Contest

Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 17-12-2014

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Emmett adjusted his crown of candles and the fur-and-holly mantle – both heavy, although they were carefully constructed of his own ectoplasm. “I know I could win the celebrity ghost-off,” he said, looking at his reflection in a window pane, “if only … if only …” Emmett sighed. He was a dead ringer for the ghost of Christmas Present and wanted the prize of going Up Top and mingling with the children, but the chances of his winning were incredibly slim. “Nobody wins when Krampus spray paints himself red and goes as Satan,” Emmett huffed glumly. “Every year, it’s the same.”

Mingling

Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 16-12-2014

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At the holidays, the Munsters and the Addams Family kept a respectful distance during all extended family parties. Both sides were cordial and solicitous of the elders, but there wasn’t a lot of mixing. When asked about it, Herman replied that he “thought the Addamses were great – if a bit overly serious and tight” (excepting Fester and It, who knew how to party). Conferring with his wife, Gomez answered that the Munsters were “horrendously lovely, madcap fun”, but was careful to add that the distance between them was mostly the ages old division of “crazy supernatural versus mad science”. Gifts were not exchanged.

Plans

Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 15-12-2014

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“Are there days when it’s easier to read people? Days their thoughts are less guarded?” Adam asked, resuming their conversation from last week. “Mondays, unfortunately,” Cathy replied. “That’s when everyone thinks about death.” Adam’s eyes went wide and she sighed. “Table closest to the exit? Forget to help Grandpa out of the car, leave it running, and shut the garage door.” Adam turned and stared. “Guy in the John Deere hat at the counter? Shoot the stepson on their next hunting trip with someone else’s gun.” Again, Adam turned to look. “Murder Mondays; that’s what I call them. Mostly, they’re fantasies, but I’ll occasionally wonder if a plan is forming,” Cathy said, eyes down and poking at her salad. “You’re ill-advised to strangle Sharon, by the way,” she whispered. ” Apparently,” he replied, shocked to silence.

Knowing

Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 13-12-2014

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“You got a way of knowing,” his grandma said over the oatmeal at breakfast. “So you can open that up and see a person in their real self, which is mighty powerful.” He made a landscape in his bowl, listening, but not saying anything for a while. “Sometimes, it ain’t so good,” he replied at last, “knowing what you’d rather not know.” “Now, that’s true enough,” she said, reaching across the table and taking his hand gently, “but it gives you choices. Whether you honor the knowing or not, you don’t go at the world all random and pretend you got no clue. You gonna act in accord with some kind of reasoning, and you always gonna love on purpose.” “Will I be happier?” he asked, feeling brave. “Now, you go on and eat; it’s getting cold,” she said, saving that answer for another day.

Change

Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 12-12-2014

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Floatersby stopped in to see what all of the racket was; Max and Irma sat glumly in the corner. “Apparently, we need to update our hauntings; the same old creaking doors, unexplained footsteps, and cold drafts aren’t cutting it,” Max huffed. “We were told that we need to ‘up the telekinesis’, appear in mirrors as a shadow from time to time, and maybe write on a wall or two; there’s just no subtlety anymore,” Irma lamented. “Who are these guys?” asked Ray, pointing to the noisemakers as he passed through the attic wall and caught the tail end of the conversation. “Consultants,” Max and Irma said in unison (with the same disgust).

Hiding

Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 11-12-2014

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The shapes lurched about the room saying, “See? There’s nothing under the bed!” and “What did we tell you? The closet is empty!” When the lurchers turned on the nightlight, the creature screamed in delight – a sound far beyond what the things in the room could hear. It would cling to the tiny bulb for warmth, hiding undetected, conserving its energy while soaking up more. In a few hours, it would emerge and expand. “And then,” it whispered. “And then…”

Elegance

Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 10-12-2014

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They were talking about the awkward concept of superhero mortality. “I have no fear of death as The Hulk,” Bruce Banner said quietly. “It never enters my mind.” “Big Green’s not very reflective or philosophical, huh?” Stark smirked. Banner laughed. “No, but a brain cell or two of Bruce is in there, so … he could ponder a bit if he wanted to. Thing is, I fear death plenty as myself; mostly, I fear the timing of it.” “Not being prepared?” Thor asked, trying to be sensitive. “Being surprised,” Banner sighed. “I don’t want the Angel of Death to spring up, piss me off, and die as a rampaging beast. I want it to be … elegant.” The group was quiet as they tried to remember a superhero death that was entirely quiet and peaceful. “To life,” Captain America said, raising his glass, “and all of the things we can’t control.”

Care

Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 09-12-2014

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The interview started very formally; it was clear they didn’t recognize her after so much time away. “One moment,” Daphne said, drawing out the medallion of Dagon she wore around her neck. “I’m family – the eldest daughter of the Galensmiths. I’ve come home to rejoin the community.” She felt their softer, warmer energy instantly and received the buzz clicks of welcome with a smile. “Not long after I left Innsmouth, an infection of my inner eyelid left me nearly blind. That said, I have the training and can still give expert care to the little ones. I see well enough to act swiftly when something goes wrong, have excellent intuition about what a body needs, and … there is the fact that I am not afraid.” Later on, she would bring her charges onto her lap, letting them touch her with claws and tentacles, piping and cooing and desperate to be held. Daphne stroked them, scales and horns and all, reading bedtime stories and singing songs. “There will always be love,” she whispered to one who ached from his changes. “Oh, my sweet dears, the gods are unkind, but it will be all right.”

Sundown

Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 08-12-2014

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“Now, you’ll want to be back in the lodge by sunset, when the dinner bell rings out across the moors,” MacDoon said as they lit cigars in front of the picture window. “You guys ring a dinner bell?” Wallace asked, charmed by the quaintness. “No,” came the reply. “Uh … is there a church out there?” Wallace asked, confused. “Nope,” MacDoon replied, obscuring his face with a puff of smoke. “Don’t follow any lights you see appear out there near sundown, neither.” “Uh …,” started Wallace, who was silenced by MacDoon’s firm grip on his forearm. “Just be back in the lodge by sundown is what I’m telling you.” They smoked on in silence.

Retirement

Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 06-12-2014

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As the years went by, he came less and less into town and then swore traveling off altogether; he just really didn’t have a lot of energy for rampage and destruction. It was the end of an era and also kind of a relief for everyone. For Christmas that year, his friends gave him slippers with buildings printed on them and a special Tokyo bath mat. “Just put them on and step down … it’ll be like being there,” they said to Godzilla with great affection.