Welcome to Advent Ghosts 2016, the eighth annual shared storytelling event at I Saw Lightning Fall, Loren Eaton’s blog about “narrative, genre, and the craft of writing.” For the uninitiated, Advent Ghosts seeks to recreate the classic British tradition of swapping spooky stories at Yuletide. However, instead of penning longer pieces, we post bite-sized pieces of flash fiction for everyone to enjoy.
Ghost Winter Flower by Henrik Thorn
To learn more about this tradition, read the article here about this “lost tradition.”
This is my fifth year writing for Advent Ghosts. In my first year I pulled some edited lines from a ghost story I wrote about meth addiction. It is called “The Escape.”
In 2012, I decided to try Loren’s model of writing one piece inspired by secular Christmas traditions, and another from sacred texts.
“Unwanted“ explores the terror we feel when an unexplained and damaged presence penetrates the safety of our families and our homes.
“For Later“ is my take on what I’ve always seen as a poetic and disturbing element in the gifts of the three kings to the baby Jesus.
I again used a sacred story’s inspiration for 2013’s “Vacancy.” I’ve always had a fascination with the innkeeper from Jesus’s birth story. I fantasize about a moment in which the larger narrative clicks for him, as it did for shepherds and kings.
2014 found me writing about the last heartbeat of a last creature. As natural as it would be, the feeling of loneliness in even a non-human animal felt very real to me that year.
I took a break in 2015. Before Loren took the reins over the more graphic content, I was feeling out of place with the tone of some of the pieces.
But this year, I’m back. I love the restriction of the 100 words — no more, no less — and how it pares down the writing to something essential. No frills! Plus, there’s nothing quite like being part of reviving a lost or fading Christmas tradition to get my inner nerd all a-tingle. Charles Dickens, I love you.
Enjoy this year’s submission, which will post not long from now, and if you like creepy little tales be sure to visit Loren’s blog, too! Just when I think I’ve read the most shiver-inducing tale, they get, well, more shivery!