May’s Twitter-splosion

And so completes another month of daily Twitter micros for #vss365. May featured Ivy, my fox-out-of-forest as she explores the human city. Enjoy!

MAY

5/1/2019

Disrupted from her nap, Ivy raised ears to the #cadence of cries. More than one voice echoed in the dangerous corridors of the city. She followed the frantic voices hopeful to intercept before man nor beast could. In a storm drain three pairs of fox kit eyes greeted her.#vss365

5/2/2019

The kits’ overflowed with #effervescence as Ivy lifted each one and set them carefully on the pavement. Her heart thrummed with memories of her own lost family as they snuggled beneath her. She groomed their fur. “Will you be our mom?” they squeaked. “Yes,” she replied.#vss365

5/3/2019

Thunder rumbled in the distance. Large drops plunked into fluffy fur. The kits turned from wild to #demure, clinging to Ivy’s legs. She licked each of their heads. “It’s ok. Follow me and I’ll show where to find shelter.” Into the flashing storm she padded, kits under-paw.#vss365

5/4/2019

Nature’s #maelstrom poured furry down upon the newly formed family. The kits tripped Ivy’s progress as they scrambled to stay beneath her each step of the way. At last she leapt up into a protected crevice. Kit by kit she picked them up and settled them warm and safe.#vss365

5/5/2019

Three tiny bodies nestled into her side. Ivy groomed each of the kits thoroughly as they slept. Her thoughts drifted to #reminisce back to her own litter. Thunder echoed like a gunshot. She suppressed her shudder. Not this time. A chance to start anew in this strange city.#vss365

5/6/2019

Though none of the kits were large, among them was a shivering #waif. Ivy’s heart ached for him, to start out at such a disadvantage. She nosed him closer to her side right up near her heart. In moments their beats syncopated, calmed. He placed a paw in her fur.#vss365

5/7/2019

The ghosts of her mate and kits haunted Ivy’s memories as she tried to sleep. The #ephemeral state of life bluntly illustrated. Her paws tucked the foundling kits tight to her. Their heartbeats invaded her dreams with the patter of running paws. Nightmare turned bliss.#vss365

5/8/2019

Tiny paws danced in the green dappled light. The spring of abundance blossomed. With her mate at her side #love swelled Ivy’s heart. The future was assured…until it wasn’t. Until in one moment her world shattered in gunfire. She the sole survivor. Her heart left pining.#vss365

5/9/2019

The sun at its #zenith discovered the sleeping family and warmed them. Ivy stretched, followed by a full extension of each of the kits. They smacked their lips and looked up expectantly. “Well,” she smiled, “the storm has passed, now to eat.” Aromas lured them.#vss365

5/10/2019

The kits skittered around Ivy, the runt clamped his teeth on her tail. The sights, sounds, and smells built a #surreal world overwhelming them. The scent of the woods still clung to them. Ivy knew the disorientation, but knowledge drove her towards breakfast. Hamburgers.#vss365

5/11/2019

Ivy sat back, surrounded by the kits, watching the human work the burger stand. Time had taught her that some men are kind whilst others bear hatred in their #aphotic souls. A pigeon swooped down and nipped a piece of bun. The man smiled and tossed rest to the flock. Kind.#vss365

5/12/2019

Ivy padded forward, keeping low and soft. The kits copied her, peering from beneath. The man watched their approach. A #beatific smile crossed his face. He grabbed a hunk of slightly over-grilled burger and knelt down. “Here you go, sweetie. Happy mother’s day.”#vss365

5/13/2019

Ivy gently took the meat and backed up, chewing the patty into smaller pieces. The kits smacked their lips as they ground the meat. Satisfied squeaks hung in the air beneath the perfect #azure sky. She basked in this new memory, letting it overwrite the tragedy.#vss365

5/14/2019

The kits lay #supine against her side, paws twitching over stuffed bellies. Ivy licked each of their muzzles clean as they settled in for a nap beneath the shade of the hamburger cart. The man sat down at a distance observing the rare company in the concrete city. #vss365

