Very short stories #7

For once, work hasn’t been too busy this week. I even had time to read a couple of books and post reviews on Goodreads. If you’re interested, here they are:

Memorandoms by James Martin: An Astonishing Escape from Early New South Wales by Tim Causer

Zeta: Resin Pines by SP Rowell

Yes, I know one’s a novel and one’s an academic book – I never said I was consistent in my reading habits!

I’ve also been trying to write flash fiction (ie stories with a word count of around 1000). At the moment it feels more difficult than either #vss365 or full-length novels. I think it’s because #vss365 is often (more or less) purely a punch line, and with novels there’s time to fully develop world, characters and plot. Flash needs more development than tweet-sized stories, but obviously it can’t have as much as novels. No doubt it’ll get easier with practice, and so keep an eye out here for longer stories once I get the hang of them.

Here’s a selection of recent very short stories.


dot

Paper rustled.

“A-ba-lone.” He nodded at the definition.

Tongue protruding from the corner of his mouth, he painstakingly marked a dot on the page.

“A-ban-don.” Another dot.

Six down, one hundred and twenty thousand to go. Just as well it was the OED’s pocket edition.


quick

The tavern door flew open. In lurched a gore-covered stranger. “Monster attack!” she cried. “Hide! Quick!”

The panicked locals fled into the cellar.

“How about you?” came a voice through the trapdoor.

“I’ll be fine.” She slid the bolt, grinning with sharp bloody teeth.

Copyright: Image by StockUnlimited


pocket

The combatants thrust and parry. I dive into a corner, a brief pocket of calm.

But I’m pursued.

“Why, it’s Kat! Dressed as… individually as ever.”

Reunions suck. I nod and clutch my glass.

“Still accident prone?”

An opening! “Yup.” Smiling, I spill my wine over her.

Copyright: Image by StockUnlimited


crave

He glanced up and gaped. Another giant poster of his face!

That old guy had been spot on with his advice. Want more money? Crave fame? Try these easy steps! The basic package had only cost a thumbprint in blood.

Pity about the caption, however: Wanted, dead or alive.

Copyright: Image by StockUnlimited


question

“No question about it.” Miss Mapple gazed at the window. “An inside job. The thief may be in this room.”

“Search me,” said a guest.

The host nodded. “And me.”

“Start with me,” said Miss Mapple.

As everyone emptied their pockets, her maid winked at her from the driveway.

Image by iKLICK from Pixabay


awe

Joe gathered the cups. “I’m in awe, boss. Your meeting went so fast, the coffee’s still hot.”

Ann smiled. “So nice when nobody dissents.”

“What’s the secret?” He reached for a leftover home-baked cookie.

She batted his hand away. “Careful. I added a laxative.”

Copyright: Image by StockUnlimited


pseudonym

Anonymous in hooded robes, he addressed a random guest. “I’m Joe.” His usual pseudonym.

“Mij Senoj. And my wife, Asil.”

Joe sighed. Spelling your name backwards. How unoriginal. “Is this your first orgy? Who’s your friend?”

The bulky figure beside them hissed, “Uhluhtc.”


riddle

He squinted at the torn sign. “TRY”. Yes! A clue he was on the right track with the riddle. He shoved the door open. Foul air whooshed out. Eyes watering, he stepped into the passage.

The closing door raised a draft. On the ground, the sign’s remnants fluttered. “NO EN”


Not sure when my next post will be since conference season is looming (yes, again), but I’ll keep stockpiling my daily #vss365 tweets as I go. It’s not as if they have a shelf life!

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