RESULTS – Microcosms 34

Thank you to all who waited patiently in line to post their entry in Microcosms 34. Another increase in the number of submissions this week:. (Stuck in traffic? Fill the time writing a flash fiction and send it to Microcosms!) Please keep returning to Microcosms, and retweet / spread the word about this contest among your followers and friends.

Please don’t forget that Microcosms exists primarily to provide a platform for the flash fiction community to hone their skills, and secondarily to give entrants a chance of receiving an accolade from that week’s judge. We also have the vote button for anyone, not just fellow entrants, to register their favourite/favorite(s) and thus establish a Community Pick.

Remember, you can reply with a comment to any and all of the entries AT ANY TIME: It’s good to have feedback.

Many thanks to Sal Page for judging MC 34. Here’s what she had to say:

Here I am judging again (the para-phrase ‘Enter not, lest ye be judge’ springs to mind. I will learn my lesson one day. Perhaps.) This week I was very impressed with the quality AND quantity of your traffic jam tales. Good to see some folk entering for the first time too. Keep up the good work.

Another judge may well have chosen very differently; but tough, you’re stuck with me. I’ve noticed I’m getting better at not wasting time speculating who wrote what and was helped by the knowledge that some of these were written by writers who I’ve never read before.

Ah … Romance popping up again, or rearing its ugly head. The genre of choice of nine out of seventeen entries. Romance does take many forms here; first meetings, flirtations, the portrayal of something more long-established and familiar, and – of course – romance with the possibility of murder. Hmm…

Sal

 

Favourite / Favorite Lines

 

Amy Wood – Annie flapped the map.

Nthato Morakabi – I rolled the window down slightly letting the tendrils escape into the expanse beyond the road, an endless stretch of lush green on either side.

A J Walker – The Wedgewood Blue sky washed by wispy cirrus drenched Derek with the joy of an English summer’s day.

Geoff Holme – “Keep acting this way, you’ll lose everything – wife, kids, home. You’ll end up living a lonely, bitter existence.”

Marie Mackay – A slither of panic slid up her spine as she thought of the tangle of twisted lanes that had brought her to this remote point

Geoff Le Pard – She looked up, framed by rat’s tails and gloom.

Brian S. Creek – The road is my mistress, with only the car between us to translate.

Alva Holland – Both girls shrug in that way they have.

Bill Engleson – “We’ll treat her as if she were ours. And the pigs will love her.”

Steve Lodge – “I think you and that cow are romantically linked.”

Steph Ellis – The human cargo held its breath. Their prayers had been answered.

Josh Bertetta – Daze after day after day.

Richard Edenfield –  … the air freshener swinging from the rear-view hypnotizing the air to behave with manufactured floral dignity.

Geoff Holme – Kept an Aussie galah as a pet

Voima Oy – That’s where Mary’s waiting, wearing the white dress we buried her in.

Vibha Lohani – Next morning his dead body was found holding a book in one hand and his bag in another.

Meg Kovalik – Peter watched intently, biting his lip to stay in control of his treacherous body.

 

Special Mentions

Steve Lodge – Milking The Fare

For the character of the manic taxi driver, who made me laugh. The driving gloves, the cow, the farmer has ‘first dibs on’ and his passenger’s realisation that she’s ‘moved from the back of beyond to the middle of nowhere’. Heather gives as good as she gets. Then it takes a weird turn. IS this a romance? Or is he going to kill her?

Geoff Holme – Who’s a Travel Sick Boy, Then?

For having the CHEEK to submit a limerick, and I just really like parrots.

 

Alva Holland – Movie Night

For its subtlety and lightness of touch, for the romance being between two women for a change and for the really cool Mum.

 

Honourable / Honorable Mentions

Geoff Le Pard – Pick ‘n’ Mix

I just thought this a really sweet story. Simple but well told. I even liked the dog! The changeable weather was very ‘bank holiday’, reflecting this character’s change of mind. The romance aspect is low-key and I like the way they were laughing at nothing. The line ‘At least her smile kept him sane while the daydream lasted’ told of much that’s unsaid. We wonder what next for these two. All we know is that he goes back for her… and blames the dog.

Nthato Morakabi – Dust

Romance or horror? This is rather beautifully written. The character has, if I interpret correctly, ‘found’ a real version of Millais’ Ophelia, for this is the image the story makes me see. Is she sleeping or dead, we begin to wonder. Did he find her in this state or kill her himself? His intentions are that she should be put to rest seem good in a way, though his assertion that her ‘beauty required stilled peace’ is extremely chilling.

 

Second Runner-up

Josh Bertetta – Non-Traffiction

Breathless and intense, the reader’s right there with the character with no shifts of point of view. The short, often one word, sentences and run-together words give the piece a fast and panicky pace, reflecting the character’s acutely anxious, irrational state of mind and post-traumatic memories. We get a mix of the trigger, what is happening now, and what has happened in the past. I particularly liked his compulsion to remember the list of names. One thing is certain, this won’t end well.

