March 2022 MicroStory Collection

Posted: April 1, 2022 by patricksponaugle in Flash Fiction, Writing
Tags: , , , , , ,

It’s the first of April, 2022 (I promise this is not an April Fool’s Joke) , so I went through my social media feeds and grabbed all of the MicroStories I’d tweeted during the month of March.

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. March was no exception. OR WAS IT? Well, it wasn’t outside of the Fantasy genre, I guess. But usually, I write a random microstory during the month, and any one microstory has no relationship to the previous one I’d written, or the next one that I’d write. (That’s not always this case.) For March, I decided that every microstory that I’d write would be related, all would take place in the same setting established by the first story.

I enjoyed doing that, and I hope it works, which each story working in a larger setting, but each story still being its own thing.

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.)

The city had been inhabited for nine generations, but it was now time to leave it. Before the curse.
The previous generation had scouted out new locations for settling within sight of the old city, cursed and abandoned after ten generations.

Although most of the people left the city, heading off for a fresh start in some fertile valley, some stayed behind. There was shelter, vacant palaces, and orchards and gardens that could be tended for sustenance.
Perhaps the curse would not come to the city.

The newcomer, dusty from travel, approached the scavengers’ fire uninvited.
“What brings you to the cursed city, stranger?”
“Perhaps I’ve come to see the curse.”
“Perhaps you are the curse.”
The stranger tapped his spear butt on the marble flooring. “Perhaps.”

When the city was abandoned, family treasures had to be left behind. Over time though, people would skulk back in to loot.
Soon, it was apparent that it was bad luck to steal from the cursed city, but it was safe to recover an old family heirloom.

A young man traveled to the cursed city to look for treasure. But not for any relic that had once belonged to his family.
He brought back a chalice that had belonged to his beloved’s grandparents.
She accepted the cup, but refused the boy.
This was ripe for a curse.

“Careful, things stolen from the city bring a bit of the curse with them.”
The boy placed the chalice on the marble floor. “Well, I’m returning this. The thief and his family are dead; I just want their ghosts to be at peace.”
“Keep the cup, then. You’ve earned it.”

The warrior came to the cursed city, after reassuring his family in the hills that he’d defeat and lift the curse. He prowled the empty halls and streets, challenging the curse to do its worst.
After weeks of city silence, he returned home to tragedy and mourning.

“What crimes got you exiled to this cursed city?” the stranger asked, approaching the three men who’d built a fire in the empty palace.
“Those kind of crimes,” the largest replied.
Outside the city, the exiles’ escorts wondered how long they’d have to stay on guard.

The dragon stirred at the strangers’s approach.
“I had thought that the city was abandoned,” the dragon said. The stranger lightly tapped his spear butt on the marble floor.
“It’s cursed, has been for seven generations.”
“Perhaps I’ll return in 100 years.”

The stranger sat on a bench he’d made of dragon bones, and waited. In a city not far off, a child would soon be born, heralding the 10th generation of people who’d abandoned their cursed city. And then he’d be able to leave as well. To haunt their new city.

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 (one time it was mostly about Game of Thrones), or complaining about raking leaves off of my lawn.

Header image is a picture I took of the outside of the Hirschhorn Museum down in Washington DC, featuring an exterior advertisement that was dramatic and striking.

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 2022 Some Rights Reserved

  1. Well done Patrick, that worked really well and deserves to be fleshed out to a MiniStory.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. H Dale Sponaugle says:

    Pat, I enjoyed the related Micro stories. I do believe when you connect the stories and flesh them out that there will a Sponaugle Novel. Good Show. Thanks also for the new explanation post to me about the August HBO series. I see you inherited the genealogy trait from your Mother. I still struggle with keeping the characters straight but I am sure I will enjoy the series. I look forward to your reports and to our future discussions. Love, Dad

    Liked by 1 person

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