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Holiday Microfiction: “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas IN SPAAAAAAAAAAACE” by A. A. Freeman

Happy December everyone! It’s been a long year, but we finally made it to the end of 2020!

To celebrate the holiday season the staff at Fantasy-Faction have prepared a little treat! Every Monday and Friday for the rest of the month, we will feature a piece of microfiction from one of our contributors.

Today, we have A. A. Freeman and “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas IN SPAAAAAAAAAAACE”.

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Holograph Christmas Tree by sntmntlrestart (detail)

“Have a Holly Jolly Christmas IN SPAAAAAAAAAAACE”

by A. A. Freeman

“You may open your eyes now, Captain Hargrave.”

Rosen ignored the ship’s artificial intelligence and kept her eyes closed for a moment longer, mostly out of fear of what ANYA had done this time. She trusted the A.I. with her life, of course, but sometimes they had funny ideas on what was and wasn’t appropriate. Like when they decided a funny ‘prank’ on the crew would be to randomly change all the food options in the cafeteria without telling anyone. Ugh, the cream puff hot dog smoothie Rosen got for lunch that day still haunted her nightmares. But Rosen also knew she couldn’t keep her eyes closed forever, so with a slight tinge of worry she opened them and gasped.

There, in the middle of the ship’s bridge, was a holographic projection of a Christmas tree on what was normally the map display. She stepped closer, her eyes taking in the vectored ornaments and flashing lights spread across its lime green boughs. There was even garland made out of sparkling pixels bursting in and out of existence. And on top was a very simple star that clipped through the treetop in a way a bit too obvious to be ignored. Not bad for an A.I. who had never experienced a Christmas tree before. Which caused a question to pop up in Rosen’s head.

“ANYA, you know it’s not Christmas, right?”

“I understand,” ANYA said in their usual monotone voice. “However, after the last battle I detected a certain malaise in the crew. After searching my databanks, I have decided what everyone could use is what Earthlings call, ‘Good Old Yuletide Cheer’.”

ANYA paused. “Hmm. After another run through of my databanks I have realized not everyone celebrates Christmas. I am not even sure if anyone on the ship celebrates it. I apologize, Captain Hargrave.”

Rosen couldn’t help but smile. “No need, ANYA. Maybe a little holiday spirit could help us out of our collective funk. And I gotta say! I’m impressed you got the map software to make a tree! Normally it flips out if I try to make anything that isn’t a perfect sphere. How did you do it?”

“Holly jolly threats to its processing software.”

“Huh.”

“That was a joke, Captain Hargrave.”

“I see.”

“The threats I made were not holly, nor jolly.”

Rosen was not sure if she wanted to know any more details. She walked around the hologram projection base, soaking in the details of the tree. With the sparkling garland and flashing lights she hardly noticed the ornaments. They were made out of all the planets they had visited, with a few defeated warships hidden between the branches. She paused when her eyes fell on what was clearly a representation of Ceres. Her heart screamed out for home, aching in the way it always did around the holidays. If there was one thing she hated about the season, it was how the various songs about being ‘home for the holidays’. They always did ring true just a little too loud.

“Oh! Captain Hargrave! I forgot to show you the best part!”

The sound of bells rang over the loudspeaker as a tiny, vectored Santa in a sleigh flew around the Christmas tree. It weaved and dodged its way around the planet ornaments, and even took a couple of shots at the defeated warships. But, there was something off about the tiny Santa.

Something about the reindeer. Wait. Those weren’t reindeer.

“ANYA, why is Santa’s sleigh being pulled by dinosaurs?”

“After analyzing my databanks and double-checking with the Chief Medic’s five-year-old daughter, I came to the conclusion that dinosaurs are way cooler than reindeer.”

Rosen grinned. “That they are, ANYA. That they are.”

– – –

Thanks to Amber for sharing this story with us! And thanks to you, reader, for reading it! 🙂

Stay tuned for more microfiction and some other fun surprises later in the month!

Fantasy-Faction is 10! To celebrate we are running a charity drive to help more people discover the joys of reading. If you are interested in helping out, please check out the full article here!

Heart Book with Lights by Theo Crazzolara (with words sm)
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