WD Wants You: Write a Reckless Blitzen, an Angry Santa

Gorilla suits, zombies, The Universe popping up as a character and saying things like, “You’re getting too big for your fangs.” And that’s only one Friday.

For a trip to the wonderful, fun and often enchantingly weird, check out my lunch buddy (and WD Online Community Editor) Brian A. Klems’ #StoryFriday project on Twitter. Basically, Brian posts an opening prompt with our @WritersDigest feed, and then it’s a creative free-for-all as everyone adds lines to a living canvas.

Great literature? Maybe not. A fun, bizarre forum that can take a story—and your mind—in unexpected and delightful directions? Definitely.

Even if you’re one of the last people on Earth (read: me) without a personal Twitter account, it’s a blast to peruse. To participate, when you contribute a line to the story, place #storyfriday at the end of your Tweet—i.e., He was leaving on a jet plane and never coming back. #storyfriday).

To check out a few of the past stories, visit writersdigest.com/storyfriday. For today’s—an epic spawning from the following line—click here.

“Listen Blitzen, I’ve had it up to about here with your tomfoolery,” Santa said as he waved his finger in Blitzen’s face.


Feel free to take the following prompt home or post your response (500 words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring) in the Comments section below. By posting, you’ll be automatically entered in our occasional around-the-office swag drawings.

“… in this drink?”
He shrugs. “There are always more ingredients than you’d ever guess.”
I stare into its depths as it reflects candlelight.

King. Kerouac. Vonnegut. Hemingway. How to write a novel in 2010. An interview with Lawrence Ferlinghetti. A celebration of 90 years. Shiny silver ink. Best issue of Writer’s Digest ever?

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4 thoughts on “WD Wants You: Write a Reckless Blitzen, an Angry Santa

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  2. Mark James

    Martha, I get off on a technicality . . . we’re not REALLY sure what happens at the end . . .

    When I walked in the door and saw him, I knew only one of us would leave alive. “Nice place.”

    He spread his thin arms to take in the blackened walls, the rotten wooden floor, the sagging ceiling. “You like it?”

    “The candles hanging from the rafters—that’s nice.”

    “I’d offer you a seat but . . .” He let his low voice trail away, shrugged.

    I went past him, sat with my back against the wall, next to the fireplace. “Without you, it’s not the same.”

    He sat beside me, inside the fireplace. “As long as there is the flesh, nothing is the same. It dies every moment.”

    I’ve done most of it, seen what I haven’t done, and the rest I don’t care too much about. But seeing him sitting in those ashes was making my skin creep right off my bones. “You sitting in there for a reason?”

    “Fire’s bullet proof. Where were you in our Kill Through the Flame training?” He reached into his coverall pocket.

    Before I knew it, my gun was in my hands, aimed between his dark brown eyes. Stupid. It wouldn’t do anything against him.

    Zeke pulled his hand out slow, offered me a green bottle. “Drink?”

    I put my gun down. “You know better.”

    He opened the bottle, cracked it in half down the middle. “One last time?”

    Not knowing I’d do it, I scooped out the mini cup. “Smells like the real thing.”

    “From real beans grown in a real field.”

    I sipped the hot coffee, rested my head on the brick wall.

    “I knew they’d send you,” he said.

    “Why’d you do it?”

    Zeke pushed himself further into the fireplace. “I’m tired, Saldon. In a way even a mortal like you couldn’t understand.”

    I took another sip. “You were my partner.”

    “And now you’ll do me the honor of letting me die.”

    His words came through a fog that got thicker with every heartbeat. "… in this drink?"

    He shrugged. "There are always more ingredients than you’d ever guess."

    I stared into its depths as it reflected candlelight.

    Zeke slid his hand into his other pocket.

    This time, it was like my body had fallen asleep, and left my mind awake. I couldn’t move.

    He struck a match on the box he’d taken out, watched it spark and die. “These were harder to get than the coffee. They’re very old.”

    I tried to tell him we’d find a way, but my tongue was dead weight, too heavy to lift.

    “In the three hundred years that I’ve lived, you were the only mortal friend I had.” He struck another match.

    No fire.

    “The flames aren’t guaranteed to work,” he said. “But it’s almost as good as going out in the sun.”

    Fire leapt into life on the tip of a match.

    “This way, you’ll be a witness to my death, and your mission will be over.”

    He must have seen the look on my face.

    “The flames won’t hurt you. I’m far enough inside.”

    He dropped the match. The fire roared to life, ate him up like a ravenous lion.

    In the midst of the flames, Zeke closed his eyes, smiled.

  3. Martha W

    Zac – I’m not brave enough to play that game… 🙂

    Mark – Yep, you’re rubbing off on me.


    "… in this drink?"

    The music drowned out half my question as the heavy beat poured out of the club speakers. He shrugged. "There are always more ingredients than you’d ever guess."

    I stared into its depths as it reflected the strobe light over the bar. "Yeah, but what’s in this one?"

    He chuckled, the sound skittering down my spine, sparkling across my nerves. "Orange Juice and Vodka, sweet one."

    "What’s the red stuff?" All those stories of drugs being mixed into drinks kept girls like me on edge.

    "Just a little vampire’s blood, is all." His smile put all the lights to shame.

    "Har, har, Tony." I rolled my eyes, wondered if he could see me in the dimmed lights.

    "Okay, it’s grenadine."

    "What do you call it?"

    "The school bus. It’s for the young at heart."

    I took a large gulp of the specialty drink and pursed my mouth together, drawing his attention with a slow lick across my lips. "Mmm. Great as always, but what gives that little zip across my tongue?"

    Tony rapped a knuckle on the bar in front of me. "You never believe me so I’m not telling."

    "Ah, c’mon." The slight pleading in my voice brought the smile back.

    For a moment I thought his beautiful blue eyes turned to murky black pools, but then with a flicker of the strobe light it was gone. One corner of his mouth tilted up, "I’ll tell you later, sweet."

    Knowing it was no use to push now, I downed the rest of the tasty treat and waved goodbye. "See ya, Tony."


    As I made my way back to the door, I could feel his stare following my retreat. When I turned at the door, however, he was chatting up another customer. Stifling a sigh, I headed home to collapse in my bed – alone.


    A firm grip on my ankle yanked me out of my sleep. I scanned the room, not registering the fact that I shouldn’t have been able to see so clearly. My gaze fell on the shadow of a tall man at the foot of my bed. "Who-"

    His hiss cut the words off but answered my question anyway. Tony.
    "What are you doing here?" Not that I minded.

    He moved into the moonlight, the subtle light reflecting silver in the deep gaze that kept me pinned to the bed. Each movement purposeful, hard angles and muscles shifting under too many clothes, he settled his weight on the mattress next to me. "Claiming you, my sweet."