Flash Fiction: “Dreidel of Dread: The Very Cthulhu Chanukah” by Alex Schvartsman
(Originally published in Galaxy’s Edge.)
Twas the night before Chanukah, and all through the planet, not a creature was stirring except for the Elder God Cthulhu who was waking up from his eons-long slumber. And as the terrible creature awakened in the city of R’lyeh, deep beneath the Pacific Ocean, and wiped drool from his face-tentacles, all the usual signs heralded the upcoming apocalypse in the outside world: mass hysteria, cats and dogs living together, and cable repairmen arriving to their appointments within the designated three-hour window.
“This will not do,” said Chanukah Henry. “I will not have the world ending on my watch, not during the Festival of Lights.”
Alex Shvartsman is a writer, translator, and game designer from Brooklyn, NY. More than 80 of his short stories have appeared in Nature, Galaxy’s Edge, Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show, and many other magazines and anthologies. He won the 2014 WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction and was a finalist for the 2015 Canopus Award for Excellence in Interstellar Fiction. He is the editor of the Unidentified Funny Objects annual anthology series of humorous science fiction and fantasy. His collection Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma and Other Stories and his steampunk humor novella H.G. Wells, Secret Agent were both published in 2015. His website is alexshvartsman.com.
Main Story: “If Dragon’s Mass Eve Be Cold and Clear” by Ken Scholes
(Originally published at Tor.com.)
Muscles tire. Words fail. Faith fades. Fear falls. In the Sixteenth Year of the Sixteen Princes the world came to an end when the dragon’s back gave out. Poetry died first followed by faith. One by one the world-strands burst and bled until ash snowed down on huddled masses whimpering in the cold.
The Santaman came reeking of love into this place and we did not know him.
This is his story.
This is our story, too.
The Santaman Cycle, Authorized Standard Version
Verity Press, 2453 YD
I buried my father on Dragon’s Mass Eve. I dug the grave myself, there on the hill overlooking our homestead, beside the grave he dug for my mother some thirty-five years earlier.
Ken Scholes is the award-winning author of the five volume Psalms of Isaak series (published in the US by Tor) and more than fifty short stories. He is a native of the Pacific Northwest with two honorable discharges, a degree in History, and a wide background that includes time logged as a street performer, revivalist, nonprofit executive, government procurement analyst, and label gun repairman. Ken makes his home in Saint Helens, OR, with his twin daughters. Visit kenscholes.com to learn more.
About the Narrators:
Heather Klinke was born and raised in Southern Illinois. She grew up loving Gilda Radner, Wonder Woman, and The Muppets, all of which inspired Heather to one day make the move to Hollywood.
Heather received her BA in Theater from Western Illinois University. After graduating she moved to St. Louis, where she performed a few great roles in the local theater scene, such as Mina Harker in Dracula and Beth in Sam Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind. The following year, Heather moved to LA and was accepted into Second City Hollywood’s first conservatory class, where she not only fell in love with both sketch comedy and her future husband, Chad Fifer, co-host of the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast.
She has produced and starred in many shows at Second City, including “It’s Klinke! It’s Klinke!” written and directed by Marc Evan Jackson. She also played Opie Taylor in “Mayberry Live!”, directed by Bruce Green & Todd Stashwick.
Heather has been a part of many great comedic shorts and pilots, her favorites of which are “The Ward”, “Gym Ratz”, and “Evolution Debate”. Heather often lends her voice to cartoons and the the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast, her favorite reading for which was Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s classic short story “The Yellow Wallpaper“. She can be found online at heatherklinke.com.
Eric Luke is the screenwriter of the Joe Dante film Explorers, which is currently in development as a remake; has written for the comic books Ghost and Wonder Woman; and wrote and directed the Not Quite Human films for Disney TV. His current project, Interference (a meta horror audiobook about an audiobook… that kills), is a bestseller on Audible.com. His website for creative projects is Quillhammer.com.