August 2018 #MicroStory Collection

Posted: September 1, 2018 by patricksponaugle in Flash Fiction, Uncategorized, Writing
Tags: , , , , ,

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

As a reminder, these represent story-essences composed using no more than 269 characters (so I could tweet them with the hashtag #MicroStory.)

Usually, I only tweet Science Fiction and Fantasy #MicroStories. August was pretty much no exception.

This month was much like previous months, with some robots and fantasy elements, but I was inspired by an old microstory of mine which utilized a format of mentioning [PEOPLE] with [VAGUE AND POSSIBLY DISTURBING ATTRIBUTES] – this was inspired from listening to the Welcome to Nightvale podcast, honestly, with the Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home. Anyway, this month had a run of those.

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.)

This wouldn’t be the first haunted valley, with weedy villages and untended orchards, that I’d survived. It was mostly a matter of keeping a low profile.
But would I be able to find the king’s brother and collect his head, to satisfy my contract?

“Have you seen this person? We’re looking at him right now.”
The man with the wrong hands handed me the photo, which was tricky for me to take, since his hands were wrong.
The woman with a heart for a knife interrupted me before I could say yes or lie.
“Come with us.”

The mayor briefed the Awakened King on the invading horsemen.
“I don’t know this ‘Lastonbry’ town.”
“You knew it as Middlingfield?”
“Meddlefeld. Yes. So far? You should have come to me sooner.”
In the shadows, his brides whispered excitedly about the feast to come

“Who are we waiting on?”
The man with the wrong hands shrugged in his awkward way. “The man who was there all the time.”
“You idiot. I was the first to arrive.”
It’s not often I see him surprised. I repeated my question.

The woman with a knife for a heart could have taken care of these guards too, but a little noise was fine now that we were closing in.
I sent the girl with spiders in her hair.
There was screaming.
She screamed last as punctuation, and resumed her usual silence.

I had been waiting for some time in the seedy dive, for the woman who was also a stopped clock, when the woman made of dead starlight approached.
My mistake. She had the light of living stars.
“You don’t belong here,” I said truthfully.
“Nor you,” she said falsely.

The robot overlords were kind enough to bring me a breather when they took me into their worker’s utopia.
(Although the air probably wasn’t that much worse than the human preserve.)
They’d cordoned off the dead robot, but were afraid to read the suicide note.
My job

The suicide note might have been written by a robot. It read as if hundreds of human-penned final notes had been fed into a machine learning algorithm and produced a bland and bleak summary.
But why would a robot bother?
The androids still suspected human involvement.

“Are there animals like us,” she asked. “A horse with a tornado lung, or a cat that acts like a dog?”
“There are cats like that.” I answered.
I drove.
The girl with spiders in her hair watched the side mirror. “I will get a cat like that. If we survive.”

“If you are reading this note – the nanobots on the paper have already entered your body and are in your blood stream.
There is no ‘cure’ and the sooner you recognize this as a blessing, the better.
Welcome to our transhuman family.”
The dog spit out the note.

With his belly full, the prelate went to his room and began to clean and hone his sword.
He cleaned the gore off the weight at the end of his combat chain, pulling out teeth caught in the links.
He then slept like a man who’d never killed anyone.

Thank you to everyone who reads and enjoys my small stories. I tweet flash-fiction at irregular intervals on my Twitter account, @patman23. At more regular intervals on Twitter, I’ll be talking about my dogs, or television (mostly Game of Thrones), or mowing my lawn.

Header image is my Twitter bio – handwritten by my Twitter bud @fearlesslynat

Want to read my earlier MicroStory collections? I have my first three years’ worth of stories HERE

In general, I’m fine with anyone using the text of my MicroStories for non-commercial use. (Look how cute I am, thinking someone wants to make a t-shirt from one of my flash fiction bits. I say cute, but you can substitute in some other, more appropriate, adjective. I’m not the boss of you.)

© Patrick Sponaugle 2018 Some Rights Reserved


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