Unexpected Christmas Chatter

It’s a few days after Christmas and you received everything you wanted, especially (fill in the blank). But things take an interesting turn when, in the middle of the night, the thing that you wanted, which had been sitting in the corner, starts talking to you.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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41 thoughts on “Unexpected Christmas Chatter

  1. JivaFang

    “Why won’t you play with me.”

    “Good Gawd! Are you gonna whine all night.”

    “I can be what you need.”

    “No… you… can’t! Just let me sleep.”


    “Arrgh.” I pulled the pillow over my head and tried desperately to find a position which would allow me to get oxygen. I filled my mind with scenes of violence directed at jolly Saint Nick until the imagined sounds of Santa’s begging drowned out the whining that came from the night stand. This had been going on for two hours. It was Santa’s evil joke, instead of coal i got this… thing. This talking, glowing, annoying evil thing.

    I began to drift of to sleep–my imaginings are far more soothing than any sounds of nature– when the accursed gift began talking again. Amplified, so as not to be ignored.

    “Sally,” it said with a pause. “A mutter. Wake up now, Sally. A louder mutter, lemme lone.”

    I shot up out of bed. “Don’t.. You.. Dare! You leave ‘The Stand’ alone and all my other books too for that matter.”

    “But these are your favorite books, I just want to enjoy them with you.”

    “GO AWAY!!!” I screamed, frustrated and really really angry. “I’ll.. I’ll.. program a virus and upload it.”

    My solitary Christmas gift looked at my degree hanging on the wall above its head ,and prudently shut up. The glow from his screen disappeared and the almost inaudible electronic whine died away.

    I waited for a few minutes to be sure it was dead and then i lay back down. Worst Christmas EVER!
    I sent Santa a list of about twenty books I wanted for Christmas.. and the Jerk sent me a Kyndle.
    Oooh, I’m gonna torch the North Pole.

  2. The TroubledWriter

    When I fell asleep that late night – exhausted from the many hours I spent playing video games with my good buddies – I was hoping to get some peaceful sleep until the morning came. To my great surprise, I found out that my night would only just begin!
    “Psst! Psst!”
    I woke up startled from the sudden sound but saw nothing but the darkness that enveloped me and my room. Thinking it was something falling, like a trash bag that I used to tidy up my room, I merely went back to sleep. But that persistent noise sounded again, and this time I did not go back to sleep.
    I stood up from my bed to search for what was causing that sound when my television turned itself on by itself along with my new video game console; a PlayStation 3. What the hell is going on?! I asked myself, a bit terrified among other emotions. However, that was the worst of my problems when I witnessed what happened next.
    “Want to play again? You almost had that last boss!” my PS3 suddenly, without warning, exclaimed to me.
    What should I do?! I stood there frozen, lost without control of my limbs and other muscles like my eyelids, which could not close even if I wanted them to. My television was an accomplice to my talking PS3. A talking PS3! What the hell, man?!
    “Come on! You know you want to!”
    As strange as this may sound, my PlayStation was right. Out of the blue – or the night, actually – I felt like playing that last level in the new video game my friend bought for me, though simultaneously I still felt the pangs of sleep as well.
    “Who needs to sleep when you can play?”
    By this time, the PS3 had already started itself up and even navigated to the Game section of the XMB, waiting for me to insert a video game into its reader to begin gaming. What I want to know is where Santa got this PS3 from that talks to its users and commands them to play endlessly into the wee hours of the morning. Slim and black, it hummed silently while I pondered to my own thoughts if I really should play again, or just go back to sleep and pretend I didn’t see anything. At the same time, I wondered would happen if I ignored my PS3. Would it get angry with me? I was too afraid to try that option…so I gave in to its wishes and began playing that game again.
    Yeah, having a talking PS3 is bizarre, no doubt, but it’s pretty rad if you ask me! You guys may think I’m crazy, but you have to admit at one point in our lives – whether we were angry or not – we have shouted at an inanimate objects and talked to them, in a sense. Right?

  3. LittleBird87

    Christmas Day had left me exhausted and overly tired, a condition that (ironically) tends cause insomnia for me. I dragged myself downstairs for my usual remedy—a glass of warm milk. I felt my way through the dark kitchen, slid the plastic milk carton out of the fridge. As I opened a cabinet door and reached for a glass, I heard a muffled voice.

    Probably just my six-year-old mumbling in his Christmas cookie-induced coma, I thought. I filled my glass and drank it in front of the microwave, last night’s dishes waiting in the sink. I closed my eyes so I wouldn’t have to look at them, continuing to swig.

    Then I heard the voice again, only this time it was much louder—and in the kitchen. Badly startled mid-swallow, milk shot up the back of my throat and into my nostrils. I spluttered and coughed, wiping my face on the sleeve of my robe.

    It had come from the pantry.

    “Very funny, Ethan,” I said, flinging open the pantry door. I bent to look under the bottom shelf, but my son was not hiding on the floor. I saw nothing unusual—an uneven row of cereal boxes, bags of half-eaten chips from the party.

    I was about to close the door when I heard an Asian man’s voice say, “Why did you ask for me? You know you never going to use me.” It emanated from the square-shaped box that I hastily deposited on the pantry floor before going to bed—my brand-new, electric rice-cooker.

    My mouth gaped as it continued to berate me. “Every New Year you make vow to eat healthy. February come, and you back to eating Dove bars and barbecue potato chips—you are weak!”

    I looked around the kitchen, expecting to find my husband laughing in the doorway, but I was alone.

    “You should save time and just donate me to Goodwill right now. Maybe some less fortunate family can use good rice cooker. That way, you have no guilt,” it crowed.

    I leaned around the corner and looked into the laundry room. Nobody in there either. I picked up the box, studying it from every angle, gave it a tentative shake.

    “That not do you any good. Shaking box not good exercise. You need to plug in rice cooker, then ride bicycle! Go to gym! Come home, eat brown rice. Not noodles. That how you got in trouble.”

    “OKAY!” I shrieked. “I get it!” I put the milk away and stomped off to my bedroom, silently swearing off any more of my mother’s brandy slushes.

    The next day I grabbed the rice cooker and the gift receipt and drove to Target. I exchanged it, this time getting a different brand—just in case.

    On the way home, I heard a shrill voice calling out from the bag on back seat, “Honey, if you bought me at Walmart you could have saved four dollars! Oh never mind, you’ll never use me anyway.”

  4. jnkp2

    “Are you feeling better?”

    I scan the dishevelled living room with papers strewn and boxes scattered. I wonder whether the voice was in my head or if someone had invaded my home.

    “What did you say?” I queried.

    “Are you feeling better?” drifted the kind words.

    “Who are you?” I pursued.

    “I am nothing. I am what you asked for Christmas”.

    Ah nothing.

    Before the holidays, I had requested that no one buy any presents for me. I just wanted their presence. For once they had listened. I had watched as everyone else opened gifts. Sometimes they cried, more often squealed with delight, and occasionally frowned. For me, I received hugs and kisses, and more importantly, time with my loved ones – Not to mention a home cooked meal.

