January Twitter-splosion!

It’s a new year! And out comes the first month of #vss365 prompted micro-flashes! This month featured a role player theme with a party of … well … not so gifted heroes. Enjoy the hijinks! They may wander onto the scene from time to time.

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On the stroke of midnight the old year stole away like the #charlatan it was. Let it take my broken dreams with it into the night. For in the new day and this new year I ignite fresh ones with a resolve to bring them to light. Time will not be a thief to me.#vss365 #HappyNew2020


The tome lay open before me. I held my hands wide, prepared to cast the spell that would save our world. A whisper on the wind toyed in my ears and suddenly the letters #obfuscated the words. Shit! Laughter. I turned to see the sorcerer in a victory dance, “You’re doomed!”#vss365


His pelt was as night, stars swallowing the light like black holes. The dark #unicorn stared down his horn, voice like thunder, “The light one, she is the beast of creation.” His horn touched the ground and it decomposed. “My power is not so benevolent.”#vss365


Look deep into the mirror, though they warned me not to. I could not deny the twisted gleam in the corner of my eyes, a betrayal of #latent darkness within. Now I understood why the sparks came to my fingertips. Keep it hidden, don’t let them know I know the truth.#vss365


“Damn it! Why didn’t someone notice the medallion on that asshole before we buried him. Now who the hell brought a shovel?”

The necromancer pushed up his sleeves. “Relax, with me around the corpse will #disinter itself. Just say the magic word.”

“Tch, please?”#vss365


The summoning circle glowed, smoke billowed as the monstrous form manifested. I threw my head back in victory. Revenge would be mine! “Roar my mighty vassal of fury!”


I blinked as the smoke cleared. “A pomeranian? Shit! No more spell book orders from Amazon.”#vss365


“Son of a—stupid door! How are we gonna get through?”

The mage stepped up and thrust his hand at it “Opensaysme!” Nothing happened. “#Obviate!” Nothing. “Uh, remove!” Nadah. “Vanish, dammit!”


“Oh hey, that was easy. Just needed the right magi-thesaurus entry.”#vss365


The paladin called down a bolt of lightning, nothing left behind. “Nobody likes a #usurper who bends the words of a god to their own ends!”

The druid cocked an eyebrow. “Screw that, what kinda screwball tries to take over the world via a pomeranian? That’s fucked up, man.”#vss365


“The leg bone connected to the hip bone. Not anymore!” The barbarian threw his target. “Fun with #kinetic energy.”

“I told you guys, this is what happens when a science geek RPs a tank!”

“Alright, now let’s calculate the angle to throw him into the dragon’s mouth. Tangent …”#vss365


“I hear your party is looking for a rogue. Kinda odd to advertise.”

“Eh? The last guy got a bit too #inquisitive.”


“Nope. Mage’s bag of holding. He’s still there, I think.”#vss365


The rogue gripped his blade staring out at the enemy army. “You’d think they had something to fight for. Sure are a #lively lot.”

The bard stepped up, lute in her hand and smiled. “Just wait.”

Plugging his ears he sighed, “Can’t fight the music.”#vss365


“Alright, snow gear, folks, this 1K mile journey to <yawn> huh? Oh hey, keep, another beer. Zzzzz” THUD.

Everyone looked at the bard, who grinned and ceased her humming. “Hope the paladin enjoys his #languor-over. I really don’t care for the cold.”

The rogue guffawed.#vss365


“Haha!” The barbarian cheered at the chest of gems. “We’re rich! New ax here I come.”

The rogue peered at one and smirked. “No dice, bro. These aren’t real. Just #opaline glass. Looks like the townsfolk worked us for free.”

“Pay in BLOOD!” He brandished the dull ax.



A plate dripping of meat and gravy lay before the barbarian. The druid screamed, “Damn you! That’s where my companion went!”

The barbarian shrugged, “My diet needed more #fibrous content. Nothing was tougher than him.”#vss365


The mage winced as the opposing party slid down into slumber, this wasn’t his doing. He eyed the bard as she stood triumphantly and waved jazz-hands. “Seriously? The #flourish isn’t necessary. Sleeping men can’t see it.”

“Hmph, it’s called style points, sourpuss.”#vss365


“Sing it again, bard.” The paladin leaned against the prison bars as the rogue scowled.

“Who would have thought,” the bard replied, “we’d end up here because the rogue’s #yearning for a girl named Ruby, the sheriff’s daughter.”

“Caught with his hands on the family jewels.”#vss365


“By the description of the villagers we’re looking for something #riparian.” The druid slowly looked up from studying the map, the whole party in blank stares. “You know, a river creature?”

“Oh! Yeah, why didn’t you just say that?”#vss365


The party’s horses ran full tilt, angry pitchfork wielding villagers in their wake. “Well, this is a terrible #muddle!” The paladin glared at the bard. “You are NOT a virgin!”

