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Surfing Santas and Sandmen

Minus two with freezing fog? Not this year

Catrin ran full tilt, her bare feet kicking up sand. Gleaming in the sunlight, her long auburn hair billowed out behind her like a sheet of flames. Without breaking stride, she glanced over her shoulder, and shrieking, picked up the pace.

With the bells on her felt antlers jangling raucously and peals of laughter ringing from her throat, heads turned to look as Catrin smashed headlong into a huge, smirking Sandman.


It was a scene of utter carnage. Sand exploded everywhere as the unfortunate sculpture was obliterated. Shaken, but unhurt, sand-covered Catrin crawled from the ruins.

“Hey, you okay?”

Someone grabbed her arm and Catrin cautiously opened her eyes. Standing over her, a shocked expression on his face and a plastic bucket in his hand, was a man she’d never seen before.

“You okay?” he repeated, staring.

“I’m fine, yes. Oh no…” Catrin put a hand to her mouth, gaping at the mountain of sand. “Was that in the competition?”

The man opened his mouth to speak, but Catrin never heard his reply. At that moment, two strong arms circled her waist, and she was swept off her feet.

“Got ya!” cried a triumphant voice.

“Dave, no,” Catrin screeched, “put me down.”


“It was a joke. A silly joke.”

“And now you’re going to pay.” Hoisting her over his shoulder, Catrin’s captor started to run.

“No, don’t… not the sea.”

Catrin twisted and thrashed to no avail. Bumped along on Dave’s shoulders, she was heading straight for the surf. The sound of the breakers grew louder, and the pale sand beneath Dave’s feet darkened to a deeper shade, glistening with moisture.

“Dave,” she pleaded when they reached the shallows. “It was a joke.”

“So’s this.”


Tossed from his arms, Catrin entered the sea with an almighty splosh. The cold water hit her sun-toasted skin, knocking the breath out of her. “Ugh… Dave you-”

“Now, now.” He grinned. “Chilly, isn’t it?”

Catrin spluttered. “You total… I poured a tiny bit of water on you. Tiny.”

Iced water, remember? And you poured it down my back.”

“True, but…” A large wave knocked Catrin off her feet. She disappeared under the surface, arms flailing.

Dave grabbed her and hauled her upright. “Oh babe, are you okay?”

He sounded concerned but, after Catrin had rubbed the water from her eyes, she saw the delight in Dave’s eyes. Huffing, she tossed back her hair, showering him with water.

“Hey!” Dave shielded his eyes.

With a smile melting her frown, Catrin splashed him.

“Oh, you want to play?” Dave splashed her back. “Your face…” he said, grinning. “By the way, your antlers fell off. Hang on…” Ignoring Catrin’s relentless splashing, he dived after something floating beside her. “Here. Stop attacking me and put them on.”

Catrin giggled. “Thank you.”

“And I’ll put my Santa hat back on.” He extracted a triangle of red material from inside his swimming trunks. He wrung it out, shook it and pulled it onto his head. “There. Now we look the part again.”

Catrin nodded, antler bells chiming. “Yes, we do.”

“And isn’t it lovely?” Dave smiled.

Yes, it was. Shielding her eyes against the sun, Catrin gazed at all the bathers frolicking in the rolling waves and, beyond them, the crowds of revellers on the beach. She’d never seen so much skimpy red swimwear, floppy Santa hats, and smiles.

Turning her head, her gaze fell upon the row of carefully sculpted sandmen patiently waiting to be judged. She snorted with laughter… that poor man.

“It’s wonderful,” she breathed. “How very different to home.” Drawing Dave into her arms, Catrin kissed him. “Any regrets?”

“No. None.”

“Was it worth all that overtime and months of beans on toast?”

“Definitely.” Dave hugged her. “Are you still cold?”

“No. Not a bit. It’s lovely once you get used to it.” Catrin suddenly tittered. “Tell me again. Go on.”

“Tell you what?”

“You know.”

“Aw… okay.” Dave cleared his throat. “Minus two with freezing fog. All week.”


“I know.” He squeezed her shoulders. “And they’re welcome to it.”

“Yes, they are.” Throwing her arms wide, Catrin flopped backward into the surf. “You’re wonderful, Dave. The best… oh, look.” She pointed. “Over there.”

Three surfers glided towards them, each wearing a red wetsuit, curly white beard, and Santa hat.

“Surfing Santa’s,” Dave gasped. “You don’t get that in Britain.”

“Brilliant, isn’t it?”

“Amazing.” Taking her hand, Dave pulled her close. “Best Christmas ever.”

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

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