Happy to say that I’ve put some new microfiction out there. ‘Group Therapy’ is a short based on the following prompt: ‘The hero died in a sudden accident and the mentor, sidekick and villain has no idea what to do now.’ I think you’ll enjoy where this goes in four parts:
What would it be like to see WWIII start from space? That’s the premise behind this writing prompt: “You are a crew member on the ISS in Low-Earth Orbit, you just lost contact with Houston. As you look out of your observation window you see Nuclear Explosions on the East Coast of the USA, the Third World War has begun.” My response became this piece of microfiction I’m calling ‘Bright Sparks.’ Here’s the opening:
Light. Beautiful, terrible light.
Unless you’ve experienced a nuclear blast in person, you just can’t understand the brightness of the blast, the beauty of this pure spark. Film can’t catch it. Even our 8K video camera is useless. This must be what it’s like to stare directly into the sun. I’m dead, as of now. Only a few more seconds. Might as well try to enjoy them.
Got some nice Mesh feedback yesterday. One of my beta readers came back with some style suggestions but says ‘otherwise, it’s ready for next steps.’ Squee, squee! I’m hanging out over on /r/writingprompts while I wait for more feedback. Here’s a Twofer Tuesday – New microfictions for you, based on the following two premises:
The Batman always wins, they say. Villains and bad guys beware. The Batman is coming. The Joker, the Riddler, the Penguin, Poison Ivy, Two-Face … trophies hoisted by the law enforcement community to show that a single detective, dedicated and autonomous, can solve more crime than the largest police force in the world.
That’s what they want you to think, anyway.
Most people think I’m taller, I’m not sure why. For a guy who is Public Enemy Number One for the Superheroes Union, the first thing most people say is “Wow, I didn’t realize you were so short.”
They call me Mister Mephistopheles. And then they act surprised when I go off.
They don’t get it, just like the supers don’t get it. This is why I decided to talk with one of their people, their therapists. Honestly, how good can someone be if there’s an army of mental health people there to talk them off the ledge every week? I’m a strong person, I said. When I first got the call, I decided to go it alone. Why wouldn’t I be okay? I’m just a regular guy. These powers aren’t supposed to make you crazy.
— InkICan (@InkICan) October 23, 2019
I tweeted it as a joke, but part of me thinks ‘this could totally work as a FunnyorDie sketch.’ You know I’m a huge fan of both actors, what if they did a small production like this? Might be funny in a ‘Landlord‘ or ‘Best in Show‘ kind of way. With that in mind, I knocked together a pilot episode – see what you think:
Here’s some new microfiction from the following prompt: “You’re walking your dog one day when everything stops. The world goes black. A voice says ‘insert disc 2 to continue.'”
Blackness, utter blackness. No sound. No sensation, whatsoever. I’ve never felt like nothing before, but that’s the only word I can use for it now. I felt nothing, absolutely nothing. How long did it last? For all I know, it was a nanosecond, but it felt like forever.
A geological age passed by, and then I hear a voice. “Insert Disc 2 to continue.” And then I was back.
Here I am again. Still on Sycamore Avenue, the birds are still chirping in the branches overhead. It’s just after one on the eighteenth of October, and the chill breezes hint at the cold weather sure to come.
Kava, our Blue Heeler, is still at my side like nothing is wrong. He tugs his leash in the direction of home. What’s wrong, Dad? his eyes seem to say. Let’s get back to base, I’m jonsing for some kibble.
“Hang on, boy,” I wheeze, suddenly breathless. “Something’s … something’s wrong.” Look up, look down the street. Cars swish by, everything is still exactly as it should be. Nobody else is wondering what just happened. Just me. Grab at my throat, feel my pulse. Am I having a stroke, a heart attack? Nope, heart’s pumping away. No pain, no numbness. Just … blackness, and that voice. What in God’s name does that mean, insert Disc 2 to continue?
Look, you’ve heard what I’ve heard about Shia LaBeouf. I can’t tell you what’s going on in his head, or what his life is about. My job is to write stories, so I do. I do get tired of Internet memes, and if I were LaBeouf, I’d be sick and tired of the ones created about me. So, channeling that frustration, I responded to the following writing prompt: “You’re walking in the woods. There’s no one around and your phone is dead. Out of the corner of your eye you spot him…Shia LaBeouf.”
I hope you enjoy ‘Defending Shia LaBeouf:
“Oh, man,” I said, pointing in horror. There he was, Shia LeBouf. Of course I’d heard the stories. Crazed drug frenzies. Wild fights in the streets. Fits of rage. How would I handle an encounter with … with, Shia??
Make no sudden moves, I tell myself. His eyes are attracted to movement. Whatever you do, don’t provoke him. You don’t know what he’s capable of! Too late, he’s seen me!
“Um, hi,” Shia LeBeofu says.
