RESULTS – Microcosms 16

All right, guys. I know I’ve been running behind. I really apologize. Thanks for your patience! If you’d like to volunteer to help run the contest, please let me know. I’ll try to make it as painless as possible.


A HUGE thanks to this week’s judges, Bill Engleson and Sal Page.


Here’s what Sal had to say:

Judging. Why do I always feel I got it wrong? Am I really worthy to be a judge? Don’t think so. Early this century I did jury service. Everyone in the court was horrible to us the whole ten days, except the judge. He was lovely. Yeah, I fell for the judge.

If only I had some way of contacting him to ask for help with this. Does he know what steampunk is, for example? (Massive apologies to anyone who’s done something stupendously steampunky & I’ve just not got it ….) Does he have any knowledge of the Titanic? Or horror, sci-fi or the 1920s come to that? For some reason I’m clueless while everyone else just seems to know. But I’m sure my judge would just smile and say ‘That is for you to decide.’

At least these ten folk haven’t been indulging in violent disorder at a petrol station for no discernible reason. Just a bit of fabulous flashing … so hurrah for that!

And here’s what Bill had to say:

So I’m torn. Which is harder? Judging or Writing? Or writing up a judgment? Well, if you have any hesitation, let me release you from your diffident doubt. It’s judging. By a country mile. Or, because I’m Canadian, a country kilometer.

This week’s entries flew through time and space, providing stark images of fate and folly having their way with an arresting array of characters.

In my experience, flash fiction writers speak in tongues, twisting their words with a sleight of hand, a blaze of narrative, a dram of dialogue that, in a jiffy, transports the reader out of their sinecure into a fantabulous cosmos of possibilities.

I am now back from my surreal travels and, bearing in mind the words of the late Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia, who once said (and be very clear here that I am in no way comparing pancakes and flash fiction, nor flash fiction and children) that “In a big family the first child is like the first pancake. If it’s not perfect, that’s okay, there are a lot more coming,” will now render my decision for Microcosms 16…


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


Honorable/Honourable Mentions

Brian S. Creek – Cure for Boredom

Comments from Bill: In an earlier rush of judgement, I admitted my tendency to be partial to tales of airships and other flighty bags of wind and gas so it should come as no surprise that Brian’s explosive little tidbit found favour this go-around. And really, given the current Republican race for the Presidential nomination, rich gasbags and blowing up things for the pure pleasure of it seems to have become standard operating procedure in some quarters.

Comments from Sal: A hard working title, which adds to what we learn about this character. Like the moment of realisation about what’s really happening in those final lines and how the meaning of ‘It’s going to be quite a night.’ changes as it’s repeated.

Brady Koch – Overcoming Patience

Comments from Bill: Zeppelins and Orphans. Love ‘em both. Brady’s testy little sci-fi vendetta appealed to me for the swift exit of the poor sod in front of the vengeful little gaffer, Amos. Who hasn’t been stuck in a bread line and wanted to clean house, I ask you?

Daisy Warwick – 1929: Dancing to ‘When You’re Smiling’

Comments from Sal: Poetry is hard so extra points here for effort to bring character, atmosphere and narrative to the reader. And how can I not like something that rhymes Daisy with crazy?


Runners Up

Daisy Warwick – 1929: Dancing to ‘When You’re Smiling’

Comments from Bill: How could Ms. Warwick not channel characters from Gatsby? Especially his lost love, Daisy Buchanan? Well, the poem hits on a variety of ‘20’s touchstones, rhymes sweetly here and there, and pays nodding and nicking homage to Leonardo D. As grand as his Gatsby is, I am from the old school and favour Alan Ladd’s turn in the 1949 version. Once upon a time, it was available on You Tube, I believe. Anyway, April is National Poetry Month, at least across the line, so there you go.

Stephanie Ellis – Shelter

Comments from Bill: This vegetarian has a bit of a weak stomach but the writer in me relished Steph’s inspirational venture, her willingness to horse around with our sensibilities and make a shelter out of a sow’s ear, so to speak. Clearly there is a price to be paid for pulling the covers over your head. A tasty morsel all the way around.

