RESULTS – Microcosms 13

As usual, a strong crop of stories this week! Here’s what Bill had to say about things:

Here we go again. For reasons totally beyond my ken, I am judging the work of my betters.

Actually, I believe I am an excellent candidate to be a judge. I am ruthless, fair, and occasionally humorous.

No doubt you are all judging this week’s selections as well. I know you are because you are able to vote for your favorite. How do you think I got here? It was the will of the people. One week it was me. Next week…perhaps Donald Drumpf. Both scary thoughts.

Nevertheless, I will do my best, but please remember Lillian Hellman’s sage words…“Nobody outside of a baby carriage or a judge’s chamber believes in an unprejudiced point of view.”

There are always plenty of excellent choices at the Microcosms banquet. Number 13, possibly poised to be problematic, has been no different.

So, here goes.

A HUGE thanks to this week’s judges, Bill Engleson and Steph Ellis.

All right, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

Honorable Mentions

Leara Morris-Clark – Meeting Ms. Steak

Comments from Steph: Loved the hallucinatory support group meeting. I hope he didn’t make the mistake of trying to eat anyone!

Daisy Warwick – Miscalculation

Comments from Steph: Death by crème egg, what a way to go though! Nice reduction of us humans to ‘the big pink ones’.

Geoff Holme – Happy Family

Comments from Bill: Though Geoff’s puns were bundled in bunches, and almost demanded a quiet pregnant pause here and there, this easterly tale was a lot of fun and even managed to stay on the periphery of good taste.

Brady Koch – Target Practice

Comments from Bill: In almost the same way that I am drawn towards puns, I am enamored of Zeppelins. Both require hot air and often rise above the earth before unceremoniously plummeting back down.

Puns, especially, plummet. And Zeppelins, unfortunately, are all measured against the fate of the Hindenburg.

Target Practice is an exciting little puff piece, initially made all the more fun by the typo. I loved the last line before it was repaired, when it said, “The mummy burglars had a rifle of their own and weren’t being alive.”

Runners Up

Geoff Lepard – Creating a Seed Bank

Comments from Steph: Oh, the myriad uses of a turkey baster. Such a complete story in so few words. And another wonderful last line.

Comments from Bill: While this amusingly risqué rumination had a strong appeal for me, and, at first blush, was considered as my choice of winner, the attempt to re-assign the origin of the turkey baster breeched my need for a tad more historical accuracy. I say this knowing that the date of origin of the lowly baster is somewhat in doubt and that numerous patents have been sought low these many years. Geoff’s research may in fact, be more fastidious than mine. If so, I apologize.

Stella Turner – The Sweetest Ingredient

Comments from Steph: One way to get rid of the kids at Easter. As someone who is rather child-weary two-thirds of the way through the academic year, this is my kind of egg (or rather bunny) hunt.

Daisy Warwick – Miscalculation

Comments from Bill: I am not by inclination a lover of ants. Though I have dabbled in a few flash fiction ant-ics, my own private world is besieged by at least two giant mounds of ants, anthills of epic proportion, both poised to invade further into my field of play.

As well, I can remember my 11 year old self, possessed then of youthful religious fervor, trooping through a university campus at a retreat of similarly aged children, singing, much too loudly, The Ants Go Marching One By One.

Still, I enjoyed Miscalculation, and especially the punctilious line, “their poaching wouldn’t register with the big pink ones.”

This “big pink one” appreciated the point that ants are devious to the max.

Not that I would wish our little industrious friend harm, but…the story satisfied me.

Favorite Lines

Before we get to our winners, here are Bill’s favorite/favourite lines from this week. 🙂

“Nearly put up a sign – “Do Not Disturb – Baker’s Dozin’!” – Geoff Holme

A thick white substance engulfed his thorax and within seconds he was buried. – Daisy Warwick

His dessert burst from pink to red, followed by a pain in his chest. – Brady Koch

“Number eight, we have a situation here. Icing avalanche, workers stuck.” – Firdaus Pardez

He’d hidden one hundred and fifty chocolate bunnies in the field of grass, his back ached but he’d been offered a sponsorship deal. – Stella Turner

“Life is so uncertain,” Jerry said. “I always eat the ears first.” – Voima Oy

‘Creating children is like cooking, is it not?’ – Geoff Lepard

Kandy smiled, her wooden peg teeth streaked with liquorice and sherbet. – A. J. Walker

Calmly strolling through the panicked revellers he approached the perp, a politely fuming lady in rose pink taffeta. – Meg Kovalik

Bloody Steam Punk fairs, he hated them. – Iona Winter

“I was on break so I decided to bob for apples. The apples taunted me.” – Leara Morris-Clark

And now, without further ado, I present to you the winners of Microcosms 13.

(insert drumroll here)

Community Pick

Geoff Holme – Happy Family

This story was also chosen by one of our judges! We’ll let you read it below. 🙂

Judges’ Picks

Geoff Holme – Happy Family

Comments from Steph: Terrific word play weaves through this story with a skilfully light touch and a terrific last line. Hash brownies, anyone?

Word Count: 110
Baker / Bakery / Comedy

Happy Family

The loud noise made Billy Bun the Baker bash the counter. Wincing, he squinted at Saffron and Chelsea.
“How are you, Dad?”
“Steaming angry!”
“You’re a hot, cross Bun then?”
“Hilarious… You two been baking hash brownies?”
“Possibly,” they sniggered in unison. ”Asleep on the job, were you?”
“Just restin’ me eyes.”
“We saw.”
“Nearly put up a sign – “Do Not Disturb – Baker’s Dozin’!”
“You back for Easter?”
At uni they’d been nicknamed “The Bath Buns”. Loud retching noises came from the flat above.
“That Mum?”
“Yeah… Morning sickness.”
“She’s got a Bun in the oven?!”
“S’right! Dough ain’t the only thing still rising round here!”

Voima Oy – Happy Easter

Comments from Bill: I will be as candid as I can be. Which is a limited skill of mine. Voima’s tale baffled me. It was, at first glance, an incredibly mundane tale. Many of us, I suspect, have been at similar dinner parties. Granted, I don’t eat ham any more but…hummus…it’s everywhere. I give thanks for that. And I am also partial to mashed potatoes.

All this aside, I repeatedly strolled through this small social set piece, seeking meaning, seeking an answer, enjoying the easterly repartee, the downsizing that is referenced, wanting something…more.

And then, the last line…it captured the anomie I was encased in. And it conjured up my judicial renderings for Microcosms 8, an eerily earwiggly moment I shall not soon forget.

“Life is so uncertain,” Jerry said. “I always eat the ears first.”

Well, that says it all, doesn’t it?

Happy Easter
110 words
chocolate bunny/table/horror

The ham was fragrant in the oven. Jerry and Lucy had set the kitchen table with the vintage linen cloth in a cheery tulip print.

David and Sharon began unpacking the appetizers–the hummus and spinach dip, carrot sticks, celery and cherry tomatoes. Jerry opened the wine.

“How have you been,” Lucy asked, adjusting the seasoning for the mashed potatoes

Sharon sighed. “Management is talking restructuring again. The whole department could be let go.”

“I may get a buyout,” David shrugged. “At my age…”

Sharon brought out the Easter basket–jelly beans and marshmallow chicks and 4 chocolate bunnies.

“Life is so uncertain,” Jerry said. “I always eat the ears first.”

Congratulations! Each of you will receive:

Additionally, you are both invited to judge the next round of Microcosms. Please let me know if you are interested!

RESULTS - Microcosms 14
RESULTS - Microcosms 12

4 thoughts on “RESULTS – Microcosms 13

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