5/15/2019

Afternoon sun faded into the chill of evening. Now alone in the quiet streets Ivy uncoiled her #lithe body from the kits. They tussled, trapping paws and ears between sharp teeth. Ivy perched on an iron fence as a lookout. Shadows drifted in the night. Her heart pounded.#vss365

5/16/2019

Headlights swung by and threw a shadow #chimera against the wall. Threatening claws, gaping jaws poised to grasp and devour. Ivy tensed for the beast’s arrival, to protect the wrestling kits. The beast never came. Lights passed and shadow once more melded with shadow.#vss365

5/17/2019

Footsteps echoed in the alley. Ivy remained on guard until the source became clear. A man, clearly by his tattered rags the #flotsam of society shuffled by. She had seen many of these in her travels, most paid her no mind. She guarded the foundlings just in case.#vss365

5/18/2019

Fat drops of rain plunked down. Ivy and the kits lifted their noses and inhaled, savoring the #petrichor lingering in the air. It sent shivers down her spine. Memories of forest set to life in the spring, refreshed by the shower from generous skies. Nature perpetuated.#vss365

5/19/2019

The damp air held onto everything. The #sillage of a floral perfume haunted the street as Ivy herded her little hooligans along the trickling gutter. A woman leaned on a long black car. Her body draped in—Ivy’s blood ran cold—fox fur! Greedy eyes turned her way. Death.#vss365

5/20/2019

A #myriad of fears marched through Ivy’s mind as the Lady Wearing the Dead loomed over her. The worst scenario: the tiny bundles of fur clinging to her legs turned into coin purses. She bared her teeth at the clawed hand, denying death it’s second run. “My family!”#vss365

5/21/2019

A #susurrus of voices echoed in Ivy’s ears. The courage of defiant foxes of the past—the voices of those cut down and worn by this monster. She launched herself forward and sunk her teeth into flesh. The woman withdrew and yowled, “It has rabies!” Ivy and kits ran. #vss365

5/22/2019

Only the strides of the kits slowed their progress as Ivy pushed them, guarding the rear. A #frisson ran down her spine triggered by the slap of countless shoes on pavement. Swiftly she leapt onto a stonewall and slipped each kit over the side to vanish into the bushes.#vss365

5/23/2019

Lying in wait, the kits seemed to sense Ivy’s unease. The mob stomped by the other side of the wall without so much as a pause. In the silence one of the kits crossed his eyes at the #gossamer spider web lining the bushes. In the middle crouched its creator.#vss365

5/24/2019

Mesmerized by the patterns of the web, Ivy traced each thread on its path. Beauty, no other word for it. The spider at the center shimmered with nature’s jewels, raindrops. How could a spider be deemed #vile? And yet, just as her kind, they were pests in spite of worth.#vss365

5/25/2019

The kits nestled up to Ivy’s side, weary from the already lengthy day. Her thoughts drifted back to the #verdant fields of her youth. The warm sunshine filtered through windblown grass. Insects capturing her attention. Life still thrived in the city, of a different sort.#vss365

5/26/2019

Each #breath felt stolen against the unnatural life around them. Ivy wrapped her tail tighter around the kits as if to protect them from the harsh truth of their world. A world that saw no place for them, save as a fashion accessory, or a target to hound across the land.#vss365

5/27/2019

Ivy lifted her head from the sleeping kits packed beside her. Something was off. There was nothing, pure and unbroken #silence. While this may have happened in the forest, she’d been in the city long enough to know it didn’t here. Eerie. She braced her senses for anything.#vss365

5/28/2019

It seemed like an eternity before the insects and birdsong restarted. Ivy settled into the cozy brush and nuzzled each of the kits. They were so helpless, there would be no #regret in her heart for taking them on. If only the forest was so far away.#vss365