Amy Wood – Here be Monsters

Comments from Sal: Nicely crafted. I like the repetition of ‘nobody said’ and that we’re shown how the character feels through extremes of temperature, internal and external. Really creates atmosphere. And that last line hints at what might happen beyond the end.

Brady Koch – Overcoming Patience

Comments from Sal: Good work with tricky prompts. There’s a lot betweenthe lines and I like the idea of Amos, beyond the end of this flash, further blasting his way through the rest of the queue and taking all the bread. Go Amos!


Favorite/Favourite Lines

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

“Cold sweat trickled down Eli’s face, cold despite the harsh hot wind. – Amy Wood

Nobody said the endless prairie could drive a soul mad with its unchanging beauty. – Amy Wood

I can’t offer much to Daisy Maybe a poor quality wine. – Daisy Warwick

I can’t offer much to Daisy
Maybe a poor quality wine
But her husband’s friend’s a Mafia ‘crazy’ – Daisy Warwick

Oh, it’s going to be quite a night. – Brian S. Creek

‘I sunk a lot of money into her construction, though to me it was mere pocket change. – Brian Creek

He slit the animal’s throat and cut open the stomach, hauling out the bloody entrails to make a cavity big enough for him to crawl into. – Steph Ellis

She might be new at this job but she knew it wasn’t Winston Churchill who was hopefully still in the coffin. – Stella Turner

Showing signs of decay, bullet hole between the eyes, a designer suit, and top end leather wallet carelessly thrown on the floor. – Stella Turner

He glances at them with one eye, the other lost in the Mutiny and replaced by a diamond from the looted treasury of some Hindu prince. – A. V. Laidlaw

His legs, shattered by a cannonball during the Opium Wars and held together by clockwork and wires of African gold, click with each hurried step. – AV Laidlaw

I move my queen across the chessboard, a polished silver cog her crown. – Stephen Shirres

“Captain, full steam would literally melt the ship from the inside. May I suggest very light steam?” – Craig A

“Captain, full steam would literally melt the ship from the inside. May I suggest very light steam.” – Craig A

Timing is everything he said. He had his futures options, a time machine in his garage. – Voima Oy

He had his futures options, a time machine in his garage. – Voima Oy

It was barely fit for ducks. – Brady Koch

The man evaporated, leaving a pile of dingy clothes. – Brady Koch


And now, without further ado, I present to you the winners of Microcosms 16.

(insert drumroll here)


Community Pick

Craig A – On the Rocks

On the rocks

“Captain, this craft is not sea worthy.”
The captains breath formed clouds as he spoke, “nonsense, this is the sturdiest vessel in the Atlantic. I hired the best engineers in the world to make it so.”
“But why this particular design?”
“Stealth of course! Now full steam ahead.”
“Captain, full steam would literally melt the ship from the inside. May I suggest very light steam.”
The captain slumped into his icy chair with a sigh, “I suppose.”

There was an almighty crash, followed by screaming. The Captain jumped to his feet, “What was that?”
“I believe sir that may have been the HMS Titanic…”
“I told you we were sturdy!”

110 words
#flashdog
@todayschapter
Millionaire, England, and steam punk.


Judges’ Picks

AV Laidlaw – The Sun Never Sets

Comments from Bill: I loved this post-Dickensian set-piece, this stroll by Lord Haversham through the tawdry, steaming streets of Kensington. Maybe it is because I have had a partial knee replacement that I identified and enjoyed his itemizations of his replacement parts. A rich little tale, well told.

@AvLaidlaw
Millionaire / England / Steampunk
110 Words

The Sun Never Sets

Lord Havisham strides through Kensington, past the beggars leaching from a smog tinted blood red by the sunset.

The gas lamps flicker on. He glances at them with one eye, the other lost in the Mutiny and replaced by a diamond from the looted treasury of some Hindu prince. His legs, shattered by a cannonball during the Opium Wars and held together by clockwork and wires of African gold, click with each hurried step. He tosses the beggars a few shillings.

