Very Short Stories
Feature by Lisa J. Manus

I started writing stories on Twitter about 3 years ago with a writing community called #vss365. It stands for very short story 365 days in the year. There are a couple of thousand writers from all over the world who join in using the daily prompt word which is posted by a volunteer every morning. The rules are that you can write any type of story or poem but it has to fit in one tweet of a maximum of 280 characters. It's a very supportive group and unusually positive for Twitter which is known more for arguing and nastiness.

Schrödinger's cat stared at us two-legged creatures in our little boxes we called homes, and laughed, "The way I see it, it's all of you who are dead, you just don't know it yet." We opened our mouths to reply, and all that came out was a chorus of mews.

Lately I noticed that the squirrels & cats were running around & around all in the same direction, #widdershins, as if some unknown force was making them turn in that direction. This morning I began to feel a strong pull, like a magnet,& I too began to turn, around & around

Her eyes said vacant,her body said dead,her mouth said take me back to yours,I had to oblige. We headed to my squat on my Kawasaki 500. I made her a salt & vinegar crisp butty & Nescafé. I asked her her name,she pointed to her t-shirt, 'Thin Lizzie',then she fell asleep

She drew me in with a deftness I've never seen. I quickly learnt what she liked,& became her leitmotif. I don't know how her friends & family viewed me,I felt a peripheral figure,ever receding,not central to the picture. Then I found out: she'd drawn me in invisible ink.

He became more #invisible as the evening progressed. During aperitifs he was whole, the main,he glimmered, & diminished,at dessert,a hollow,shadowy figure,& by coffee all I could see was the cup being raised. I said I couldn't see him again. That was the last I saw of him .

After a night on the tiles, I woke up and felt as if I had traveled down to the third #ring in Dante's Inferno, joining fellow over-indulgers made to wallow in the mire of ever-falling snow,rain,hail,and sleet,which I was used to anyway living in Scotland


The young Danish car designer sat at his gleaming stainless steel desk in his suitably crumpled white linen shirt contemplating the final touches to the taillights he had #drawn. He settled on an anthropomorphised smile,sending a Hygge hello to anyone driving behind.


My problem is I'm made of glass,I can't do much as I'll shatter. I jumped on a bus & lost a foot. If I took off my clothes you'd see right through me & see my organs at work,it's not pretty. They're #hunting for me these days,they may have found a solution,but I'm happy.

She drew me in with a deftness I've never seen. I quickly learnt what she liked & became her leitmotif. I don't know how her friends & family viewed me,I felt a peripheral figure,ever receding,not central to the #picture. Then I found out: she'd drawn me in invisible ink.

Lisa Manus??@lisamanus???

I wonder #whose words I am using, maybe yours, theirs, ours, now mine, shared words, passed down from our ancestors, changing imperceptibly over time, in many languages, yet the same language, creating the same energy, and the same concepts. The language of understanding.


Her skin like vellum, I wrote my life on it. My story was of sorrow & joy. It began at the tip of heer toes & ran up her legs, branching to each arm, exclamations on her finers, full stops in every fold. My secretas were on her back & jokes on her tummy. She, my audible tale.


This morning, instead of my usual walk around the park I went to the brink. My tears #overflowed. I had been trapped on land with the wrong man for too long. No landlubber, I made a paper boat and sailed away.


I was going about my day shopping and cooking when I felt a sudden slip. Like a bolt of lightning I found myself #released from time. At first it was hard to adjust, I kept sliding in and out of people's lives, but I got used to it, and now I love the freedom.

A Riposte to Shakespeare's sonnet 116

I wish I could say there were no impediments,but that would be a lie. We do change. Time's #alterations CAN make a difference,we don't all age well. I propose no marriage should outlast a decade. Sorry if this is not the romantic riposte you sought.


I'll tell you a secret. I still have an #imaginary friend. She's now telling me what to make for dinner & how to bring up my kids. I need to cut loose. The other night she got into bed with me & my partner & "got involved". I'm looking for the right weapon. Maybe the hoover?


#Silent is our sailboat slicing through the turquoise Mediterranean Sea
Silent is the shark devouring the squid
Silent is our sleep under the stars
Silent we are, as our bodies undulate in harmony with the swell
Silent is the response to my signaling

My sister was forever #plumping & pumping herself up. Botox lips,bigger boobs,& teased hair. I looked like a raggedy doll next to her. Everyone was always shocked that we were related. Until she fell in love with an Eco Warrior, so she now chooses nature over nurture .


Like little Russian dolls I keep leaving #miniatures of myself everywhere. I get phone calls from friends telling me I must come pick myself up. I even got a phone call from the police's Lost & Found,(don't know how they found me). At the weekend I'll chase myself up.


She was an #online baby. Daddy videoed her birth and posted it on Facebook. Her mum charted her youth on Instagram, as a teen she filmed herself for TikTok. When she graduated she wrote marketing blogs. Everybody knew her, except herself.