5/29/2019

Stars spread across the night sky. Ivy turned her gaze to them. “Kits, see that cluster there? #Orion the hunter. This is the one hunter you need not fear. He is a guide.” She rose to her paws and set her eyes directly on his path, kits in tow. Bound for the forest.#vss365

5/30/2019

The first greenery to touch their paws was a #patch of sweet clover. Moonlight glistened off the dew drops recreating the heavens on Earth. The kits tussled in purple blooms as Ivy chased them in circles, delighting in the joy. Foxtail grass led them into the woods.#vss365

5/31/2019

In the cover of a pine tree, Ivy rested watching the kits tumble with their new found wonders, pine cones. In her #reverie she recalled first meeting her mate as a young vixen. A playful game with a pine cone. A borrowed future would now go on in these kits, not her own.#vss365

Next month there will be more!

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Twitter Micro Fic-Splosion

Late February a fellow writer brought into a writing group an exercise he’d stumbled across. Twitter had several tags going around with prompts. The trick was to write a story in a tweet, approximately 280 characters, based on the prompt word. Below is a collection of those twitter-tales based on the Very Short Story 365 prompts or #vss365. At first I did random… then Ivy the fox out of forest wandered in and I just explored her world. Enjoy! Each entry is dated with the prompt tagged.

2/23/2019

Honesty is my shield and my burden. I wish to do well by others, always, at my self-appointed task to sweep up the eggshells society is forced to walk on. But I keep coming up #lame. In this world no good deed goes unpunished. That’s what they say about good intentions. #vss365

2/24/2019

I drop the strands of leather on the ground. By the fire in his eyes he is not pleased with me. I lift my gaze laden with #humble sorrow. He lifts his fist in response. I cower before him. “I’m sorry,” I wish I could say, nosing the chewed slipper. “I love you.” #vss365

2/25/2019

The crumbling road terminated at my feet, the dreams I held for so many tomorrows tumbled away into the void. How did I get here in such an unaccomplished state? “Easy,” Death’s voice whispered, bony hand on my shoulder, “so many empty #yesterdays. Are you Ready, now?” #vss365

2/26/2019

I jamb the phone disconnect. I pace the room unable to dispel the ever building rage. The audacity! Silk fur caresses my hand. Soft brown eyes say “I understand”, they spread a warmth within. Tail wags away my anger. We embrace. #Epiphany, I love dogs more than humans. #vss365

2/27/2019

“What the fuck is with all these streamers?” The brittle paper tore between my fingers in a once dreary room now vomiting with a riot of $store cheer. Chairs overturned, stains on the floor. Frosting smeared words NOT OLD! Aha, birthday #celebration in a dementia ward. #vss365

2/28/2019

“Come down the mountain and face your fate!” The knight clanged his sword against his shield. “For I am #champion of the king—” The dragon’s jaws cut him short. After she swallowed, she picked her teeth with his sword. “Burp. A tenderloin. I prefer something tougher.” #vss365

3/1/2019

I trudge inside the house, the weight of countless shovelfuls of frozen water burns my shoulders. Behind me the whisper of fresh falling grates. I am Sisyphus of the snow. On the TV a cheery voice calls out, “#Escape to Tahiti!” My shovel answers with sparks. #vss365

3/2/2019

Nature bathed my world in endless white. A blanket that insulates all color completely. Muffled beneath I can still hear the music. If you #listen carefully you can hear it too. The soft melody of the land in slumber, winter’s sweet lullaby. #vss365

Ivy, tales of a Fox Out of Forest…

3/3/2019

The teeth of the city chewed up the night sky. Lost, the fox thought as she darted through the intrusive smog, inhospitable commotion. Humanity. Not even the stars visible to #orient herself. Memories of the lush forest called to her. Unsuitable, this must now be home. #vss365

3/4/2019

The city fox watched the passing car smash a rock beneath the tire as it passed. Aha. In the calm that followed, she padded out and deposited her prize next to the debris. No sooner had she cleared the way for her #improvised can opener then, pop, tuna fish was served! #vss365

