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“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.

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  1. michael
    michael December 22, 2012

    Behave, or burn! I might have to use that this Christmas, hope you don’t mind! Thanks for the story.

  2. Elizabeth Gaucher
    Elizabeth Gaucher December 22, 2012

    Well done! Chilling.

  3. James Witmer
    James Witmer December 23, 2012

    Yikes! From St. Nicholas to pagan god of judgement – You’ve come a long way, Santy Clause. Definitely chilling.

  4. Craig Scott
    Craig Scott December 23, 2012

    Very clever piece.

  5. Loren Eaton
    Loren Eaton December 28, 2012

    Those first and last lines — goodness, they definitely put horror in Christmas. This is great, Josh. I mean, great in the whole I-hesitate-to-ever-open-presents-again sort of way.

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