Arthur Dent's First Prehistoric Christmas

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The  Post
Christmas  Prose  Competition   2008

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Arthur Dent's First Prehistoric Christmas by Terran

"No that's not how Christmas goes at all", explained Arthur dent to the somewhat confused Caveman. He had covered himself in rabbit skins, and was holding some eggs.

"Look how many times do I have to explain, eggs are for Easter." The caveman looked glum.

"It's okay, I know you're trying your best." Arthur sighed.

"I mean what's the point? Its going to be two million years before the man is going to be born anyway. Last Christmas was very different, Ford did this thing were the table was off the floor of the pub, and everyone wondered how he did it. If I'd known he was an alien then I wouldn't have been looking for the strings when it fell on me. Silly really. Well I hope he's having more fun than I am anyway."

In front of him the caveman in the bunny-made suit started pointing at something behind Arthur. "What is it now? Another cloud that looks like the Sphinx?"

Arthur turned around only to be astonished by what he saw in the sky... it was a sleigh. At first he thought it must have somehow have been Ford Prefect in the seat, but the being that was controlling the sleigh (moved by six rhinos... for some reason), was a green black eyed alien... wearing a Father Christmas costume.

Arthur's jaw dropped, whilst in the background the cavemen where jumping up and down pointing. "What on Earth?"

The sleigh, pulled by six rhinos, and driven by an alien in a red fluffy outfit, approached the group and landed not far away. Most of the cavemen (apart from the Easter caveman, who didn't really want to run holding eggs) moved away to a safe rock to hide behind. Leaving Arthur, somewhat bemused, to speak to the Santa/alien.

The alien threw the reigns aside, with the rhinos grunting and apparently rutting, and jumped off the sleigh. As he approached Arthur Dent, the alien appeared to have a swagger.

"Okay here's the deal bud, you get one present, and it can be anything, but afterwards I have to wipe your memory."

"Erm...what?" said Arthur.

"I mean not your whole memory of course, but the bit about me giving presents. Don't want people to know it was me you see. Got to keep this present giving thing a secret you know."

Arthur just boggled at him. In the great scheme of things that had happened to him—primarily having the Earth blow up on him, and then ending up in the pre-history period of said planet —this was not the greatest surprise he had ever had. But all the same it was fairly unusual. "So you can give me any present I want, but I can never remember that I have it, or that you've given it to me?"

"You're quick", said the alien/Santa impatiently.

"And this can be anything? Like a holiday or a space ship or something?"

"Yep", said the alien looking at Arthur sideways.

Arthur thought about it for a moment. And it seemed to be a bad idea. "Ok", he said anyway. "I'll have a..."

A few hours later he woke up, the last thing he could remember was that he'd been talking to a caveman wearing a rather gruesome Easter bunny costume.

Just then the alien came back. Of course Arthur didn't know who it was, but the alien approached him like he knew him anyway. "Okay what's the gag?" said the alien annoyed.

"What? I'm sorry but... erm who are you?" said a confused Arthur.

"Don't play soft, you must have tricked me. Where is it?"

"Where is what?"

"My sleigh?!" said the alien.

Arthur Dent couldn't make sense of the conversation. "What?!"

Just then over the hill could be seen a sleigh with an Easter bunny/caveman flying it... it was the most surreal thing Arthur Dent had seen in... well the last five minutes.

Suddenly it started going down and crashed over the mountain with an almighty bang, and smoke could be seen from the distance.

"Oh great," said the alien "Do you know how much those things cost?" Curiously the alien wasn't so concerned about his rhinos (who were saved by a freak localized and apparently random hurricane which landed them safely 100 miles away...).

"No," said Arthur curiously "how much?"

"A lot" said the alien.


"Right well I'm taking your present back."

Arthur boggled at him, for the second time (but only the first that he could remember) that day. "I'm sorry, present?"

"You know" started the alien "I try to be nice, do a good job, get paid a fantastic salary, and what do I get? Abuse. There's no pleasing people." He shook his head. "Right well...", the alien took a small remote off Arthur which he had no clue was there, "I'll have to use this to get back. Last time I give you a present... you're on my list sunshine!"

With that the alien disappeared in to thin air.

Arthur stared at the space that had just occupied an alien for a moment before blinking. Behind him a caveman shuffled in to view, wearing an increasingly poor excuse for an Easter bunny outfit. He coughed.

"Well..." started Arthur, and shrugged his shoulders. "Better, get the decorations up. Are you coming?" Arthur vaguely asked the caveman, who promptly collapsed from exhaustion. "Oh well... suit yourself then... I bet Ford doesn't have to put up with this."

... Somewhere on another continent a man from Betelgeuse, called Ford Prefect, was attempting to do the conga in honour of Arthur Dent, with some of the locals. It was a couple of million years early, but Ford had effectively organised the first office party. One day, he thought, he might tell Arthur about it—but then he was having far too much fun and forgot. And started another conga line.

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