I still love it. I’m not a full #flashdog by any stretch, but I really do love to squeeze in a bit of short, sharp writing whenever I can.
My current favourite weekly challenge since the demise of Micro Bookends is its successor, Microcosms. No matter how random my week gets, I always check in with it each Friday and try to give it a shot.
It’s a really great format: each week you are provided with a character, a setting, a genre, and an optional photo prompt, with which you then weave a story in 300 words or less. You can spin the wheel to get different parameters, but I personally love the challenge of sticking to the initial elements. That limitation really gets the creative juices flowing!
I can’t recommend it enough if you want to improve your writing technique.
And even if you don’t write fiction, there are always some amazing stories to read – you can upvote your favourite one(s) to win the Community Pick for the week, no matter whether or not you choose to enter.
For this week’s competition I well and truly missed the deadline (it was a busy day…) but I found the prompts so inspiring that I entered a story late anyway. Given that I am fairly consistent with it, I figured I’d start sharing my stories here each week too. Maybe that will prompt me to blog more in general again…
Setting: Grand Hotel (I only subtly evoked the setting this time…)
(I chose not to incorporate the optional photo prompt.)
The door didn’t so much burst open, as burst into pieces.
Jax didn’t flinch – though, to be fair, trolls were widely renowned for their unflappability.
“Katrice,” he rasped in a voice forged from granite. “Dramatic as always.”
The wily battle-Elf smirked and tipped her head. “One does have a reputation to maintain,” she replied. Her eyes darted to the corner of the elaborately furnished room. “Is that him?”
Jax grunted. “Yep. That’s the freak you want. Take him!”
Katrice tossed the troll a bag of coins and sidled up to the industrious blond man. He was tinkering away at something on the floor and ever-so-slightly rocking back and forth. She nudged his shoulder with her foot; he didn’t react, focussing laser-like on his task.
The troll shuddered with a sound of grinding boulders. “He gives me the creeps! Why d’you want him so bad?”
Katrice shrugged, sheathing her sword. “The boss says he’s the smartest guy ever lived. He “has use” for his inventions – whatever that means.”
She hooked her hands under the inventor’s arms and hauled him up. “C’mon sunshine! You’re my property now.”
The blond man suddenly grinned and held aloft an intricate ball of gears and tubing. He pressed a button on its side, threw it to the centre of the room and kicked Katrice’s kneecap with such force that she could do nothing but collapse, releasing him.
As he darted through the broken door towards the lobby, the device released a sickly green gas that made Jax seize up, while Katrice helplessly retched on the floor beside him.
“Fuck. That. Guy!” Katrice gasped between convulsions.
Jax swivelled his eyes to look through the window, where he could see the inventor wandering aimlessly away.
“Always the weird ones,” he muttered through clenched teeth.