Flash Fiction

19 Dec

OK friends, here’s another holiday contest entry!  This one is more difficult than it looks – you have to write a children’s story about why and where Santa is running in 150 words or less!  The contest is sponsored by the Institute of Children’s Literature and the entries can be read on their Facebook page.



You are allowed up to three entries… so of course I wrote three!  Please read and enjoy!  I would love to hear back from you on which one is your favorite.


Grandfather’s Clock

(150 words)

Anyone who’s ever tried to stay awake on Christmas Eve knows it can’t be done.  And I know why.  Many years ago, my family spent Christmas at my grandparents’ house.  They had this old, old grandfather clock in the hallway.  I checked that clock every five minutes.  Finally I declared, “Grandpa, your clock is broken!”

Grandpa just laughed and took me onto his lap.  “There’s nothing wrong with that clock,” Grandpa said.  “Don’t you know that on Christmas Eve time runs slowly?  Santa made a deal with Father Time to extend the hours and minutes so he could make all his deliveries.  He starts his trip with the first evening star and travels west around the world until the sun catches up with him.”

Laying in bed that night, I listened to the tick-tock of the grandfather clock dragging out time, and I imagined Santa racing to beat the sun.


Santa’s Final Stop

(149 words)

Santa gathered his bag and slid down the last chimney of the night.  He landed with a thump that echoed in the house.  Santa shook himself and looked around.

“Oh no,” he thought.

Santa glanced up and spied a note propped up on the mantel.

“Dear Santa, We have moved to New York City.  Here is my new address.”

“Jingle Bells!” Santa exclaimed looking at his watch.  “It’s almost morning in New York City!”

“Let’s fly boys,” Santa shouted.  The team lifted and sped eastward.  The sun was slowly making its ascent.

“We can do this!” he shouted.

Dawn was breaking over the water.  Santa made a hasty landing.  Grabbing his bag, he descended the chimney. Amid the boxes stood a small, decorated tree.  Quickly Santa unloaded his bag.  Overhead he heard footsteps running for the stairs.

“He came! He found us!” Santa heard as he disappeared from sight.


Santa’s Run

(149 words)

Harper stood at the corner waiting for the runners in the annual Santa Run to pass by.  She bounced on her tiptoes to keep warm.  Her new hat was pulled tightly down to her eyebrows and her scarf wrapped up to her nose.

“Here they come!” Harper shouted.  She clapped her mittened hands together.

The first runners dashed around the corner in a blur.

Then the second round of skinny runners sprinted by wearing Santa hats.

The third group jogged past in Santa suits and fake Santa beards.

The final group walked dogs with reindeer ears and elf hats.

Just as the crowd turned to go home, one last hopeful rounded the corner.

“It’s Santa!”  Harper cheered!

His belly bounced as his boots hit the pavement.

“I just knew he would be here!” Harper exclaimed.

She stepped forward and gave Santa her Thank You note.


“Merry Christmas, Santa!”


Seriously folks, leave me a note.  I really want to know what you think.  I’m thinking about reworking at least one of these ideas into a full manuscript for a picture book, and I’d love some feedback from you on which one you think has the most merit.  I promise, if you write a comment I’ll put a good word in for you with the big guy.  There just might be a little something extra in your stocking.  Merry Christmas!


11 Responses to “Flash Fiction”

  1. Patricia Tilton December 20, 2013 at 5:51 PM #

    Great short stories. But, the grandfather story really is good. Oh, how the night drags on for kids who can’t sleep!


    • Juliana Lee December 20, 2013 at 7:52 PM #

      Thanks Patricia. I remember asking my dad incessantly what the time was, and him saying something like ‘the same time it was last time you asked’! Funny how time runs too quickly or too slowly depending on what you’re doing and what you want.


  2. Perfecting Motherhood December 20, 2013 at 4:21 PM #

    The grandfather story is great but I like the idea of kids moving and Santa having to hurry for his last delivery.

    I was thinking more of Santa drinking too much milk and eating too many cookies and suffering from indigestion and having to run home… Or he could be late because his GPS kept giving him wrong directions… But that wouldn’t make a great children’s stories!


    • Juliana Lee December 20, 2013 at 7:54 PM #

      Thank you! I like this one too because we moved around a lot when I was growing up (my dad was in the service) and I remember always being afraid that Santa wouldn’t be able to find us. Thank goodness he always did!


      • Juliana Lee December 20, 2013 at 7:55 PM #

        Maybe that’s why I couldn’t sleep that night! Hmmm, combination story?


  3. Steve Moran December 19, 2013 at 4:12 PM #

    I really love the Grandpa story. It rings so true, really so true, that I assumed it was a true story from your Grandfather as well – and am a little disappointed it wasn’t! It would make a great PB and I can see the tone and the colouring of the illustrations gradually changing to match the story as the sunrise gradually pushes the safety of the night sky out of the way. Seriously – you need to think about committing to this, it’s a really nice modern(ish) folk tale idea.


    • Juliana Lee December 19, 2013 at 4:14 PM #

      Thank you so much Steve! I kept hearing Tom Hanks’ voice (The Polar Express) telling me this story!


      • Steve Moran December 19, 2013 at 5:22 PM #

        Tom Hanks? Good call! Check out my piece of fluff in the same thread.


  4. Keila Dawson December 19, 2013 at 3:51 PM #

    Love the story about your grandfather!!


    • Juliana Lee December 19, 2013 at 3:54 PM #

      Thanks Kelia. It wasn’t really my grandfather, but I do remember how time stood still on Christmas Eve!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: