Advent, Christingle, Carol Concert and the Bazaar and everyone is watching me to see if I screw up”
“But you’ve been here for ten years” he said “this is hardly your first Christmas”
“Yes but it’s my first Christmas as the Vicar” she said worriedly
“Look you’ve already ticked off the first Sunday of advent and the Bazaar is totally covered, so stop worrying” he reassured her.
For Reverend Jenna Lawton the run up to the second weekend of advent was a test of endurance and the success of the first weekend of Advent under her belt she still approached the Second weekend with little confidence despite her brother’s words of comfort.
On Friday lunchtime Brian was required at the Church Hall for his final fitting, so he walked over from the Golf Course in his meal break.
But before he could get in the door of the Church Hall his sister the Vicar burst out of it.
“It’s a total disaster” Jenna blurted out “Trevor Gurney has appendicitis”
“Oh no” Brian said “is he ok?”
“What?” she said as if confused by the question
“Trevor” he clarified “is he ok?”
“Oh shit,” the Vicar exclaimed, “I never thought to ask”
“So what’s the disaster then?” He enquired
“Trevor is the chief Elf to your Santa,” she explained
“So what’s the problem?” he said “can’t we just find someone to fill his shoes?”
“It’s not his shoes that are the problem” Jenna explained
“He’s a six foot stick insect with a bum like a twelve year old boy”
“Oh” Brian said unhelpfully
“We can’t get anyone else with their own costume at this late stage” she went on
Brian went to speak but she was in full flow and cut him off
“No! We can’t hire a costume they’re all gone, and if we put one of the volunteers in Trevor’s costume they will just look ridiculous”
“Don’t you think a six foot Elf is ridiculous anyway?” Brian remarked
“He’s a very good Elf” Jenna said indignantly “and he supplied his own costume”
“So let me get this straight we need someone six feet tall, stick thin with an arse like a 12 year old boy” he asked
“Yes” Jenna replied crossly, “That’s why it’s a disaster”
“I know just the person,” he said
“Really?” she asked doubtfully
“Really” he said and taking out his mobile phone he got up his contacts list, scrolled down and hit call.
“Rosie? Where are you?”
“I’m here” she said suddenly emerging from the Church Hall
“What are you doing tomorrow?” he asked and put his phone away.
The Vicar paced up and down like an expectant father while looking her Curate up and down.
“I don’t believe it, the solution was right under my nose all the time” she said
“Will you do it?” She asked eventually
“Do what?” Rosie asked
“Be the chief Elf to my Santa” he said “You are uniquely qualified”
“Ok” Rosie agreed
“Sorted” Brian replied
“Thank you God” Jenna said looking to the heavens and crossing herself “and thank you Brian”
“You’re perfect Rosie, I can’t believe I didn’t see it” she said
“You obviously don’t spend as much time looking at her as I do” Brian said and then blushed at the realization that he’d said it out loud.
Jenna didn’t notice but Rosie did and she was smiling as she went back inside.
Jenna just kissed his cheek before going off to belatedly enquire about Trevor’s state of health.
Brian followed her into the hall where the ladies swarmed around him like they were preparing Cinderella for the ball.
He tried on the suit and measurements were taken by women muttering to one another with their mouths full of pins and it was agreed it would be ready by Friday without fail and after the ladies had finished doing their thing, he returned to work in a good frame of mind and very much looking forward to the big day.