Every year I participate in ‘Advent Ghosts’ which is an event where people tell spoopy stories around Christmas time. I enjoy the challenge of writing something dark or haunting with the season in mind, as well as reading what everyone else has put together. My story is below but to read all the other contributions the best way to is to go to Loren Eaton’s blog (the creator and host of Advent Ghosts) right here –> https://isawlightningfall.blogspot.com/
He links all the stories there and hosts some in the comments as well 🙂
The rules say each of these stories is meant to be a drabble (that is, exactly 100 words long) but… while I have written my fair share of drabbles I never seem to for this particular event? It’s kinda weird but also has sort of become a tradition that I’m going to break that rule? LOL However, this year’s story is only 260 words long and I think that’s the closest I’ve ever come to the 100 word limit? So yay!
Without further ado, here is my contribution:
I build the fire higher, higher, higher still. Until the flames jump in the grate and the fireplace fills the room with its orange glow, its oppressive heat.
The door is bolted and barricaded – a desk, bureau and half dozen chairs stand between it and me – but the window offers a clear view of the snow covered fields painted blue with moonlight.
I put my shoulder to a bookshelf – twice as tall as me and much heavier – and push it to try and block the glass. It judders slowly across the floor, reminiscent of how Floyd’s heels had tap, tap, tapped the floor in his last moments and the wood on wood screeches like Ellie May before I silenced her.
As the bookshelf finally finishes its journey, blocking out the snow-reflected light from outside, I become aware of something new. Something unnatural. A shadow grows upon the bookshelf – cast by something between me and the fireplace. Something big and round, which smells faintly of spruce and peppermint.
“You didn’t believe all those stories about me coming down chimneys did you, Michael?” a voice asks. Deep and melodious. It could, under different circumstances have sounded merry but now is simply menacing.
Despite the sweat coating my body from the fire, when I exhale a cloud of vapour spills into the room around me, and still the shadow grows. I begin to turn, fingers numb with fear, jaw trembling and catch a glimpse of a bushy white beard, an impossibly large sack—
“You’ve been naughty, Michael,” the voice says. “Very naughty indeed.”
I think that Michael is going to get something far worse than coal this year. Well done, Rhonda!
Thank you, Loren. I’m pretty pleased with this one 🙂
Well worth keeping the extra words for that ending!
Being a creature of order, I read the first hundred words; I enjoyed them greatly.