Queer Stars Hollow at Christmas
Determined to prove to her naysaying family that Santa could, in fact, be a lesbian, Effie enters the Santa of the Year Pageant—only to find a rival in her ex-best friend Tove, who has become a complete Scrooge in the ten years since their ill-fated first and only kiss.
Picture me in ten days’ time in this joyforsaken carpark, dressed in an obnoxiously gay Santa suit, eyeing up the giant scissors one lucky muppet will use to open the new shopping centre… I can’t. My world is a grey plain of tarmac and rain, with the new shopping centre looming all darkness and windows, and eight hours a day to kill with my clipboard.
Beyond the sopping strands of my hair slapping my eyeballs, a Christmas shopper marches across the carpark in my direction. Santa save me…
“What are you doing with my car? Are you some—”
I wave my clipboard. Even though the paper is translucent and the ink is running, my assailant recognises me as A Professional. They flip from attack to defence, scissors to rock in an instant.
“—some, uh, parking inspector? Is there a problem?”
They halt. Five or six lengths of tinsel loop round their neck, Poundland tags attached, and they clutch a transparent sack from the fancy-dress shop containing what looks like a full-on Santa suit. But that ankle-length coat doesn’t disguise their tiny figure…and the shadow from their umbrella doesn’t hide their face.
“…Effie?” says my once-upon-a-time best friend.
We stare at each other, tasting the rain, and it’s like no time has passed since we were standing by the lake at prom in the heady scent of the hydrangeas, about to (or so I thought) tell each other how we really felt.