Week 30 participating in the very popular #vss365 challenge on Twitter. The aim, to write a daily Very Short Story in less than 280 characters, a single tweet. Yes, that’s characters! Not words.
The prompts themselves are seemingly random single words, the whim of this month’s challenge setter. This months fun is organised by Dunglish (@EdHaiku575). I’ve taken some liberties with formatting simply because WordPress is not Twitter and to make it easier to read.
This weeks image is of New Snake City. The first week of lockdown and I’m finally getting around to sorting out the veg patch. So far, that’s involved moving a ton of slabs and stones (the old patio) and rehoming an army of slow-worms (technically not snakes, they’re actually legless lizards). I hope everyone’s keeping well in these trying times, like all challenges it’s bringing the best and worst out of people. The only upside I can see is at the end of all this we’ll have a much better understanding of those that keep our society up and running.
Writing progress this week. I’ve had some fantastic news. My story along with Brandon Ebinger’s topped the Eerie River Publishing monthly writing competition. This month’s stories were haunting themed and I went with something a little topical. It will be featured on their Patreon members site this month and rolled into an end of year anthology. In addition, I’ve sold another story for inclusion in another horror anthology. I can share the details in a few weeks. As you can imagine this news couldn’t have come at a better time and I’m on target for the goal of getting published in 10 different anthologies in 2020.
Corona fear, sparks
Hoarding this year
Our selfish shame
Isolation but a game
Clean not our hands, this
Epidemic it expands
Italy bleeds, in
Scattered prayer beads
Yards apart, take it
Online, be smart
U sacrifice liberty, to
Reverse this misery
I hid amongst the tall bulrush and watched as the iron #stork chased the villagers into the marsh, its long sharp beak pecking at the frothing waters. Screams cut short as it skilfully caught them one by one and in terrible victory raised its skewered trophies to the sun.
The storm had passed. He clung to the icy mountain and watched a sunrise he’d given up all hope of seeing. Feeling its first rays touch his frostbitten face, he cracked a smile. After the tortures of the night, he felt #cosy but for the voice. His voice, screaming. MOVE!
The wine tasted #delicious and he gulped it back thirstily. Bottle emptied, he wiped a shaking hand across his red stain lips and stared down at her. She grinned back at him and laughed. He raised his hand, dark blood dripping from it and with a cough, fell to his knees.
Silence. Broken by the rumbling earth and flight of panicked birds. Harbingers to a titanic thunderclap that heralded the changing of things. An #outblowing of molten rock seared the heavens as Gaia sighed. Taking in her glorious domain, dismay turned to white-hot anger.
Eighteen wheels, forty tons of freight and two thousand miles of scorched tarmac till Brundy. A couple of coldies and a payday all that keeps me going, keeps me trucking through the red dust mirages and the pop, pop, popping of the Cane #toad. Home, only a continent away.