    “Yes I am feeling better, I am content” as I gazed out of the window into the distance. Could I see anything? Perhaps. All I knew was that nothing had been much better than something.

    Curious, did that mean I had really received nothing?

  5. IrieGodwin

    I sat up in my room beneath a heavy wool blanket transfixed by the telivision when I heard a buzz come from my drawer in the corner. Had I left it on? I got up and walked over to it when I heard a whisper, “Bring your dreams to fruition, make a wish.” In a swfit motion I lifted up the remote control and muted the t.v. “Tell me your desires and I will bring them to pass” said a small robotic voice. Was I losing it? Or did that voice just emanate from my drawer. I opened it cautiously, a suspicious grimace spread acrosss my face. I look in and it’s sitting where I left it. Another buzz and a seductive whisper, “Irene, you can have it all, simply ask me.” Had it been programmed to speak to me? Technology of today would permit it, I thought, although I was freaked out by the occurence I was not past believeing it to be an altogether explainable evernt. Nifty gift. I thought of the song, “Coin-operated boy” and laughed a bit. It was time to call it a night. I was off in dreamland in a matter of minutes, until I heard more buzzing coming from the drawer I scampered over to the heavy oak chest, It was turned off. Then a voice shattered the silence, “You want a boyfriend? Well you don’t need one because you have me and like I told youi, I can make all your dreams come true and not just sexual fantasies. I can bring you riches, I can transport you to exotic lands, I can even fix the friendships that have dwindled over the years” I gasped, what kind of sick trick was this, Matt purchased this Christmas gift as a joke, but it was quality so I decided to use it, now it was talking to me about things I hadn’t shared with anyone. “Ok, ” I said “Let’s see if you’re all you claim to be” I picked it up and held it to my mouth, ” I want a half dollar from the year I was born” I spoke into the tip in a hushed voice “Look in your drawer” Sure enough I found a half dollar from 1982 sitting atop my underwear. I was aghast. It had many functions and settings, but this wish granting topped them all. I would have a lot of fun with this new toy

  6. Katie

    Natasha blew out a long sigh of relief she sat on the porch swing resting her aching back. Her family had gone to bed hours ago, all overstuffed from the Christmas leftovers they had eaten for dinner. She silently rocked back and forth on the swing, enjoying the peaceful night that surrounded her. The silence was soothing after the chaos of the past few days. After resting her eyes she thought about getting up from the swing and climbing the stairs to her bedroom, where her husband was sure to be snoring like a chainsaw. Deciding against the noise that was probably coming from her bed she stayed outside a little longer to enjoy the quiet.
    Natasha bolted up, startled by a noise inside the house. Heart pounding she wrapped her bathrobe tighter about her body. There was a crashing noise coming from her living room! She flung open the door. Only the glow from the Christmas tree lights illuminated the tidy space. The crashing was coming from the wall above the mantle! Feeling like she was walking in a dream world Natasha approached the mantle with caution and gazed up at the painting she had received as a gift from her mother.
    As she looked at the painting she realized that the ocean scene had come alive. The crashing sound came from the waves rolling against a rocky cliff. She saw seagulls soaring with the breeze and heard them call out to each other. There was a lone figure standing on the beach, staring out at the vast ocean beyond. The figure turned and looked at her. Then he spoke, causing her to jump and her heart to start racing again. With shock she heard the figure in the painting say in a husky male voice
    “I thought you were never going to come in off the porch, I’ve been waiting for you!”.
    Natasha stammered at the painting.
    “This cannot be happening. What the hell was in that turkey? Paintings simply do not come to life in the middle of the night and start talking!”.
    “Take my hand Natasha, we have much to do and much to explore”.
    Tentatively she reached out her hand. If this was just a dream then what was the harm in having a fantasy world adventure? She took his hand and he pulled her into the painting like a wisp of air. The mysterious male led her by the hand to the edge of the rocky cliff where he pointed to something in the distance. She focused her attention in that direction. He moved behind her and gave her a hard shove. The last thing she remembered was the deep baritone sound of his laughter floating on the wind as her body crashed into the icy sea. The ferocious ocean waves pulled her under as she frantically struggled to stay afloat. At last the ocean claimed her and the mysterious stranger walked slowly back down the shore, awaiting his next late night victim.

  7. darkwinter09

    The buzzing noise fills the dark and cold room. After a moment of confusion, I realize I have just been awakened by my new iPhone blinking brightly on the otherside of the room. Who could possibly be calling at 3 AM? The number of the caller is one I do not recognize, but I answer anyway.
    “You are in danger,” said the caller. “They are coming.”
    My bedroom wall explodes in bursts of flames and debris. I am knocked to the floor in near petrification. Through the massive new hole in the wall, a blinding search light shines through as though I am a wanted fugitive. The whipping noise of a helicopter hovers just outside of my house. I quickly turn and dive behind my bed as soon as infinite waves of gun fire decorate the room with bursting pieces of wood and debris. I remain behind the bed completely unharmed as my house turns into a warzone.
    The gunfire suddenly stops. The search light sweeps the room like a gun tower searching the barb wired wall of a prison. I jolt for the door and run directly down the stairs faster than the times I have been late for school. As soon as I gear up in my winter attire, I hear a noise and several shouting voices at the front door. The door suddenly explodes inward. I run through the back of the house and escape into the shed. My snowmobile waits inside. The iPhone rings once again.
    “Flee to Winter Base,” said the caller. “Text ‘disarm’ to 98415.”
    He hangs up. I completely misunderstand those intructions. What is Winter Base? What does “disarm” mean?
    As I speed off across the field towards the forest on my snowmobile, the helicopter continues to scan the house with the search light. I assume I am free like a bird when I hear shouting from behind. I am being pursued by several other henchmen in snowmobiles firing submachine guns at my position. I feel the snowmobile being pelted by bullets. The forest is so close. Once I reach the wooded sanctuary, I will easily lose my pursuers.
    I look back and see the helicopter gaining on my position again. The gunfire from the helicopter descends like steel rain. The snowy ground bursts like geysers which sprays snow right into my vision. My escape has failed. I have no other means of averting the attackers or disarming—
    Disarm! Hold on a second! I know what it means!
    I remove my iPhone while I continue driving and averting gunfire at the same time. I text the word “disarm” to 98415. Within seconds, the helicopter comes to a complete hault and crashes emitting waves of snow into the air. The snowmobiles of the other gunmen have been disabled as well. Escape has been won for only a few seconds when I receive another phone call.
    “They are the most dangerous underground cell in the world,” said the caller. “Your iPhone was implanted with a device that permanently disrupts their network. They will not stop coming until the phone is destroyed along with you. Winter Base in on the other side of this forest. Keep going. You have a war to win.”

  8. Milk

    – Where did you put my brothers?

