“Look at this place,” Miano breathed. She turned a full circle in the main hallway and marveled at the prisms reflected from the millions of crystals embedded in the walls.
“How are they doing that?” Banner twisted this way and that.
Each reflected a different set of colors. Some blazed deep reds and golds. Others projected inky black. One sent blues and purples along with the ultraviolets that pierced Miano’s vision. Gasping, she stumbled towards it.
“Welcome to the Institute of Inner Learning,” the robed figure materialized in front of them.
“I am Nanor,” it continued. “Have you made your Prismic Selection?”
“Prismic Selection?” Miano whispered. She extended a shaking hand and froze with her palm on its smooth surface.
“Ah, I see you have chosen the path of the Universal Traveler,” Nanor turned a page on its clipboard, made a mark, and nodded. “Yours will be an interesting journey.”
“Traveler?” Banner squeaked. “Wait where is she going? Miano. Miano!” He screamed.
“Do not bother,” Nanor said. “She is already gone. And now,” Nanor advanced on him. “I wonder where your journey shall take you.”
(This one gives me shivers. Here’s the thing. The tone of the entire story hinges on changing two words. In the last paragraph, I have Nanor advancing on Banner. It sounds ominous, doesn’t it? When someone advances on you, it is almost always for some nefarious purpose. But what if I had the words, “Nanor turned to him?” Would that make for a more lighthearted ending and therefore story? This entire exercise of writing a micro story every day thrills me for just this sort of reason. I love seeing how judicious use of words and phrases can pivot an entire tale or even book.
Putting the editor’s hat on for a second, I’d love to ask you a question. Does the ending work? Or should I perhaps have ended it with the sentence, “She is already gone.” Does that work better? Is it more ominous? Less? What do you think?)
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