Thump. Thump. Thump. In the dark, I lug the lumpy sack down each stair, muttering curses at the noise. Christmas lights twinkle from the living room. What a surprise they’ll get in the morning.
I peer outside. Snowing. Heavily. Perfect. It’ll cover up my footprints.
And any drops of blood.
Matthew is a secondary school teacher and studied English Literature at the University of Glasgow. His short story ‘Blue Sky’ has just been published in a Centum Press anthology and he is currently seeking representation for his first science fiction novel.
“Wishing you merry days and happy smiles during the holidays,” says the hand-written card, a picture of a well-dressed family traveling through China inside. The Christmas tree on the cover made me forget the cold, the hunger, the loneliness, but not the family resentments.
Sisters are sometimes the roughest critics.
Monica Perez Nevrez is a Sustainability Manager by day and a writer at night.
The neighbourhood children around here seemed just like mine.
“What have you been doing, sweetie?” I asked.
“I painted an angel.”
“…And you, sonny?”
“I painted Santa.”
Looking around they explained they were in another room drying, so I entered and there they were… Tied up and covered in paint.
Connell often says too much or too little in his biographies and probably will again. Despite this, he has been inspired, by others, to become a great writer of such, but to date his biographies have been sadly lacking in the necessary achievements required by him to embellish once more.
Abandoned in the easy chair once again, Norma fumed. Her children gossiped in the kitchen. They didn’t want to be overheard saying anything that might upset her.
Norma sniffed. She was ninety, not nine.
Reclining, she chuckled softly and plotted her revenge.
She’d knit them all scratchy socks for Christmas.
L.L. Madrid could use some new socks.
With jagged fingernails, Wormwood eagerly ripped through the obituary-wrapped gift.
“A candle!” he exclaimed, unscrewing the lid and breathing in deeply through his piggish snout. “Sulfur. My favorite! So pungent, really rotten. Whom do I thank?”
Bezoar blushed scarlet as sin, and raised a claw. “Me. I’m your Secret Satan!”
This is Alexandra’s sixth 50-word story. All she wants for Christmas is Tom Hiddleston and a cup of tea (the tea is optional).
Cop cars escort an open flatbed truck, stopping at every block with bullhorn announcements.
Residents of all ages come out to cheer as frightened youngsters are enticed to climb aboard the fat stranger, pose for pictures, and take his candy before he’s hauled away in a whoop of flashing sirens.
Lee DeAmali resides in the Los Angeles area with grown children who claim to have fond memories of this annual local tradition.
Dear Father Christmas,
I would like:
a bath with bubbles,
a bath without bubbles,
the elephant from TV,
honey on toast,
a cat with stripes,
and a banana.
PS I do not want an orange.
Mark Farley hopes you get what you want for Christmas.
Billy was not a fan of practical yuletide gifts, but his mother insisted he show his gratitude by writing a note for every present he received, including the monogramed handkerchiefs. He complied.
“Dear Uncle Eb. Thanks for the snot rags. I’ll think of you every time I blow my nose.”
John H. Dromey has had short fiction published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Betty Fedora, Stupefying Stories Showcase, and elsewhere.
She used to wish on snowflakes for a man like him.
Glancing over, she thought, I wouldn’t mind Christmas mornings with you.
Giving her heart to him like a gift-wrapped present, she watched him open it.
Then realized that it was Halloween and he had been wearing a mask.
Lauren Layfield is a senior Multi-Platform Journalism major at Sam Houston State University. She is the former Assistant Campus Culture editor at The Houstonian, SHSU’s independent student newspaper.