Two Sentence Holiday Fiction: Amazing Short Short Stories From Amazing Writers

Kelly Luce is the author of the story collection "Three Scenarios In Which Hana Sasaki Grows A Tail"

"An Unsent Dispatch from Terra Australis"

Dearest Ann: On Christmas Eve, I miss you more than I thought possible. It is colder than God promised, here at the bottom of the world.

Carmen Maria Machado's fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Tin House, AGNI and The American Reader

King Herod pushed the old man's head into the chart of the heavens, and said, "Well undo it all then, before it's too late." The old man tried (and he failed, and he failed, and he failed) to unravel the stars.

Rebecca Makkai is the author of the novels "The Borrower" and the forthcoming "The Hundred-Year House"

There were two of us brown girls. She was Mexican, I was Indian, and we took turns playing Mary in all the Christmas pageants throughout elementary school.

Nina McConigley is the author of the story collection "Cowboys and East Indians"

"Mary’s Christmas Redux"

Because the party is reaching a chaotic din, because this isn’t even her house—not yet, not really, because this is Todd’s house in the Hollywood Hills, because Todd went ahead and hired the white rapper who calls himself Wize Man and who is now spitting out Christmas carols by the bar, because she is either nursing an acute anxiety or a mild stomach bug, or both, and because Todd—they haven’t even been together long enough for her to be numb to this paltry name—is as curved as candy cane over some bespeckled blonde, wholly unaware of her, let alone his son who arrived from the mother’s house only hours before this Christmas/New Year’s charade of a party began (it actually being New Years, but since the kid spent Christmas with his mother the post-divorce-redux is in order, because what kid doesn’t like a cocktail party, because what seven year old isn’t all for cocktails if it also scores him an iPad and an iPhone, and some other guilt motivated purchase the next day), because if she hears one more person refer to Todd as Hot Toddy, because she hears someone counting down, 10, already counting down, and she can’t get to the front door fast enough, 9, Mary skirts the browning tree, knocking a half filled flute of champagne from the Noguchi side table, 8, making a bee-line for the balcony, desperate for a breath of smoggy air, 7, and a cigarette, when the kid slides out behind her, 6, the kid that isn’t hers in the house where she isn’t sure she belongs, his eyes big, and brown, and wet, 5, looking at her and then down onto the lights, 4, the blanket of lights unfurled below them, 3, white and red and green, and he says to her, 2, this kid, with a smile as sincere as a first fallen snow, his hand right alongside hers on the railing, 1, he says, “Isn’t it all so pretty from here?” And Mary can’t help but agree.

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