Monthly Archives: December 2014

A Yuletide Tale

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A Yuletide Tale

By: Guess Who Wrote This?

“Why didn’t Trina come out to play today?” Nyx, the handsome woodland sprite asked. He was sprawled cross-legged at the base of a weeping willow tree taking a deep toke on the long-stemmed pipe he held between his teeth.

“Stupid sprite,” chided Rhiannon, “You have the attention span of a gnat.” She, a tiny blonde haired pixie was presently showing off. She flittered her wings as she hovered over a blade of grass causing it to sway to and fro. “How many times did Trina tell us that she wouldn’t be with us today – it’s a holiday.”

“Holiday? Which holiday?” Nyx asked blowing a perfect smoke ring in her direction

“Christmas.”

“Christmas?” Durin, the pale-faced elf now spoke. “Is that the one presided over by that vile Santa Claus creature?” He crinkled his nose and made a face that caused his pointed ears to twitch.

“Why so hostile toward the old one?” Rhiannon asked.

“He’s dirty, smells of chimney dust and his despicable treatment of the elves that work for him is well documented.”

The others laughed.

 

These three magical creatures lived in a clearing along a quiet brook beyond the yard of a big house in a land known as Texas.

Well, they didn’t exactly live there. They actually resided in the imagination of a young human female named Trina who lived in the house.

Trina first came in contact with Rhiannon on a rainy Saturday afternoon when she was five years old. There weren’t many other children her age in the area and she was often lonely. Rhiannon was a cobweb fairy that played beneath the girl’s bed and Trina welcomed this newfound friend.

When next they played outside, Rhiannon introduced the girl to Durin the elf and Nyx, the mischievous male sprite. Together they played every day for the next four years. Well, almost every day.

“So, she thinks exchanging presents and singing carols with her family excuses her from her duties here?” Nyx chortled like he was lord of the forest.

“Oh hush you! You are always so jealous whenever the poor girl spends time away.” Rhiannon flew close to the sprite’s nose flapping her wings and annoying him so much that he fanned her away.

“Presents…will she be bringing us presents?” Durin asked excitedly picking up on the only part of the conversation that interested him.

“No,” Rhiannon answered. “But she promises there will be marvelous food for us tomorrow.”

“Ghastly human food?” The elf again complained. “Animal flesh and vegetables they destroy by cooking and boiling?”

“No, delightful sweets, cookies and gingerbread – chocolate cake and candy gum drops tasting of spice.”

“Yummy.” Nyx rubbed his bare belly.

“It’ll give us all a tummy ache.” Durin warned.

Suddenly, Nyx’s eyes brightened and he sat straight up.

“Hold on! Christmas – isn’t that the one that has the tradition of the mistletoe?”

“Indeed.” Rhiannon answered.

“Remind me.” The sprite instructed.

Rhiannon was reluctant in this task. She knew Nyx to be one of the naughtiest of his kind, never missing a chance to peek up a female’s skirt, brush against a round bottom or steal a kiss in the middle of the night. But she obliged him. “Humans must kiss if they find themselves beneath a sprig of mistletoe.”

“Aha! I thought so.”

“What matters this, we have no hemi-parasitic plants at our disposal? The spoilsport elf intoned.

“But we do have smooth edged evergreen leaves and waxy red and white berries don’t we?” Nyx inquired.

“In abundance.”

“Then you can fashion some with twigs and your elfin tool kit?”

“Undoubtedly.”
“Seems a lot of trouble for just one little kiss.” Rhiannon observed.

“It’s worth it.” Nyx almost drooled in his lechery.

“Are you in such a hurry to send her on her way?”

“It is my job after all, is it not?” The sprite exercised his authority in the matter.

“Not Trina. Not yet anyway. She’s only nine.” Durin objected.

“Quiet elf! I spoke nothing of sending her on her way, only of stealing one naughty little peck. I was going to include you in on the action too.”

“A kiss for me, really?”

“Forget it now. Both of you have robbed the joy from the act.”

Nyx drew sullen and turned his back on his mates. Their accusations hurt his feelings. He ambled off deeper into the wooded glen, the elf and the fairy following.

They found him kneeling next to Trina’s Love in Idleness Flower, a three-petaled plant that bloomed white but turned a bold hue of pink with age. They all knew that in a few short seasons, it would be time for Nyx to pluck it from the ground and with great stealth carry it to the bedroom where Trina slept. There he would whisper a poem in the girl’s ear and gently squeeze the petals of the flower until the nectar spilled over her sleeping form. Her body would begin to change from that night on as the seeds of womanhood and the power of motherhood grew inside her. She would be vulnerable to the advances of boys and rely on the lessons taught by her human family to make informed decisions and proper choices. In time, even her woodland friends would fade from her consciousness to become a haunting memory.

