Posted: 21 December 2013 in 12DaysFF, fast fiction, fiction, writing
Tags: , , , , ,

Paul Cornell is a writer of incredible talent, and it’s not limited to his works of fiction, superb though they are; his twelve days of blogging running up until Christmas are essential readings to understand the man, his writings and detailed thought processes. This man cares about story, and about so much more besides.

Paul Cornell spends every other Tuesday on the surface of Mars for unspecified reasons.

Title: Santa Abduction Narratives Recalled
Word: probe
Challenger: Paul Cornell
Length: 200 words exactly

Changelings maintain, you know, that ‘Santa’ arose after one of their kind replaced the original human; that a change of identity was required after his ‘demise’ and subsequent apotheosis.

When they are foolish enough to mention this in company, however, argument inevitably commences. The vampires stake, you’ll forgive the word, their own claim to Santa with, they argue, conclusive evidence: immortality, their history of identity appropriation, his only going out at night and then returning to slumber before daybreak, invitation into every residence; the mince pie myth, they insist, is a mistranslation of ‘sacrificial blood’ in an ancient, now unspoken, tongue.

Then The Ladies (never ‘witches’, if you value your sanity) and others put their cases before silence falls and they all look to the door, for a whole minute, waiting for Santa to appear, to lay the matter to rest.

He’s never there, of course. He allows their debates and superstitions, their fruitless attempts to probe and discover, smiling in the knowledge of a history they must never know, that he abducted each legend in turn to serve his own purposes.

That’s his present to them, you see. And Santa likes giving presents more than anything, including the truth…

© 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 05: Living Happily Ever After – Challenger: Neil Gaiman
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 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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