#vss365 – August 2020 – #50

15th August 2020 — 4



#vss365 – August 2020 – #50

15th August 2020 — 4

Week 50 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 @49JDBlood in August. I’ve taken some liberties with formatting simply because WordPress is not Twitter and to make it easier to read.

The weeks cover photo is a shameless plug for the latest anthology I have the pleasure to be in. It Calls from Forest – Volume 2 is getting great reviews. These are my copies. You’ll have to get your own 😉 This week has mostly been spent waiting for it to rain. Something it stubbornly refused to do until Friday at 6pm when I turned on the BBQ. Cue torrential rain. After a blistering couple of weeks, you know, I didn’t care. I BBQ’ed in the rain. This week news in the UK has been dominated by reporters following Syrian refugees “invading” the UK in their hundreds in their rubber dinghies. A situation that had our home secretary requesting that the Royal Navy intervene. Which led to my favourite quote from an unnamed naval source this week:

“We don’t resort to deploying armed force to deal with political failings. It’s beyond absurd to think that we should be deploying multimillion-pound ships and elite soldiers to deal with desperate people barely staying afloat on rubber dinghies in the Channel”

Thankfully our armed forced know what their jobs are even if the home secretary doesn’t.

Writing this week has been slow. I’ve written three drabbles for a dark magic anthology. Really as a distraction to two other stories that are making painfully slow progress. In both instances, I’ve found myself rewriting the same sections over and over again, without actually ever getting the whole story down. My goal next week is to get off the pot, so to speak and get them finished. I’ve spent time this week editing a couple of stories post-acceptance, continuing the theme of circling the plughole. I suspect I need to find a better balance between writing and editing.

Sunday 9th August – Manifold

Forty years after the accident, the effect of the toxic fallout was still manifest across the region. Corrupted flora and fauna exhibited mutations monstrous and #manifold. As if nature itself rebelled against man’s folly and in its twisted agony plotted its revenge.

Monday 10th August – Torus

The high-tech #torus of the reaction chamber separated the heart of a star from the prosperous city beyond. An electromagnetic prison. All that prevented the glowing plasma from becoming the second dawn; a bright new day that would return all that had been built to dust.

Tuesday 11th August – Genus

“Animalia!” yelled Tom, sprinting “Chordata! Mammalia!”
“Obviously. What else?” asked the professor.
“Carnivora! Fe-Feliformia!”
“Yes, yes, and?”
“Felidae! Pa-Pa-”
“Spit it out, man!”
“Magnificent. What #genus?”
“Panthera!” cried Tom, teeth gnawing his arm.

Wednesday 12th August – Vector

I remember the excitement of piloting an Elite Sidewinder through a #vector graphic universe. Fighting Thargoids in the furthest corners of endless witch-space. Thirty years on, and the most advanced hi-fidelity VR still can’t recreate the wonder of a child’s imagination.

Thursday 13th August – Field

This year’s rolling of the cheese had attracted an eclectic #field of semi-suicidal contestants all hell-bent on claiming the prize or at least making claim to a seat in the local accident and emergency clinic. Gravity, as always, gave no quarter and took no prisoners.

Friday 14th August – Complex

“Didn’t we have something real?” said John, taking her hands.
Lisa stared into his eyes. “We did, and yet, so much was imaginary too.”
His hands slipped for hers. “So what’s the solution?”
“It’s #complex.”
“Is it?” he said, shaking his head. “Only if you want it to be.”

Saturday 15th August – Zero

I #zero the scales and note her weight. She no longer tosses and turns; her breath, slow, weak. I long to hold her hand, but it would ruin our experiment, so I just watch and wait until silence comes. She’s gone. At least some part of her. We have the data to prove it.


  • Jaya Avendel

    15th August 2020 at 10:01 pm

    Today’s tweet is chilling!


    • Chris

      15th August 2020 at 10:35 pm

      Thanks Jaya. I was reading about the 21 grams experiment. It might not make for sound science but it’s great for fiction 😉


  • Shweta Suresh

    16th August 2020 at 7:36 am

    I liked all of them, especially Manifold!


    • Chris

      16th August 2020 at 7:57 am

      Thanks Shweta, I’m glad you liked them.


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