He is an old man and remembers this place before the city. The fields and laughing brook. His heart was made of English oak then, but rotted long ago.


Stephanie Ellis – Shelter

Comments from Sal: I’m fascinated by the fact that someone would, or indeed could, climb inside the body of a horse to sleep. And for that matter, be hungry enough to eat a one. Put these two together and you get something clever, horrific and funny all at the same time.

Shelter

110 words
elements: frontiersman, wilderness, horror

@el_Stevie
#FlashDog

Tobias stumbled through the blizzard sensing he was being watched. When would they show themselves? He was more than a year late in joining his brother at the small outpost. And now his horse could go no further.

Tobias pulled out a knife knowing he had one chance. He slit the animal’s throat and cut open the stomach, hauling out the bloody entrails to make a cavity big enough for him to crawl into.

He did not hear starving voices cheer at the sight of the horse, the cries that at last their luck was turning and their famine was over. Nor did his eyes open as the axes fell.


Congratulations! Each of you will receive:

  • 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 Titanic: The Sinking of The Titanic. 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!

RESULTS - Microcosms 17
RESULTS - Microcosms 15

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17 comments for “Welcome to Microcosms!

  1. zwoodle
    26 December 2015 at 4:15 pm

    We’re going to do a soft launch on 1 January. We’ll be e-mailing everyone shortly. Stay tuned!

    1+
  2. 12 September 2019 at 5:20 pm

    What’s happened to all the stories from last week’s competition?

    0
    • KM Zafari
      12 September 2019 at 6:31 pm

      They’re all still in the system but not displaying on the front end. Part of the glitch I’m trying to resolve. :/

      0
  3. 13 September 2019 at 6:37 am

    Who is Stoner, please?

    1+
  4. 13 September 2019 at 11:20 am

    Ghost; Haunted House; Comedy
    298 words

    The Gang, Fifty Years On

    “Hey guys, it’s our anniversary. It’s fifty years since we got together and solved our first case.”

    “That’s right. Why don’t we do something to celebrate? We could stay the night in the old, haunted house.”

    “I’m not really sure. None of us are as young as we used to be, we’re all in our late sixties now.”

    “Yeah, and I’m not sure that I want to stay up past my bedtime.”

    “Oh, go on, it’ll be a bit of fun. It’s not as though any of us get much of that anymore.”

    “It just won’t be the same without the dog.”

    “You’re right about missing the dog. I even miss that annoying little one that accompanied us on some of our later adventures.”

    “OK, it’s a date then. We just need someone to drive us out there before it gets dark.”

    “I’ll organise some supplies. Some drinks, a snack, spare walking sticks, and a flashlight for each of us.”

    “I’m not sure that I see the point. We never managed to find any real ghosts or monsters, never in our entire career. It was always a scam of some sort, and always one carried out by ordinary, everyday losers dressed up in costume.”

    The overnight stay was uneventful until just before dawn when they heard someone moving about downstairs. Silently they crept down the stairs only to find a fat balding man dressed up in a sheet going, “Woo… woo…” As it was obvious something untoward was going on, they phoned for the police. When they arrived a few minutes later the police arrested the would-be ghost. As he was taken away the last thing the gang heard him say was, “And I would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for those pesky pensioners!”

    2+
  5. 13 September 2019 at 11:52 am

    http://www.engleson.ca
    @billmelaterplea
    300 words
    Stoner; Ghost Ship; Comedy

    That’s Some Spooky Shit, Man–Sailing the Silvery Seas with Long Joint Spliffer

    Man, I had more wobbles than a bobblehead.

    Bobblehead?

    Bubblehead for sure.

    Or Stubble head.

    Like man, that cat had a gnarly beard. Facial hair all wiry and dense. I could feel it, man. Spikes shooting out of his face like fireworks.

    Bazooka hookahs, man!

    Reefer creepers!

    Maybe it was the Maui-Zowie? Or the BC Bud? Or, get this, the Alberta Muerta?

