RESULTS – Microcosms 37

Thank you to all who returned to post their entry in Microcosms 37. For reasons unknown, the number of submissions fell to single figures this week… You know what to do: please keep returning to Microcosms, and retweet / spread the word about this contest among your followers and friends.

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 Bill Engleson for judging MC 37. Here’s what he had to say:

The September rains have arrived in my little rain forest corner of the world. In the past day or two, whatever bits of lingering summer balminess there may have been have departed. We have returned, inexorably, to drizzle: damn wet, woeful drizzle. But no matter if the Autumn rains are cold, or even teasingly hint at a false memory of warmth, I find this season full of ancient thoughts, memories swirling about like leaves collecting, lonely and discarded, on the mournful earth, sparking remembrances of various lives lived, both in truth and in fiction.

And, of course, the times ahead.

The beauty of writing, the absolute exquisiteness of it, is that we writers can travel through time and place, draw on the mysteries we have lived, or thought about, or may yet create.

And then there are the bits of barminess once summer departs. Which brings me to the array of microcosmic flash that treated me, and you, dear reader, this week. (And, co-incidentally, and this has just struck me with probably less import than I am giving it, next Wednesday, September 21st, I will chair the 37th AGM of my favourite volunteer activity, serving on the Board of Directors of the HDCHCS – aka The Hornby & Denman Community Health Care Society. I can’t speak for all writers, but I find that, plodding along in my later years, I need to remain grounded in the real world.)

But back to the matter at hand. We had a somewhat smaller turnout than expected this week . My judging rule of thumb, which I have just made up and am quite happy with, is that the number of recognitions should not be more than half the number of entries. I hope no one thinks I am doing this because I am a lazy bunny. All the stories were fun and creative; a few more entries would have engendered more awards.

Bill

 

 Favourite / Favorite Lines

Alva Holland – She caught up with him, courted him, stepped on him, crushed his ambitions and replaced them with her own.

Steve Lodge – Truth is, I am a pensioner and I have to chew soup.

Holly Geely – “Warning: lie detected. Self has been confirmed to be ‘a ton of fun’.”

Geoff Le Pard – Dugald joined the local authority a day before Donald and was granted a pay rise and his own stapler first.

Steph Ellis – Whispering voices caught his attention, the tannoy was crackling into life.

Richard Edenfield – Returning home is like a poem in the rear-view; things are larger than they appear.

Geoff Holme – I immediately recognized the composition: the graceful positioning of one hand on the chair arm, the other above, the enigmatic play of a smile on her delicate lips.

 

Honorable / Honourable Mention

Holly Geely – Home with Self

Back in the late 1970s, Julie Christie starred in a wonderful film called ‘Demon Seed’. There was a futuristic quality to it; a house that thought, that made decisions, that exercised control over the lovely Julie. Unpleasant, intrusive decisions.
It made me want to live in a technology-free tree house… with Julie, of course. Neither happened, needless to say, although we do have a tree house on our property.

But, as some say, frequently, I digress.

I love the banter in this piece. Man and Machine. Husband and Machine. This morsel of dialogue cracked me up, and I am a sucker for a spaceship-trapped love story:
“You’re no fun,” said Captain X’d.
“Warning: lie detected. Self has been confirmed to be ‘a ton of fun’.”

 

Runner-up

Steph Ellis – We Apologise for the Inconvenience

Many years ago, I found myself waiting on a train station at a place called Pivka in the old Yugoslavia. I mention it to friends whenever the trials of travel rear up in conversation. Or whenever I read fine stories such as this. Of course, I left Pivka more or less unscathed, albeit hungry for a meal. And really, the stopover issues were more of language than marauding, somewhat polite flesh eaters from hell. All that rambling aside, this was a pleasingly dark set piece on the dangers of pretty much everything, but certainly of train stopovers.

And now, without further ado, we present the winners of Microcosms 37.

 

(insert drumroll here)

 

Community Pick

Alva Holland – The Boy Next Door

281 words
Politician / Childhood Home / Romance

She loves me, she loves me not. She must love me – she gave me a cabinet position. Don’t be an idiot, the voice inside me hollers – just shrewdness on her part – keeping me in my place. Next door at No. 11, not at No. 10. Never at No. 10.

