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Monthly Short Story Contest > DECEMBER - SANTA'S CHALLENGE

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message 1: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 934 comments Mod
December's Short Story Contest (up to 1000 words)
Deadline is Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015.
Voting period will be Thursday, December 24th to Wednesday, December 30th.
Winners will be announced on December 31st, 2015.

Highlights: a reindeer, a snow globe and an alien

Theme: dealing with challenges

Setting – The North Pole

Plot Suggestions (to get you started!):
* Santa's shop has been overrun by aliens. How will he deliver his presents on Christmas Eve?
* Reindeer have staged a revolution against Santa using alien technology.
* Due to a large alien plot, the North Pole is facing severe climate change - how does a sleigh work when there's no snow?
- Aliens steal all Santa's presents a day before Christmas. What happens next?

message 2: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 170 comments A SURPRISE FOR MARY - By Mirta Oliva

"All right, Will, let’s go home. We have shopped enough for tonight. I’ll make hot chocolate for all."

On the way to the car, Will spotted what appeared to be a sleigh on wheels with Santa inside, warming up the motor. "Mom, may I say hello to Santa?"

"Go ahead, but don't take too long… grandma and your sister are waiting."

"Hi Mr. Santa, are you on the way back to the North Pole?"

"Yes, Will, I just dropped down - He, He - to pick up the huge glass globe I had ordered, and some other materials to work on a very special request you had made… And how do I know your name? Umm… You see, it is a Santa thing… I just know all the kids’ names, plus their wants and needs."

“Mr. Santa, my sister Mary has been confined to her bed for months. According to sis, an alien had told her she would get well if she could have with her a reindeer inside a snow globe. I am not too sure about the 'alien' part, but I would do anything that would make her happy."

"We can work on that, Will. I already have all the parts to build a really big snow globe to place in your front yard. It will be a nice surprise for Mary. We will also give her a small one to keep by her side, as the ‘alien’ suggested."

"Oh, Mr. Santa, you think of everything. I would so much like to help you build it. I will learn, I will follow directions and get the job done!"

"I would love it, Will, but you must first ask permission. Your mother may not approve, but you will only find out if you ask. I will be right behind you to intercede on your behalf."

“Mom, the man I was talking to is Santa Claus from the North Pole… He is the real one, I promise! Remember the letter I wrote to Santa? Well, he received it and just came to town to get the materials for Mary’s big snow globe. He agreed to take me with him to help build Mary’s dream - if you would allow it…”

“Will, this is too surreal to be true. I need to talk to that man… err… to Mr. Claus.”

Not waiting for a reply, Monica hurried to Mr. Santa’s flying car… still on the ground. Santa immediately got out of the sleigh-looking vehicle to greet her.

“Hello, Mrs. Lamas. I guess Will has told you about our plans. As his mom, you will have the last word. I promise to take good care of the boy and to bring him back as soon as we have finished the project. When I learned of the reason for this special request, I could not resist. The boy will learn a trade guided by the elves, but he will enjoy every minute of it. This will be a motivational experience: he will work hard to see that his sister gets the best Christmas’ presents ever.”

“I’ll trust you with my son, Mr. Claus and do appreciate your making this special trip for a noble cause.”

After kissing her son good-bye, Monica saw the sleigh on wheels fly away, reaching for the stars. Sitting next to Santa was Will, and on the back seat none other than a red-nose reindeer. He had been granted the day off and had just come for the ride.

With Santa’s car traveling at very high speeds – they were soon at the North Pole ready to roll. Mick the elf showed Will the tools and, in a Santa’s second, they had almost finished the beautiful base. The fun part was to see the reindeer’s red nose glow. Will also liked to touch the globe to see zillions of glittering snow flakes performing a happy dance all over the reindeer. With remote controls, Mary could activate all the features of the snow globe.

Now that the gift had been finished, it was time to find transportation for it; however, the car and the sleigh proved to be too small so they had to work on Plan B. To Santa’s surprise, Will came to the rescue. The alien had told his sister that if we shouted “Priscilla,” she would come to us in an instant. No sooner had Will mentioned Priscilla’s name, there was this angel-like creature standing in front of them offering to help.

“So you are not an alien after all… But you are so delicate, you could not possibly fly down with this heavy load,” mentioned Will.

“Don’t worry about me… I can handle all good deeds just by saying “Yes, I can!” Where is Mary’s globe?

Wasting no time, when the beautiful angel saw the globe, she shouted, “Yes, I can take you to Mary!”

And she took off, disappearing among the stars with the snow globe .

“Will, it is our turn now. Let’s ride or slide or fly down to your house with the other goodies. Your mom is waiting.”

When they arrived home, the globe was laying on the front lawn, waiting to be animated. Santa took over, showing Will what to do, “cause after all he would not be around for long.” In just a few more minutes it would begin getting dark – a good time to carry Mary to the window to see his little brother’s creation.

To Mary’s surprise, as she looked out the picture window, she could see the huge snow globe in action plus Santa waving at her. Mary could also see the “alien” who had started this whole thing waving her hands and flapping her wing, getting ready to fly away.

Perhaps startled or possibly cured, Mary got up from her chair, walking to the door by herself to bid goodbye to Priscilla and to Santa. The bearded jolly fellow left saying HO, HO, HO, flashing his usual happy smile.

message 3: by Glenda (last edited Dec 06, 2015 02:31PM) (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 934 comments Mod
 photo Thumbs Up_zpsyikfzc4f.jpg Great story to start off our Goodreads Christmas thread. And it posted as I hoped it would.

If anyone is wondering about little graphics that you can post, Goodreads allows HTML in your posts. I use another storage site such as www.photobucket.com When you've uploaded a graphic, you simply click on "HTML" on the right side of the screen. It is copied to your clipboard. You go to the Goodreads thread you want to post it, right click & paste.

message 4: by Glenda (last edited Dec 06, 2015 02:16PM) (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 934 comments Mod
GLOBAL WHAT? by Gene Hilgrene

Twas the night before Christmas Eve and Samantha Claus—the only daughter of Santa—lay sound asleep in the Lincoln Room of the White House. At the request of President Jules Spenser—who knew her real identity—Sam would be addressing the world on Christmas Eve to spread peace and defunct the myth of Global Warming.