    Made that up, man. Killer weed, though.

    Whatever it was, it was some magic shit. Maui Cowie poop, eh.

    Hah! I don’t know what that is.

    Anyway, I’d been up all night zinging in the shower, tingling in the tower, baying at the full moon, a giant silver dollar beauty, when I got the urge man to go down to the waterfront, watch the river flow.

    You ever done that, man? The river! Love the river. Like its dark, man, and late. The taverns have all closed. Streets littered with the soulful. Sky’s storm ready. Clouds gathering like jumbled sheets on a bed that’s never been made. Guess you know where that metaphor comes from. Anyways, you can feel it. Something’s gonna burst. So, I go down to the river and I see it through the thick fog. Like its out of the movies, man, full masted, skull and crossbones flapping’ in the night wind, and that ain’t no Errol Flynn standing at the helm. Not on your booty. Its someone eerie as hell, with some yo ho hoing and a bottle of bong…and I’m thinking, Bong? James Bong?

    There I am, staring at this vessel, double o sevening away, and this dude starts walking the plank and says, “Sorry Mate, no gambling tonight. The Jolly Better’s closed tight. City ordinance.”

    “Bummer, man” I bleat, “and me with the munchies and a pocket full of pieces of eight.”

    0
  6. Geoff
    13 September 2019 at 7:32 pm

    Stoner, haunted house, drama
    295 words
    Gardening
    ‘Hi Pete. How’s it trucking?’’
    Pete blinked, hoping his neighbour was another bad trip.
    ‘Garden’s looking great. Not many weeds. Ho!’
    Pete sucked in air, disorientated by the lack of smoke. I need to cut back oxygen. ‘Hi Greg. You after a packet?’
    ‘I was just wondering how you get them so… leafy?’
    Pete licked the paper. ‘You planning your own? Take some seeds, man.’ He sealed another joint, willing him to go.
    ‘I don’t think so. What’s the secret?’
    Pete looked at the soil at his feet. ‘Peace and love, man.’
    ‘Seriously. We grew cannabis at college but that was inside in Cheltenham. You manage outdoors, in Scotland in January…’
    ‘I rely on my relatives.’ He kicked the dirt, exposing the head of a femur. ‘That’s Auntie Jane. The plants love her.’
    Greg’s eyes widened. ‘That’s your aunt?’
    ‘Think so. Hang on.’ Pete put down the Rizzla packet and bent to the bone. ‘Yeah? You sure? Right ho.’ He looked up. ‘Uncle Portius. They look the same at that age, don’t they?’
    Greg rubbed his eyes. ‘I must be passive smoking your product. Did you just talk to a bone?’
    Pete laughed. ‘Course not. Bone’s don’t talk…’
    ‘But…’
    ‘They’re ghosts. I you like I can do you some Mexican spicy and my second cousin’s torso as a starter kit…’
    Greg backed away. ‘Maybe later.’
    Pete started another joint and covered the bone. He’d need another dozen for the school run. ‘Thanks Ponti, I’ll get you that pint of Ruddles later.’ He looked down the rows of fecund and fullsome plants to a slightly saggy group by the hedge. ‘And I’ll pick up some dubonnet and lemon for Granny Emmaline. Wouldn’t do to let her crop get peaky, what with festival season nearly upon us.’

    2+
  7. 13 September 2019 at 10:25 pm

    http://www.engleson.ca
    @billmelaterplea
    300 words
    Stoner; Ghost Ship; Comedy

    That’s Some Spooky Shit, Man–Sailing the Silvery Seas with Long Joint Spliffer

    Man, I had more wobbles than a bobblehead.

    Bobblehead?

    Bubblehead for sure.

    Or Stubble head?

    Like man, that cat had a gnarly beard. Facial hair all wiry and dense. I could feel it, man. Spikes shooting out of his face like fireworks.

    Bazooka hookahs, man!

    Reefer creepers!

    Maybe it was the Maui-Zowie? Or the BC Bud? Or, get this, the Alberta Muerta?

