Tag Archive for: microfiction

A Song for Dorian

by Carol Ryles


Ta-da!” Lucinda gestured to her newest creation: a tree adorned with taxidermic hummingbirds, cygnets, sparrows, and ducklings.

Dorian chuckled, then guzzled his third goblet of merlot. “That takes stuffing the turkey to a whole new level. Is it finished?”

Lucinda almost lost herself to his hypnotic gaze.

“What the—” He dropped the goblet, staggered, collapsed.

Lucinda’s camouflage faded, revealing the furry snout, reptilian tongue, and horns of a krampus. She knelt, lowered a talon to Dorian’s eyeball. The perfect bauble!

Detaching the sclera, she broke into joyous, triumphant song.

“On the second day of Christmas my boyfriend gave to me…”


Carol Ryles

Carol Ryles hails from Western Australia. Her short fiction has appeared in over a dozen publications, including Eidolon, Aurealis, and The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror. Her debut novel, The Eternal Machine, was independently published in 2022. You can find links to her work at carolryles.net

Always Watching

by Sophie Wagner


As he rotted away, cheeks sallow, smile bloody, dreams of sugarplums died. Even magic couldn’t fix him.

“Good morning!” piped a sing-song voice from the speakers in the padded room. Santa shot to his feet, camera’s following his every move.

“Please!” he screamed. “I can’t take this anymore. Let me go!”

Tsk, tsk,” came the voice. “Don’t like being constantly watched? How’s it make you feel?

“I want to die!” Santa shrieked.

“That’s not very jolly…” the voice said. “Let’s try again tomorrow.” With that, he turned off the lights and left Santa in the dark, the cameras always watching.


Sophie Wagner

Sophie Wagner is an emerging student author who has had multiple short story and poetry publications. You can find her work at The Macabre Ladies, Black Ink Fiction, Eerie River Publishing, Iron Faerie Publishing, Black Hare Press and more. She hopes you have a horror-filled day!


by David D. West


Santa turned away from the plate of milk and cookies and saw the round rump of a boy digging through his sack of wonders. He frowned as the greedy boy wriggled to and fro, searching for hidden delights meant for others.

He set one soot-covered boot against the boy’s ass and pushed. The boy fell into the sack with a gasp. Santa cinched it tight and the sack shrunk in on itself. The boy’s screams died down as the sack compressed his writhing body.

When all was silent, Santa reached into the sack and pulled out a lump of coal.


David D. West

David D. West lives and teaches in the Pacific Northwest, which offers the perfect gloomy atmosphere for his writing. Find him on Twitter/Instagram @DavidWestWrites




by Mel Andela


A dead mouse sat in sister’s stocking, a toy car on the stairs for mother, and Jamie nestled with visions of destruction rather than sugar plums.

He sees you when you’re sleeping…

Faint music made Jamie prickle with goosebumps.

Be good for goodness sake…

There was a creak at the door, and a hulking silhouette appeared.

“You’re on my list,” A not-so-jolly voice beckoned. “Time to go.”

“N-no coal?” Jamie squeaked.

“No, when you’ve been really naughty—downright mean—you go to the workshop.”


“Ho, ho, ho,” The laugh was mirthless, merciless. “Who do you think makes the toys?”


Mel Andela

Mel fell in love with stories (particularly ghost stories) at a young age, and started writing as soon as she could hold a pencil. Mel lives in a small town in Ontario, Canada, reading anything and everything, and writing short fiction and poetry whenever she gets the chance.



Crossing the Line

by Jameson Grey


New Year’s Eve.

The day the last of my line dies. I’ve hired a boat for the occasion—a yacht, no less! Sailed out to the Line Islands. Currently sitting one second east of the International Date Line. Waiting.

I’ve requested the captain crosses the Date Line at midnight. Time it right, it can be beaten. The curse.

The crew’s happy enough. They’re getting paid either way.

The damn Barber family curse!

One dies at midnight. Every year.

It’s 11.59. The boat is firing up. I feel it. I am heading up on deck.