Sam had decided to break the family tradition of working at the toy factory, and instead applied her unusual talents in mastering the sciences and saving the world. Sam held PhD’s in several disciplines—one of them—Advanced Environmental Phenomena’s.

The antique phone on the night stand rang to the tune of ‘Let There be Peace on Earth’. Visions of dancing sugar-plumes left Sam with a smile as she reached for the phone. Her hand bumped the magic ‘Snow Globe’—which had been passed down for centuries to the youngest child.

Sam picked up the phone handle and the music stopped.

“Sam, its Jules…meet me by the East Wing entrance.”

Sam reached for her smartphone which displayed 0933 Zulu time, and hit the icon for Washington, DC—it was 0433. “What’s the matter Madam President?”

“We have a problem, and please call me Jules”

“Ok, Jules…give me five minutes.”

“Make it three…your escort is on the way.”

Sam was barely finished packing when the knock on the door startled her. She held the ‘Snow Globe’ in her hand and shook it—but nothing happened. It appeared as if a giant dome covered the North Pole.

“Come in,” she said.

Sam recognized the two gentlemen who entered the room, they were part of the top secret group of freedom fighters, and the President’s personal bodyguards. She was hustled into the East Wing and out a secured exit where a black SUV pulled to the curb.

A no-nonsense man dressed in black with a high and tight crew cut, and a square jaw that made Sam smile—approached her and the bodyguards. Eight additional no-nonsense men stood guard around both SUVs. The man handed Sam two black devices and winked. Her smile widened—she knew that wink. She joined the president in the back of the SUV while the man hopped into the driver’s seat.

“Hit it, Jack,” said Jules.

“Where are we going?” asked Sam.

“It appears that an alien force has commandeered the North Pole.”

When the SUV left the White House, Sam took out her ‘Snow Globe’, shook it, and showed it to Jules and her two bodyguards. “That must explain why I cannot see the North Pole in my globe.”

A short distance away, Sam eyed a sleek black jet taxiing on the tarmac. “What is that?” she asked.

“That’s our ride,” said Jack as he peered into the review view mirror of the SUV. “It’s a hypersonic stealth plane—that can reach speeds of Mach 6.”

“Sam, I believe I know who is responsible for this act of terror,” said Jules.

“You know I could have just teleported back home.”

“I know dear,” said Jules. “But I kind of like having my own ‘Supergirl’ on call. Plus I haven’t seen the big guy in years.”

At the North Pole, not a creature was stirring—not even a mouse. An alien force had taken control of the North Pole and blocked all communications to the rest of the world. Santa and Mrs. Claus were held at their home, while all the elves were constrained by a force field in the toy factory that none of their magical arsenal could thwart. Even Santa’s special army of Wooden Soldiers were rendered useless.

An army of nanobots were destroying all the toys destined for children around the world, while El-Gorey—an alien from the plant Libertardo, sat feeding his face with cookies and looked on.

El-Gorey’s super power was the ability to affect climate. He used his powers to prey on the un-informed and un-effulgent population on earth. He messed around in the arctic regions melting icebergs. With the world leaders gathering in DC on Christmas Eve, and the talks on climate change heating up—pun intended. He decided to ruin Christmas for everyone.

He was well aware of the fact—that since the start of the Industrial Revolution—the earth’s temperature had only increase two Celsius points—so much for climate change.

El-Gorey’s other power was his ability to assume other identities. Some believe, he once paraded around as the President of the USA. Jules and Sam had always believed that the clown in question was an alien, and not from this earth.

EMP weapons were the way of the future for terrorists. Sam knew that charged particles, made up of protons and energy—sprayed through the cosmos by solar and galactic wind were trapped in the earth’s atmosphere. An EMP device deployed in the belt of particles would affected the earth’s magnetic fields and cause sudden shifts in the earth’s climate.

They landed near the covered the village. Jack cut an entryway through the ice with a laser beam. Once inside, Sam was able to identify the heat sources with her GPS and dashed off with Jules to save Santa first while Jack and the bodyguards took for the toy factory.

Sam fired the device at the swirling shield around Santa and it disappeared.

Santa, joined Sam and Jules as they ran for the toy factory—where there arose such a clatter. Sam fired her device into the factory frying the shield and the nanobots. A group of elves fired magic wrapping tape at El-Gorey who spun like a top until he was cover head to toe. Sam fired her other device at El-Gorey and froze him like an icicle—forever.

“Ho-Ho-Ho. Eight hours to midnight. Make me proud,” Santa bellowed. The elves began repairing the damaged toys and loading up Santa’s magic bag.

Santa turned toward Sam and Jules who were standing with Mrs. Claus. “Come and follow me. I have a special gift for both of you.”

“Dad, we have to get back to DC.”

“Then you are going to need this,” Santa said, and handed his daughter a package.

“And for you, Madam—”

“Jules, Santa. “Please call me Jules.”

“—ok Jules, I wish you everlasting peace.” Santa handed Jules a golden key. “I expect you both back here for Christmas dinner. Now go save the world”

“Thank you Santa.”

Back in DC, clad in her brand new magical dress—Sam addressed the world. “Let there be peace on earth—and let it began with me.”

message 5: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Faber (elainefabergoodreadscom) | 142 comments LOL! Gene. Very unusual theme this month. Sigh! Hope you and yours are having a delightful Christmas season. Merry Christmas.

message 6: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 170 comments Very clever, Gene!

message 7: by David (new)

David (drussell52) | 0 comments Mirta wrote: "Very clever, Gene!"