    I heard this phrase while I was sleeping. Am I going crazy again? Are they onto me? No, definitely not my dad. Who is talking to me inside my room? Maybe some random skeletons inside my closet. Wait, I don’t have skeletons inside my closet, do I? I sat on my bed, confused. I tried to understand everything. Clearly, I understood nothing. Lazily I looked around. Only my cat lying on the floor. Hm, I remember he wasn’t very chatty, so I assumed it was not him who spoke to me.

    – Where are my brothers? – A deep voice asked again.
    – Who are you?
    – Well, dah, just lying there on your desk. Hey, pay attention to me. And yes, you’re going crazy. Ok, sorry, I’m just joking. Join the dark side.

    Huh? I turned on the light and noticed the book I got for Christmas (I wanted it so badly) laying there. Do books talk to you every day? I don’t remember books talking at all but maybe I’m just being rude. I stood up and walked towards it.

    – Why are you talking?
    – Don’t be so rude. I could ask “why are you breathing” and I’m not doing that, am I?
    – No, you’re not. I’m just not used to books talking to me at 4 in the morning, – I said. – What do you mean by saying your brothers?

    And then I realized what the book was talking about. This book comes in 3 parts, part I was laying on my desk and talking to me.

    – Your brothers are in my bookshelf, sleeping. Don’t talk too loud, you don’t want to wake them up.
    – Yeah, you’re right. I’ll just talk to you then. Prepare for the ultimate psychological test!

    A book testing me at 4 in the morning. Yep, I went crazy. When I’ll meet my insanity, I should hug it and then maybe it won’t walk away from me next time. I hope it won’t. Suddenly, I felt like in some sort of a lunatic someone else’s dream. I guess I’m just being paranoid. It’s interesting, how did Alice in Wonderland feel. I guess she was a girl who had schizophrenia or something. God, I’m mentally unstable if I can talk to books in the middle of the night. Maybe it’s a hallucination I’m having from those mushrooms I ate. My girlfriend made that mushroom salad. Curse her!

    – All right, I’ll play your game.
    – Good, I need you to be clever and smart, – the book stated. – Give me something sharp.

    I showed the book a spoon. And then I smiled like an idiot. I rock.

    – You’re good. You think you’re better than me?
    – I am. Just look into my eyes, if you can, not sure if books can see.

    The book just flipped to the first page. Yes, I guess it’s time to read it and understand it.

  9. thechillionaire

    The antique jewelry box sat on the top of the nightstand in the corner of the room. It was once my mother’s whom I lost to a car accident as a teen. It was a Christmas gift given to me from my father, I often heard of it’s mysterious beauty and was longing for it since her death.
    As the day fell deep into the night, I noticed the moonlight that shined bright through the window. It was a full moon. There was a small array of colors that stretched across the top of the box which illuminated high toward the ceiling as the moon shined upon it. It’s rainbow lit up the room! The window which was slightly opened, allowed the sheer curtains to blow gently as the tree’s branches began to sway. This allowed for the moon to shine even more on this mysterious box.
    Suddenly, a voice began to speak from the antique box, “That which you thought was an accidental death of your mother was intended. Someone you are familiar with that you shall see momentarily, is the culprit.” My eyes opened up wide as though my eye sockets would bulge out. My mouth was opened as wide as it could open. Raising my eyebrows, I scratched the top of my head in disbelief! I looked toward the moon’s silhouette then back toward the antique box. Was this some kind of dream or nightmare?
    After repeating this phrase three times, the jewelry box stopped talking. As I sat up in my bed, I backed a few inches to the wall until there wasn’t any room left to back up. I curled up my knees as I grabbed the cover and stretched it up to my chin.
    The moon’s light continued to shine through the room, right there in that very corner, on the box. Suddenly, a great wind blew through the that same window as the curtains swayed high toward the ceiling as though a spirit entered the room. As I tried to catch my breath, the room door which was slightly ajar, slammed. My heart began to beat with tremendous speed. I began to hyperventilate.
    There was silence. The wind stopped, clouds began to cover the moon slightly and the rainbow which illuminated the room was now gone. Slowly I began to pull the covers away from my chin. A noise at the door was the doorknob turning as though someone was trying to gain entrance.
    “Is someone there?”
    “Who’s there?”
    Slowly the door opened. A tall profile of a man stood there. His frame was familiar. Who could this be? As he entered the room, shockingly, it was my dad. I could only think of the voice from the jewelry box. Could it be true?

  10. theSkilled

    It’s just what I wanted…

    I lay under my pink satin sheets, the ones that smelled like strawberries, and stuck my feet out of the bottom. My childhood toys sit stiffly in the dim corner; a doll, a train, a sailboat and some blocks. Silver moonlight spreads out over the right side of my room and caresses the window seat, draped over like a rag cloth, and makes its way over to bathe me in its chilled aurora. I stare up at the plaque hanging over my dresser. “Home is one’s birthplace, ratified by memory.” -Henry Anatole Grunwald.

    God, didn’t I wish…

    Christmas day was when Richard came home in a feminized black coat and red scarf only Dorothy’d have given him; her being so obsessively compulsive and all. Mother was roasting some grizzly turkey and Papa was helping her with it, Dorothy was playing with my youngest brother, and that was when Richard slipped me a small, flat box with a silver bow on it. He whispered in my ear, “For you,” and left the living room. I could hear laughter and, now, lying in my old childhood room under my pink canopy bed, the noise haunts me.

    “It’s just what I wanted,” I told Richard, acting as if I had seen what was inside just to please him. The truth was that it was on my dresser, the one I’m near now, and I hadn’t even opened it. Richard looked disgusted and scowled at me.

    I remember the night Richard took me to the fair, he had just met Dorothy, and my date won me this silver bracelet with blue gems placed around it. We sat at the top of an old water tower when it broke, collapsing down, and when I saw my date’s gray face gasping for air as he was being crushed, I just ran. I ran until I woke up passed out by the river, in Richard’s arms, and together we just sobbed.

    “I can’t take this anymore, the burden, you know?” Richard told me as he was leaving Christmas dinner. I had no idea what he was talking about. Now I do.

    “My God, Elly, he’s gone!” Dorothy called me hysterically on the phone.

    “Who is?” I asked bewilderedly, still trying to finish watching Ellen on my Papa’s static antenna television.

    “Richard!” she cried.

    I now am lying in my bed, engulfed in pink satin sheets, staring at the silver and blue bracelet.

    “Welcome home,” it says to me and all I can smell is strawberries.

  11. RGV

    Jenna sneaked into her twin brother’s room with her pocket flashlight. In the corner was the only present she had wanted for Christmas: A “Clash of the Titans” costume set complete with body armor, sword and helmet. She quietly tore off the plastic wrap and took hold of the sword.

    A snotty voice whispered in her ear, “Girls aren’t supposed to play with weapons. You’d better put me down before you hurt yourself.”

    Jenna dropped the sword.

    “See? Girls are such sissies.”

