A Month of Tweet-long Stories

Source: Wired

To find my way back to writing, after a long hiatus, I decided to start with tweeting short stories using the #vss365 tag on twitter. I managed to tweet a short story/ poem almost everyday in July, much to my surprise and delight. I thought I’d share some of the stories/poems that I liked and ones that received positive responses.

Word prompt – almost
#almost forgot where I hid the axe,
almost made the floor creak when I snuck up behind him,
almost missed his head when I swung,
almost missed a drop of blood on the floor when I was cleaning up, almost got caught by the neighbour when I slipped out,
But wasn’t.

Word prompt – butter
Arrows fly past me. I dodge vehicles strewn along the old highway. I clutch the package I’d found in an airplane wreck. My pursuers obviously coveted it. A single pat of #butter. Haven’t seen one of these since the world collapsed 2 years ago.

Word prompt – eclipse
Myths say that an #eclipse occurs when a dragon swallows the sun or the moon. I just had a heavy brunch but I guess a little moon would make a nice dessert.

Word prompt – pleasure
Stuck at the bus stop,
Typhoon-like winds,
Leaves afloat, they spin.
“Here, my handkerchief,” you offer.
I wipe away the rain,
From my face, my body.
You follow the path of my actions on me.
#Pleasure turns to pain,
You smile at me and say,
“I love the rain.”

Word prompt – crestfallen
She waited patiently in line for nearly 2 hours. When it was finally her turn, the owner regretfully put up a “Sold Out” sign at the front of his stall. She fell to her knees #crestfallen holding in a whimper. All she wanted that day was her favourite chicken rice.

Daily Prompt: Perplexed

In response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: Perplexed


He was perplexed.

There was the old go-to needle and thread.  There was also the hole puncher.  Not forgetting the stapler.  But his hand hovered over the paperclip.  Paperclip it is, he thought.  Got to sharpen it first though.  

He picked up the metallic paperclip and used a sandpaper to taper the ends until it was sharp, capable of puncturing through most anything.  Finally satisfied, he turned to the woman on the chair at the far end of the room.  She was bound by her hands and legs with rope as tight as could be.  She tried to wiggle free but the knots were securely fasten.  This wasn’t his first rodeo.  Tears spilt down her cheeks.  Tape over her mouth.

He smirked as he approached her, modified paperclip in hand.  “Now, let’s see about keeping that mouth shut, shall we?”

Daily Prompt: Elegant

In response to the Daily Post’s Daily prompt: Elegant


Source: Wall Devil

She brushed lint off his dinner jacket and adjusted the tie that she’d picked out for him, it was cerulean and matched his eyes. She smoothed his hair off his face and gave him a tender smile. Pressing her cheek to his temple, she whispered, “I just want someone who will never stop choosing me.” She got up and left him seated on the bench in the park where they’d had their first date, when she knew that he’d be her forever after.

Fifteen minutes later, the law enforcement officers arrived after responding to an anonymous tip. They immediately spotted him on the bench, dressed to the nines with a silver letter opener sticking out from his chest. As they went about securing the scene of the crime, they all agreed that he was the most elegant-looking corpse they’d ever seen.

Daily Prompt: Shiver

In response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: Shiver



The hair prickled on the back of my neck. I fought to remain calm; continued walking.

An excruciatingly sweet scent assailed me. I battled the urge to vomit; refrained from looking behind.

The Pontianak, the spirit of a woman who died violently during childbirth, hovered behind me. I held my hands around my stomach in protection.

Harsh breathing pierced my ears. Sticky, warm on my skin. I recoiled.

I strode faster. The path dark and the winds cold. I shivered.

One more step towards light and safety, I smiled…

…then froze. Cold hands around my throat; extinguishing life.

Goodbye daughter.

Daily Prompt: Fierce

In response to the Daily Prompt’s Daily Post: Fierce



The sea was fierce the day we made the attempt but we were on a schedule. “Moderate waves with fairly frequent white horses,” the Offshore Installation Manager told us, “My guys will monitor the sea conditions. If it gets worse, I’ll instruct the boat to turn back.”

It was early morning, we stepped onto the transfer basket, our bags and safety helmets secured in the designated space in the centre. We clutched the ropes tightly, positioning ourselves on opposite sides for stabilisation. The bosun’s walkie-talkie crackled. He lifted it to his ear and gave us the thumbs up. The crane lifted us up above the platform, swung us out gently so that we hovered for a minute above the South China Sea. My hair tied into a ponytail was whipping back and forth. The smell of exhaust fumes from the crane seemed out of place here, far out at sea. The both of us looked across to one another and grinned as we savoured the view. Then we were lowered, the basket swaying slightly, to the tug boat waiting below which was bobbing a little too much for my liking.

The basket landed on the boat with a soft thud and I let out the breath I didn’t know I was holding. When we stepped off the basket and onto the deck of the tug boat, I asked her why she was grinning earlier while we dangled probably twenty stories above the rough water. I licked salt water from my lips while she re-arranged her tudung which had gone askew. “I looked at you, and then thought to myself how in the heck I ended up here!” She exclaimed, laughing. I joined her in laughter, nudged her shoulder and told her I was thinking the same thing.

Then we sat back, held tight and let the wind snatch away our fears and worries that day.

