Ten-Minute Story Exercise (Tuesday)

Day Two of my ten-minute short story challenge! Read Monday’s entry here.

Three pairs of Rory's Story Cubes showing the Earth & a bare footprint, a bee & a pointing arrow, and a snoring smiley face & a shooting star. They're labeled "Character," "Setting," and "Situation."

I interpreted the character to be a man who’d walked around the world, the setting to be a world carried along by bees, and the situation to be a star waking up. I got closer to a complete story than yesterday!

There was once a man who had walked all around the world. He was a stupidly rich man determined to undergo arduous, pilgrimmatic tasks to prove his spirituality to himself, so he didn’t settle for simply walking on land. No, he chartered a cruise liner devoted to himself and to his mansionful of butlers, ordered it to travel no more in a day than he himself could walk, and relegated himself to the longsuffering task of walking on a treadmill on the ship’s upper deck from sunrise to sunset.

The process of walking all around the world in this way took many years. At the end of it all, the man returned home to his favorite overstuffed chair. Unfortunately, his legs were so muscularly massive by this time that he could not fit. Instead, he clambered atop the chair and perched within its seat like a bird.

At that moment, there was a flash of light and a seismic jolt within the man’s luxurious sitting room! The man gasped in shock. “Could it be that my fantabulous spirituality has bequeathed to me a vision?” he wondered. The man then noticed that the flash of light was more than simply a flash—it had remained behind as an undulating thing like a candle flame, though much dimmer than when it had initially arrived. “Hello there!” said the man.

“Greetings!” said the flame. “My apologies—you startled me awake. You see, my people have been using your home as a base of operations.”

The man was bewildered. “No apologies needed, good spirit! Seeing as how I am now a very spiritual person, this makes perfect sense. However, I wasn’t such a spiritual person before I began my pilgrimmage, I can’t fathom why you would have made your base here before now.”

“Oh,” said the flame, “I’m not a spirit! My people are a very small sort of star—and much more intelligent, not like the stupid, beefy stars that your science has spent so long observing.”

“Oh,” said the man politely, not understanding in the slightest. “That sounds sort of spiritual to me.”

“Call us whatever you wish,” said the flame. “Here’s the thing—would you mind leaving again? Our plans are almost completed but the presence of humans is sure to muddy them all up.”

“Plans?” asked the man.

“Yes. We’ve captured your galaxy and are taking it back to our own cluster to be turned into star-honey.”

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