Funny, that numbers thing. Who knew that No. 10 Cranley Place would be the former home of a future Prime Minister? Who knew that the boy next door at No. 11 wouldn’t get the kiss he always sought until he gave up and found another willing to give? The girl at No. 10 knew where she was going alright – she had her sights set on yer man up in the ‘poshy’ square. He was on her path and ultimately in her way. She caught up with him, courted him, stepped on him, crushed his ambitions and replaced them with her own. Dirty business this.

But I loved her and I loved her not. Still do and don’t, if truth be known, depending on the day. Can’t let her get a whiff of that – ruination of me guaranteed. As I watch her run the country in her clean-cut business suits and ‘efficient’ hairdo, can’t help but see the little girl in the tomboy pants and flyaway curls. Scrambling up the trees, guarding the treehouse door with an iron fist, dismissing those who didn’t pass her strict muster. Always first up that tree. Should have seen the clues back then. Always ahead of us.

There she goes now, head down into the shiny Merc. A lightning turn of her head has her looking straight at me. She’s waving. Oh shit. She knows.

 

Microcosms 37 Judge’s Pick

Richard Edenfield – Happy Hour is on Prozac

It wasn’t just the rain or the fact that the narrator is a writer that drew me into this somber tale. There is such sad poetic beauty here or, perhaps, sad, dark, frightening (yet strangely comforting) tricks of the mind, in the detailing of his characters inner life, a life returning to his days of yore. Whatever it is, the language is rich and full of sounds. They enter the narrator’s brain and rumble about like too many coins in his pocket.
He arrives, he wallows, he is lost. Is there anything sadder than his lament? “I am homeless in my hometown.”
There are anchors of reality. The bench, perhaps, the bar, possibly. The inheritance, if it really is?
In any case, I whirled about in this tale as if captured by a cyclone and it suited my judgmental mood today.

300 words
Homeless Person / Train Station / Memoir

“Nature fights by disappearing.” That was carved into an old wooden bench here at the train station. The bench itself was disappearing, worn from decades of waiting. I have my writing in a container. An old typewriter paper box. It is my memoirs, my train station bench engaged with tree rings turned into answers.

I am homeless in my hometown: Cabot, Vermont. But there is a place waiting for me. My mother passed and left me the house that I haven’t seen in 30 years.

There’s a bar/restaurant on the small Main Street. It’s covered with a first snow. It looks like a child getting dressed up for the first time. A bit awkward and noisy. The sound of a pool table. Laughter. Television. Fine crystal glasses torching air with a delicate siren. Bottles rattling conversation.

I enter and sit at the bar and get a whiskey. Returning home is like a poem in the rear-view; things are larger than they appear. The thud of a dart hitting a board the sound of a large chunk of snow falling off the roof. A flame in a fireplace pointing to every direction of freedom. A soul devoured Grand Central.

Returning is leaving with a chaser. A subdued tranquil assassination. Falling up. I turn the key. Lock breaks. I open the door. And I skid into a tree. There is a loud horn that rips through the sky. It pierces the night with a monosyllabic cry.

My Memoir is called ‘Happy Hour is on Prozac.’ The story of a bipolar alcoholic writer. I will stand here and listen to the sirens as they come to visit the place I once called home. I will follow thier song into the rocky shores, as if death was nothing more than a reckless toast.

 

Congratulations, Richard. 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 38
RESULTS - Microcosms 36
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19 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
  15. 16 April 2020 at 9:11 am

    A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment.
    I think that you should publish more about this subject, it
    might not be a taboo subject but generally people do not
    speak about these issues. To the next! Many thanks!!

    0
  16. Richard Mills
    27 April 2020 at 8:00 pm

    The only reason this has one star is because the flowers were beautiful.
    The owner Mike is a nightmare! We ordered flowers for my Dads memorial and
    all but one arrangement was delivered. Of course it was the one from my sister and myself.
    When my mom called the shop they refused to refund her the
    money. Blaming it on the funeral home even though their delivery person didn’t follow protocol.
    My mom called him directly several times and he never returned
    her call. How despicable! When I called him he finally answered.

    After 30 min of arguing with him about a refund he reluctantly agreed.
    It’s been three weeks and no refund!! You are a horrible business owner MIKE!
    He kept saying to me \ https://mvsnoticias.com

    0

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