Daily Prompt: Ghost

In response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: Ghost


Source: Getty Images

You find yourself outside, in the rain but you can’t remember how you got there. Did you walk along the broken sidewalk which had weeds erupting from the cracks? Or did you come out of the warmly lit building behind you? You feel cold seep through your wet garments. You glance down and see you’re wearing a pale yellow dress. You think it’s pretty.

Oh yes, you’re standing in the rain.

Somehow, you know that you should look for shelter before you catch a cold. Did your mother tell you that? You try to remember but all you encounter is wool and pain irradiates from deep within your skull. You stop trying to remember and the pain recedes.

You hear a noise to your left and turn. A large man is coming your way. He’s looking down at the phone he has in his right hand, his left hand is carrying a briefcase. If he doesn’t look up soon, he’ll barrel into you. You try to move out of his path but your movement is sluggish. Your feet feels like lead when you try to lift them off the pavement. You shout out but no sound emerges from your lips so you hold out your right arm to ward him off. He still doesn’t look up. You close your eyes and brace yourself.


He didn’t bump into you. Maybe he stopped. You open your eyes to look. Just in time to see his left foot leave the outline of your body.

Daily Prompt: #Carefree

In response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: Carefree



She was fearless and carefree. Confidence and worldliness oozed from her pores, drawing all the boys toward her. She’s not like anyone you’ve ever known. She’s the you that you wish you could be. A little push, not quite a shove, as she stood too close to the edge of the roof and now you’re the carefree one.

Weekly Discover Challenge: Through the Broken Door

In response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Discover Challenge: The Story Behind a Door

A weathered, blue-painted wooden door in Kolkata, India.
Source: http://www.brettcolephotography.com 

I stood in front of the door, if you could call it that. It was made from pieces of planks haphazardly joined together by shorter pieces of wood nailed across the planks.  The door was probably blue once but it’s more brown now. There are iron handles halfway down the door and it was one of these I reached towards. I was afraid. Afraid that the entire structure would fall down on my head so I rested my left hand against the other side of the door and swung the door inwards.

Beyond the door, was an unexpected sight. To my delight, this poor excuse of a door was protecting, of all things, a playground.

Joy overwhelmed me and I ran to the slides (it was green), ran up the steps, sat down on the top and pushed off. WHEEE! I shrieked as I slid towards the bottom. I landed with a thud then quickly got up and rushed towards the swing set (they were red). I fit my bottom into the seat and pushed off into the sky.  When I swung back to the ground, I got ready to push off even harder and swung up even higher. WHEEE! I was on the swings for at least 10 minutes and my legs were getting tired.  I slowed the swing down and jumped off so that I could run towards the seesaw (yellow!). Being on the seesaw by oneself was not easy but I did it somehow. I sat down and pushed up then the seesaw jolted downwards then I pushed up again. I got bored after a while, seesawing is more fun with two people.

Then I saw the trampoline (a bright blue! Maybe the door was this blue once?). I ran to it with all my might and scrambled onto the trampoline.  I’d never been on one and as I jumped, I contorted myself into shapes in the air I wouldn’t have been able to do on solid ground.  I’m a bird!  I’m a plane! I’m a ballerina!  I did somersaults and splits!

Then mid-air I looked at my watch and saw that it was 8.29am and scrambled off as unlady-like as I scrambled on and ran past the green slide, the red swings and the yellow see saw towards the wooden door made of multi-planks.  I put my left hand up to hold the door as my right held on to the handle, swinging it inwards.  I walked out onto the street, along the brick walls and went to work.

Daily Prompt: Aimless

In response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: Aimless


Tonight, she sought refuge, solace, comfort. She ended up in the old neighbourhood where she used to go to school.

She laughed. Not a real laugh, the brittle kind, as if she didn’t know if she was supposed to moan, groan, growl, snarl. Her subconscious truly had a sense of humour. She had not been to this neighbourhood in at least 5 years, maybe 10, though she thought of it often. Every day. And now, the day after her birthday, she somehow drove herself to this place, no map, no GPS, her only guide, an internal compass seeking the place of beginnings.

Then, she realised that the hostel she used to live in was not where it was supposed to be. Frantic, she drove around and around, wondering if perhaps she was not where she thought she was. After several minutes of aimless driving, passing landmarks, or what were left of landmarks, she accepted that she was not wrong. The building in which she slept, laughed, cried, existed for those few years, was no longer there.

In her parked car barely a hundred metres away, she gazed at the empty lot that used to be a hostel converted from a car park, a hostel that housed hopeful, eager students. She imagined once that sometime in the future, she’d bring her children there to show them where their mother used to live, those heady days, filled with books, friends, loves, food. The lot was filled with grass and who knows what else.

She drove away then, still seeking refuge, solace, comfort. She mourned the building, the first building she’s ever mourned.

Call me Maybe Flash Fic

Mysti Parker hosted another flash fiction contest for the month of May. Typically, I submitted my entry 10 minutes before the deadline 😀 Efforts to procrastinate less unsuccessful. I had perhaps 5 different ideas for this flash fic which had to start with the words “The phone rang…” My ideas ranged from horror to post-apocalyptic to contemporary. In the end, I went with a story that kept the idea of the phone and communication central to it and not just a story device.

I suck at story titles but went with Long Distance.