“Ok, I get it! That’s the last time I use a Madonna cover in a spell!”#vss365


“We’re about to meet his most highest honorable king of the region, so it’s important to #articulate. Don’t make him ask for a clarification.”

As the party entered the room, the berserker blurted, “Yo, your hindass!”

“Excuse me?” The king shot forward.

“Dungeon ho.” #vss365


“Such a sweet, lovely woman. The scent of #jasmine truly be-YAWN-comes you zzz.” The paladin fell forward off the bed to face plant into the floor with a loud thump.

“It also covers the aromatic sedative.” The assassin pulled out her gleaming knife.#vss365


The berserker tugged on the horse’s reins. “It’s just water, you #obstinate fool! You have to drink!”

The druid tugged back a bush and revealed a dead shrew family. “His stubbornness just saved our lives. This stream is poisoned.”

“Uh, I knew that.”#vss365


“And next in my grand exploits,” the paladin continued with a hand to his breastplate.

The bard eyed the rest of the party. “And you all complained about me. At least my #rigmarole was for a legit distraction, not picking up chicks!”#vss365


The druid rammed her fists in her ears and shouted, “What is that #cacophony?”

The paladin sighed, “Apparently the rogue thinks he’s a bard now and is convinced that playing mugs will earn the heart of a tavern wench. Just gives me a headache.”#vss365


“Yo rogue, you wouldn’t #happen to know where my necklace is? You know, that family heirloom?” The mage dug through his chest. “Uncle Flaygar really hated when people took his things, used to curse everything he owned.”

Beads of sweat rolled down the rogue’s forehead.#vss365


The mage stood with outstretched arms over the courtyard. Below the guards danced merry jigs, elbows into locked. “And now, A Chorus Line!”

“You never cease to #amaze me, mage!” The paladin applauded.

The bard grumbled, “Seriously? Camelot’s the obvious choice!”#vss365


There it was, the row of arrows in the dirt betraying the citadels #range. The berserker danced just beyond it. “Haha! You pricks can’t get us!” The groan of a large siege engine under pressure squelched his bravado. “Ok, maybe you can! RUN!”

“Way to start a war, genius!”#vss365


The paladin stared at the thick forest, “We have no idea where our #adversaries are.”

The bard gave a cheeky grin and pulled out her bagpipes. Three notes into Danny Boy and the woods thrashed with men covering their ears. “Works every time!”

“You’re a sadist.”#vss365


“Sorry, but I’m spent.” The mage leaned heavily against the wall. “We’re going to need a true miracle now.”

The party turned to the paladin. He cringed. “Well I #could, except I’m still on my deity’s blacklist.”

“Told you that date with a priestess was crossing a line.”#vss365


The bard leaned on the counter. “Trust me, no one in this world can compete with my friend here.”

The paladin grinned, thrusting his chest out.

“He is the most #tremendous prick yo–”

He clamped a hand over the bard’s mouth. “Ok, thank you, that’s too much honesty!”#vss365


“So here’s the plan, we have the bard stand at the entrance and distract the monster while the rogue does a sneak attack.”

“Wait a second. You have a better attack, paladin!”

“Yes, but the bard is #extra annoying and you are expendable. So we have that. Let’s go.”#vss365


“Don’t go in there!” The rogue was a touch too late as the mage opened the door to be pummeled by the scent of flowers pervading his chambers. “The druid thought it needed a little refreshing.”

“Isn’t this just #rosy.”

“It’s almost Valentines Day. Maybe she likes you.”#vss365

September Twitter-Splosion!

All of September’s daily #vss365 (Very Short Stories, or tales in a tweet) in one shot! It’s all coming your way in a crazy rush of eclectic of whatever crossed my mind with each prompt.

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She held her breath as the light faded in the sky. It had all been a silly nursery rhyme, right? Right?! And yet in the #gloaming she hastened on the path home, dropping her basket. The stars provided little comfort as the howls of wolves chilled her blood. Grandma!#vss365


Her head rests on my knee. Her eyes stare into my soul. As she lifts a paw and places it in my palm I am consumed by the fires of her #love. No human devotion can begin to approach the depth of a dog’s.#vss365


“Oh wise mystic, I come bearing life’s most critical #mystery.”

“What query have you that has defied normal men?”

“Why do hotdogs come in packages of ten and hotdog buns in packs of eight?”

