July 2020 MicroStory Collection

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

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

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. July 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.)

“We’ve calculated the communication costs. Not just the technical costs of sending the signal, but the likelihood of miscommunication. You’ve seen their Twitter feed. You know they can barely communicate.”
So no signal was sent.
But SETI was still patiently listening

“Explain this clause to me.”
“It basically says that if any of your beneficiaries are found guilty of hastening your demise, they lose any benefits from your will.”
“Take that out. If any of my designees can succeed in murdering me, they’ve earned it.”

All starships of a certain size contained a Keep: a fortified, self-contained area for emergencies. No one trusted in “escape pods.”
The Keep on this ruined ship seemed intact, a bounty for our salvage op.
But on the main door were the words “Don’t Open. Dead Inside”

“This ship kept me alive for decades with its nanobots. The AI mainframe shut itself down so it could be used as raw materials for the nanos. Now that I’ve been rescued, I deserve to have the AI repaired and brought online. Because I had a DNR and I demand justice.”

The saucer commander approved of the latest probe stats.
10% of the abductees were Flat Earth believers.
12% were anti-vaxxers.
If the trend continued, a critical mass of Earth’s population would soon lack the fundamental tools to oppose the colony beachhead.

Cities rarely had more than one wizard – sorcerers don’t like competition.
The town’s resident mage was powerful and carried a staff carved from a dragon he’d slain.
The newcomer was rumored to be a dragon in human form, and she carried a staff of wizard bones.

The Trumpet finally sounded, its shrill note signalling the commencement of the End Times Battle.
On one side was the arrayed forces of Evil.
Facing them were the arrayed forces of Differently Evil.

The council discussed the latest COVID numbers. Humans were largely staying home, where vampires could not go uninvited.
“But not in TX, or FL, or GA,” the Last Carpathian Prince pointed out.
None cared to be in those sunny states, but that’s where the food was.

After a few weeks of meetings, the alien envoy asked to discontinue interactions from all governmental diplomatic corps.
“We came to interact with humans. The social and economic status of your diplomats is atypical of your species, and is not broadly representative.”

The old pirate could not remain silent anymore. “And why do you need *me* to steal this gem?”
The witch paused before replying.
“I’ve tried to murder you for years. If you are somehow resistant to my poisons and curses, you’ll be proof against my sister’s as well.”

My escape pod made it to an asteroid navigation facility, automated and ancient.
The robots reacted to my presence with proper Old Empire humanitarian programming.
But they warned me that not all the facility robots were “theirs” and that my safety was not guaranteed.

On the fourth morning after the biomancer had sealed the lich in the tomb, the acolytes he had posted to observe the wards were found impaled on each other’s rib cages.
A bloody note had been left, saying “Please take your things with you when not using them.”

Old Yeller was my folks’ 2nd-generation domestic robot. Not bad as a companion, not bad (originally) for cleaning. I think its operating system had a memory leak; it had been erratic of late.
Dad thought it was bored, and bought a new bot to keep it company.
Bad move.

Whatever murdered the robot had driven a rod into its brain, destroying any memory. An inquisitor was then called in.‬
The Inquisition knew 2 things most robots didn’t know.‬
‪1) How to extract info from a robot’s backup storage.‬
2) That robots had backup storage.‬

The demon apologized to the beggar, keeping a wary black-on-black eye on the beggar’s bowl. “The prince has read a certain book, you know the one.”
“And for his amusement, he summoned you and bid you hunt?”
The demon confirmed this and for his honesty, was sent away.

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, after I’d noticed my dog Willow was blissfully passed out after a long day of being Willow. That also feels like a microstory.

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. I particularly liked the Evil facing the Differently Evil and the alien envoy noting that ‘the social and economic status of your diplomats is atypical of your species, and is not broadly representative.’ How very true to life Patrick!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nadiya says:

    These flash fiction stories were great! I tried my hand at it once, and I’m thinking about doing it again. Reading your stories gave me further inspiration. Great job! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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