Winterfest Drabble Challenges

~ exactly 100-word stories using 3 given elements ~

WFOL 2021


Edie, a manilla envelope, Catherine’s apartment

Catherine handed her guest a beer. Too late, she saw the manilla envelope stuffed behind the sofa pillow Edie fussed with. 

She should’ve shown her to another seat. She’d been sitting right there when the doorbell rang, Vincent’s chin resting on her shoulder. Now …

Edie pulled the envelope free. Of course, it was upside down. Of course, Kristopher’s new drawing slipped out. 

“Look at you!” Edie crowed. “And, oh baby, look at him!”

Vincent’s muffled laugh was undeniable. And so he stepped from the bedroom into the light, into the silence … 

Edie gulped. “Do you … do you have a brother?” 



Devin, Father’s Fedora, the Crystal Cavern


“Believing Narcissa’s tales will lead you into dangerous territory.” 

He picked up his pen, applied it where he’d left off. The subject was closed. 

Wasn’t it?

“Mind me, now. There’s no crystal cavern. Even if there were, it would be far, far from here. You could get hurt, lost–”

“Or worse,” Devin finished. “O–kay.” 

“Off you go. You may believe the rumors of chocolate cake.” 

Alone, he opened his armoire, reached deep to the corner of the shelf. Lifted the brim of his old fedora. Still there: the crystal he’d chosen from the glittering cave, lit with hope … for Margaret.


Kristopher, Vincent’s toy carousel, the ice skating rink in Central Park


“What’s in the trunk?” He eased back the domed lid.

A toy carousel, the ice skates worn once one moonless midnight in Central Park, a tin bank still rattling with coins. He pulled the memories from the the chest, arranging them in a collage beside it. Now and then, he’d consider the design. A shift of angle, a quarter-turn. Whatever it took to please his artist’s eye …

Next out, a stack of slim books. He shuffled them like cards.

“Hey, look! Harold and the Purple Crayon. That’s what got me started.”

“Started … what, Kristopher?”

“You know … coloring outside the lines.”



Vincent, the scent of warm chocolate, the Whispering Bridge


“Is he sleepwalking?”

“I think he’s sleep listening.” 

“We can’t wake him up. It’s too dangerous.”

Devin stood awfully close to the one rickety board on the Whispering Bridge, his glazed gaze on something far away.

“I’ll get him,” Vincent said. “I’m the littlest. I won’t cause much sway.”

“Well, technically …” Pascal began.

Vincent took a step and steadied. Took another. And another.

Closer, closer …

His voice as wispy, he hoped, as the voices heard in this place, Vincent called his brother’s name.

“Smell that, little brother?”

Surprised, Vincent had to grab the rope rail. 

“Warm chocolate. Mary’s making brownies.”


 Vincent, a Face Mask, Above

“You’re allowed the hour of dusk Above,” Father said. “A helper will go with you.” 

They had their candy bags, brown paper ones they’d smoothed out. For costumes … with a little soot on their faces they could go in their normal clothes, be The Lost Boys, like in Peter Pan.

Vincent though … 

His friends called from the corridor. “Come on, Devin! If we don’t hurry, Father won’t let us go!” 

And there he was was, pushing through the crowd wearing a plastic Cowardly Lion face mask. Grinning behind it, he could tell.

One ear was broken, but it would do.

Narcissa, a Candle, the Great Hall

“Narcissa’s here!”

The news whispered through the Great Hall. No one expected her.

Jacob frowned. His job was to parcel out the mead. Hard to pour and keep his eye on the woman.

What’s she doing, crouching down in front of Vincent. She has him by the shoulders, filling his head, no doubt. 

What’s that in her hand? A blob of white wax. Vincent has it now! They’re leaving!

“Devin! Where?” He called him over, pointed with his chin.

“Dunno. Vincent’s mother’s got something to tell him. The candle’s magic.” Devin kicked the table leg. “I want to go too.”


~~~  ~~~  ~~~



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