Microcosms 15

Springtime is upon us, and there is much ado about gardening and nature right now. This is Lawn and Garden Month, as well as Garden Week. And, heck, today is Draw a Picture of a Bird Day. Why? I couldn’t tell you. But it seems cool.

Anyhoo, I thought we’d use spring as our inspiration for this week and choose settings and characters commonly associated with gardens, gardening, and springtime, etc.

As usual, our contest will begin with three things: character, setting, and genre.

We spun, and our three elements are character: duckling, setting: baseball stadium, and genre: fantasy. Okay. This could be a tough one. lol Dang, and I really wanted some scary garden gnome stories! (On second thought…)

Feel free to write a story using those or spin a new set of your own. Be sure to include which three elements you’re using.

  • garden gnome
  • bird
  • fairy
  • leprechaun
  • bunny
  • duckling
  • gardener
  • flamingo (real or plastic)
  • butterfly
  • wedding planner
  • bride and/or groom
  • baseball player
  • maid
  • frog
  • bee
  • garden
  • forest
  • rainbow
  • Japan (sakuras)
  • rainy day
  • bird nest
  • meadow
  • picnic
  • wedding
  • field
  • baseball stadium
  • house
  • yard
  • under an umbrella
  • pond
  • horror
  • sci-fi
  • steam punk
  • mystery
  • fantasy
  • romance
  • drama
  • comedy
  • poem

Spin!


Judging this week will be yours truly and a possible mystery guest judge. Ooh, mysteriously mysterious! 🙂


All submissions should be 100 words in length, give or take 10 words (90 – 110 words). You have until midnight, New York time to submit.

The Ugly Duckling (Illustrated)
Winners will receive a copy of the Kindle version of The Ugly Duckling (Illustrated) (currently available in the US, the UK, Australia, and other territories), or a similarly priced book of their choosing; alternatively, winners may elect to have the monetary equivalent donated to World Reader or another literacy-related charity.



If you like, you may incorporate one or both of the following photo prompts (not required).

I couldn’t decide between them. I mean, the sign is adorable and possibly inspirational. But look at that fuzzy, little baby. And those feet! <3

duck crossing sign

Watch Out for Duckies by Jenny Rollo



duckling in someone's hands

Little Duck (Duckling) by Sander Spijker


Microcosms 16
Microcosms 14
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20 comments for “Microcosms 15

  1. Profile gravatar of Dave James Ashton
    8 April 2016 at 1:32 am

    Feathered Fiend

    Flaknerk waddled through the leaf litter quacking.

    “Of all the forms that accursed prophet could bind me in, why did it have to be this?”

    Over the centuries, the demon prince had tried every incantation he knew to return to his own monstrous form. Too ashamed to approach others of his kind for help, he had hidden.

    “Mama! Mama! Look what I found! Can I keep him? Please?”

    “Of course, darling. A pet will teach you responsibility.”

    If ducklings could smile, the demon prince would have done so.

    “I’m going to dress you up so pretty!”

    If demon princes admitted to fear, the duckling would have done so.

    108 words
    @davejamesashton
    duckling/forest/comedy

    4+
  2. Profile gravatar of Stephanie Ellis
    8 April 2016 at 7:33 am

    Inversion

    109 words

    Elements: butterfly, rainbow, horror

    @el_Stevie
    #FlashDog

    The wings flapped on an emerald leaf, a shimmer of vermillion, a life painted in blood. It stilled at the sound of youthful voices; survivalism detected the ever-present undertone of schoolboy cruelty.

    “It’s an old wives’ tale.”

    “Look, the rainbow ends here.”

    Young eyes followed the rainbow’s glorious arc but there was no crock of gold.

    Attention turned to the butterfly, their disappointment dying as they became giants with the power of life and death.

    If they’d looked closely, they’d have seen a million reflections in its compound eye as the swarm gathered. But by then they were blind and limbless, waiting to be put out of their misery.

    6+
  3. 8 April 2016 at 7:51 am

    107 words.
    character: duckling, setting: baseball stadium, and genre: fantasy.

    @tinoprinzi

    Legends

    “Mama always told me not to wander into the baseball stadium. I always asked why, and she’d tut, sigh, wipe the flour from her hands, and say ‘I’ve told you time and time again.’ She’d recollect the legend of Mildred the Witch, who cursed the forest when she was burned at the stake.

    One morning, I was playing outside when a gust of wind took my Frisbee into the stadium, past the sign. Without thinking, I ran in to collect it, and as I reached out to grab it I found this.”

    The talking duck stretched out its wing. I ran away before it finished its warning.

    4+
  4. 8 April 2016 at 10:17 am

    Somewhere Under the Rainbow
    108 springtime words: Leprechaun/Field/Fantasy
    Dave @ParkInkSpot
    —–
    Mac Feegle paused for a moment and sniffed the wind. His face twisted into a snarl and he returned to work.

    He donned his red coat with seven rows of seven golden buttons. Then he opened the cages hidden in the tall grass, releasing cuddly rabbits and a swarm of butterflies. Finally, he set out his most irresistible article of bait; the shoe with the worn sole in desperate need of repair.

