Darth Barbara Saga

The Darth Barbara Saga started out as a trilogy of 500-word short-shorts posted on the prompted writing section of WritersDigest.com. A number of other writers encouraged me to continue fleshing out the story, so I have been writing the whole story in chunks of 500 words or less. (It’s like writing an epic poem out of haikus, I suppose, but I think it may be working!)

The background story first posted by the editor, Jess Zafaris, is that the main character is a delegate to an interplanetary council, in the year 2967, tasked with persuading a minor planet, Kryzlak, into signing a new treaty. The Kryzlamei are already unhappy with Earth, because of a mining dispute, so this promises to be a difficult task.

This unnamed character is now our Ambassador Barbara, interplanetary diplomat extraordinaire. This was during a time when Earth’s political and military dominance over the galaxy was already starting to wane, and her exploits help delay Earth’s downfall, but cannot completely prevent it. Some would say that her successes set the stage for Earth’s eventual annihilation.

My goal is to write 100 short-short-chapters altogether, and the chapter numbers should give you a sense of what needs to be filled in. (Who knows what will happen after that.) Barbara is about 10 when the story begins, and around 100 at the end, so each chapter represents about a year’s worth of events.

Hope you enjoy it, and let me know what you think! Suggestions are welcome!

P.S. The name Barbara comes from another prompt, Smartphony, about two investigators named Barbara and Nolan. The name Nolan appears in chapter 90.


1. The Discovery (Symbolic Animals; 11/16/2017)

2. The Luncheon (Table for Two; 11/22/2017)

3. The Toilet (The Duality of Humankind; 11/30/2017)

4. The Bully (A Not-So-Christmas Story; 12/30/2017)

5. The Mark (Unexpected Inking, 1/19/2018)

30. The Kryzlamei (Interplanetary Relations; 10/12/2017; the first Darth Barbara post)

31. The Embassy (Spiced Architecture; 12/30/2017)

32. The Reassignment (Whatever of the Year; 12/30/2017)

33. The Duuumtipaatiiti (The Vow of the Peacock; 1/6/2018)

34. The Conspiracy (Custom Etymology; 1/14/2018)

35. The Servant (Custom Etymology; 1/9/2018)

36. The Punishment (Table for Two, 1/18/2018)

50. The Assassin (The Shadow; 10/29/2017; the second Darth Barbara post)

51. The Cysts (Conspiracy! 12/10/2017)

90. The End (Considering Absurdism; 11/9/2017; the third Darth Barbara post)

91. The Escape (Transparency; 11/12/2017)

92. The Crust (The Duality of Humankind; 11/30/2017)

93. The Lesson (Handwriting Anatomy; 1/25/2018)