Microcosms 22

Hi, everyone. Geoff Holme here – guest host for Microcosms 22.

I first came into contact with Kristen, the brains behind Microcosms, while judging a round of MicroBookends, run by David Borrowdale. Sadly, that flash contest is no longer with us. Microcosms 22 pays tribute to David’s creation, but here the book ends are the last lines of famous books. Your challenge is to take the last line and use it as the first line of your entry; you can, however, be creative with it, as long as it remains recognisable.

Word count: we have mixed it up yet again this week: you are allowed a maximum of 300 words for your submissions.

As usual, our contest will begin with three things: book ending, setting, genre.

We spun, and our three elements are book ending: He loved Big Brother., setting: Paris cemetery, and genre: Romance.

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.

  • “Is it about a bike?”
  • He loved Big Brother.
  • I carry a lot of scars.
  • I been there before.
  • But now I must sleep.
  • No name can be read there.
  • Police station
  • Room 101
  • Remote island
  • Mississippi river
  • Country Estate
  • Paris cemetery
  • horror
  • sci-fi
  • steam punk
  • mystery
  • fantasy
  • romance
  • drama
  • comedy
  • poetry



Judging this week is last week’s winner, er… me again. Don’t worry, I promise not to be picky!

All submissions should be a maximum of 300 words, excluding title. You have until midnight, New York time to submit.

If you like, you may incorporate the following photo prompt (not required).


The End 01


BADGES! Please note that at present, I do not have sufficient admin rights to amend your badges. Hopefully, I can update these in the not too distant future.

Microcosms 23
Microcosms 21

21 thoughts on “Microcosms 22

  1. Beyond Brotherly
    299 words
    He loved Big Brother, Paris, Romance

    He loved Big Brother.

    For so long George had insisted that his love was a brotherly love, but in the night lights of Paris, he could no longer ignore the true feelings of his heart.

    “That’s gross, man,” Julia said.

    “What? Why?”

    “Dude. You’re in love with your brother.”

    “No, not my big brother! His name is Big Brother. His parents are…” What was the word for rich people who’d lost it? “…eccentric.”

    “That’s a relief. Your big brother is a total jerk.”

    George sighed. Julia was a dear friend, but she was terrible at listening to confessions. He had planned on escaping to Paris with his best friend Dave, but he had broken his leg. George considered that a very insensitive move.

    “I came to Paris to get away from my problems, but he’s here. I’m in love with Big Brother.”

    “Cool,” Julia said.

    “No, you don’t understand. I’m in love with Big Brother. What should I do?”

    A gasp behind George forced him to turn around.

    “Big Brother!” George cried. “What are you doing here?”

    “I was having a drink with my big brother, Little Brother.”

    “Seriously?” said Julia, but the others could not hear her.

    “Is it true? Do you love me?” Big Brother asked.

    “I do! I love you, Big Brother, with a love that is beyond brotherly!”

    “I have waited so long to hear those words! Come into my arms, George, so that I may kiss you long into the night! Come, while the romance of Paris is all around us!”

    “You have made me so happy! I will love you until the end of my days!” George exclaimed.

    The happy couple proceeded to make out in the street.

    Julia, abandoned by her trip mate, rolled her eyes.

    “Oh, brother,” she said.


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  2. Paris in the Springtime

    “He loved big, brother. Bigger than anyone else I ever did meet.” A comforting shoulder squeeze; a shake of the head. “I still can’t accept that he’s gone.”

    Emile heard the words through his numbness and gave a small nod, terrified to move too much lest a storm of grief overcome him again.

    “You take your time here. I’ll drive you back to the hotel when you’re ready.”

    Slowly the mourners dissipated, paying their last respects as the gravediggers continued their sombre task. Emile could not tear his eyes from the pattering dirt as it covered the coffin below.

    The coffin of his beloved.

    A churlish chattering of birds broke his trance and he looked to the trees, so vibrant and green. The sky had stubbornly remained clear, the brilliant blue of late spring. Emile closed his eyes and breathed in a passing zephyr as it frolicked through the dapple.

    Daniel would have loved it here.

    “Trust you to laze about on a perfect day like this,” Emile whispered, looking back down to the slowly disappearing veneer. His fists clenched and he suddenly remembered the token he carried. A single flower, a bright orange gerbera; unfathomably cheerful for an occasion such as this.

    You always did prefer things garish and loud, you old tart!

    As he gently tossed the flower into the dirt Emile felt a great tension lift. It was time. “Enjoy hanging out with Jim and Oscar, my love,” he whispered, blowing a kiss. “I moved mountains for this real estate, just for you.”

    With a final farewell he backed away, then sharply turned and walked off to find his brother.