“I … wow, that’s a tough one!”#vss365


My home behind me, my harp slung over my back, I stepped onto the open road lured by the fleeting #horizon growing ever distant. This village had been my world, how woefully small it had been. Time to discard childish things, time to grasp reality as a bard.#vss365


Sam smiled as the visions of her family in a warm embrace ran through her mind. Soon now, soon they would all be together again. Before her eyes her breath began to #crystallize, hanging in a death pall. Rapid gun fire filled the air. Soon … they would be reunited.#vss365


Bird song carried on the breeze at #daybreak joyful of the void left behind when the machinery ceased. Wind stirred the curtains through the open windows. Eyes lay open, unclosing to elements. The war had ended and left a world spoiling in its wake.#vss365


It was raining … jello? I put my hand out into the sugary desert glopping from the sky. Jim laughed, “Just like our high school prank! Remember how mad the principle was?” I blushed, heart aflutter. No ring. Was this #serendipity? He opened an umbrella, “Going my way?” #vss365


“Zephyr’s #comet is a once in a lifetime event!” I sat atop the hill staring through the telescope beside my niece. She eagerly took the lens, a moment later fear plastered her face. When I looked again I realized the truth of my words. Prepare for impact!#vss365


“I love you with all my #soul”

“I love your soul more.” Her eyes blinked and glowed red. “Open up to me, sweetheart.” When she finished her meal, the succubus licked her fingers and checked her cell. “Mmm, men that tender are hard to find these day. Who’s next on Sinder?”#vss365


I never felt at home here. Not in this ordinary world. A current flowed through me from the depths of the earth, occasionally it crackled at my fingertips. I may look human, but I wasn’t. A changling #uprooted from the Otherrealm, the magic seed will not sleep in me.#vss365


Silvamord the kitsune grinned through the twisting incense #smoke rising from each of her nine tails. The crude kobold stomped into her shop brandishing his glave. He inhaled the fanned smoke, his jaw went slack stone infested his scales. She admired her newest sculpture.#vss365


My heart still pounding, the cold #floodwaters lapped at my toes. A lake where my farm had been moments before. So this was what the government meant by relocation program for the greater good. Eddying in the current ragdolls that once were my neighbors.#vss365


My body tingles, all the hairs standing on end as the sun set fills the sky. Momma holds me close and whispers, “Soon now.” The bright eye wide open in the night fills the sky, changing us, primaling us. We lift our muzzles, singing to honor this #lunar holiday. “Aoooo!”#vss365


My claim to fame? Oh yeah, that’s a great story. My niece asked me, “Can you do a #somersault?” I said, “Hold my beer.” Woke up here, in traction. Good news is, my best friend Larry sent the video to a contest. Says we’re a shoe-in to win. Should cover the medical bills.#vss365


I swallowed hard at the undeniable evidence. There it was, preserved in a lump of #amber. No matter how many times I reran it, the data never varied. Our promised end stared me in the face locked in tree sap, and no one believed me. Countdown T minus…#vss365


The music tugged and pulled on every limb. We found ourselves slaves to the #euphoric rhythms, feet pounded the pavement in time with the drumbeat. Our world dissolved into one ruled by measures and tones. Had we only known the spell the siren wove, we would never stop.#vss365


The mouse-widow wailed into her paws. “My poor husband!”

“Naught but a snack,” the fox continued for her with a flick of his tail. “Apologies for the tone, but that it is what one gets for foolishly approaching a lion, the king of #carnivorous beasts.”#vss365


“Before Alice there was Trixie, then Monica. I tell yah, Mark gets #infatuated at the drop of a hat. It’s all innocent, he moves on.” I leaned back in the interrogation chair, smiling up at the detective. Of course Mark moved on, the moment the his target vanished.#vss365


“Mercy!” the villagers cried out to the beast using the mountain as his bed. Behemoth’s tail coursed down like a raging river. The beast yawned and with a single slash wiped the occupants and their village off the map, a display of the apocalypse bearer’s #cavernous heart.#vss365


Gaia observed patiently as creatures upon the surface decimated her generosity. There had been enough for all, until they evolved. For the sake of the remaining species she sent storms, fire, and flood to #devour humanity. The Earth would heal, cleansed and repopulated.#vss365


“A man’s worth is in his #marrow.” Strageth the savage smiled down at her students. A moment later she cracked a femur like a twig. “You see? This human is rotten.” Her hatchlings bobbed up and down on their claws and she proceeded to use a bone-sliver as a toothpick.#vss365


“My, what a lovely #garden. This must be what takes up your time after William’s passing?” Mary’s guest inquired on the leisurely tour.

She smiled demurely, her gloved fingers toying with a fresh rose plant. “The key is good fertilizer and tilling the soil thoroughly.”#vss365


The forest shivered in anticipation. Foliage speckled with the upcoming autumn waved beneath the vibrant horizon. The sun sank giving way to the moon’s reign. A unicorn pranced through the enchanted woods sparkling with the power of the #equinox. The change hers to bring.#vss365


I swallowed, sound echoed in the cavern revealing its immense size. I gripped my sword with both hands wishing it had been a torch to break the darkness. An ember flickered. I took a step back. A moment later a huge maw burst in #fire. Well, I found the dragon. What now?#vss365


Elder Grah pulled the thread through the hoop in a delicate design. I sat at her feet enthralled by the rhythm. She smiled, “Never forget this art we make as tribute. Not every tribe can make a life-catcher.” Each pass of her victim’s #sinew thread sewing spirit’s power.#vss365


“I didn’t know Jimbo could #consume an entire vat of chili.”

