Twelve Days of Fast Fiction, Day 05: LIVING HAPPILY EVER AFTER

Posted: 17 December 2013 in 12DaysFF, fast fiction, fiction, writing
Tags: , , , ,

Neil Gaiman is… well, he’s Neil Gaiman. And apart from being my friend for close to twenty years, he’s incredibly supportive, offering advice when I want it, help when I need it, and sometimes a kick up the backside when I’ve not wanted it, but have needed it. I’m incredibly grateful for all of it.

Asgardians tell their children stories about Neil Gaiman.

Title: Living Happily Ever After
Word: glutinous
Challenger: Neil Gaiman
Length: 200 words exactly

The newcomers always kept themselves to themselves at first, wary at the unfamiliar dialects and words surrounding them. After a decade or two, one or two of those that had survived would approach some of the older Traditions and introduce themselves. Inevitably, new friendships would form, some embarrassingly glutinous and obvious; hero worship towards the long lived. But they celebrated births together, and would then mourn together when an older Tradition died from neglect or apathy, or a more recent one passed on far too young.

Then came the day when the Traditions of Christmas Past petitioned for immortality.

The Yule Log was the first to propose this; his voice high-pitched and shrill. The Silver Sixpence tried to speak next, but she was a small thing and terribly shy and was spoken over by The Television Special before the Gold Star interjected.

The Tree was the final speaker, and even the youngest Traditions fell silent in respect. He spoke slowly and mercifully briefly, for he was very old.

Then This Year’s Must Have Game cracked an off-colour joke and they all laughed uneasily.

And the very old Traditions sighed, and smiled in contentment; once more, they had endured.

© Lee Barnett, 2013

This story is part of The Twelve Days of Fast Fiction (More information on the Twelve Days here)
Day 01: The Misanthropic Principle – challenger: Jamais Cascio
Day 02: Robot Ghosts of Apocalypse – challenger: Cherie Priest
Day 03: Every Word Is Wrong – challenger: Si Spurrier
Day 04: The Train Didn’t Come – Challenger: Emma Vieceli
Day 06: Embargoed Until Midnight – Challenger: Corrie Corfield
Day 07: He’s Making A List – Challenger: Mitch Benn
Day 08: Fingers On The Windowpane – Challenger: Leah Moore
Day 09: Santa Abduction Narratives Recalled – Challenger: Paul Cornell
Day 10: Copula Numb – Challenger: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Day 11: It Lived Under Monday – Challenger: Sarah Pinborough
Day 12: Batman Sure Likes Tea – Challenger: Tiernan Douieb

Edit to add: An ebook of all twelve stories is available for $0.99. Click here for details.


“There are two hundred stories collected in this volume. They are funny, they are thoughtful, they are romantic, they are frightening. To me, though, they are more than entertaining. They are inspiring.” – Wil Wheaton, from his introduction to volume 2 of The Fast Fiction Challenge

Two volumes of The Fast Fiction Challenge, containing 180 stories in Volume 1 and a further 200 stories in Volume 2, for £3.00 each, are available in ebook format from the author; email for details.

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