Santa’s shorts

Santasboots cover 2017 Santa’s Boots – a Christmas story

Two short “coming of age” stories “Santa’s Boots” and “Christmas Cheer” that celebrate the holiday season. Bonus story is included.

Hope you have a great Christmas season this year.


Recommended Reading from the Shadows

I just read a short story by a newer writer, James Schardt How the Mighty Have Fallen. I really wish I could find more of his writings because there were moments of brilliance in this story.

It is a fantasy legal thriller. The narrator, a lawyer, sees a murder committed in the Inn where he was staying for the night. He talks to the innkeeper, the murderer, and the justice of that area to find out the entire story.

It is a compelling little story. The writer has a lot of potential. Plus I hope to see more of his writings one day.

So this little gem is on KU or 99 cents on Amazon.

Free Story from my Flash collections

Road Trip

Killer, an almost full-grown French terrier male with a smashed face reminiscent of a pug, had been whimpering for the last few miles of the trip. Sandy had handed Tracy a water-bottle, “here try this,” she said.

But Killer was not one to pee in the bottle, no matter how many times his mistress and her friend tried to show him how to do it so it was time to stop and relieve the poor dog. It was starting to get dark so Sandy pulled over when she saw a small gas station in an equally small town with a store attached.

Tracy took Killer out for a pee and Sandy filled up the car. “I’ll get some sodas and candy,” Sandy remarked as Killer pulled Tracy to a small wooded area near the back of the store. He snuffled against the ground until he reached the dumpster filled to overflowing with garbage bags all around.

Suddenly Killer let out a low moan and pulled Tracy to one of the bags. He pawed the bag until a foot with a shoe popped out. Another low moan and Killer rolled on the bag. Tracy was still trying to process that there was a real foot attached to a real shoe.

With shaky hands, Tracy called Sandy on her IPhone. “We got a problem.” Before she could explain, Sandy shouted back, “Help. I’m being attacked by a one-armed meth addict.”

It took only ten minutes later after Tracy’s frantic 9-1-1 call that the Sheriff arrived.

He looked at the two women covered in dirt and leaves. Down at their feet was an unconscious one-armed man.

“Where’s the dead body?” he asked. Both of the women pointed to the moaning dog on the garbage bag.

“Tourists,” he muttered.

Published in I’m a Flasher in 2011.

Free Fiction Monday – Under his spell

When Anne needed time alone, she would get into her car and drive. Sometimes she would drive to the store and assuage her yearnings with retail therapy. Other times she would drive to Tahoe, park on the side of the road, roll down the window, and watch the animals, birds, people, and lake. Once the yearnings subsided, she would start the car and drive back to the house.

At two thirty her children would rush through the door, excited about school. She would pull out some milk and cookies, and then set them up for homework. Mark would come home around dinner time. Anne would get ready for work. Mark would give her a quick kiss and she was gone.
If Anne had time to explain what she yearned for, she would probably say that she needed alone time.

Or maybe she would say that life had her by the throat. She didn’t know what she wanted. It was some nebulous thing that didn’t include husband, children, or survival.
As she stood behind the counter, helping folks check-in, Anne didn’t have time to feel that empty hole. Not until she saw a black-haired young man with a diamond earring, his arm around a girl with spiked hair. They didn’t seem to notice anyone around them as he kissed her.

Anne sighed.

It was three a.m. when Anne walked back to her car to go home. To her surprise the black-haired young man was sitting on the hood. He smiled at her. His canines looked slightly longer than normal, but it was hard to tell in the darkness.

She ignored him until he grabbed her wrist when she tried to turn the lock in the door. Anne looked into his eyes. “What do you want?”

“I couldn’t help but notice you today,” he answered. He pulled her closer to him. She pulled back.

“Here’s your chance,” he said. “To dance with the devil.”

This time she let him pull her close. In seconds his canines snapped out and he was drinking from her neck. It was the most sexual thing she had felt in a long time. Her yearnings died as she let him drink.
A few hours later her body was found drained of blood and decapitated. All that was left was the mourning

Free Fiction Monday– Writing the End

The rough-hewed walls of the cave sparkled with pyrite. In the front of the cave was a log fire, which kept the small area around the fire warm enough that I could take off my coat. There didn’t seem to be anyone in the cave, but myself even though there had to be someone there to keep the fire going.

I saw piles of notebooks stacked against the cave wall. When I picked up one of the notebooks I could see the dirt ground into the cover. Inside the notebook someone had written stories and words. There were also scratches and blotches on the paper. I set the notebook down on a small table, which held an inkwell and quill. There had to be someone here.

