Tag Archives: short story

10 Fingers To Understand Silence Is Not An Absolute – Twitfic

10 Fingers To Understand Silence Is Not An Absolute

I.
He lived without a singular sense. His hands felt sounds at his throat, resonating in his head; a voice muted because it had no comparison.

II.
He voiced his language, clumsy at first, in the intricate dance of his fingers. Frustration was best countered with an upright middle finger.

III.
He smiled at her fingers speaking like a 3 year old: focused, exaggerated movements and incorrect spelling. No need to shout, he jokingly chided.

IV.
A text flickered on her screen.
“Take me to a concert. Bring me some ear plugs?”
Between the speaker and sub-woofer he found the sweet spot.

V.
The argument gesticulated angrily. She turned her back to silence. His hand reached to her shoulder, cold as it was, to apologise.

VI.
He uncrumpled the letter, like peeling a mandarin, to devour the words written he had spat out the night before. A hand to speak words when no voice attended.

VII.
Silence has layers, nuances, light and shadow, he said. It’s not an absolute.
Why are you silent with me? she asked. Will you listen?
She leaned in and kissed him.

Over the time I’ve been writing twitter fiction, I have come to appreciate the brevity of the form, limited as it is to 140 characters. It is, in essence, to capture a breath of moment, holding it for a little while and expecting the release and exhalation.

I like the number seven, echoing The Seven Ages of Man by Jacques in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.” Thus my collections of twitfic are anthologies focused on a theme or have a narrative thread.

Playing with form allows me to link these brief pieces into something resembling a music video. Quick, short edits, compiled into a unified whole to tell a bigger picture. 

Coupled with Post It Note Poetry, another short form of writing I enjoy, I can post these experimental works here while I work on my current novella and put my novel through final edits.

I have considered compiling my Twitfic collections into a singular text, as well as collating my Post It Note Poetry into an anthology. Would anyone be interested?

Light My Way – 7 Very Short Stories

Creativity is a significant part of my life, and I hope to encourage others to pursue creativity in their own way (there are lots of posts here on the site to read about the creative life). 

My creative life is focused on writing: novels, novella, short stories, bad poetry, and twitfic. Currently I have had to put my WIPs: a collaborative epistolary novel (edits almost complete) and a novella (first 4K is down), on hold due to work commitments.

But I can spare brief moments to compose short pieces of twitter fiction to keep my creative well filled and enjoy playing with language. 

These seven pieces of twit fic were inspired by a radio interview where the interviewee, an actor, talked about the presence of cameras and flashes. I wanted to explore different ways of seeing light, from the whimsical and playful to existential and reflective but based on my focus on the ennui and minutiae of life as the basis for my stories. See if you can spot the Star Wars reference (it’s pretty obvious). The last piece is a nod to my collaborative epistolary novel, Post Marked: Piper’s Reach.

There is no narrative thread here, unlike other twitfic series Polaroid Memories and A Thought’s Reliquary (I like the number 7 as  a form, like Jacques speech from “As You Like It”). They are lights strung in a sequence like lights on a Christmas tree.

I hope you enjoy it.

Light My Way

I.

“Let there be light,” he said flicking the switch.

“Daaaad,” was the groaned reply.

The Christmas tree exploded in colour, their groans silenced.

II.

As the camera flashed she closed her eyes.

“Stop ruining the photo,” yelled Mum.

She wondered how many pieces of her soul remained.

III.

The dust motes floated in the tractor-beam like shaft of light on the desk. She splayed her fingers and wished, “Teleport me off this rock.”

IV.

Beside the pillar of empty milk crates, he studied the shadow’s patterns; his own stained glass windows. He went inside the milk bar to worship.

V.

His first digital watch enthralled him but it was the ability to see the numbers in the dark kept him awake at night. It deterred the monsters.

VI.

Each boy shone his torch through the smoke of the bonfire.

“Light sabres!” one yelled.

The melee started, dying with the fading smoke.

VII.

He held the mirror fragment and reflected the beam from the lighthouse across the bay onto the notepad on his knees.

“I will light your way.”

Have You Read A Very Short Story Today? Part 4

A smorgasbord of twitfic from the past couple of days, and a bonus poem. The content ranges from absurdist romance, existential contemplation and a nod to childhood games and Indiana Jones.

On Friday I will post a bonus themed set of twitfic based on the idea of light.

Today’s Menu

I.

He pegged his clothes in semaphore, glancing over the fence to see if the neighbour responded. The following day her own code answered.

II.

