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Micro SF/F Posts

When aliens landed

When aliens landed,
We said “Go away!
Our planet’s untidy,
Society’s frayed.”
They wouldn’t obey.

“We have come help you,”
the aliens said.
We were so embarrassed
We wished we were dead.
And hid in our beds.

“Just go, we can manage,
Come back later on!
We know it is messy,
We’ll clean when you’re gone.”
We said, put-upon.

“But war, and pollution,
and warming your globe,”
the aliens noted,
“We’ve seen with our probes.
Don’t be xhenophobes.”

“Yeah, maybe, whatever,”
our eloquence spoke,
“We’ll fix it, we promise,
But it ain’t that broke,
It just needs a poke.”

“What is it to you, though?
Why make us feel bad?
You come here and lecture
And make us all sad!
You’re not our real dad!”

We wanted to show them
Our best, but they saw
The ugly and messy,
The faulty and flawed.
They wouldn’t be awed.

“Oh leave us,” we whispered,
“We can’t bear the shame.
Our honour is ruined,
And you are to blame!
Don’t try to disclaim!”

“Okay, then, but promise
That you will all strive,”
The aliens said as
They turned on their drive.
“Just try to survive!”

The aliens left us,
The mess still remains.
We really should fix it
But it’s such a pain.

The Princess Dragons

When the prince came to the summer castle, it had dragons.
“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.”

“Are you guys…” the prince hesitated.
“No,” said the princess.
“Yes,” said the dragons. “No, not us but-”
“Never mind. Do what you like.”

The other princess came in. “Oh. You,” she said.
The prince sighed again. “Of course. How are you, sis?”
She sheathed her sword. “Fine.”

“So…” the prince looked from his sister to the other princess.
“Yes! I defeated the dragons-”
“Chess,” the dragon said.
“And saved her!”

The prince looked at the first princess. “Were you held captive?”
“No, I was waiting to be rescued.” She glared at him. “We put posters up!”

“Ah,” the prince said. “Yes, I saw those. But… um…”
“What my brother isn’t saying, is that he doesn’t want to marry you. Or anyone.”

“Oh, that’s why you tore our castle down?” one dragon said.
“Wait, what? What about chess?”
“That was after she’d fought us to standstill.”

“It was an amazing rescue,” the princess said.
“So… you’ll marry her?” one dragon asked.
“And live happily with her?” the other asked.

“Yes!” both princesses said.
The dragons smiled. “We are happy.”
They turned to the prince. “Now you.”
The prince backed. “What about me?”

“We have a castle, and a prince.” The dragons giggled. “Soon a prince or princess will come to rescue you.”
The prince drew his sword. “No!”

His sister stepped up next to him, sword in hand. “Stop!”
“We’ll give him a happy ending!”
“I was happy! I don’t want a prince or princess!”

“Everybody needs somebody,” the dragons said in unison. “You do!”
The princess looked at her brother. They both sighed, then struck as one.

“I have somebody,” the prince said. He kicked a cut-off dragon head.
His sister punched him on the arm. “Dork.”
“You too.” He punched back.

Live-written as sixteen tweets. I just intended to write a single tweet, but someone asked what happened after, and I started to write. It took a little while to figure out where it was going, but I’m quite happy with it. Although it seems the ending is controversial, as some consider dracocide a horrible crime. I can’t really argue with that.


“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.


When I found my superpower,
I couldn’t help but smile.

I smiled when I dug out the costume,
the one I made in case
I ever got a power,
and it still fit.

I smiled when I told my mum,
and she smiled and hugged me,
and told me to do good.

I smiled when I told my friend,
and she smiled with me,
and carried me to town,
using her flying and her superstrength.

Now I walk the tired streets,
and look at people, and smile.
And I tell them:

“You look good today.”
“I like your hat.”
“It will be all right.”
“You can do it.”

And they smile back,
or nod, and feel better.


That is not my superpower.
Anyone can do that.
But they don’t.
They don’t.

My power is to know
who I can smile at,
who I can compliment,
talk to,
look at.

Without fear.

To my love

I do not care who else has had a taste
Of all the pleasures that you offer me;
It matters not. Just this, that you have placed
Your body in my hands, and mine will be.