    273 words

    “He loved Big Brother.”
    Paris Cemetery

  3. Copper Bob Penny

    “I carry a lot of scars, Frankie. Goes with the job. Some you can see, one especially… if I tilt my head upwards. Yeah, this one, right under my chin. Here, take my flashlight and shine that baby right on it, Frankie. It’s a doozy.”

    “I can’t see it, Grandpa.”

    “See my finger? Follow my wrinkly old finger. There. I’m touching it.”

    “Uh huh. Well, maybe I can. Sort of.”

    “You still having trouble seeing it? Gotta get your eyes tested. You’re spending too much time in front of screens, boy. Gotta get out in the sun more. Not looking at it directly, mind. Fresh air’s good for the old eyeballs.”

    “Dad’s gonna take me fishing…someday,” he says.

    “I’m sure he will. Someday. So where was I…?”

    “Scars, Gramps! Under your chin.”

    “Right, well, it was a doozy. It’s maybe melted back into my evolving second chin.”

    “So, how’d ya get it?”

    “Getting to that. I was fresh out of the Academy. Green as grass. Beat cop. Third day on the job. A little more svelte then, I suppose. Back in those days, garbage cans were mostly metal. Hazards, every one of them. One day, this hoity-toity lady was getting out of her Rolls, her Chihuahua jumped out of her arms and scrambled down an alley. I went in hot pursuit, tripped over the damn dog and slammed my chin on a garbage can lid.”

    “That caused the scar?”

    “One of ‘em. While I was sprawled there, damn dog chewed my Achilles.”

    “That why you limp, Gramps?”

    “Yup. That scar got me permanently assigned to a desk job at Old Station House 37.”

    “That’s sad, Gramps.”

    “I’m a glass half-full guy, Frankie.”


    “Never mind. Did I tell you about the time I sat on a box of thumb tacks…?”

    300 on the job injuries

    I carry a lot of scars; police station; comedy

  4. One Love, Forever
    300 Words
    But now I must Sleep, Paris Cemetery, Romance

    “But Now I must sleep.”

    “In the cemetery?” Cara shuttered, whether from the chill in the air or fear she couldn’t tell. Either way she did not want to stop here for any reason.

    “It’s as good a place as any.” Peter sighed as he lowered his weary body to the soft earth.

    “You can’t rest there. That’s someone’s grave.”

    Peter ignored her and stretched out his limbs, lying on his back. Cara looked at the man in front of her, this man she barely knew. The day he walked into her small town was the day nothing else mattered. He was perfect in every way. His long dark hair, his tall stature. His skin seemed to glow in the sun.

    Cara jumped from a sudden surge in her toes. Peter’s cool skin brushed hers as he slowly traced his hand over the delicate bones of her foot.

    “This is what I want to remember, these moments with you. Uninterrupted by the world and its cruel ways.”

    He always seemed to talk as if he was saying goodbye. Was he going to leave her? She sat beside him wanting to close the gap between them. As if reading her mind he pulled her down so that their bodies were as close as they possibly could be. The energy was undeniable, raging yet sad all at once. Why did it feel like an ending every time they were together?

    “I will always love you,” He whispered in her ear. She closed her eyes and drifted to sleep with his hands still stroking her hair.

    As the sun rose from behind the hill peter rose from his resting place, grimacing as his joints groaned in agony.

    “Until later, my Love.”

    Peter hobbled away, turning to look at the grave again.

    Cara Moreau


  5. Black Heart

    300 words
    Elements: No name can be read there, Mississippi river, horror


    No name can be read there. Too much time has passed since the disappearances and the Mississippi mud refuses to yield any clues, annoying Madame Blanchard. She wants the town to realise that evil still walks amongst us, wants them to come to her for deliverance, not Reverend Jeremiah. His congregation has grown at her expense.

    “People are sleep walkin’ into the abyss,” she said. “Child, they need their eyes openin’. We have to prove there are black hearts in our midst. It is up to you to make them sit up and take notice.”

    I stood on the levee and looked down into the bottomless waters. Me and the river had long shared a secret. I wasn’t no child though. I was almost eighteen.

    I dragged my latest offering to the water’s edge and rolled it in; there was barely a ripple and it was soon gone. Then I allowed my black heart to search out the good reverend.

    I found him strolling along Redemption Road. Insomnia, he said, sent him to many strange places. I didn’t think it was the insomnia but I kept my mouth shut.

    “Could we talk awhile?” I asked. “Madame Blanchard’s worrying me.”

    “You shouldn’t be talking to that voodoo woman,” he said. “The Devil works through her.”

    “Funny, that’s what she said about you,” I said.

    He sighed. “She’s just a silly old woman. But I don’t think she’s long for this world.”