First Runner-up

Meg Kovalik – The Final Lesson

Again, I just thought this was very sweet. (Am I REALLY a ‘sucker’ for romance?) I like the characters, the realisation they’re both spinning the lessons out so they can see each other and it made me smile that they were both thinking exactly the same thing and wonder if this EVER happens. The close sexually-charged atmosphere of the car comes across well and I enjoyed the innuendo. The ending’s great (I would have been tempted to make them say goodbye, neither daring to speak up, which would have been a shame) and I love her last two words. I imagine them choosing to sit side-by-side at dinner, and hope he doesn’t criticise her driving too much.

 

And now, without further ado, we present the winners of Microcosms 34.

 

(insert drumroll here)

 

Community Pick

Richard Edenfield – Celebrating Christmas Under My Pine-Scented Air Freshener

300 words
Driver / Rural Road / Romance

It wasn’t Christmas. But it felt like Christmas when we finally arrived home the air freshener swinging from the rear-view hypnotizing the air to behave with manufactured floral dignity.

We did this every year. All our faces bright red. Staring straight ahead. Sand in our hair. Sand in our shoes. Sand in our ears. Sand in our eyes as if we had just woken up to a cruel stiff reality stretched out before us. The Jersey Shore. Trampolines and boardwalks. Muffled screams and waves. We looked like blood awkwardly making its way through a body of traffic toward a home with 97 degrees beating on its country frame.

There was silence in the car. The kind of silence that exists when you are underwater. A contained swaying kind of silence. The air conditioner felt like perfume an Eskimo would wear when taking a trip to Hawaii.

My daughter,son, and wife looking out the window. The other blood cells making their way down the highway. There was a bruise up ahead.

There is a soft, cruel sadness when a vacation is over. A nondescript depression. Like getting divorced. Every vacation is a quick marriage. We now have two children so that complicates things.

The traffic thinned out as we entered the Catskills. They say home is where the heart is and we heard thumping from the potholes in the road. A steady untended beat.

My wife said if she didn’t say a word the entire trip then she would stay married to me. As the car entered our drive she was still silent. Everyone was. As if they were listening to all the chatter on the way down to the beach. As if the car was a shell praying in our ears with the calm hushed voice of summer renewal.

 

Judge’s Pick

A J Walker – Moveable Feast

Oh dear, am I about to use the word ‘sweet’ for the third time? I shall try and resist. I do really want some mint sauce though. I’ll begin by going straight to the ‘balls in the bath’ simile. Would ‘bubbles’ be better, though not as funny? The backs of sheep might look and move like foam on the top of bath water. This would fit well with ‘enveloped the car like a flood’ later.

But despite this … I love the initial scene-setting description of the summer’s day at the start, the light touch with the characters, their realness. Him almost forgetting she was there, shown by using ‘he’ not ‘they’ as they encounter the sheep. The way Claire wound up the window to spare the sheep hearing her doing the ‘mint sauce’ joke made me smile.

As a flash, this is just a tiny non-momentous moment, not dramatic in any way. But it does contain a BIG TRUTH, cleverly signalled in the first paragraph by allusion to things people say traditionally, in this case when the weather gets hot, then brought home at the end with what people say when they see sheep. Derek thinks it himself. It’s as traditional as lamb and mint sauce itself.

Yes, there are some folk we don’t mind how many times they repeat their so-called funny lines. It may even be the same for the sheep. Baa!

293 words
Driver / Rural Road / Romance

The Wedgewood Blue sky washed by wispy cirrus drenched Derek with the joy of an English summer’s day. Yesterday’s washout at the barbecue was quickly fading and filed under ‘predictable barbecue weather’. It was now time to say to all and sundry ‘it’s too hot’, ‘just makes me want to do nothing’, ‘good beer garden weather – why do I have to be in work’ etc. Meanwhile the sun was adding to his right arm tan to give him his annual lopsided look.

As he came around the blind bend he was met with sheep. Lots of them. They bobbed up and down like balls in a bath. Constrained by the steep banks of the road and an unseen sheepdog behind them they were heading slowly but inexorably towards Derek who now feared to reverse. He pulled the handbrake on.

‘Mint sauce!’ Claire said.

Derek had almost forgotten she was with him. She’d taken the earphones out as if she’d be able to better enjoy the scene without music.

Derek smiled. A childish thing to say, but something he always said in his head when seeing the dumb but beautiful tasting animals.

‘Mint sauce indeed,’ he said. ‘Tell you what, after the debacle of yesterday and the distinct lack of meat-based sustenance… fancy finding a country pub and getting a Sunday roast down?’

‘Lamb?’

‘With mint sauce.’

‘Don’t even like mint sauce, but roast lamb sounds yummy.’

She wound up the window despite the heat, worried that the sheep that now enveloped the car like a flood would hear her.

Derek held her hand as they waited for the meat feast to pass them. He knew just the place. He didn’t like mint sauce either. But he loved lamb, and he loved Claire.

 

Congratulations, AJ. 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 35
RESULTS - Microcosms 33

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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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