    She reached for the helmet and breast plate, slipping them on.

    “Oh yeah, like tits and bronze go together! Get real! Girls aren’t strong enough to wear armor! All they’re good for is sitting and playing with dolls.”

    She had heard crap like this her whole life. Her father had told her last year on her tenth birthday that it was time for her to grow up and start acting like a girl. All she got that year were pink purses, gauzy skirts, Barbies and sparkly lipsticks. She had tossed them in a corner of her room and jumped into the nearest mud puddle as soon as she could.

    “You’re nothing because you don’t have a penis.”

    For two full seconds she believed it and felt something break inside her.

    Then she looked at the cover of the package. A picture of Athena in full and glorious armor said, “get up GIRL! Don’t fall for it!”

    Clenching her jaw, she stood up, picked up the sword and slashed at the air, chopping into pieces every person who had ever said anything bad about girls.

    “I CAN TOO DO ANYTHING I WANT TO!” she yelled holding her arms over her helmeted head.

    Quickly she covered her mouth. What if she woke her brother up? What if her parents came in and saw her dressed like the goddess she knew she was.

    Running as silently as she could, Jenna ran back into her room. Closing the door as softly as possible she turned to see her brother standing with his back to her and talking to something in the corner of her room.
    He was wearing one of last year’s skirts, with a pink purse tucked under his arm. He had smeared on her bright red sparkly lipstick. On his head was the Princess crown that had come with Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, her parent’s idea of a great present this year. She saw that he was holding a Barbie in his hands and crying.

    “Boys can too be Mommies! I can wear dresses if I want to! Don’t you dare say that about me! I’m perfect just as I am!”

    “Jenner?” Jenna said, pushing back her Titan helmet with the curling dragons on its crown.

    “Jenna!” her brother said. He paused to look at her. “You look awesome!”

    Jenna was surprised and not sure what to say. But of course, she’d heard it every time she had been forced to wear a dress.

    “And don’t you look beautiful!”

    1. Tanya77

      Very original. Lovely piece. Would be good if these daily prompts got more reviews too. Good or bad it’s always nice to know someone reads them, apart from the writers, who leave pieces here. All pieces need to be reviewed. 🙂 Just a thought. Happy new year.

      1. RGV

        Thanks Tany77! I get so far behind reading these by Friday that I end up skipping some great work. It would be great if they had a facilitator for this forum and if I weren’t so busy trying to be 20 people and a writer I’d take the time!

        I loved your story and thought you did a good job of building it up and tying it all together really well. I’ll keep an eye out for yours next week and be sure to comment!

        I’m not totally happy with my ending. I’ve been reading these at open mike and they always seem to be clunking at the end. But 500 is a pretty tight space! What do you think of yours?

        1. Tanya77

          Hi i agree with you. A facilitator would be good and with just 500 words everything has to be tight. It could have evolved more the story if we had more space, would have better description of the girls feelings and the place the unicorn took her. Maybe in time they give this space a bit more words to work with.

  12. Soph76

    ‘Night babe, thanks again for my present, love you’ she crooned into his warm kiss and fell back onto the pillow, letting her tired head sink into the softness, the baileys and champagne concoction firmly closing the door on consciousness and pulling her into sleep.

    ‘Hey, sleeping beauty, wake up will you!’ She stirred. Again, the voice, soft, but insistent, this time with a cough for added emphasis.

    ‘Babe, shhh, go back to sleep.’ She moaned and put her hand out onto Daves, he groaned and rolled over onto his side. Silence again, thankfully. She smiled, relaxed, and was just on the brink again when ‘Oy, Mrs, it’s not your bloke, it’s me, in the corner, I need you to get up, come on will you!’

    Moments passed as the voice began to register in her befuddled brain as real, as there, as in the room. Again, this time almost hissing, it was insistent and wanted to be acknowledged. ‘Will you please get your back side out of bed and come down here and talk to me!’ She opened her eyes, her heart beat quick and her breathing fast. ‘I know you’re awake lady, I can hear you…come on now, don’t be afraid, just come down to the wall socket where your hair dryer is and all will be revealed.’

    It sounded quite sinister almost, though common sense told her a) presents can’t talk and b) if they could, nothing in her presents could actually be menacing, oh yes and c) she was incredibly drunk so this could explain everything. ‘Dave, you hear something?’ she asked him, her hand on his shoulder. No response, just deep and heavy breathing. She sat up and looked toward the source of the voice, the corner of their room where an old wooden chair sat. Their presents were piled up on and around the chair, and down by the socket on the floor was a new food processer in a box. ‘How the hell can that be talking to me?’ she thought, both alarmed and bewildered at the same time. She almost expected the lights to fly on in the room and Dave to roll over and cheer ‘you’re on candid camera!’ as she crawled out of the bed, letting her feet slip into the slippers that waited for her on the floor.

    She bit her lower lip. ‘At least if he doesn’t hear me doing this he can’t tell anyone what an idiot I’m being, probably better he doesn’t wake up.’ She tip toed toward the presents, dimly lit from the narrow beam of light from the crack under the door.

    ‘It’s me, the food processer!’ It happened again. She froze, then looked over her shoulder to see if Dave had awoken. Still nothing but breathing. She knelt down towards the box, thoughts racing through her head of the baking competition she was entered for, the film Ratatouille they had watched earlier, the restaurant they were opening in the new year – ‘was this an omen?’

  13. Tanya77

    Melissa’s face brightened as she stood looking at the stuffed unicorn her parents had gotten her for Christmas. They had put it in the corner, and it stared at her with his crystal black eyes. She coughed, and snuggled deeper under her quilt. Sometime during the night, she woke up and looked at her unicorn. But he was nearer than she remembered. She sat up in bed and to her amazement she saw him shaking his head.

    “Don’t get up sweet child, it’s cold”

    But Melissa couldn’t stop herself , she jumped out of bed and stood in front of him.

    “You can talk?” She asked still amazed.

    “Yes, my dear. I am a magical being, not a stuffed toy.”

    “ Magical? Where do you come from? Why did you come here?” She asked in her soft childish voice. Her eyes looked at the unicorn in wonder.

    “I came from far away, having heard your plea. Year after year you desire to be able to go out and see the world. Play with children your age. Today I’m going to take you out with me. But to my world, which is warmer and greener than the earth. And there are lots of children waiting to play with you.”

    Melissa started to jump up and down with joy. She stopped, suddenly remembering that her parents room was next to hers and she didn’t want to wake them.

    “How are we to get there?” She asked puzzled.

    “Sit on my back” the unicorn said.

    He sat down on the floor to allow her to get on his back. When she was safely on, he got up and moved to the window. It opened magically by itself and Melissa could see a rainbow heading high up in the sky. The unicorn jumped on the rainbow and started running up on it to his magical land, where Melissa would be warm and play with children like her forever.

    In the morning her parents went to wake her up. Sunlight streamed through the curtains on her face but she didn’t wake up. After years of being sick and in bed, God had come to claim their daughter. She lay peacefully with her last Christmas gift hugged tightly to her chest.

