Dragons vs Christmas (Lights) #flashfic #amwriting

This story by Lee French originally appeared on Edgewise Words Inn.

Enion poked the wad of Christmas lights with a claw. “What is it?”

“It’s pretty!” Pimkin snapped her silver wings out and jumped onto the tangled wad of bright colors and dark green wire. She landed on top with a toothy grin. The ball pitched her forward, wiping away her triumph as she thumped on the table. Flapping her wings to escape, she found them snared by the wires. All four legs had wires wrapped around them too.

“I’ll save you!” Enion plowed into the tangle. The devious wires seized his head, wings, and tail. They slid across the table in a clump to stop at the edge. One end of the wires fell off the side and clattered on the linoleum floor.

Both tiny dragons wriggled and squirmed to escape, pulling the wires tighter around their bodies. The ball quavered on the verge of falling. Enion noticed and froze.

“Stop! We’re going to fall.” He shoved one foot through the wires to the table and scraped his claws on the table. Its plastic coating foiled his efforts to dig in.

Pimkin tried and failed to fold her wings in. “Why is this pretty thing so mean?”

“It’s evil.”

“Then we must defeat it!”

Enion pulled his neck back only to have the frill of tiny horns around his head catch on the wires. He snapped at a wire, sinking his sharp little teeth in and grinding. The soft plastic coating gave way to metal underneath. Electricity jolted through his body until he let go.

Not knowing which way was up anymore, he slumped. His weight sent the tangled ball over the edge. Enion and Pimkin both shrieked until the wad hit the floor. It bounced, cushioning both dragons from the fall, then rolled until it hit a kitchen cabinet.

More ensnared than before, Enion gasped.

“No more pretty lights!” Pimkin thrashed her tiny legs in frustration.

“It’s evil,” Enion agreed, his words slurred.

Pimkin gave up with a heavy sigh. “It wins.” She sagged in the wires.

Ready to also admit defeat and wait for a human to find them and fix everything, Enion gave one last heave. He caused the ball to roll far enough for him to put all four clawed feet on the floor.

Now facing up, Pimkin noticed one foot fell through the wires against he body, leaving it free so long as she didn’t move it again. She tugged gently on her other foreleg and discovered she could move it a tiny bit to the left, then pull it through. Suddenly, she had two legs free.

Enion sank his claws into the linoleum enough to gain traction. He dragged the ball away from the cabinet. “Not giving up yet!”

“Wait. Stop.” Pimkin eased one back foot free, then the other. “If you move slow, you defeat it!”

Pausing in his trek to the living room, Enion looked down at his raised foot. He’d lifted it to take the next step and only now noticed it had come free of the wires. With a step onto the wires instead of the floor, he lifted his other foreclaw and freed it also.

“Hurray!” Enion looked up and saw Pimkin’s wing near enough to reach. If he bit the wire around it without trying to chew through, he could loosen it.

A few minutes later, both dragons stood two feet away, glaring at the ball of lights attached to the wall socket by an orange extension cord.

“It’s pretty.”

“It’s evil.”

Dear Santa By Connie J. Jasperson

Dear Santa,

It was my sister’s fault.

Mostly. I also feel the Frigidaire company is partly to blame. They should make their products less prone to tipping over.

It all started because we were robbed on Halloween. Mrs. Sullivan gave out Snickers Bars, and Mr. Gentry gave Hershey Bars. Mrs. Morris had handed out M&Ms. In fact, all of Plum Street was handing out chocolate, so we knew we really did well that night. Chocolate is our favorite candy, so we were quite excited about having made such a grand haul. It was the best trick-or-treat night ever.

But by the time we had washed the face paint off our faces and changed into our jammies, and were allowed to sort through our candy, all that was left in our bags were Skittles, LifeSavers, Jujubes, Jolly Ranchers, and Tootsie Pops. I’m sure thieves snuck in and did it while Mom was watching Dancing with the Stars. Everyone knows our mom has sworn off sugar, so the thieves must have known there wouldn’t even be any stray Reese’s Pieces at our house under normal circumstances.

