January 2020 MicroStory Collection

Posted: February 1, 2020 by patricksponaugle in Flash Fiction, Writing
Tags: , , , , , ,

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

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. January was no exception.

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.)

Apprentice necromancers weren’t told that the introductory obedience incantations weren’t all that effective. It was always more likely that the dead would comply with directions because they didn’t have anything better to do.
This helped weed out problem pupils.

“I assume you’re wishing to be beautiful?”
“No,” the woman replied. “I’m comfortable how I am. I just want everyone else to be comfortable with me.”
The genie sighed.
“I’ll do as you ask. But that’ll last until someone next wishes to be beautiful and resets the bar.”

The witch greeted her sister with as much hospitality as she could, but both agreed that the pantry was lacking.
“It’s the redistricting. Young couples aren’t moving in because the schools under-perform here.”
“Oh dear. I know that pensioners aren’t good eating.”

Like my dad, I grew up doing honest work under the glass sky.
At times, the astronauts would visit to trade fresh water and clean our air in exchange for our crop surplus.
My son wants to be an astronaut when he grows up, but they’re born in the dark, cold beyond.

The Mage Executive was not happy to hear that the runes supporting the foundation of Castle Impossible were fading.
“When we retired Harloch – he said that ‘this place will fall apart without me.’ I thought he was spitefully talking about morale.”

The king has an enchanted sword, but no one knows how it was magicked or by whom.
But every fishwife casts Harloch’s Durable Cantrip on the family fishing nets, daily.
Harloch will live forever, a lesser mage, because he wrote his spells down for all to use.

The inquisitor’s mask did more than conceal a wearer’s identity; it was enchanted to remember what the wearer had seen and heard during … sessions.
This mask was brightly polished and obviously stolen.
But its secrets were safe since no one was willing to wear it.

The unknown race we labeled ‘the Caretakers’ didn’t seem to colonize planets. No dwellings were found.
Just their huge, empty structures that acted as planetary thermostats. Apparently they’d build them, and leave.
Most were very old.
But my team found a new one.

Planetary colonization requires deep commitment.
Some expeditions had in-depth religious debates on what their colony should believe in, and theo-engineers designed a god to accompany the colony ship. To serve as inspiration and protector.
Alien gods are real too btw.

Ancient and presumably extinct Caretakers had seeded the planet with huge biostat structures that regulated temperature and air purity.
So we built extra-heavy industry, to test the alien biostats’s effectiveness (and maximally produce.)
The world is now quarantined.

The king’s obsession with his favorite was tedious, with endless public displays of adoration and announcements of honors and praise.
The jealous nobles did what they often do when a favorite is too loved. They planned an assassination.
They conspired to murder God.

The viscount stopped his son’s excuses.
“To exert a sense of control over your mistress, you decided to murder her other lover, and now two of our more thuggish men are dead. You recall that I told you not to take up with that witch? You thought your rival was human?”

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, besides being disturbing, is a selfie I took of me wearing a mask from seeing Sleep No More in New York City, exactly four years ago. I’m sorry. (That I shared a creepy picture, I’m not sorry that I saw Sleep No More, which was very cool.)

Want to read my earlier MicroStory collections? I have my first three years’ worth of stories HERE and the second 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 2020 Some Rights Reserved

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