Tag: Stories

Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge—To Go by Mark Halpern

Yes, Virginia, there was a Santa Claus. But he died for our sins. “Thank you Amazon Japan,” said Edward to his iPad. He’d purchased a foot stool—bland, functional, cheap—without visiting a store. Thank you was just words. Edward felt no gratitude. Stores were the biggest rip-off, especially department stores. But Edward tolerated their prepared-food kiosks,

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Day 24: Purple Is For by Erik Bergstrom

On the 24th Day of Christmas Erik Bergstrom gave to me… They were walking down their quiet city street, their arms interlaced, two days before Christmas. It had yet to snow. They were both seventy-two years old this year; Hazel a retired teacher, Ernie a part-time woodworker. They’d come through another year and were happy

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Three Orchids by E. Alexandra

When I was seven my father threw out my mother’s vintage dining table.  It was a beautiful, untrustworthy beast that sucked all the air out of the room and swallowed up any tendril of light.  Both marveling and fearing it, I’d run my hands down the curvature of its chestnut-colored legs; weeks later my hands

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Day 22: Holiday Definitions and Observational Notes for Mrs. Grimsby—English as a Second Language 104, by Dolma Karpo by Annie Bien

On the 22nd Day of Christmas Annie Bien gave to me… From Merriam Webster: I. Immaculate: adjective a) having no stain or blemish : pure, b) having or containing no flaw or error c) a: spotlessly clean b: having no colored spots or marks —used especially in botany and zoology # DK: Observational Note: An

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FICTION: The Secret Patron by Graham Kirby

I arrived in New York in the late summer of 1883, having crossed by the Guion Line with the Liverpool and Great Western Company. At once, I set myself up with digs in Lower Manhattan near the Christopher Street Pier on the Hudson River, at the time a dark nest of competing factions. Wrapped up

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Day 19: A Tangled Melody in A Minor by Mary Thompson

On the 19th Day of Christmas Mary Thompson gave to me… As the heat rose, the angels spun, their paper-thin bodies skimming the flames like fireflies. Faster and faster, round and round. Weary of the argument, Annabel turned to watch them, these tiny, cherubic beings led by their heralding trumpeter, who was heading upwards towards

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Day 18: Joke Gift by Han Clark

On the 18th Day of Christmas Han Clark gave to me… To my father’s credit, he manages to smile as he unwraps the bejewelled starfish broach. He smiles and nods, turning it over in hands that I have always thought were too small for his frame, running his thumb across the shimmering imitation sapphire in

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Day 17: Loss Prevention by Sandra Cimadori

On the 17th Day of Christmas Sandra Cimadori gave to me… It’s not like we sell anything anyone really needs. This stuff is the discounted excess of upscale department stores. It ain’t life or death. I do my job, Loss Prevention Specialist, but I’m not about to risk getting punched or maybe even shot confronting

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Day 16: Christanukkah Eve by Linda McMullen

On the 16th Day of Christmas Linda McMullen gave to me… My parents didn’t create the Christmas-ornaments-as-Hanukkah-gifts schtick.  But Wikipedia will probably give them credit (generations hence) for the virgin birth of the double-barrel meshugga Christanukkah guilt trip: “Have you been to mass already, or –” Mom warbles, as Dad registers my empty hands and

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Day 15: What Grandpa Said by Damhnait Monaghan

On the 15th Day of Christmas Damhnait Monaghan gave to me… Chloe said, “I’m ready to post my letter up the chimney, Grandma.” “Let me read it first,” said Ruth. “But I licked it.” Before Ruth could reply, Grandpa Jim took the envelope and chucked it on the fire. It was Chloe’s first Christmas without

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