Hi Gene and hi Myrta, Enjoyed your contributions. Seasons greetings to you and yours.

message 8: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 170 comments Thanks David. My best to you and yours too.

message 9: by Janet (new)

Janet Bond (janetbondk) | 18 comments Merry Christmas to all, and a Happy new year.

message 10: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 934 comments Mod
Gene, I just read your short story after dinner. it made me chuckle; loved it.

message 11: by Karen (new)

Karen (karhop) | 54 comments How Patsy Carter Saved Christmas
By Karen Hopkins (940 words)

Patsy yawned and stared at Santa and his reindeer then shook her snow globe again. Snow filled the globe drifting down onto Santa’s sleigh. She held the globe close, her nose pressed against the glass, staring transfixed at the Christmas scene inside. Her eyelids fluttered. Suddenly she felt herself tipping; she reached out balancing herself but now everything around her looked different. She was not longer in her bedroom; snow was falling gently around her. She looked down at her nightgown. She should have been cold but she didn’t feel cold at all. She looked up and gasped. Santa was huge and so was his sleigh. He was almost as big as a real grown up. Reindeer stamped their feet and pawed the ground, the bells on their harnesses jingling merrily. Patsy could see the clear wall of her snow globe shimmering behind the sleigh, like a sheet of ice curving up and out of sight.
She ran forward and touched the icy wall, and it melted beneath her fingers. Now she could see snow covered hills and in the distance a village of some sort, all the buildings topped with bright red roofs and green chimneys. Smoke puffed out of the chimneys forming white rings that floated off into the sky. What had happened? Where was she? Why was she here?
Santa looked at the little girl who had apparently fallen from the sky in front of him. Hurriedly he checked the list in his pocket, then beamed and chortled, “Patsy? Yep, you’re on the Nice list. What are you doing here?”
“I don’t know,” Patsy replied with a shrug. “Where are we?”
“We’re just outside Christmas Village—at the North Pole,” Santa replied. There was a disturbance in the field and we came to see what was going on. It looks like there is some kind of vehicle over there. I don’t know where it came from. Can you see it?” Santa seemed very nervous.
Patsy squinted, peering in the direction Santa pointed. “I think I see something. Over there by that cave?
“Cave?” Santa pushed his glasses up on his nose and looked into the distance. “Hmmm. I hadn’t noticed that before. It’s probably time to get my eyes checked again.” He rubbed his face and beckoned for Patsy to come closer. “Listen,” he whispered, “this is rather embarrassing, but we seem to be trapped here. When the reindeer try to fly they bump into the sky. But you fell right out of the sky. Do you think you could wander over and see if the goings on by the cave have anything to do with the troubles we’re having?”
Patsy shrugged, “Sure, why not?” and she set off across the snowy field. About half way to the cave she bumped into an icy wall, but when she put out her hand the wall seemed to melt away. As she stepped forward the snow suddenly began to swirl around her and the sounds of the nutcracker suite filled the air. Patsy clapped her hands in delight and looked for the little ballerina that spun in circles inside her magical snow globe. Wait! I’m the ballerina, she remembered as she began to spin and glide gracefully across the snow. In no time she was at the cave and there tucked in the entrance was a big red flying saucer. Little green aliens shaped something like frogs crawled up and down across its surface. Patsy danced up to the saucer and curtsied neatly. One of the aliens spied her and its eyes nearly popped out of its head. “Human nearby, human nearby,” it screamed telepathically. “Hide the secret plans, quick, before she learns we are here to steal Santa’s secret sleigh. If we can travel around the world and into every single home in only one night we will rule this planet.”
Silly frogs, she thought, only Santa has enough magic to do that. But the aliens ignored her simple thoughts.
“Grab the nucleon atomizer,” another alien shouted hysterically, looking toward a ledge in the cave.
What the heck is a nucleon atomizer? Patsy wondered idly but an alien thought intruded, “It is only the most powerful weapon in the universe.”
There on the ledge sat the most beautiful magic wand she had ever seen, thin and shining, silvery but throwing off colors like a rainbow. She had to have it.
As she reached for the wand a jarring thought filled her mind, “Do not touch the nucleon atomizer.”
Oh pooh, thought Patsy picking up the magic wand. The music was louder than ever as Patsy spun round and round, waving the wand, now high over her head, now straight ahead.
Phfffft, the flying saucer disappeared. Phfffft, the little green aliens were gone. Phfffft, the cave was vaporized. Patsy looked around in amazement. She would have to ask Santa about all this.
As she walked back toward the sleigh she waved her wand in time to the music and the clouds above her turned pale pink. When she came to the ice wall she tapped with her wand, and the wall shattered into a thousand pieces. She ran the last little way shouting, “Santa, Santa, I found the aliens. They wanted to steal your sleigh, but I sent them back to wherever they came from!”
But Santa was busy checking the harnesses. He had a busy night ahead. All he said was, “Ho, ho, ho.”
Patsy had to hurry home. She did not want to be caught out on Christmas Eve, but who would ever have dreamed that she, little Patsy Carter would be the one to save Christmas?

message 12: by Karen (new)

Karen (karhop) | 54 comments Wow! That was easy! I posted the whole story, all at once. It looks like this may be the place for us.

message 13: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 170 comments Entertaining till the end! But easy...? Well, I know what you mean: Once we start following the guidelines, it seems so easy to build a plot around them...

message 14: by Karen (new)

Karen (karhop) | 54 comments Thanks Mirta! (I meant posting—Posting was finally easy!!) And the guidelines really do help

message 15: by Mirta (last edited Dec 09, 2015 06:55AM) (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 170 comments Of course Karen, it is so easy to post the stories now. I misread your comment. That's what happens when we work on an empty stomach. Going for breakfast! LOL

message 16: by Karen (new)

Karen (karhop) | 54 comments I just read Mirta and Gene's stories. We're off to a fun start!

message 17: by Rebecca (last edited Dec 09, 2015 09:06AM) (new)

Rebecca (rlacy) | 152 comments The Reindeer X-Files

The tension in the air crackled as the two glared at one another across the table. Neither was willing to be the first to look away. The cuckoo, popping his head out of the clock to announce the hour, finally broke the spell.

“What you are saying is preposterous, Ms. Candylake,” the man said, his eyes burning with fury.

“I know this is difficult to hear Mr. Claus, especially…”

“Difficult to hear?” he interrupted. “I will not tolerate these allegations to be propagated. I’ve warned you before about your conspiracy theories.”

