2021 has been a challenging year for most of us, and in many cases it’s felt like we’ve had to sit through the sequel to our least favourite film, and this one was even worse. But we’ve come this far, and though we may take with us a few scars and bruises, the year to come is a story as yet unwritten, waiting for us to stamp on it whatever future we dare dream of.
Though before we turn that corner, there’s nothing like a little Yuletide horror story, don’t you think? Whether you’re gathered around the hearth, snowed in on a cold Christmas Eve, or basking in the heat of a Southern Hemisphere summer evening, trying to ignore the strains of Sinatra’s Let It Snow, a little Dickensian tension might add that missing spice to the eggnog.
Here’s my contribution to that fun – a little story, exactly 100 words, about a Christmas Eve that might be…
The Long Tail
The ancient Buick belched darkness across the night. Dilapidated, it mirrored its solitary occupant, dark eyes in a scruffy ball of hair peering past oil stained knuckles.
Gone, the million plumes of yesteryear, flight, his gifts of coal. Now, he hunted.
His red nose led to an address. Electric cars on a solar driveway and behind them, the vintage pickup. He trudged up the driveway, unlocked the fuel cap, and connected a hose.
The takings were small, but sufficient. Back at the Buick, he reclaimed the driver’s seat, and slammed the door.
Ho ho ho, he said, and gunned it.
For a collection of even more entertaining and scarier ultra-short fiction this Christmas, please check out Loren Eaton’s blog, and his 2021 collection of shared storytelling, Advent Ghosts. Thanks for the prompt Loren, and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and an amazing New Year.