Microfiction Monday: The Contest Returns

by Staff on February 24, 2014


Today marks the return of Microfiction Monday. Every Monday, we’ll be doing a series of collaborative competitions where an artist provides us with a photograph or a painting (or something else) and we will attach a short story of 250 words or less.

We ask you to do the same and give us your best story of 250 words or less which you can leave in the COMMENTS section below. We’ll choose the winning submission which will be published as a separate piece on Friday.

So let this cabin in the woods be your inspiration. Our micro follows below.

Microfiction Monday:  Alaskan Shack

A friend in Colorado retrieved a cat from the pet shelter two hours away in Durango and brought it back to his creek canyon tin shack without heat or electricity that the miner’s used back when the place was filled with gold and silver before the skiers came. He dropped the cat in behind the door of his home to handle the situation with the large brown mountain rats that came in through the walls.

“You eat when you kill.”

That’s what he said to it, holding it up by the scruff of its neck. Then he tossed it in.

In two weeks, we came back to find a wild yellow eyed creature that the house cat had become and the headless corpses of his victims.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole Beaudry February 27, 2014 at 9:06 pm

I want to scream and I wanted to cry and I kept silent as oxygen burnt my lips. He sat in the rocking chair and it rocked never increasing or decreasing in pace, propelled by his withered calves. The CD player was on but set so low you could hear the whirring over the music, and I wished that he would turn it up. I wished that he would do anything.
“Is dinner almost ready?” His voice cracked from disuse and my ears collected the sound with greedy thirst. I twisted my wedding band around my finger and nodded. “What are we having?” We were having the same thing we always had, because we hadn’t been to the grocery store in two months and we were running out of beef and had run out of chicken three weeks ago, and the vegetables in the garden had forgotten how to grow.
I had forgotten the art of conversation. I had forgotten how to speak or laugh and how to dream or sing or love.
The house was going to fall down around us. I couldn’t wait until it did. I served his tea and I twisted my wedding band and I watched and waited, watched and waited as he sipped it. His eyes stuttered shut and I breathed a sigh of relief, and I walked into the woods. I had just wanted a fairy tale, but I had never assumed my husband would be the dragon I would need rescuing from.

Amanda Clothier February 24, 2014 at 10:47 am

I peer through the dirt-smeared window into scraggy woodland. It is thick with crumpled, greying leaves. Many hours of many days. Weeks – and years, I have stood here. This cabin and I have grown feeble together.

A slight smile, at the memory of another time I looked from the window. Sammy-Lee playing with her dollies on a green, well-kept lawn. A tea-party today. Sammy-Lee sings and hops about, feeding her dolls. She chastises teddy for spilling his food.

“Daddy-Daddy’s gone to sea,” sings her baby-voice. “When he comes back he’ll marry me…”

Yes – I watched him through this window, too. He whistled as he closed the gate, slung his denim jacket over his shoulder. That pretty picket fence is still there. Broken down now, streaked with moss – or is it slime? The posts are sunken and stuck up at strange angles. Like bleached bones, surrounding me.

Sammy-Lee pestered, of course – wanted to go look for Daddy. But how could I do that? I love the woods, but there’s something dark, something impenetrable. Anyhow, eventually she stopped asking, but every day we watched for him from this window. She was fifteen when I saw her walk down the little wood-chip path in the lawn. Oh, I ran to the cabin door! Just in time to see her melt into the woods. The last visible thing – my last memory – the red knapsack she wore on her back.

So, I watch and wait alone.

Jay Hood February 24, 2014 at 9:32 am

I’m considering myself exempt, but just thought I’d get things started:

The trees had been taller, grander back then. Now alder and spruce spread across the land where once massive pine had stood. The branches now rendered insufficient to stop the sunlight so that the undergrowth spread into a dense tangle. The woodland stretched for untold miles, a sea of green, interrupted only by the meandering track of a stream or river.

The cabin stood in a clearing that seemed to be dead center of the forest. If not for the density of foliage, one could walk for days in any direction without change in scenery. If it had been a desert, one would have called this an oasis, a point in the distance that travelers would yearn for. But in the middle of the wilderness, the cabin remained an indiscernible way-point, unknown to most.

The natives had a name for the area that translated roughly to ‘hidden’. They rarely ventured deep enough into the expanse to reach the clearing where the cabin now stood. Those who did seemed to travel along unseen paths. Occasional word of these routes spread past the usual secrecy of the tribes to outsiders.

It was one of these outsiders who had constructed the structure. The need for shelter had never been necessary before. Those who came did not spend long.

But that was then.

Now, the lone traveler stepped through the door hoping the stories were true. His foot made one last crunch on dried leaves before stepping onto soft moss beneath the towering pine.

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