    Made that up, man. Killer weed, though.

    Whatever it was, it was some magic shit. Maui Cowie poop, eh.

    Hah! I don’t know what that is.

    Anyway, I’d been up all night zinging in the shower, tingling in the tower, baying at the full moon, a giant silver dollar beauty, when I got the urge man to go down to the waterfront, watch the river flow.

    You ever done that, man? The river! Love the river. Like its dark, man, and late. The taverns have all closed. Streets littered with the soulful. Sky’s storm ready. Clouds gathering like jumbled sheets on a bed that’s never been made. Guess you know where that metaphor comes from. Anyways, you can feel it. Something’s gonna burst. So, I go down to the river and I see it through the thick fog. Like its out of the movies, man, full masted, skull and crossbones flapping in the night wind, and that ain’t no Errol Flynn standing at the helm. Not on your booty. Its someone eerie as hell, with some yo ho hoing and a bottle of bong…and I’m thinking, Bong? James Bong?

    There I am, staring at this vessel, double o sevening away, and this dude starts walking the plank and says, “Sorry Mate, no gambling tonight. The Jolly Better’s closed tight. City ordinance.”

    “Bummer, man” I bleat, “and me with the munchies and a pocket full of pieces of eight.”

    4+
  8. Angelique Pacheco
    14 September 2019 at 4:56 am

    Stoner; Ghost Ship; Comedy
    135 words

    Green Boo-ty

    I saw through the haze
    A ghost ship’s hallways
    Twisting and turning
    The maze was daunting

    A ghostly dancer beckoned
    “Get naked,” she reckoned
    My mind said, “Okay!”
    My body said, “Let’s play!”
    The scene was rearranged
    And the actors were exchanged.

    The captain wore coat tails
    He clung onto the rails
    He shouted for pirates
    And called us bandits
    Zombies took me to the ledge
    To walk the plank to the edge.

    When I came down
    We were back in Cape Town
    I found myself at the pool
    Standing starkers like a fool

    The mystical dancer
    Was a Trans performer
    Security was cuffing me
    No zombies could I see.

    Don’t ever take the green stuff
    It can be quite rough
    Make sure you buy local
    Not pirated forms of diabolical.

    4+
  9. 14 September 2019 at 6:19 am

    stoner/ghost ship/comedy
    WC: 365
    http://www.awalker.org
    @zevonesque

    One More Sausage

    Fred was hungry. It was his semi-permanent state. Always eating; yet as thin as a rake that had been split in two–his acquaintances assumed he was looking after some tape worms. His best buddy, Havant, had just as voracious an appetite. Being a dog it was expected.
    Their holiday to France wasn’t going well. The language was unfamiliar and the food was not as good as anticipated. It was four days before Fred discovered that they were in Hamburg. And, whilst it was just two letters shy of his favourite word, it wasn’t in France.

    Things began to look up when they went for a couple of currywurst after a big breakfast. They got chatting to a groovy guy by the wurst-stand about all things sausage related ,which had got them a) excited and b) hungry again. Being at the wurst-stand that had been easy to deal with. There was always room for one more sausage.

    They shared a funny cigarette with Groovyman, which made them giggle. He said he’d never seen a dog smoke before. Fred said it happened regularly, usually when he’d spilt cooking oil on Havant.

    Groovyman enquired why he was called Havant. Fred explained that it was short for Havant A. which left him none the wiser. He then told them about the sausage barge, where the price for a four hour trip includes an ‘All That You Can Eat’ buffet. They weren’t going to miss this opportunity, so they heading down to the docks with big loping strides and stupid grins.

    At the docks everything was a bit blurry. Clearly they were in danger of fainting from hunger. So they got onboard the SS Hamburger with expectant bellies and an aim to make the buffet their home. Havant A. realised something was amiss when their boat passed through a series of locks without the gates opening. The lack of taste to the buffet wasn’t an issue, but the lack of substance was. When the captain turned up minus his head even Fred thought something was amiss.

    Then they smelled the Sausage Cruise pass in the other direction. It was a good job Havant could swim and Fred could float.

