Midnight At Christmas by Juneta Key Storytime Quarterly Blog Hop
Every Christmas Eve we gather at my aunt’s house to exchange gag gifts.
Unfortunately, I had to work on Christmas Day so could not stay the night. I had gotten
to my aunt’s house late, so I was making the long three-hour drive home just before
My aunt lived in the country where neighbors were not visible to the eye. Mostly
because she was surrounded by trees with a field or two poked in between.
The radio was still playing Christmas music, so I plugged in my iPod to listen to my
cruising track. My headlights bounced off the whites lines, marking the edges of the ink
The night was so black and clear the stars peeked out like a million tiny pinholes across
a deep never ending black velvety night sky.
Nights like these made me sure there so much more out there in the universe. I felt
small under that dome yet connected to something bigger and more wondrous than I
could ever imagine.
I flipped my car heater on low to knock the chill. The whoosh of warm arm felt nice on
my arm and legs. I enjoyed the freedom of driving even at night. The time alone in the
car allowed my mind to settle, think- and yes -imagine all kinds of wonderful stories I
Winters in Texas were unpredictable. I left home this morning without my jacket with
temperatures in the upper seventies. Tonight, there was a distinct chill in the air at fifty-
My tires hummed, eating up the asphalt road snaking for miles through rolling black dirt
farmland, fields of barley and oat, longhorn cows, and yes, some sheep.
The houses set so far back off the road you could not see them unless they had lights
Some were just single trailers in vast fields of crop. Many had fence lined or tree lined
driveways that went straight back for a mile or more.
My favorite was about half-way to my aunt’s house. It was an old house that had been
around since the 1800’s and set off the road about half a mile. They decorated for
Christmas, and you could see it a mile before you arrive across the open fields.
I was on the last leg of my drive home.
There were no other cars. This late at night and on a holiday, the cars on these long
highways were few and far between.
I heard a rackety-clack sound, followed by a loud knock. My little white Kia jerked as if
something fell out from under the car.
The engine sputtered.
I coasted to the roadside. Turning the key trying to restart. I heard a couple of clicks
I was grateful I always kept a flashlight in the car. I popped the hood. The engine looked
intact. I shone the light on the dark road behind me. I saw nothing that looked like it
had fallen out, but I guess it could have rolled of the road out of sight.
The night loomed darker and a little ominous despite the starry sky on the country
roadside. There were no houses in sight from where I had rolled to a stop.
I fiddled with the battery and checked the water. I inspected my tires, which looked fine,
despite the loud noise I had heard.
I went back to my car and tried to call for help using my cell phone. It didn’t work. No
service. I walked a little ways from the car trying to get some bars, but did not want to
go too far away.
It was then I realized I had forgotten to charge it before I left my aunt’s.
I got back in the car to charge it. My car charger was missing. I always kept it in the
car. Did someone take it? I searched the car, even checked the trunk.
Nothing. I guess I was walking if a car didn’t come by soon.
I got out and looked up and down an empty highway and started to get back in the car
Held my breath.
The night lit like day, as I was pinned pointed by a oval light brighter than daylight.
My mind screamed don’t look as I forced my eyes skyward despite the brightness.
I expected it to blind.
The light fluctuated. I could just make out a saucer-shaped craft hovering above me. It’s
radius at least a block wide. Multi-colored strobe lights danced in a circle around its
It was the beam from its center that created the illusion of daylight. A sharp piercing
sound made me cover my ears. My stomach rolled, the room begin to spin, and then
I couldn’t move.
Was I dead?
How much time had passed? I had to blink a few times. I was staring up at bug-eyed-
like lights, making think of a honeycomb. I felt cold to the bone.
My arms, legs, body were all free, yet I couldn’t move. I could see nothing holding me
down. I lay on some metal bed-table.
Had they given me some kind of drug? My heart hammered. I caught movement to my
right through my peripheral vision.
I must be dreaming. Tallish, steeple-like, white big-eyed bipeds were milling around the
room carrying royal rainbow colored geometric-shaped boxes. I counted three, taking
several deep breaths.
Yeah, I was afraid, but THINK!
I was a 911 Dispatcher, a first responder, for goodness sake. I’ve listened to horrible
things and kept my cool. I could do this.
Another deep breath. Exhale.
I tried my voice and sounded like a raspy frog.
“Hey, I need some help. Can someone help me?
“Hey, I need to pee.”
That didn’t phase them either.
They probably couldn’t understand English. I was able to turn my head a little now.
I wasn’t the only human in the room. I could see other beds with small people in green
and red costumes, also not moving. Children? The faces looked too old.
On my left lay a large deer with huge 5-point horns.
A jolly voice said, “I am afraid Juneta that Christmas has been abducted this year.”
“You know my name?” The sound of the other voice relaxed me a bit.
“I know everyone’s name. Including the aliens.” He chuckled. “Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Alien
“Santa Claus? You’re not real.” Yet there he lay, prone like me in red suite, white hair and beard, and yes beer belly.
His blue eyes dance and his belly jiggled despite his prone state, as he tried to get his
breath, and control his deep laughter.
I didn’t think it was that funny.
“That so? Neither are aliens.”
Storytime Quarterly Blog Hop November 2022
Wednesday, November 30th, 2022
Welcome to Storytime Quarterly Blog Hop. Speculative Flash Fiction from authors around the globe. We love comments so stop by and say hello.
Midnight At Christmas by Juneta Key <–YOU ARE HERE
I Do Believe In Faeries by Vanessa Wells
Summoning Spell by Jacquilyn Walker
Ark-Ship One by Katharina Gerlach
A Halloween Costume by Jodie Nahornoff