The Heirloom - The Moment’s Christmas Flash Fiction Ghost Story competition

Cynthia hurled her school bag and sank into the sofa bellowing an almighty ‘YES’. School was over for Christmas. She slid a ribbon from her pocket and tied a bow in her copper hair. She glanced at the foot of the glittering tree.

And will I be seeing my sequins this year, she thought grimacing at the memory of last Christmas, the nails kit: sequins, polish. She recalled how she stomped her foot when all gifts lay unwrapped in a carpet of tousled torn paper, and the nails kit failed to show up.

She checked her phone time display, Mum and Dad should be here. They had simply gone to pick up Grandma and bring her to the house for two weeks with the family. Mum had even placed Grandma’s treasured rocking chair in her room upstairs, the family heirloom for over sixty years.

Cynthia looked forward to these moments with Grandma, her kind words, her humming, her sweet smile that hardly cracked her aged face.

“Why is this house cold?” She scornfully shouted, rubbing her arms.

Sunlight beamed through the full width picture windows virtually burning out the lounge.

Then she heard it - humming.

That soothing sound clearly audible beyond the glass panelled door by the stairs to Grandma’s room.

Cynthia leapt to her feet and swung the door open, and bounced up the stairs shouting, Grandma. She stopped dead by the door. Grandma hated it when she galloped around.

She opened the door.

Shrouded in rays of streaming sunlight, Grandma sat humming to herself in the oak chair, rocking to and fro as she stared out the window. Her head turned as Cynthia entered the room.

“Come here dear.” Her voice soft.

Cynthia trotted across to her side. “I had no idea you were here, where is Mum…”

“Oh listen my dear.” Grandma cut in. “Mummy and Daddy are on their way.” Grandma’s eyes bore a glint that sparkled like Christmas baubles as she spoke. ”Now promise me you will be a good girl, and respect Mummy and Daddy. They both love you very much. Promise me you will be more grateful, and be a good girl this Christmas.”

Cynthia nodded, but pursed her lips and shrugged as she wondered if that nails kit would actually turn up this year. “Okay Grandma.”

“They’re here.” Grandma said.

The front door clicked open.

“Cynthia!” Mum called up the stairs.

“Go now dear.” Grandma brushed Cynthia’s face gently.

She nodded and made for the stairs. Mum and Dad sniffed together in the porch. Mum’s running makeup and Dad’s wet dull eyes caused Cynthia’s smile to vanish as she approached.

Mum knelt by Cynthia and held her arms. “Sorry, honey, Grandma won’t be coming for Christmas, she…”

“Grandma is upstairs, in her rocking chair,” said Cynthia confused.

Mum and Dad sent each other a bewildered stare. Mum held Cynthia tight. “She is gone my love, she passed away this afternoon. She is gone honey.”

About Stephen Crowley

I write short stories and flash fiction plus currently writing novellas. My chosen genres are a mix of horror, scifi, fantasy, and drama. You can chat to me here on the blog or through my linkedin account


Please do not post promos (unless you are an author, and then ONLY your work). Please do comment on any fiction published here. I am keen to hear from writers starting out to published authors.