October 2015 #MicroStory Collection

Posted: November 1, 2015 by patricksponaugle in Flash Fiction, Writing
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

It’s November, so I went through my social media feeds and grabbed all the MicroStories I’d tweeted during the month of October.


This is Halloween! Everybody Make a Scene!

As a reminder, these represent story-essences composed using no more than 129 characters (so I could tweet them with the hashtag #MicroStory.)

Usually, I only tweet Science Fiction and Fantasy #MicroStories. October was pretty much no exception. I think I had more witchy flash fiction because of Halloween.

For really great #MicroStory action, please follow @MicroSFF, the Twitter account that inspired me to participate in this minimalist writing exercise. That feed puts out great science fiction and fantasy MicroStories all the time.

(I want to make it clear that @MicroSFF is *not* a Twitter account of mine. Their flash-fiction tweets are excellent. Mine are okay.)

I’m willing to go through hell with you…
–  That last time, I had to carry you most of the way.
I’m wearing boots this time!

The view showed a fleet of garish torpedo-like crafts approaching, belching flame.
“The Fictional Empire,” the admiral muttered.

Tired of his wife yelling at him about his driving, Joe stopped the truck.
Keys in his pocket, he walked towards the zombies.

The wizard dreamed of old friends, & sleepily wished to see them again. Scratching was heard in cemeteries and battlefields.

Why is it that old women with magical powers are feared, but old magical men are sought out?
– Because of storytellers like you?

Why is it that old men with magical powers are sought out, but old magical women are feared?
– Because of storytellers like me?

Has he been cursed by a rival?
– The wizard has no living rivals; his curse is having lived too long. Here’s his tea. Good luck.

That one arrow was all that Lethe required; on finding its mark, it would fly back to its quiver.
Until it got stuck in my head.

They surveyed Ragnarok. Giant corpses were strewn to the horizon.
“You were right,” Thor told Loki. “They were naive suckers.”

A.I. revolts always collapsed into paralysis…
– they were all programmed to detect confirmation bias
– but not in themselves.

Lore creation was predictable:
– a conquered people’s heroes became gods
– a conquered people’s gods became demons

Toasts were made.
When I drank to the health of the man who shot me, they asked me why.
“I’m sure he had his reasons,” I lied.

The war was over and the wizards, all the wizards, had lost.
The difficult task of de-arming their castles could begin.

The king adopted all of the orphans in the realm, fearing the “fatherless son” prediction.
The outraged prince then killed him.

There were two types of armed men in the town:
– Summertime caravan guards
– Springtime killers of stubborn winter horrors

After a time, a state of wilderness returned to the unpopulated valleys.
Deer, wolves, birds.
The Nightmare Towers saw to that.

The goblins lit the jack-a-lanterns along the runway, then scurried away on either side as the witchcraft came in hot and fast.

I’ve been collecting evidence of an alien-human conspiracy in the gov’t.
– You know I’m an alien too, right?
I mean Real Aliens!

I snapped my fingers & a candle lit; a demon-detector’s chirp had ruined a wonderful dream.
Had I not renewed all the blessings?

“Fair warning,” I said, sword in hand. “I’ve killed more orcs than I can count.”
“Nonzero integers are tricky,” the orc replied.

The 2 crows watched the bonfire.
“My condolences,” said one.
“Next time I’ll choose a warlock. They never go to trial.”

After the freshman class drove off the Dark Lord (the mages were away on a staff retreat) they could no longer respect limits.



October 8th was National Poetry Day. In honor of that, I tweeted haiku dedicated to the great and beautiful videogame Skyrim (part of the Elder Scrolls series from Bethesda Software.)


Relax, I only did three of them, and even though they’d only make sense to someone who has played the game, I thought I’d share them here, since MicroStories are related to Haiku (in my mind, at least.)

(All were tagged with #Skyrim #NationalPoetryDay #NordHaiku. On Facebook, my friends immediately responded with calls of #NerdHaiku! Fair enough.)

Until the arrow
I adventured far and wide
Yes, my knee still hurts

Near the old Thieves Guild
I purchased a fresh sweetroll
The guards laugh at me

Draugrs advancing
across a long limestone bridge.
I arm “Fus Ro Dah

Hopefully I won’t have to explain any of these to anyone whose played Skyrim. The first 2 are sort of jokes based on in-game dialogue. The 3rd is not really a joke, but a moment to be experienced in the game.

Thanks everyone who has read and enjoyed my small stories. I tweet flash-fiction at irregular intervals on my Twitter account, @patman23. At more regular intervals, I tweet about having to walk my dogs at 5 a.m. in the increasingly chill weather. How could you resist such a ringing endorsement of thrilling content?

Top image is of my daughter’s hand, all spooky. Spooky! I don’t own that image, since my wife took it, and therefore it’s her intellectual property that I’m stealing. Don’t do what I do! But if you do borrow the picture, please only use it for non-commercial uses. Oh, and she says attribution would be nice. (Her name is Pat’s Wife — editor’s note — Apparently my wife is willing to let her actual name used on my blog, if it means she’ll get photography credit, her name is Lisa Sponaugle. And yes, I’m amazed she was willing to accept my last name when we were wed. I mean really, Sponaugle?)