    When they arrived, he sprang out with his cold iron spear and bound them fast with delicate chains of silver. Elves make fine slaves, toiling in the End of the Rainbow Mine. Gold doesn’t dig itself.

    6+
  5. 8 April 2016 at 10:29 am

    @geofflepard
    Bride/groom, wedding, horror
    The circle of life
    103 words
    For two years, dad toiled to have the garden perfect for Daisy’s wedding. He spared no expense, no effort for her big day. She knew what it meant; she couldn’t disappoint him, even after each revelation: Craig’s cheating, the two exes and four children. It was inexorable. She’d go through with it.
    Daisy held the knife against the cake and waited for his hand relax. Her first blow severed an artery but she didn’t stop.
    As she waited to be led away Daisy noted her father collecting Craig’s gore. ‘What’s that for, dad?’
    ‘Shame to waste it, don’t you think? All those nutriments.’

    9+
  6. Voima Oy
    8 April 2016 at 11:19 am

    @voimaoy
    110 words
    garden gnome/garden/horror

    Welcome to the Neighborhood

    The ladies of the Garden Club came around to welcome the new neighbors. It was a lovely spring day, and the daffodils were beginning to bloom. There was no one about, so they wandered into the back yard. There they found two men, planting a young oak tree.

    “Well, hello. I’m Jeremy. and this is my partner, Owen.”

    ” I am Mrs. Beaton and this is Mrs. Higgins. We are from the Garden Club. Welcome to the neighborhood.”

    Jeremy and Owen opened the burlap bag. “Oh my, its…” Owen said.

    ” A garden gnome?” Jeremy smiled politely.

    “Yes, it’s hideous. isn’ t it? ” Mrs. Beaton said. “But it’s pure magic for roses.”

    4+
  7. Profile gravatar of Sal Page
    8 April 2016 at 11:43 am

    Flamingo Umbrella

    Everything changed in a blink of plunging darkness. A whiff of burning. A flash fork of lightning.
    I’d waited so long. Strolling through primroses, to see newly hatched chicks. The warmest day yet.
    Brain splitting thunder. A rainbow bridged the sky, shot through with bruises of vilest magenta and purple. Blood rain began to fall on me. I grabbed the nearest flamingo as an umbrella.
    On all sides, folk enjoyed their day. Warm sun in their hair. Grassy picnics. Laughter. Life.
    Why just me?
    The temperature had plummeted. Feet fused to my palms, the flamingo umbrella flapped around my shoulders, pecking holes in my cheeks.
    Why?
    I’d only wanted spring.

    Flamingo – Rainbow – Horror
    @SalnPage
    110 words
    #FlashDog

    9+
    • 22 July 2016 at 8:35 pm

      Free knowledge like this doesn’t just help, it promote demccraoy. Thank you.

      0
    • 2 November 2016 at 9:15 pm

      ho dimenticato dei disastri ambientali.qui non ho molta conoscenza pero', a grandi linee, io direi di comparare la cina con tutta l'europa (come superficie) di 50 anni fa (loro adesso sono grosso modo a questo livello) tenendo conto che 50 anni fa in europa non abitavano 1.5 miliardi di persone. e poi guarda il nostro meridione dove vive un infinitesimo di quelli che vivono in cina e vedi se puo' sembrarti tanto meglio. in ogni caso io non mi sento di giudicare cose che non conosco a fondo, per cui mi tengo i dubbi, da entrambe le parti.indopama

      0
    • 2 February 2017 at 9:17 pm

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      0
  8. 8 April 2016 at 12:27 pm

    When Ducks Can Catch Flies

    “So Teddy, I’m thinking, bloody hell, there’s no reason a duck can’t play ball.”

    “Donnie, Donnie, Donnie. Focus! Flap them wings. Oh, and by the by, if you had fingers and hands like humans, you’d be able to count at least 10 reasons…”

    “I can count in my head. Don’t need fingers.”

    “Keep flapping your feather dusters, Donnie. Not your gums.

    “Well, I’m pretty tired, Teddy. Ooh, look, down there, a ballfield…and little leaguers….so cute…it must be…”

    “Yup. Opening Day, Donnie. Part of the old flight plan.”

    “You did this for me, Teddy?”

    “Don’t get maudlin. Let’s park our butts down there and watch the game.”

    “Teddy, you’re the greatest.”

    110 dreams coming true
    @billmelaterplea
    Duckling; baseball stadium; fantasy

    4+
  9. Firdaus Parvez
    8 April 2016 at 1:56 pm

    @firdausp
    (110 words)
    ‘Ugly duckling and black sheep’

    “You’re pretty,” he said looking away quickly.
    I could feel the web between my toes vanish a little.
    “You’re handsome,” I blushed as I said it. His shaggy look was endearing.
    “Baa! Not so,” he blushed more.
    My first date at thirty.

    I could still hear mom smirking at me as I dressed for prom.
    “Who’ll marry our ugly duckling,” she’d rolled her eyes at dad

    “I’m an ugly duckling, really,” I chuckled but it came out as a sob.
    “Meet Mr Black Sheep,” he grinned taking my hand.
    Blurry eyed, I could hardly watch the game. I felt my feathers drop away. My heartbeat was louder than the crowd.

