Fantasy #Writers Dot Org 4th Annual Weird Christmas Entries

Craig over at Weird Christmas hosts a flash fiction contest for the Christmas holiday.

A group of us at Fantasy-Writers.org enter en masse to try our luck in a submission challenge. We don’t do it for fame or glory, though there was a small amount of money for the winners. Rather, those stalwart members of our group do it for the little badges I made they can put on their profile, like the picture below.

Craig received over 450 entries, to winnow down to twelve winning pieces, making me proud to announce that two of our number placed in Craig’s contest. Since he hasn’t posted the winners yet, I can’t say who.

But there is no sense in letting these weird stories rattle in our computers without readers, so the authors below have given their permission to share their submissions on this site. I present them to you in no particular order.

Weird Christmas 2021 Nick & Christmas Day (2 stories)

by Karen B. Jones

Karen B. Jones, a retired Fire Chief, spends her days writing fantasy on her and her husband’s hundred-acre woods in NW Montana.

Story #1:

NICK

Miracles do happen. After 100 years in a cold and impenetrable prison, the wind carried something unexpected. A seed fluttered into his cell. As the sapling grew into a tree, Nick clung to the hope that it would grow tall and strong.

“When I am big enough,” the growing tree promised, “I will break you free from here, Father.”

#

Far from the prison that once held him, his voice gravelly from disuse, Nick asked, “Are you ready, my children?”

The trees answered by waving their branches in the wind he created with his passing. They had waited long for this moment. Nick was free. Things would be different now.

Those few who remembered him called him by many names. His beloved trees—each he had planted himself—knew him only as Nick. When he disappeared many years before, they mourned him.

“Where have you been, Nick?” the trees whispered. “We feared you would never return.”

“I’m back, but there is much to do,” Nick replied. “First, we will bring back Christmas as it should be, then we will devise a plan to imprison him as he once did me.”

Seeing the dreadful sneer on what used to be an otherwise jolly face caused the trees to shrink in fear.

Seeing their reaction, he admonished, “Never fear me, my children.”

“Yes, Father,” the trees answered.

Christmas came and through Nick’s generosity, children everywhere began to believe again. It was this belief that infused him with power. He would need every bit of it to trap his erstwhile captor. Nick was not the cheerful soul the trees remembered. Bitter and feverish with anger, he took a twisted satisfaction in taking the old man prisoner.

#

It had been one hundred years since the earth last saw snow. Everyone had all but forgotten Old Man Winter while he withered in his prison of trees. The trees, devoted to Nick, owed no such loyalty to the cruel Old Man Winter.

As he faded from everyone’s memory, the old man had no one to break him free as he prayed for the miracle that never came.~The End~

Story #2:

CHRISTMAS DAY

In a dimly lit bar on the wrong side of the tracks, three figures sit in the shadows around a rickety wooden table pushed into the corner.

“At least you two get a holiday,” the Tooth Fairy said. “I have to work the whole year.”

“It’s not all it’s cracked up to be, Fairy,” the Easter Bunny answers. “Mine’s decided on the lunar calendar, for heaven’s sake! No one uses a lunar calendar anymore apart from new-age hippies, and most of them are vegan…they don’t even eat eggs! And, what’s up with those eggs? I’m a rabbit in case no one noticed!”

“That’s nothing,” Rudolph interjected. “Christmas isn’t even about me, but I’m the one on all the merch, and what do I get for it? Nothing! Not a single dime in royalties. The fat man takes it all for himself.”

A troll sitting at the next table leans over. “Hey, big nose! Keep it down. My head is splitting. Your incessant whining is making it worse.”

“Awww. What’s wrong, big guy? Get head-butted by a goat again?” Rudolph responds.

“Watch your lip, or I’ll knock that light on the end of your nose clean off.”

“You and what army?” the Tooth Fairy taunts, flying ridiculously close to his gaping mouth.

“Uh…uh.”

The troll looks side to side. Getting no help, he leans back into his private space.

“That’s what I thought,” the Tooth Fairy says.

Their drinks delivered, the three settle down for some much-needed chill-out time. Just then, the door crashes open, striking the wall. Windows rattle as Old Man Winter barges in, drifts of snow in his wake.

“How does he rate getting a day and not me?”

 

The three sitting at the rear of the bar roll their eyes.

 

“You’re speaking to the choir, Winter. Get in line,” retorts the Tooth Fairy.

 

~The End~

Weird Christmas: The Mice before Christmas (350 words)

by Ingrid Thornquist

Ingrid Thornquest has always been interested in exploring new perspectives from which to understand the world. Born in London, she immigrated via her father’s suitcase to Australia, where she reached the dizzy heights of snooping on kangaroo’s personal lives. Naturally, this led to choreographing contemporary dance in Sydney, and thence the need to improvise through dance in Indonesia and Europe. After living in her birth city for seventeen years, she departed to live with Bliss, her partner, on the lower slopes of the Massive Central in France, where five cats are endeavoring to train her in the way of the cat. Along this journey, she collected a few letters after her name and is a moderator at Fantasy Writers Organization.

T’was the night before Christmas

when three blind mice on business,

flew from their employer

that red-suited farmer,

his tight-fisted wife

and her carving knife.

Under the moon,

with wind the tunes

of a bassoon,

they surfed skies growing greyer

in a sweet pea-green flyer.

Hugh took snuff

And a muff

Nick had a bib

and some spare nibs

for Tom with a quill

who penned of their ills.

Their steed was a bat named Frank,

whose nose was ever so black.

