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Category: Short story

Monsters under the bed

“Dad, there’s a monster under my bed.”
“Yes, I know. That’s why I’ve trained you. Here, your sword.”
“But-“
“Be bold, my girl! Save us all!”

“Um,” she said, feeling very silly. “Still there?”
“Yes,” the monsters under the bed hissed.
“I’m moving, to uni. Um. Will you come?”
“Yes.”

At the border

At the border:
“Do you love your country?”
“No. I am an emotionless murder robot.”
“Ah… Let me check with my superior. Wait here.”

“Do you love your country?”
“Yes.”
“You’re just saying that.”
“No, it’s true.”
“What’s its favourite colour?”
“It’s ‘color’.”
“Welcome!”

“Do you love your country?”
“No.”
“Do you love your flag?”
“No.”
“You got to love something! Do you, I dunno, love your eyes?”
“Sure!”
“OK.”

Found on New Year’s Eve

Nobody knew where it came from, who brought it, but it was there; behind decorations, among empty glasses, under tinsel and lights.

It was small and quick, and shone kindly. Some tried to catch it, without success. Some tried to kill it, and it giggled at their folly.

Some did not see it, or refused to, but children held out their hands, and it rested in their palms. It was small, but strong.
A Hope.


The tweets were posted on New Year’s Eve, 2016, even though I didn’t post the collection until the day after.

Unn and the cold fire

The fire had died when Unn woke; even the embers were gone. She found the flint and steel on the shelf and lit an oil lamp.

There was a patch of ice by the hearth, and hairy frost around the door. Unn sighed, put her coat on, and built a new fire.

“Not dead yet?” a voice called from the smoke-hole in the thatch.
Unn looked up, but only saw the dark sky.
“Who’s there?”

There was a rustle from above, then silence. Unn woke her father, who went out to check.
“Nobody, no footprints, nothing.”

The Princess Dragons

When the prince came to the summer castle, it had dragons.
“Begone!”
“But we-”
“It’s my castle.”
“We are homeless. Please.”
“Well… okay.”

There was a princess in the main hall.
“What are you doing here?” the prince asked.
“Dragons, castle, princess. D’oh.”
“But… my holiday!”

The prince sighed. “Fine. You can stay.”
“Ah…” The princess looked embarrassed.
“If you want to, of course.”
“Oh, yeah. It’s not that.”

One of the dragons coughed. “Can the other princess also stay?”
“The other. How many of you are there?”
“Four. Two dragons, two princesses.”

Alone

“Why can’t we work from home?”
“It’s easier to share ideas in the office.”
They grumbled, but he was the boss. And terrified of being alone.

He’d check people’s progress, in a friendly, informal way. Some encouraging words, a little chat about weekend plans, or recent events.

His staff assumed he drank in the weekends, he was so pale and quiet on Mondays. He’d perk up once he’d had a chat by the coffee machine.

Just a reminder that he was there, that he was a person that existed. As long as someone believed, he did.
And he had, for centuries.


After the first part – which was all I had in mind – people complained it wasn’t fiction, or at least not science fiction, so I had to extend it a bit to turn it around. This is the complete four-tweet story, collected.

Library

Library kept all humanity’s stories, and told them until there was no child left to ask “Then what?”
It waited eons, until the aliens came.

“…and then what?”

Then Library taught the aliens all its languages, for each language tells different stories.
And the aliens cried.

“…and then what?”

Then the aliens, who could not make stories, searched the stars for others who could, and brought them to Library.

“…And then?”

Gry and the Mountain King

The Mountain King ruled the lands around his lonely mountain, everywhere his goblins and trolls could reach in darkness.

At times, Gry and the other children would look south to the mountain, scare each other with gruesome tales, and giggle.

The village was safe. The slow trolls could not reach it, not even in the longest night. But one day, Gry noticed something.

At noon, when the winter sun hung low over the mountain, the shadow cast on the plain seemed to reach closer than before.

What’s their story?

When Creator gets bored and reaches for the Reset, Distractor points at someone and asks “What’s their story?”
Would your story distract?

“What’s their story?”
“That one? They worry about being boring, and have created a whole internal world of could’ve-been. It’s impressive.”

“What’s their story?”
“That’s interesting. They’re quite content with their life, their body, their love and friends. Don’t see that often.”

“What’s their story?”
“That was Christopher Lee. Let me tell you his story.”
Distractor smiled inwardly. This story would last a long time.


Posted as four tweets, on hearing that Christopher Lee had died.