Micro Stories

i muddled through the black waters, pants sticking to my legs and trying to drag me deeper, deeper into the depths of what i couldn’t see.

true north shone brightly in front of me, coaxing me farther into the shallow night.

their lights nicked me here and there. i dove behind patches of nature i couldn’t name, my breath drowning out the pounding of my heart as i tried to quiet myself into the stillness of the amazon.

 

they’d invited me here

given me stories of love

but that’s all they were. stories to cover their chains. chains and blood and misery. i sliced through them with paper cuts and tears, fleeing into the middle of what they would not see.

choices, choices.

they’d made theirs.

it moved, the sky, and i realized i was going the wrong way.

or perhaps. true north never was very true.

could they lie so perfectly?

i drove a stake into my heart to hush it. not now. i needed to think. needed to breathe.

 

their voices came closer, closer, words almost but not.

would they stop at the gate? the gate, the gate they’d paraded in front of us all, mocking our chained gait, waving their red flags to hide the truth. behind crowds and chants, mindless distraction and chemistry.

we didn’t listen.

we chose too.

 

at the gate now, their rattling grating on my nerves. so close their words made sense, scraping down my spine and making my teeth ache.

i would not go back. inside me, they spoke, we will not go back.

i nodded in agreement, branches scratching my face and arms.

moving in nanoseconds and held breaths, i peeked around the black bark of the tree. everything painted black in the absence of the moon, they appeared as foreign things, standing with too long limbs, too large heads, rounder than seemed right.

at the gate.

they moved like they had no joints, too limber, too broken. eyes shining like an animal’s as the lights they carried caught them in the face. hissing and guttural anger issued through the clearing.

backs to me now.

they left.

left me to my choice.

i sighed into the tree at my back, tension rolling off my skin like springs falling out, leaving me lifeless and warm.

but there was no escaping what lived inside me now.

 

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Micro Stories

Dark Blue Whispers

sometimes the handlebars are underground

and the only way to find the map is to go back to the liquor store and make a different decision

that’s where they found us

trading in an old life

for free will and laughter

the choice to make our own mistakes

instead of suffer the consequences of theirs

 

their boots shook the ceiling

the threat of return to where we used to be

sending blood through our veins in a fiery dance

because we knew

there was no going back

 

we found the back door beneath the closed sign and ran, never looking back

if we did

perhaps they’d convince us to stay, that we didn’t need our tongue anyway

and our eyes would only mislead us

we could use theirs

for a price

but no

we ran, eyes firmly on the blurry promises ahead of us

hand in hand, because getting lost is so easy

when all the signs forgot their arrows

 

it was only when we made it past the river

under the cover of the places they call forbidden

knowing full well

(they always knew the truth)

our cure resided here

it’s only then we realized

we can breathe fire

and hear the trees

whispering in darker hues of blue

 

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**this micro story was named by a patron 🖤

Micro Stories

crossing the line

there’s a hollow in the middle of the forest.

we’re told not to go.

but you see, there’s a path made of bones and lace, things long dead and recently forgotten, things left to rot. the way is marked by promises, debts i’ve seen payed off. and every so often, the soft scent of cinammon wafts along in the night.

i’ve made it past the warning signs.

i’ve shimmied under the gate.

i know i shouldn’t be here but the voices tell me not to wait.

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Micro Stories

fleshing it out

i can feel it, swarming just beneath the surface of everything i am and everything i am not. it lurks in a non-committal tone, hazy and misdirecting. there isn’t much to say about it.

it hasn’t yet decided syllables or meaning. context or form.

but it watches. it swims closer as if to break the surface, only to dip back down in a meandering swirl, nothing but the vague tail end brushing up against the topside, sending ripples of possibilities down my spine. sitting on the tip of my tongue, in the curve of my lips.

it won’t leave me alone, yet i cannot name it. it slips through my fingers like so much smoke, a dizzying tease that drifts into

 

sometimes i realize i’m the one staring up, up, up at the sun’s dance as it shimmers atop the waves above my head. waving frantically for my attention, choking on lost words and hopes, dreams i’ve forgotten and silly little stories i can’t quite let go of.

other times i find out too late what it was trying to tell me, only to be sucked into the depths of an unfathomable creature, ten times the size of myself. smothered in the debris of what could have been.