Sugar Candylake, one of the few humans to call North Pole home, and Director of that nation’s Intelligence Agency, clenched her jaw as tears stung her eyes. She had anticipated him bringing up her previous lapse of judgment. Nevertheless, it hurt to have it thrown in her face after so many years. She gathered her composure, and said, “I grant you, Sir, I was wrong before, but this is different.”

“I’ve worked side by side with those reindeer for centuries and I tell you there’s no proof they’re aliens!” Santa exclaimed, jumping to his feet.”

She waited until he was once again seated before continuing. “Santa, you have to admit there is something strange about them. Other reindeer don’t fly or live for centuries; they can’t teleport or bend the space/time continuum. Then there’s Rudolph’s nose, for goodness sake! And, sir, let’s not forget, they have made you immortal as well.”

“Bah,” Santa cried, waiving her off. “That’s not because they’re aliens. It’s because they’re magic.”

“I’m sorry, but NORAD has discovered…”

“NORAD? Don’t believe anything they say. They’ve been riding my coattails for years – pretending to track the sleigh. But it’s just a story they concocted for publicity.”

“No, Santa, it isn’t,” her calm voice belied the emotion welling up inside her. “NORAD has been tracking the sleigh since 1955. They used the rouse that it was make-believe as a cover, but they know, Sir.” She spun her computer screen toward him and watched him grow older before her eyes as he read the report.

Santa turned the screen away and slumped in his chair. “What’s next?” he asked.

“They are demanding we hand over the reindeer. They want them delivered to Area 51 no later than December 21st.”

“That’s impossible! What about Christmas?”

“I’m sorry, Sir, but if we don’t, they say they’ll come get them. I’m afraid things might get out of hand if that happens.”

“Ms. Candylake, I had hoped to always keep this secret, but in light of the information you’ve shared with me, I think you need to know the truth: NORAD is correct: the reindeer are aliens. I’ve known it all along.”

Seeing the mixture of emotions wash over the woman’s face, Santa extracted a snow globe from his coat pocket and set it on the table between them. “You need to see this.”

As the snow settled, there was movement within the globe. Surprised, Ms. Candylake looked at Santa with unspoken questions. “Just watch and you’ll understand,” he said.

The scene began to unfold and Ms. Candylake saw a group of reindeer boarding what appeared to be a space ship. It took off and the scene shifted to Earth, where the reindeer disembarked and approached someone who looked exactly like Santa Clause. The globe grew dark and she shifted her gaze to the man across the table, the question in her eyes demanding an explanation.

“You see, the reindeer came from a planet light years away. Humans cannot pronounce its name, but astronomers refer to it as R34. Their initial study of the human race determined our aggression makes us likely to destroy the planet. The reindeer wanted to intervene in order to give their caribou brethren the opportunity to evolve and achieve their full potential. Unfortunately, their prime directive prevents them from interfering. So, they developed the ‘Santa Myth’ hoping to prevent the destruction of the planet by spreading goodwill and kindness.”

“What about you, Santa? Are you…human?”

“Of course! As you saw in the snow globe, I found them soon after their arrival. They asked for my assistance, knowing they couldn’t accomplish their mission without a human ‘front man.’”

After taking a few seconds to process this fantastic story, Ms. Candylake said, “If we’re going to keep the Santa Myth alive and NORAD out of our business, we need a plan. Any suggestions?”

“Drastic times call for drastic measures, Ms. Candylake,” Santa said, his eyes twinkling with merriment once again. “Luckily, another one of the reindeer’s abilities is to make people forget. You let us take care of this matter. It’ll take some fancy footwork, but pretty soon those government people will all be laughing at the joke they played on each other, pretending Santa and flying reindeer are real.”

“Crisis averted…for now at least” Ms. Candylake exclaimed as she leaned back in her chair with a sigh of relief. However, she was quickly on alert again seeing a troubled look cross Santa’s face. “What's wrong?”

“Ms. Candylake, we should also talk about the elves.”

message 18: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 170 comments Rebecca, I know you have been part of Goodreads before I even joined; however, I believe you are new to this Group. If so, welcome to Writers 750 @ Goodreads. Another good story!

message 19: by Karen (new)

Karen (karhop) | 54 comments What a fun story! It left me smiling.

message 20: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 934 comments Mod
Rebecca, I saw your post (the title) earlier today and just got around to reading it. Not before viewing some episodes of XFiles season 8. I'm a diehard fan of the TV series which is supposed to run again in 2016. Great story and plot.

message 21: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (furyanhound) | 89 comments Well done, everyone! I'm enjoying the stories so far this month - you've all done such amazing work with the prompts I've given you! Congrats!

message 22: by Gene (new)

Gene Hilgreen | 35 comments Love the stories--glad to see my buddy Rebecca is back.

message 23: by Karen (new)

Karen (karhop) | 54 comments Where is the like button?!!

message 24: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 170 comments Karen, I do not think there is one. You may wish to "reply" to a story post or comments instead.

message 25: by F.F. (new)

F.F. Burwick | 155 comments I have just been figuring how to work with Goodreads. I'm disappointed it didn't work with LI. Now to continue working on what I will post here, after spending this time with starting up here.

message 26: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rlacy) | 152 comments Thank you for nice comments. It feels good to be back in such good company, and to stretch my writing muscle.

message 27: by Lynette (new)

Lynette White (lynettewhite) | 309 comments Welcome Rebecca. Looks like this is a lively group already. Guess I better get busy and put something together.

message 28: by Glenda (last edited Dec 13, 2015 05:10PM) (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 934 comments Mod
Invasion of Seaburg

There was a legend about the Arctic Ocean in the North Pole that a comet crashed there long ago. Ever since then strange things have happened. Things like folks coming across perfect clones of themselves. When they were found out, the clones ran for the hills, never to be seen again.

These days the Siberian huskies can sense the presence of aliens. They go berserk, trying to chew through their restraints. I heard that one dog got taken. Its chain was burned apart. The footprints leading away were unidentifiable. I’ve even seen large polar bears laying dead in the winter wasteland looking like they’ve been split open with lasers. What did the aliens think they would find? Could it be true that such a race hunts for sport, needing some kind of trophy?