  14. Katie

    Natasha blew out a puff of smoke as she sat on the porch swing smoking a cigarette. Her family had gone to bed hours ago, all overstuffed from the Christmas leftovers they had eaten for dinner. She silently rocked back and forth on the swing, enjoying the peaceful night that surrounded her. The silence was soothing after the chaos of the past few days. After extinguishing the cigarette she thought about getting up from the swing and climbing the stairs to her bedroom, where her husband was sure to be snoring like a chainsaw. Deciding against the noise that was surely coming from her bed she stayed outside a little longer to enjoy the quiet.
    Natasha bolted up,suddenly startled. Heart pounding she wrapped her bathrobe more securely about her body. There was a crashing noise coming from her living room! She flung open the door. Only the glow from the Christmas tree lights illuminated the tidy space. The crashing was coming from the wall above the mantle! Feeling like she was walking in a dream world Natasha slowly approached the mantle and gazed up at the painting she had received as a gift from her mother.
    As she looked at the painting she realized that the ocean scene had come alive. The crashing sound came from the waves rolling against a rocky cliff. She saw seagulls soaring with the breeze and heard them call out to each other. There was a lone figure standing on the beach, staring out at the vast ocean beyond. The figure turned and looked directly at her. Then he spoke, causing her to jump and her heart to start racing again. With shock she heard the figure in the painting say in a husky male voice
    “I thought you were never going to come in off the porch, I’ve been waiting for you!”.
    Natasha stammered at the painting.
    “This cannot be happening. What the hell was in that turkey? Paintings simply do not come to life in the middle of the night and start talking!”.
    “Take my hand Natasha, we have much to do and much to explore”.
    Tentatively she reached out her hand. If this was just a dream then what was the harm in having a fantasy world adventure? She took his hand and he pulled her into the painting like a wisp of air.
    The mysterious male led her by the hand to the edge of the rocky cliff where he pointed to something in the distance. She focused her attention in that direction. He suddenly moved behind her and gave her a hard shove. The last thing she remembered was the deep baritone sound of his laughter floating on the wind as her body crashed into the icy sea. The ferocious ocean waves pulled her under as she frantically struggled to stay afloat. At last the ocean claimed her and the mysterious stranger walked slowly back down the shore, awaiting his next late night victim.

    1. hillsworth

      I liked, sorta. Kinda reminescent of Stephen King’s ‘Rose Matter’ but way shorter and with a twist. You don’t get the mushy, gushy you would expect from the man in the painting, which goes to prove that the good guys don’t always win.

  15. Egg

    “My parents were killers, you know.”

    My eyelids spring up, and I am seized with terror. The darkness traps me like a leaden blanket, and my mouth goes dry.

    “Eighty-five people in all.”

    I lunge for my bedside lamp and flick it on. Through burning eyes, I scan the room: my clothes sprawl across the carpet in defiance of being folded; books huddle on the bookshelf under the window; the chest of drawers stands like a sentry near the door; and the newest addition to my family, a Cobra Lily, curls its delicate, lucid head in a ceramic pot in the corner. It is a beautiful speciment of extraordinary proportions, four feet tall with a pitcher the shape of an unside-down saxophone and the colour of a sunrise. I marvel at the elegance of my sister’s gift, and smile at the memory of receiving it on Christmas day.

    My heart slows and I settle back into my pillows, breathing deeply the sweet, night-time aroma of my botanical treasure.

    “We’re relics of Gondwanaland, you know, so is it any wonder? A plant has to protect itself from those silly, old sauropods somehow, don’t you think?”

    I launch to my feet as if jolted by an electric shock. “Who’s there?”

    The Cobra Lily swells before me until its pitcher is touching the ceiling; its leaves snake along the walls and twist around the furniture. My legs buckle and I flop onto the edge of my bed as the spidery tendrils twirl towards me. I scrunch my eyes shut and chant through my paralysis. “You’re just a plant. You’re just a plant.”

    An earthy chuckle fills the room. “Not just any plant, my dear girl. I’m a Triffid. Well, my parents were before they were butchered. I still have nightmares.”

    The nape of my neck, my shoulders and my back tingle as if a rabble of butterflies has descended upon me. The tendrils encircle my waist, and I am lifted to my feet and coaxed across the room on apathetic legs. The grip intensifies as I am crushed against the body of the pitcher, firm and smooth against my face. The floral scent is now rotting meat in my nostrils and my throat constricts in protest.

    I cannot breathe and my mind starts to fog with images of my life; my regrets, my joys, my fears, and the buried dreams of my future. My limbs are slack when the plant finally releases me, and I slink to the floor like a rag-doll.

    “Sorry. I didn’t realise I was squeezing so hard.”

    I hitch myself up on an elbow and gape at the plant as it retreats from the air, the furniture and the walls to resume its original shape. I hear a heavy sigh as the last errant leaf brushes my face on its return to composure.

    “I thought you were going to kill me.”

    “Kill you? After what I just told you? Oh no, my friend, I just needed a hug.”

  16. SBWriter

    Odd. I thought I heard whispering. Must still be dreaming.
    “Psst. Hey kid, over here.”
    I sit straight up in bed, rubbing my eyes as if the sleep prevents me from hearing clearly.
    The bed is cold on his side. He is supposed to be sleeping on the couch. Surely my husband hasn’t snuck back in the room to apologize?
    Looking around in the dark, I seee nothing but the “on” button glowing on my laptop. Hmm…. I thought I turned that off.
    I slide from under the covers and grab my robe while slipping on my houseshoes. The bedroom door is still locked. I have never locked him out of our bedroom before, and I cringe a little as I unlock it. I hear the faint sound of his snoring coming from the living room. But just to make sure, I tiptoe down the hall and peek at him.
    There he is, sleeping as sound as a kitten after one of the worst fights we’ve ever had.
    “Thanks,” he sneered, “you’ve ruined my Christmas.” That was the last thing he’d said to me that night.
    My bottom lip quivers a little, and I bite back the moisture forming in the corners of my eyes. Taking a deep breath, I head back to the bedroom and cozy up alone, on the warm side of the bed.
    “Are you listening, kid? Why’d you leave?”
    This time I hop out of bed entirely and stand in the middle of the floor, my eyes darting for the source of the voice.
    “For the last time, I’m right here. Check out the glowing button.”
    My new laptop, an early Christmas gift from my husband, lifts its screen up and comes on completely. An enourmous smiley face emoticon looks out from the bright screen.
    “I hear you, I just didn’t know you could talk to me,” I say glibly.
    “What are you doing in here? I mean, it’s not even midnight yet. You’ve got time left, kid,” says the glowing face, which changes expressions as it talks.
    “Time to un-ruin his Christmas.”
    I am shocked. I reach down and unplug the computer and press the power button hard.
    “Really, you’re just not gonna listen, huh?” says the Mac face.
    “I hear you, I just, how did you know?”
    “I can hear, just as well as I can talk. So, what’s our plan?”
    “Our plan for what?”
    “Our plan to un-ruin Christmas. What you said to him, ouch, I felt it to my cores. Get it, my quad cores. Ha ha.”
    “This isn’t the time to be funny. What should I do? He hates me right now.”
    “He doen’t hate you. He got you me, because he believes in you. He supports your dream. Maybe it’s your own fear holding you back.”
    “But it’s too late to tell him all that now. I’ve already told him, well, you know.”
    “It’s never too late. He’s still here, isn’t he? The stockings are still up, the tree is still lit. My clock reads 11:45 p.m. so you better make this the best 15 minutes of his life.”
    Guilt feels so much worse than anger. I nod to the screen and walk back down the hallway. I creep past him to the kitchen, and begin preparing my apology.