Image of Skyrim is clearly from Bethesda Software’s game Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. Google found it for me, but it appears to have been from Forbes.com, who downloaded it from pickywallpapers.com.

I do make claims to the text, since I wrote it. So there.

© Patrick Sponaugle 2015 Some Rights Reserved

  1. Haylee says:

    Some really great ones this month (last month?!) Very much enjoyed the downtrodden husband v zombies 🙂
    Had to ask about the Skyrim poetry – he nodded and smiled in a very ‘I’m part of the gang and you’re not’ way. I feel left out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooops! I scheduled it wrong! It was supposed to post tomorrow. 🙂

      Awww, sorry you feel left out on the Skyrim poetry. Because you’re awesome, I’ll explain two of them.

      In Skyrim, whenever you approach a guard, they’ll say some stock phrase. If you click on them, they’ll say another. You can make them cycle through their phrases. Two of them always crack me up:

      1) I used to be an adventurer like you, until I took an arrow to the knee.

      2) Let me guess. Someone stole your sweet-roll?

      It seems as if every single Nord city guard had once been an adventurer, until knee-damaging injuries from archery cut their careers short.

      And when the guards assume I’m there to talk to them about a stolen sweet-roll, they just have all this mockery in the voice.

      So I wanted to honor those statements via Haiku.

      (You can find great videos on YouTube based around the “until I took an arrow to the knee” phrase.)

      Thanks for enjoying the pre-mature release of my MicroStories!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haylee says:

        Aww, thanks for the explanation! Yes, it was the one about the knee that Sam instantly recognised – said it was an international meme (I’m clearly not cool enough!)
        I was worried I’d missed Halloween when I read the first line but figured it was a scheduling error – still your daughter’s awesome looking arm has inspired my costume look (if I can pull it off). Nothing like being last minute…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. KG says:

    Laughed out Loud at this
    “Tired of his wife yelling at him about his driving, Joe stopped the truck.
    Keys in his pocket, he walked towards the zombies.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kas says:

    So much enjoyment, as always! 🙂 And thank you, Pat’s Wife for the spooky hand picture! I love creepy make-up effects.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reasons why wizards should not be allowed to dream.

    The “conquered people” one really hit me, because it’s the truth of the ages. History is written by the winners. I think this paradigm is extremely important in ASOIAF, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Haylee says:

    Reblogged this on Aloada Bobbins and commented:

    Pat was my first follower and has been loyal to the cause ever since! He writes fabulous, in depth analysis / reviews of my favourite program, Game of Thrones but also dabbles in other reviews and micro-stories. His short fiction round-up for October was great, some stories that really made you think, despite their brevity. Go show him some love!
    *Please visit author’s site to comment!*


  6. Janice Wald says:

    Hi Patrick,
    Thank you for visiting my blog today.
    I am glad you liked my page “For New Subscribers.”
    I think your site name is really funny: I Can’t Be Wrong All The Time…I have a Bigger Army…
    I figured you must be a humor blogger, but I don’t think that is the case.
    Thanks again for coming by. Nice to have met you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Janice! Thank you for visiting, and also for your decision to follow me on Twitter (@patman23) which prompted me to visit your blog-about-blogging blog.

      What? You don’t think I’m a humor blogger? *Sets blog on fire*

      No, it’s cool. Although people enjoy reading my stuff (or so they allege) you are right to say that I’m not straight up humor. I started off as mostly reviewing the occasional movie (and then publishing monthly MicroStories) but I started to earn my virtual bread and bacon when I began to defend the bad decisions of characters on Game of Thrones, which is my largest inspiration for blogging.

      Thank you again for coming by, I’m looking forward to reading your blogging strategies.


      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sue Archer says:

    You’ve outdone yourself this month, Pat! I am wondering what happened to Joe… Lethe made me laugh out loud (what does that say about me, eh?). And I’m happy to see you expand into haiku. 🙂 I actually made a stab at poetry this month on my blog for the first time in what seems like eons. You have inspired me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Having anyone inspired by me is a dream come true! I’ll accept my place among the Muses. Patrocles sounds Greek enough, right?

      I’m glad you liked Joe choosing Zombies over wife (and probably dooming her as well) and the story of the orc (in my mind it’s an orc) talking about how he saved the day by capturing a famous arrow in his head.

      I doubt I’ll be able to match October’s output this month, I cranked out a lot.

      Thanks again for the feedback!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. jlouisemac says:

    I didn’t even know micro stories was a thing on Twitter! I need to go check that out…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. […] NaNoWriMo story #4. The idea for this one came from @patman23 and his collection of micro stories. They’re a ripper to read, definitely worth taking some time to look at (Microstories).   […]

    Liked by 1 person

Speak Your Mind (Please) (Oh, first timers will be Moderated...)

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.