Welcome back, everyone!
We had twenty awesome entries this week, and somehow the judges managed to narrow the stories down. This is such a difficult task, so please take a moment to send some thanks to CR Smith and Amy Wood. Thank you both! 😀
All right, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…
Stella Turner – The Luck of The Irish
This entry was chosen by both judges. Well done!
Comments from CR Smith: Great character building, from the pompous judge, the proud firefighter and his joyful daughter to the laughing crowd.
Comments from Amy Wood: It’s so nice to think that somebody might actually find that crock of gold! I love that the firefighter so enjoyed the sound of his daughter’s laughter – lovely image. I hope the leprechauns didn’t really take offense at their gold being found!
A V Laidlaw – A Cold War
Comments from CR Smith: A strong Russian connection bringing the chills of the ghost story to an old woman waiting for her haunted past to catch up with her.
Jessica Franken – Immunity
Comments from CR Smith: This story leaves you wanting to know more. Nice touch with the collected tokens, a clever way of informing who the victims are.
Sonya – A Good Doorman – Priceless
Comments from Amy Wood: This little scene should be in a zombie movie somewhere. I’d dearly love to see Colin bravely staying at his post while the undead shamble past. Imaginative and well written.
Sal Page – Within Her Grasp
Comments from Amy Wood: Great descriptions, very vivid. The horror of the crowd when they realize that the flames aren’t part of the show – gives me chills every time I read it. Great writing.
Bill Engleson – Diablo
Comments from CR Smith: Such a happy scene painted at the start helps to make the ending all the more horrific; great descriptions throughout.
Stephanie Ellis – Detention
Comments from CR Smith: The patience of the teacher shines through this piece. I particularly liked the twist at the end, especially that last line.
Voima Oy – Parabolas
Comments from Amy Wood: Simply gorgeous. It plays on a theme I find fascinating – the idea of being lost in space – and every line is wonderfully descriptive. Fabulous writing from start to finish.
Emily Clayton – Magic in the Garden
Comments from Amy Wood: This is such a gentle little tale, I really enjoyed it. I can so clearly imagine that cheeky little chipmunk scurrying off through the plants, happy in the knowledge that he’d inspired a lovely story for a nice old lady. A wonderful little slice of fairy tale magic.
Before we get to our winners, here are some favorite lines from this week, courtesy of judge CR Smith. (Thanks so much!)
“Flames flare up, alongside her swift rebuke.” – Bill Engleson
“Spectral energy flows from my fingers, licking at the wraiths with power they cannot contain.” – Clive
“He hoped she hadn’t called home, he didn’t want to share.” – Stephanie Ellis
“Doors were lined up like sentries on either side of her.” – Rob Jones
“The intercom confirmed what all the production team already thought.” – Stephen Shirres
“I kept breathing in and out, thinking of parabolas, how I held rainbows in my hand.” – Voima Oy
“They saw her first memory too, above her head in the ceaseless flames.” – Sal Page
“He looked up from the pile of tainted tiaras and wondered, for the first time, if he was taking this too far.” – Karl A Russell
“His Dad had once pointed his gun at his mother and said, ‘Pow!’” – Avalina Kreska
““Maybe you won’t feel like dunking bits of your crew then.”” – Daisy Warwick
““President Trump was celebrating with that Palin character, downing tequila slammers and shouting that it would be the last tequila this country would ever see.”” – A. J. Walker
“The seal broke on Jenny135.” – Holly Geely
“The judge brought down the gravel to silence the uproar, puffing out his chest like a strutting turkey knowing that Christmas was long gone.” – Stella Turner
“Nicole balanced her weight carefully on her heels as she waited for her cotillion call to debut.” – Catherine Connolly
“In a shabby apartment, she held a cup in a hand with skin translucent and old, and sipped tea from the battered samovar bought from a junk shop in Brighton Beach.” – A V Laidlaw
“She doesn’t dare go out on the balcony — she’s seen them climb trees like chimps going after people in the park.” – Sonya
“Her frail chest rose softly and her lips curled into a smile.” – Emily Clayton
“When his eyes met hers, she pressed an ink stamp hard on his forehead, again and again and again.” – Ed Broom
“It’s always been just outside my grasp, lingering over the horizon, taunting me.” – Craig A
““I hunted on Wall Street and no one questioned me.”” – Jessica Franken
“Vernon wished he’d have left her email in his spam folder.” – Brady Koch
And now, without further ado, I present to you the winners of Microcosms 4.
(insert drumroll here)
Stephanie Ellis – Detention
Elements: teacher, arena/field, horror
“Jordan, will you please leave David alone and take your place in goal.”
“Jordan, first warning.”
“Jordan, simple instruction, five, four, three …”
“Jordan, second warning.”
“Jordan, it will be detention and a phone call home.”
“Jordan, your parents won’t be very happy.”
“That’s it, Jordan. No more chances and as an added bonus, back here at the end of the day. Ten laps.”
Jordan don’t, Jordan don’t, sneered the boy, she had still been trying to tell him what to do even as he had ripped out her heart, devoured her flesh.
The moon was high above him.
He hoped she hadn’t called home, he didn’t want to share.
Voima Oy – Parabolas
Comments from CR Smith: Not a wasted word in this piece. Gives the impression of stillness from the get-go. Despite drifting in space the astronaut seems to accept the inevitable, having already fulfilled childhood ambitions, watching that final dream — walking on the moon — slowly slip away.
The tether snapped; I watched it snake away, slowly turning with the station. I was adrift. Below me, the lights of earth, and out there in the black, the distant stars. I kept breathing in and out, thinking of parabolas, how I held rainbows in my hand. At flight school, I watched the rockets launch, their flights into the sky. The hiss of air escaping. Static on the radio. I was drifting away, the tether just out of reach. Most likely to walk on the moon, my crewmates said. I could see the moon, I was almost there.
I could hold it in my fingers.
Daisy Warwick – An Orc’s Trouble
Comments from Amy Wood: This was the story that made me laugh. Being a bit of a rock fan, it appealed to me and really made me giggle. I can imagine a lot of roadies find their rock stars hard work, but I hope none of them ever get eaten! A joy to read.
Rock Star/ Courtroom/ Fantasy
An Orc’s Trouble
Words – 110
“Mr Woabadug, sit down!” ordered the judge, banging his gavel to silence the uproar that had spread across the room.
“Your Honour, I’m only trying to point out that band practice is hungry work,” protested the Orc.
“I’m sure you would Mr Woabadug. But, I see plenty of ‘rock stars’ like yourself who are merely just legends in their own lunch time and believe they are above the Law. You cannot eat roadies!”
“But I employed them to oversee the band tea breaks and…”
“I sentence you to ten years without tea! Maybe you won’t feel like dunking bits of your crew then.”
“Political correctness gone mad,” muttered the Orc.
- A winner’s badge on the site
- An invitation for inclusion in the anthology (with a note that your story was selected as a winner)
- A Kindle copy of Getting Lucky by Craig Anderson, who has generously offered to donate it – thanks, Craig! Alternatively, winners may elect to have the monetary equivalent donated to World Reader, The Book Bus, or another literacy-related charity. Please contact me with the country you live in and the e-mail address you’d like me to send the Kindle book to.
Additionally, all three of you are invited to judge the next round of Microcosms. Please let me know if you are interested!