    I rouse my husband awake with a kiss. Holding the misteltoe above his head, I smile, hoping he smiles back.
    He grunts, “What?” But he sits up a little and opens his arms.
    I slide closer to him and kiss him again. He scoots over and I sit beside him, giving him a mug of hot chocolate with peppermint garnishes.
    He looks quizzical as he takes a sip.
    “Thank you,” I whisper in his ear.
    “For what?”
    “For believing in me, when I didn’t. For making this the merriest Christmas I’ve ever had. For loving me even when I make you angry.” I sniffle. “For not just storming out of here and leaving me alone. For…”
    He kisses me. “Merry Christmas, kid.”
    We sit and sip hot chocolate, curled together on the couch, as the clock strikes midnight.

  17. BeckyJoie

    Soft whispers of pine wafted past my nose as I opened the box to the Maine Pine wreath that on old highschool friend sent me after reading my homesick Facebook post. “How thoughtful. It must have cost a fortune to send, though. Why, after all these years with no contact, would he send such an expensive gift? I wonder what his wife thinks. Does she know I am his ex-girlfriend? Oh, well. It smells absolutely heavenly!”

    Awestruck, I raised it from the box in almost an idolatrous way and laid it on the table in the entry way. I will dig out the wreath hook from the attic and hang it later. For now, I must clean the house before Christmas company arrived.

    I pick up the remote and punch a few buttons. Satellite TV presents endless possiblities for musical entertainment. Hmm. That’s strange. Nothing. Where are all my channels? I am pretty sure I paid the bill. Hmmm. Oh well. Back to work for now. No time to dig out the CD’s. Company will be here in an hour and a half.

    Silence is broken by the clatter of dishes and sliverware and then the sound of a mop slapping across the bare kitchen tiles.

    “Hello? Anyone here?” came a familiar voice from the other room.


    Had my company arrived early? Well, at least the kitchen is cleaned up from all the cooking. But how did they arrive so soon? It was a two hour drive and they called me when they left home. John was not one to exceed the speed limit. If anything, he drove a little under and took the journey slow and steady, stopping at rest stops for coffee and a donut. I ran to the other room and looked around. Nobody. Hmmm. Maybe my anticipation of their arrival has activated my imagination too much. Well, time to vaccuum. I walk to the front hall closet with my back to the wreath on the entry table. I begin to pull the cleaner from its place.

    “Oh, Becky, can you hear me?” the voice sung.

    Ok. That was no imaginative thought. I heard my name.

    “Over here.” The sound came from the direction of the table but I could see noone. I felt goosebumps rise over my bare arms as the hair folicles doubled in size.

    “What are you?” I asked, frozen in place except for a few shivers that involuntarily escaped here and there.

    “I’m the one who has been calling you to come home.”

    “What? Wreaths don’t talk.”

    “Oh, but they do. Just not the way you usually hear conversation.”

    “Well, then why can I hear you now?” The wrinkles on my brow grew into furrows. My heart thudded against my ribcage. Hair rose on my neck.

    “You are not going crazy. You have been chosen.” It was coming from the wreath.

    “Chosen? Really? Is this some kind of a joke?”

    “You have been chosen.”

    “What for? I don’t get it. Why me? Chosen for what?”

    “Every year, a lonely soul who is pure in heart is chosen to hear the voice of the pine trees which whisper long in the forest for mankind to hear if only he can be still and listen with all of his mind.”

    “Oh. I see.”

    “Mankind is too busy to hear us, especially this time of year. Shopping and event-planning have overtaken what was once a time of reflection and gratitude. Commerce has changed everything.”

    “Oh, you are so right. I so despise that. In fact, this morning on the news, I saw a mall raid by police. A riot broke out over sales items.” I stood there stunned, not forgetting I was talking to an inanimate object.

    “It’s horrifying what mankind has come to these days. I remember the days when entertainment meant a walk in the woods or a country field. Fathers would point to berries and birds and teach their children about Creation. Mothers would pack hot cocoa and warm potatoes to place in children’s mittens for warmth so they could play outside longer. Children adored their parents and wanted to please them.”

    “So far from what we know now, huh?” I said.

    “Yes but you, my friend, have been chosen to hear the song of the Pines, calling mankind back to the simple life with homemade gifts and sweet family gatherings. You are to remind your brothers and sisters to enjoy what God made first before man filled the world with capitalistic greed. Celebrate the holidays as they were intended…as moments to thank God and love others. Slow down. Go against the flow. People will hear you. You have a position of influence and a genuine spirit. The job is yours. Are you up for the challenge?”

    “Yes, I am but how will I say that I came up with this idea? If they only knew I was talking to a WREATH!”

    “Never you worry, my child. You don’t have to tell them anything about that. Just get them to slow down. They will hear the message themselves too and it will verify what you have told them. Everyone who stops to smell the fragrance of the Pines will hear their song.”

    “Ok. But are you sure I am the one?”

    “Certain. You are humble yet infuential. You help the poor, take in homeless children, invite outcasts to dinner, spend time with your family, eat the food intended for your body and love everyone you meet. You are the perfect messenger. You shall hear my voice in the distance, not as that of a human voice as you do now but my message will stay with you, compelling you to complete your mission. Now, go, my child. Teach the world.”

  18. Tristan

    Adelaide’s eyelids burst open and her heart was thudding. Something was wrong but she wasn’t sure what. “Hello…” something whined in the darkness. Her slowing pulse raced forward again. What the hell was that? It was clearly saying hello but it’s voice was just as clearly not human. She lay frozen with fear, feeling terribly vulnerable in her bed. Something rustled in the dark corner of her room. There was the rescued cat her mother had gotten her for Christmas, watching with flashing yellow eyes. A moment passed and the cat was just a cat. She started to feel ridiculous. With a little laugh at herself she went to go back to sleep.

    “I said hello!” Again her eyes flew open and with absolute clarity she knew she was not asleep.

    “What?” She croaked at a loss for any more useful words.

    “Sharp, aren’t you?” He said. “I’ll have my work cut out with you. Get up. We’ve got to be on our way.” His voice was high pitched and slightly mewling like he was rubbing against her leg while she was fixing dinner in the kitchen.

