Flash Fiction with #VSS365: May 2019

Don’t have time to read a novel? Or a novella? Or even a short story? Try some flash fiction!

#VSS365 (Very Short Stories, 365 days a year) is a Twitter hashtag game for micro fiction. Each day, a new writing prompt challenges participants to craft a tweet-length story using the featured word. I’ve known about it for a while, but last month I committed to doing it consistently and  got addicted to the practice. It’s a quick way to flex your creativity and generate new writing ideas.

Below are my collected VSS365 creations from May 2019. Prompts are in bold, and each piece is no more than 280 characters. Let me know your favorites in the comments!

No one heeded the quiet boy creeping through the crowd. No one saw his fingers grip the cool metal and unleash his aphotic emotions in a sudden burst of thunder.

“Wow, I’d have never pegged Todd for karaoke!”

Angie7 is the perfect companion: standard domestic maintenance protocols; hundreds of pre-programmed intimate positions; and a perpetually beatific smile, even when her nimble titanium fingers tie a perfect half-windsor to crush your throat.

Spume whips over the prow, our zodiac the only movement on the grey ocean. “Are you all right, Doctor?” asks my young dive assistant. “This was a living reef when I was your age. Coral. Fish. An azure alien world.” Salt stings my eyes. I tell myself it’s only spray.

The crime scene looks like a Titian painting—Venus supine, every detail composed—but dark pools of blood evoke Caravaggio. And my first case.

“Thinks he’s an artist,” my partner growls.

“An apprentice.” Shivers crawl down my back. “He’s copying the Master.”

I’d expected the bionic limbs to be ponderous, but the lithe alloy responds to a thought, actuators flawlessly fused to my nerves and neurons.

“Can’t afford to waste damaged matériel,” says the doctor, peeling off her gloves.

“Me, or the metal?”


“Don’t let her light frame fool you–she’s as tough as any armored cruiser and outfitted with the best military weapons the Belt’s black markets can steal. That’s why we call her Chimera.”

“The ship?”

“No, the captain.”

Kneeling in the oily sand, Mama dug free the object I’d found. It wasn’t plastic, like the other flotsam, but a triangle of porous grey material.

“Is that a bone?”

“A vertebra.” Her eyes shone like sea glass. “This might be enough DNA to bring back the vaquita!”

Each night the susurrus of waves lulled her, basking in the reflection of stars on restless water. Each day it grew harder to wake and accept that the sound was just the ship’s muttering air system, the only ocean the dark expanse of space beyond the porthole.

“How could you let it happen? When a verdant planet started turning brown, didn’t you notice?”

“Yes. But the only green we cared about was in our wallets.”

“It’s too late,” Nate moaned from the keyboard. “That worm will take the city offline in minutes!”

Yanking the chair from under him, Ada hurled it into the server rack. Sparks and shards flew; the computers went dark. “In my day, we didn’t patch bugs. We swatted ’em.”

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