Christmas microfiction

Over on Twitter yesterday morning, I impulsively offered to write microfiction based on Christmas carol prompts. I had a bit of a mood/energy crash partway through Christmas itself, so most of the prompts were not completed until today, but I did complete them! And now I am compiling them here for safekeeping.

(CN religion/Christianity; the majority of these are not overtly religious in nature, but a couple of them turned into straight-up Virgin Mary fanfiction. 🙃 )


“I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas”
(for @AshCHopkins)

The hippo stood in the living room, huge and stinking and glistening wet, with a little red giftwrap ribbon around its head. It looked too big to even fit through the doorway, and it had casually crushed the Christmas tree against the side of the wall.

“I take it back,” I said.


“The Cherry Tree Carol”
(for @liminally_human)

Mary looked up, into the cherry tree’s generous branches laden with pink blossoms, which had curled down protectively to give her what she asked; and down again, at her old, angry, jealous husband.

“I think I’m staying with the tree, thanks,” she said.


Roy Orbison, “Pretty Paper”
(for @popelizbet)

We became too hungry in the end. Their towers rose, snow-capped and gilded, leaving less and less for the masses that teemed outside.

The cold sharpened our fingers to claws.

When they emerged, weighed down with finery and still refusing to see us, we were ready.


“I Saw Three Ships”
(for @epballou)

The ships made their ghostly way over the desert sands, sails billowing in the dry and dusty air. On their top decks we could almost make out figures, dressed in robes too fine for sailors, or for ghosts.


(for @BrutalistG)

No one else could hear it. My husband shook his head and muttered something about my overactive ears. But it was *there* – a constant drumming, a weird murmuring of flutes, somewhere just out of sight.


“In The Bleak Midwinter”
(for @awritingwall)

There wasn’t glory in the cold stink of the stable. Not the divine glow that had filled the room when the angel came the first time.

But when she kissed her baby’s forehead, she knew what he was. She still saw it, the profusion of wings and light, behind her closed eyes.


“Carol of the Bells”
(for @boltgrrl and @MJS9468)

The town had been lined with them: bells in the towers, bells that hung from the corners of roofs, bells jingling in the reins of the horses.

It should have been unbearable, but as I stepped out into it, like the aimless music of a wind-chime the size of a city, I smiled.


“Angels We Have Fed on Pie”
(parody of Angels We Have Heard on High)
(for @AnnaFromA2)

The old laws said, welcome the stranger – you never knew who might be an angel in disguise, here to pass judgment on the unkind.

So we ended up with this raucuous, happy clump of refugees in our kitchen, eating our best pumpkin pie.

Couldn’t see any wings, but you never know.


Queen, “A Winter’s Tale”
(for @liveotherwise)

Even under quarantine, there was something calming about the view out the window, the soft roll of the snow and the roll of the sunset. The call of the winter geese. Even if it fixed nothing about what was unraveling in the world. Even then.