    “Where are we going?” She didn’t know why she would bother to ask when she should be running in terror but something about Bob’s large eyes and furry, slightly misshapen body was compelling.

    “Humans have horrible memories. You signed a contract and it’s being called in. Senior Mittens requires your expertise. Now take hold of my tail and we’ll be off.” And God help her, she did.

  19. hillsworth

    Travis sat up in bed, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. His new flannel jammies were electrically sticking to the flannel sheets and he could hear the static charges as he swung his legs out from under the covers. The new sun was just peeking through the window as he stretched, scratched, and yawned. Standing up, he glanced into the corner at his gag gift that his buddies had gotten him this year.
    She had luscious red lips, big round blue eyes, and a naked body to die for. Suzie was the name on the box, and she was inflated in less than two minutes, while everyone stood around laughing. Travis laughed right with them. All fun and games with these guys, but after all the beer was gone and everyone left, he started to wallow in the realization that he had managed to spend another whole year alone.
    Never would he let anyone know just how much he wanted a partner, and whether it was the beer goggles or the loneliness off last nights self pity, he found himself two hours later, laying beside Suzie in bed, completely exhausted.
    “You never tell me how pretty I am.”
    “Aaahhhhh,” Travis turned away from her and almost knocked himself out trying to get out of the bedroom.
    “What the…?” he turned back and peeked in through the open doorway.
    “Well, you don’t. And you never want to go to my mothers anymore. All you want to do is lay on that couch and watch sports. You’re always yelling for me to get you a beer. You never cook dinner. The garbage is overflowing. It’s your turn to get the kids off the bus. The dishes aren’t going to do themselves.”
    At first, Travis just stands there, mouth hanging open, shaking his head back and forth. “I can’t believe this.”
    “Sweep the floor. Wash the car. I got a hair appointment in forty-five minutes. I need some money so I can go shopping.”
    Nag, nag, nag… Travis walks across the room, reaches behind Suzie, and pulls the plug. The last thing he heard her say as he walked out the door was,

    1. UtahJackson

      I liked this take on the story. I never thought of a gag gift, especially a blow up doll, but that ‘s a great idea.

      I thought the second half of your story was a little off balance from the first half. In particular, you changed tenses starting with, “At first,…”

      I liked the ending. I can’t say I’ve ever wanted to do that with my wife 😉

      1. hillsworth

        Thanks for the input. I appreciate positive and negative, I’m new at this. When I wrote it up, I indented for each new paragraph, but when I submitted, it ran it all together, made it harder to read. Gotta remember to return twice for the space.

  20. RGV

    All I Wanted


    “Fer Christ’s sake, what now?”

    “Bleep! Bleep!”

    “Quit poking me!”

    “Bleep! Bleep! Bleep!”

    “Get back in your corner!”

    “Bleep! Bleep! Bleep! Bleep!”

    “Good lord, all I wanted for Christmas was a little peace and quiet and now look what’s happened! How’s a man supposed to get any sleep with all that bleeping noise!”

  21. UtahJackson

    I gave my most cherished Christmas gift a final, sultry gaze as I snapped off my nightstand light. I dropped my head to the pillow, running headlong into the comforting, warm tunnel of Christmas exhaustion, satisfied in every way.

    “It’s 3 AM and I must be lonely.” I opened a drowsy eye, stared into the dark, disbelieving that I’d just heard a line from my favorite song. Before I could muster another fuzzy thought, I was awakened in full by the next line of the song.

    “And she says, ‘Baby’-
    ‘I can’t help but be scared of it all some time'”.

    I turned towards the night stand and hit the top of my clock radio, unsure how the alarm had come to be set. I picked it up. It read 3:00.

    “Did you like that?”, I heard a voice say from the corner of the room. I flipped on the light in between the skips of my heartbeat, fist-rubbed my eyes and strained to focus towards the corner of my room where my gift was.

    “That song was really fun to write. I’m so glad you like it,” the doll said.

    “Ok, ok, I’m really starting to freak out. I know my Matchbox 20, Rob Thomas, Limited Edition doll is not talking to me right now. I know this is not- hey, are you smoking a cigarette?”, I asked, my voice rising, my eyes widening.

    “Yeah, I sure am Tina. You know, it’s supposed to be a Marlboro, but it’s not. It was made in China, just like me”. Doll Rob threw his head back and let out a smoky laugh. “So, should I start from the top again or do you want to hear another one of my hit songs?”.

    Disbelieving and unable to move, I sat in shocked silence as Robb began another heartfelt performance. “Well, it’s just like the ocean under the moon, Is the same as the emotion that I get from you…”

    “Stop,” I screamed. “This-you-this just can’t be real. I know, I know, I’m dreaming. But, damn, this is one incredible, mind-blowing dream. I must just be exhausted and I had that cocoa right before bed and-“.

    “Hey, hey, sweet thing,” Doll Robb said, throwing up his hand, palm facing out while swinging his denim-clad hips to the side. “Let me just stop you right there. I mean, I am definitely real. I’ve got the scars from the injected plastic molding to prove it.” He laughed again and took a deep drag from his cigarette. With his eyes skyward, he blew a mini-donut ring of smoke above his head. He looked back at me. “Now, could I do that if I wasn’t real?”.

    I hopped out of bed and snatched the tiny cigarette from his hand, crushing the remaining tobacco between my fingers. I picked him up by the waist and brought him eye-level with me. He was beautiful.

    “Tina,” Doll Robb said, his voice low and tender. “You are a fine specimen of a woman. It may be a little forward of me, but, man, I would just love to kiss you right now.”

    A warm, amazing rush of adrenalin splashed and trickled into every crevice of my body.
    “You look so real,” I said, my voice a whisper. I closed my eyes, stuck out my lips and met Rob’s mouth in a deep, desirous moment of passion.

    An astonished voice broke the trance. “Tina, what are you doing?”. My mother entered my room, undoubtedly responding to my earlier scream.

    I looked down my nose, past my pooched lips and into Doll Robb’s forlorn, plastic, motionless eyes- nothing more than an object of my affection.

      1. RGV

        This was well crafted! You do a great job of repartee with the doll and I am so glad you didn’t go dark with it. Dolls freak me out enough as it is!

        The only part I’d change is this section: ““Stop,” I screamed. “This-you-this just can’t be real. I know, I know, I’m dreaming. But, damn, this is one incredible, mind-blowing dream. I must just be exhausted and I had that cocoa right before bed and-”.” because it’s too much information. It’s accurate, but I think you could create a powerful pause by letting the reader fill in the feelings and thoughts. Like the moment of silence between waking and dreaming.

        Keep at it!

  22. Icabu

    Jackie eased out of bed, her stomach rolling. Gulping down the last of the eggnog was not a good idea. With her husband snoring softly, Jackie slipped into her robe and tiptoed out of the bedroom. The third stair down creaked, as usual, but caused no stirrings about the house. Jackie plugged in the Christmas tree and lay on the couch, the twinkling lights mesmerizing her.