“He’s a dog. What did you expect?”

“I also didn’t know it’d come back out both ends as nearly an identical substance.”

“Sigh. Just keep mopping.”#vss365


“I’m convinced #universe has it out for me.”

“Don’t be so dramatic, Emily.”

“Stupid f’in cat on the stupid f’in stairs. Fine. Can you at least scratch my nose? The casts won’t let me.” #vss365


Forces aligned as the forests entered their season of slumber. Darkness poured from the henge in thick swirls. The sidhe opened wide releasing the #chthonic spirits to cavort in the crisp night air. A dark beast slunk in the world on poisoned talons. His age had begun.#vss365


The morning sky blazed red. Flocks of birds engaged in a strange #dance , murmurations in various patterns. My heart thundered. What was that old saying? “Red sky at dawn, sailors take warn”? I was no sailor, but the hazy horizon promised nothing but death.#vss365


The hooded man with a scythe extended a hand. “Name’s #Inevitable.”

“I—I thought it was Death.”

“Nah, we’re re-branding. Marketing says that the grim aspect is too retro. So we’re trying to lighten the spin. Is it working?”

“Umm, I’m still dead. Right?”

“We have T-shirts.”#vss365

August Twitter-splosion

All of August’s #vss365 tweets in one shot! Enjoy!



Joy trembled as the #cellar door rattled. Not again, she thought. No one believed her last time. They wouldn’t again. It must be a rat, remained the excuse. The frame broke and the chimera beast lunged against the wall ready for his kind of play. Joy gulped!#vss365


The cave stood before me, an epic reuniting journey. My call echoed back to me, nothing more. Had I taken too long to reach? My heart sank. Then, a flicker of a connection. The bright flash of feather and claw. My gryphon #familiar flattened me. We were whole again.#vss365


The elk herd took flight from the howling pursuit of the wolves they could not shake. At the rear a wise old elk slowed and stared at the tails of the herd vanishing into the safety of the trees. The rest would live as he waited to pay #sacrifice as so many had before him.#vss365


“That light on the horizon, that’s odd. Can’t be Venus, that’s the wrong way. Should be #Jupiter. But it’s getting-”

“-bigger. Alarmingly bigger! Planets don’t do that. What the fu-”

Just then the radio blared, “Citizens of Earth, we have assumed control.”#vss365


The dragon wrapped her tail around her young. “When I was young we were ruled by the fair dragon #empress.”

“What happened to her, mama? Why do we hide?”

“A dragon declared himself our first emperor. And then our first civil war.”#vss365


One tiny spark in a void does nothing. But, if that tiny spark happens near kindling it can catch and spread. Without boundaries it can grow into a devastating #wildfire, for bad or for good in some cases. What kind of spark you are depends upon intentions.#vss365


Love is an #emotion she was immune to. Many fawned over her in displays of lavish affection that resulted in nothing. Nothing to them. For her it revealed the shallow nature of desire at how rapidly loyalties changed.#vss365


Rain fell on the cracked earth and hissed on impact. Despite the downpour it did no good to alleviate the drought in the unending heat. Too late to change fate. The world watched hope #evaporate one drop at a time.#vss365


She wiped her brow with her apron around the corner, out of sight. Fixing a grin on her face she covered the exhaustion as well as any could, and buried the fear that ends would not meet. There’s no #glory as a waitress battling poverty.#vss365


Constance adjusted her corset and walked out with soundless steps onto the darkened stage. No one had told her the price when a soul #peaks too soon. The audiences came to see the living perform … no one ever “saw” her. #vss365


“What a strange name for a town, #Vermillion. I wonder why it’s called that?” An hour later I regretted that question, for the master scholar dropped a tome in front of me. It was all in the history. The night a dragon painted the town “red”. #vss365


In a line they stretched from the ocean, or was it into? She couldn’t tell as her feet drew her along the #shell line. Waves dappled in foam danced, the lure pulled her ever forward. The moment her toes touched the water one world gave way to another … she was lost.#vss365


Society called her a #renegade when she protested. They ignored her logical argument and called her insane. In the present they made her a villain. When the system fell under their own foul dealings … society forgot the derogatory nicknames, history called her a visionary.#vss365


“I don’t like how things are. Why can’t we just fix the problem. The solution is ea-”

“I’ll tell you why, Grandpa. It’s because everyone thinks they have the one true answer and people are too #stubborn to talk shit through.”

“The answer is-”

“My point exactly.”#vss365


Silence is the most disturbing thing, when applied to a puppy. I stood from my desk and entered the room hoping to find him sleeping. Instead I was greeted by an #explosion of what once was my couch. Around his gleefully wriggly body, a selection of untouched dog toys.#vss365


I close my eyes and my world becomes a #symphony. Everywhere there is music, though most call it noise. The rumble of car tires holds rhythm with the whistle of the wind. Even if no one else appreciates it, I move to the world’s orchestra.#vss365


No matter how many times I tell myself the monster isn’t real, I feel claws in my flesh. I fight to #imagine the time when I didn’t know the crippling pain, the poisonous anxiety that stole my life. I cry out, but no one hears me. I cannot escape this unseen beast. #vss365


“Eh, new dog.”