3/5/2019

Down in the smog choked streets humanity’s wilderness seemed senseless. By chance the fox found herself on a rooftop. From this #overlook her perspective changed. The city’s chaos became a gift, a veritable rabbit warren. Let the hunt begin, she smiled. #vss365

3/6/2019

Sweet, the rare treat tickled Ivy the fox’s stomach with every tongue full.#Syrup resembled bee honey, but without the sting. Memories of their vengeance prickled her skin as she nosed further into the trash can. The city’s charms grew on her like a tree fungus.#vss365

3/7/2019

The pavement gave way beneath fox paws. Ivy stepped onto the cool grass. She shivered with delight in the refuge, temporary though it was. City shadows swallowed this oasis where she and this plant life did not #belong. Proof, she thought, resistance breaks through.#vss365

3/8/2019

Rain penetrates Ivy’s thick fur. Clean, #she ponders, scour away the foreign grime of this place. Moonlight cuts through the clouds and strikes the drops. Magic pours down from the sky. Toes grip grass, she closes her eyes, transported back to the forest of her birth.#vss365

3/9/2019

Through the apartment window Ivy gazed on a furclad city denizen. A creature called a cat slumbered on a heater. A mouse plucked crumbs from the cat’s whiskers. Cats, the#epitome of sloth, she thought, a dead mouse pendulum swinging from her teeth. Yet humans hate foxes.#vss365

3/10/2019

Ivy crept toward the bowl. Dog scent clung to it, though none could be seen. In front a #dot, magnified by the metal rim, drew her closer. On inspection it smelled like meat. She spat and backed away from the offensive dry bit. Meat shouldn’t crunch. Dinner elsewhere.#vss365

3/11/2019

Ivy spun around to the hostile dog growl. Immense shadow blotted the door light. He lunged for his bowl, spittle and kibble sent flying. Heart hammering, Ivy made a #quick egress through the hole in the chain link fence. Safe, she wrinkled her nose, what ill-manners.#vss365

3/12/2019

The sun began to #sketch an arc in the eastern sky as Ivy basked in the warm rays. A ball rolled across the park to rest against her paws. Two girls dashed after it. Slowed. Stopped. Ivy rolled onto her side, tail a-wiggle. Little hands, gentle strokes. Good morning.#vss365

3/13/2019

The girls cooed and giggled as they pet Ivy’s fluffy ears. “Soft doggy.” She chirupped and closed her eyes. A firm hand swept the kids away. “Vermin!” Their mother shrieked and kicked. Ivy froze wide eyed, pleasure had prevented her from seeing the harms #approach. #vss365

3/14/2019

Sunlight cut across the park. Ivy squinted, concealed in a #pocket under a bush. Humans hustled about even in their leisure, except one man. Seated on a bench, peanuts in the palm of his hand, he waited. Curious. Inch by inch squirrels came. Ivy licked her lips, promise.#vss365

3/15/2019

Step by step, paw by paw, Ivy crept toward the bench, belly scraping. Squirrels bolted, fluffy tails wagging fiercely. Prey too fast without ambush. Her nose tingled as she lifted it before the man. Those salty things in his palm she #craved. A breakfast that didn’t run.#vss365

3/16/2019

Ivy crouched before the man. He cocked his head, a #question in his eyes. Slowly he extended his palm with they peanut payload. She flinched, wary of his motive. But her hunger got the better of her. Leaning forward she snatched one and savored the morsel. “Like it?”#vss365

3/17/2019

Meat should not be crunchy, Ivy thought, mmm but these morsels should be. One after another she took the offered treat from his hand until she licked his salty skin. Finished she met his gaze in mutual #awe, both beast and man aware of the potential threat. Neither moved.#vss365

3/18/2019

“If you were to lie down you’d blend into the fallen leaves,” the man said. Ivy studied the odd creature and pondered for the first time humanity’s survival. In his bright jacket he was #cryptic to his environment, the city. In the forest that case would be very different.#vss365

