Thursday, December 18, 2014

Advent Ghosts 2014: Eyes Full of Tinsel and Fire

Another holiday season, another Advent Ghosts Day. Loren Eaton who blogs at I Saw Lightning Fall invites writers to dabble in a yuletide drabble each year at this time. It's his way to help honor the Victorian tradition of telling ghost stories at Christmas time and also bringing together the blogging and writing community. Drabble? That's a short short story, a micro story I'd call it, of exactly 100 words. No more, no less. Below is my contribution for this wintry ghostly time of year. It's a twofold tribute to Victorian ghost stories and the cautionary tales that warn children to behave themselves...or else.

"Eyes Full of Tinsel and Fire"

The little boy placed the Yule log on the andirons along with kindling, struck a match and set the log ablaze.  He sat there transfixed by the crackling and popping sounds and the dance of the yellow and orange flames.  It was his private fire, his alone.

Then an explosive pop and the log split in two. Smoke poured into the room like a carpet of soot unfurling. Out of the smoke a scaly clawed hand was reaching for something.

And a scratchy snarling voice cried out from the hearth, "Playing with matches again? Here's your coal, you naughty boy!"

For more Christmas themed drabbles please visit Loren's blog where he has collected the links to all the participants' blogs. There are also a few stories posted here for those who don't have blogs. They make for quite a variety of chilling holiday visions and events.


  1. Arrghhh! EC comic lives again - really wish I had a fireplace now ...

  2. Oh my. I was a kid who played with matches. Glad I avoided that fate!

  3. A chilling warning to strike terror into every child with a fiery imagination.

  4. Ahh very nice. I totally didn't see that ending coming :)

  5. Good one, John! I didn't see the end either. I think you spoiled the little fellow's Christmas!

  6. Speaking of short short horror stories, I refer to the amusing science fiction short story Knock by Fredric Brown, where he refers in the beginning to a two-sentence horror story:
    "The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door..."