Showing posts with the label Fiction

Fiction: Juliette and the Christmas Invitation

Erin usually does the fiction, but I figured he shouldn't be the only one to have all the fun. Here's my first short story for Mainlining Christmas, a fantasy piece: Juliette and the Christmas Invitation By: Lindsay Stares The Lady Viola rode over the icy ridge, and an enormous hedge came into view on the horizon. She patted the neck of her steed. “There’s the Maze of Needles, Surefoot. According to the stories, we’ll find the crystal of pure light that will cure the queen there.” “I hope so, Viola,” Surefoot replied. “We've been looking for so long.” “Julie!” A light came on by the back door. “It's getting dark, come inside.” “Fifteen minutes! I need to rescue the queen,” Julie yelled. “Santa’s watching!” “Five minutes?” “Bring in your toys and you can rescue the queen after dinner.” Her mom disappeared inside. Now that the light by the back door was on, the sky suddenly seemed much darker. Julie grabbed her doll and horse out of the snow, st

Fiction: The Collector of Old Toys

We've got a handful of holiday fiction for you. Today's is a short piece of magical realism - hope you like it! Check back on Sunday for another story! The Collector of Old Toys By: Erin L. Snyder The cab fare comes to fifty dollars, and I hand over three twenties, suddenly wishing I’d used a few minutes of the ride to google what I should be tipping. Is ten dollars enough? When I’m coming to a place like this? Mother always called Grandfather’s home a mansion, and with good reason. It is by far the largest house I have ever been in, though in truth it’s only the third largest on its street. The driver doesn’t look insulted by the tip, so I suppose it’s sufficient. My luggage consists of three pieces, which seems excessive for a four-day trip, even if one of the bags is mostly full of wrapped presents. Should I even have brought them? I almost didn’t, but the fear of being the only one who didn’t bring gifts beat out the fear that I’d be the only one with them. Besides,

Fiction: Double Feature

By: Erin L. Snyder Luis’s legs felt like they were on fire. Worse, his toes felt like nothing at all. The rest of him was ice, like raw meat in the freezer, and his chintzy felt coat and hat were about as effective as plastic wrap. For what little it was worth, he pulled his fake beard tight to his neck and looked out at the water. Despite the pain, he took some pleasure in the scene. In the moonlight across the river. In the hum of cars driving over the bridge just to his right. Even at the cracking the frozen ground made beneath his boots. It wouldn't be long before the water was a sheet of ice covered in snow. Mostly he took pleasure in a job well done. He’d dreamed about it for so long, and now that he’d finally worked up the courage, he felt relief and joy. Even the ache in his legs from wading into the bitterly cold river felt right. Musicians and painters suffered for their art: why should he be different? His teeth chattered as he breathed in the air and grinned benea

The Unveiling

Remember last year, when I wrote a novel-length collection of short Christmas genre fiction and posted it daily to the blog in December? Well, I enjoyed it so much, I decided I'd rather rip my teeth out with pliers than try to do it again this year. So if you were hoping to get another twenty-five short stories out of me this December, you're out of luck. I might - MIGHT - write a handful if I get any ideas worth pursuing, but don't expect anywhere near the level of fiction I wrote in 2012. I burned through just about every idea I had, and I don't have the kind of free time this year I had last. To make it up to all of you, I'm giving away the new e-book version of last year's*  collection for a limited time on Smashwords . Now you can take the stories of Mainlining Christmas with you wherever you go. I mean, you could probably do that before, assuming you have a smart phone. The stories are still sitting here on the site, after all. But then y

25 Christmas Eves: A Retrospective

I wanted to say a few parting words about this series, both because I'm proud of it and because it was a pretty intense experience. I don't have exact notes on this, but this definitely felt like the vast majority of time I devoted to the blog this year. By my calculations, I wrote more than 55,000 words of fiction for the blog this year. The total word count for the stories published is actually a little more (just shy of 58,500), but three of these stories were started last year, then finished and published this year. If you're interested, those were "Mistletoe", "One Night in Bethlehem", and "Tribes of Gypsies". Actually, Mistletoe's inclusion on that list is misleading: I had a version started but completely rewrote it from scratch. The first third of "One Night in Bethlehem" was already done and was basically unchanged. "Tribes of Gypsies" gets complicated. I had about a quarter of it done, but that got overhauled

Fiction: One Night in Bethlehem

We're finishing 25 Christmas Eves up the only way that seems appropriate. We've looked at quite a few Christmas Eves so far, but it's time to take a gander at the granddaddy of them all. So, without further ado, Mainlining Christmas presents the greatest story ever told... now improved. By: Erin L. Snyder Based on a TRUE story The innkeeper was a fat man, and he was exhausted. These were the first two observations going through Joseph’s mind upon setting eyes on the owner. And why shouldn’t he be tired? It was late – nearly midnight. And here was a couple, the woman clearly in labor, on his doorstep. The innkeeper rubbed his eyes. He didn’t wait for Joseph to start in. “Look, kid. We’re full up. Sorry.” “What? You can’t be,” Joseph said. “You must have, what, two dozen rooms in this place. Who’s renting two dozen rooms?” “Almost three dozen,” the innkeeper corrected him. “And it’s these damned stargazers. Pouring in from every town for a hundred leagues. Astro

Fiction: Tribes of Gypsies

It's day 24 of Mainlining Christmas's "25 Christmas Eves." Today, I've got another science-fiction story, this time set a bit further out. It's called "Tribes of Gypsies," and I think it's one of the better ones. Tomorrow, we'll wrap up this series with something... a little different. By: Erin L. Snyder If I’m going to hold the books someday, I have a lot to learn. Today is December 24, and tomorrow is Christmas Day. It’s an old story, and the old ones are hardest to grasp. Truth and myth are entwined; fable and metaphor are one and the same with description. Learning the words is easy. Memorizing is only a matter of time. But untangling what is from what’s said is a skill my grandfather spent his life mastering. There were never such things as dragons, but there are fish large enough to swallow a man whole. Alligators are not mythical; vampires are. There are wolves, but not werewolves. I spent weeks studying the writings about