Cathy said the thieves must have spied on us as we made the rounds in the neighborhood and knew just where to come to steal it.

However, on Thanksgiving, we received reliable information from our cousin Jeremy (he’s fifteen and really tall) that some of the missing chocolate from our Halloween candy had been stashed in a secret cupboard on our premises. Probably the robbers couldn’t carry it all because there was so much chocolate, it took both Cathy and me to carry it home in the first place.

When Cathy counted what was left, it was clear the thieves had made off with more than half of it. We feared they would come back for the rest of it.

Now, I know I have a certain responsibility for how things turned out, as I am technically older. Mom is always telling us how sisters should be loyal to each other as they grow and venture into new territory.

The cupboard over the top of the refrigerator was definitely uncharted territory.

When Cathy told me about her plan to rescue the stolen chocolate, I felt she needed a safety net. Or at least someone to hold the chair while she climbed on top of the fridge.

We were surprised to discover her plan had a fatal flaw, although I should have expected it. After all, she’s only in third grade, so engineering is not her strong point. Although she’s amazing at drawing horses, much better than I am and I’m a year older. But I wasn’t consulted in the planning stage, or I would have suggested approaching the cupboard from the side via the counter instead of the front from a chair. All she asked me to do was to hold the chair, which I did until I had to drop it to catch the refrigerator.

Sort of.

I accidentally dropped that too.

You see, the door swung open, and she was hanging on it but managed to jump clear, and you know the rest.

Did you know that when your refrigerator falls on the door, more food falls out of it when you go to lift it back up? This is because the doors don’t latch too well.

So Santa, even though it wasn’t my idea to tip over the fridge, I did try to clean up the mess before Mom got back from the store. It’s just amazing how far pickles and olives can travel when they’re mixed with orange juice and moldy brussels sprouts. I didn’t realize they had rolled all the way to the back door. I felt terrible that mom slipped and dropped a gallon of milk.

And please don’t be too hard on Cathy. She was only trying to rescue the stolen chocolates.

Jennifer Martin, Cathy’s sister

Dear Santa By Ceri Clark

Dear Santa,

It was my sister’s fault. I don’t normally write these things but I didn’t do it. I swear! I just wanted you to know.

I am so tired, I hate being alone but there is no one left. Do you even come this far?

Please help me. I can hear her calling my name. Mary’s got her hair in a pony tail and she’s stolen mom’s make-up. She looks really scary. It won’t be long until she finds me. They call it moon madness but she was always mean, even before we left Earth. Do you remember Toby? He lived next door to us. He must have been on your nice list. That wasn’t an accident. I was there. I saw the whole thing. She pushed him. The smile on her face as she did it. I never told anyone before. She scares me so bad.

Maybe I should have told Mom and Dad. Maybe everyone would be alive now. Harry and me would be in Hydroponics playing football. Dad would be telling us off right now…

Their faces. They were all collapsed. Higgledy piggledy. I was lucky I forgot my jumper. It was to be our first Christmas concert in space. Mom and Dad were more excited than me. It was going to to be broadcast back to Earth so Mom said we all had to look our best. I ran as fast as I could but when I got back the air was already gone. I saw her through the airlock window. My sister is a monster.

She’s playing with some rope. Like I don’t know that is for me if she catches me. There is no way I’m going to her. I saw the bodies. I’m not stupid. She’s using THAT voice – the one that gets mom to give her the chocolate from the top shelf. It just makes me shiver.

Mom said we should write letters to Santa – that you always hear us. She said that you had a sleigh that can ride high into the sky. I will leave this letter by the heating panels, its as close to a fire-place as we have here.