Before the three on the bow

A pine tree stood with its boughs

adorned with presents galore

while wrapped gifts littered the floor.

 

They went north and they journeyed east.

They flew south and they travelled west.

Yet always behind not far,

Frank could detect with radar,

that horrid knife

and witchy wife.

Jettisoning some of their hoard

lightened their load as they soared

Yet Frank

still flagged.

And when too soon,

Christmas day bloomed,

they no longer sped past

bugs jet-streaming less fast.

Instead these jetting pests

waved adieu with rude gests

to flailing fatigued Frank

and becoming his snack.

 

‘Ahoy there, mates’ said the wife

Mooring her broom alongside

and stepped starboard,

to claim their hoard.

 

“Never,” said Nick. “Not ever,” said Hugh. While Tom said, “That’ll be never forever,

We made those gifts, they’re ours to give, so we’ll deliver them upriver, not give yer.”

 

“Untrue you thieving mice,

I paid you full their price,

Your tails’ll be off in a trice.”

 

“We left your money

in some honey.

Our clothes are threadbare and worn

with holes bigger than a horn.

We hate wearing green,

only ears being seen.”

 

“Could a deal be struck?”

asked Frank from up front.

“For your broom

won’t have room

for the hoard

we’ve aboard.

And all must be done

by the day’s full sun.”

 

The witch of a wife

wielding her knife

looked the mice over

considering her take-over.

“Would you wear red,

think you, instead?

My husband’s cast-offs

are very fine cloth.”

 

“Plus shares in this business

of presents and Christmas?”

 

“Agreed,” said the wife

releasing her knife.

Weird Christmas Entry: The Guardian

by Beth Turnage
Bio: Born in a century far less progressive than her brain is wired, Beth engages in occupations others consider questionable. One is as a ghostwriter of romance fiction and military sci-fi. When not turning a phrase for her supper, she works on writing under her pen names.

There was a man dwelt by a churchyard, and each day as I walked home at evening’s edge, he called me.

“Come here,” he’d sat and waved me toward him. But I always shook my head and hurried towards my house. I will not walk toward that churchyard deep with icy snow, ominous shadows, or the bearded man huddled under a black cloak whose eyes I could not see.

Each succeeding day that ominous figure greeted me, but I refused to stop because I must get home. The man that dwelt by the churchyard wouldn’t stop me.

“Hey!” he said the next time. “Talk to me!”

“No!” I said, and this time I ran hard.

But the next day, he stood in his usual place.

“Hey, ever notice how the sun never shines, or that snow never goes away?”

Though my legs felt like ice, I shook my head and moved forward.

“Leave me alone! I must get home.”

“Hey, ever notice how you never get home?”

This time I turned and glared. “Leave me alone, you crazy old man.”

“Am I?” he said.

“Crazy? Most definitely. Why are you talking to girls you don’t know?”

“No, old. How do you know? Can you see my face?”

“No. And I don’t want to.”

But the man pushed aside his hood, and I almost looked away until I saw a man surrounded by sunshine, and he held out his hand with a welcoming smile.

“Come,” he said.

My legs moved, and I took one step, then another. I clasped his hand. I walked with him into the churchyard until we stopped in front of a grave. I gasped when I saw the name on the marker—my name and the date—Christmas day.

“Last Christmas, you went skating without your parent’s permission and fell into the lake when the ice cracked, so this is your place now. But your unhappy soul wandered, and we can’t have that. Now, go back into the deep, warm earth, where you belong.” He pushed, and I tumbled through the crust of the earth to my final rest.

Weird Christmas Tale – A Win-Win Situation

by Tom Tussel

Tom Trussel lives in Norway with his wife, two kids and assorted snow shovels. He has only recently taken up writing, and is currently working to fill the obligatory drawer of unpublished stories. He has had some drabbles published online and in print anthologies, the latest in a forthcoming anthology by Breaking Rules Europe. A few of his stories can be read at TomTrussel.com

The white-bearded man looked out of his element, wringing his hands while sitting by himself at one side of an impressively large table in an opulent meeting room. Across the table sat a delegation of sharp-suited men, all wearing warm smiles under neatly cut, straight black hair. A lengthy ritual of serving and drinking tea was done, as the man continued.

The elves are really good at making the old fashioned toys, you know. Like dolls, teddybears, building blocks. Even board games. But kids today only want gyro-stabilised monowheels, airpods and videogames. Stuff like that. These are things we can’t make ourselves,” the man said with resignation. “Now, I appreciate your business invitation, but we don’t really use money up North. However, we do need large amounts of the kind of toys you make here each year. What can we do? I’m at my wits’ end.”

Their interpreter finished her translation of his words, and three of the representatives conferred at length. The man could not understand a word they said. This was a part of the world he had rarely visited. They hadn’t really started celebrating his holiday here until recently, and even then the wishlists that reached him were gibberish. Their writing looked like little boxes with lines in them, and he could not make heads nor tails of it. He supposed he would have to try to learn to read it, and made a mental note to get some language courses to bring back North.

His musings were interrupted as the interpreter addressed him again. “We certainly have the production capacity. It is an honour to help. We do not worry about payment. In return, all we ask is that you help us with some deliveries now and then. Sometimes we also have gifts to be delivered, all over the world. You just bring them along on your rounds each year, and leave them in the houses we specify. A win-win situation!”

Their warm smiles did not reach their cold eyes. “To show our commitment, the agreement will be signed by The Party chairperson himself.”

 

 

 

 

 

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