    2+
  10. 14 September 2019 at 4:03 pm

    stoner; ghost ship; comedy
    287 words

    Oscar

    The USS Bronson departed the solar system on the first Wednesday in October, carrying 420 tons of prime marijuana for trade on the rim. Its wormhole jumps were automated.

    By the first jump, the crew, consisting of Oscar Slama, was baked. He sat in the captain’s chair with a bowl of chips in his lap.

    In front of him, he appeared.

    “Wha…?” he said.

    “Don’t freak out,” Oscar 4-6 said. “I’m just more you, in the fourth, fifth, and sixth dimensions.”

    “Whoa,” Oscar said.

    “Got a light?” asked Oscar 4-6.

    After a second wormhole jump, as the ship navigated n-space on its trip to the rim planets, Oscar 7-9 joined the others, who, using a bong, were now ozzy. He immediately commenced baking brownies, a smoking blunt held between his clenched teeth.

    Croned, the three talked about the meaning of life with others who joined them subsequently.

    “It definitely has something to do with this yup yup,” Oscar 64-66 said.

    “Dude, it’s like … like … life,” Oscar 90-92 said.

    “Having trouble finishing my sentenc… ” Oscar said. Oscar 99-101 refilled his bowl with organic, unsalted puffed peas.

    “How many are me?” Oscar said. “I mean, how many of dimensions of me are they …?”

    “Infinite,” said Oscar 19948892…

    More wormholes, more dank. Infinitely more Oscars, steetched.

    “Let’s all squeeze in together,” Oscar said. “Dudes, I am so fazed …”

    “Dude, not out here in n-space. You got to stay spread out in n-space.”

    “No, squeeze in,” Oscar said with the frown of the chonged.

    They burned the crops. They squeezed in, all infinity of them.

    The ship flew on, empty of Oscars and budda.

    The Oscars looked around.

    “Where are we?” they asked themself.

    “In this universe, we’re God,” said the part of Him most lit.

    “Dude!” they said.

    0
  11. Diego Piselli
    14 September 2019 at 5:04 pm

    THE BARGE
    Stoner, Ghost Ship, Comedy
    282 words
    The rumor had spread with lightning speed, fuelled by media coverage.
    A mahogany barge, loaded with Lebanese weed was floating somewhere in Amsterdam canals, unattended
    Smokers in coffee shops hotly debated the matter. Abe swore he saw it moored near Singel canal; Alwine claimed to be certain that the ship was far in the harbor; Rastafarian waiters fabled about an Iranian merchant, owner of the barge tugged along his princely yacht, vanished with a Circassian beauty.
    Eventually, on a warm summer Saturday night, the Quest had its beginning.
    Hordes of stoners, old hippies and weirdos of all kinds gathered in Dam square and started scouring all the canals, walking on the banks, boating or paddling in muddy waters: braver and youngsters went so far as to swim in the smelly current.
    The Quest was unsuccessful, but Saturday phantom barge hunting became a fixed meeting. If interest decreased, the press reported a new sighting and people got back to the endless hunting. Hunters set up groups and association named by famous weed smokers of the past. Each group had a leader, a hymn, a flag.
    And every Saturday evening Mr. Janssen, managing editor of “Amsterdam Today”, savored happily the silence of his flat in Central Amsterdam, a little nest in a medieval alley crowded with coffee shops. No more yelling, no more stoners’ noise. No more frantic strolling of excited people along the cobblestone street.
    All the smokers had gone away, searching for the barge.
    His little article full of question marks and drop hints about a mysterious barge had proved useful, and he could eventually savor domestic pleasures in peace. “Marijuana enthusiasts are like children,” he said to himself “they believe anything”.

