30 Word Stories

Following up from my last post, I’m feeling a strong urge to share my 30 word stories from the Writers Victoria microfiction challenge that ran during April, and what better platform is there to do this than The Literary Gangster blog, origin of microfiction manifestation and meditation?

Each day we were emailed a prompt and then had until midnight to crack a 30 word story open in the metaphorical hot-pan of Twitter.

There were two ways to approach this: one, practise discipline and write and Tweet your 30 word story each day no matter if you’re happy with it or not; or, two, only publish on days where you feel like it, when ideas come to you, regardless of whether you have time or not.

Yup, I chose the latter. Some days I mulled all day, and if I didn’t feel inspired, I didn’t participate. Also, if I disliked a word, I didn’t even bother. Call me picky, lazy, or no-fun, but I wanted to try and get it right rather than get it out there as I have been know to do in the past. Ie. Quality over quantity.

Another thing I found was that some days I felt tempted to write a poetic sentence and pose it as a ‘story’ rather than focus on writing a story with a strong character or setting involving a change in status to entice plot in 30 words. This made me think about the difference between microlit and poetry and I came to the conclusion that microfiction is like a skit or a scene proforma, but in written form. There’s something to ponder for you! And finally, the last thing I’ve learned is that my Twitter spelling is terrible for some reason and so I have tried to correct any mistakes in these versions below but otherwise they are the same as those originally published on Twitter, cheers.

#Imitation: These spare bedroom walls are beige, no distraction from pain. Monthly menstrual paint stripper rips your abstract licks from my womb walls. Paint it! Blue, pink, yellow. Anything but red.

#Shell: The saddest sight I’ve seen is broody mother hen nesting through starvation, until death. Philosophically, they’re Schrodinger’s eggshells; until cracked, life both exists and doesn’t exist at the same time.

#Trapped: When Farmer John unlatched the heavy barn door, an unpleasant yet familiar smell entrapped him; retrieving the dead rat stimulated his hunting instincts. The feeling dissipated while patting empty pockets.

#Wild: Only now, the irony tickles me as I reminisce high school English where I thwarted my teacher’s efforts to teach me Shakespeare; oh behold, her chosen text was The Tempest!

#Layers: This is fertile literary soil enriching an abundance of undergrowth, reaching, grasping, entwining amongst the trunks of mature trees stretching higher through layers towards the canopy in competition for sunshine.

#Tears: Friction fails at what gravity gains from a salty, bulbous, liquid pendant pulling from a small corner. Such beauty lies in questioning the myriad of disparate origins of the tear.

#Blunder: Nerves wracking her bones from pending literary intimidation she places her Pinot Noir glass beside the ‘Writer’s Group – New Members Welcome’ sign and declares, “What’s on the menu, I’m ravishing!”

#Tenacity: Her head shakes while passing him the Pilsener. He twists the bottle top off and swigs in deep, guttural throbs, complete with a refreshing “ahh”, then unplugs his dialysis machine.

#Precious: A high value item lay before me. Toenails tap upon floorboards. My German Shepherd yawns, bearing strands stitched in teeth. “You’re not safe,” I whisper to the ball. “Nor’re you.”

#Inventive: Staring at four walls further isolates me because I can’t see people’s faces like I can in tree knots. Like the way people can’t see that incarceration’s inventive for slavery.

#Celebrate: I flush the toilet, slide the door; my nurse and family eagerly await me. I nod. They celebrate the movement of my bowels with cheering. I am to go home.

#Transform: Aunty Hilda started painting the same day she began speaking Spanish. A miracle, I saw, as she transformed that blank canvas into exuberant life. All it took was one stroke.

#Nacreous: In the shed we find envelopes labelled ‘taken from till’, court orders, a punching bag, Tupac poster. Down comes the nacreous SOLD sign, along with a box marked, ‘Connor’s Toys’.

#Pearl: “Don’t fear your own success, even if other’s do.” Young Tomas mumbled, “Wennow Miss, Worlds’r oyster.” I closed the door, cried, let them go like a broken string of pearls.


Thanks to Flickr Photog’s: little*star |David Bleasdale |Robert Couse-Baker