    Since they both had good work this year, Christmas was a special reward. They’d gotten everything on their want list and well into their like list. Jackie’s most prized possession was propped in the corner, partially hidden behind tree branches. Her loving husband, Rich, had taken several photographs of them, together and separate, to an artist friend. The painting their friend created was breathtaking. He’d captured their likenesses and their love for one another clearly reflected in the painted expressions. It was the perfect gift.

    “You know that over half of all marriages end in divorce.”

    A gripping cramp woke Jackie and she was sure she was going to lose the eggnog all over the carpet. Panting, she lay still until the nausea passed; remembering that she’d heard someone speak.

    Sitting up slowly, she looked around the dark room, not seeing anyone. “What?”

    “And infidelity is the root cause of most of those divorces.”

    Forgetting her stomach for the moment, Jackie curled into the corner of the couch. The voice was coming from behind the Christmas tree. “Who’s there?”

    “It takes more than a good libido to sustain a marriage.”

    “That’s not funny,” Jackie croaked.

    “A sense of humor helps, but it takes much more to live with one person for a lifetime.”

    “Who are you?” Jackie squinted, but all she could see was the painting of her and Rich.

    “You know me,” the voice said. “I’m you.”

    Jackie groaned, but not from her cramps. “Paintings can’t talk.” She was beginning to feel a little silly.

    “You said yourself how realistic the painting looked.”

    “Why are you talking about divorce then?” Jackie demanded.

    “Just voicing what you’re afraid to.”

    “Marriage doesn’t scare me,” Jackie stated firmly.

    “Divorce does.”

    Jackie started to respond but couldn’t. The knots in her stomach had little to do with the eggnog now.

    “Face your fears, Jackie-girl. Don’t bury them. Live with them, learn from them.”

    Waking after a fitful nap, Jackie saw a hint of graying on the horizon. Her stomach felt much better, thankfully. She glanced at the painting behind the tree and remembered ‘talking’ to her image earlier in the night. Figuring that had to have been her fever, she thought she would turn to that painting when troubled. It truly spoke to her.

    1. RGV

      I love the idea of the heroine talking to herself through the painting. I do wonder if you kill the power of it by having her shrug it off as bad eggnog. Then you tempt us with the last line “It truly spoke to her”. It made me think you changed your mind half-way through. I think it was a pretty gutsy approach and hope you go further with this outside of this forum!

  23. Chilo

    Christmas was great. It’s the only time of year my coworkers smile at me; the only time my wife acknowledges me; and it’s the only time my mother calls. As a matter of fact, it’s the only time I receive everything I want, especially that electronic game I always wanted. It came packaged in a green and purple cover. All the components were inside, which is great because I hate doing returns. I had taken all the contents out for a trial run when my wife called me to help with the toilet (long story). I placed everything in the corner of the room in order to not step on anything.
    “Hey, you!”
    I must have done a 360 degree turn to decipher where the voice was coming from.
    “Down here, cheeseboy!”
    “What?” I kneeled down, straightened my glasses, and picked up the box.
    “That’s right. Now, listen here. Whatever you do, don’t go to the bathroom.”
    I was petrified, but wondered where the microphone was. I must have overlooked that component.
    “Psst! Are you listening?”
    “Uh… why not?”
    “If you want to see the night sky again, you’ll do as I say.”
    In the background I could hear my wife fuming and then, silence.
    “See? What did I tell you?”
    “I don’t understand.”
    “Your wife is gone.”
    “Gone? How? Why? I mean… who would want to take her?”
    The voice stopped talking to me. I shook the box and ordered a response. Nothing. So I mustered the courage to look in the bathroom.
    “Oh my….”

    1. RGV

      You certainly leave me wanting to know what happens! Why did you chose to cut it off there? I wonder if there is a way you can make the fact that it is a video game more important to the ending?

      Good work though!

  24. jmiff328

    “I’m not crazy!” I screamed at my wife. She continued to stare at her shoes while shaking her head. Her hair caught in the breeze from the overhead fan looked like an edited bikini photo. She was stunning in every way. I never missed the opportunity to let her know how beautiful she was, but tonight I wanted to squeeze the life out of her. She wouldn’t believe me though I wasn’t sure I believed it either even after hearing it. The handcrafted case made from rich cherry-wood was ordered online and arrived on Christmas eve. I planned to store my extensive knife collection inside. My wife complained that it looked like a coffin and I needed to keep it in my “Man-Cave”. Once opened and thoroughly viewed it was placed in the corner to continue the Christmas festivities That night after my wife had gone to bed I felt drawn downstairs for unknown reasons. I made my way in front of the tree and sat in my recliner. I could see the rectangular box in the corner of my eye and I heard a voice. It was soft and feminine with overtones of British descent. It said “Kill them.” It repeated this countless times until I heard my in-laws stirring in the guest bedroom. Light was spilling into the living room, I realized I had been up all night, transfixed by the voice coming from the coffin. I wondered briefly why I considered it to be a coffin now. The day passed without incident until the night when the same voice called me from my bedroom. My wife, still alarmed at my late night activities from the previous night, followed me downstairs. An argument ensued when I explained what I was hearing. She yelled too loud and woke her parents who made their way out to see what was happening. Her father tried to grab my arm to pull me away from the situation. I caught him with a quick backhand and yelled “Don’t touch me!” with a voice that surprised everyone. “No turning back now” the voice from the coffin said. “Everyone on the couch” I said. My vision had turned a tinge of red and the rage was bearing down on me. I blacked out and woke to sirens outside my home. The smell of copper was strong in my nostrils and my hands were covered in red, as was the entire first story. The only clear spot in the house was the coffin my wife had bought me for Christmas.

    Later during the trial I begged my lawyer to find the coffin and bring it in so I could show everyone the British woman who caused me to do these things. He promised me many times that they had searched the home and they found no coffin. I begged and pleaded with the judge to no avail. I am still stuck here at Lakeview Institute. “Wow, that’s a pretty crazy story” my Doctor said. “It might be crazy but it’s the truth Doc, I swear to God, it is!” “I believe you John, now let’s go see what they brought up for lunch, ok?” There was a knock on the door and a gangly nurse in knee-high socks walked in without being prompted. “Sorry to bother you Doctor, but John needs to come to the front and sign for a package.” I began to sweat heavily and my breathing was labored. “What’s this package look like?” I asked. She responded “It’s long and rectangular, I guess it kind of looks like a coffin.” She laughed and walked out of the room without noticing that I had passed out on the floor.

    1. RGV

      You’ve some good stuff in here but it’s hard to read because you need to break it down into paragraphs and format it so the dialogue stands out more clearly. There’s also some verb tense discrepancies.

      I see you are a 100 words over. What do you think you could cut out to get to the part where he kills everyone a little faster? Having it follow the guy around is a nice touch!


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