    6+
  12. 14 September 2019 at 7:44 pm

    @the_red_fleece
    http://www.theredfleece.co.uk
    stoner/ghost ship/comedy
    Word Count – 260

    Clang! Clang! Clang!
    The sound reminded Midshipman Smythe of the death march if it was played badly by a toddler on kitchen pans. What was scarier was the lack of bodily panic symptoms. His heart hadn’t tried to explode. His stomach hadn’t emptied like a freshly flushed toilet. Nothing was doing nothing in fact. Peter, the welcome guy, had warned him about this but it took some getting use to.
    “Is that her Midshipman?” His Captain pointed at the blue haired girl hitting the ships pipes.
    “Yes Sir.”
    “Madam.” The captain pulled herself to the full height of her tall frame. “How did you get on board?”
    “I don’t know man.” She didn’t look at the captain. Instead she gazed off to the left, as if following an excitable fly.
    “Madam, I am very much not a man.”
    She blinked three times, each time she forced her eyes as wide as she could. “You are so pale…wo-man. Did I get that right? Wo-man.”
    She giggled to herself.
    The Captain did not see the funny side. “Madam! How did you get on board this ship?”
    “Space cakes.” Her hand becomes a rocket which follows the same trajectory as her imagined fly. She takes the same level of interest.
    The Captain groans. “Midshipman?”
    “Yes Captain.” He clips his heels together, disappointed at the lack of noise. Another thing he has to get use to.
    “Go find the Chaplin. Tell him to prepare for a bio-exorcism. I won’t have a breather on my ghost ship.”

    3+
  13. 14 September 2019 at 10:09 pm

    @EdenSolera
    150 Words
    Unmasked Villain; Spooky Location; Drama

    Inferno

    Flames flickered in the oppressive darkness, solitary among thousands. A tall woman strode around them, her high-necked red dress flowing dangerously close to the light. Watching her, bathed in the shadows, were hundreds of people, their breathing heavy in the air of anticipation.

    She spun to face them, her eyes flashing as they reflected the flames. Her voice thundered through the deadened space. Disdain blanketed the group, suffocating even the bravest of her followers.

    Weakness was unacceptable, this they knew, but they had still managed to disappoint her. All fell to their knees, bowing their heads to the shame brought on by her piercing glare.

    She reached down to grab one of the candles, holding it in such a way that her face was cast in a ghostly light. Swiftly, her fingers were enveloped in the burning wax. Everyone else hissed, shocked, yet impressed by her stoicism.

    Flames smoldered still.

    2+
  14. Lindsey P
    16 September 2019 at 9:48 am

    I guess mine didn’t get saved…oh well.

    1+
    • Lindsey Pittenger
      16 September 2019 at 9:51 am

      298 Words

      Bookworm; Mine; Mystery

      The Case of the Canned Canaries

      As they ventured further down the dimly lit tunnel, Miranda pulled her book closer to her face, squinting to make out the words, comparing them to her surroundings. Everything seemed to be just as she’d expected. The construction of the mine shaft seemed stable and matched the text, which eased her growing sense of claustrophobia, but there was something that still just didn’t seem right. She hadn’t noticed that she’d slowed to a stop until the man behind her nearly knocked her over.

      “Oomf—sorry about that. Need to watch where I’m going a bit more,” he said with a sheepish grin.

      “I’m fine,” she said, clutching the book to herself and waving him away. Ignoring the dismissal, he pointed at her treasured cargo.

      “So what are you reading down here that’s so important to gum up the traffic?” he asked jovially, lowering his pickaxe from his shoulder.

      “Oh, this?” She held up the book. “It’s just an old book about mines. I figured I’d bring it along for some good-natured analysis. This mine seems similar to the one in the book, but the thing that’s been concerning me the most is the canaries.”

      “Canaries?” he asked, confused, briefly glancing around the shaft as though he’d missed something.

      “There aren’t any,” she said matter-of-factly, reopening her book, “Here, they use canaries as a warning system for noxious gases to keep people from dying, but this whole time we’ve been here, I haven’t seen a single one.” The look on her face fell as he burst into laughter.

      “I’m sorry,” he said, pointing to a box on the wall. “I think this sensor is that canary you’re looking for. Don’t worry, we are monitoring the safety of the air down here. At any rate, hope you’re enjoying your tour!”

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