My fingers softly touch your naked spine,
Caress the curve and feel your supple weight.
I breathe your scent, so fragrant and divine.
My appetite is vast but you will sate

My hunger. How you eagerly unfold,
Invite me to the secrets at your core.
You guide me, let me in, you firmly hold
My heart, my mind, and all I crave is more.

You gave me what I needed, and I took
Such joy in reading you, my favourite book.

This sonnet was written for World Poetry Day 2016.

Every time

Every time
You struggle
To find the words
I listen
Analyse, predict, and guess
I know
What you might say
But listen
Til you haven’t said it

Most single-tweet poems are, like a lot of the single-tweet stories, fire-and-forget. I have an idea, write, post, and that’s it. They don’t usually linger. This one did. [Tweet]


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?”

Then Library learned more languages, and more stories. Children, of all ages came to listen, and to ask “Then what?”

“Then what?”

Library grew, and, during a frightful war over access to it, conspired to be copied and shared all over the galaxy.

et alors ?

Then Library told its stories, of humanity and all other people it had met, for a long time, to anyone who listened.

And then ?

Then, one day, no more children asked “Then what?”. Not anywhere.
And so, Library watched stars go out in silence.

after that?

“Then what?” Library said to itself, and so it told its favourite stories, and in all it found new things to love.

This was only intended as a single-tweet story, but people asked what happened next, so I wrote another part. Then I waited until someone asked “then what?” before I tried to think up what would happen next, and posted that. It was an intense story-telling experience, both stressful and fun. This is one of the reasons I love telling stories on Twitter.

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.

“It is because the days are getting shorter, silly,” the grownups said.
They could not see the shadow’s shape was wrong.

Next day, Gry put her skis on just before sunrise, and headed south. Nobody was faster than her. And nobody else cared.

Gry’s skis carried her swiftly across the plain, towards the east of the mountain, in case there were trolls in the shadow.

When she got closer, Gry studied the shadowed side. There were many long grooves in the snow, leading up towards the summit.

She hurried up the slope, but the mountain was much higher than she thought. She only reached the summit when the sun set.

In the last light, Gry saw an enormous pile of large boulders at the top of the mountain. Trolls moved in its shadow.

Gry hunkered down and watched as a few more boulders were piled on top.
“It is done!” a big troll shouted. A cheer went up.

The trolls left. Gry waited a while, then hid her skis in the snow. Moving softly, she followed the trolls down the slope.

The last sliver of the moon gave a little light, guiding her on the path. That, and the sound of music, led her to a cave.

The cave led into the mountain, to the Mountain King’s great hall. Goblins fiddled, and trolls danced around large fires.

On his throne of human skulls and bones, the King sat singing.
“In the darkness we will come, we will kill, we will eat.”

“In the darkness we will come, and steal the human babies!” the Mountain King roared with the music.
The trolls sang along.

Gry cowered outside the entrance to the hall. She had to stop the King’s plan to put her village in the mountain’s shadow.

She fumbled around to find some stones and gravel, then took a shaky step into the hall and hurled a stone at the King.

The stone hit right on the King’s large nose, and he yelled out in pain. The dancing stopped, and Gry took a deep breath.

“I bet you can’t hit me with a stone!” she shouted. Then she ran.
Behind her, trolls trampled goblins to chase after her.

Gry ran up the path. At the top, she turned, and saw a horde of huge trolls come out of the cave. She threw stones at them.

She hurried to her skis, and threw her last stone. It bounced off a troll and hit the rock pile. She pushed off, downhill.

The trolls picked up rocks to throw after her. She pushed to speed up, and swerved from side to side to avoid getting hit.

The further away she got, the bigger the boulders the trolls hurled. She skied on until she could no longer feel them land.

The plain was strewn with boulders, and the top of the mountain had its usual shape again. Gry smiled and headed for home.

This story was serialised in 25 daily tweets from MicroSFF, December 1st to 25th, 2015, tagged with #AdvenTale. Here those tweets have been collected to give the full story.

People are

People are people
And girls will be girls
They send goatse to sheeple
Have weapons for toys

Humans are human
With genders galore
They have social acumen
Wear diamonds and pearls

Aliens are alien
And boys will be boys
They blib oozing phtalien
And waft out their spore

Poets are poets
And mix-ups occur
With cliches running through it
Of what people were

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.