October 2018 #MicroStory Collection

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

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

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. October was pretty much no exception. (Some of them seem less obvious as Sci Fi/Fantasy. Your mileage may vary.)

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.)

Usually, the month of October is a source of inspiration for spooky or witchy microstories, but I was pretty slack this month. (I think out of shame, I cranked out six of the small stories in the last two days, because I needed to have more than a handful of items for the collection.) September was entirely a dry spell, sadly.

But enough details about my writer’s block: here are my flash fiction entries for October.

“Dueling me isn’t going to do much for your reputation. I’m old. Slow and full of regrets.”
“One must start one’s reputation somewhere,” the young man countered.
Stiffly, the old swordsman rose and agreed.
In the end, the older killed the younger.

“Which one of us did this?” I asked the Man With Never The Same Scar Twice.
He shrugged and answered “The Man Whom The Rain Won’t Touch. That’s my guess.”
I’d never heard of him, but he had ‘Whom’ in his name, so he had to be old and an asshole.

The princes tired of war and stalemate and vowed to build wonders instead.
Huge citadels in remote areas: mountains, deep forests, swamps, lakes, and deserts. Nearly impossible to maintain.
The wonders’ construction caused more deaths than wars.
Princes’ deaths.

“I want you take a partner along on this one,” said the Woman Who Was In Command Today.
“Sure,” I agreed. “Who is available?”
“The Man Who Smells Like Death, or the Man Who Smells Like The Grave. I would have just sent the two of them, but that’d be redundant.”

The Hecate sector was a dangerous volume with deadly conflict remnant traps throughout.
At times the crew was ordered into suspended animation to keep them from going insane.
At other times, all AIs were shut down to prevent berserking.
But high risk = high reward.

“So you’ve come to kill the old witch?” She cackled and showed iron teeth.
I’d actually come to hear my future told. I’d even brought a gift.
But her question sounded more like a statement. It seemed my future had been told.
Had hers?

Stellan swore that we were camping on a faerie mound, but the duke agreed with my argument that it was just an old hill fort.
And so we camped.
But I made sure that I drew the later watch, because Stellan was correct.
I’d rather be the one dealing with the fey, quietly.

The townsfolk made way for the peddler and his wagon. Our settlement was so far from everywhere, a lone peddler was due respect. But especially this one.
He’d come down the smooth road from the mountain pass.
And only Hell was beyond that.
Not a figure of speech.

“We are not thieves,” our captain explained. “If you stole this beggar’s coin, you accepted payment. That’s the basis of a sellsword contract.”
“It was just some pennies,” Stellan argued. The captain raised a hand.
“You’re not worth much. You’re his man for a week.”

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 raking leaves off of my lawn.

Header image was taken by my wife Lisa, it’s the Jack o’ Lantern our daughter carved for greeting trick-or-treaters. I totally stole it from her Facebook feed, but you shouldn’t steal it from here. That would be bad, you.

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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