 

and yet, there are times…

there are times that we meet in the middle and i can begin to make it out, my eyes opened, the ever shifting shape coming into focus. i reach my hand out and

all is right

i live for those times

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Micro Stories

bliss isn’t ignorant

they took his hand out of mine. with hired hands that slunk through the windows and carved their hooks into his flesh, dragging him out before he could wake. they left him in the emptiness, riding away in their ivory chariots and stolen boots. thinking he’d fall into the darkness they set as a trap, lynching his options and blinding his way.

their chosen ignorance is their death.

covering their ears and playing mute. they dance without their feet and sing without their lungs. playing pretend and asking for credit for all they’ve gathered off the backs of those they’ve enslaved.

decay is their speech and the dying are their young ones.

they don’t know that he is mine, a creature of the darkness, so very well acquainted with the lonely nights of life, stripped of the sunlight owed.

he finds his way back me to easily, as i sit on a throne of burnt ashes turned to stone.

 

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Micro Stories

luck pusher

“don’t push it,” he said.

a fine mist of blood painted me crimson. their bodies hit the ground harder than seemed realistic, fallen stones, heavier than any breath i’d ever held, any secret that’d weighed down my lungs.

i hid my grin, biding my time.

i wasn’t impressed with these people, killing their own to frighten me into squealing. they’d brought me here, thinking i was the woman they’d threatened into working for them last week. they should’ve made the deal in person. should’ve known my face.

he slowly lowered the gun, smug in his stance, feet firm on the cement. dust floated into the air. his minion coughed.

i didn’t like acting scared. it didn’t agree with me. good thing i only had to stall for another few minutes. just long enough to keep them here, long enough for the others to find it. just long enough…

their mercenary came out of the back room.

they’d patted me down.

hadn’t checked my hair.

 

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Micro Stories

naked sky

there’s a hollow, past what is known.

you took me there. we danced with the flames, shimmering darkness cloaking us from the whisperings of the trees. the wind howled its sorrow and we fed it tears, embracing the brilliancy of knowing what if feels like to be alive.

drums played deep beneath the ground, reverberating through my chest, blinding me to what held me back. the death of what came before fueled our heels, hitting the ground to the sound of our hearts.

they sent their hounds into the maddening circle of treachery, trying to sniff us out, drag us back. we turned them, opening them up to the truth. they sang with the thunder and ran with us through rainstorms, no owner to tame their souls.

the creek rushed up to meet our waists. the pebbles drew us deeper, deeper, until we spread our wings and let the waves carry us into the hollow where day break licked the water droplets from our skin. slipping into a warm slumber, the sky danced behind our eyelids.

we awoke to silence. it told us everything.

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Micro Stories

look away

the lace drops down and somewhere in the night a wolf howls. blood drip, drip, drips down my arm, splatting onto the forest floor. i can’t see the tree i lean against. the only color, the glow of eyes they tell me not to trust. your claws, they’re meant for rending, but your touch keeps me safe.

darkness wraps me in memories of their screams. its softer than i remember.

they’ve got you all wrong.

they traded velvet for chains, singing along to their own funeral march, heads held high, noses buried deep in noisy words and pretty smiles. they don’t hear the clang of metal links at their wrists, the flaxen cord squeezing at their throats, tighter, tighter, tighter.

when i ran, they looked for me in the mass grave they’d hidden. they don’t think about it anymore. a ghost among their thoughts, a number on their screens. they forgot what it’s like. to bleed.

monster, they call you.

hand in hand, we run.

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