What's That? Yes, More Christmas Flash Fiction!

Ho, Ho, Horror! 

I'm still in the holiday spirit and this year that means I have two more silly little Christmas themed flash fiction stories to share. They aren't the most polished gems, but I had an absolute blast writing them. 

250 words is a tough word limit, but I think I managed to sketch out two complete stories. I couldn't quite bring myself to go really dark, but these will serve as a start. I may have to start thinking about playing around with a more substantial Christmas or Winter Holiday themed story for next year... 

"The Lists" is my first effort. I decided to attempt an kind of epistolary piece within the small frame; it was quite a challenge to capture the right changes in tone. I'm not sure it had quite the right amount of space to breathe, but I like the idea. I'm tempted to write the story behind the letters sometime. 

 

THE LISTS

By Wendy Hammer

 

From: North Pole Admin

To:  <Redacted>

Re: List Application

November 30

On behalf of Santa we'd like to thank you for your letter. The North Pole Elves try our best to make all your Christmas dreams come true.

We're happy to offer reassurance--whether you're moving to a new home or traveling—Santa will always be able to find you.

We figured your request to move to the Naughty List was a mistake and were sure to deny it. Ho, ho, ho! 

 Best Wishes,

 The Workshop Team

                                               #

From: North Pole Admin

To: <Redacted>

Re: How You Like Me Now?

December 7

On behalf of Santa, we'd like to say how sorry we are to move you to the Naughty List. We urge you to stop. It isn't too late. And, of course, Santa will still find you. He knows the lists and we have redundancies built into the system. 

We'd like to add that there was no need to be rude in your message. Your actions alone were quite sufficient to get you on the list.

Enjoy the coal,

D. Snowdrop, General Manager

                                     #

From: North Pole Admin

To: Leonid & Haversham Law Offices

Re:  <Redacted>

December 23

On behalf of Santa and the Workshop we would like to express our sorrow over the tragedies. The accused is no longer on our standard lists and has been moved to The Lost. 

Any further discussion of this matter must go through our Legal division. 

###

 

The second story, "Homemade Presents" was a nod to all those ridiculous horror films I love so much...the ludicrous kind that clog up bargain bins and Netflix queues. 

 

HOMEMADE PRESENTS

By Wendy Hammer

        

The turkey dinner and an extra glass of eggnog had done their work. Neil slumped in a half-doze on the plastic-covered sofa—the same one he remembered from his youth. He’d cracked a joke about it at dinner, complaining that the old relic might outlast them all, like roaches after a nuclear holocaust.

They’d turned on him then. “What’s it going to take for you to be grateful and understand all Mom does for you?” As if the damned couch was her stand-in. As if they’d never thought the same thing. Cowards.

His mother had never said a word, of course, but the whole family knew she wasn’t amused. They could read the extra crispness in her movements, the stiff line of her mouth, and her martyred sighs.

Neil slipped deeper into sleep, and the itch of his new Christmas sweater faded to a dull irritation. Mother made one every year. He’d wear it for one day and would throw it away the minute he got home. This year’s model featured a jaunty snowman. His carrot nose stabbed the air in time with the slow rise and fall of Neil’s belly.

The sweater had been knitted with his mother’s love. She’d poured herself into every stitch. As Neil slept, it squeezed.

Tight.

Tighter.

Tightest.

He clawed at his throat, but the collar cut into his neck. His blood stained the snowflakes. Neil’s last feeble thought was a cry for Mother.

It was the best present he could ever give.

 ##

That's it! If you're ever in the mood for a quick writing sprint, I recommend giving the 250 word limit a try. Having a theme helped me get into the groove. If you don't do Christmas, perhaps another holiday or a simple Winter theme would do the trick....  

As always, thanks for reading!