Those Northern lights? They aren’t always caused by the gaseous particles interacting with the sun’s rays in the atmosphere. Some believe that they are alien spacecrafts looking for the stray one that crashed at the North Pole.

One day, a team of scientists discovered the UFO spacecraft deep in the Arctic Ocean. They deployed a submarine with robotic arms to use flotation devices to bring it to the surface. Cranes would’ve been too heavy for the ice. While it was being towed to the nearest Canadian city, the lights on the outside of the craft started blinking. The sub ceased its towing, and docked the craft in my town of Seaburg. The ship had established communications with the alien ships in the orbiting atmosphere. One of these spaceships landed in the North Pole.

The aliens had been monitoring Earth for a long time. They knew it was Christmas. When they disembarked from their ship, the aliens cloned themselves with special technology to look like Santa, white beards and red suites, the total package. Otherwise, these beings were reptilian in nature with a nasty disposition. And they were packing heat: laser guns that could take a person’s head clean off. A parade of alien Santas rode off, each one on what could only be described as magnetic hover-boards, only much faster.

We were ready for them. People in my little town all owned guns and were members of the NRA. This doesn’t stand for No Radical Aliens, but today that could be the case. The extraterrestrial activity was monitored and talked about daily. We could feel the electricity in the air.

There was no solar horizon event to mark a time for guns to be drawn and ready. The North Pole was experiencing its Polar Night cycle, continual darkness until March. Even through this period there may be only times of twilight.

We placed Jeb in a lookout tower. He used a pair of night vision goggles. He spotted the parade of fake Santas coming at a fast pace. He was almost fooled until he saw the weapons they carried and the hover-boards they traveled on. He sent a flaming arrow into a large pile of kindling in the town center creating a bonfire.

The fake Santas saw our people holding their weapons and immediately began shooting their laser guns. A few people hurled what looked like snow globes at the creatures. These were Molotov cocktails with lit fuses. There’s nothing that smells worse than a burning alien.

Jeb and his cousin Bobby raced into view, each in his own sleigh drawn by a fast reindeer. Bobby had his collectible ninja sword ready to do battle. He said that a man must look into the eyes of his enemy when he kills him. After killing his first alien this way, he opted for his Remington rifle. Cousin Jeb always wanted to try out his new Springfield Armory semiautomatic pistol. Reptilians were splattering everywhere as he rode by with a dazzling smile on his face. Soon the smile vanished as an alien shot his reindeer, sending animal, sleigh and rider tumbling in the snow.

Suddenly there was an explosion in the distance. The ship that the Reptilians landed in had been blown up by another alien race. The cloning devices failed simultaneously, revealing the ugly true form of the enemy. The other aliens known as the Nordics came onto the scene. These were human-like with blond hair, shining blue eyes, and were 7 ft. tall. They had twice the strength of the average man. They quickly defeated the Reptilians.

When the fighting was over, the Nordics gathered with our towns people in the center by the bonfire.

“Thank you for helping us in our time of need, stranger,” said Mayor Johnson as he shouldered his rifle.

A Nordic that looked like the leader said, “It’s a time to celebrate peace and good will towards man. Even we Nordics know the true meaning of Christmas. You see, God made many worlds, but there was only one Son that was born in Bethlehem.”

After the people of Seaburg expressed their thanks, the Nordics returned to their ship to continue to keep the universe safe for us all, human and alien alike.

message 29: by Gene (last edited Dec 13, 2015 06:29PM) (new)

Gene Hilgreen | 35 comments This month is bringing some interesting imagination out in all of us.

message 30: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 170 comments Very nice, Glenda, you had me "on guard" throughout. Goodwill prevailed.

message 31: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 934 comments Mod
Thanks. The hubby enjoyed it too.

message 32: by Todd (new)

Todd Folstad | 22 comments Wishes - by Todd Folstad (807 words)


Have you ever considered what you would or could wish for if you were given a legitimate actual wish? Quite a challenge that I’ve pondered long hours in both the daytime and the night to dream on what I could or would do with a real, bonafide, magical wish.

After hearing the stories of genies and imps, leprechauns and fairies, I’ve decided that I’d give mine away. If you misspeak a word, have an item misunderstood or worse, misinterpreted, disaster looms in the wings for you. The Jinn’s of olden lore made sport of those who were to receive wishes by giving them an actual, literal translation of what they asked for, based upon how they decided it should be. How do you deal with the complexities of this challenge in a way that is beneficial to you and your wish? This almost never works out well for the wisher, hence, why I’d give mine away.

I know of a story where just such a challenge was placed in front of a youngster and in the end, turned out much as I’ve described.

Brillox was coming into his 57th rotation, middle aged by our standards, but a relative infant in Venticleean society. Venticlee was in a distant galaxy, out of the milky way and not currently reachable by earth standards. Here is where Brill’s story begins.

Brill was doing his most favorite activity, watching other planets through his ventiglass. He had homed in a small mudball of space flotsam that looked like a blue-green rollox. There were many odd creatures on this spinning ball in space and they mostly seemed to focus for now on some ancient ritual of people dressing in colored suits of fur and ringing bells or giving out gifts, most curious. There was one of these creatures that intrigued Brill most of all, he was riding in some type of lighter than air vehicle which was pulled by many multi-legged beasts with long and twisted horns on their heads. He wasn’t sure of the purpose of the horns, but this indeed needed more research.

As he watched this red-furred brute continued to hand out colorfully adorned boxes to the smaller versions of itself. The small ones would holler and laugh as they opened these boxes and discovered what was inside. One in particular caught Brill’s eye. It looked like a clear glass ball on a smaller, flat piece of darker glass. The ball appeared empty until the small one shook it violently. Small flecks of castoff began to move about, much like the weather patterns here on Venticlee.

Why this would make the small one happy was puzzling. Perhaps they were just simple-minded creatures and this was a way to silence them.

Brillox kept watching for days and weeks until one day, all the red furred beasts and the twinkling lights ceased to be in his ventiglass. What could have caused such a radical shift in the daily routines of this mudball? Why had the children stopped laughing? Was this something caused by his continual watching? He would have to put this information through his crystallox for analysis. There had to be some reason for it.

