Week 34 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 @Zevonesque in April. I’ve taken some liberties with formatting simply because WordPress is not Twitter and to make it easier to read.
This weeks photo is of the countless bluebells that fill the local woods at this time of year. We are thirty-three days into the lockdown and the good news is we are over the initial peak. The daily numbers still make for grim reading but there is a little light at the end of the tunnel. That said it’s obvious the virus is going to be affecting life for a very long time to come. Social distancing measures in some form are expected to be in place until 2021. I just hope the government gets the balance right when they start to ease these measures. Balancing lives against the economy, let’s be honest no one on either side of that equation is going to be happy.
Writing progress this week. I’ve spent a bit of time editing my novel. I fired five drabbles over to Iron Faerie Publishing for their Four Horsemen anthology. As of writing this, four have been accepted, which is fantastic news. I also managed to sneak a drabble into Black Hare Press’ Ancestors anthology. Shame I turned up a little late to get any more in. On the plus side, they have plenty of other opportunities available, that I’m now eligible for.
I’ve had to do a bit of admin this week. Updating this website to fix a bunch of issues that were creeping in. The upshot of which is that it’s now SSL secured courtesy of the good folks over at letsencrypt.org. I must, it was nice to see a Unix command prompt again. It has been a while.
I’ve also had to create a spreadsheet to track stories (i.e. which are licensed, terms etc). Which is fun as it gives me some nice stats. i.e. in just over 18 months, I’ve written 83 stories (120k words – 40% of that has been in my WIP). A breakdown of genres below. I think I need to balance my short story writing out a bit, it’s all getting a little too horror-centric.
The streets are tough, unforgiving. Diving out of the path of a truck, I almost fall victim to a speeding car. Clear of the #street, I thought myself safe in the park. The snakes had other ideas, chasing me to the river’s edge. Jumping from turtle to log I make my escape.
A #dab here, a dab there and I blow on the white powder until a fingerprint appears. The only clue to a vicious murderer. My team collect a sample of the victim’s blood from the chandelier and I thank my luck they’re distracted. A swipe of my brush and I’m in the clear.
The red planet grew from a dusty speck until it filled the porthole. A precious #ruby in the endless night and a fresh start for all the refugees who fled from Earth. None who clambered for that first view of their new home could have known of its perils. We’d learn fast.
“So you suspected nothing?”
“Well, he was always a little bit of an #oddity.”
“Well, little things. You know.”
“Well, he did love to garden.”
“What’s odd about that?”
“Nothing! If you do it in the day. Digging at night-”
“And you suspected nothing!”
I’m sorry for the #radio silence. I don’t even recall why I stopped calling. It wasn’t because I stopped caring. Please know that at least. It was just life; somehow it got in the way. Now, as I try to hold your hand, life no longer an excuse. I wish you could hear me.
“Drink up, Dave. We’re closing up.”
“Ain’t the first time I’ve heard that today. What’s the #damage?”
“Don’t worry about it.”
“I got money, Mike.”
“Sure, but it’s on the house.”
“I ain’t gonna be able to pay you tomorrow.”
“Yeah, you can. Take care of your family, Dave.”
Monday, they’d stolen Sue’s lunch and left her with a bloody nose. Tuesday, it was her bobble hat and a black eye. Wednesday, they took her dress and self-respect. Come Thursday, well, no one would take her #mittens. Not with the loop of cheese wire strung between them.