Twelve Days of Fast Fiction, Day 03: IS THE POPE PREGNANT?

Posted: 15 December 2014 in 12DaysFF, Christmas, fast fiction, fiction, writing
Tags: , , ,

Matt Brooker, perhaps better known under his professional name of D’Israeli, is a comic book artist noted for the incredible detail he puts into his work. Working with Neil Gaiman, Warren Ellis and Grant Morrison, among others, his body of work has included The Sandman, Judge Dredd, Batman and several 2000AD Future Shocks. He’s been a friend for some years, and I never cease to be amazed at his skill.

Not many people know that Matt’s fingernails can carve solid wood.

Title: Is The Pope Pregnant?
Word: virgule
Challenger: Matt Brooker
Length: 200 words exactly

This time there were six of them, barely a quorum. Four had travelled great distances, of time and geography, while one had walked. None knew nor wished to know from where the sixth had voyaged, save that it was very, very far. And deep below the private residence of the supreme pontiff, they convened.

The spy Yule had been the first to arrive, summoning the others by stating aloud the nonsensical question. Apologies and absences were duly noted and recorded by Nicholas as secretary; the bureaucrat occasionally had his uses, but only occasionally. Kringle obsequiously proffered a businesslike agenda as was his wont; always the servant, the banker chose plain language whenever possible.

Clause glared at them all, one milky eye daring them to gainsay his authority in this matter, the bright scar a virgule running from his left temple to the corner of his jaw; an old soldier, he had no time for meetings. He swore obscenely then laughed at the pretended shock on the features of Noël, the politician; a sharp repetitive laugh.

From deep shadow, a deeper still voice spoke eloquently, but Goodwill was ignored as the other spirits of Christmas once again gladly prepared for war.

© 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 02: An Immense Pecuniary Mangle – challenger: Steven Shaviro
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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