He’s seen me, he’s seen me! Visions of my bloodied corpse run through my head. My mom will be so sad. She’ll tell everyone, everyone, what a good kid I was. My friends will mourn my loss, game night won’t be the same without me. My neighbors will need someone else to take the trash out now. My boss, well, he won’t even show up to the funeral. Let’s be honest.
I muster up courage, and then say something back before his confusion can become rage. “Hello.”
Took a few days off of writing in /r/writingprompts. Now I’m back with a new piece of microfiction. This time, in response to the following prompt – “You’ve always had a passion for writing since an early age. Now, right after you published your first book, the story somehow has transferred itself into reality and you’re the main character.” – I decided to take a new direction. What if you were a fantasy author, now stuck in his weird Pseudo-European Medieval universe? Cosplaying will never be the same after you read ‘RenFaire for Real’ –
They always say “Write what you know,” but nobody tells you what to do when what you write becomes all you know.
Endless rain falls across the green forests of Kylldale. I’ve never been to Ireland, so I kinda fudged the details. Stone walls, cobbled streets, ancient inns. It’s green, so it must rain a lot, right? I worked myself into a lather over those details; the sights, sounds and smells of a Middle Aged-village in winter. Reality force-fed through a bucolic meat grinder of pastoral scenery. It sounded like an escape, but now it feels like a prison. For reasons I’m still trying to figure out, I’m trapped inside my own novel.
If only I’d written the Internet into my book. I’d can send a nasty email to my agent.
I responded to a writingprompt that got my juices flowing. Here’s the original prompt: You’ve always been able to twist any situation to your advantage. Accidentally saw classified data? You got a great job protecting said government data. Got captured? You ran the enemy’s tech support. Got killed by your original employers? Okay, this one might be more difficult. They buried an interesting ‘what-if’ into the prompt and I answered the question via science fiction. I hope you enjoy ‘The Operative:’
Today, my boss is going to hire a dead guy. That’s right, me. Killed three years ago in a tragic chemical factory fire. You remember, right? Over in China, raised to the ground, nothing but destruction for blocks? I was there. I lit the fuse. According to the news stories, I didn’t make it out in time. Fortunately for me, that was all according to the plan.
Wrote a new microfiction piece last night in response to the following writing prompt: “The man screamed, for he was just an inch in the fourth dimension away from his own universe, but so helplessly trapped in one that was not his own.” The premise sounded interesting to me, and I wanted to focus on why he was taken away. It quickly became a small short called ‘The Last One.’
One reason I do microfiction is that it’s a great way to keep my chops up. Another reason is, it’s a great way for me to meet new readers. Am I a good writer? Can I tell a good story? You can make a decision pretty quick when you read some of my microfiction. Here’s a quick sample:
So close, yet so far.
Scrabbling at the unseen barrier. It doesn’t feel like anything. Not glass, not metal, not plastic or wood. I can feel nothing, no texture, under my fingertips. But it’s there, separating me. Just one small more bit, not even the width of two fingers, that’s the distance between me and home.
“Help!” I scream. “Help me!” I can see them. Ordinary people, ordinary day. It’s a street corner, 85th or 86th Street. Central Park West, where my grandmother used to take us to walk her dog. Taxis, buses, people and animals. I can see them, hear them, even smell them. But that’s as close as I’ll get.
Have a great rest of your day, and Write On!
Created a new piece of scifi microfiction in response to the prompt: ‘Humans never managed to developed laster-than-light travel. Instead, they developed ways to discretely piggyback on ships that can. The other races in the galaxy are getting suspicious.’ So, I decided to write a story where humans are treated like pests. Guess how they decide to treat us? I hope you enjoy ‘Pest Control.’
“Oh god, here’s another one!”
“Quick, deploy the sentinel.” A whirring airbot hurtles from the darkness, lidar scans searching for the critters. They can’t hide forever, sentinels know what to look for. Air composition changes, skin oil deposits, spoor. Little beasts are cute in a way, but they’re dangerous to the traveling elite.
“There, there!” The airbot responds to the chief engineers shout, tracking to the left. They listen to scurrying sounds, feet scraping against metal and plastic. “seems to be more than one. I can hear two sets of mandibles.”
His assistant, the one responsible for sentinel maintenance, nods his head. “Should install vermin guards on the cargo bays. Keep waiting for them to appropriate the funds.”
“It’s in the next phase of ship mod work. We’ll get there. In the meantime, watch the fun!” The chief engineer cackles, one of six green bellies drapes over the handrail. “Go, go. Run you little turd!”
“Hey!” a third voice joins them. It’s Ry’legh, the midshipman. “I got five credits, says this one lasts longer than ten minutes against your sentinel.”
“You’re on,” the assistant replies. “I sent our best. This little booger don’t stand a chance.” His airbot seems to sense the new tension in the air and chirps with determination. This isn’t a matter of life and death, it’s a matter of cash! It re-acquires its target, another dirty-faced, nearly-sentient human, running for its life among the hulks of cargo containers in Cargo Bay 7.