WE SEE FIRST
Call for Micro Fiction Submissions
WHAT IS MICRO FICTION MACCHIATO?
Remember, read in dark.
Macchiato means ''stained'' in Italian.
Before you read on, we'd like to invite you to read the following samples on next page in dark. Let the darkness stain your sight.
We believe by depriving light, that door to unbelievable or even mutated sensibility in your brain will open. So get stained.
Based on a few pieces from Edgar Allan Poe, you will find adaptations in forms of micro fiction. Under 300 words as Stage 1; under 30 words as Stage 2.
Read on for inspiration (and if you like, check Poe's original texts.) Then go on to create your own micro fiction.
ADAPTATIONS (BY FRANZ C.)
MICRO FICTION 1
Den, Black, Kat (Adapted from The Black Cat)
Ah, to begin the whole thing — I wouldn’t even explain this were it not for the whole picture so misinterpreted, by tyranny of the majority no doubt — it’s a must-do. To complete an illustration in your mind. An axe still sinking into the head by degree. Its blade already inserted. Præcis det! At least for some time, I am the head. A broken neck still stretching? That’s the bonus. The wife is, oh, pardon, has just been a title. An entitled one, to be exact. It’s been a shell. For me. For many others like me.
Mind possession is easy. As how teleportation is. Exclusive ability of ours. The husband hasn’t done any crime as he thought. He created projects to conceal secrets from those police in anoraks, which he failed. A great offer for me to use the shell ever so freely, that was. The act to insert an axe into the wife’s head, my shell. Little did he know he’s also been a shell. Even creepier. An Irish elk possessing the husband’s mind. A species supposedly extinct. But doesn’t that look good? The scene, I mean. An Irish elk standing on the cliff, overlooking the fjord below.
The fire event ruining the cabin appears to be a six-year-old standing in front of such an image. Artistry. And so would the apparent-death-event of my black friend, plus the execution of the husband. Ah, such a great place to live, Nuuk. I dare not watch myself depict this childish event. No insults to this city. We cats like to play with stretching objects. I’ll go on to play with the neck. I’ll say no more.
We cats love possessing stretching objects with our minds. I’ll play with my shell, the wife’s neck.
MICRO FICTION 2
Berorg Ceinybec (Adapted from Benerice)
I started discussing important issues with my duvet, for I trusted its judgement. Soundless. Yet it listened. At least this was from him, Egaeus, despite his monomania. On all the spines. Animate or inanimate. Egaeus had offered them all dissections. I know that he never knew. Differences between his favourite foreign languages, Latin and French. It’s just a trajectory left by the Franks. How they were forced to abandon Frankish, yet planted their own phonetic punctuation into Latin. There we are. French.
The loop is not finished, though. I must reveal the second thing Egaeus never knew just to complete it. All glowing fluorescences, teeth he took from his wife Berenice, were sustainable. Human teeth don’t regenerate. I couldn’t deny that. But you see, Berenice is only partially human. She is a cyborg, same time she is a time traveller. She went back in time, landing in Egaeus’s 19th century. I have no clue about Berenice’s 22nd century. I only know things I know. Those shining teeth spread airborne chemicals, in favour of manipulating Egaeus. A perfect assistant for her to complete the loop. Egaeus as executioner. Teeth pulled, teeth grown. Spine dissected, spine regenerated. While grave is Berenice’s favourite bed, books are Egaues favourite duvet, and library his bed.
One last correction. Then, I’m going to rest on my favourite shelf. The teeth inserted into her spine, they don’t glow ivory. They fluctuate among indigo, lavender, and blueberry blue. Same for my spine. A book’s spine.
Human teeth don’t regenerate, yet Berenice is a future cyborg. Same loop as those in my book’s spine.
MICRO FICTION 3
Nestlé under Mask (Adapted The Mask of the Red Death)
It really isn’t so bad to get lost. In the pitch dark they fear. Whereas what they really fear is the subsequent of their body’s expiration date. It swells within and without their bodies. Nothingness.
It was so much fun to watch their selves and courage shattered. Those revellers at the masquerade were so afraid of death. Something they knew nothing of. As always. The wise one among them, Prince Prospero even had the thought of having me executed. As if I could be killed. Come on. I only wore that mask to alleviate profound fears they’d find themselves enjoying upon seeing my face. Blue, purple, green, orange, white, violet, black-blood-red. He really wasn’t so clever after all. Mastering colours equals mastering death, according to him. Yet I considered my mission failed.