I sat on the floor with another of the notebooks, trying to read the stories. I threw the notebook down when I realized that each of the stories were missing an ending. There was no resolution. It was like someone had put a paren on one end of a thought and forgot to close it with another paren. I was curious before, but now I was furious. Who would do this?

“May I help you?” asked a soft voice that came out of the darkest part of the cave.

“Where are the endings,” I asked with barely concealed irritation.

“It’s a long story,” the voice whispered.

“I have all day,” I answered. I had all night, because I could see the stars come out in the sky from my vantage point. They sprinkled past the fire.

“I write the stories of the world,” said the voice. “If I ever write the endings, the the world will end.”

“You have got to be kidding,” I said. “No one has that much power.”

“Here,” said the voice. “I’ll show you.”

A young man in a dark hooded cloak walked into the light. His face was distorted like a TV without a clear channel. He took his quill and wrote the words “the end.”

A huge light appeared in the distance as I saw the sun explode. “Stop it, stop it.” I yelled.

The young man waved his hand “It’s too late.”

I swear, I watched him disappear as the blackness roiled over me.

Free Fiction Monday — Santa’s Boots

Every morning Earl Olsburg would crawl from under the blankets, place his bare feet on the dirt floor, quickly pull on his woolen socks over his thermals, and then light the fire in the coal-wood stove across the room.

The one-room cabin would warm as his siblings slept on the bed. He would carefully stoke the blaze until he could feel its cheerful warmth. Then he would completely dress in his clothes and outer-garments. Next he fed and watered the chickens and one cow. By then his younger sister would be gathering the eggs. Earl would chop the kindling and stack the wood against the wall near the stove. The room would be warm as mother readied a breakfast of eggs and toast. They would all eat together around a small table in the corner.

Since the death of their father a few months before, Earl at twelve was the man of the house. When his father was living, he would bring a small fir home so that the family could decorate it with with ribbons and popcorn. On Christmas morning each of the children had small stockings filled with an orange and small bits of hard candy. Earl would save bits of the candy to remember Christmas.

Without a father, they wouldn’t have much of a Christmas. Still this Christmas Eve, mother pulled out the last of her sugar and flour and made cookies. The children sang carols as they decked the small room with fire boughs. They fell asleep under the blankets.

On Christmas morning, Earl slipped out of bed and started his morning routine. Turning towards the door, he stopped. In front of him were two black-polished boots filled to the brim with candy. His heart stopped and started. He looked to see if his mother was up. Surely she didn’t have enough money to buy these beautiful boots, let alone the candy. He knew how much money they had to the last penny.

He knelt down and looked at the boots again in their black shiny surfaces. Around the boots were four oranges. He looked up and saw his mother climb out of bed. When he saw her face filled with astonishment and yes, tears, he knew she had not done this.

They carefully divided the candy. Then Early put on the boots. They fit perfectly. For the first time in months, Earl believed in hope.

Free Fiction Monday – My nightmares

The deep violet blackness hid any predators that might hide in this cave. I scooted back until I reached the cracked rock walls, which rubbed against my back. I looked around, hoping for some light so that I could see what dangers lurked here.

I could hear my breathing, hard and rapid. I tried to slow it down. In the background I could hear a slight whisper of footfalls and breath. I couldn’t tell if it was walking towards me or away from me. I was alone.

My fear ratcheted as strained to hear the steps. It stood in front of me and I could feel its warm breath in my face. I reached towards this thing and felt soft fur on its legs. When I looked into its eyes, the yellow eyes, I knew it could hear my breath and my heart beat.

It roared. I screamed. I tried to scoot back farther, but I was trapped between the thing and the wall. “Mommy, mommy, mommy,” I cried, my voice pitched higher.

I could feel it shake me as I tried to escape and kick.

“Hush, hush, shhh,” a soft voice whispered in my ear. “Wake up. Wake up. You are safe here.”

I came to in the darkness. A small candle was in her hand, my aunt was now my guardian. “Hush,” she whispered, as she gently stroked my face.

My heart calmed. The beat in my head became fainter. I was in the real world, a world where my parents had been killed for being rebels to the Roman government. They had been thrown in the gladiator’s ring and in front of my very eyes they had been eaten.

When I had been released in the streets, my aunt had found me. We had run from Rome. Still the nightmares haunted me. The panther who had eaten my parents was a metaphor in my dreams. One day I would come back. I would kill Caesar and sack his cities.

“I promise,” I whispered to the six year old child in the dream.