Please Santa, my sister blames me for everything. I heard her talk to her cat. She’s going to say I opened the air lock and killed everyone. If you can just get her the communicator she wants, the pink one, she might let me live. Its why she did it, Dad said it cost too much. But you can afford it can’t you?

I’m going to have to finish this now, I need to find a new hiding place. Please Santa, please come, you are my only hope.


Dear Santa By David P. Cantrell

Dear Santa,

It was my sister’s fault. Well, she didn’t light the fire. I did that, but there’s no doubt she caused the damage, and she could have stopped it if she hadn’t been running so fast. She’s selfish like that.

The fire wasn’t that big. It charred the front leg of Mommy’s favorite chair. I sat in it, so I know it’s okay. It does smell odd. Mommy says a skunk peed on it. I didn’t see a skunk, so I think she was wrong. Nobody’s noticed the scorched leg on Daddy’s chair. It always smells funny according to Mommy.

This all started in Mrs. Gold’s fourth-grade class. She showed us how to make candles and told us to make one to celebrate the holidays. Bobbie Schultz said our teacher was Jewish and didn’t like Christmas. I don’t know why she doesn’t like Christmas. For that matter, I don’t know what Jewish is, but Bobbie is smart. He knows the time’s tables all the way to thirteen.

Most kids made candles that looked like Rudolph, Frosty, or an angel. Two kids made pitchforks. They called them Minotaurs, I think. Zachery made a Navytea scene. It had little farm animals in a circle around a butterfly larva. I asked Zachery if it was a Monarch. He said it was a Baby Jesus. I’d never heard of that kind of butterfly. They probably come from Utah like Zachery.

I think I upset Mrs. Gold. I didn’t mean to. Honest, I didn’t. I made a devil. Mommy wouldn’t let me be a devil for Halloween–I had to wear Sara’s old Princess Jasmine costume. My devil was really cool, Santa. It had goat legs, the body of a man and the head of a bull. The bull horns had wicks in them. It was all red like you are, but not so round. Daddy says it’s not nice to call people fat. I hope round is okay. Anyway, it was sooooo cool. It didn’t stand up very well, so I glued on Popsicle sticks–they looked like snow skis.

Mommy and Daddy went shopping after dinner last night and left Sara and me to protect the house. I put the last ornaments on the Christmas tree, which sat between Mommy and Daddy’s chairs in front of the fireplace. We don’t use the fireplace because it’s anyfishunt. But, we still have a log lighter. I know, because I saw Daddy point it at Mommy like a gun. He said, ‘I’m going to light your fire woman.’ I wonder if I was adopted, sometimes.

Mommy and Daddy would be home soon, and I wanted to surprise them with my devil. I stood on Mommy’s chair to put the devil on the mantle. It looked great next to Grandma’s antique quilt on the wall.

“Sara where is the log lighter?”

She continued texting and mumbled, “On the hearth by Dad’s chair.”

“Thank you,” I said, but she ignored me, like always.

I had to stand on the armrest to reach the devil horns. The first one lit easily. I stretched to reach the second horn. The wick had started to flicker when Sara screamed, “What are you doing?”

I yelped and lost my balance. My hand caught the devil’s skis, and we both fell into the Christmas tree which fell on Sara. She squealed and ran like the wind. I landed on my back and stood up. The devil ignited the tree skirt which exploded in flames that died down quickly after I threw Mommy’s poinsettia plant on it. The ceiling sprinklers helped, too.

I hope you take it easy on Sara. I know this horrible incident was her fault, but she tries hard to be good. Sometimes things just don’t work out for her.

By the way, I’d like a Lego Super Hero High School for Christmas.

Yours most sincerely truly,

Elsie Montgomery, age 9 and 3/4ths.


Milking the Dragon

Dragon_rearing_up_to_reach_medieval_knight_on_ledgeToday is the day I’m supposed to write a blog post for Myrddin Publishing. I stare at the blank page, wondering what to blog about. I guess I could talk about writing…just set the fingers on the keyboard and let the words flow… Writing is a way of life for me, one that require the ability to become immersed in the story and….

