Microfiction: Destiny

Sorry to take a cynical view of this photo, but that’s life, for some.

photo by Melanie Dretvic via Unsplash

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‘When I’m too big for my pony, Daddy’s going to sell her and buy me a real horse, an old, used one like you, that I can practice on until I get good, then he’ll buy me a better one.’

‘And when you get a better one, little girl, what will happen to me?’

The little girl shrugged and said, ‘You’ll go to the knackers, I suppose, where all old horses go.’

Three line tales: A step for mankind

For Sonya’s Three Line Tales.

photo by Neil Armstrong (via History in HD on Unsplash)

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He stands, listening to the blood pounding in his ears, his circumscribed vision fixed on the blue planet hanging in the vast darkness, and he wants to weep with the beauty of it.

This is the greatest moment in the entire history of mankind, he thinks, no one, nothing has created anything to equal this achievement, and I am part of it.

Then his gaze drops to this unknown ground, earth, dust, a world where he is the first man to leave his mark, and he sees the footprints.

 

#Three line tales: Trapped

For Sonya’s Three Line Tales prompt.

photo by Peter Gonzalez via Unsplash

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When he moved them to the city, drawn by the lights, the life, the bubbling creativity (and the shops, it has to be said), she had acquiesced; they could always get out again.

That was years ago, and the city has grown, tentacular and voracious, eating up the countryside around, even the agricultural land disappearing under concrete and tarmac, until now it has meshed with the outskirts of the neighbouring cities.

These days, he takes her out in the car to get a change of scene, to watch the traffic lights change colour.

 

Three Line Tales: End of story

For Sonya’s Three Line Tales photo prompt.

photo by Clem Onojeghuo via Unsplash

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Every market day for the last twenty-seven years he has set up his stand, laid out his merchandise, books stuffed with magic between their shining covers, and waited for customers.

In the beginning, he had sold books; people had stroked the bright coloured covers and dipped inside, tasting the contents first, and he had watched their faces grow absorbed, the worries of their hum-drum lives put on hold.

Things change, laws and attitudes, and today, as the police make him pack away the shining friends that no one has glanced at in weeks, he knows he has to leave and find a place where people still need magic in their lives.

 

Three Line Tales: Ghosts

This is for Sonya’s Three Line Tales photo prompt.

photo by Khürt Williams via Unsplash

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The beach at low tide—so peaceful and still, no one would ever guess how quickly the turning tide could rush across the silver sands, and the mirrored sky become silent waters.

She shielded her eyes to peer in the direction of the sea, a bright shimmer in the distance still, where gulls wheeled and cried their unsettling warnings.

A trick of the light perhaps, a glitter on the edge of sight, and she thought she caught sight of movement, a family playing on the strand, in the smooth, silvery expanse that the treacherous tide was now rapidly covering.

#Three Line Tales: Fly away

This is for Sonya’s Three Line Tales photo prompt.

photo by Charles Etoroma via Unsplash

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She thought she could escape the pull of the portal by hugging the edge of the room and ran for the opening back to the city with its glistening slabs of anonymous concrete—the known, the dark, the sinister—calling to her to jump, to come back.

She hesitated, listening to the humming of the portal that sounded like music, sweet and low, sending her images from another world, bright and vibrant like childhood memories she didn’t have.

She gave a sob that was part grief and part joy, embraced the dream that drew her to the portal and let herself fly away.

#Three Line Tales: The envoys

This short story is for Sonya’s Three Line Tales photo prompt.

photo by Vek Labs via Unsplash

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A hostile barrier stretched dark and ominous beneath the glitter of the city lights, and the three visitors pinpointed the brighter, glaring lights, the emplacement of some primitive form of weaponry.

All the indications had been that Earth was a warlike, suspicious and arrogant planet, and the envoys advanced slowly, despite the amplified voices barking orders, prepared to give the warriors the benefit of the doubt.

When the missiles blazed, it was with a sigh of disappointment that the three members of the diplomatic mission brushed the puny rockets out of the way and stamped their first, unequivocal statement in the smouldering wreckage of the annihilated battalion.