Home for the Holidays

My sister wakes me.

She puts a finger to her lips and we pad down the hall in our fleece footie pyjamas. It is still dark so she holds my hand on the stairs.

Our parents stand in the dining room. I feel strange—like it’s snowing inside. There is quiet and cold here. Our da stares at something on the floor: a Christmas stocking.

I don’t understand why it’s in our house. We don’t have stockings. Or a tree with ornaments.

“There’s a note,” Da says.

My sister points to the shattered window. We are not welcome here.



December 3 Prompt: Dissonance and Holidays (Write a story that pairs something seasonal with something odd.)
My two words are: Stocking and Window
Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

12 thoughts on “Home for the Holidays

  1. So crushing, that unwelcome feeling and so frightening, the violence wrapped in what is meant to bring cheer. I love how you start the story with that sense of siblings sneaking down to the Christmas tree. And then the realization dawns.

    Years ago, a similarly nasty act took place in a town in Montana. A rock shattered the window where a Menorah was displayed. In response, all across the state we placed Menorah’s in our windows. For many years, it was part of our holiday decorating.


  2. I was almost seduced into thinking this would have a happy ending but I should have known better from the pen of the expert flash-frightener


    • Ooh. I like that. “Fear me! For I am the Flash Frightener! Beware my pen!”

      It’s difficult. I don’t want to give too much away but don’t want to confuse people. I’m glad I managed it. Thanks!


  3. You did it again Sarah. Had us expecting Christmas joy as the kids snuck down, I though, to see if Santa had left them goodies only to get a rock thrown in the face of it all. Such a sad tale but as Geoff said you are the expert Flash Frightener. Loved Charli’s story also and the solidarity that the town showed to those that had been victimised.


    • Thanks, Irene. I’m so happy you liked it. (Think I’ll get a tshirt made up with “Flash Frightener” on it.) 🙂

      Isn’t Charli’s story beautiful? I love that. It shouldn’t have happened in the first place but, since it did, that is how people should react.


  4. That is some delicious tension, Sarah. Innocence lost and security smashed to smithereens all in one fell swoop (and a few lines). Nicely done.


  5. This is a great story Sarah, and very much reflects views you have stated on my blog in relation to Christmas celebrations in the classroom. Your message about tolerance and difference is very strong in this flash. There’s no Christmas attitude in that stocking.


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