“Ahem.” A knight in shining armor stands at my elbow, looking over my shoulder and tapping his foot.

Pardon me, dear reader. I know it’s rude to interrupt my blog post just when we were getting started, but I have to deal with this—-it’s Hero, the main character from my current work in progress. Characters are like cell phones: they always choose the worst times to communicate their problems.

“Ahem,” he clears his throat again. “You there. Are you the person plotting this book?”

Surprised, I nod my head, wondering where this is going. Usually, my heroes just leave me to the task of writing, and don’t really feel compelled to harass me beyond the occasional ‘Hey, Doofus! You forgot Lord Anselm lost his leg four chapters back, so he’s not going to be able to dance the night away, right?’ So I say to Hero, “I am your author and creator. How may I help you?”

“Well, the Dragon is dead, did you notice?”

Again I nod my head. “Yes, I wrote that scene, and if I do say so myself, you were magnificent.” Heroes require obscene amounts of kudos, or they turn sour.

“Thank you,” he replies, attempting to appear modest and failing. “Well, the thing is, Lady Penelope has thrown herself into wedding preparations.”

“Yes, I did know that.” I smile encouragingly. “I am helping her with designing the dress.”

“Well, I’ve been booted outside. Kicked to the curb. No one needs the groom, apparently until the big day so, heh-heh, here I am… Bored… Looking for something to do…” He glares at me. “Well, really, what sort of author are you? Here we are 32,527 words into your novel, and you’ve already shot the big guns! You wasted the big scene! I mean really, unless this romantic comedy is a novella, you just blew it big time.”

I am shocked that this man who owes his very existence to my creative genius should talk to me thusly. “What are you talking about? I have lots of adventures and deeds of daring-do just waiting to leap off the page, and occupy your idle hands.” See? I can give a dirty look too!

“We-e-ell?” he drawls. “You have 50,000 or so words left, and I hope to heck that you do not intend to spend them on wedding preparations!” He looks at me expectantly. “I have nothing to do! Find me a Quest!”

By golly the man is right. I have timed my big finale rather poorly, and now I have to come up with something new for the man to do. Hmm…maybe trolls … no, too reminiscent of Tolkien. I know – elves! No, still too Tolkienesque. I glare at him. “Well, I can’t work with you staring over my shoulder, so find something to do for a few minutes.”

Good Lord. I should have made him less impatient and given him a few more social graces. “Look, why don’t you sit here, and play a little ‘Dragon Age’ for a while?” I park him in front of the TV and give him the controller.

“What the hell is this?” He looks first at me and then at the controller in his hand. “I am sure this odd-looking thing is quite entertaining, but I don’t find it amusing.”

Sighing, I show him how to turn the thing on, and help him set up a character file. For some reason, he wants to play as a dwarf mage. That takes an hour.

Go figure.

Finally, I can sit down and invent a few more terrifying plot twists to keep this bad boy busy. The trouble is, all I can think of is dragons, but he has already fought one and killed it. Of course, that means he has acquired a certain amount of skill in dragon molesting… heh-heh… but what good is that sort of ability?


I look up, and see Lady Penelope’s mother, Duchess Evillia, standing at my elbow. “Yes?”

“Well, I am sorry to bother you, but we are in desperate need of a certain magical ingredient for my special anti-aging cream.” She looks at me expectantly. “Despite the fact she is intent on marrying that unemployed waster in the tin suit, my daughter’s wedding is a Very Big Deal.”

OMG, she’s capitalizing her words for emphasis. And she’s still staring at me.

“I simply MUST have my beauty cream.”

“And that ingredient is…?” I hope it not a complicated thing because now I have two bored characters nagging the hell out me.

She smiles and says, “Dragon’s Milk.”

