Twelve Days of Fast Fiction, Day 02: AN IMMENSE PECUNIARY MANGLE

Posted: 14 December 2014 in 12DaysFF, Christmas, fast fiction, fiction, writing
Tags: , , ,

Steven Shaviro is an academic who writes on culture and language, and does so in a way that prizes both but never uncritically. His works always teach me something; more importantly, they teach me things that I didn’t previously know I needed to learn. He’s also a very funny man, and I’m never quite sure sometimes just how far his tongue is in his cheek.

Steven knows the secret art of marking test papers; he smiles enigmatically whenever anyone else claims to know it.

Title: An Immense Pecuniary Mangle
Word: silence
Challenger: Steven Shaviro
Length: 200 words exactly

The shadows of a late January dusk had long faded, replaced by the dark mysteries of night, when she reached the warehouse. She swiped her keycard, then smiled as the small light turned from red to green, the symbolism appealing to her. A short click, surprisingly loud in the silence that surrounded her, and the door opened.

Closing it behind her, she could hear machinery now, the pleasant mixed odours of ink and oil hitting her at once. There were four of them waiting for her, and she nodded in their direction, before shrugging off her coat, letting it fall where she stood.

A short distance away lay the piles of banknotes: her money, if only temporarily in her care. She pulled out the four envelopes from her back pocket and handed them over. Her boss could arrange anything, she’d promised. She always enjoyed the look in each of their eyes as they individually read the proof.

Then she was alone. She whistled, twice. And waited for her conspirator to arrive.

Rudolph would be here soon. And shortly thereafter, once again, all the children’s presents, all their gifts, would be paid for.

Poor Santa, she mused; if he only knew…

© Lee Barnett, 2014

This story is part of The Twelve Days of Fast Fiction (More information on the Twelve Days here)
Day 01: This Lion Of Winter – challenger: Antony Johnston
Day 03: Is The Pope Pregnant? – challenger: Matt Brooker
Day 04: Father Christmas Got Stuck – challenger: Bevis Musson
Day 05: Early Sunday Chop Suey – challenger: Michael Moran
Day 06: Of Tinsel And Fire – challenger: David Baddiel
Day 07: The Man Who Could – challenger: Joanne Harris
Day 08: The Judge Disagreed – challenger: Rufus Hound
Day 09: Sweeping Up Shattered Chandeliers – challenger: Kirsty Newton
Day 10: Glorious Concatenation – challenger: Neil Gaiman
Day 11: Weaving With Angels’ Hair – challenger: Nick Doody
Day 12: Their Eyes All Aglow – challenger: Mitch Benn


“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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