Holiday inspiration


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Post November 23, 2016, 11:20:37 AM

Holiday inspiration

Here are a couple I wrote for last Decembers flash contest. My two favorite seasons for ideas are Halloween and Christmas because the gestalt is so ripe for the picking.
Hope this gets some motors running!

Family Investment

He was cleaning the attic, well actually that isn’t true. He was snooping. His wife always hid the gifts in the same places every year and he always found them every year. This year so far no dice. In a last ditch attempt to discover their whereabouts he snuck up to the attic. He couldn’t imagine Destiny coming up to this spider infested, cobweb covered, unlit loft anymore than he could have foreseen her out smarting him with a good hiding place. He didn’t marry her for her brains though. He had cleaned up in the eighties so well that he could afford to have a twenty five year old trophy wife to replace the one he had sent packing and the one he put into the ground in an ill fated sky diving accident. This year somehow she had bested him at every turn. Tim was not the type to lose a contest of wits to a high school dropout stripper less than half his age.

Tim Giles threw things from side to side in desperation. Good God did he have everything up here that he ever owned. There were things from his childhood that he had long since forgotten. Memories of days when “Crusher” Tim Giles had not the vaguest notion of a successful college football career and a position with the biggest brokerage house in New York City. Thoughts of corporate espionage and back-room deals to advance up the corporate ladder were all unformed in the head of little Timmy when he owned these things. There was a box of action figures all so well used that even in the light of the Mag-lite it was obvious. A Matchbox car case in the shape of a tire held little cars beyond counting. For a moment “Crusher” couldn’t think of money, trophy wives, and what he expected for Christmas this year (a Rolex). He was almost tempted to sit down and play with these old things.

He shook his head to clear the sentiment. Back to beating his young wife at their little game. He backed away from the boxes of toys to allow their spell to fade. Something hit his calf muscle in the dark. He turned and shined the light on it. An old water damaged box full of flannel shirts, dockers pants, and assorted crap was sitting on the floor. It was easy to identify the junk. It was leftovers from his grandfathers estate. The old man had given him the seed money begrudgingly to make his first investments under the agreement that he be the one to receive all his worldly goods when he passed. Also under the condition that he never dispose of anything until he had personally looked at it. When the old man died he put it all in storage rather than take the time to bother to go through it. He was a man of his word and disposed of nothing. That didn’t mean he had to go through the crap. But wait what was that? The Thermos, really? The old man had that thing everyday of his life. He never let anyone touch it, fill it, empty it, or drink from it. He especially never let Timmy near it. A sense of triumph came over “Crusher”. It took him almost fifty years but he had won. He was going to take that container and drink Irish Coffee out of it for the rest of his days. Greedy hands lurched down and swiped it up.

Oddly it felt full. He shook it a bit, back and forth. What on earth? No liquid should stay in there for twenty years without evaporating. If it was water based it would dry up. If it was prone to rot it would have blown the thermos up. Maybe the reason Gramps never let anyone near it was because it was booze. The thought of Scotch that was who knows how good aged another twenty years made his mouth water. It was worth a peek, after all if it was anything else the item maybe contaminated.
He cracked it open expecting either the heavenly smell of good Scotch or perhaps the noxious odor of rotten who knows what. What he smelled instead was....EGGNOG? Not rotten eggnog either, it was delightful cinnamony, and warm. The thermos was warm too now that he thought about it. This was bizarre. What was more bizarre was he found himself taking the thermos cover which served as a cup and pouring out a serving. Why would he want to drink eggnog that had been up in an attic for twenty years. He had no idea yet still he raised it to his lips. It tasted like gingerbread, no wait...candy canes, then eggnog, yet a bit like mulled cider. It was warm going down. The warmth was spreading through him before he could even place the taste.

A green glowing line appeared in front of him about an inch wide but six feet up and down. It began to strobe red then green and back and forth between the too colors frantically. Eventually it grew blinding and then expanded. It opened to another place. A place filled with....Elves!

A little man was waiting directly on the other side of the portal. “Your grandfather said you would be along eventually. You sure took your sweet time. He obviously had more faith in you than I did. I lost a hundred bucks this year when your portal opened. I am Sack, your elven handler. Hurry up and get to wardrobe for your red suit, the other Santas are waiting on you for the briefing. It is going to be a long night.”

Timmy looked down at his belly like a bowl full of jelly. He glanced at a full body mirror nearby. He had the white beard, the rosy cheeks, the whole deal. This was certainly going to be a change in lifestyle. He stepped through the portal.

THE END

The Gift


“Trust me I’m your sponsor.” Jimmy led me down Clark St. on Christmas Eve. “You've earned this. After tonight you won’t want back on the junk ever again. All you had to do was stay sober and drug free for the past two years to prove your commitment. I wasn’t even allowed to mention this till that happened.”

