I seem to have started another ongoing microfiction story over on Twitter. I have NO IDEA where this is going! This one uses #366FF, #flexvss, #bravewrite, and #whistpr prompts. Most entries I managed to use all four, but for a handful I only managed 2-3. I also used #vss365 at least once. Prompt words are hashtagged, but I removed the prompt hashtags for smoother reading. Original tweets contain prompt hashtags.
“Don’t #blame me for your #neglect! I gave you instructions when you bought the thing.” “But it’s #enormous! It doesn’t even fit in the house anymore!” “The only thing for it is a #journey to the old wizard. He knows a chicken-shrinking spell.”
Chance walked back home, muttering to himself. The giant chicken at his side clucked softly, #mimicking his #inflection. He squared his shoulders. It was not the time to sit #idle. He had an #obscure mage to seek out, and a chicken to shrink.
Chance heard a #ripping sound from the other room. The giant chicken was tearing his sheets into strips. He watched, #mystified, as it fashioned them into a nest and settled onto it with a soft cluck.
His mind on the long #commute ahead to the wizard’s lair, Chance struggled to adjust to the problem at hand, the #large chicken in its #amorphous nest. To #paddle past a #kelpie was one thing, to move a recalcitrant giant chicken was another.
He was losing #patience. He didn’t mind a good #monster fight, but coaxing a giant chicken to leave his #bedroom with #vague assurances of a better life was beyond him. As he stood flummoxed, the chicken clucked loudly and laid a giant egg.
Chance collected supplies from a #cabinet and studied the chicken, #bemused. “All right then, off we go!” The chicken stared. Chance had faced many a foe on the #battlefield, but this! He looked at the #net in his hand. Was it large enough?
The chicken seemed to #grasp his nonthreatening intentions. It gave him a #cryptic look but allowed him to #peek at the enormous egg. “What if we bring it along?” he asked. The chicken gave a #favorable cluck. “Guess I’ll find a wheelbarrow.”
“Where did the old wizard #disappear to?” Chance asked the innkeeper, who claimed #amnesia. The whole pub seemed to #clam up, but one old woman muttered, “Take the north road, but don’t #quote me on that.” “North it is,” he told the chicken.
The #wind blew. The wheelbarrow bumped along the road. The giant chicken watched to be sure Chance wasn’t #careless with her egg. He tried to #remember that the old wizard would make it right, but he wasn’t #ecstatic about this journey.
The evening #gloom had descended and Chance was #faint with hunger when he reached the house where the old wizard lived. A light came on and #sad music began to #play. The chicken clucked and hopped onto its egg in the wheelbarrow.
Chance knocked, and a wizened face peered out. “Go away.” Chance knocked again. “Was I #unclear? I’m retired. Gods above, that chicken is as tall as you are!” he continued in a higher #register. “You’d better come in, but the chicken waits outside.”
“Well, this is a #unique problem.”. “Is it? I heard you had a spell just for shrinking chickens.” “Did I? My memory’s gone a bit #nebulous. Part of the reason I decided to #leave. I’m not sure I have the #energy.” “I have gold.” “Ah!”
“I guess it’s true that a wizard never really retires. I’ve gone a bit #forgetful, I’ve got lumbago, arthritis, and #vertigo, but when someone comes so #far to seek my counsel, my past #glory calls. Let’s see this giant chicken of yours.”
“You’re not here as a #trap from the king, are you? To lure me back into service? I’m done with the magical #crafts.” “No, I’ve just made a mistake with my chicken and I hoped you’d help.” The chicken clucked and tried to #hide its head under its wing.
“I bought it from a royal #messenger selling magical #animals.” The wizard rummaged in the cabinet on the #wall. “And you weren’t supposed to let the chicken eat any millet for a #year?” Chance nodded. “I didn’t do it on purpose!”
“Will your chicken-shrinking spell work on the egg?” The wizard ran to #feel it. “Something’s #alive in there!” His eyes shone with greedy #attraction. “This could be my payment.” The chicken clucked, possibly calling Chance a #traitor.
“No, #the egg is hers, not mine to give.” The wizard scowled, but took the gold and cast a complicated spell. “Oh, dear. Instead of shrinking the chicken, I’ve made her human. Hmm. Does she have the #burden of chicken #memories, I wonder?”
The former chicken stood with surprising #poise and grace. Chance and the wizard were unprepared for her #flood of words. “Well? Get me something to wear. And something to eat. And then I can #ride that #chestnut horse home. Wherever home is.”
She waved a #dragonfly from her porridge and began to #speak again. “I don’t #own anything but this giant egg, but it should fetch enough at the #funfair.” Chance spluttered, “You can’t sell your offspring!” “Do you want to buy it then?”
“Do I want to buy your egg?” Chance #echoed. The wizard was #annoyed at being left out. “You’re #dancing around the point that you’d still be a chicken without my spell!” “This strange #conglomeration of magic is not all your doing,” she said.
“My lady, be my wife! Your beauty! Your #balletic grace! I would #bleed and die for you!” “I think the #adrenaline #flow has gotten to you,” she said. “We just met.” “But you were my chicken!” She shook her head.