He patted the black dog sprawled like a blanket over his feet making it hard to get up. “I think it’s time to go, Old Yella,” he said.

III.

The handwritten note taped to his bedroom door read, “Teh floor iz lava.” “This will make getting to bed a bit tricky,” he said.

IV.

The thin shaft of light from the curtains divided the lounge room in half. He prepared to cross, wondering if there were poison arrows.

V.

“It’s a matter of perspective. Are you coming or going?” he asked.

“From there to here or here to there?”

“Wherever your feet lead.”

VI.

Their connection sparked as they reached for toilet paper. But he knew it wouldn’t work; she reached for 2-ply while he grasped 3-ply.

VII.

Koi circled over, under; a universe expanding, contracting as their tails flowed like comets and mouths as black holes consumed food.

And today’s bonus poem.

While I sit on my bike
At the level crossing
The bells sound ding-da-ding
Red and white arms crossed
Then open and beckon
A thousand paths

Have You Read A Very Short Story Today? Part 2

Whether or not you subscribe to the idea that you can write a complete story in 140 characters, there is a challenge to compose a piece of writing that can be loosely termed a “story,” something that has a beginning, a middle and an end.

I see Twitter fiction (twitfic) as capturing a moment, a breath, a held thought, but one that has movement and momentum both forward and backwards.

The power of the story relies on the choice of imagery and sentence structure by the writer to paint the broadest picture with the fewest brush strokes.

It does rely on you, the reader, to fill in the gaps and create the character, using your knowledge and understanding of story to join the dots and create your own meaning to the story.

Here is my latest collection of twitfic.

The coins gratefully absorbed the warmth of her hands. Placed on his eyelids they tried to give back warmth where there was no life.

 

I.

He stood watching the town’s first set of traffic lights order the comings and goings. After the third set of changes he went on green.

II.

He played every game show, answered every question, took home fabulous prizes but his biggest regret was losing Monopoly to his nephews.

III.

He collects the whispers like butterflies; pinned to mounting board and labelled. When he has sufficient they burn and float as ghosts.

IV.

She replaced every mirror in the house with a funhouse version to imitate the reality she saw. One day someone offered her a hammer.

V.

Fold, crease, fold again as the water lily took form in paper. She dropped it into the gutter’s surge and wished as it sailed away.

Do you have a particular favourite? Which one and why?

The History of a Relationship As Told By A Mix Tape of U2 Songs

Side 1

  1. A Man And A Woman
  2. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
  3. Desire
  4. Mysterious Ways
  5. Into The Heart
  6. Love Comes Tumbling
  7. The Ground Beneath Her Feet
  8. When Love Comes To Town
  9. Moment of Surrender
  10. All I Want Is You
  11. I Will Follow
  12. Trip Through Your Wires
  13. Whose Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses?

Side 2

  1. Two Hearts Beat As One
  2. Love Is Blindness
  3. Is That All?
  4. Stay (Faraway, So Close)
  5. With Or Without You
  6. Another Time, Another Place
  7. Some Days Are Better Than Others
  8. Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of
  9. Running To Stand Still
  10. If You Wear That Velvet Dress
  11. Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own
  12. Love Rescue Me
  13. Until The End Of The World

 

The Power of Creativity to Tell Your Story

The Power of Creativity to Tell Your Story

“What’s your story, boy?”

“I haven’t got a story.”

“Everyone’s got a story.”

The Saint of Fort Washington

 

I believe everyone has a story.

I believe everyone needs to tell their story.

Why tell stories?

Stories help you make sense of the world.

Stories help you imagine the possibilities.

Stories help you map the path you’ve forged or taken or destroyed.

Stories help you understand and question your own humanity.

Stories help you celebrate the good events of life.

Stories help you learn from the dumb mistakes you’ve made.

Stories help you question humanity when they do dumb things.

Stories help you to have courage, overcome fear and pursue goals.

Your story gives someone the knowledge that they are not alone in their experience.

What is your story?

When I meet you for the first time, I ask for your name.

I am asking for more than nomenclature. I am asking for the identity and meaning of who you are.

I am asking, “What is your story?”

Everyone’s story is valuable and interesting.

The collected snapshots on your phone are specific, potted memories that make for an opening conversation about who you are.

The chain around your neck is symbolic of your story.

The tattoo on your shoulder has a story behind it too.

Tell me who you are.

Tell me how you see the world.

You do not have to tell me the minute details of your life; I want to understand how you see and perceive the world.

How do you tell your story?

I choose to use words. But I will not be writing a memoir or autobiography.

I will write stories because they tell you how I see and perceive the world.

