Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Firy of the Christmas Trees (part 3)

The only problem with a miraculous, brilliantly designed super weapon is that if someone- certainly not Steve, because he can't put a foot wrong- forgets to plug it in every week, it takes a good two hours before we can rush into action and save the world. So, what do a group of twenty year olds, waiting for a super weapon, do in their spare time?
"Christmas Tree 101." Professor Wendall J Orchard, the Pine Resistance's chief scientific advisor and purportedly responsible adult, announced. "Tree's take between 6 to 10 years to grow to the 4 or 5 foot height we've come to expect."
"Yeah," I said, "but there were some as tall as me, and they take 15 years to grow."
"They can't have been growing undetected." Steve pointed out.
He was right. I and Suzy had printed off fake council identification and then driven to every single Christmas Tree Farm in the entirety of the North. We had then had the great fun of pulling a section of needles from each tree on every farm and putting them in separate plastic bags, matching numbers on tags hanging to the trees to the numbers written on the bags. Then Orchard had carried a collection of tests that I had pretended to be interested in and, receiving the results, I, Suzy, David and a large chainsaw returned to the Christmas Tree Farms, all 39 farms, and David used the chainsaw to deal with any trees that had came up as positive for possessed genes. Unlucky Steve and Elise, however. They had to do the same with all Tree Farms shipping out to places in the north. Although, I imagine they probably enjoyed the trip abroad. Most students spend their summers drinking, partying and whatever it is cool people do. The Gang and I spend our summers cataloguing Christmas Trees. Still, we did find some very nice motorway cafes.
"What do you think then?" Suzy asked. "Some sort of miraculous new tree species?"
"Or illegal growers." David suggested.
We all looked at him.
"Illegal growers?" I frowned.
"Illegal growers?" Suzy exclaimed in distaste.
"Illegal growers?" Steve demanded.
"Producteur ill├ęgales?" Elise cried.
"Illegal growers." David attempted to justify himself.
"Illegal growers!" Professor Orchard cried, grinning. "Illegal Christmas Tree Growers! Imagine, drug dealers set up in a house to grow heroin or whatever your stereotypical drug of choice is."
"Calpol." I interjected to a range of quizzical looks.
"Now, let's say last year, when those big drug raids were going on, the dealers think: 'Ah! What do we do if they raid us?' so they go off to B&Q/Homebase/your generic Christmas Tree shop and buy a shedload. Because shops start selling them so early, they're on sale in October, and because it was before we began investigating trees, they get their hands on a couple of the habentes amients. Growing the trees, the entire stock becomes possessed and then, for some reason, they attack now."
"We're fighting Paranormal Christmas Trees that are high on drugs?" I asked.
"Grass, weed, why not Christmas Tree?" He grinned.
Once that was cleared up, we ended up sat around a table playing cards, because I always carry a pack with me. It's so I can make the joke, "I'm decked out with cool stuff!"

Eventually the charging was done. The led on the plug had flickered off and the many extension cords were to be rid of. David grabbed the long chain hanging from the ceiling and gave it a tug. The corrugated door rolled open and revealed the large canal path outside. "Let's do this." I cried.
Steve, the leader, pressed down on the acceleration and the ultimate weapon rolled forwards, out onto the river bank. We turned and drove up the large slope onto the road, turning. We had considered a tank, but our budget didn't stretch very far. Instead, we ended up with a pale blue Volvo 240 Estate. Salvaged from an actual tank, a 120mm M256 Smooth Bore Cannon was strapped to the roof, connected to a complicated firing system which had taken David many an hour to build. Sticking out of either sides were sawn off barrel toting rifles, loaded with 50 calibre bullets. A couple of guns had been connected to the bonnet, activated by pulling a rope looped around the triggers, and in the centre was a flame thrower. When we built a weapon, we built a weapon. (Which in hindsight is a stupid phrase, because if we hadn't built a weapon, we wouldn't have built the weapon to suggest we had in the first place. The English Language. I really don't know how I cope!)
We drove up the ramp and onto the road, the makeshift tank accelerating fast. Steve grabbed the radio transceiver and shouted, his voice amplified through the speakers on the roof, "Ready or not, trees! Here we come!"

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