Three hundred rotations later, the crystallox rolled out it’s findings. Based upon literature collected many centons ago, Brillox had been witnessing a tradition known as Christmas. It consisted of all beings attempting to be good to each other, create happiness and joy and give presents to show their love and goodwill.

Why would they only do this for a short period of time each rotation? That made no sense. The crystallox’s findings showed that this ball in space, named Earth, was in it’s infancy of development and that the creatures on this planet had not learned sufficiently how to deal with each other for any length of time without a concept called war. The nations of this planet would fight with each other trying to best each other and gain more possessions and land from the others. They had not yet begun to understand that only through coming together as one group, could they achieve a greater level of sentience and attempt relationships with others in the vast cosmos who no longer warred with themselves, who believed in peaceful coexistence with other people and worlds, and could start to focus within themselves to unlock many of the most difficult mysteries of life.

Brill turned off his crystallox and laid down under the orange gangli and sighed. How difficult it must be to learn in a place so taken with contradiction. He tossed a loose rock in the air, watching it spin and turn over in the air and then falling gently to his hand, thinking of globe he and seen and wishing that someday, this planet Earth would evolve enough that he could go and visit.

message 33: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 934 comments Mod
Todd, it does make you wonder why we only celebrate good will towards men in this short season. I imagined that the "orange gangilly" was an orange weeping willow. I enjoyed your story.

message 34: by Todd (new)

Todd Folstad | 22 comments I just got this link on Facebook - thought it might be interesting for members of the group . . .

The Short Story Challenge 2016 kicks off next month and the early entry deadline is this Thursday! The 10th annual competition is open to writers around the world and includes 3 rounds of writing. In the 1st Round, writers are placed randomly in heats and are assigned a genre, subject, and character assignment. They have 8 days to complete an original short story no longer than 2,500 words. The top 5 in each heat advance to the 2nd Round where they receive new assignments, only this time they have just 3 days to write a 2,000 word short story. Judges choose finalists from the 2nd Round to advance to the 3rd and final round of the competition where writers are challenged to create a 1,500 word story in just 24 hours. There are thousands in cash and prizes for the winners and feedback from the judges is provided on every submission. Sound like fun? Learn more, register, and read previous winning stories at http://bit.ly/1cYznAd. Good luck writers!

message 35: by Karen (new)

Karen (karhop) | 54 comments I enjoyed your story Todd. Very entertaining. And thank you for the link to the short story challenge. Hmmm. We'll see.

message 36: by Randall (new)

Randall | 96 comments Saving Zyrg
By: Randall Lemon

The aliens from Zyrg, a planet that orbited the Caribou star had extremely strict dietary restrictions. In fact, the only type of food that could nourish them was the flesh from various members of the species, Cervidae.

That is correct; the Zyrgians had ranged across the solar systems looking to harvest meat from various types of deer in order to feed their population. They had tried other species but their fragile digestive systems just wouldn’t cooperate. The Zyrgian children became more malnourished by the day.

The ruling elders of Zyrg feared that the entire population faced extermination and called a meeting of the Pilot Corps.

“Pilots, we must ask you to undertake a most dangerous mission. Not knowing where to turn to find an adequate supply of Cervidae to sustain our people, our greatest magicians have pooled their flagging energies to create these magical orbs. Suffice it to say that our wizards have imbued these teleporation globes with the essence of the Cervidae species. We have no idea to what planet or solar system your ships will be drawn. In theory, your ship and crew will be shrunk and absorbed into the globe and then transported to a planet with a food supply for our people. Go to the planet, kill as many of the creatures as you can find and fill the larders of your Refrigefrigates. Capture a healthy male and female of each species of Cervidae you can find on the planet to bring back to Zyrg for breeding purposes. Hopefully after you have achieved your mission, there will be enough magic left in the globe to return you safely home to us. Sadly, I cannot guarantee that. So for some of you this may be a one-way mission.”

Cadet Captain, Kryiell Coszgrb, raised a tentacle and was recognized by the Chief Elder.

“Most Respected Elder, it is well and good that the mighty enchanters of Zyrg have created these devices. But we pilots are not sorcerers nor do we have any mystics among our crews. How will we operate these orbs?”

“An excellent question, Captain Coszgrb. The Magicians have made the globes simple to operate. Place it in the helm of your ship, grasp the globe firmly in your tentacle and shake it. Almost immediately, you will see the swirling of magical forces within the globe and before you know it, you and your ship will appear in the skies above a mystery planet. Now my assistant will give a globe to each captain.”

As Coszgrb floated from HQ and toward the Launchport, he stared at the glass ball. His globe depicted a forested world blanketed in some white material.

“By the gods of Zyrg, I pray there will be an ample supply of Cervidae so that I can save the people of our planet and my own little family as well.”

Coszgrb arrived at his Refrigefrigate and crawled through the hatch joining the six other crewmembers. Seeing his crew safely strapped in for flight, he brought the globe into the ship’s helm and shook it. Immediately he could see a swirling of power inside the globe. The power took the form of the white blanket floating up and around inside the globe, almost as if the blanket rose and fell again in a thousand little individual pieces.

The crew experienced a dizzying disorientation from which they soon recovered to find themselves in the night sky above a forested planet. They immediately landed and began exploring. They were thrilled to find that this planet contained many different types of Cervidae. They found white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, moose, red deer and chital. They captured a healthy pair of each then set about filling their larder with meat.

Returning from a scouting expedition; Boatswain, Dranich reported that he had overheard some humanoids who gathered at their refreshment station which they called an “inn.”

“Captain, I overheard that there is a particularly special form of Cervidae that can only be found at the northernmost polar point of the planet. They are called reindeer. They can fly just like us and they are under the care of a very powerful sorcerer called “Santa Claus.” What shall we do?”

“Command ordered us to bring a mating pair of each species and that’s exactly what I intend to do. The larders are full we just need the two live reindeer. Set a course for the North Pole.”

