‘Euplectella Aspergillum, A Love Story’ at National Flash Fiction Day NZ

Inspired by ‘Attenborough’s Ark’, this tiny piece was shortlisted in the annual Micro Madness contest. One selected micro was published each day during June 2022; this one appeared on 17 June.


After the cameras leave, the Venus Flower Basket begins to grow.

Attenborough waxed breathless, describing how the sponge’s delicate latticework becomes a lifelong prison for monogamous pairs of shrimp. How in Japan, it’s given as a symbol of love.

Scientists speculate that this new exponential growth was triggered by submarine hydrothermals, or extreme concentrations of CO2 in the oceans. Believers call it conscious evolution, a response to humans despoiling the land. They say the creature has a plan.

Vast glimmering forests, unearthly white skyscrapers reach up from Pacific deeps, towards the light. They have yet to break surface.


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A writer, beachcomber and part-time campervan nomad, based in Brittany

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