Merry Christmas everybody! After reading all of that awesome flash fiction on Monday I was feeling inspired and decided to try my hand at a tale. I wouldn’t call it astounding, but it was fun to put together. Also props to my husband for helping me flesh out my thoughts out on this 🙂
Gingerbread and Mayhem
Watch them scurry.
Those adorable snot-nosed orphans scattering through the cold as they realize the silence of their cheerful night is being smashed to smithereens. They’ve all forgotten me, generations ago, they forgot about this little abandoned elf that Santa left on their door step. But now I will make this orphanage pay for leaving me to my attic ruminations. I finally got the formula right.
I skitter down the side of the crumbling orphanage, my claws raking along the slick edges of the snow coated window sill and slither through the broken pane of glass. My grime crusted Rudolph sweater catching a frayed edge on the way through. The cacophony of chaos greets my ears from the room below. With a self satisfied snicker I leap to the top of the Christmas tree near the fireplace to watch my plans unfold.
A chorus of screams issues through the dinning room from the frightened forms of children huddled under the tables. The school mistress and a few brave youths are still frantically trying to blockade the double doors with tables and dinnerware hutches.
The sound of glass cracking and plates shifting can be heard on impact.
One small girl peaks out from behind her hiding place, a thought glimmering in her eyes. She whispers into the ear of her friends and motions as if to say, “pass it on.” the whispering continues to the next child. I grumble to myself and start nervously gnawing on the popcorn garland next to me.
The ground shakes. And what little noise was being made lowers to soft whimpers. I glance down at a nearby bowl of porridge, fascinated by the pulsing ripples the shaking creates.
Thunderous crashes can be heard through the hallway, their rhythmic progression growing in speed and proximity. The school mistress turns and yells,”Move away from the doorway!” The blockaders scatter as another powerful THUMP hits the doors, spraying the room with shards of wood and broken plates. My creation steps in, one hefty foot slams through the remaining barricade. Everyone flees to the back of the dining room except for one small girl who stands, mouth agape up at the frosted giant. His gumdrop buttons glimmer in the weak firelight, and the sugar of his eyes flicker like smoldering embers.
“I know you,” the little girl whispers.
My creation chuckles in a deep bass that rattles the ornaments of my perch and leans down to leer in her face. “I remember you. Locking me in that nasty oven hoping the burnt edges would keep me in my place. And forcing me to watch while you devoured my kin.” He looks up, scanning the eyes of the children in the room around him. “No longer will you imprison my people and feast upon them for sport each winter!” He swings a massive leg forward and smashes into the nearest row of chairs, narrowly missing the young girl.
With excitement I peel the half gnawed remnants of a candy cane off of my sweater and lick the year’s worth of dust and dirt off of it, savoring it’s linty sweetness. The perfect victory snack to watch my vengeance take shape.
The school mistress bellows out something close to a war cry and lunges forward with the flag pole in hand. She plunges the flag straight into the crust near the creature’s heart. With a monstrous bellow the giant stands up to his full height, his head smashing into the stone ceiling and sending a cascade of crumbs and debris down around him. He swings his fist knocking the teacher across the room, landing her in a crumpled unconscious heap.
A demented giggle escapes from my lips, just as the tiny voice of a girl cries out, “NOW!”Children all around the room grab their open cartons of milk and throw them at the monster like tiny paper grenades. Each carton hits its target with a satisfying splat and steam rises from the offending liquid as it seeps into him like acid.
The giant swings again, his fist crashing through the wall next to him as if it were made of sugar-glass. Another round of milk grenades collide with his legs. He slams down his foot into the floor but his softened knee crumples beneath the weight. He falls forward to the ground with a resounding crash. Children begin to swarm over him, slinging bowls of porridge, stabbing at his with spoons and digging bare fingers into his back. They hack and tear at him, breaking him into smaller and smaller bits. Some children begin to bite into his crust. His struggles to stand grow weaker and weaker. Sugary filling begins to seep out of his battered gingerbread skull and tiny hands dip from monster to mouth. The children’s eyes light up with sugar powered greed. And the feeding frenzy soon overwhelms the giant. I hug my Christmas tree perch in horror as my years of planning slip into the mouths of my most hated enemies. Their filling slicked hands rapidly feeding those monstrous sugar gore splattered faces.
I scramble down from my tree and skitter through a gap in the stone by the fireplace. “possessed gingerbread- what was I thinking? I might as well have gone with that damned magic top hat and some snow for all this was worth.” I risk a glance back at their ravenous frenzy and gulp down the bile rising to my throat, “Next year. I’ll get you next year.”