Posts Tagged ‘Ed Brubaker’

The Twelve Days of Fast Fiction was written between 13th December and 24th December 2012, and even as the stories were being written, I was being asked whether or not the stories would be available as an ebook.

So, here it is, in two formats, both in ePub and Kindle (.mobi) versions, both free for download. [Click on the appropriate link.]

(If you’ve accessed the page via a Twitter client, the links work better from an external browser…)

I’d be remiss if I didn’t extend my huge thanks to all the friends and creators who challenged me to write stories for them, so an incredibly large truckload of gratitude to Neil Gaiman, Wil Wheaton, Jason Arnopp, Greg Rucka, Amanda Palmer, Warren Ellis, Mitch Benn, Tony Lee, Kieron Gillen, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction and Jamie McKelvie – you’re all wonderful people.

And to those who’ve read them on the blog and those who download the ebook – I really enjoyed writing these stories, and I hope you enjoy reading them.

I’d like to extend the readership as far as possible, and I’d be grateful if you could spread the word.

There’s absolutely no obligation to do anything more, but if you think the ebook and stories are worth more than a tweet, feel free to donate a small amount via Paypal, using the donate button below.

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Ed Brubaker is one of the few people who’ve challenged me this year who I haven’t met. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing, since Ed’s mind throws out stories that spear your brain, punch you in the gut and leave you gasping for air. I’m kind of scared he’d do the same to me in person.

In his spare time, he rings doorbells at night and runs away.

Title: Why Santa’s A Jerk
Word: hymen
Challenger: Ed Brubaker
Length: 200 words exactly

Despite the common wisdom, it’s not Batman who smells – it’s Santa. He smells of mulled wine, and of clean air after rain, of roasting chestnuts, and of reindeer shit.

And, though I stand with my head lowered, ostensibly ignoring the crowds, I smell him clearly.

No-one sighs with disappointment like Santa Clause. Saint Nicholas learned to sigh hundreds of years ago; he’d had to time to perfect it.

I feel his hand on my shoulder, briefly.

Santa insists on three things from helpers: respect, a work ethic, and virginity. Yeah, sure: my hymen broke even before my first night on the job. Well, what the hell else was there to do when we weren’t working?

He found out, of course. The exile was more painful than the transformation, but they both hurt dreadfully.

Now I spend my Decembers watching others preparing for the season’s merriment, while I stand in a shop window, my plastic antlers atop my plastic head, and curse Santa and that fucking tell-tale Rudolph.

Santa’s never stays long; he’s off to visit Dasher, Vixen and the rest of them whose names I can no longer recall. I hope they’re well.

I wonder if they remember me.

© Lee Barnett, 2012

This story is part of The Twelve Days of Fast Fiction (More information on the Twelve Days here)
Day 01: Why Can’t Reindeer Fly? – challenger: Neil Gaiman
Day 02: Around and Around Again – challenger: Wil Wheaton
Day 03: Hell Comes To Greenland – challenger: Jason Arnopp
Day 04: It Shines Like Mud – challenger: Greg Rucka
Day 05: Frederick The Unopened Package – challenger: Amanda Palmer
Day 06: Under Hetty Pegler’s Tump – challenger: Warren Ellis
Day 07: The Impossible Box – challenger: Mitch Benn
Day 08: Away In A Manger – challenger: Tony Lee
Day 09: Typos and Typography – challenger: Kieron Gillen
Day 11: The Wrong Christmas Cookies – challenger: Matt Fraction
Day12: The Christmas That Wasn’t – challenger: Jamie McKelvie

“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, are available from, and in some countries on Amazon. ebooks available from the author; email for details.