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.
“Thank God that’s over.”
“What do you mean?”
“You know, it’s bloody hard getting the right gifts. No one’s ever satisfied, although I must admit the drinking and the food’s not bad. I think next year I’ll give Christmas a big miss.”
“You can’t do that.”
Connell would deny writing this, if it wasn’t for the fact that his name is plastered all over it. His son, six years old, in a deeply reflective moment, said, “You know, everyone’s special.” And Connell, in a less reflective one, replied, “And you know, after Christmas everything’s on special.”
Barbara bent over the dumpster. “There’re some good pickings tonight, Ken.”
Ken was mesmerized by the extravagance of the food. “It must be Christmas!” he lamented. “I remember a time when I had all this and a warm home…”
“Hurry, Ken, if you want any. The others have spotted us!”
Connell chose to write about this, unplanned until a few minutes ago, because he has (long) realized that if we all ate a little less then perhaps others could eat a little more.
Mom told my older brother and sister to let their little brother have one more year of believing. Could they be kind teenagers for Christmas?
We laugh now, all adults, over wine.
My brother died last year. My mother ruined Christmas for him when he was just 13 years old.
Chris Dehon is a child and adolescent psychologist living in upstate New York with his wife and daughter. Although he’s been in New York for nearly 10 years, he considers himself a New Orleanian for life.
I run barefoot down cold dark stairs
to see the star-topped tree bathed in coloured light, shimmering with silver rain.
and glimpse the tissue wrappings under its branches.
My stocking hangs waiting, lumpy with gifts;
racing up to my parents’ warm bed
I open it to share a
Catherine Mathews, retired from the Foreign Service, was stationed in Paris, Rome, Tel Aviv, Athens, Frankfurt, and Istanbul. She now lives in northern Virginia, has published a memoir, and is attempting to write short stories from her life experiences.
That there once lived a man
now called St. Nick, who secretly
helped children in need
That we light eight candles
did, and his people before,
a chain of light over 2,000 years
That we can’t wrap
but it’s love beyond boundaries
we’re meant to give
Jennifer L Freed grew up with Christmas and Chanukah. Now her children do the same. She writes mostly poetry and, sometimes, very short stories. To read more of her work, please visit her website, jfreed.weebly.com.