April 2020 MicroStory Collection

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

It’s May (FINALLY), so I went through my social media feeds and grabbed all of the MicroStories I’d tweeted during the month of April. (Also in March, because I honestly didn’t MicroStorytell enough in March to justify a blog posted collection of them on April 1.)

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. April (and March) was no exception. Well, there might have been at least one MicroStory that was pretty close to reality.

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.)

In a rural field in the low country, a line of border stones stretched where two old empires had once agreed on their territory.
A man stood next to one of the stones, which marked the limits of the power of one set of gods and men. He stepped past and vanished.

The solitary traveler to the dark hall did not quite bow. “I have been mistaken for an emissary, but I came to accept your surrender. Surely we need not be churlish.”
The great Shadow on the black calcium throne squirmed and sighed. “I did not recognize You.”

When my ship passed through the heliopause, exiting the solar system and entering transsolar space, we no longer recognized our crew as human, and neither did they recognize us.

I was walking, because I had to go out. And I saw one of Them, standing still, like they do. I stood still. When They walk, they do so fearlessly, and I was too anxious to fake that.
After awhile, they walked off with an … anxious energy.
Could They fake that now?

I thought I could handle her two guards, but the third guard didn’t even have to get involved.
Satisfied that I was no threat, she continued to grandstand. “Think of it this way, it’s not the end of the world, just the end of a world.”
And she pressed the button.

I have eaten all of the extra fortune cookies that were generously included by the grateful Chinese take-out place. The ones you were probably saving for a special occasion.

They were delicious.

Each one contained a terrifying dread prophecy.

But still delicious.

“There’s little entertainment in these woods,” the spirit who’d lead me in circles said. “Corpses are good topics of discussion among my kind, and should you find your way out, I’ll have a story to tell.”
“You’ll have a story,” I said, while pulling out my compass.

After the quake, concerned neighbors found him buried under boxes filled with bags of flour, bottles of bleach, and toilet paper.
Inches from his hand was a blocky communicator of alien origin.

Debates went on for years but eventually the scientific community convinced the world governments to reunite both halves of the enormous alien spacecraft. One semicircular section found buried in Martian sand, the other orbiting Saturn.
But the halves didn’t line up.

Madda’s baby died in the evening.
The crone suggested that in the night, humans had snuck in and replaced Madda’s baby orc with a changeling. A weak human baby.
This was unbalanced; now the stolen human-raised orc would be fated to kill another orc to restore things.

After weeks of dedicated protesting against the shutdown, she did eventually get an appointment with a hair stylist.
The viewings and funeral were done via webcam, though.

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 me. It’s a medical mask hanging from a tree near my house. Why is there a medical mask hanging from a tree near my house? I have no idea. But it seemed like a moment of the time. Even nature is wearing a mask.

The “Think of it this way, it’s not the end of the world, just the end of a world.” text is a paraphrase of a Tweet by the lovely and hilarious Bekka Supp, aka @valhallabckgirl on Twitter. I credited her when I tweeted that particular MicroStory. (Because people should provide attribution whenever possible.)

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

  1. The last one is both brilliant and topical.

    Liked by 1 person

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