The Launch After Christmas by Melissa Mead

“Houston, we have a, situation. We’ve encountered a, well, I suppose you could call it a craft. A sleigh, specifically. One passenger, male, older but specific age undetermined, currently in our sickbay, expected to recover.

No Ma’am, I’m not joking. Some sort of pulse from the new probe appears to have pulled the reindeer off course and into orbit.

Yes, reindeer. Nine of them. Very much alive. Currently in Cargo Bay 5.

Requesting permission to scrap the mission and get the passengers back to Earth as soon as possible. Otherwise we’ll all end up on the Naughty List for sure.”

Melissa lives in Upstate NY. She’s short, and most of her writing is too. Her Web page is here:

Editor’s Note: I’m saddened by the loss of Melissa Mead. She was one of the first flash fiction writers I followed. Her frequent stories in various venues were always a joy to read. She will be missed in the SFF community.