You may choose some other symbolic visual representation.

Your story can be represented:

  • linguistically (story, memoir, diary, poetry)
  • visually (photographs, film and video, painting, sculpture, art and craft)
  • verbally (song, performance poetry, recorded oral history, speeches)
  • physically (dance, theatre)

But it is your story. You choose the message. You choose the medium.

Your story doesn’t have to be a public document. It may simply be recorded in a journal for you and you alone.

You can choose to blog your story, give it away for others to read and learn from.

 

Find your voice to tell your story.

How you tell your story is up to you.

A Thought’s Reliquary

A Thought’s Reliquary

Friday Flash 19 July, 2013

 

I.

He opened the notebook, the creak of cracking cardboard a writer’s melody.
“I see you have yourself a reliquary,” said Grandfather.

“Amen.”

 

II.

Proofs of holy writ, held within the ink of the pen, waited for the opening incantation. He paused and found no words. Was he a heretic?

 

III.

The first words were important and they rushed from the pen; not so much writing as scribbling random thoughts in search of a repository.

 

IV.

Shuffled sheets in a lectionary of unrequited (or unsent) love letters, parables of adolescent anxiety and beatitudes of pop song lyricists,

 

V.

Scratched sonnets and ambling discourses with a hip-hop feel competed for space between the lines. An epistolary apocryphal gospel at best.

 

VI.

He rested the pen between the pages in the crook of the hymnal’s spine, a genuflection, as the last sentence dried in the valley’s shadows.

 

VII.

As the cover of the notebook closed it murmured, sighed through paper exhalations, as one who held their breath waiting for the benediction.

The Lines (Very Short Story)

Decades away from a colouring book, he paused the pencil above the page’s lines of demarcation. He questioned: inside the lines or out?

In the light of last week’s post, Colouring Outside the Lines, I wrote this piece of twitfic.

How would you tell a story about learning something new? Write it in the comments.

The Tap (Very Short Fiction)

He watched the tap dripping, spanner in hand while his thumb rubbed against his wedding band. To fix the leak would destroy the charm.
Twitfic, twitter fiction, is a challenge to write a story in 140 characters or less.
Is it really a story?
Can you have a beginning, a middle and an end in such a tightly defined space?
It’s taking a snapshot of a moment within a narrative, a held breath implying the breadth and depth of the narrative within a few short sentences.
Last year I tried my hand at a few, The Slap and Polaroid Memories, and will continue to write and post them here on the blog.
Giving parameters to your creativity can liberate your thinking and provide new opportunities to produce new work.
Have a go at writing one yourself.
Post them in the comments.

Contrails

Contrails

Jack wound down the car window and felt the gush of summer air strike his face. His hands held onto the sill as he edged his nose closer to the invisible barrier between the interior and exterior of the car.

In the winter he would press his hands to the glass and bring his nose closer, but not quite touching, so he could watch the condensation form around his fingers. Taking a deep breath he experimented with different exhalations, from close, pursed lips to wide, open mouth and watched it condense on the glass and evaporate.

The summer wind grabbed at his hair and ruffled it with wild abandon. Jack was forced to squint into the force of the wind as he approached the event horizon of the windowsill. He observed the muted scenery through half-closed eyelashes, frequently blinking to push irritants out. The tears trickled out of the corner of his eyes and he felt them dry in the warm air.

“You ok back there, buddy?” his father asked from the front seat.

“Yeah, Dad.” Jack withdrew his face and let the wind continue to rush past.

Across the sky a miniscule spot moved, tearing the blue, leaving a scar of white. Jack followed the scar backwards until it grew broader and broke up, absorbed by the blue.

“Dad, are they clouds coming from the back of the plane?”

“Sort of. They’re called contrails.”

“What are they?”

“Contrails are clouds formed by the exhaust from the engines or from the change in air pressure.”

Jack looked back at the receding white scar, raised his hand, squinted through one eye and held the aeroplane between thumb and forefinger. Dropping his grip on the plane Jack extended his hand out of the window and let the wind catch in the cup of his hand. His arm rose and fell, a weightless object supported by the movement of air.

Resting his elbow on the will he expanded his fingers, letting star systems slip through. The landscape formed a blurred universe, his fingers in focus, in sharp relief against the smudged greens interrupted by splashes of red, blue, white and black cars.

From the tips of his fingers he imagined contrails, forming slowly and drifting into the quiet pocket of air behind his hand before spun like spider’s silk into the slipstream behind the car.

“What’cha doing, Jack?”

“Learning to fly.”