But for now, the fairy and the elf were right. There was plenty of time.

It was then the creatures heard the sounds of singing coming from within the house. Human voices, normally such a grating cacophony that it hurt their ears and gave them headaches suddenly sounded mellow and peaceful. They moved dangerously close to the human abode to peer in a window from two opposite sides, the elf on one and the sprite on the other. Rhiannon streaked back and forth between her colleagues at a speed no human eye could detect. There they saw Trina and her family gathered around a triangular musical instrument called a Spinet whose tone was melodious.

They sang in a blend of voices harmonious and most pleasing. “Deck the halls with boughs of holly fa-la-la-la la-la-la-la la!”

“Boughs of holly is it now?” Nyx cracked wise.

“Tee-hee-hee” Rhiannon shouted out with glee.

“Fa-la-la-la-la?” Repeated Durin. “What fools these mortals be.”

Rhiannon chided, “Hush now you…it’s a Holiday.”

Come on, Guess, I’ll never tell until you Guess.

Andres.

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Enter your short story to win and attend a free webinar with an award-winning author!

Subject: Enter your short story to win and attend a free webinar with an award-winning author!
Reply-To: “Phil Sexton” <reply-fec613707d640c7f-113820_HTML-239076466-1303282-85@writers-community.com>

Hello there!

As you’ve likely heard, Writer’s Digest is once again running its annual Short Short Story Competition. Through this competition, we’ve discovered a number of terrific writers and helped shine a spotlight on their work.

Winners of the competition can receive cash prizes, a trip to the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference, coverage in Writer’s Digest magazine, free books, and more. But what’s most exciting about this year’s competition is that EVERY entrant receives a free pass to a special online webinar conducted by award-winning author Jacob Appel. Typically our expert webinars are valued at $79 to $99. Jacob’s instruction, however, is priceless. Here are the webinar details and a bit about Jacob:

Marketing Short Fiction: The Art & Science of Literary Publishing

The age of the computer and the Internet has led to an explosion of outlets for short fiction. Literally several thousand journals, both in print and on line, offer respectable venues for publication. How should an aspiring author choose among them? And what are the secrets to success in the publication game? In this session, Jacob Appel offers his “tricks of the trade” on such subjects as market selection and submission, contests, cover letters, “best of” anthologies, red flags, how to build a portfolio that will appeal to agents, and how to market a collection. In doing so, he’ll demystify the submission and selection process, ultimately leading to a more impressive acceptance to submission ratio. While writing is an art, publishing short fiction is as much a science as a creative endeavor–one that the determined and informed student can master. After devoting so much time, energy and emotion to creating short stories why should an author leave publication to chance?

Jacob M. Appel’s first novel, The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up, won the 2012 Dundee International Book Award and was published by Cargo. His short story collection, Scouting for the Reaper, won the 2012 Hudson Prize and was published by Black Lawrence Press in 2014. Jacob’s short fiction has appeared in more than two hundred literary journals including Agni, Colorado Review, Gettysburg Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Virginia Quarterly Review and many others. To highlight just a few of his achievements, his prose has won the Boston Review Short Fiction Competition, the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Award for the Short Story, the North American Review’s Kurt Vonnegut Prize, the Missouri Review’s Editor’s Prize, the New Millennium Writings Fiction Award on four occasions, an Elizabeth George Fellowship and a Sherwood Anderson Foundation Writers Grant. His stories have been short-listed for the O. Henry Award (2001), Best American Short Stories (2007, 2008, 2013), Best American Nonrequired Reading (2007, 2008), and the Pushcart Prize anthology (2005, 2006, 2011, 2014). His essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press, Orlando Sentinel, The Providence Journal and many regional newspapers.

So if you’ve got a short story to submit – or have one in mind you’d like to write – consider entering the Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. The deadline is December 15th, 2014!

Good luck – and keep writing

Phil

Phil 4
Phil Sexton
Publisher, Writer’s Digest
To enter visit: http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/short-short-story-competition

 

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Holiday Party Flash Fiction

4052-beautiful-christmas-village-800x600HWG Holiday Party Flash Fiction Challenge

 

This year’s challenge: 500 word flash fiction piece with the following words:

humbug                stocking                eggnog             Dickens

jolly                      partridge              peace               and (of course)…

mistletoe               bell                       reindeer            Henderson Writers’ Group

 

Entries cannot exceed 500 words. (plus 13, so 513)

Only one entry per person.

Please e-mail all entries to Alba at aarango@cox.net, with FLASH FICTION as the subject heading, no later than SUNDAY, December 14.