So, as has become custom, Cassandra Khaw celebrates each birthday by asking if folks want to write microfictions for their followers. 😀 It is an absolute delight, and I love seeing all the creative and wonderful tiny stories flourishing through Twitter for a few days. (Check out Cass’s feed for all the good content!)
I took up the challenge and asked people to reply to my QT and I would tell them what lived in their closet(s).
It was such a blast! (You can read the replies, but as it’s not a proper thread it may be difficult to see all the microfics.) So, for posterity, below are the tiny tales I wrote. I hope you enjoy! ^_^
(The stories are in descending order, as that was just how I copy-pasted them from my feed. You can read them however you wish, as they are each individual! Also, if I wrote one of those in response to your reply? Consider it yours. ❤ )
Each closet holds half of the apparition’s shadow. It was once a dreaded king who ruled with malice and blood. Then the builders lured the king into two doors, back to back, and when he stepped through, the doors separated and closed away his spirit. Don’t let him become whole.
The yarnbeast likes snuggles, so once it had untangled your headphone cords and the necklace strings and that one knot in your woolen skein, it slips soft and satisfied into the chest and takes a well-earned nap.
The first whisper escaped the Decree of Silence in a time when sound had no meaning and time was still. It hid in many hearts and slipped from tongue to tongue throughout the ages, while its siblings gathered loudness and boldness and sang. It sleeps now, content, its duty done.
The perfect chord was not lost to musicians’ ears or instruments’ hearts. In reality, it was tired of fame and everyone’s pursuit of its self. So it went on a quest to find a space to rest: and when it saw your wardrobe, it knew it had a perfect home in which to nap.
The first moon shadow to fall upon the world lives in exile in your closet. It is so rich, so old, and remembers the eons of star and space etched across its back. But the newer shadows grew jealous and the first hid… fortunately, your closet is the perfect refuge for the dark.
The teapot ghost whistles softly in the night, remembering all the warm and soothing blends it once brewed in its youth. It was a prized porcilane pot, painted with hunting dogs and deer.
Now, when a new teapot takes its place, it whispers the best secrets of tea to its protege.
Luckily, dust dragons do not take up much space. Contrary to their name, they are are hypoallergenic and in fact, when they breathe and exhale dust, they cleanse it of its mites and bacterium. The dragons are very smol, though, so sometimes they can’t eat all the dust at once.
The Winsome Stone looks like an old and plain blue marble. It rolls from closet to closet when it gets restless, trailing bits of forgotten lore in its wake. You might pick up an idea or two when your toes brush the path the Winsome Stone has carved.
The ribboned haunt is a colorful thing, streams of vivid red and whitened bone. It floats in your closet like a final grace note, delicate and breathless. What it wants is unknown, for it never moves. But it watches you, and it always smiles so wide and so bright…
The ghost in your closet didn’t mean to haunt you.
“I got lost in the mists,” it says, forlorn.
“What did you seek?”
“My faithful hound,” says the ghost. “Now lost.”
“Not really,” you say.
For your garage is also haunted… by a great dog waiting for its master’s return.
The boneshadow lives in your closet, a haunted remnant of its former glory. Once, it battled the underkings and defied the skylord dragons. Now, tattered and undone, it lingers.
You slip it a bit of blood and see the light come back to its eyes. What happens if you give…more?
The monster in your closet is a fuzzy, dusty thing: always looking disheveled and distracted. Some people have well-groomed and pretty monsters. Monsters of stature and might.
But yours, small and fierce, fights all the things you never see… the ones those other monsters fear.
The old sword often thought it had been forgotten, tucked away in this closet while newer blades danced and sang outside the walls. Was it obsolete? Unwanted? It feared rust and dissolution.
But you didn’t forget. And when the dragon came, only the old, true blade would do.
The cat-who-is-not-there walks through worlds, bending time around herself and basking in the warmth of futures yet unrealized. She hunts the gnawers of worlds and protects the souls or stars. But she likes to nap in your closet: a perfect resting spot, so warm and so safe.
Dual closets create a bridge through space-time, and the wardens of the in-between spaces take rests in your home. They keep the dimensional rifts contained and often leave little bits of pleasant memory or unexplained peace for you to find when you need them most.
The monster in your closet is made of weird angels, its shape unspeakable. It folds itself into the suffocating geometry of your reality, because when you were small, you looked at it and smiled. It has felt kinship, and it drives away the haunts who in that moment saw you.
The odd stain on the wall is not an errant swipe of paint or water damage. That is the mark of the Eaten One. It comes only during the hungering moon, and it reaches through your closet doors, grasping, craving the nightmares that stalk you. You’ll sleep better after it feasts.
The mirror is haunted, but you already knew that. What you don’t know is the closet walls are equally possessed. That groaning in the night? Those mournful sighs? Ghosts are not always trapped in glass. Sometimes they are entombed with sheetrock, waiting for a hammer’s release.
The mudblock is a strange, wary creature who is not, despite the name, made of dirt. It dwells in the hidden studs of your closet and though you don’t see it, it gives strength to weary walls. A closet is safe because the mudblock keeps it structurally secure.
The crimson hand is mostly quiet; it clings to the corner by the door hinges, like a red-gloved spider. When the things that crawl from the bathroom sink, dripping with malice, come for you, the crimson hand catches them and it squeezes them so gently…so close…forever.
The ghost in your closet is always curious. You find textbooks open and web searches for extradimensional portals at odd times of day; sometimes you almost see the outline of a insubstantial form with notebook and pen, goggles askew, and hear the memory of reactors purring.
The thing in your closet is invisible and very polite. It sticks to the ceiling and eats the months that slip like assassins through the tears in reality. When your sleep is restless, your closet-thing sings in your dreams, soothing you in the night.
The thing in your closet has many claws but no eyes. At night you hear it scratching its dreams of distant skies on the interior walls; if you shine a light on the runes, you taste the long-dead stars and experience the longing of missed opportunity. You never see the thing.
The burrower lives in your closet walls, collecting the I’ll-remembered dreams and spinning them into bright ideas, shiny as new pennies. You find them tucked in couch cushions or on your floor now and then, and they bring you good fortune.
Beneath the stairs, comfy in the closet there, a homely sprite lingers: it is composed of memories of bright summer days and warm autumn nights by the hearth, and the sweet taste of marshmallows in hot chocolate. Often it leaves little wisps of satisfaction for you to find.
In your closet dwells a tiny dragon, hoarder of mismatched socks and balls of lint. At midnight on the last day of summer, they wake and weave their treasures into a shawl, a present to you for your generous gift of this safe and darkened lair.
Closet 1 holds the olden soul of a long-lost bookshelf, one who remembers the rustle of pages and the sigh of gentle fingers caressing leather spines.
In Closet 2 lives the broken tip of a dire elk’s antler, bewitched to forever recall the memories of ancient sunswept plains.
Thanks for joining me in a microfiction marathon! 😀 ❤ I look forward to our next adventure.