“Fuel” – ISLF Advent Ghosts 2012 story

This is my entry for the I Saw Lightning Fall Advent Ghosts 2012 flash fiction event, where folks gather to tell a variety of spooky Christmas-themed stories, ghostly or otherwise. Check out the link all day to view stories as they’re added, all exactly 100 words!



Red mittens with reindeer-fur trim handle the lumps without staining.

Remove the biological fluff of a person…a child…and what’s left?



Long ago, he discovered this extended to other human components. Charred souls. Hearts crammed with black cravings. Minds choked with metaphysical soot.

Yet no less potent fuel. An excellent power source, in fact.

Enough power to stop time. To convert wishes into ribbon-wrapped realities.

Yet finite fuel, requiring annual mining of the malign to replenish the stores.

And as he hauls off sacks stuffed with naughty souls, he leaves a few precious lumps behind as warning.

Behave…or burn.