2022 minus 11: 12DaysFF – frenulum and haven

Posted: 21 December 2021 in 12DaysFF, 2022 minus, fast fiction, fiction, writing
Tags: , , , , , , ,

During December, while Tuesday has remained the ‘tales from the fiction vaults’ day, I’ve chosen to make them all ‘tales from the Christmas fast fiction vaults’.

For these specific short runs, I asked friends in comics and various fields of entertainment to challenge. Which they did. With funny, silly, clever titles and weird, odd, wonderful words to use.

So here are two more, from 2014’s Twelve Days of Fast Fiction.

The first story was written for Nick Doody, one of my favourite writers and stand-up comedians. He’s also – no coincidence – one of the smartest comedians on the circuit.

His very intelligent, very funny material from a very funny, very intelligent comedian, makes you think long after you’ve left his shows, and he never plays to the lowest common denominator. Nick seems to suggest ‘you’re not as stupid as the politicians try to pretend, so let’s not pretend it either, eh?’.

So for Nick, a story about finding just the right Christmas present…

Mitch Benn is one of my closest friends, and is among those whose friendship I most truly value and am grateful for. He’s an incredibly talented comedian, comedy-songwriter and author. Moreover, he’s one of the smartest people I know, with a breadth and depth of interests that’s almost but not quite scary. He also happens to be a huge admirer of A Christmas Carol, his enjoyment of which may well have inspired the second tale below.

Both received the same prompt as always:

Give me a title of up to four words in length, together with a single word you want me to include in the tale, and I will write a story of exactly 200 words.

That’s it. The stories that resulted always included the word, they always fitted the title, but usually in ways the challenger hadn’t anticipated. And they were always exactly 200 words in length.

I hope you enjoy these examples…


Title: Weaving With Angels’ Hair
Word: frenulum
Challenger: Nick Doody
Length: 200 words exactly

Once, the sight of the three heavenly beings would have caused tears of joy. Were anyone human to see what was left of them, however, weeping of a different sort would commence from hearts broken in sorrow and condolence. The remains of the angels were not pretty to look at, their once proud wings shredded and torn away, heads that had once been covered in glister now ravaged and torn, with dried puddles of ichor in place of coruscation.

Lucifer looked upon the works of his lesser demons and winced; there was no care taken here, no professionalism, just savage butchery.

“Have you anything to say in your wretched defence?” he asked in a deceptively silken tone.

The demons shuffled upon immortal coils, and one held forth a soggy mess of what had once been golden locks, the hair now dull and lifeless. Its fellow incubi and succubi looked on as it presented Lucifer with what appeared to to be a woven basket of some sort, angel feathers protruding at obscene angles, and a dripping frenulum or six.

“Happy Christmas…?” it managed.

Lucifer sighed loudly and with great care; it was going to be a long holiday season this year…

© Lee Barnett, 2014


Title: Their Eyes All Aglow
Word: haven
Challenger: Mitch Benn
Length: 200 words exactly

The room was elegant, containing an eclectic mix of styles. Past arrived first, as was his preference. He sat in the smallest chair, one neat and manicured hand upon the table, one supporting his slender, pointed chin.

Present arrived next, looking older than his years, his responsibilities weighing heavily; he spoke briefly to Past, asking after his brothers and seemed vaguely content with the answer. Then Future walked into the room, and nodded slowly to his fellows, saying nothing, then sat with his head bowed.

The three of them waited, content with this haven from their duties until eventually What Might Have Been arrived, and once again made her annual pitch for inclusion.

Future looked at her, and from beneath his cowl, angry burning eyes condemned her audacity. Past was merely amused, as he had been so often before, his eyes shining with laughter, but his voice from long ago was deliberate, and low. Present’s siblings had always been contemptuous towards the proposal, and he followed the tradition, his eyes frozen azure.

The verdict delivered, What Might Have Been was no longer present. Then the clock struck twelve, then one, then two and the room was empty for another year.

© Lee Barnett, 2014


See you tomorrow, with… something else.

Sixty-one days. Sixty-one posts. One 2022 rapidly approaching.


I’ve signed up to ko-fi.com, so if you fancy throwing me a couple of quid every so often, to keep me in a caffeine-fuelled typing mood, feel free. I’m on https://ko-fi.com/budgiehypoth

This post is part of a series of blog entries, counting down to the new year. You can see the other posts in the run by clicking here.

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