Dear Reader:

The wailing December winds herald winter's razor bite in the hollow clacking of bare branches all across the northern wastes.

Oh, sure they do. This guy's always so dramatic. It's winter, it's cold, what did you expect? Sheesh!

Well, whatever you expected, we aren't exactly going to give you the same old Christmas chestnuts. (Although about a week before Christmas there will be a special treat under your mouse if you behave.)

A little while ago, a core group of contributors to Writer's Cramp embarked on an experiment in Flash Fiction with the dominant theme of Clones as a sticking point. Now and then the regulars cozy up around the Crampsite and toss off occasional challenges to others and things usually culminate in interesting, entertaining and always thoughtful snippets. The results of our latest write-off are published here for your perusal in the forms of, The Gift, Escorts 'R' Me, Jerusalem II, Herald of the Future and Beside Myself.

Not all of the flashes are strictly under one thousand words and not all are strictly about clones and extrapolations therefrom, but all are as good as you've come to expect from Writer's Cramp.

To round out this issue we have three other pieces of brilliant fiction to keep you warm during the coming long, cold Winter nights.

Altogether we have enough to keep Jack Frost roasting on the open fire well into March.

Come on in out of the cold and sit for a while with Tim Lejeune, Sharon Gilbert, Chuck Ivie, Teri Lucia and some character called Robert Liberty.

. . . Enjoy.