Twitter Fiction July 2021

I’ve gotten behind on compiling my Twitter fiction. The truth is, I stopped the microfiction writing a few months back; the muse seems to have left me as I’ve been focusing more on other things– both writing- and non-writing-related. But I’ll have a few more of these posts to put up here before the end. Anyway, as usual, here’s the best-of stories for the month of July:


“Honey, I think I left the sprinkler on.”

“You’re always like this when we leave on a trip. The oven, the bathroom light… it’s fine. Relax.”


They returned 2 weeks later to waterfront property and a pool in the basement. 

“Could’ve saved the money from our vacation…”


His superpower was perfect rhythm; he was more trusted than any watch or timer or metronome. He loved music, so he thought he’d make a career as a conductor. But after the first day, the orchestra went on strike. He was too perfect, they said. 

Too perfect doesn’t move people.


My cough sends out a cloud of flour. The stuff covers the counter, my hair, the floor. The half-empty bag has landed in the bowl of yeasty water; I reach up a powdered hand to wipe away a drop of liquid from my cheek– of course it does no good. “Time to buy a stool!” I shout.


A horse. An afghan. A broom. 

“Which one doesn’t belong?”

“The horse, perhaps, because it’s alive. Or it could be the afghan, because it just lays there and never works. Or maybe it’s the broom, because it can’t keep you warm. So, what is it?”

“…I forgot…”


There’s the little apple snatcher. I knew it wouldn’t be long before he returned, scrawny, filthy, with his too-wide eyes. I’m onto him. He reaches out a hand; I smack it hard. “You’ll pay one way or another,” I growl. He takes his apple today, but I know he won’t be coming back.


In the old old days, kids came with manuals. Hardly anyone could read, so the books got thrown out. The makers gave up, cut the instruction-writing job, and left parenting up to us. We’d demand manuals again, but we’re afraid to learn we’ve been doing it wrong for far too long.


They called it a hobby, but it was more than that. How could he explain the appeal of the shiny, smooth stones as they left the polisher and dropped into his hand? He took them to fairs, thrilled at the sight of the kids’ rapt faces admiring the swirls of color. 


The tiny necklace dangles from my grip; amber beads slip and clatter to the floor. 

“Look what you’ve done.”

Wide eyes stare at me from the high chair; lips pout.

I step away. “I’m sorry, Baby.” But I know that won’t fix what I’ve broken.

And I’m not talking about the necklace.


How did jumping beans get this far north? I walk the forest path, coming across more of them wriggiling in the dirt. I scoop some up; they leap from my hands. One opens. Then another. Not insects. Aliens, I think, as I watch them devour first the plants, then the twigs. 

Then me.


Body smooth

Of polished steel,

Your throat within my fisted grasp.

Of two-edged sharpness–

Swift, surreal

Against the maille you rasp,

Then take purchase;

Enemy kneels,

Drops his sword, and gasps.


He shakes the pan, eyes keen. There! No… 

Again. Again. 

“Why do you care about gold so much?” his son asks. 

“It’s not about the gold.”

“What, then? Can’t you take me fishing?”

And then he’s torn: fish today, or gold tomorrow…

His son’s hope wins.

He puts down the pan.

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