Microstory: Remembrance of Past

You can find inspiration for writing everywhere. Everything you encounter, with any of your senses, can be part of a story if your imagination is released.

The following is a microstory example, where a common every-day sight turned my writer’s perspective ‘On’.


The gaping wound lay open. The artificial skin, the unwelcome armour, had been penetrated by great force, broken and torn apart. The soft flesh beneath cooked in the long-forgotten sun.

Blood and small pieces of flesh surrounded the wound, dug from the depths. The  purposeful and complex system of nerves and blood vessels had become refuse, no longer serving a purpose, except a reminder of destruction.

It was a strange sight. For ages the bare flesh had been ‘normal’, unremarkable and ubiquitous. With the advent of armour the flesh had become alien, out-of-place in its own existence.

The flesh barely lived, its biological rhythms strangled to all but the faintest expression of life. Given time it would revive. But time it did not have. The artificial skin would soon be repaired, burying again the reminder of what had forever been.

Click “more” to see what had spurred this thought.

PotHole2

Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of the exact pothole that began the story (and this one is from Google). The original hole was deeper, wider and surrounded by remnants of the excavated dirt. It was strange to see the dirt in a city-scape covered mostly in concrete and asphalt.

If I wanted to, I could use this flash of inspiration and write about a city with a secret history, buried beneath. Or an alien race whose artificial armour had begun to degrade for unknown reasons, threatening their place in the universe. Or a planet where the terraforming was inexplicably failing – sabotage, an alien presence or had mankind pushed too far into the unknown?

It’s a good reminder too:

  • People (and characters) present as one thing to the world, but we only see the outside, not what is deep below the surface.
  • That which we consider normal now, won’t necessarily ‘always be this way’. And the changes we see as ‘alien’ will be the new ‘normal’ for the next generation.
  • Arguably, we never actually change anything; we just put a veneer over the top.
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