It’s a sad thing, but I did kill Santa for a short story contest. I can’t say I’m sorry either. I really wanted to try my hand at a horror story in Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas style, except mine is more the nightmare after Christmas. Now before you get too upset, remember it’s the spirit of Christmas that matters. Anyway, Christmas is past. Out with the old, and in with the new, right?
Since I had no plans on publishing another post during the New Year’s Eve Giveaway Blog Hop, hosted by I am a Reader, not a Writer, and co-hosted by Bab’s Book Bistro, I’ll have to direct you to my previous post for the Rafflecopter entry form. However, I’d love it if you read my contest story first, and then you’ll see the chocolate treats my 400 follower winner can choose from at the end, plus a few of the paperbacks the New Year’s Giveaway winner can choose in lieu of a hardback if he or she wishes. I can ship 2-3 paperbacks for the same postage as one hardback, so it’s entirely the winner’s choice.
The story contest is hosted by Heather Arundel, at her blog, and since I only found it earlier today, I didn’t have much time to make it pretty. The rules limit the story to 500 words, so here goes, at 499.
Christmas was over, past and passed. Center stage in an overstuffed chair, Santa slumped unmoving, cookie in hand. No one believed in something for nothing anymore, choking the life from the Spirit of Giving. And with the Christmas Spirit dead—Christmas belonged to the dead.
None of the present company held Santa’s lack of presence against him—they were ghosts too. Spirits packed the meeting hall to the rafters. Some hung from the rafters, cause of death evident in their dispirited forms.
New arrivals mistook the gathering for a wake, celebrating in gory detail—until the party fell apart. Realizing their error, members pulled themselves together, piece by piece.
Onstage, Santa appeared a ghost of his former self, permanently past tense. A bevy of elves hung nearby, yet their gaseous forms hardly lent an uplifting air—or smell—to the funereal atmosphere.
Raising both hands, one turned towards Santa and cried out, “Hel—.” Though transparent himself, his meaning lacked clarity.
More experienced spirits had learned to manipulate the air, hissing their speech. “What’ss he trying to ssay?” asked a headless horseman, astride his spectral mount.
“No, raisse Chrisstmass, Deadhead,” a pale teenage girl in Goth-black pointed out, or tried to. Her hand, slit through the wrist, fell off.
“No need for name calling,” a dropped-dead gorgeous model protested, striking a haughty pose.
The horseman’s jaw dropped—along with his head, eyes rolling in protest. “Grateful Dead. A band, Mss. Airhead.” His body climbed down and groped the ground—and the ethereal poser.
She dissipated, proving all beauty is ephemeral.
Clinging to Santa, the elf cried again, “Wa-a-a-a—.”
“Bad trip, crybaby? Got any more of that ssh—?” Deadhead asked.
“He ssaid way, not waah, moron,” Goth girl interrupted, reattaching her wrist.
The horseman stood, head in hand. “Ssanta sshould have weighed himsself before. Too late to die-ett now.” Laughing insanely, he screwed on his head.
The girl sighed with transparent disappointment. “Not that weigh either.”
The elf tried to shake Santa, sank through and wailed, “Wa-a-a-a—.”
“Waa-ke! He’ss trying to wake Ssanta up!” Pointing with more spirit this time, the girl succeeded—as a whole. At least her hand didn’t fall off.
The horseman hissed, “We’re here to wake Ssanta, not for hiss wake!” Not thinking forward, he headed for the stage stairs—backwards. Like Frankenstein’s monster, his head wasn’t screwed on straight.
“Let me,” said Deadhead, tripping up the steps. His head wasn’t on much straighter.
“Can’t you ssee? There’ss only one way,” Goth-girl said. Drifting up to Santa, she whispered, “I believe.”
Spirits clapped as the girl handed him her hand—detached from her arm.
Shocked but pleased, Santa’s spirit revived. “Ho-ho-ho! A gift of self! With your handy severance gift, you gave me the best Christmas presence of my afterlife!”
A spirited cheer arose. “May the Spirit of Christmas live forever!”
And he did.
That’s it. I hope you don’t hate me for killing Santa. Remember, the spirit of Christmas will live forever. And here are the chocolate treats I promised, from which my 400 follower winner can choose $10 worth. It should work out to be 4-5 items. At the end of the New Year’s Giveaway Blog Hop, I will hold one drawing for a hardback, and a second drawing whenever I reach 400 followers, with books and chocolate going to the follower who brings me the most new followers.
Thanks for visiting and reading my story. I’d really like to hear what you think about it, whether or not you’re a horror fan. I’m sure not, and this will likely be my last foray into the genre–unless another contest tempts me. Now I direct you to my last post for the Rafflecopter giveaway form. You should see it right below. If not, click here.