This is my fifth year participating in I Saw Lightning Fall’s Advent Ghosts collection. Loren Eaton, owner of ISLF asks writers to craft their own “scary ghost stories” revolving around the season. The tradition of telling ghost stories around Christmas goes back to Victorian England, at least. You’ve heard of it before. Remember the line from the song Most Wonderful Time of the Year:
There’ll be scary ghost stories
And tales of the glories of the
Christmases long, long ago
The catch for these stories is that they are limited to 100 words, no more, no less. This is a fun writing exercise because it challenges you to tell a story with only the barest of bones. What you leave out is just as important as what you leave in.
Below are my 2016 submissions. You’ll find my previous flash fiction stories on the Free Fiction page. On this cold and rainy December day, it’s a perfect time to be creeped out, just a little bit. Do yourself a favor and check out the rest of the Advent Ghost stories.
See below the stories for a little background on each.
Birth of a god
This truly is the most glorious time of the year, don’t you think?
Absolutely. The lights, the pageantry, the gift giving.
And it is all about the birth of a god. Just wonderful.
Yes, we should never forget the reason for the season.
Too many people do at this time of year.
It’s a shame that people don’t know their history. They just want to indulge themselves or worry about presents.
Well, that’s not true of us.
Say goodbye to the Great Mother and welcome the reborn Horned god!
May he reign forever over the dark half of the year!
Data Breach Expected to Have Consequences
Reuters: Calling it the largest data breach ever, authorities have announced that a list of personal information, including names, addresses and personal preferences, has been stolen.
Rumors suggest that the data breach includes more information than reported, however. The list is maintained by a shadowy world-wide surveillance organization. The group maintains the list to track behaviors, especially those outside of social norms. To this point, the list has never been made public, and its purpose is poorly understood.
It is unknown what the theft of the list will mean. Simply being on the “naughty” list is said to have consequences.
Birth of a god
In pagan times, the Winter Solstice was a time of renewal. The great Horned god was born and in the spring would bring revitalization and rebirth. The horned god was represented by an antlered stag. You didn’t think the story was talking about something else, did you?
As I was debating what to write about for this year’s Advent Ghosts, I saw a news story on the latest Yahoo data breach and a cartoon about a boy wanting to get his hands on Santa’s list of naughty girls. It suddenly clicked.