RESULTS – Microcosms 27

Apologies all for the lateness of the post. Many thanks to our judge for Microcosms 27 Bill Engleson, here are his final judgements:

Here in lotus land (I know, I know, there are so many lotus lands, but I am referencing MINE; The West Coast of British Columbia,) it’s been wet for days. Not flood wet, yet. But wet enough so that those of us who have been alive for a long time are occasionally seen, noses pressed against damp window panes, tearfully crying away, “When’s it gonna stop?”

Actually, I may be the only one whimpering away. Most British Columbians are hearty souls.

Rain on the West Coast is the least of the world’s problems. The despair that has overwhelmed the States these past few days weighs heavy. And elsewhere, well, an enduring despair.

As I may have said when I judged Microcosms 13, there are always plenty of excellent choices at a Microcosms meal. Number 27 had its fair share of grave moments but occasionally rose from the depths of well-dug skullduggery to give us a casebook of tales about birth and death and the whole damn thing.

Real life is full of heartache. Literature is close behind.

 

Bill

 

Favorite / Favourite Lines

“In this world nothing’s certain, except death… and taxis.” Geoff Holme

“An end to the blood feud that leaves our streets stinking of slaughter.” A.V. Laidlaw

“In spite of so many dead around, it seemed lively.” Vibha Lohani

“The creature latched on, sending blood and milk snaking down her breast. Emptying her. Draining her. Killing her.” Steph Ellis

“Well clearly we’re not short of hot water so how about you find some towels?” Geoff Lepard

“Even my brother, who is way too young to think about getting married to anyone, wanted to walk down the aisle with Mr. Tibbles, our brown tabby cat.” Voima Oy

“I’ll be joining you soon, my love,” she whispered, leaving a leathery kiss on his cheek.” Meg Kovalik

“The mausoleum sat like a brooding old man against the backdrop of a star studded sky.” Firdaus Pardez

“Mr. Caldicott lies supine – unmoving, unresponsive – in a top-of-the-range coffin.” Geoff Holme

“He darted over to her and traced the line up. Past his mother and father then up two more generations.” Brady Koch

 

Honorable/Honourable Mentions

Geoff Holme – Death Cab for QT

I enjoyed the epic quality of this rendering. We travel in time at warp (or warped) speed and enjoy every blessed moment. Of course, the whole point, I believe, is the last line. “In this world nothing’s certain, except death… and taxis.” Could anything be funnier, or truer?

Voima Oy – Blue Wedding

As a retired Marriage Commissioner, with a mere fifty weddings under my slightly expanded belt, I would have given my eye-teeth to hitch a human and a cat. There may have been some legal impediments to such a union but really how can mere man-made laws keep “Mr. Tibbles” from experiencing the penultimate joy of matrimonial deadlock?
Blue Wedding asked some trenchant questions…and almost answered them.

 

Runners Up

Vibha Lohani – New Job

I have been retired from the workplace for decades. Not bragging; just stating an inescapable fact. Another fact I can recall; starting a new job and feeling awkward about it. Strange people; new tasks. Anyways, I never had to face the arduous relocation John was forced to endure. Still, mechanization, the elimination of jobs in favour of new technologies, jobs like blacksmith and gravedigger, all replaced by an unavoidable rush into the future…well, New Job struck a note of familiarity. Well done.
Meg Kovalik – Just the way you look tonight

Though I got a little misdirected towards the end of this tale (my fault, entirely, as I creak frequently and am somewhat rickety) I so enjoyed the interplay between Corbin and Mae. That generational dialogue was, for me the principal element of the story. There is both the humour of Corbin’s inconsiderate comments and Mae’s wobbly wisdom and, as well, the sadness of their failure to connect the years. Like many others, I imagine, I was burdened with some of Corbin’s dismissiveness. Likely, Mae’s “confusion” is also waiting for me somewhere down the fog.

 

And now, without further ado, I present to you the winners of Microcosms 27.

(insert drumroll here)

Community Pick

This week we have a three-way tie for Community Pick, Geoff Holme, A.V. Laidlaw and Voima Oy.

 

Geoff Holme – Death Cab for QT

300 words
Gravedigger / Wake / Drama

Quentin Turnbull’s mobile had rung: the midwife at St Nick’s. “Donna’s in the birthing pool.”

Pressing the accelerator, he feels a maelstrom of emotions: anxiety, elation… relief, escaping Colin’s fortieth birthday party.

Quentin regretted promising he’d go, but he never broke his word. It had been more like a wake, the venue a mausoleum dedicated to the death of his marriage. He kept raking over stories of how wonderful their wedding day had been. Forty? Jeez, he was living in the past like a hundred-year-old! Even the stand-up he’d hired got less laughs than a gravedigger. Valerie was better off without Colin, even if Quentin’s affair with her had now run its course.

Deep in thought, he runs a red light and is sideswiped by a bus… Next thing he knows, he’s watching the fire brigade, wondering why they’re cutting off his car’s roof. A black mini-cab pulls up.

“Ride, sir?”

#

“This isn’t the way to the hospital.”

“Don’t worry, sir. I’ll get you to your destination.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Not many do. They hear about being drawn to bright lights, but this is the 21st century.”

“I have to get to the maternity ward!”

“Too late. Your new-born baby son is already bonding with his mother. She calls him Alexander. She’s devastated by your death, but doesn’t grieve long. Walter, the funeral director she chooses, consoles her… they’re married within a year. Alexander has a happy childhood, unaware of his real father. Finding out as a teenager, he goes off the rails… overdoses on heroin. Donna blames herself… seeks solace in booze… succumbs to cirrhosis. Walter’s world collapses; he fixes a hose to a hearse.”