“I don’t know man.” He was looking at me with a rapturous smile. “It seems a shame to get clean just to get high on something else after two years.”

Jimmy just smiled wider. “I know it seems counterintuitive man. Just trust me once you have Kringle there are no other drugs. They only give it out on December twenty-fourth and the rest of the year you don’t bother with anything else because literally nothing else is worth it.”

I shook my head for the tenth time tonight. “Jimmy this is nuts. Why do they only give it out one night a year? Why do we get it from free? Who are they?”

He looked up at the night sky. It had started snowing lightly. He caught a snowflake on his tongue. “Look I told you earlier I sponsor at Narcotics Anonymous so I can sponsor for people to have Kringle. It is all real. Let’s just say it is a charity thing, think of them as Santa’s little helpers, OK?”

He was leading me into a less than desirable part of town. We finally arrived at an older looking warehouse. There was already a line at the door. All folks lined up two by two. Apparently everyone brought guests to this party.

We got close to the door and I could see in as the next pair went in. It looked like an airlock. You know those set ups that have an inner door and an outer one? One won’t open till the other closes. Eventually we were next.

“Jimmy, I'm really not sure about this.”

His smile was so friendly and he spoke with such a confident, calm inflection that it almost didn’t matter what the answer was, it was all in his tone. It rang of trust and safety, a bastion of therapeutic affect. “Listen Eddie, have I ever steered you wrong? I've always been there for you right from the beginning right?”

“Yeah Jimmy. Sorry I sure it'll be fine.”

The outer door opened and we went in. I heard gears and locks cycle. The inner door opened. This situation was already weird, but I wasn’t prepared for what was inside by many a measure.

“Are those midgets holding guns, Jim?”

He cringed at the word. “Dude, they're elves, don’t say midgets!”

The little guys right inside the door holding what looked to me like full auto assault rifles painted like candy canes were disconcerting in their little green tunics and caps. That was nothing compared to what was further in. To start with there were lots of elves everywhere. The far side of the warehouse had sleighs lined up like a giant stock car race starting line. That wasn’t the weirdest either.

Jim was looking around smiling, and he had a tear in his eye. “Oh Eddie, this is my favorite night of the year. It doesn’t get better than this.”

“Jim there are hundreds of naked Santas in here with us. What kinda freaky stuff did you get me into?”

He looked like he was going to answer but a third elf stopped in front of us. “Put out your hands please gentleman.” We did and he placed a gelatin based capsule in each of our hands. That wouldn’t have been all that weird but it looked like it was filled with red and green glitter. At this point I swear to you I have not lost my sobriety, honestly. When the thing touched my palm I heard sleigh bells. “Guests please ingest your Kringle.”

Jimmy looked at me. “You came this far man. You got to do it or they will give it to you in the end without the teeth. They never have to do it after the first year cause you’l want it for the rest of your life, but it is so much easier if you just trust it the first year.”

The elves actually looked like they meant business and might be able to follow through. I figured this was weird but if Jimmy could swallow a capsule of glitter, so could I if it meant not being shot or violated.

“Cheers and down the hatch Eddie boy!” The lead elf handed us some dixie cups full of water and we took our medicine.

The little elf mimicked opening is mouth so we would so him our empty mouths and we did. “Gentlemen this way if you please.”

He lead us into a side room together and turned to leave. “I will return for you in a moment.”

I shook my head and looked at Jimmy. “What the heck is this weirdness man?”

Jimmy looked like he was blurry. No not blurry just getting bigger. He struggled to take his clothes off. “Quick Eddie get naked or the clothes will rip. The elves will store them for you.” Now that he mentioned it my gear was starting to feel tight.

I stripped mostly out of panic. I watched as Jimmy grew a white beard and put on what seemed to be two hundred pounds right before my eyes. “Jimmy what the heck? You just turned into freakin’ Santa Claus!”

Jimmy put one hand on his big jolly belly which jiggled like a bowl full of jelly. He hooked a thumb and gestured over his shoulder at a wall mirror. I saw that there were two Santa Clauses in the room.

I smiled and then laughed. “Ho Ho Ho” That was when it kicked into my brain. Pure uncut Christmas Spirit. That was how he got everywhere in one night.

“Merry Christmas!” Santa bellowed.

“Merry Christmas!” Santa said right back to him.
Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. – Neil Gaiman
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Post November 29, 2016, 08:29:45 PM

Re: Holiday inspiration

Clever observers will have noticed that every December flash has something to do with holiday something, even if it's murder. It couldn't hurt to get inspired.
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Post November 29, 2016, 09:37:02 PM

Re: Holiday inspiration

I always like December.
Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. – Neil Gaiman

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