Tag Archives: Flash fiction

He Sees You When You’re Sleeping

The bundle bounces against Hayk’s back as he dashes behind houses. Barely a mark on the shadows, he slips in through crack and out by door with another name scratched off his list. But what did he care for a list? He’d take anyone.

Whimpering cries tumble from his sack as he hurtles a fence.

“Back to Hayk’s mine!”

Crash!

He breaks against a snarling mastiff with dawn in his eyes, who grabs his leg and flings him into the trees, scattering children across the yard.

With guttural barks, the dog drives them, bruised and wailing, back to their homes.

(This is one of many 100-word stories offered for I Saw Lightening Fall’s Advent Ghosts 2015. Many more stories through the link, including Lars’ story earlier this month, and my past contributions can be found under the content tag “flash fiction.”)

Flash fiction: “The Slaying Song Tonight”

(Phil and Loren Eaton have turned their skilled hands to flash fiction over the years. I never had a suitable idea before. But here’s one. Copyright 2015 by Lars Walker.)

The killer whistled a Christmas carol as he rinsed the blood from the knife. The stuff ran thick and dark at first, but grew thinner and clearer until the stream of water out of the faucet ran pure. The knife wouldn’t stand up to forensic analysis, he knew, but only the victims’ blood was there. And in any case, he himself was above suspicion. Still, he liked to leave things as clean and orderly as possible. It was a personal quirk.

The remote location of this house had been perfect for his purposes. The couple had screamed long and loud – they had known who he was and why he was killing them, and he had not let them die quickly. But he was methodical about his work. Now only the child remained, but that was a routine job.

He climbed the stairs and entered the room where the child lay sprawled on a bed. Her eyes went wide when she saw him. “You!” she cried. “It’s you!”

He unbuckled the straps that secured her to the bed frame. Tenderly he lifted her in his arms. “It’s me,” he said. “It’s all right. I’ll take you to your parents; then I’ll have to get to work. Lots to do tonight.”

The child wept great sobs and buried her head in his shoulder. He didn’t try to quiet her. It was good for her to cry. She would have to cry a great deal, and would need to talk to someone. But she would not die. Tonight this child would not die.

“It’s all right,” he whispered. “Everything will be fine. But you need to promise me one thing.”

“Wh-what?” she asked, through her sobs.

“Never tell anyone who rescued you. The children must never know of this – only the ones I rescue, like you. For most children, this is the happiest night of the year. For you it will never be the same. I understand that. You’ll have to help me carry my burden, to save the night for the little ones.”

“I will,” said the girl, holding tight to his red coat. “Does that make me one of Santa’s helpers?”

Holiday Shopping with a Smile

Libby’s famous smile flickers when she sees another woman smile from the opposite escalator with a wide, toothy grimace.

“A face only a mother would love,” she mutters, striding over to the next mall store with extended sales. She smiles at the cashier. He grins back, his ears vanishing behind a wall of gleaming teeth.

Forgetting everything now, she hurries back into a suddenly manic throng, passing from leer to leer as other shoppers direct her to the fire-lit house built with toys. Waifs grab her hands and pull her to an enormous, red man with a wide, open mouth.

(Written for Loren Eaton’s 2013 Advent Ghost Storytelling Fest)

Family Reunion: Advent Ghosts 2012

“Not this again!” William growls.

The traditional roasted chicken and dressing, gravy, green beans, and corn sit steaming on the table while his wife glides about the room, bringing honeyed ham, broccoli casserole, rolls and muffins, tomato and squash soups—everything as overabundantly perfect as it had been every Christmas. Beautiful, but ethereal.

His sons and daughter, their bodies scorched from the fire three years ago, quietly urge him to eat “to forget this weary world.”

Eyes burning, he throws a coat over his pajamas and stumbles into the icy street. His wife follows with a cup of flaming cider.

(Index of all stories submitted to the Advent Ghosts Storytelling Fest)

Fourth Annual Advent Ghosts Storytelling

Loren Eaton refers to the beautiful aurora in northern-most and southern-most skies, which is one of the cool aspects of the new Angry Birds Seasons update, but I don’t plan to talk about that here. I wanted to announce my participation in Loren’s shared storytelling event, Advent Ghost 2012. We will be posting our 100-word stories on our respective blogs on Saturday, December 22, and Loren will link to all of them on his blog. I’ll be sure to link to this indexing post too. Now, you have something to look forward to. There’s no need to thank me.

You can read past stories for this event and other flash fiction I’ve posted in our Creative Writing category.

The Night After Christmas: An Advent Ghost Story

Wayne’s car died downtown while a frizzy-headed kid watched. Three sickly children stopped playing under a large electric snowflake when he walked by, and a pale, stained baby, rolling on the sidewalk, began wailing. Now he runs past the shuttered tourist-shop windows, seeing shadows in doorways, twisted faces in car windows, and figures from the corners of his eyes. The rumor can’t be true–that children, murdered by Herod, haunt the streets tonight seeking abusers. Broken sidewalk catches his foot and cracks his knee like a walnut.

Then they come.

Pallid boys emerge from the cracks: grabbing, pulling, twisting, choking.

(Thanks for Loren Eaton for organizing this shared storytelling event. See his post for a list of other stories.)

Reunion: An Advent Ghost Story

Mary Beth hopped through the door spritely, like she’d always done, alighting on a chair. Her dark curls bounced as she glanced around, but he sat gaping. It had been three years since the funeral.

“Why don’t you throw out that sorry wreath I made? Christmas is about hope, grace, life–” She stopped herself with giggles.

His heart skittered. “But, honey, you–ain’t you dead?”

Her impish smile grew. “Darlin’, Death’s been beat.” She reached and lifted him like a newborn. He gasped, then laughed as dawn crashed in with trumpets, announcing a triumphant king’s return.

(Thanks for Loren Eaton for organizing this shared storytelling event. Here is his index post with links to other stories, and I have one more story to share a little later this morning. Merry Christmas.)

Christmas Eve Ghost Story

An illuminated window on a dark night

Clock face is blinking. All is not calm, despite acceptable profits, contract bonuses—some unavoidable layoffs. Year end in the black as starless night, silent night, without bells or winds. On Christmas Eve, only sleepless, blinking red numbers.

But who’s on the lawn below? Hollow-eyed, ashen children are kicking cans, and are they singing? I throw up the sash. “Born to raise the sons of earth . . .” they rattle.

I start to yell, but a rag-wrapped child grabs my hand. “I would have been seven this Christmas.”

I jerk back, and they’re gone, leaving my hand chilled.

— — —

I wrote this in response to Loren Eaton’s group solicitation for 100-word advent ghost stories. Read more such stories by way of his blog, I Saw Lightning Fall.