    I laughed and he looked at me strangely. “Sorry,” I said, “it’s just she said that about you as well.”

    And both of them were right.

    “I think she’s lonely,” I said. “Needs company. You’d better go to her.”

    And I sent him on his way, the river closing swiftly over his head, whilst the night hid my black heart.

  6. StellaKateT
    I been there before / Police station / Drama
    284 words

    Sausage or Die

    I been there before. My mum said it was my second home. If she didn’t know where I was she’d ring up Sergeant Ben and ask if I was in their canteen. I’d be eating sausage and chips like my life depended on it. If I was lucky and Eve was behind the counter I’d get spotty dick or treacle tart for pudding. If Inspector Tranter was about I’d have to dip down under the table until he’d gone. Heard him say I was a nutter and shouldn’t be encouraged. The others would laugh and say I was harmless just a boy with ambitions to be a police officer. That was in 1976 the police made their own rules. Now you just get ignored if you ask to see the canteen something to do with security and health and safety my mum says.

    She doesn’t know I sit in my bedroom and talk to others. We plan and plot and one day I’ll be Chief of Police when the revolution comes. Liam says I have to prove my worth, Rashid says he has a job for me to do. Luigi says it needs to be spectacular to make the world look up. George tells me how to prime the backpack. I’ve forgotten to buy half the ingredients but I don’t tell them that. I stuff the backpack with best Cumberland sausages and leave it at the side of the chairs in the reception.

    When they come looking for me my Mum will explain about 1976 and how I wanted to be a policeman. They’ll see a fifty year old man and call me a nutter again. But I wont care I saved their lives.

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    1. I have no idea what a spotty dick is (don’t worry, I will google it just to save the wear and tear on my imagination) but it seems to me it should appear in a comedy rather than a drama. A fine tale, nevertheless…

      1. sorry Bill I wrote it in a bit of a hurry , yes it should have been spotted dick but I call it spotty dick 🙂

  7. Hello, I Love You

    He loved Big Brother.
    Well, Jeremy kept telling himself that. He couldn’t quite convince himself, but he knew he had to for a chance with goddess, Julia.
    ‘I love Big Brother; best TV show… EVER!’
    That’s what he said; in his head. She loved it. She Tweeted and Facebooked about it constantly. And he loved her bones.
    Of course they’d not met yet. Time was nigh though.
    He watched his love from afar: Social media. At her arm, constantly.
    When they finally got together she’d think that they were meant for each other: he knew everything; instinctively.
    And so it is was that one day he found himself in Coffee Corner, a cafe on the edge of town. His coffee was average, and initially he wasn’t sure why he’d gone there. Until she walked in… Destiny.
    A coffee shop he’d never been in. Here he was. Here she was.
    She sat at his table. ‘Okay if I sit here.? There’s no room elsewhere.’
    He’d said ‘No problem.’ He thought. Though he may have just spluttered most of his coffee over his clean on jeans.
    Eventually they chatted. It was like they knew each other. So intuitive.
    She asked him what was the most romantic thing he would like to do. Oh, God. Off-piste! He thought: sex in a graveyard. But said ‘You go first.’
    She said ‘I’d really like to go to Paris.’
    He said. ‘Do you like the Doors?’
    She nodded. ‘Not all bad. A bit self indulgent.’
    He took that as a green light.
    ‘So, you’d like to see his grave then? Bit of a tourist attraction, you know?’
    Two birds, one stone. Paris: cemetery. Made for each other. No doubt.
    Julia texted her mate: ‘Met a guy who wants to wisk me to Paris! Get in!!’
    WC 299
    elements: ‘He loved big brother’, Paris Cemetary, Romance

  8. OK, AJ, the first two elements are: He loved Big Brother. / Paris cemetery
    Is the third Comedy or Romance?
    (I assume you intended only the title should be bold, and ‘wisk’ should be ‘whisk’ – shall I amend your entry accordingly?)

