A 250 Word Micro-fiction Story


Another contest entry for the NYC Midnight 250 Word Micro Fiction Challenge (summer 2022). Again, for this contest, NYC Midnight assigns writers to a group that consists of a genre, action and word that must be utilized. Writers have 24 hours to submit. The judges choose top 10 entrants to move on to next round. There were over 6000 writers participating from all over the world, so each group had about 60-70 writers to start. The contest has 3 rounds total. I did not advance for this one, but I really liked the story, so enjoy!

My Assignment:

GENRE: Fairy Tale/Fantasy ; ACTION: looking at a map; WORD: Barb

The Story:

“That’s the last marker,” Hans clipped a red flag on what passed for flora on this godforsaken planet.

“Low oxygen, night approaching, no comms, looking at a map of uncharted territory, so probably lost. Did I miss anything?” Greta ticked off their problems.

“No water. No signs of life, which, honestly, could be a blessing,” Hans pulled a barb out of his spacesuit disgustedly and tossed it down. They’d been stuck nonstop by the damn things.

Greta took a deep, cleansing breath. Maybe her last, she thought ruefully, and turned to Hans. He had frozen, pointing at a… cottage? She shook her head to clear the obvious hallucination.

Too late, she realized Hans had sprinted towards it.

He stepped inside, yanked off his helmet, turned and grinned, “There’s air, Greta! Water!” He disappeared. Greta followed him, but a cage slammed down around her.

She watched helplessly as Hans began to jerk forward like a puppet on a string towards a dark pit with an eerie wail emanating from its depths.

“Stop, Hans! Fight it!”

As she pounded on the bars, she saw a barb stuck in her suit. She pulled it out and thrust it into the cage’s lock, which to her shocked relief, immediately sprang open.

The wail got louder. “Not losing you today, Hans,” Greta tackled Hans to the ground while chucking her last explosive into the pit. 

Spell broken; Hans hugged Greta fiercely, “Not today. Not ever,” he vowed.

They stumbled to his markers and safety, together.