3/19/2019

The man’s eyes teared up. “My wife was a dog lover, she would’ve adored you.” Was? Ivy’s nose twitched, his scent, his alone. Deep in his eyes she recognized that void, and her heart ached. #Mutual loss. Both alone. The memory of a gunshot, her blind flight. She keened.#vss365

3/20/2019

His soft hand caressed Ivy between her ears. Her keening faded to a muted whine. “Don’t cry, sweet Vixey.” The moment spoiled. Instantly Ivy sneezed and pulled back at the ridiculous #pseudonym. Humans, she thought, what was it with them and insulting names? He blinked. #vss365

3/21/2019

Squirrels laughed in the trees. To Ivy’s surprise she heard them chanting, “Vixey!” which did nothing but #magnify her ire to the nickname. With a huff she dashed into the underbrush in the wake of the man’s forlorn stare. Squirrels flocked around him for peanuts.#vss365

3/22/2019

Alone. Ivy’s sour mood bubbled in a keening as she threaded through the underbrush. Paired doves winged and cooed overhead. It wasn’t fair, the #riddle plagued her. How did Mother Nature choose who survived and who didn’t? The ghost of her mate chased her. #vss365

3/23/2019

Sundown. Alley trash bins bear the promise of Ivy’s meal. Foul, but essential. Deft paws open the lid and dig into the rotting refuse. No, not rotten. Spoiled. The sting of gasoline fumes and oil #sabotage any chance. Humans. Starved dog shadows line the alley. Ivy braced.#vss365

3/24/2019

Yet another #thorn in Ivy’s survival, the three dogs stood, determination in their eyes. Hunger hollowed their skin against bones. Ivy knew such a state. She puffed up, large as possible. They stepped forward, the light banished her impression. Desperation. They groveled.#vss365

3/25/2019

A can thrown from a window broke the spell. Ivy and the dogs dashed out into the street, in search of cover. All four cowered behind refuse. Collarless, every one of them. In this #frame Ivy realized humanity cast them out. Without survival skills their situation was dire.#vss365

3/26/2019

Darkness followed them like some blessed plague. The dogs tailed Ivy in every twist and turn. At last she turned to them. Domestication would #inhibit their survival. Tails down, they seemed to know it. Ivy sighed and set nose to wind. Like a mother someone had to provide.#vss365

3/27/2019

The scent of meat carried on the wind. Ivy and her new found cohorts followed it. A man turned the key in a #keyhole and opened the doors of a truck. Drool flooded her mouth. Who knew humans were such efficient hunters? In the shadows, followed by the dogs, she planned.#vss365

3/28/2019

Several times the human carried a large cut out of the truck and through the door. Ivy studied his rhythm. In,1,2,3,out. The dogs trembled beside her. Eager, yet scars betrayed past experience. In. Masterfully, Ivy slipped through to #collect their breakfast. 2,3…#vss365

3/29/2019

The juice from the meat mixed with her drool as Ivy slunk toward freedom. The man’s footsteps shook the ramp as he returned. Swift she #robed herself in the shadows of the meat truck and held her breath. He whistled a tune, and remained on task. Prize won, Ivy delivered.#vss365

3/30/2019

Into the night Ivy vanished with the three dogs in tow. Hidden in the safety of an alley she set the prize down. Four hungry mouths devoured the score in a #second. Victory. Ivy cleaned the blood from paws and turned to depart. A dog groveled before her, licking her maw.#vss365

3/31/2019

Do I have a pack now? Ivy wondered. She left the alley, they followed locked in rhythm like the raven #poet’s verse. Ah yes, birds have poetry. Don’t ask what the blue bird sings if young ears are around to blush. With her dogs all in a row, Ivy padded into the new day.#vss365

Next months will also be posted as a collection… stay tuned! Or… follow me on Twitter.