  9. Elements: Is it about a bike? Police Station. Horror
    @geofflepard 295 words
    And Then I Go All To Pieces
    ‘Is it about a bike?’
    Why do they think it’s something so mundane?
    ‘The cheese sandwich?’
    ‘Cheese sandwich?’
    ‘I stole Peterson’s cheese sandwich. Brown bread. Well, granary. No crusts.’
    ‘I mean, I could buy him another, though he’d have to live with crusts.’
    ‘It’s not about any sandwiches. Or bikes.’
    ‘Then why am I here?’
    ‘Have you seen yourself?’ Their self-awareness is a joke.
    ‘My shoes? I never liked brogues. They give your feet a mean vibe.’
    ‘You don’t get arrested for your choice of footwear.’
    He pulled off his foot and studied his boot. You’d think that would give him a hint.
    ‘Anyone wearing deck shoes should be locked up.’
    Here it comes, the laugh and his face splits. He dabs at the suppurating wound.
    ‘I seem to have cut myself.’
    ‘It’s just your face coming apart. Stage four. When you reach stage five, we can get the paperwork sorted.’
    Finally, his expression shows a smidgen of anxiety; he pokes a finger into the hole, ripping it further. The finger clatters to the floor.
    ‘Oh god, nooo.’
    ‘Yes sir, you’re a zombie. It seems you disturbed a stage three, who infected you. And don’t do…’ Too late, he nervously cracks his fingers. Why do newly metamorphosed zombies crack their fingers? He’s lucky that he only loses four. I hope he’s left handed.
    The cracking shifts his nails and soon enough his teeth join the debris on the floor as he grinds them in frustrations. That’s stage five and they can no longer infect anyone – nothing to scratch or bite with so – I let him out but not before he dislodges an ear.
    It’s sad, this recent outbreak of zombitis. Where will it end they ask? Usually in a bin-bag, I answer.

  10. Big Brother
    “He loved Big Brother.”/Paris Cemetery/Romance

    He loved his big brother and missed him terribly. Without hesitation, he always gave Jason credit for the man he had become. He felt at odds over being happy without his brother, and even more so about his current happiness being a result of his brother’s death.

    Erin and Jason met in Afghanistan, and Cody and Erin met at Jason’s funeral in Paris, where he said he wanted to be buried.

    Jason was stationed overseas and after spending some time in Paris vowed to make it his home when he retired from the military.

    On his first tour in Afghanistan, he met a friendly helicopter pilot, and they became fast friends. On his second tour, he met an IED.

    Erin and Cody bonded over their mutual loss and were swept up in the romance of Paris, the city of love. They both decided to stay there for a while and often visited the cemetery to talk to Jason about the life they were building together.

    Every now and again, the guilt of their happiness would bring them to tears, but they knew deep down that Jason would be overjoyed for them. They both knew the kind man he was.

    Today’s visit to see Jason was to deliver some very exciting news.

    “Hey big brother, guess what,” Cody said, his voice cracking. Erin reached for his hand and squeezed it reassuringly. “It won’t be long now we will be welcoming baby Jason.”

    “Did you hear that, Jason? We’re going to have a baby!” Erin reiterated. “We wish you were here to meet your namesake.” She finished and wiped a silent tear from her cheek.

    They hugged and smiled. “You’d be proud, big brother,” Cody said as they turned to leave. “I am so proud of you.”

    Leara Morris-Clark

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  11. @GeoffHolme
    Word Count: 300
    “Is it about a bike?” / Paris cemetery / Drama
    Late, “just for fun” entry. (In case you need to know, the titles of all the chosen novels are included. :-))


    “Is it about…”

    A bike cop had pulled Billy over on US-79, about 20 miles south of Russellville KY, and asked to see his license. Before he could finish his question, the officer bent down and repeated firmly, “License.”

    Billy retrieved the document from the dashboard and handed it over.

    “Where you headed, son?”

    “Paris, Tennessee. We’re late for a funeral. The service is at one. Me ‘n’ Tommy are pallbearers.”

    In the passenger seat, Tommy read the last line of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and closed the paperback with a contented sigh.

    ”Driving at that speed,” the officer said, “you’re gonna wind up in a cemetery permanent. You ever get a citation before?”

    “Yessir. Eighty-three.”

    “Say what? Step out of the vehicle, boy.”

    Billy opened the door and stood casually in front of the lawman.

    “How old are you?”

    “Jus’ turned nineteen.”

    Nineteen? Eighty-four violations in…” (The officer glanced at Tommy’s license to check the issue date; Billy slipped something from his pocket.) “… two years! Your license shoulda been suspended.”

    “Ain’t no citations been processed.”

    The officer’s stared at Billy, his brain frantically trying to make sense of the information it had just received. “How…”

    A groan came from the rear of the automobile.

    The officer instinctively took a step back, his hand moving to his holster. ”Gonna have to ask you to open the trunk.”

    Billy popped the lid. A blood-soaked arm fell limply. “Help… me!” a voice crackled.

    “Hey!” Tommy yelled. The officer reacted; Billy lunged with his knife…


    “How’dya like them apples, miserable sonofabitch?” Billy sneered, bundling the limp body into the trunk with the others.

    Shoot! He be a chump, falling for that!” Tommy cried. “Saved your life two times already today. That be the third!”

    “Police, man! They just never quit hassling me!”

  12. Congrats on the new book Laa!ruIsn't it great having a friendly & helpful post office? Ours is great, they even offered to collect our packages when Mr H hurt his back and couldn't drive!

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