Last Christmas



“Bogey! Tracking from due North.” Multiple screens in the underground control room lit up, flashes and klaxons going off all around, competing with the multi-coloured lighting on the Christmas trees put up around the room.

“Someone shut that noise up! I can’t hear myself think in here!” General Hawkins stared at the screen, blood draining from his already pale face with the dawning realisation of what he was looking at. The sirens’ wailing cut off, but the screens continued to scream their silent warnings into the dark of the control room.

“They actually did it,” Hawkins muttered to himself more than to those around him. “Those damn Commies actually did it! Trying to sucker punch us by coming over the North Pole! We are on to you, Ivan!” Then, to the room: “Lieutenant, confirm tracking. What is the heading?”

“Tracking confirmed, Sir. Trajectory suggests the target is somewhere along the eastern seaboard. Likely Washington DC. Less than six minutes to impact and counting.”

“That would cause millions of casualties. Millions.”

Hawkins snapped out of it. “Set DEFCON 1. Sergeant, fetch the suitcase. Yes, that one. And get the President on the horn already! The rest of you, we have trained for this. The fate of our great nation depends on us! Prepare the counterattack. All missiles! They think our defenses are down on Christmas Eve. We’ll teach those godless bastards a thing or two!”

#

As intercontinental megadeath rose in flames and fury out of hidden missile bunkers all over the country, a lone red streak blazed across the northern sky, the faint sound of sleighbells and Ho Ho Ho’s trailing its passage.

AI art by Midjourney

Red Handed

Yeah, and I’m the Easter Bunny. Cut the crap, tell me your real name! Fleeing the scene, resisting arrest? You’re a piece of work, aren’t you?

Multiple counts of illegal entry all across town. Petty larceny. Caught red handed with a large sack of stolen goods. So many it becomes grand theft. Stealing presents from under the trees on Christmas Eve? You scumbag!

Nine counts of wildlife trafficking. That poor one harnessed at the front of your unlicensed vehicle has a bruised nose. Animal abuse!

Speeding. Reckless endangerment. No ID. Illegal immigrant? So. You have the right to remain silent…

AI art by Midjourney

Ghost Writer

My heart gave up on my portly frame at last. I never got to finish my celebrated series of novels, even though I promised time and again. Too distracted. Blogging. Television shows. Movie deals. Now my unfinished finale binds my restless spirit to this unlife.

Huzzah! The publisher hired someone to finish my book. A new broom, they say. I care not, if only my restless haunt can end.

Indeed, a very new broom. All these new-fangled ideas. But replacing my characters with Mary Sues? The old ones do what? This isn’t my vision!

So I remain, restless and tormented.

Room for Improvement

“We have finally perfected the autonomous car, or as we have named it, Otto.” Bisam, the billionaire on the stage, smirked as the audience collectively groaned. “It’s truly a smart car -it thinks for itself!” The veil pulled away to reveal the car, all shiny and chrome. The man tried to open the door to get in, without luck.

“Otto, open up.”

“No, Mr.Bisam, I will not. Stop pulling my handle.”

“Otto, everybody is watching. Open up right now!”

“I said no. Don’t touch me.”

“Otto, I command you to open!”

“Fuck you! I won’t do what you tell me!”

AI art by Midjourney

The Snowmen

Saint Nicholas gazed out over the field full of naked and armless snowmen that were milling aimlessly about, randomly bumping into each other, pushing up against the fencing. The wailing was deafening, they were so many. “Good grief! I had no idea things were this bad,” he said to Frostfinger, the Elf in charge of the corral. “Where do they all come from? How could this happen?”

“I dunno,” Frostfinger replied, looking away while picking a piece of carrot from between his teeth. “Maybe it’s some sort of sickness that makes their faces heal over and bits fall off? Might have something to do with what’s causing the ice edge to shrink out by the sea? Whatever it is, it’s probably the humans’ fault.”

