Here’s a collection of very short stories and poems (tweet-length) I did based on prompts from vss365today.com over this past week. I’ve found these prompts are a fun way to keep the creative juices flowing and also are seeds for potential future stories. The prompt is the word next to each date. I hope you enjoy!
It was the tradition of the elders to convey a blessing upon their children. Marcus, though, wasn’t sure what there was to offer.
For years, he watched the many-headed creatures emerge from the cave and devour the children.
It wasn’t time for blessing, but war.
4/19/21 Watch (1)
Jedidiah volunteered to take first watch. He had the sharpest eyes and keenest ears. He wasn’t as sure a shot as Ryan but could hold his own.
It didn’t matter. They’d all be dead by morning light. The creature swooped down from above. He didn’t have time to even scream.
“It’s nothing personal.”
“Then what is it, Frank?”
“I kill. It’s what I do.”
“We’ve been neighbors ten years. Our boys are best friends. We coach together.”
“Sorry, Tom. I can’t stand your laugh. I’ve hated it since I met you.”
“I thought it wasn’t personal.”
If only for a moment
Facing the setting sun
Whispering secret oaths
Raging in the dark of night
Who can stand in lasting love
As war drums beat
4/22/21 Settle (1)
“What’s in the beyond, daddy?”
I stood beside my daughter and gazed across the prairie. Humans had ventured to the Great River, but none who crossed returned.
There were rumors of unimaginable beauties, but none certain.
“Adventure.” I grinned. And new land to settle.
Steady gray eyes
Clouded in time
A mighty oak stands
Tall beside the Great River
Carried by floods
A vision, a distant thought
Tears for both
Her voice calls
The Elysian Plains
The thunder rolled, a gentle rumble across the plains. The young men labored. Rain or shine, the cattle needed care.
The old cowboy gazed toward the hills at the rider on the horse. This was no ordinary storm. For five hundred years he’d escaped. But Death had finally found him.
Lies told to win the masses
Red-faced talking heads
Tossing knives into the cage
Eat your own
Destroy the other
Where is hope?
Where is love?
The quiet stillness far away
For a better story
Image cred: unsplash.com/@noaa
Here’s a collection of very short stories (tweet-length) I did based on prompts from vss365today.com over this past week. I’ve found these prompts are a fun way to keep the creative juices flowing and also are seeds for potential future stories. The prompt is the word next to each date. I hope you enjoy!
The last egg stares at me from the plate. Maybe I shouldn’t have used the ones the kids hadn’t found, but we were out and grandma demands them.
Ugh. I don’t feel so well. Is that a tail? And horns? Shoot! I hope I’m hallucinating. I’m afraid, though, the eggs deviled me.
“I’ve heard rumors. First, they take your ears, then your nose.”
“Charlie survived, but he was never the same.”
I leaned back, eyes closed, listening to their fears. It didn’t matter. Nothing stops a chocolate bunny’s time in the basket.
“Four, three, two, one.”
The portal opened, we expected the team back at any moment. When no one emerged, Shauna and I glanced at each other.
Ready, I stepped into the swirling lights. Once I could see, I cursed. A bloody hand lay on the ground. But whose?
There was no warning when the spaceships arrived, not even a radar blip. We weren’t prepared. They crippled our defenses and destroyed our cities before we launched a single missile.
I lived in the rubble. My world had gone silent. I missed the songs of birds most.
Sharon bought the strange-looking camera from a stranger-looking man in an alley. He promised she wouldn’t find a better one for the price.
When she snapped a picture of Earl, it emitted a beam of light. Her husband vanished, but it was the best photo she ever took.
The spaceship hovered over the zoo. A crowd gathered. Even scientists were slack-jawed.
First contact. A day so many look forward to.
The door opened. A creature emerged, strolled by the humans, and toward a hippopotamus, the most intelligent species on the planet.
Deborah set her gaze on the planet as the ship carried her away. She placed her hand on the window and whispered, “I’ll miss you, my love.”
It was the first day of exile.
Her heart ached for her husband, but leaving him stranded was the only way to keep the crew safe.
With the publication of my collection of stories, Of Stars and Space, this is part 10 in a series of posts about the inspiration behind each of the twelve stories.
Everyone likes to complain about weather forecasts. I’m a bit of an insider when it comes to weather. I’ve never worked in the business, but my undergrad degree was in meteorology, so I know more than the average person about atmospheric science. What makes the weather so hard to predict is how complex the atmosphere is and how many influences impact the daily weather in any given place.
So, I empathize with the meteorologists who struggle to produce accurate forecasts. In reality, though, some are much better than others.
The Weatherman was an idea inspired by my wife. Without giving too much away, the story is about a TV meteorologist who is terrible at his job, quits trying, and suddenly becomes good. Personally, I think this story is simply a fun read. Yet within, there is also a kernel about self-discovery and embracing one’s true identity.
Of Stars and Space (and other stories) is available at Amazon in both Kindle and print formats. Kindle is immediate delivery; print is print-on-demand and may take a few days before the order ships.
“The Weatherman” and Of Stars and Space, © 2020, Michael Bergman
Excerpt from “The Weatherman”
“I hate him,” I said, perhaps too loud.
“Mommy says not to hate.”
I thought my son was asleep. I sat on the couch in a t-shirt, boxers, and tube socks, like I had most of the day. Aaron was curled up beside me. He wore his Spider-Man pajamas but he, at least, had dressed to go out when Anna left for work and took him to daycare.
“I can watch him,” I had told her the day after I had been fired. She smirked and chuckled.
I rubbed Aaron’s back. “Mommy’s right. Daddy shouldn’t have said hate.” Except, I meant it. I loathed everything about John Manning, Channel 9’s evening weatherman. His perfect hair and its business part. His gleaming smile. His charming personality. His dimples. I hated it all.
Because he was me. I had been Channel 9’s evening weatherman until the prior week.
Ken Martin called me into his office. Carley Jackson flanked him on the right and Steph Whitehead on the left. “Tom, we’re sorry,” Ken said after a minute of small talk, “but we’re letting you go.”
“You’re terrible at your job,” Carley interjected.