“Name’s Mais-”

“Don’t care. Listen, there’s an order around here. I’m the #favourite pet and don’t you forget it.”

“I can’t help it if the human likes me more.”

“You better, or you’ll wind up like the cat.”

“What cat?”



The world lay silent before me. Everything bathed in shadow as I #linger, my gaze cast over my home. Where I was born, I rode a bike and played tag, shared lemonade with a friend. All it took, one millisecond of hatred to wipe out all life. Assholes, hope they’re happy.#vss365


Every stroke of the brush is an escape. The troubles of reality fade away. Don’t disturb me as I wander through my #haven of paint. I will return to your world when I am ready, and not a moment before.#vss365


Hearts pounded, lungs burned, every hoof tore up the ground in the herd’s panicked flight. They ran toward freedom with the wolves biting their flanks. It wasn’t freedom that greeted them. The cliff, the pack’s strategic #blindside, provided a leisurely buffet.#vss365


Despite impressions of stylish elegance, the city wasn’t her scene. When the cameras turned off and control of her life returned, deep in the woods she shed the civilized cocoon and let her #wild side out. For her, bathing in the moonlight did not require a bikini.#vss365


Intelligence ain’t Roy’s best trait. After all, it was his #bright idea to hold the Running of the Chihuahuas. Never thought I would see a man mauled by land-piranha. On the plus side, he saved in funeral costs due to the casket size. Actually, may have been his best idea.#vss365


With that one word I felt my world #shatter. And yet it didn’t even register in the chaotic shock. One four letter word whispered in my ear and my life relinquished. “Mine.” If only I had fought back.#vss365


The dusk #skyline burst into an array of colors including the brightest red against desert sand. Cradled in the dunes a lost albatross fought to keep her eyes open. Lost in the largest beach imaginable, her last thought, where did the ocean go?#vss365


The door opened on ground zero: the kitchen. Boxes and cans with contents spilled over the floor. The trashcan knocked over and rooted through. Two debris covered dogs groveled amidst ketchup paw prints. One sat perfect as his trash lid necklace #confess to his crime. #vss365


“Tsk tsk, little midge.” Aunt Madge pulled out her wand even as I withered under her gaze. “Did I not tell you to take care how you channeled manna? Of course the spell backfired. You’ve #tangled the pull. Lucky you didn’t finish summoning that demon.”

Demon? Oh fuck!#vss365


Balance. Each creature had its place on the island engaged in an eon long dance to find each and every niche for plant, bug, bird, and mammal. All except one. Eager to exploit the hidden treasures of the #fragile land; dollar signs in his eyes, a match in his hand.#vss365


Mother Earth blinked her eyes, a #million years passed before she opened them again. The creatures walking on her changed so dramatically. In another blink, they were gone. Something new took their place. Ever dynamic, she marveled at the flexibility of life.#vss365


My hand tingled as I pulled it out of the hole. “Dammit! It must be #somewhere. Not like it’s easy to misplace a doomsday device!”

“Don’t you remember which dimension you left it in?”

I reached into another portal, a burst of smoke. “Found it! Bad news, it’s used.”#vss365


I danced in circles interrupting it with every trick in my repertoire. Come on, human! Get your act together. Why does it take #forever to pour kibble in a damn bowl and set it on the floor? I sit up at the perfect moment. Snout meets bowl. Let’s MEAL!#vss365

June Twitter-splosion!

Micro flash abounded all through the month of June, here you will find my responses to the #vss365a prompts on Twitter. Why the ‘a’ at the end? Because there is an anthology building. The ‘a’ marked my stories as seeking to be chosen for inclusion. Enjoy the mixture!



“What are you laughing at, child?” the artist asked.

“The ridiculous creature in your painting.”

The artist smiled, “Oh you mean the chanbersnatch, the #ancient beast enraged by laughter? Sleep tight tonight.”

Wide-eyed, the child gulped.#vss365a


The weight of ages crippled his paws. Overwhelming pain closed his eyes. Over, so it seemed. But in the #crucible of death, pounded by his master’s fervent pleas, the end did not come. On ethereal paws he rose, and walked beside her … unseen.#vss365a


“Careful dear,” Auntie said, “you don’t want to get scratched.”

I scoffed. “It’s only a pussy #willow, soft as down.”

A second later tiny red streaks marked my fingers. I bent down to find a miniscule snarling kitten. Not one, but hundreds!