When they arrived at the North Pole, they were surprised at the size of the complex where the deer resided alongside thousands of extremely small humanoids. They tried to sneak in and capture a pair of the beasts. Instead, it was the crew who found themselves prisoners of the scarlet-dressed magician and his similarly clothed enchantress/wife.

The magician removed a clay pipe from his mouth and pointed it menacingly at Coszgrb.

“Who are you and why do you try to capture my reindeer? Speak, or I will turn you all into snowmen.”

Not knowing what else to do, Coszgrb explained the plight of the people of Zyrg. Their captor appeared moved by the sad situation facing the people, and particularly the children of Zyrg.

“I am in the business of giving gifts and am especially fond of children. I am limited by neither time nor space which is extremely fortuitous for you and your men as I have been able to ascertain that your magical snow globe lacks the power to return you home safely. As a special Christmas gift for the people of Zyrg, I will deliver you and enough breeding stock of deer of all types, except reindeer to sustain your people forever. All your people have to do in exchange is to promise to be good little Zyrgians and never steal Cervidae from any other planets.”

The Zyrgians made the promise that the Wizard, Santa Claus requested and from that day to this very one, no child on Zyrg has ever lacked for venison

message 37: by Randall (new)

Randall | 96 comments I had some trouble posting this story. Please let me know if it can be seen by everyone. Thank you.

message 38: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 934 comments Mod
It posted perfectly. I knew you'd come up with a good story FOR CHRISTMAS, ha! And you made me chuckle: "Speak, or I will turn you all into snowmen.”

message 39: by Randall (new)

Randall | 96 comments Thanks, Glenda.

message 40: by Karen (new)

Karen (karhop) | 54 comments Very fun story. I especially liked the refrifrigate!

message 41: by Randall (new)

Randall | 96 comments Thanks, Karen. Just another example of my somewhat warped imagination.

message 42: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (furyanhound) | 89 comments Wow, seeing some really creative stuff coming out this month -well done! Excellent stories so far! For those who haven't posted yet, there's still plenty of time - stories are due anytime before midnight EST on December 23rd. That's five whole days to write your masterpieces.

I'll log in on Christmas Eve and send info on how the voting process will work (since we're not on LinkedIn, I'll see how you can send me your votes - may just have to be by email). Keep up the great writing!

message 43: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 934 comments Mod
Is someone slated to do the January contest? I can't remember.

message 44: by Lynette (last edited Dec 21, 2015 09:10PM) (new)

Lynette White (lynettewhite) | 309 comments Cutting it close but the creative juices finally settled in and the story got written. I hope you enjoy Unwanted Guests. Now comes the fun part. Reading everyone else's masterpieces.

message 45: by Lynette (new)

Lynette White (lynettewhite) | 309 comments Unwanted Guests
His thick glasses lifted from his long pointed nose as Squiggles rubbed his tired eyes in disbelief. That metallic glint on the horizon was the last thing he had time for right now. The once a year tour of the world was just one Earth day away.

“Please tell me that was my imagination.” The squat Elf grumbled as his glasses settled back into place and Sanquarom’s head of security focused his attention back onto the snow globe.

He frantically searched the horizon for any sign confirming what he saw moments ago. It would be dark in minutes so if he did not have a confirmed sighting soon he may loose them. Squiggles planted his feet firmly on the floor and beckoned the eternal powers to assist him.

Within three heartbeats his short, rotund body began to thrum with an energy he concentrated to his eyes. The eerie green glow from his eyes reflected off the glass of the snow globe. He focused all of his concentration on the horizon around their North Pole village. His thick glasses now serving as crystals to enhance his powers. Turning slowly in a circle, Squiggles was determined to locate the intruders.

He had nearly completed the full circle when a tiny flash of light caught his attention. Focusing all of his powers on that spot, Squiggles finally saw it clearly. It was a elliptic shaped craft hovering over a distant glacier.

“Gotcha!” Squiggles squealed in delight and released the energy back to the eternal forces. His eyes slowly returned to their natural gray and he rubbed the strain from them.

After placing the “All seeing globe” back on its stand, Squiggles gleefully jumped from his seat and scampered toward the hanger bay. He had no time waste so he would need something faster than the reindeer could fly. He would use his craft, specially designed to travel the world ahead of Sanquarom on the one night he visits millions of homes. Ten Elves, two to a craft, make sure Sanquarom’s journey goes smoothly. Squiggles scampered into the cockpit of his personal craft. Before the men in the flight tower realized what was happening Squiggles had shot past them and vanished into the night. As a courtesy he called back to the tower.

“Sorry. In a bit of a hurry. Will report back soon.” He barked into the mic.

Elmore’s high pitched voice responded back. “Captain Squiggles? What is your destination, Sir.”

“Just checking on something near the large glacier.” Squiggles answered. They didn’t need to know more than that.

He was almost to the glacier when his craft jolted so violently that he nearly slammed his face into the control panel. The engines of his craft whined as they strained to break free of the force restraining it. He anticipated this so he cut the power and jumped from his seat. Looking out the window he saw the craft right above him. Just in case these fools were a bit hostile the captain strolled about the cabin tucking weapons in every pocket he had. Then he waited.

He returned to the window as the indigo light from the landing bay he was being pulled into slowly washed over his craft. As he came level with the invading craft he could see five figures standing off to one side. Just as he anticipated. They were from his home planet. They were a little thinner, and pretty close to his son‘s age, but still Elves.

By the time his craft finally settled into the landing bay Squiggles was getting irritated. He scowled as the five Elves cautiously approached the captured craft. The captain stepped fully into their field of vision so they knew who they had captured.

The five Elves came to a dead stop and started talking excitedly as they pointed at Squiggles. Their dialect was a little different from his native region, but he understood them well enough.

“Show time.” Squiggles groaned as he moved to the door and slapped the hatch release. He squared himself in the center of the open hatch and greeted his kin.

“Greetings. What brings you to Earth?”

One of the men stepped forward. “Greetings, we are here to return you to your rightful master.”

Squiggles laughed. “My rightful master? We no longer have a master, and we have no intention of leaving Sanquarom‘s side.”