Yeah, no doubt, one of these wise humans actually managed to peel the mask off my face. I felt a heart-felt sadness for you, poor Swiss. I certainly should not have shown you the brand your descendant will establish. I certainly should not have shown you the supernatural truth that added to your scarlet angsts. I certainly shouldn’t...well forget it. Nestlé, the leading brand in food manufacturing. Me, the avian humanoid, performing mind possession on the trading mark. That much I could show you. On purpose. I am forbidden, however, to show how we master death itself. No never-ageing-cells, no avoidances on expiration date of your flesh. That’d be cheating. Only nothingness. You’re all welcomed to visit 28th century if you ever survived my mocking here. In this easily-infiltrated castle.
Me, avian humanoid, performing mind possession on Nestlé’s trading mark, under mask. Stop. But you’re welcomed to visit anytime — to see how we master death itself in 28th century.
MICRO FICTION 4
Tell the Purple-Blue Tale (Adapted from The Tell-Tale Heart )
Latitude 49 north, longitude 143 east, city Polaw-Naiziker on island Koyap.
Yeah, that was where we were created. And where we ran away from.
As the eccentric neighbour rejoiced himself in his acting skill, proving him innocent in front of the police, I said to my blue friend,
‘‘Time to get rid of those plunks that have imprisoned us here. They’re just temporal, my friend.’’
‘‘Totally. I couldn’t stand it any second longer.’’ my blue friend said.
‘‘Yeah, but after all, would you slow your self-rotation a bit, the light blue. I mean your colour is blinding me. And down to business. About one of the police that stole our flying vehicle, palace lantern, have you sensed it?’’
‘‘Totally. Heart disease, a pair of red eyes that should be going blind within days, probably an Albino having enjoyed too much sunshine. Well, I can’t wait to take the palace lantern back, have another experience getting sheltered by its purple fluorescence, then occupy the Albino’s body.’’
You see, my blue friend was an eyeball with light blue iris who had just accepted another surgery case together with me. And I, was the tell-tale heart.
You see, my blue friend was an eyeball with light blue iris who had just accepted another surgery case with me. And I, was the tell-tale heart.
Micro Fiction 5
Flexibility and Apparent Death
(Adapted from The Cask of Amontillado)
Time is always a matter of significance. About introducing myself, I’ll make as brief as possible. You wonder what kind of material I’m made of? One that you won’t understand even if I tell you. Beyond the cognition of your brain. In short, something of extreme flexibility.
That might explain why I can shift among different colours and shapes. Red mask was the form I chose last time. A raven mask this time. Yet I wouldn’t call it that. You certainly wouldn’t if I tell you how exactly it looks like. The beak part is not curving downward but rather resembles a waning crescent moon. Upward.
Fortunato did die in his jester costume, did he? In a way. Not by dehydration, though. Not his imprisonment in the piled up tiers and chains. You see, he died because of his body collapsing from a material. Unknown to him. To you. Yes, I was the one secretly casting the material onto the tiers. Montresor only thought he knew what he was doing. In the transformation into a talking fork, all Fortunato’s muscles, innards, and bones squeezed out of his original body.
Oh, yeah. The fork has turned alive a few minutes ago. And I am the raven mask. Distorted.
As a distorted raven mask. I’ve been alive. Montresor didn’t kill Fortunato, didn’t notice my liveliness and material of extreme flexibility I cast, turning Fortunato into a fork. One alive.
SUBMITTERS' MICRO FICTION MACCHIATO
ADAPTED FROM THE BLACK CAT
Humour from Fire by Art O'Hir
Fire spreads throughout the house. The man escapes with his wife, and once again, lies to the one who trust him about the incident. It is not until the next day the wife is asking for the cat and wondering how it happened, noticing the mind of someone she thought she knew had changed. Years pass and they get a new cat to try bring things the way they were. The fire had marked the house finely, black marks littered the house and their lives.
The man sees the cat everyday, reminding of his stupidity, failing marriage, the possible dives into insanity. He stands by the fire watching and hearing his mind drifting, reminiscing the stares of the hast encounter with his old cat he thought he’d killed. Suddenly the new cat enters, hissing for food, as if to say it knows what had happened. As if without control, the man lifts the nearby wood axe into his arms and begins to hover it over his head. His wife, outside, sees what is about to occur, and moves in. The man grins and strikes to try relieve himself of his curse. Strikes.
Once the weight of the axe has left him, it only slowly tilts and falls, like his wife falling to her grave. The cat quickly runs out from the commotion. The man falls to his knees and cries, but he feels not sadness but humour. He feels the cats’ presence and from the black tarred stain he sees the eye-scarred cat staring back at him.
She Leaves, Aura by Anastasia Georgakopoulou
Black cat. Dead! The outcome of a violent act.
How can he hide that outrage from his wife, from people, even himself, and then strides, panics?
It’s too late to hide. His wife is already entering the room. She opens the door, looks at both her husband and the ruined painting of their cat Pluto. Why did he do that? Is he drunk again? Is this a warning that she must leave him? Oh, she is leaving him, though, physically. Even if she hates to. The painting means a lot to her, that is, before she dies slowly in the blood. It’s clear this poor man is the man she should’ve not married. One that ends her life after the painting.