“Pussy willows.” She grinned.#vss365a


At the gate of the lost city an alluring women offered him a #lotus. He savored the precious fruit, telling her of his quest between each bite. She smiled as his words faded, eyes glazing over in the mist of divine pleasure. She lead the latest slave in. The gates closed.#vss365a


From the doorway her frail shadow stretched out into the darkened room. Hand on the frame, she clung to a #phantasm of hope. Gone please! The light clicked on. A familiar toothy grin greeted. “Welcome back.” Her demon patted the couch beside him, gin bottle in hand.#vss365a


The sea drake breached the waves and glared down at the ship thrashed in the wake. Nostrils flared, he shook his head and sank below the waves. His hunger deserted him, to the shock of the #craven sailors. The stench of spent bowels and urine was a terrible seasoning.#vss365a


The fox’s shadow cast over a #century worth of dust and debris in the old apartment building. A world left behind at the foot of the cracked cylinders. She sniffed a rotted doll on a chair. This wouldn’t feed her kits. Mushrooms, savory and larger by residual radiation.#vss365a


Nothing moved at the edge of the crater save for the swirl of #smoke. Miles of leveled land, countless life, flash incinerated. A cloud of mass extinction swept over the globe in a smothering storm. Humanity could not escape it. Wiped clean, Earth began to cycle again.#vss365a


My nephew ran his fingers along my writing desk. “Oh hey, this is the same #motif that’s on the cover of your last book. You know, on that pedestal with the demon.”

“It is.”

“Inspiration, neat. Now if only Zarkel was real.”

Behind him large wings stirred. Not again.#vss365a


“Never fear!” The knight held up his spear. “I will vanquish this wretched bird for the kingdom.”

The ‘wretched’ bird raised its head and scowled down at the shiny man. She spread immense #wings, burst into flames, and scorched his corpse clean off the earth. “Arrogance.”#vss365a


Stroke the fur between her floppy ears. Look into her soft gold eyes as she sits on the floor. She beams back #empathy for a foreign species. She senses pain and panic; she brings relief and calmness. In her canine frame she embodies a vast soul unequaled in humanity.#vss365a


Fox sat at the mouth of Lion’s sick cave. “Come in,” Lion rumbled.

Fox shook his head. “I’m fine here, thank you.”

Lion lunged, but only a mouthful of fur for his troubles.

“You are not so sick to eat, Lion. What a #ruse the rest fell for. Tracks go in. They never came out.”#vss365a


Stroke of #midnight, says the grandfather clock with its chime. I sit on his chest, as is my nightly duty, and watch his eyes widen in the dark. He cannot move under my spell. Conscious, but unable to struggle beneath the weight of his mind. Sleep shall come no more.#vss365a


Mitch raised his hands to the heavens and called forth the god’s fury to rain down upon his enemy. Thunderbird smirked and looked into the would-be mage’s heart. He unleashed a #bolt as requested, right down Mitch’s spine. That pesky ego made a great lightning rod.#vss365a


Charity dashed for the mansion door toward her screaming butler. On the porch a hell hound stood dripping in blood, a telltale #vintage diamond studded leather collar pinched between his teeth. A note, “Reminder: Payment is due.” She grasped the talisman around her neck.#vss365a


The old bat told me if I went into the woods and held up this stupid stone it would turn into my #totem and reveal my spirit animal. Hours of this and all I see is a snake eating its own tail. What kind of non-sense is—wait, what’s this shadow? Why’s it darker? Oh FUC–!#vss365a


I drift through the night-shrouded cemetery on silent paws. My ethereal body cuts the #fog concealing me from the intruders. Shovels strike coffin. The steady thump accompanies my approach. They turn wide-eyed at my howl. The last thing they ever see. Cursed church grim.#vss365a


Dirk cracked the bat against the tree! I cringed. “Relax sissy,” he laughed, “S’not like the tree’s live or nothing.”

I was about to remark on #sentient forests when the limbs groaned above him. I admit I did not watch that tree fall in the forest. But I heard it thump!#vss365a


Alice narrowed her eyes at the #bistro menu. “Mug Puppy?”

Cheshire Cat flexed his claws. “Good choice.”

In a flash a coffee mug appeared filled with a tiny dog, staring up at her with wide eyes.

Alice palmed her face. “Right, Wonderland. Never mind.”#vss365a


I knew the black horse was a kelpie as I stared into his eyes. They promised oblivion. Freedom from the scars plaguing me every step of the way. He shied back as I reached to #embrace his neck. Only a moment. Then, he nuzzled me and we walked into the dark waters. Home.#vss365a


Beneath the moon the wolf sisters plunged paws into the hoof prints of a staggering elk. Survival pitted against one another in an #iron pact. For wolf to live, elk must die. The gleam of light off the eye drew them through the trees. A weary eye, unwilling to surrender.#vss365a


In the dark cave he lie in wait, his fury simmered as he licked the #scars. He sharpened his claws, flexed healing muscles. The world continued on oblivious. Green eyes tainted with betrayal lingered. Rage flicked the end of his tail. Revenge approached on clueless paws.#vss365a


