You might have heard of flash fiction and might not know what it is or understand its usefulness compared to short stories. Micro-mini-stories are a way to express ideas in tiny spaces, 1000 words or fewer. Less space on the page forces the writer to keep prose tight and dialogue snappy. There’s no room for unnecessary words.
I wrote this as a series of tweets while I was feeling pretty crappy about life.
Cute Orc: as you know the orcs have always—— erikafrose🥀she/her (@erikafrose) July 6, 2020
human woman: I don’t know anything about orc history. Let me buy you a pitcher so you can tell me the stories of your people.
Orc: are you coming on to me?
woman: yes. Let me get some paper so I can take notes. History turns me on.
As You Know
The orc took a drink preparing to answer the question. “As you know, the orcs have always—”
The human woman interrupted him. “I never learned Orc history. Let me buy you a pitcher and you can tell me the stories of your people.”
The Orc peered down at her with raised brows. “Are you coming on to me?”
“Yes. History does it for me.” she twisted a lock of hair, fluttering her eyelashes.
The orc chuckled, then continued explaining the origin story of the Orc nations. “Your maps don’t document our clan and tribal lands, but I have a map that–“
“Did you say map?” she leaned closer to the Orc.
“Uh, yes, but—”
The Woman gets her cloak on. “Lead the way.”
“This isn’t how orc-splaining normally goes.” The Orc frowned.
“I’ll make you a big breakfast.”
Inside orc’s cabin, the woman turned around in astonishment.
“Sorry it’s a little messy. I’ve been to see some of my clan’s people for the last few days.”
The woman got her composure. “It’s as if your bookshelves hold up your roof!”
“That wouldn’t be structurally sound.” The orc continues where they left off.
“As I was telling you, the economy centered on agriculture until we discovered red steel in our mines. This map shows the clans and you can see we were farmers and fishers.”
The Woman lay on the bed, staring at the Orc’s enormous map.
“The mountains here. At first we made tools with the metal, but as Humans and Elves tried to seize control of the mines—are you listening?
“Yes, keep going.”
“We started forging weapons.”
“Almost, there.” She sighed.
“We defended our lands. And thus, got the reputation of being warlike and violent.”
“Yes! Thats what I’m talking about!”
“Are you ok?” The Orc stepped away from the bed.
“Mmm. You know what I love after a wonderful history lesson?” she to glowed in the lantern light.
The orc looked defeated. “I’m afraid to ask.”
The woman sat up. “Poetry. Read me all the poems!”
The next day, the orc woke with a sore throat and dry mouth. Though wrinkled and sweaty, their clothes were still on.
“Morning sleepy head.” The woman called from the stove.
The smell of bacon and fried eggs made the Orc’s stomach groan.”Morning, you didn’t have to do all this.” The orc sighed at the full plates.
“But it’s our marriage feast.”
“Our marriage… what?”
The Woman turns, revealing her robe and its insignia. A scroll with a sunburst on a black background.”My dear spouse, I’m the High Historian of the Archive Temple.”
“You are the web weaver herself! How did you get me to say your vows?”
“No one ever really gets poetry. I snuck the vows in while you were reading. Now eat up. We must move your collection back to the temple.”
“So, what does this mean for me?” The orc pushed the plate away, no appetite.”You, as my spouse, have access to the biggest library in the world. I take possession of your vast collection, and you will instruct me your field of expertise.”
“I’m to be some kind of blood sacrifice?”
The woman held her hands up shrugging. “No. Who would read to me at night when my eyes ache?”
The Orc reached across the table and took the historian’s hand. “I do not appreciate the deceit, but I will honor the vows I made on one condition.”
“You exchange traditional Orcin vows with me.”
“Excellent.” The Orc stood up and removed their clothing. “disrobe and we can begin.”
“We must go hunt for our marriage dinner. Together and naked.”
“That is the way of things, as you know, orcs are naturalists.”
The High Archivist shed her robes. “Tell me more.”
They lived happily ever after…