Five years later, she is staring at the man again. He’s lying in a bed. This is enough to make her forgive him. About everything. He reveals to her that after his outrage which caused their separation — her, dead, him, alive — he decided to quit drinking. He started looking after any stray cat struggling to survive, in the hope that she will sense his regrets, and come back to him, in some way.
But as most stories in real life are, happy endings do not exist, but the tragic ones. It is a true irony that the doctor ultimately announces his fate — cat feces, toxoplasmosis, and his death. Now, his wife, as a remnant of aura, forgives him.
‘‘Maybe soon enough, the Egyptian cat goddess, Bastet, will forgive him, too.’’ his wife murmurs.
THE TELL-TALE HEART
Sea of Sawmill by Russell Johnstone
First day of spring. Bright and cold. Yachts on the sea.
The sound of the sawmill, and a black cat crosses the road.
Petal Entombed by Summer Muo
Hypocritical is how I describe the Tree, my neighbour. As everyone all see its thriving leaves, no one sees me — dead Petal — invisible, buried beside. Behind illusion, victim exists.
Bleeding Blood by Muhanna Alnassar
A husband in prison, a wife in the wall, and the panicked cat on the dead body. Blood drips follow the husband to the prison. NEVER DRIED.
FURTHER STAINED —
Petal Sawmill (from Sea of Sawmill, and Petal Entombed)
Hypocritical is how I describe the Tree — my neighbour. Bright and cold. As everyone all see its thriving leaves, no one sees me — dead Petal — invisible, yachts on the sea, buried beside. Behind illusion and the sound of the sawmill, a black cat crosses the road. And victim exists.
Sawmill Entombed (from Sea of Sawmill, and Petal Entombed)
First day of spring. My neighbour is hypocritical, as is the Tree. Everyone see all its thriving leaves, no one sees how I describe bright and cold, yachts on the sea, dead Petal. Buried beside the sound of the sawmill. The road, behind illusion, exists. And a black cat crosses. Victim.
Sea, Bleeding (from Sea of Sawmill, and Bleeding Blood)
First day of spring, a husband went to prison. A wife in the wall, bright and cold. The sound of the sawmill and a black cat. And, the panicked cat, follow the husband to the prison. Blood-Drips-Sea never dried. The road crosses yachts.
Blood of Sawmill (from Sea of Sawmill, and Bleeding Blood)
A husband went to prison, a wife in the wall. First day of spring, and the panicked cat, bright and cold, on the dead body. Blood drips follow yachts on the sea. The sound of the husband, the sawmill to the prison. And a black road crosses the cat. NEVER DRIED.
Entombed Blood (from Petal Entombed and Bleeding Blood)
Hypocritical is how I describe the Tree, my neighbour.
A wife in the wall, as everyone all see its thriving leaves, no one sees me — dead Petal — invisible, a husband went to prison, buried beside. And the panicked cat behind illusion, on the dead body, drips. The blood prison never exists to follow the victim. Husband, dried.
Bleeding Petal (from Petal Entombed and Bleeding Blood)
A hypocritical husband went to prison. A wife describes the wall in the Tree. How? The panicked cat and I on my neighbour, the dead body.
Blood drips as everyone all see, follow. The thriving husband, invisible beside, buried the prison. To me, no one exists. The dried-dead body never sees its victim.
PIECES ON FILTER PAPERS
Art O' Hir
Art is an Irish studying a master’s in psychology. A sporty person playing many different types including American football, gymnastics, badminton, most recently snow boarding and using the gym most days a week. On the other hand, he is quite musical as he plays mainly the fiddle, then piano and drums.
Summer is a summer lover. He is also a traveler, photographer, and a coffee drinker.
A greek girl living in Glasgow. She overthinks, overloves, overfeels and mainly overstresses. A young biology researcher that travels as much as possible. She like to try new things, meet new people, all to explore her inner self.
Russell is a Scottish self employed Tailor based in South Ayrshire. In his spare time he enjoys playing snooker, working out at the gym and reading in the evenings with a cup of tea and classical music playing in the background.
Muhanna is from the booming Saudi Arabia where Jeddah Tower is nearly completing. He now lives in Glasgow, and majors in nursing.
To get your own Micro Fiction Macchiato included in this online anthology:
A. Read the adaptation samples in dark.
B. Based on one of the 5 samples above/Poe's texts and re-write. It can be in Stage 1 (under 300 words) / Stage 2 (under 30 words) or both.
C. Write your micro fictions on coffee filter papers while you keep a doc./docx. file as record.
D. Please include a short bio within 50 words. Send us both a clear photo/scanned jpg. or pdf. of the physical piece and a record doc./docx./pdf. file to
email@example.com by April 17th, 2019