The Gospel According to Sammy: A Christmas Story by James Carson

james carson amsterdamThe Gospel, According to Sammy

And it came to pass, in the final days of the year of Our Lord, that three Shepherds saw a great light. And they followed the light, and entered into it. And as they entered, they beheld an angel whose hair was as golden as the sands of the Sinai and whose eyes were as clear as the rivers of Babylon.

And when the angel spake unto to them, her voice was as rough as the east end of Soddom.

“All right, lads, the usual is it?”

And one of the three Shepherds, named Bobby Shepherd, said unto the angel,

“All right, Angela, yeah the usual, and Sammy’s paying.”

And Sammy Shepherd was vexed by his older brother, and wanted to smite him and give him a right kicking. But instead Sammy Shepherd cleaved his tongue to the roof of his mouth, seeing as it was the festive season.

And the youngest of the three Shepherds, named Ricky Shepherd, beheld the empty room and said unto the angel

“Bit quiet in here. Usually heaving on karaoke night.”

And the angel spake unto him:

“Karaoke’s off. We’re having a religious service instead.”

And the Shepherds all spake as one:


And the angel said


And she told them that during the service all sins would be uncovered, and that all dark secrets would be exposed to the light.

And Sammy Shepherd said,

“What, even where we hid the Christmas Club money?”

And Bobby Shepherd took his brother aside roughly and said:

“How many times have I told you? First rule of Christmas Club is you do not talk about Christmas Club.”

And Sammy was abashed and went to cleanse himself. And after cleansing himself he was still abashed. So he smote himself, not once, not twice, but three times.

And when he returned, Bobby Shepherd said

“You’ve been smiting yourself again, haven’t you?”

But before Sammy could reply, there came a terrifying wind.

And Ricky Shepherd said unto them,

“That wasn’t me.”

But the wind grew stronger until the door was cast open, and from the darkness emerged a stranger. And the angel beheld the stranger and spake unto him.
“Oi, were you born in a barn? Shut the bloody door, will you, it’s blowing a gale out there.”

And the stranger beheld the angel and said unto her

“Oops, sorry.”

And the stranger stood among them and said

“Peace on you”

But before Sammy could respond, Bobby Shepherd said unto him,

“Don’t even think about it.”

And the angel said unto the stranger.

“Are you the one we have been expecting?”

And the stranger responded,

“I am not He. I have come here in His place. But I am not fit to be in His place, I am not even fit to stand in His presence.

And Sammy Shepherd said

“Yeah, I’ve had hangovers like that.”

And the stranger moved towards them and cried out,

“Hear me, if you have ears, for all power has been given to me in heaven and upon earth.”

And young Ricky Shepherd said unto no-one in particular,

“Who died and left him in charge?”

And then, the stranger lifted up his eyes and cried out:

“Let us sing the praises of God.”

And Bobby Shepherd said unto him,

“Sorry mate, karaoke’s off tonight.”

But the stranger faced him down, and said,

“Get thee behind me! For I have need of a backing singer. Tonight in this place we shall sing not karaoke, but choir-e-oke.”

And Sammy Shepherd said

“Oh, Christ!”

And the stranger said


And all the while, Ricky Shepherd was filling himself with the spirit. And when he could fill himself no more he violently expelled the spirit from his body. And Bobby Shepherd cried out,

“Bloody hell! Not all over my Christmas socks! Beryl only gave me them last week, the ones with the reindeer! She’ll bloody kill me!”

And among the three Shepherds there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, for they all knew the peril of Beryl. But the angel came forth with water and offered the water to Bobby.

And as he observed Bobby cleansing his hosiery, the stranger took it as a sign. And in a loud voice he began to sing,

“While Shepherd washed his socks by night.”

And Bobby looked to the heavens and asked God to help him.

And suddenly out of the darkness there came forth three Kings. And Jimmy King beheld them and said unto them,

“What are you doing in this dump? It’s happy hour down at the Pyramid Club.”

And before anyone could say Nebuchadnezzar, the three Shepherds and the three Kings had crossed over to the land of Cleopatra, in search of foolish virgins.

And so, the stranger beheld the angel. And he produced a crystal slipper from his rucksack, saying unto her:

“Whosoever this shoe fits…”

And the angel said:

“I think you’ve lost the plot, mate. Why don’t you have a drink?”

And the stranger raised his eyes to heaven and cried out in a loud voice:

“Go on, then, mine’s a large one”

But the angel did not respond at once. Only after she had vaulted across the bar, locked the doors, dimmed the lights and filled two glasses, only then did she turn to him, with her angelic eyes, and say unto him:

“So I’ve heard.”


The Gospel According to Sammy by James Carson, December, 2013.

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This section: Christmas Poems , Stories and Winter Tales

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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