Letter to Santa Quick Fiction Contest

2002 Honorable Mentions


“Dear S.”

by Bob Heman


Dear S.,

I met last week with our fellow conjurors and they asked me to send this message. They have watched you ever since you abandoned our laboratory to take up residence in the land of ice. They understand that you perform simpler magics now. Magics that enable your sleigh to move faster than the light itself. Magics that allow your own corpulent self to descend any chimney, no matter how small or convoluted. The joy and hope you bring to so many cannot be denied, yet these are difficult times, and it is obvious that greater magics may soon be needed to save all that we find familiar or comforting. I am setting out through the north forest to try and find you. There is information that I need to share that I cannot trust to any letter. I will search first around the ice falls where we parted many years ago. If you can, meet me there, and bring along the book the master gave you so many years ago. It will be needed. Some of its knowledge can be found nowhere else. Until then, my friend, beware of the dark shadows that spread across your mind. They are not what you think.

The Ransom Note

by Alan C. Baird


Northern Communique

by Ed Barrett


Here is my neck which I am gluing, almost. I think you’d be a pal in outer space. Just because a building happens to be tallest doesn’t mean it isn’t going to be terrorist-proof. Please read the message attached to the snowman. Always act as if you were not a snowman, and if you get the point, pretend you almost got it. The paper rises but is not attached to the sky: just staring sadly into space is not a question. If a terrorist takes you, melt instantly. Show valor to be tall the way everything is tall to an interplanetary snowman who must do battle with a terrorist when she lands and almost breaks into the space station: it was still attached to its launch pad like an eyelash attached to its eyelid on eyes that have witnessed tall winter evenings wandering endlessly into space in an infinite succession of snowmen, solitary and transfixed and almost invulnerable to a terrorist. After a while the terrorist entered the command module and attached explosives to it. She was almost finished and headed for the tallest rocket, but a snowman carrying a special freezer space-gun attacked. That is why space is filled with floating terrorists, frozen white as snowmen to whom we must attach carrots for noses and tall brooms before we can see the planets that are almost there. And I am almost aware of you in distant space, secret and invisible like a tall terrorist and everything I attach to a snowman.

“Dear Santa”

by Joshua Edwards


Dear Santa,

First off, I’d like to congratulate you and Mrs. Clause.
I saw the picture in the paper, and what a
buck! Twelve points it must have been! Anyhow, I am
writing (again, ha! ha!) because the letter I sent you
in July was returned. I guess you probably don’t open
up shop until September or so, which is understandable to
me, since I also collect unemployment during the slow season.
Let me say one thing though, and please don’t take
this the wrong way, but I really think that you
all up North there ought to get “wired” (which means
that you should get e-mail and a website), and pronto.
Imagine how many kids would start to care! You could
even set up a system where they’d get an identification
code, with which they could check their “naughty” or “nice”
This isn’t really why I’m writing, though. I’m writing
in regards to WHAT I WANT (I bet you’ve never
heard that one before! ha! ha!). I’m just going to
list the stuff in no particular order and let you
decide what to give me:
a donkey, a trip to
Paris, a new camera loaded with black-and-white film,
a mystery novel series (in full), a new tie rack,
a subscription to Sports Illustrated, a Nerf football, golf clubs,
enough cinder blocks to build a small cottage with, and
an ambulance (if you have the room in your sleigh!) . . .

It’s been a rough year, and my stats aren’t reflective
of how hard I’ve tried. In some ancient societies, it
was actually a compliment to your wife if you slept
with another woman (this is before Christ got you a
job, of course). And monetary transactions went with sex like
love and marriage. So, as you may be able to
tell, I’ve been reading lots of history (and paying for
sex! ha! ha!). But seriously, she was pregnant anyhow, you
understand. You can probably also identify with my position in
the whole “road rage” incident (God bless my lawyer!), what—
with those dipshits they give pilot licenses to these days.
Just because she was on a bike doesn’t mean she
wasn’t seriously threatening me. She was wearing a hair net
in the middle of the day, for crying out loud!
She must be a fucking nut case! Unless her mother
dressed her like that for school! Which would be an
even worse statement on her character.
If I’ve learned anything
this year, it is that you can’t choose who you
love and that sometimes you get the shit end of
stick, no matter how many people are behind you in
line. Wait— gotta go, the guards are going to let
us out into the courtyard (anyways, you know what it

I’ll be outta here by Christmas for sure, and
will probably move back to Sacramento. Hopefully this year you’ll
find me. If not, just give my son stuff; he’s
still at his mom’s in Phoenix.

Lots of love,



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