The deluge lasted for days flooding the entire valley, bodies floated everywhere. Cumulonimbus scowled from his perch in the high mountains. The weather dragon’s #mood permanently soured. This village did not contain his stolen treasure. He took flight for the next.#vss365a


I gazed up at the shaft of starlight and tried to laugh at the #cosmic joke. Our village had prayed to the gods for a bountiful harvest forgetting that it required fresh nutrients. In the smoke of volcanic eruption I reflected that our bodies would feed next year’s crops.#vss365a


Mark’s heart throbbed as he slipped the engagement ring onto Red’s finger. He shut his eyes. Would she say yes? Her answer wasn’t a word, it was a pained howl. He opened his eyes to smoke wreathing her finger, and fur, and claws sprouting! #Silver “Oh shit—!”#vss365a


The elder hung his toes over the cliff edge, gazing across the valley. The youths in the village had mocked his telling of the tribal #mythos. From up here he could hear their screams as he watched the firehawks drop flaming sticks on their huts. “Heh. What did I know.”#vss365a


Verc the Sky Death sneered at the crowned dragon statue in the ruined courtyard. His tail lashed the stones as he racked his talons and beheaded the offensive symbol. “Your pathetic #regime is crushed!” he bellowed to the cowering men. “Now you will bow to a real dragon!”#vss365a


I stood at the threshold staring down my shadow. How long had it been? A figure shuffled around in the grass. I stood taller … was it? Could it be believed? My hand pressed against my chest. Yes! Riley the dog finished and strode in the door. The end of an #epoch.#vss365a


Somewhere deep with it hides, always ready to share but frightened of rejection. We coax it out in the quiet spaces, our private times though the world straightens our clothing even as we try to break free. Creatives #protect their inner child, and are more because of it.#vss365a


I walked along the path clanking a stick against the zoo bars. They were nothing but animals, right? A snow leopard padded to the edge of her space. Her gaze caught mine. I froze, mesmerized by the human #psyche staring back at me. Every cage, human stares. Oh God! I ran!#vss365a

April’s Twitter -Splosion

Another month’s worth of twitter stories from the #vss365 prompts, otherwise known as more sand in the sandbox.


Chain links rattle. Blood-tinted slobber drips to the floor. Hard eyes narrow. Claws grip the floor. They know why they are here. To rip, to bite, to maul the moment the chain disconnects. The losing dog isn’t the sole #victim, they both are sacrifices of twisted humanity.#vss365


It cannot be seen; but it can be felt. Cannot be heard, smelled, or tasted; but its effects can. Man does not always know when it arrives. But certainly knows when it has overstayed its welcome. The blackened graves always #verify the grim visitor. Beware the microscopic.#vss365


I roll on my back, tail between my legs. “Dogs are stupid. Can’t talk!” He snarls and shoves me aside. But I can, we all can. We speak volumes in motions and cues; more than just #voice, which doesn’t always speak true. I read you, in every subtle cue you miss in me.#vss365


Charity dropped a penny in the #vase on the mantel. Gloria glanced up from her book and scoffed, “Another one? Have you no self control?”

“Can I help it if they die for a young thing?”

“Young? Please! You were a ghost before they were a twinkle in their daddy’s eye.”#vss365


Attract more flies with honey. Oh yes, such is the mantra of certain plants. One such lays out a viscous feast deep within its throat. In the fly wanders for the free bounty. With a #vicious snap the lid closes. Even one who lays roots can slay in the slowest process.#vss365


The mists swirl, a graven shawl cast over the stony yard. The moment I step from behind the marker their #vacant stares lock. Empty shells, every wasted soul to trespass in my lot. I howl, their fate is sealed. They run. But the moment the Grim appears, already too late.#vss365


Vultures rode on the hot air, circling spires. One called, “Looks like we have our #verdict.”

“We do!” another wheeled over the corpses strewn in the crumbled stone and twisted metal. The scent of gunpowder rank in the wind. “The age of man is over, let the feast begin!”#vss365


The lion sleeps under the red tinted sunset, belly full, grunting his victory. Three silent lionesses huddle in the post #violence of the hunt. Their paws in the depressions where cubs used to lie before the rogue male claimed his throne, the only one to feast this day.#vss365


Out of the darkness he creeps, rows of experience scraped into his hide. Paws stealthy, eyes steel. If you run, you’ll be dead. No one can evade the leader of the pack. No one can outwit the #veteran of the woodlands. His claws just wait for you to turn … #vss365


The peacock spread his #vivid display before the camouflaged female. He cawed up a ruckus that carried through the woods enough that he failed to hear the breaking brush. Tiger jaws silenced him and put an end to his line. The female laid in wait for the next flashy idiot.#vss365


“What is that?” asked Charity. “You’ve never had a baby before. It’s #vomit.” Gloria returned to her book. Holding her nose, Charity mopped up the mess. “So small, such a vast mess!” Gloria replied, “A ghost baby can do what a live on can. Don’t forget, check the diaper.”#vss365


The chains snapped. Fenrir spat out the sword and glared at the puny #viking shuddering before him. “Fool!” the wolf snarled. “Legend declared that I would slay Odin and one of his brats would avenge his death. You humans killed your gods long ago. Ragnarok is assured!”#vss365


Bundled in a parka, thick gloves, and eight layers of pants, she watched the world whitewashed as never before. On the east coast she’d known the power of hurricanes, thrilled by the display. In the mid-west the polar #vortex did nothing but depress under the weight of ice.#vss365


“Ray, you said your roommate was a total #vixen.”

