An old English tradition that has passed into the past (probably to our loss), is the telling of ghost stories around the Christmas fire. Think of the song lyric “…scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago”. The dark, cold nights of winter made for a perfect venue for this practice.
For the last five years Loren Eaton of I Saw Lightning Fall has organized a group of writers to put together stories to be posted in the Winter Solstice…with one catch. They are all flash fiction. Maximum of 100 words for the story. It becomes a tremendous exercise to creep someone out and tell a complete story in 100 words. This isn’t a contest. No one wins anything. It is purely for the sake of telling stories. That’s what makes it fun.
Below are my two submissions for Advent Ghosts 2013. You can also read my submission to last year’s Advent Ghosts story telling project. That story was called A little bit of Grandma and definitely went for my baser instincts…
Visit the entire Advent Ghosts project and revisit it during the day as more and more writers add their submissions.
The end of darkness
The fire crackled and the wind howled as night fell.
“Son, today is the winter solstice. Ancients celebrated this night to coax the sun higher in the sky and bring back longer days. They believed it was a fight between good and evil.”
“Did the sun ever fail, Father?”
“Not so far, son.”
“What if the evil wins?”
“The days will keep getting shorter until it all goes black. Evil will take over the world.”
“How do we know if good holds out?”
“The earth stays in balance.”
“But what if something upsets the balance?”
“We won’t know until tomorrow.”
“Santa told me you’ve been naughty. He put you on the list.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, but I’m sorry,” she said as the tears began again.
“It’s good you’re sorry. Maybe next year you’ll get a present.”
“Please, you have to believe me. I won’t be bad anymore. I promise.” The hysteria was beginning to rise again.
“When Santa tells me you’re off the naughty list, I’ll let you out,” he said with a sad smile.
For the rest of Christmas Eve, the only sound the woman heard was her own screams echoing around her private dungeon..