Saturday, December 19, 2020

Advent Ghosts 2020: A Pair of Ghostly Vignettes

Once again we find ourselves in the week before Christmas and Loren Eaton of I Saw Lighting Fall has invited various writers to contribute their frissons of ghostly yuletide frights and visitations from beyond.  The catch?  Each micro story is a drabble consisting of precisely 100 words. No more, no less. And each must be a ghost story or an eerie tale or a twisted Roald Dahl story with a nasty surprise.  However they take shape, whether it be a traditional ghost story with an uncanny spirit or a tale of gruesome horror, they have all manifested themselves today, December 19. Here are my two contributions.  Not as nasty I usually whip up, but given these days when many loved ones have slipped away from omnipresent illness and disappeared into the ether I thought perhaps these were more suitable and slightly more hopeful.


   "If Only in My Dreams"

This was her favorite. Every year they saved it for last and placed it at the apex of the tree. Not a traditional star, but a glass blown dog -- long ears, comical Santa hat and sad-happy eyes. This year she’d go it alone.  Uncle Sebastian was another casualty of the ubiquitous virus.

Sudden movement distracted her from her reminiscence. The ornament left her fingers and was guided to the treetop.  In disbelief she stepped up, reached out for the floating dog, felt a warm touch.  Her hand and one unseen were placing the ornament as they did every year.

"Mark Ye Well the Song We Sing"

So what if he couldn’t see the Christmas lights anymore.  More like light pollution than Christmas spirit.  Vision going, going, soon to be gone… But his hearing was sharp and keen as ever.  Music saved him.  The carolers were approaching.  He opened the door to get the full effect.  Hazy shapes, no faces discernible.  But the sound, oh the sound.  Harmony, melody, true song.  He felt like inviting them in.  Were they even clothed?  They could do with a Irish coffee with plenty of whiskey.  Sound faded, hazy visions melted like ice and not even a footprint was left behind.


  1. These are nicely poignant, John. I'm noticing that the stories this year seem more melancholic than outright terrifying. Perhaps that's the pandemic's work. We've had enough true horror of late.

  2. Those ghostly visitations are lovely :)

  3. Very sweet.

    That's how they get you of course: one moment you're sharing a moment of joy; the next you've started drinking flavoured coffees... with milk.