“I don’t wish to be reminded that I was a chicken,” she told Chance, regarding herself in the #mirrors. “Now, I’ll need a #gown. This plain robe won’t do at all. #Lead me to a seamstress.” She turned to the wizard. “Unless you can magic one…?”
“I said gown, not #clown,” she told the wizard. “Think sweeping and elegant.” “My knowledge of fashion is out of date,” he said stiffly. “#Stop. I’ll draw what I want.” The #hound at her feet, she sketched, humming a strange scrap of #music.
“I #remember a perfect-shirt-making spell I won in a #raffle at a wizards’ fair. I might be able to #invent a perfect-gown-making spell based on that. Let’s see, this should have the #correct measurements. And–ah! Breathtaking.”
“In this dress, the court will find a #space for me!” she declared. “The other ladies will be pale with #jealousy,” the wizard said. “Thank you for the #rescue from life as a chicken.” Outside, snow fell like #confetti.
“To the palace, kind #knave! If the wheelbarrow won’t #carry the egg through snow, we can leave it with the wizard.” Chance’s refusal #frustrated the wizard. But everyone stopped and stared when the egg began to jump like an #acrobat.
Chance felt #afraid and excited as the giant egg began to hatch. He’d started to feel fatherly toward it. The wizard leaned forward, eyes glittering. The lady tapped her fingers on the table, impatient to leave.
They stared, their faces #masks of confusion. The wizard went #limp and #melted back into his chair. Chance couldn’t make out his #whispers. In the #remains of the eggshell stood a tiny chick. “It’s cute,” said the lady. “Can we go now?”
“It could be some #novel species,” said Chance. “It might have #unseen powers,” said the wizard, peering at it through his #spectacles. “Peep,” said the #star of this drama, a tiny, fuzzy little yellow chick.
“Well, it’s just an ordinary chicken,” said the wizard. “You can leave it here and be on your way.” “Oh, I know your #game!” Chance said, #anger rising. “You think it’s magical and you want me to give it up.” “Peep,” said the chick.
“I’ll need the use of your #privy and some #sweets for the journey to the palace. Do I have to #invoke our agreement? I can’t go alone.” Chance looked longingly at the fuzzy yellow chick. “No, my lady. I #acknowledge the obligation.”
The #lights of the palace shimmered ahead, and the #sound of music wafted toward them. “Here you are, my lady. I have a #query–” “If it’s about the chicken, all in good time. There’s a #riddle I must solve first. Are you coming in?”
“They’ve been known to #kill intruders in the palace, my lady.” “Oh, I’m among #friends here, and you’re my servant.” “Who are you?” She gave a #provocative smile. “That’s what we’re here to find out.”
Chance was overwhelmed by the #crowds, which his mind processed as #swirls of color. He felt the urge to #fly out the door, but he found himself rather trapped, #sandwiched between his lady and a fawning servant.
“What #event is this, my lady?” Chance whispered as the #tide of people carried them forward. Their postures #connoted great deference beyond the urgency of movement. “I’m the event,” she said, finally reaching the #trim figure on the throne.
“Well, this is something to #celebrate!” The queen’s #dark eyes belied her words. “Your return will #obviate the need to name my successor, Lady Thornapple. Your last ten years are entirely #unwritten in the chronicles. We must catch up.”
Chance tried to #flee with the other servants, but the lady stopped him. “Tell me how you managed to arrive the day before your power was to be #vested in me?” the queen asked with brittle #laughter. The #teardrop pendant at her neck flashed.
“How did you escape my #web of spells?” asked the queen. “I’ve always been the clever one. You thought an enchanted #spindle could banish me? A fairy tale #trick!” Lady Thornapple smiled. Chance tried not to make a #sound.
The queen took in the #view of her kingdom. A #carousel was being erected below, for the next day’s festival. “I don’t know how #you managed to return, but you won’t stop me from taking power.” She touched the #malachite at her throat.
Lady Thornapple’s #auburn hair shone in a #band of bright light. Chance felt suddenly wide #awake. The queen looked uncertain. “What magic did you bring?” “You thought I’d used all my tricks before you banished me. #Far from it.”
The #revelry of the festival preparations below was a sharp contrast to the hush above. Chance had to #strain to hear the queen say, “You’ll ruin the peaceful #ethos I’ve built in the kingdom.” “It’s built on lies!” Lady Thornapple cried.
“The crown is #nothing but a #costume you wear,” Lady Thornapple said. “I’ve returned from your banishment #incognito to take it back.” The queen touched her glowing pendant. “It won’t work against me. It might as well be a #cabbage.”
“What #mischief brings you back?” asked the queen. “I put magical precautions in place when you began to #drift into evil. You didn’t #discern my spells, too distracted by lust for #fame and power.” At her nod, the queen’s disguise crumbled.
Chance scooped up the queen, who after all her #gnashing of teeth was now a white chicken. “Will you be my knight, then?” asked Lady Thornapple. She handed him an #elixir and he felt a powerful #sensation wash over him. He found he was holding a sword. “Her #lies are at an end.”
“My Lady–” Chance began. “You can say ‘my queen’ now.” “Yes, My Queen, I was wondering…about the other chicken?” “Oh, Chance, we’ll send for your pet. It can keep my sister company. And the wizard will come be my palace magician.” He sighed happily. The End