The man appeared confused as he turned back to his collogues. Squiggles was growing weary of these hunters. With a frustrated sigh he began to defend Sanquarom’s intentions once again.

“Take this message back to the one who sent you. Sanquarom did not take a single one of us from his father’s home against our will. He abhorred the way our people were enslaved and offered us freedom. We have sworn our loyalty to Sanquarom and our families are thriving. It was not our intention to call Earth our new home, but our ship was badly damaged in a meteor storm.

“However, Sanquarom’s message of equality flourishes among the inhabitants here, especially the children. Here he is known by many names; Father Christmas, St. Nicholas, and Santa Claus, just to name a few. Though a year here is but a day to us, we have adapted and we are happy here. We only wish to be left in peace.”

Word count 888. I swear I didn't plan that.

message 46: by F.F. (new)

F.F. Burwick | 155 comments The Strange Polar Confrontation by F. Burwick

Inkook finally arrived at the elaborate setup that was Rosthard's shelter, not far from the northern Greenland coast, in the area near the north pole. It had been difficult for him, even with his experience, with Inuit descent and background, for which he was chosen for this, being sent with plenty of supplies and extra food rations with his arctic sled. It was winter time now, staying dark continuously. He was coming to aid Rosthard, Rosthard had come this far in the arctic summer, and got stuck in that difficult setting, so that he could not continue as planned. With not being able to keep moving, Rosthard could only wait out the winter, and needed help sent to him with replenishments, for that. As Inkook came to Rosthard's shelter, bundled up as he was, even with the needed face mask, it was an intense cold for him, with this extreme frigid hell coldness. He urgently proclaimed his presence to Rosthard for permission to enter the shelter with him.

Rosthard opened for him, but there were still the replenishment of items and food needed to be brought in. Rosthard came out and worked with Inkook to bring them into the shelter. Then Inkook could finally enter, where he found a comfortable, even euphoric heat within.

Making themselves comfortable, Rosthard explained the circumstances, how a crevice had opened unexpectedly in the ice right where he was traveling, on his expedition, damaging his own vehicle, so he then could not go on, walking back he would never get far in the arctic conditions, there were no societies nearby that could help him back soon enough. So only the nearest base could have a sled with supplies sent, as was done with Inkook. Rosthard had plenty of materials to make this shelter, but as he was to return from the expedition before the arctic winter, he was not supplied for everything needed for the long winter. And they both understood that Inkook was now staying, as it was greater difficulty in these winter conditions to make a full trek back.

They involved themselves in conversations to get to know one another, and Inkook was holding a snowglobe which was rather luxurious for Rosthard to bring with him, looking at it with interest. Suddenly, within that same time before bedding, they heard a strange loud noise from outside. They looked at each other, neither could identity what it meant, and agreeing to it, they gathered up outerwear to put on, so they could go outside of this comfortable shelter, to investigate what happened outside.

Again in this frigid hell cold, they looked around. Rather far to the horizon, reflecting from starlight so they saw it, was some structure they couldn't identity. Inkook leaned toward Rosthard to be heard, with their heads and faces covered along with the rest of them.

"Is this the North Pole station they set up?"

"No," Rosthard answered. "There isn't one set up here and it's not the time they do that. I don't know what it is. Maybe, if we took your arctic sled, we might investigate. What do you think?"

Inkook considered, and thought it might be worthwhile to find out what they could of that, if done quickly. He answered that, and then both went to the arctic sled so that both could go see what it was.

When they had gone a short way, a strange creature was spotted, having long legs, and they could see projections from its wooly head, that appeared to be something like antlers.

"Oh wow!" Inkook blurted, leaning close to Rosthard. "How can that animal possibly be here, in these conditions here?"

Rosthard responded, "Could be a reindeer from the workshop at the North Pole."

"What?! What are you talking about?"

"Nevermind. I tried having humor, referring to something we in our culture encourage our kids to believe."

They were looking at this animal, which really seemed it shouldn't be there in that environment, and they saw it was approaching where it would be in front of their oncoming sled. They had the sled slow down, looking in marvel at this creature. Further on they saw that strange structure, now rather closer. It appeared to be a large construction that had been manufactured, possibly as a dwelling, but nothing that any peoples would make that either of them knew about. Did the loud noise that they had heard come from that? Could this strange animal be coming from that?

"Peace!" said the voice that they could see only coming from that creature.

"What, who, are you," Rosthard returned, as there was no other way really to respond to hearing that.

"I am Hoarend, the Arctic River Grazer. I am here to warn you."

They both were amazed, but not assured with hearing this that the creature came peaceably.

"This space-ark landed here just a short while ago, its inhabitants want to come and make claim on this region, which suits them, you would have come near to investigate, and they would only kill off any here that they encounter. Back off, they are dangerous to be near. I must deal with them. Go now, they are coming forth."

They had no knowledge of this creature that apparently watched over this region. Was he protecting it, and was he sovereign in that, or serving another who sent him?

Stepping further back, they saw three bipedal creatures like icy snowmen come out from there. Around them the cold air of the place congealed, with a misty cloud around them dropping large icy flakes. They were much colder.

Limbs held out blasted cones of icy coldness toward Hoarend, who held up one foreleg, with a device at its end, blasting great rays of energy, these overpowered the cones of cold. The rays came faster than the cones, and struck the icy beings until they melted. Suddenly, Hoarend flew rapidly away, and was gone.

message 47: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 934 comments Mod
I thought this was fitting for our December short story challenge

 photo snowglobe_zpstupfikn1.gif

message 48: by Randall (new)

Randall | 96 comments I often feel that I am just going around in circles.

message 49: by Glenda (last edited Dec 22, 2015 02:48PM) (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 934 comments Mod
Ha, ha. Me too, Randall. Maybe those 2 in the snow globe are really aliens that come from a miniature race.

Fred, I would've liked to read more about your three bipedal creatures / icy snowmen. They sounded really neat.

message 50: by Shae (new)

Shae Hamrick | 284 comments Anyone else interested in Hosting for 2016 (Jan - Dec), now would be a good time to put in a dibs.

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