    Metaphorical duckling/ baseball stadium/ romance

    8+
  10. 8 April 2016 at 1:59 pm

    Mr. Gnome’s Gruesome Guests

    “Quack.”
    It was their only warning. The Gnome family froze, not a breath between them, until Mr. Gnome pivoted into action.
    “Quack. Quack.”
    Mr. Gnome grabbed his children and buried them in the plant bed. He placed Mrs. Gnome over the visible tips of their hats.
    “Quack. Quack. Quack.”
    The yellow monsters appeared. Under any other circumstance, Mr. Gnome would envy the speed at which they waddled. Now, he only attempted to scream through the silent-curse placed upon all Gnomes. There was nothing he could do but wait for them to waddle by, nothing he could do as the skin of his family was chipped away. Nothing he could do.

    110 Words
    Garden Gnome, Garden, Horror
    @agardana09

    3+
  11. 8 April 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Mercy Snack
    110 words
    duckling, baseball stadium, fantasy
    @danafaletti

    The crowd of birds, reps, and amphs was giving Solange a headache.
    Every creature this side of Picketfence was squawking. Solange could use an appletini to take the edge off.
    “Blussssstery day for firssssst game,” she hissed into the microphone.
    “Not home opener weather,” agreed her counterpart, Maevemouse.
    Solange’s appetite roused at the aroma of fresh rodent. Hungry and hormonal, she silently chastised herself.
    Don’t eat the mouse.
    “Daryllduck’s pitching,” squeaked Maeve. “Best in tri-habitat area!”
    Mmmm. Mouse breath, thought Solange before chaos erupted.
    “Garden Gnome attack!” Daryll screeched. Hoards of armed mini-men charged the field.
    Imagining the bloodbath, Solange decided on mercy.
    Unhinging her jaw, she licked her lips.

    4+
  12. Profile gravatar of Leara Morris-Clark
    8 April 2016 at 2:58 pm

    @learavoice
    http://learawrites.webs.com

    All Who Fly Are Not Ducks
    duckling/baseball stadium/fantasy
    WC 110

    “Come on my little ducklings, field trip today,” Ms. Avion said.

    The children fell into a single-file line, just as they had practiced. They have been looking forward to this day since school began.

    The baseball stadium was chosen for the open space they would need to accelerate.

    They scrambled to their places and chattered nervously.

    “Benji, please demonstrate,” She instructed the older student.

    They watched, ready for their turns.

    “Now you try.” She said while spreading her own wings.

    All in a row, they stretched their little wings as far as they would reach.

    She smiled as she watched each one, in turn, gather speed and begin their ascension.

    4+
  13. A.J. Walker
    8 April 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Making a Splatch!
    A.J. Walker

    Phhwutt!

    “Yello!” said the evident genie. “Whassap?”

    Dan dropped the slightly buffed, and now slightly dented, lamp.

    “Flip. That’s an entrance!”

    “You knows the drill. Three wishes.”

    “Err, usual, I suppose. How’s about I wanna fly like a bird, be world famous… and I wanna see the World Series.”

    “Not sure that’s ‘the usual’ but no probs.”

    The genie alalkazamed and hey presto! Dan was a duckling with aspirations.

    A sparrow hawk swooped. ‘This isn’t how I wanted to fly!’ (translated as: ‘quack quackkk!’).

    Eventually the hawk dropped fluffy over Wrigley Field just as the hitter swung. Skur…patch! Duck paste!

    Dan was splattered all across the red top world.


    WC:100
    duckling, baseball ground, fantasy
    @zevonesque

    7+
  14. Stella Turner
    8 April 2016 at 3:40 pm

    @stellakateT
    #FlashDog
    110 words
    Garden Gnome / Garden / Horror

    Retribution

    He thought it was funny to buy a garden gnome for a flat with no garden. She thought he was an idiot standing the gnome on the bedroom windowsill. Watching them every day he needed to bide his time until he could live in a garden. One night it happened, the next morning the bedroom was a crime scene. The duo lay across the bed, bodies riddled with bullets, blood smearing the walls, the quilt no longer white. Inspector Brown was mystified no sign of a break in, no motive. The gnome spooked him, carrying a machine gun, wearing a bandoleer; he’d never seen a garden gnome like that before.

    6+
  15. Meg Kovalik
    8 April 2016 at 9:30 pm

    Transformed

    Cygna! Cygna! Cygna!

    Beneath the stadium, Cygna smiled into her mirror. The half-time show approached and her fans had whipped themselves into a frenzy.

    Breathing deeply, she opened her box of talismans: a lock of hair; a tattered rag; a picture of the deformed street urchin she once was.

    “Showtime for you,” she whispered, drawing a frightened duckling from her bag.

    Cygna placed the squawking bird inside the box, now pulsing with a purple glow. Suddenly the duckling exploded into a glittery smoke that engulfed Cygna with its shimmering radiance, leaving her tingling from head to toe. She turned to the door.

    “Mmmm, and showtime for ME!”

    @meg_mediocre
    107 words
    Duckling; baseball stadium; fantasy

    4+

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