Jubilee #SatSunTails

Welcome to the sixteenth #SatSunTails micro fiction competition. Now, I’m British and it’s the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this weekend. That means two bank holidays.

Be warned – the prompts aren’t easy, but that’s so you can write to the best of your ability.

If you haven’t had a go before at this writing challenge, then please don’t hesitate to try this weekend.


  • Post stories in the comments
  • Stories must be 150 words (margin of 5 words either side) AND based on the picture and written prompts.
  • If you title your entry this is not counted in your word count.
  • Only one entry allowed (so make it count)
  • End each entry with word count and name/twitter handle (if you forget these REPLY TO YOUR OWN COMMENT with them before judging closes)
    Due to the Queen’s Jubilee and the subsequent holiday days… Wednesday 2am GMT is the expected closing time for entries BUT the competition will be open until I put a ‘competition closed’ comment so you may be able to slip something in (because I’m extra kind like that). Got that?

If you do not comply with these rules your story will be disqualified from judging. Good spelling and grammar will also help to make a better impression on judges – the odd typo, however, will be overlooked so please don’t worry about that.

For tips, read through the critiques from last week’s entries.


There will be ONE OVERALL WINNER and THREE RUNNERS UP. After that there will be THREE CRITIQUES of three stories that didn’t make it.

It would also be nice to those participating if you could promote your fellow competitors and those who win.

Today’s Prompt!

The following may be used as a sentence in your story OR provide a basis for it:-

“archive of degraded monarchy”

And here is your picture prompt:

& good luck!

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8 thoughts on “Jubilee #SatSunTails”

  1. "Ack! What happened to their wings?"

    "What do you mean? They look beautiful. What a pretty shade of blue."

    "They're supposed to be orange! How could they change?"

    "Did you have them in direct sunlight for a long time? Maybe that would do it."

    "No. They've always been right here and this room doesn't get much sunlight with that shade tree outside."

    "Maybe you cleaned the glass case with something and the fumes affected the colours. You know, most glass cleaners are made with ammonia and that's pretty strong stuff."

    "I've always just used water, white vinegar and crumpled newspaper and there haven't been any problems for years."

    "Well, is there something new that hasn't been in the room all those years?"

    "I don't think so, but these butterflies look like a completely different species. Whatever caused this has transformed my collection of butterflies into an archive of degraded monarchy."

    150 Words

  2. Flittering and fluttering, brilliant, blue wings ascended into the dawn sky. By the thousands, they coalesced into form, antennae feeling the way. Myriad eyes searched, scanned, remembered.

    The last greatness of a dying world had to be recorded, an archive of the degraded monarchy kept. But what good are books to the ignorant, and surely the ignorant would reign. No, desperation forced a subtler approach. Reciting incantations, the old wizard called to the realm’s last friends of the sky.

    And so the butterflies remembered, passing knowledge across unfathomable generations. New species emerged and passed on, clans rose and fell, but the images remained until a time when knowledge was sought.

    The boy had heard tales of wizards in his bloodline, but no one believed. So, he sought knowledge and wisdom. It didn’t come in books or schooling. No teacher imparted great learning. Instead, it came in pictures on vibrant, blue wings.

  3. I don't think this worked…

    “Of course, this is but a model.” Spoke the guide. The other displays were little more than distractions to me, but I had to bide my time nonetheless. It was beautiful, despite being a recreation . An actual butterfly would be near impossible to get hold of, with every one found being taken away to research facilities.

    “The Khwarzemian Crystal Butterfly was the greatest discovery of the last century. That's not too preposterous claim, I'm sure you'll agree. A self-replicating digital storage device. Little is known of the Khwarazmian dynasty, apart from its riches and the fact it was conquered by the Mongols. Every single butterfly has the same data on it, although due to it using a different method of encoding the message on it, and due to the message being in Chorasmian we understand very little of it.”

    “That doesn't matter too much. The fact they accomplished such a feat is wonder enough.”

    Word count – 155


    “It’s nothing personal,” I tousled the princess’s hair, perhaps too roughly.

    She glared up me, watering sapphire eyes reminding me of the ocean. Her arms were too raw to struggle against her bonds any more. Pride kept her from showing how uncomfortable she was after two days strapped to the throne of the rival kingdom. Two kingdoms had fallen in as many weeks; it was looking to be a good season.

    “Here,” I set a small box on her lap and propped it open. “A little something from home. To show I’m not without compassion.”

    Her majesty was too tired and in need of hope to resist looking into the box. Perhaps the butterfly’s beauty could bring her some comfort, even if its extinction gave her pause. Either way it was the box that would trap her will and reduce her to another entry in my archive of degraded monarchy.

    150 words

  5. The monarch looked at the diagrams the swallowtails had made of the area. It was a large area, and had taken time to map. They’d done their job well. Now, he would do his job, and determine where the ants would excavate.

    This was a huge finding. The largest in archaeological history. Everyone was familiar with the skeletons. Giant, bipedal beings, towering into the sky. They went extinct 65 million years ago. They had lived in large groups called cities, with a government called “Democracy”, which seemed to be some form of degraded monarchy where the king was replaced on a regular basis.

    The monarch pointed an antenna at a rectangular outline on the map. “Here,” he informed the ants. “This appears to be an archive of some kind. Excavate here.” Thus began the insect excavation of the ruins of the place the bipedal beings had called New York.

    150 words

  6. Samson slipped through the towering shelves of books, the smell of dust in the air as one book was replaced on the wooden shelves. The quiet mutterings of those who were cramming for tests that could either have other magi continuing on through the empire or booted out without so much as a reason why.

    He had his own worries but it was best to not let it bother him. Either he would last to move up the ranks or they would wipe his mind and he would have a blank slate for the time period. His fingers slid over a thick volume that didn’t look like it was moved much. The archive of degraded monarchy. The symbol of power that had been done away with a hundred years ago.

    He had to wonder how they lived under such conditions with one person to rule them instead of seven.

    149 words

  7. The Quest For Honor

    Ichiro, 14th Daimyo of the Lesser Purple Empire, allowed his antennae to twitch in a rare demonstration of emotion. He understood the necessity for security checks, but understanding made him no less impatient. He must get to his quarters and prepare for the upcoming ceremonies.

    He could not believe he was to witness the Diamond Jubilee of the Grand Monarch herself. She’d reigned now for an unheard of sixty months and her House enjoyed nearly unlimited power. Sixty months seemed an impossibly long life for the young Daimyo, who was barely three weeks old himself.

    His family had long since been doomed to the archive of degraded monarchy for their role in a failed coup against the ruling family. Now, after twenty generations, Ichiro dared hope his family might regain their honor. She was empowered to forgive her subjects their past indiscretions on this most wondrous of occasions. Did he dare hope she finally would?

    155 words @klingorengi

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