Microfiction: Christmas light

I saw this writing prompt on Geoff’s blog and thought I’d have a go. The prompt comes from Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch and the challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction of exactly 99 words on the theme of ‘spreading the light.’



Her hands trembled slightly as she peeled open the envelope. Even if she hadn’t recognized the handwriting, the foreign stamp gave it away.

Bloody plastic tree has no smell.

Christmas trees should be real. Living. They didn’t understand that in the home. Like they didn’t care that nobody was watching the TV. Her hands trembled.

“Here. Got your specs, Mrs. Fitz? Let’s give you a bit of light, shall we?”

We had candles at Christmas.

She cringed and blinked. Tears. She didn’t need to see to know what the message said.


“Sorry, Mam. Can’t make it this year.”

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

24 thoughts on “Microfiction: Christmas light”

      1. I’m not a very sociable person. Not sociable or generous enough to tolerate very many people for longer than ten minutes at a time. Life in home would make me murderous.


      2. Ah ah ah. This is so funny. At least you are lucid about yourself. I am not a very sociable person either and like keeping to myself when I can. I am a sucker for human suffering though and would go to great lengths to alleviate suffering around me.

      3. If I am being honest, so would I. Human or animal suffering. But that doesn’t mean I’d go looking for it. Maybe because there’s so much of it, and so many people with problems when I have plenty of my own, I try to keep my distance.


      4. I guess one owes happiness and healing to the self first if easiest to achieve with the possibility that should the need arise it would be shared :). Keep well

  1. There’s a lot of sad stories around this Crimbo, and ones with unexpected endings. I like that. I would not live in a home either. Conor and I have promised each other that. 😁

      1. Yeah. Don’t know how well manage it. Just hope to live healthy and long and look after each other.

      2. Well, yes, I hope we’ll never get sick or old or infirm, and we just go off in a puff of smoke together sometime in the distant future. Just working on the details.

  2. Popped over from Carrot Ranch to tell you what a sad but powerful flash that was. Hit home for me as my parents ran a “home” when I was growing up. You nailed the essence of that lonely, forgotten existence so many elderly people endure.

    1. Thank you! There is such distress among older people who have become dependent but have no one they can depend on. A sad reality of our much more mobile and individualistic age.

    1. When we’re starting out, the possibility of living anywhere in the world seems wonderful. When we have children and they have the same idea…not so wonderful. It’s a very modern dilemma.

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