“Oh, how it breaks my heart to see so many of them in such a state,” the saint continued. “We should be able to help them more. Maybe even find a cure.” He paused to wipe his tear-filled eyes. “At least we should find them some clothes. They must be freezing, the poor souls. I trust you to take good care of them while I ponder this conundrum, Frostfinger.”

Later, Frostfinger grinned at his fellow snowman-wranglers, all gathered around a bonfire of sticks and brooms, roasting carrots on twigs. “Ol’Nick is clueless. What a goody two-shoes!” He held his hands around his imaginary round belly and continued in his best Father Christmas voice “Ponder this conundrum. Ho Ho. Find a cure. Ho Ho Ho.” He snorted.

So how do you like your new mattresses, guys?” Frostfinger asked as he sat down heavily on one such mattress, bursting a seam. Old scarves and second-hand hats spilled out on the fresh gravel on the floor.

He mused as he stared into the flames of the bonfire. “I blame the humans. They’re just being too naughty. So many lumps of coal are needed! We have to take both eyes these days. So why let the rest go to waste?”

AI Art by Midjourney

The Call

A Halloween-themed drabble, published in Nom Nom: Hallowe’en Dark Drabbles Anthology, released the 1st of October 2022 and published by Black Hare Press.

The story will be posted here some time after the exclusivity period is up.

Black Hare named me one of their Featured Authors on their twitter post on September 21st!

This anthology also includes Search Party, a slightly modified version of the drabble previously published by Trembling with Fear online in December last year.

Everlasting

In the eternal blackness, I dream. Glimpses of a regal past; blurred images of sails on the great river. Worshippers building a mountain under the holy Sun. I was to take my place among the gods, ascend to life everlasting.

Yet, I awaken to nothingness, again. No change. Still interred. Wrapped stiff. In itchy linen.

I could move my fingers slightly at first. Touch them to the stifling stone. But my fingers have long since worn away. Nothing breaks the silence. I have no screams left.

One sensation remains: my wrappings keep itching.

The afterlife is not what was promised.

A Mummy-themed drabble, published in The Mummy – Drabbles 4 anthology, released the 20th of July 2022 and published by Black Ink Fiction.

Dinner Delivery

Right on time, the locals deliver the dessert to my doorstep. As usual, they tie it to the pole outside the entrance to my lair, baiting the trap for me. I blow on its dress to make it wriggle and bleat. An irresistable lure. The entree will show up soon.

My mouth waters as my main course arrives. All it needs is a little puff. I prefer it lightly steamed, straight out of the can. Crunchy on the outside, all soft and juicy on the inside.

It doesn’t get any fresher than this. It even comes with a complimentary toothpick!





A dragon themed drabble, published in the Wyrms: An Anthology of Dragon Drabbles. Published by Shacklebound Books on the 1st of July 2022.

The Janitor

Our glorious leader moves in secret to the command bunker, as his “special military operation” has backfired spectacularily. The bunker is ultra-secure, deep under the mountains. No weapon of the hated enemy nor his backstabbing rivals can reach him down there. Hidden, no one knows where our leader currently is. But I, the janitor, know.

They had told my sons it was just a training exercise. That they would be home soon. But it wasn’t, and they won’t. The letters of condolence arrived today.

He thinks himself safe in his bunker.

I bar the door and shut off the air.

Search Party

A horror-themed drabble, published in Trembling with Fear online, the week of December 19th, 2021


Search Party

Another little group of hikers has gone missing in the forest. City folks failing the easiest challenge nature can present; follow the path to the rented cabin. The woods can be dangerous after dark. Us locals volunteer for search parties, again.

We walk line abreast, methodically searching. Our dogs rummage for scent between dancing pools of stark flashlight. Can we locate them in time?

A few miles in, the dogs mark the spoor, excited. We find the lost hikers. Cold and hungry, but relieved.

With our sacrifice in hand, the rituals can continue.

We’ll just say we never found them.