TWEET FLASH FICTION: Turtle, Sloth, and Dust Bunny

by Ksenia Anske

Photo by Jonathan

It all started yesterday when I tweeted: "One day I will totally write a novel about a turtle, a sloth, and a dust bunny. And they'll be druggies." Then Brandy Owens tweeted to me: "Their drug of choice should be glitter. It would make their struggles more intense." Then Floyd Tangerine chimed to both of us: "The dust bunny should be a knight. From another planet. And turn into a shark-dragon at every high tide." 

And it grew into a Tweet Flash Fiction piece composed by Brandy and Floyd firing tweets at each other, one sentence after another, and me watching it unfold with big eyes and threatening them to post it on my blog when it was finished. A flash ficiton piece composed over tweets, now that's something! And because it's Lewis Carroll's birthday today, and no story is ever too crazy, here it is:

There is a black hole with a special tentacle-like thing that can whip out and vacuum anything. It's on a quest to devour all of the glitter in the universe. This makes the addicted to glitter Turtle, Sloth, and Dust Bunny very angry. Turtle's blind, a former monk from an abbey hidden in a castle, cut from the heart of a star, under the sea. Sloth was once a pirate, who found a great hoard of glitter and stole it. It belonged to a two-headed witch. The two-headed witch joins up with the black hole and they first go after Sloth, who hides in trees. No one knows where he hid the glitter, and he isn't talking - even to his two glitter-obsessed friends. Even though he's blind, he was taught to get around by a bat who taught him echolocation. So to get around he opens his mouth and sends out a beam of radio waves, the same way stars do. When it returns, he can "see". But the trees, which are made of crystal, and know the future, began forming a strategy a million years ago.

Dust Bunny knight knows where the glitter is but can only remember when he's a shark-dragon. He can also use those beams to propel himself through the air. The downside being he can only fly backwards... It's okay, though! His butt can sense everything behind him from the waves he's already sent out. With a butt sensor. The problem is that when he's a shark-dragon is the only time he doesn't care about glitter at all. Unfortunately, the trees want the glitter for themselves because they want to be prettiest of all. Sloth has a special saddle that he straps onto Turtle so they can travel together. In shark-dragon form, Dust Bunny wants to eat Sloth. The only weapon that works on him is a Dream Cannon.

Nobody realises, the glitter is long gone. Buried for so long, it somehow changed, and from it, grew the trees. The Dream Cannon, however, was lost decades ago among the Cotton Candy Meadows, at the base of Glitter Falls. He's also helpful when Turtle's butt sensor is off that day. He can't count the number of times they almost hit a mountain or something. Unfortunately, the two-headed witch knows what makes his butt sensor fail. Where there lives the long lost Headless Autumn Empress. Her jealous, (witchy) sister stole her head years ago. It was also before the League of Bears was turned to stone. Now they guard the Dream Cannon, silent & scary. Yes! She has the dreaded Psychic Scrambler Buttplug. Which she's bringing with her, intent on insertion.

Legend has it that there will come a day when a hero will rise... whispers circulate in the dark. The League knows, one day the cannon must be retrieved. They'll give it up, when the Empress regains her head. Tales of three unlikely heroes, a once-pirate, a blind-pilot and a sometimes-monster, are being told. Dust Bunny can't handle being so aggressive anymore. He MUST get his friends the Dream Cannon. Thus begins their quest...

In a land of myth and a time of magic, the fate of a great kingdom rests on the shoulders of 3 glitter-addicts. Their names... Forgotten. Hunted by the powers of darkness, haunted by their own pasts, can they rescue their world, and redeem each other? Their destinies unwritten.. Their enemies are many: a two headed-witch with a psychic blocking butt plug, a black hole, and numerous others. Will they survive the journey? Will they learn that friendship is most important of all? Or will they fall... Find out on...


It was a bright and sunny day when our heroes set out from Crystal Caverns, heading West for Glitter Falls. Their quest to unearth a mythical weapon will send them to ethereal worlds, to stand against ancient armies. They watched the sails of their sky-galleon unfurl above the holy city of Jeraahl, and the horizon spoke to them.

It said: "I know your quest. You will find that which you seek, but first you must complete 20 tasks."

They flailed in horror. "20 tasks?" Dust Bunny cried. "Nobody takes my narcolepsy seriously!" He cried.

"Oh come ON!" Said Turtle, "We're here with a SLOTH!"

Sloth glared sharply at Turtle, angered by his species-ist ways. "Hypocrite!" Sloth's voice rang out, echoing harshly through Turtle's sensitive ears. "You'd be slow if you... "couldn't FLY!"

Turtle felt a temporary stab of regret, sorry that he had so angered his friend. Turtle, being blind in every sense, continued, "Least you're awake some of the time. That slacker never is!"

Sloth gasped, taken aback by Turtle's senseless cruelty.

Before they could go on, Dust Bunny spoke. "SHIT. Is it high tide already?" It was. He began to change.

Sloth felt a terror he'd never felt before. There they were, thousands of feet in the air, miles from help. "You just wait," he thought to himself, "Wait til you need to fly backwards through the Glitter Falls. Ponce."

Turtle felt the air shift. "Quick Sloth. Your saddle. We need a head start before he completes the change!"

Sloth hurried as much as he could to fasten the saddle to Turtle's back, but he was just too slow. A keening wail split the air as Dust Bunny's innards shifted and grew more solid. His shoulder blades grumbled, began to shift like tectonic plates, he spat blood as jagged teeth split his gums. Between the frantic beating of their hearts and the scrambling of Sloth's hands, both Turtle and Sloth felt baffled over the transformation. It was different that day. They questioned why, then scrambled faster. Swinging his long toes into the stirrups, Sloth grabbed the reins as Turtle pushed with his throat, then... (here we're just wondering how a dust bunny manages to become a bleeding, solid hunk of meat as he changes) Sloth, in a panic, yanked the reins and Turtle careened to the right.

"Let go," Turtle cried, gasping for air. "I can't breathe, you fool!"

Sloth slowly released his tight grasp of dull grey skin, dead black glass eyes and teeth, so many teeth, glinting in the cobalt sunlight. Unfortunately, that face was none other than the Twisted Grunter, who delighted in eating anyone it met.

All I ever wanted, thought Sloth, was to die in my sleep. Is that too much to ask? I'm a frickin' SLOTH!

Turtle's thoughts were noticeably quiet. He felt Sloth tense and freaked out on his back, so he sent out a beam of radio waves and slowly spun. When the returning beams boomeranged into his butt, he noticeably flinched. All Turtle knew in that moment was that he was too young, too pretty, and craved glitter way too much to die.

"This IS NOT the end!" Turtle screeched, kicking his legs aimlessly as they drew closer to the Twisted Grunter. 


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