Crossing the line one last ti—


Jameson Grey

Jameson Grey is originally from England but now lives with his family in western Canada. His work has been published in Dark Recesses Press, Dark Dispatch, and in anthologies from Ghost Orchid Press, Black Hare Press and Heads Dance Press.
Website: jameson-grey.com


Dear Santa

by James Rumpel


Dear Santa,

I have been a good boy this year. Papa says I have been a wonderful helper. He says I am great bait and that I am getting strong enough that I will soon be able to help with the cutting.

For Christmas, I would like my own knives and a pair of handcuffs. If you can’t get me the handcuffs, a bunch of zip-ties would be okay.




P.S. You might not want to come down the chimney when you visit our house. Papa’s been stuffing things into it lately. I wouldn’t want you to get stuck.


James Rumpel

James Rumpel is a retired math teacher who enjoys spending some of his free time trying to turn some of the odd ideas in brain into stories. 



by Don Money


Of the thirteen Yule Lads, Ketrokur was the most feared. While his brothers were known to slam doors, lick spoons, and other trivial inconveniences, Ketrokur lived up to his nickname, Meat Hook. When he came down from the mountains, the Icelandic night was bathed in blood.

Doors torn from their hinges, the iron hook in Ketrokur’s hand grew bloodier with each house he visited. The greedy hook collecting a sacrificial toll.

With the sunrise, Ketrokur returned to his rocky crag; his sled was weighed down by the sacks stained from their bloody contents. A year’s worth of meals on board.


Don Money

Don Money writes stories across a variety of genres. He is a middle school language arts teacher. His stories have appeared in a variety of anthologies.


Merry Crashed-Mass

by Shawn M. Klimek


Day 11: So cold.

The smoking, skeletal remains of the crashed sleigh are poor shelter. Yet, to be more easily spotted by a search plane, I have resisted wandering. I am now convinced of sabotage. I wrack my brain for suspects, but fumes from the plastic toys burned for heat have dimmed my faculties. The toy radio I rescued taunts me in silence for my policy against including batteries.

Thank Loki, two of the reindeer survived the initial crash. Their venison has kept me alive. My Donner party joke did not go over well.

His sad eyes haunt my dreams.


Shawn M. Klimek

Shawn M. Klimek is the author of more than 230 published poems and short stories, a third of which are featured in BHP anthologies. He is also the author of the illustrated, dark fantasy tale told in melodic poems, “Hungry Thing”. Follow his writing journey on Twitter, Facebook or jotinthedark.blogspot.com


Slaybells Ring

by Dawn DeBraal

The blackened finger of evil rolled down the elf’s face, leaving a trail of blood behind it.

“Where’s the fat man?”

“My loyalty is to Kris Kringle.”

“You stupid imp, I am Kris Kringle.”

“Then you should know where you work!” The demon recoiled at such bravery. The spirit disposed of the elven trash. If Santa’s helpers were close, so was the mode of transportation Kris needed.

“Come.” He called to the hellhounds with antlers tied to their heads. Soon, they would touch every house on Christmas Eve with the help of Santa’s stolen sleigh. All Hell would break loose.


Dawn DeBraal

Dawn DeBraal lives in rural Wisconsin with her husband Red, two little dogs, and a cat. She has discovered that her love of telling a good story can be written.  She has published over 200 stories in many online magazines and anthologies. Falling Star Magazine’s 2019 Pushcart Nominee.


Pony for Christmas

by Pauline Yates


My “ho’s” change to groans as I play the shopping mall Santa—my wife arrives with our granddaughter, Ester, and home-baked cookies for my tea break. I love Ester, but the cookies taste funny and belong in the bin.

Ester clambers onto my lap.

“What would you like for Christmas?” I ask.

She pouts. “A pony. Grandma’s making me wait until after she collects Grandpa’s life insurance, but I want one now.”

“Is she? Well, all good girls get their Christmas wish.”

And bad wives get a knife through the heart. I saw one on sale. I’ll get it gift-wrapped.


Pauline Yates

Pauline Yates writes dark stories with a pen she pinched from the dead zone.