“All this happens because I broke my promise to Bella that I’d definitely be there?”

“In this world nothing’s certain, except death… and taxis.”

 

A.V. Laidlaw – Confession

285 words
teenagers (two) / wedding / [tragic] romance.

The candles are guttering, flickering. Soon they will be extinguished and so will I. This is the confession of Laurence, once a man of God.

The boy, Romeo. I knew him. Headstrong and wilful with passions as quick as his rapier. And Juliet. So beautiful. I am an old man now, my beard is white, but I see her still standing before me, her skin white and soft like the petals of the lily.

They wanted to be married.

No, I said.

But then, yes. Montague and Capulet wed. Unthinkable. But perhaps… An end to the blood feud that leaves our streets stinking of slaughter… Unthinkable. But perhaps my duty was as a Friar, a man of God, to find peace. My well-thumbed Bible tells me love will conquer Death. So then, yes.

I married them in secret, in my Friar’s cell, surrounded by candles flickering and reflecting in their eyes. They held hands. They kissed. Montague and Capulet wed. An end to the vendetta. Surely this is God’s work, I thought. Truly, I am Holy. The blessed spirit lives within me.

But a love born in secrecy only knows the shadows. It has no feeling for the sun, for the breath of the breeze on a spring morning. It is jealous and treacherous.

A fight.

An exile.

A letter gone astray.

A poison.

A dagger.

It is not for us to determine God’s will. Wishing it to be so does not make it so. I am no man of God and they are not lovers, for what love may be found in the dust of the tomb?

The candles flicker a last time. They are going out.

May Jesus have mercy on my soul.

 

Voima Oy – Blue Wedding

214 words
teenager/ wedding/romance

I don’t know what to think about this. I mean, I’m not against weddings, but really. I think this is going too far.

Let me explain. It all started when my Uncle Phil announced he and his long-time partner Kevin were getting married. “That’s right,” he said. “It’s legal now, so we’re going to make it official.”

Everyone was overjoyed. My mom and dad decided it was a good time to renew their vows, too.

Then, my great-Aunt Marissa popped the question to her sometimes boyfriend, Marvin. “It’s time we settled down,” she said. “Twenty years is long enough to be sure of our feelings.” Both teachers, they invited all their students.

My grandma decided to get in the spirit and remarry the ghost of grandpa. “Death should not part us, ‘ she said.

No one wanted to die alone.

Even my brother, who is way too young to think about getting married to anyone, wanted to walk down the aisle with Mr. Tibbles, our brown tabby cat.

“You can’t do that,” I said.

“Don’t be so negative,” my dad said. He of all of them should have had some sense. But no, he was just as giddy as everyone else.

‘You can take our pictures,” my mom said.

I think I’ll marry my phone.

 

Judge’s Pick

Geoff Lepard – The Spawn of Satan

Some tales transcend themselves. And me. In the late sixties I had a crush on Mia Farrow. After watching Rosemary’s Baby, I knew it was hopeless. She was lost to the devil. This was before Woody, of course. And her marriage to Frank was going to hell in a handbasket around that same time. And anyways, truth be told, it was her mother, Maureen O’Sullivan who had won my heart as I trooped through the backlot jungle of 1950’s television. Look, what I am trying to say, and I am not trying to herald any maudlin thoughts, but I really liked Geoff’s character, Mildred. Milly (May I call you Milly?) is a delight. A bit of a snark, downright business-like and not one to suffer fools gladly (alas, only madly), she just flies off the page like a midwifery rocket. I could see a movie, maybe starring Ruth Gordon…if she were still with us. Or the great Thelma Ritter. Another great character actress lost to time. Okay, I’m showing my age. The Spawn of Satan is a hoot and garners my judgement as the best of a very bright bunch.

300 words
horror, midwife, fortieth birthday

With heavy heart Mildred knocked. The party sounds surprised her, but she plastered on a professional smile when Ned Joy threw open the door. ‘Milly. Thank God.’

‘How are they?’

Ned’s face managed to convey excitement, anxiety and bemusement.

‘I’d better see them. Upstairs?’

‘The basement.’

‘The basement?’

Ned didn’t reply. He led the way past an open door where people wearing fox masks danced while a topless man beat a large drum.
‘Whose party?’

‘The twins will come of age tomorrow. We’re celebrating their end of forty day.’

Mildred looked surprised. ‘You’re having a party while they give birth?’

Need shrugged. ‘It’s one of his funny ways.’

‘Whose?’

‘You’ll see.’

Ned pointed at the basement and left Mildred.

Mildred stepped inside. ‘Halloooo’.

The reply was deep and sonorous. ‘HELL AWAITS YOU.’

‘It will, young man if you don’t stop this nonsense. Are you one of the fathers?’ When Mildred met the twins their claim to have conceived at the same time surprised her. When they said it was the same father she thought them delusional. She wasn’t surprised when he never showed at antenatal classes.

‘I AM THE FATHER.’

We have a right one here, she thought. As she descended the steps – there were more than she imagined – the temperature rose and the smell of burning and sulphur grew. She turned a corner and stopped. It was Hell. The two twins writhed while an extraordinary looking character like Lucifer stood over them. Even at a distance Mildred could see they were both on the verge of giving birth. Mildred, who had helped two winners of Big Brother and one TOWIE star give birth wasn’t going to be fazed by a Devil held his gaze. ‘Well clearly we’re not short of hot water so how about you find some towels?’

 

Congratulations again, Geoff. As the Judge’s Pick, you are invited to judge the next round of Microcosms. Please let me know if you are interested!

RESULTS - Microcosms 28
RESULTS - Microcosms 26

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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!”

      0

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