How odd, that I never realized until this moment just how malevolent Penelope’s mother looks when she smiles like that. “I’m sure that our dear Hero can get me some since he’s just sitting around pretending to be a dwarf.”

This woman is very likely to be his worst nightmare, and Hero intends to share a castle with her? I suppose he has no choice, now that I think about it, as he has no castle of his own, and Penelope’s father, Duke Benedict, has made him his heir.

Wait a minute…that was against his wife’s wishes, wasn’t it….

Yeah…I guess I could rewrite the original battle scene, just add a bit here, tweak a bit there and subtract the dead dragon part.

Ooh…but he could get singed milking the dragon, and that would probably delay the wedding.

Oh, what the hell—he is a hero isn’t he?

I look over at the Hero, who is now bashing my coffee table with my game controller. Oh, yeah, this boy needs to go outside and play in the fresh air. “HEY!!! Hero, I have a task for you! Take this bucket and get some dragon’s milk. It’s a matter of life and death.”

He looks up, wild-eyed and sweaty. “I will in a minute. I just have to get to a place where I can save… Gah!!! No, no, no! I only have one health potion left!”

Well, kind reader, I had intended to write a blog post today, but that’s out. I won’t have time as I have to get the Hero pried loose from the game console and on his way. He has to go and milk the dragon.
Milking the Dragon © 2016 Connie J. Jasperson, All Rights Reserved

When the hunter becomes the hunted – Inspired by the Cecil lion hunt

The needless death of Cecil the African lion on the illegal big game hunt by a dentist from Minneapolis had my blood boiling the other day, figuratively speaking of course! There was really no need to kill that lion. I am not a vegetarian or a vegan but I believe that the only reasons an animal should be killed is for food or for conservation reasons (to save another species). We are all animals and we should respect life, not kill for fun because we feel like it. Pleasure in hurting another creature is beyond my comprehension.

There really was no need to hurt that lion and the way it was done was beyond cruel. The poor thing was 40 hours in pain. This flash fiction story is my tribute to the lion and all endangered species who may go extinct in our lifetime because of selfish people.


Two-lionsI sniffed the air. The scent of blood filled my nostrils and I felt my body quiver,then move as if by itself towards the source. I looked back at my cubs. The littlest moved his paw over his face in his sleep. The rest were lolling around their mums, content after a day’s play. They were safe for now. There we no signs of danger but that smell – it promised fresh, easy, food.

I yawned and stood up to follow the smell. It was moving now, going faster, I started to pant as I began to run to catch up.The miles were eaten by my stride as my mouth salivated at the thought of eating that fresh meat.

What could it be? The smell was quite strong, it must be a large animal. This could feed my family for days.

I could see the animal now, atop one of this things that humans used to travel. It was a young antelope, too stupid to evade the humans. Antelope had no brains. It deserved what it got. I could almost taste it’s succulent flesh now. If I was careful, maybe I could steal it’s carcass from them but I must be cautious. The thing stopped and I slunk low in the grass to debate my next move. If I circled around them, I might be able to get it unseen.

I felt the powerful muscles in my shoulder bunch as I moved forward, the breeze ruffled my black mane. Adrenaline surged through me. The hunt was on.

Suddenly pain like I have never felt before tore through me. I roared with pain and surprise and I turned to run. I ran and ran until I could run no more.

I felt so weak. Life was ebbing away. Who was going to look after my cubs now? I extended my paw to try and remove the stick grimm my side but I couldn’t reach it. I realised I was going to die. Day turned to night, into day and it grew cold, then hot. I felt numb,my side throbbing. My thoughts turned to my cubs. They would all be killed by my rival and my poor lionesses would die defending them. How could this have happened? I crawled forward, every movement was an effort but I needed aq drink. My lips touched the cool water and I drank deeply. There was a rustle in the long grass behind me and I turned. My eyes widened. The humans had found me.

Ceri Clark writes how-to guides and young adult fiction. Please see her books below for more information.