Week 40 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 @kara_goughnour in June I’ve taken some liberties with formatting simply because WordPress is not Twitter and to make it easier to read.
This week’s cover photo is Archer and his buddies playing in the long grass. It’s been another insane week. The UK government has been more worried about upholding archaic voting practices than getting on top of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is against the backdrop of global protests after the death of George Floyd, that saw a president sending US troops in to “dominate the streets” to quell a violent/opportunistic minority. I could go on. This week has been a tour de force in fuckupry (word of the year in my book). What is becoming increasingly obvious is that many of the systems we rely on to govern and protect our citizens are not fit for purpose. I’d go one further and say they are demonstrably corrupt, having been caught making public statements that are clearly lies. It’s said that we live in a post-truth world and it’s difficult to deny when we so willingly accept the inaction and crimes of those in power. I do think though there may be a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel on this little experiment in rewriting reality. The sad thing is it’s taken the inescapable truth of blood on the streets for people to cut through the spin that preserves these dysfunctional systems. I can only hope.
Writing this week, I’ve finished a few things. Firstly completed five drabbles for Macabre Ladies’ upcoming Dread Book One anthology. Submitted a story for Eerie River’s – It Calls from the Sky anthology. I’ll be surprised if it makes in. It turned out to be one of the trickiest things I’ve written. So much so, I ended writing about a third of it three times and was still not 100% happy with it.
Tom had waited from eventide until #gloaming, but no one had come to the lighthouse. Looking across the darkening waters, his heart sank at the sight of a tempest gathering on the horizon. Wind whipping at his ears, he cursed the sound of the generator spluttering.
Riverford was a popular seaside tourist spot. Picturesque postcards still fluttered outside its empty shops. The waters had gone, leaving the fishing boats high and dry. When the turbulent waters returned they’d take with them the postcards and the towns #littoral status.
Susan loved her garden. Pride of place, her stunning #hydrangea borders. The pink and blue blooms were guaranteed to catch the eye. It never failed.
“You have a beautiful garden, mam,” said the police officer smelling a flower.
“Thank you,” smiled Susan, hiding the spade.
Sounds of battle resounded about the Inn. Arthur knocked back his ale and snatching up his axe, strode confidently to the exit. Opening the Inn door, he stared at the bloody carnage and his #potvalor vanished.
Back at the bar, he laid down his axe. “Same again, barkeep!”
“A face full of #buckshot? Come now, that’s no way to start a conversation,” said Abe, spitting bloody pellets. Snapping his jaw into place, he poured two shots and slid one along the counter. “Was it something I said?”
“Consider it down payment on what you’re gonna say!”
I’d worked hard to get out of the #slough that was Eastriver. While my friends hustled down at the creek I’d be out with the fishermen before the dawn. It cost me my childhood to save up enough to buy my own outrigger. The next day I raised its sail and never looked back.
I strain every #sinew, every muscle, even knowing my cause is lost. Inch by inch I’m pulled closer to a line I cannot cross. Defeat, my familiar friend, stares me down. So, gritting my teeth, I stubbornly hold on. Maybe I can’t win this tug-of-war, but I refuse to lose.