Advent Ghosts

When drafting potential stories for this year’s Advent Ghosts post, I came up with two which I liked for rather entirely different reasons. I’ve normally archived the runner-ups, but I thought I might post both this time. I hope you don’t mind.

As with previous years, these are 100-word stories with at least a slight nod to the tradition of telling a scary story or two on Christmas Eve.

They Don’t Keep Christmas

The Drakonid starcruiser exited hyperspace at the broadcast’s origin, weapons bristling, sensor gain up full, ready for anything. A thousand battlewhelps lay poised in swarmpods, ready to cut the foe from the skies.

A full minute later, the shipguide declared the humans already gone. Mission failure. No appeasing the Overdrake today.

“Sirs, we have something,” Commander Gor said.

The admiralty turned as one, saw the radar return pulse on the viewscreen. Scan suggested an inert panel, creased cellulose. Or a trap. A reluctant drone drew close to scan an image.

The declaration of war took only two words.

Merry Christmas.



My phone buzzes. Marketing strategy by morning. More suckers clicking on ads. Easy.

Pavlov’s dog: Deterministic, rational.

I pull my scarf tight, rejoin the hustle. Cross Eighth, regretting the heels. Should have gone pumps. Don’t need style, Tim’s been gone for years now. Simplified things, that.

Playground’s empty. Should be, in the cold.

Phone buzzes. Spam.

Just business: Rational.


Nativity scene outside the church. The irony stops me. Homeless baby in New York. Needed a better marketing team.

I continue, then stop.

Ahead, the expected.

Behind… I step back.


Not rational: Transcendent.


I climb the steps, terrified.

For more 100-word drabbles with a bit of a yuletide horror lean, please check out Loren Eaton’s collation of stories from bloggers over at I Saw Lightning Fall, and may your Christmas be one of peace and joy.

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