Many thanks to our judge A.J. Walker for judging this week’s competition, here’s what he had to say:
Well, it’s been an exhausting and quite depressing time in England for the last few days. For some of us. Exciting and unbelievably good for others. So it was nice to have some light relief in reading the stories from Microcosms this weekend.
Lots of humour – which I know you know I like – and cracking little cameo stories throughout.
With only seven entries on this ridiculous Friday I’ve just selected the top three. As ever I judged blind (thanks to Steph for sending the stories on to me) so I don’t know who wrote what: even now. Anyway without further ado and with no fear of a recount or a pointless petition here you go:
Meg Kovalik – Through His Stomach
Love the idea of dirty kebab van being seen as a thing of beauty; something that would be missed as the world turns into sameness under ubiquitous signage and bland offerings. It’s a while since I’ve had a donner meat kebab with chilli (or a posher large chicken shish with tahini) but having read this story (and now typed this out) I feel a kebab night coming on soon. ‘All the salad please and hold the politics!’ Thanks, Dacks! You’re a gentleman and a scholar.
1st Runner Up
Steph Ellis – The Perils of Not Listening
Ha! Right on the money satire from this side of the channel (for our american friends the channel used to be a small stretch of water separating our island from Europe – it is in the process of being deepened whilst we try manfully to row the island out a bit further west from our continental neighbours – who have been playing their music far too loud and having barbecues at all hours of the night).
The speed of getting the story together following the early morning shocks here is thoroughly admirable, especially getting in the main political players from the comedy soap opera. Playing ‘Burning Down the House’ as the house was engulfed by the hapless characters building their foolhardy BBQ was a nice touch. I think ‘Road to Nowhere’ came on next. Sadly funny.
And now, without further ado, I present to you the winners of Microcosms 25.
(insert drumroll here)
This week I have foregone posting all the stories selected for the Community Pick as effectively all appeared to have tied! So everyone’s a winner this week!
Sal Page – The-Cake-That-Wasn’t-A-Cake
The start of a beautiful romance and an additional few inches on the bloke’s stomach and who doesn’t like a picnic? Especially with a savoury cake incorporating pies and cheeses. I loved the pace of the story. Not rushed, but a lot packed into it; and the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. And in the case the way to the winning podium is too – the podium I made specially out of donner meat and extra mature cheddar. It is no more and I feel dirty but happy. Another podium will be required for next week.
Celebrity chef – Picnic – Romance
Ade was pretending to be weeding. The plump, glossy-haired lady seemed familiar. He’d seen her on TV. Priscilla something-or-other. She looked lovely in her stripy apron, serving up delicious food.
‘Can’t work like this. I’m sick of looking at that … thing.’
Priscilla lifted her arms and shoved the three tiers of white icing and pink flowers. It toppled and fell, the top tier rolling in Ade’s direction.
‘Hey Priscilla! We were going to be professional?’
‘Sod you, Mark.’
‘Today, I’m your producer …’
‘No! You … ‘ Priscilla pointed one wobbling finger at him ‘ … are my cheating-bastard-soon-to-be-ex-husband.’
A shaking Priscilla straightened her apron and smoothed her hair. Ade thought she glanced over at him. He recalled Dad saying ‘You look beautiful when you’re angry’ and Mum hating it.
‘We’ve enough footage with the monstrosity. Let’s shoot the other and go for a drink.’
Priscilla pulled a cloth from the second cake. ‘How about this?’
‘The bottom layer is fifteen month aged cheddar, then a Chicken and Ham pie …’
She pointed to each layer going up the cake-that-wasn’t-a-cake. Ade couldn’t help gawping.
‘Cheshire cheese next, a pork pie and, finally, a British cheese like Camembert, though we think it’s better.’
The cake-that-wasn’t-a-cake was decorated with leaves, grape bunches and tiny Union Jacks. Ade thought of the hastily-made ham sandwich in his rucksack.
Priscilla grabbed the Camembert, wedging it into her apron pocket. Then she actually spoke to him. ‘Bring that pork pie, will you?’
Ade picked the pie up, staggering a little before placing it in his wheelbarrow.
Priscilla grinned. ‘So … where’s the most secluded spot in this garden?’
Laughing, she held up a bottle of Champagne. ‘Had enough of work. Fancy a picnic?’
Ade grabbed the wheelbarrow’s handles.
‘This way, mi’lady.’
Additionally, you are invited to judge the next round of Microcosms. Please let me know if you are interested!