Sooo many great entries this week. You guys are awesome. And I know how difficult the initial prompt was! As always, there is never enough room on the podium. 🙁
A HUGE thanks to Dana Faletti for helping me judge this week. Here’s what she had to say.
“I had a wonderful time judging this week, although I hardly feel qualified for the task. It was really hard to choose, but I tried to be concise and not pick too many. The scope of creativity was astounding here! It’s great fun to watch where these prompts take everyone.”
All right, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…
Sal Page – Slightly Green
Comments from KM: Ha! I can’t imagine what my mom would have done if I’d brought a frog prince home with me. lol (I love that he was still slightly green.) The “horror” here is for the mother. You managed to still give it a fairy tale ending.
Firdaus Parvez – Happily (n)ever after
Comments from KM: What a delightful little story! I’d really like to see this expanded into something longer. So clever and cute.
Stephen Shirres – Anywhere Else
Comments from Dana: I am a sucker for any retelling of a well-known fairy-tale, and the use of Cinderella’s fairy Godmother hooked me right away. What really got me about this piece though was the sassy servant girl’s attitude. I really would LOVE to see this drawn out into a larger story! I hope the author will consider it!
Geoff Holme – Coming from the Fair
Comments from KM: There is a wonderful simplicity in this that makes it easy to overlook, but the world is easy to visualize, and the characters feel full of life. Well done. (That last line, though… LOL)
Voima Oy – Island of Cats
Comments from Dana: I love legends, and that this island actually exists was really a cool tidbit of info. Again, I would love to see Voima write a longer story using this island as a setting. My favorite part of this piece was the image of the sea maids, sitting on the rocks, drying their hair in the sun. Just beautiful.
Stella Turner – Battle of Loyalty
Comments from KM: Sad and sweet. Wars divide families in many different ways. His last thoughts were of his wife – but she’ll never know that.
Santino Prinzi – Born this Way
Comments from KM: What a clever tale, this is. It makes me horribly sad that there are parents like this in the world. Kudos to Tabby for staying true to herself and being brave enough to find happiness. I love this.
Meg Kovalik – Cursed
Comments from KM: Sweet, beautiful, and filled with wonderful descriptions. A joy to read.
Steph Ellis – Gone Fishing
Comments from Dana: Super creepy! I loved the name Lake Godless. It gave us a feel for the type of story this was going to be from the first sentence. I also loved the sly grin of the moon – personification is such a great tool for mood setting, and this worked!
Comments from KM: So much to love, here. Beautiful, vivid descriptions that really bring the story to life. Just… wow.
Before we get to our winners, here are our favorite lines from this week.
Attempting to look nonchalant Mr. Nibbles walked away; his heart as broken as the rare £9,000 black Swarovski crystal bull that once stood proudly on the mantelpiece. – Avalina Kreska
“Mummy, I’m a fish.” – Santino Prinzi
‘What did you do?’
‘You did what?’ – Sal Page
He was still slightly green but it’d always been my favourite colour. – Sal Page
“I’m saying I’ll always love you.” – Brian S Creek
“It belongs to me, of course.” – DE Park
‘Jeepers! Them whales kin wait. With a pie inside me, I’ll be as happy as a puppy with two peckers!’ – Geoff Holme
You can see it flashing on the horizon–that’s the sea maids sitting on the rocks, drying their hair in the sun. – Voima Oy
The broken steam valve screamed like a day old child. – Stephen Shirres
“Well, I’ll never believe that time is a thief. Time is just…so precious.” – Bill Engleson
A monotonous blissful existence, full of sweet smiles and sugary words. – Firdaus Parvez
Lightning noisily shot from Emperor Whiskers’ tail into a field of dog-walkers. – Daisy Warwick
Dead-eyed silver glittered the surface of Lake Godless, reflected back by the sly grin of the moon. – Steph Ellis
A beautiful field, he could tell by the quality mud he was laying in, good soil, great drainage, this would have suited his sheep. – Stella Turner
He hoped his wife would know he loved her more than the dog. – Stella Turner
“Skewered game with roasted vegetables … minus the game.” – Emily Clayton
Gives ‘em the eye. They almost walk into the sacks without even a meow. – AJ Walker
what’s the point in having 9 lives if you don’t take a few chances? – Craig Anderson
Besides, I think I may have already eaten one of them. – Craig Anderson
As the mess of fur tumbled overboard a tentacle breached the surface to place a sardine at his feet and caress his fur with impossible tenderness. – Meg Kovalik
Long may she rest! For it is foretold that when Phương Ngọc awakens she will fly up to Heaven, taking her handmaidens the stormclouds with her. Rain will become a thing of the past. – Dave James Ashton
And now, without further ado, I present to you the winners of Microcosms 9.
(insert drumroll here)
Santino Prinzi – Born this Way
cat/under the sea/romance
‘Born this Way’
Tabby always felt different to the other kittens growing up.
“Mummy, I’m a fish.”
“No, honey, we eat fish,” Tabby’s mother told her. “Besides, cats don’t like water.”
“I do because I’m a fish.”
Tabby’s mother did everything she could to stop Tabby. She even took her to a conversion camp. “You’re not a dirty little fish!” she hissed.
Tabby knew who she was, and built a device allowing her to breath underwater. That night she broke out of camp and swam out to sea. When her eyes fell on Roland the Tuna she knew it was love, the type she’d dreamed, and realised this was no fairy tale.
Brian S Creek – A Glass Divide
Comments from KM: Okay, admittedly, I’m a sucker for sad stories, especially sad love stories. I can’t help it. But this was so well done. There were many excellent stories this week, and it was difficult to choose. In the end, I gave the nod to Brian because he really made me feel something, which is no an easy feat in just 109 words. My heard broke when I read this.
A GLASS DIVIDE
* * *
Brian S Creek
Cat/Under The Sea/Romance
* * *
“What is wrong, my love?”
Mr Zazzles turned from the port hole. “Nothing,” he purred.
Goldie swam over. “You look so sad.” She kissed the side of the glass helmet enclosing his head. “Do you no longer wish to be with me?”
“Oh Goldie,” meowed Mr Zazzles. “I long to feel your lips upon mine. I can’t bear being trapped behind this.”
“But that helmet is the only thing allowing us to be together.”
“And yet, we are apart.”
“What are you saying?”
Mr Zazzles placed a paw on each side of the helmet. “I’m saying I’ll always love you.” And with that he removed it. “Now you’re free.”
Meg Kovalik – Cursed
Comments from Dana: Meg’s imagery here is fabulous. I feel the wind and the sea spray. I smell ocean night. I love that the piece is both whimsical in its use of the lovesick cat and mythical in its inclusion of the famed Kraken! Very clever and well written!
Cat; Under the Sea; Romance
Cat yearned after the waning moon. His name was lost to the ocean centuries before but he could still remember the crescent reflected in his lover’s eyes the night they were discovered.
The gods were vindictive in their response; now he was simply “stowaway,” ship’s ratter.
A kill lay at his feet as he gazed into the murky depths. “Kraken, my love” he purred, “from my heart.”
As the mess of fur tumbled overboard a tentacle breached the surface to place a sardine at his feet and caress his fur with impossible tenderness.
“And from mine” the wind sighed as the rat was drawn into the icy darkness below.
- 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 Fairy Tales: By The Grimm Brothers (Illustrated & Unabridged). If you already have the book or don’t have a Kindle, etc., you are free to choose another book of similar value or donate the cost of the book 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, you are each invited to judge the next round of Microcosms. Please let me know if you are interested!