Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Presence (Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge)

I'm reading Zero Time, a time travel or multi-universe story (too soon to tell yet) by Kenneth Reimer, when I see the new Flash Fiction challenge from Carrot Ranch Communications:

Last week was a blast with all the unlikely and unusual pairings. So I thought I’d continue to roll with it and come up with something seasonal and something odd. Sugar cookies and toilet paper. Santa’s sleigh and an Austin Allegro. Reindeer and black flies. A manger and a New York City penthouse. Boughs of holly and barking wiener dogs. The Nutcracker and the emergency room. Holiday ham and a WWII uniform. Chestnuts roasting and a railroad hobo. Prayers and vagrancy.

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that pairs something seasonal with something odd. You can select your own two or pick from the suggested pairings above. Keep one associated with the December holiday season.

Out of this juxtaposition, what appears to me is a new kind of Christmas ghost. Hence:

Christmas Presence

Space misted over the glittering tree and its brightly wrapped surroundings, revealing bitter eyes mid-air, in a face twisted by decades of curdled anger. Through clenched jaws it counted, "one, two... ten".

"No, it wasn't this year. Maybe the year before."

Time was wrenched again, and in an earlier room, the same eyes sought, the same cynical voice counted, "one, two... eight."

In his past there would be justification for his rage and loathing for the holiday. It had driven him to pursue his time-travel vision. He went on, searching backward for the no-presents Christmas that poisoned his life.

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