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HEARTHSIDE STORIES: A Selection of Holiday Tales, From Us to You

Updated: Jan 1, 2020

"They say the sun will come back

at midnight

after all

my one love

but we know how the minutes

fly out into

the dark trees

and vanish."

- W.S. Merin, The Solstice, 1987

“Whenever five or six people meet round a fire on Christmas Eve, they start telling each other ghost stories,” humorist Jerome K. Jerome wrote in his 1891 collection, Told After Supper. “Nothing satisfies us on Christmas Eve but to hear each other tell authentic anecdotes about spectres...”

And, lest we forget Dickens’ most grisly holiday tale, A Christmas Carol.

Regardless of how you celebrate, The Parliament Press is bringing back the tradition of telling ominous tales by the fireside...

We're elated you've decided to join us. Take a seat and stay a while... The monsters don't bite.

Dear reader, we present to you ten haunting yet hopeful Yuletide tales from the voices of:

D.M. Siciliano (Inside), Wren Handman (In Restless Dreams), A.M. Wright (The Shrike and the Shadows), Brianna Sugalski (Disenchanted), Chantal Gadoury (Blinding Night), A.J. Vrana (The Hollow Gods), Nick Vossen (The Eldritch Twins), E.M. Wright (Sedition), Aislinn Honeycutt (Wandering in Wonderland), and Kristin Jacques (Marrow Charm).

We have displayed a snippet of each, and a direct link to each and every full story below.

Enjoy, and we wish you all an enchanting and bountiful holiday season!


A Holiday Burner, by D.M. Siciliano

An INSIDE Holiday Tale

As they entered the abandoned house, the floor creaked and groaned, lamenting their intrusion.

“I told you we shouldn’t have come. It’s haunted,” the last word fell away from Danny in a whisper.

“Yeah, and it’s Christmas Eve, we should be having eggnog and toasting our feet by the fire,” Clint added. The room was dim, as the sun outside was setting in the gray cloud of winter night. The icy air sliced through them. He fought back a chatter of his teeth.

“Don’t say fire, douchenozzles!” Heather’s dramatic eye roll was lost in the darkness of the one-roomed house.

With that mere mention, a spark ignited in the fireplace. First a crackle, then a faint light like a match flicking to life...



Take My Arms That I Might Reach You, by Wren Handman


It’s the most wonderful time of the year.


The house has been transformed into a winter wonderland. There’s frost sprayed on the window panes, stars and snowflakes glittering on strings from curtain to curtain.

Lights twinkle in every room, in every color of the rainbow. Tinsel and holly hang from corners or chandeliers, and snowflakes have been pressed onto door frames and lintels. It smells like fresh cinnamon, like apples, like a Lifetime movie come to life. We came home last week to shortbread cookies in the shape of bells, a gingerbread house already decorated. There was even fruitcake soaked in rum that Dad offered us and quickly took back after I choked on my first bite...