The Return of Very Short Stories

It’s been a while since I did one of these, but I’ve created another small collection of my favorite #vss365 stories from Twitter, which I hope you’ll enjoy. These were originally written in April and May of 2019.

In other news, I’ve been spending long hours on a final revision of my upcoming fantasy adventure novel, in an Old West-inspired setting. The characters demanded stronger voices, more excitement, and less exposition (they’re surprisingly opinionated about exposition). Who am I to argue?

Lastly, a collection of all my short stories from the Story-A-Day May challenge is on sale for FREE this month on Smashwords. Also on Amazon and other platforms, for 99 cents.

Now, to the stories!

Susurrus

A susurrus roused the librarian from his desk. He prowled the stacks, but the noise was always an aisle ahead.

Determined to mete out a good shushing, he ignored the carpet turning to leaves, and shelves to trees, though he did wag his finger at some singing birds.

Breath

Lightning struck the crude altar, surrounded by goat’s blood and sacrificial offerings. A mechanical intake drew a rattling breath, hesitant at first, then roaring.

“It’s alive!”

He wasn’t the most orthodox vacuum cleaner repairman, but he was the most enthusiastic.

Surreal

Her jaw dropped as she entered the ballroom. From peasant to royal party-goer, it was surreal.

Dance partners twirled, heads buried in necks. Her glass slippers squelched over the floor, her fancy gown stained red.

How wonderful! She’d never dreamed of so much blood.

Vomit

The heir toured the decrepit public housing with a sickened expression. “This theft makes me want to vomit.”

His assistant smiled at his unexpected empathy. “Yes, we’ve stolen their labor, their futures-“

“And my time. Why am I doing this if no one’s taking pictures?”

Voice

The Machine delights in torturing us, humanity’s sole survivors.

I’m transported to an idyllic mountainside, clad in lederhosen. Lush grass and flowers abound. Has It learned mercy?

My mouth opens. No, it can’t be… it’s too cruel.

I have no voice, and I must yodel.

Vacant

Tess chucked a brick through the window of the vacant house and crawled inside. Standing, her blood ran cold.

A family sat around the table where her brick had landed. They were carving it as easily as bread.

“Any who bring a dish are welcome at the potluck. Join us.”

Cadence

“Paper or plastic?” The cashier had an unnatural cadence, like he was reading lines.

Leaving the store, a woman ran into Lou, spilling his milk. Too perfectly comical.

Feeling watched outside, he yelled, “I don’t care if my life’s a TV show, I just want the script!”

***

Thanks for reading! I’ll be back again next week with more stories.

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