He peered around the corner, “She is, bro.”

Max blinked as she crawled into his lap, circled around, and dropped a motley jingle ball. The tiny fennec batted at it.

Ray grinned, “Told’ya she was real cute!”#vss365


To ants the bird is a #villain. In a bird’s eyes a fox fits that bill. To the fox the hound is his harasser. Yet every creature on the top views themselves a victor, fails to see the threat they pose to others. Close the book on the “apex species”, Homo sapiens.#vss365


She pads into the gloom where silence pervades. Her eyes search until they lock. Her tail wags soft behind her. Wrinkled human arms wrap her soft body, tears drench her fur. Words spill out about a past dog. For the elderly her visits fill that #void. A job well done.#vss365


The child stood on the bank of the pond, enthralled. Beautiful, like glass. But in a moment the #veneer’s illusion shattered. An immense horse burst through. Sticky fur seized the child. Down into the depths the kelpie pulled the victim, beneath the smooth surface.#vss365


“Mommy? Grandpa says I can’t be friends with Jimmy anymore cause he’s a –”

“Don’t say it, Darling. Grandpa is stubborn. He still spreads his era’s #venom, no one can convince him he can be wrong. You are wiser, Jimmy’s friendship is proof of that.”

“Okay! Jimmy-TAG!”#vss365


Missy barely lifted her head to her owner’s call for dinner. Her stomach twisted in knots against her skin and bones. Energy deserted her entirely these past few months, ever since her cat food had been replaced with the homegrown #vegan diet. Death crept up upon her.#vss365


They come when least expected, bearing their magical mischief as they cross through the #veil. Blessings and banes of all variety in search of a place to topsy-turvy. From strange sounds to dishes stacked upside-down. The mundane world is least prepared for a fae-party.#vss365


The Easter Bunny chuckled, rubbing his paws together. All too easy. Not just children succumbed to the #vice, the adults committed to the frenzy as well. When the sun rose the crowds would gather to collect the candy filled eggs. Then the greed brawl would begin! Joy!#vss365


“Dude, admit it, you’re lost!” “Am not, c’mon, we’re sea turtles, bro. We have this kinda homing beacon thing. The ocean is uh… that way.” “S’kinda #vague, and do waves come in pairs? Why are some white and some red?” “Dunno, but we’re gonna party soon!” HONK! SQUISH!#vss365


She stood before him as every moment of anguish and shame he had forced her to bear all the years flooded back. Every fiber of her being burned with a #vehement desire to inflict the same suffering back on him. Instead she turned away. “I forgive, and forget you.”#vss365


The fox licked her lips. Not one leap from her a rabbit snacked in a vegetable garden. His #vapid stare locked on nothing at all. One beast’s ignorance is another’s feast. Today the luck fell on her side.#vss365


Slopes blossomed in a tangle of old growth. Forests as old as memory could recall sprawled with all manner of creatures surrounding. The first rumbles stirred the wildlife in droves. Humanity continued their way oblivious to the waking #volcano about to devour the village.#vss365


The painted wolf pack scattered the antelope across the grasslands. The hunt leader targeted one, then she #vacillated to another. Wise antelope feigned weakness drawing her attention. Their game protected the slower ones. Dust swirled, the pack watched their meal escape.#vss365


Sun-drenched sand lapped by the foam ridden waves stretched to the horizon. Gulls hovered above. I lowered the magazine and pined for that photograph. Outside my living room window robins shivered as fat flakes of snow fell. In April. “Fuck me, I need a #vacation.” #vss365


It crumbled under the weight of an entire library. Yet, somehow it holds out in a tiny refuge of the soul. The last #vestige of imagination, slain like a reviled dragon as it sleeps cherishing the last coin of its once vast treasure. Adulthood, the true slayer of dreams.#vss365


Broken spars broke the surface of the bay. Waves toyed with the shredded sail cloth. The pirate captain’s shadow cast over the cowering gun crew. “You call this a #victory?The cargo we were after is at the bottom of the bay! How the fuck is that a victory?”#vss365


Tiny teeth gnaw and gnash the metal army. The precious chew toys gripped between paws diminished to mangled bits. In a series of swallows they are defeated. The puppy cocks his head, his fun #vanished. He lowers his head to take a nap.

“Honey? Have you seen my D&D minis?”#vss365

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.


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


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


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


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


“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


“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


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


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…


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


“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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.