Gingerbread Boys

He had fallen asleep under the Christmas tree.

A tiny living doll, the lights painted him as colorful as the packages
he had curled up around. His day had been a full one, he was tucked
out. He didn't even move when his dad picked him up and carried him
to bed, carefully putting his Tigger under one pudgy arm and pulling
his Buzz Lightyear blanket up to his chin.

"I-onn-seeana" he mumbled in his sleep.

I want to see Santa, he had said.

They had spent the day making gingerbreat boys. Smaller than
gingerbread men, they didn't have jobs.

Making them, he had told stories about how they would come alive at
night and dance around the plate. They would go swimming in Santa's
milk, and Santa woudln't eat them, but would put them in his bag and
take them to the North Pole to help the elves make toys and candy.

They had ridden around the town, as they always did on Christmas Eve,
and he had gotten so excited over all the new decorations. An
airplane blinking a red light flew over head and he said, "We gotta
beat Santa home!"

Thats when he parked himself under the Christmas tree, sure that Santa
would be there any minute.

But his tiny boy biology beat him out.

Now, as he slept safely upstairs, his dad stuffed the stocking before
ploping down into his chair and absentmindedly biting the head off a
gingerbread boy while the lights on the tree blinked on and off and on
and off and......

The Poking Stick

I accepted a challenge to write a flash fiction story of 200 words or less with "Gremlins!" as my inspiration.

What I'm about to share here is the 640 word first draft, which I then had to whittle down to 200 words or less.

For some reason I dont expect to win the challenge with my much less meaty story, but take courage in the fact that everyone else had to have 200 words or less too. -smile-
Anyway, as promised, here is my ROUGH draft.



The thing in the basement made Roddy forget about his brother’s mood for a while.
It was about the size of a squirrel, greenish brown, with large eyes the color of honey. Bald, except for the stripe of coarse hair that rose down its spine, it hunched in a corner of the basement, made by boxes of his Dad’s old stroke books.

Roddy crouched down to get a better look, and the creature lifted one small, rodent-like hand up and out toward him. He was just beginning to reach back towards it when something hard and sharp stabbed him in the back, reminding him what he had been dong in the basement to begin with.

His brother, Nelson, was in a particularly evil mood today. Having gotten in trouble for failing all of his classes, he had gotten his poking stick from its hiding spot and had been tormenting Roddy all day.

“Stop Nelson!” Roddy said, but his brother only continued poking him.

The torment stopped suddenly.

“What is THAT thing,” Nelson bellowed, shoving Roddy to the side and leaning over the creature, which was trying to make itself smaller.

“Just a frog.”

“That aint a frog.” Nelson leaned closer. The creature started to shiver. “I think it’s a gremlin! It’s a gremlin, like what Granpa told us about!”

Then he raised the poking stick, and poked the creature with it.

The first gentle poke caused it to blink its eyes. The second one, a little harder, made it mewl. It sounded like a baby animal.

“Don’t do that.” Roddy said.

“You jealous?”

Nelson poked Roddy twice, hard and quickly, causing him to scoot backwards. He bumped into his Mom’s recipe boxes, and a thin dust rose around his head, causing him to sneeze.

Nelson resumed poking the gremlin. Roddy heard the creature mewl again and, between Nelson’s laughter and his own sneezes, thought he heard the thing growl.

He tried to tell Nelson to stop, but couldn’t talk for sneezing.

His eyes were mostly closed, but he saw the creature rise up on two legs, saw its coarse back hair stand up straight and sharp like a porcupine’s quills. He didn’t see it get the stick away from Nelson, or how Nelson ended up on the ground, backed into a corner of his own, but by then the sneezes had stopped.

The gremlin had the stick, and was poking Nelson. A jab here and there. Nelson had wrapped his arms around his head and buried his face. Where the skin of his arms was exposed, Roddy could see small pinpoints of blood.

He said, “Stop it.” But the creature didn’t stop, so he screamed, “STOP IT!”

It stopped, and it turned to face him.

Nelson made his escape back up the stair, crying.

Somehow, Roddy knew, the brat would get him in trouble for this.

Roddy’s back was in the corner, the gremlin between him and the stairs which were his only way to escape, but he wasn’t afraid. He and the gremlin had common enemies.

“Give me the stick!”

Looking ashamed, the gremlin shuffled forward and handed the stick to Roddy before dropping back down to all fours. It looked innocent again.

“You shouldn’t have done that.” He scolded, as he heard footsteps on the stairs. “Now shoo.”

The gremlin was gone, hidden away, by the time his mother reached him. Her face red and angry she shouted at him, “Roderick, how DARE you hurt your little brother that way. He’s bleeding, Roderick. Do you know what that means?”

She snatched the stick away and threw it into a corner, and slapped him hard across the face.

A small greenish brown hand reach out and sweep up the poking stick.

Naughty little gremlin, he thought, but secretly, he smiled. Their time to be the bullies would come soon enough.