Short Fiction / Writing

Tiny stories

Microfiction are really tiny stories where you barely have room to take two breaths before it’s over. I’d enjoyed them but never tried my hand at them until I decided to continue my NYC Midnight (a series of writing competitions where you get given prompts and tight deadlines) journey and try their 100 word Microfiction challenge.

And I did really well! Out of 7,600 entrants, I made it through to the final round, placing top in my group for the second round, and finally placing eighth with my final story! So I thought I’d share my tiny stories with you…

Round 1 prompts: Romantic comedy, chopping wood, ‘bold’

Slotted spoon

Image: chb1848/Flickr

“How did you meet?”

They giggled. Dave blushed.

“It’s a funny story,” Sasha said. “Dave’s a horror author, and he writes his books in the scariest places he can find. But he’s a total wuss! So he’s in this converted chapel he found, supposedly haunted by a wooden-legged pastor who died mysteriously-“

“First night,” Dave interrupted, “I hear this eerie thudding. I ignored it, but the next night, I hear it again. So I get out of bed-“

“-in his boxers, armed with a slotted spoon-”

“- and there she is outside, bold as brass, chopping wood next door!”

Round 2 prompts: Fairy tale/fantasy, picking a berry, ‘torn’

The royal garden

Image: I for detail/Flickr

It began when the king discovered his daughter’s affair with a witch.

“I’ve had enough,” he cried. “You must marry!”

His warlock transformed the royal garden into a thorny thicket with bloodthirsty swamps and shapeshifting monsters. 

“The one who can find the berry hidden in the garden may marry my daughter,” declared the king. 

The kingdom’s men tried and failed, escaping the thicket with their swords broken and pride torn.

But the princess’s witch transformed into a spitting cobra who sprayed venom at the monsters, slithered between the thorns above the swamps and picked the berry for her lover’s hand.

Round 3 prompts: Open genre, unpacking a suitcase, ‘light’

The traveler 

Image: Sharyn Morrow/Flickr

A stranger approaches you on a packed train. 

“Everyone here is in danger.” 

“What?”

“Quiet. I have no time left. Soon, you will need one of these.” She unpacks glowing jars from a suitcase. “Choose one. Choose well.”

SPOTLIGHT

single someone out

CANDLELIGHT

cast shadows 

GASLIGHT

make them doubt 

“Hurry.”

You choose. 

“Who are you?”

“A traveler. I fix the narrative.”

She is gone. 

A scream. 

A man. His body swollen with bombs. His eyes dark with hate.

You unscrew the jar lid, shaking. 

The light pulses. His eyes transform, becoming bright and warm.

The label reads:

ENLIGHTENMENT

give wisdom


Thanks for reading! I’ve got more of my NYC Midnight short fiction entries on here if you want to have a look (though the rest aren’t as bite-sized…).

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