Thank you to all who dressed in black corset, suspenders and stockings, and 6 inch heels, and wrote a Rocky Horror story for Microcosms 43… (Oh… only me then?) Another increase in the number of entries – we must be doing something right!
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 Louise Mangos for judging MC 43. Here’s what she had to say:
Not knowing the combinations of prompts on offer in this week’s spin as I was judging blind, I was surprised to see so many brides from space (with the occasional spider thrown in for Halloween’s good measure). It’s such a challenge to tell a complete story in dialogue with limited information through backstory, and I admire those who worked hard at those pieces. The fantastical themes led to an unusual amount of irony and humour. I found myself laughing out loud on many unexpected occasions. Thanks for the reading entertainment. Choosing a winner was no easy task!
Favourite / Favorite Lines
Geoff Holme – For a man to be completely invisible, light would have to pass through the whole of his body… including the retina in his eyeballs.
Alva Holland – Guest list – God! (no, not you – too much of a distraction)
Christelle Bloem – Across the boundaries of sanity and infinite nothing, she knew deep down that even if he wasn’t, their love was real.
Carin Marais – Most of the colonies had grown tired of immigrants from earth showing up on their doorstep looking for a life away from the smog and filth of the dying mother planet.
Nthato Morakabi – Ara dragged her bulbous body forward, wedding dress and all, eight thin appendages clacking asynchronously while her chelicerae scissor in excitement.
Angelique Pacheco – He murmurs cooing, sugary platitudes, but his face is pure evil.
Angelique Pacheco – She turned back and winked a thousand winks.
AJ Walker – But mostly there was time to be lonely. On days like that he wished he had more work.
Angelique Pacheco – She didn’t want him to be the last thing she saw before she died.
Steph Ellis – Tula’s antennae twitched as something else crawled in the darkness of her mind.
Anne Chowdhury – She opened her eye as soon as the soft whirring sound of the machine next to her head stopped.
Bill Engleson – I’d planned, as always, to spin a few platters tonight, a smattering of Sinatra, a gargle of Al Green, a small portion of Patti Page, all, of course, in honouring midnight lovers everywhere.
Richard Edenfield – …his mouth was punched with passion bleeding reflections under a full moon.
Hanna Persaud – And you CANNOT say that I didn’t try, all that time with your mother, bonding, even on our wedding day, when she licked my dress.
Nicola Tapson – SPLAT.
Nicolette Stephens – Crestfallen brides are not the best customers.
Christina Dalcher – Stella, my bride, how’s about you sashay on down here and give us a kiss?
Sian Brighal – Somewhere a steam valve burst, screaming out only to sputter miserably at the lack of attention.
Voima Oy – The spiders came down to the green and vibrant earth, in the hazy dream of a summer afternoon.
Stephen Shirres – …the crash and clash of brass on brass.
Meg Kovalik – Those curves, that crazy hair, that vintage pin-up style.
Nicola Tapson – Tarantula Terror
Here is an arachnid with a human threat ahead of it, but I was still as shocked as the spider at its abrupt demise.
Honorable / Honourable Mention
Angelique Pacheco – Karma Chameleon
Well-written tension drew me through the narrative to the very end of this piece, continually guessing the origin of the protagonist. Although we never find out who it is, the story is complete enough, and leaves a creepy sense of unease in the imagination.
Christina Dalcher – Wish Upon a Stella
This was a very close runner-up. From the first paragraph, I was immediately transported by Jack’s lonely melancholy, and his unspoken disappointment about having caved in to his children’s wishes. The immediacy of actions such as opening his beer, hearing the microwave buzzer, interspersed perfectly with the longing to see his Stella again. In the tragedy of the piece, there was a strangely satisfying happy ending for Jack.
And now, without further ado, we present the winners of Microcosms 43.
(insert drumroll here)
Community AND Judge’s Pick
Alva Holland – Celeste’s Big Day
Bride / Coming from Space / Romance
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.
‘GN-z11 – that’ll do for the old thing – tick.
A refulgent diamond star discovered in 2014 – new enough – tick.
Roscosmos can do without that miniscule space station it thought would change the world and put Russia in charge of infinite galaxies – tick.
Don’t worry, Vlad, I’ll return it. Just borrowing for a day.
The galactic powers won’t miss one little gem of cyan nebula – pocketed – tick.
Now, for the dress. A milky way streak of lace and effervescent bubbles. No, Ma, meteor showers are so old-school. Orion would go all supernova on me. I’m a new world bride. He’s a modern groom who expresses his feelings in galactic measures. Blindsides me with his burning desire to satisfy my needs. We hit Deep Space Nine together last week. Staggering depth, even for us.
Getting side-tracked here. Ice for cooling. Ah, ice grains turning to sugar molecules – cake decorations – tick.
Bridesmaids. No discussion – Canis, Ursa and Draco. They can triple up for special effect lighting.
Guest list – God! (no, not you – too much of a distraction.) Always the hardest part, they tell me. Universal participation – if you can get here, you’re invited. There! Orion will be impressed. I’m so efficient at this.
Orion – hmmm. Where the hell is the little star-gazer? Him and his precious celestial equator. Don’t think I don’t know that’s why he chose me. Things will change when we’re married. Those protostar groupies will go for a start, full of shallow flickering cosmic dust, no substance.
Honeymoon? Andromeda. Stellar nightlife.
Nearly done. Da, have I asked you to do the aisle spacewalk with me? Of course, I’ll always be your baby Celeste. I know – separation is difficult. Look out for me – Orion’s bride, forever in your shadow.’
Starting with the gift list, we immediately know this is no ordinary wedding. I love how these celestial beings are faced with the same mundane organisational challenges of human wedding planning on earth. There are so many one-line gems linking back to the themes here, I was sniggering with irony throughout. This piece was not only entertaining, it was cleverly strung together, and made me wish I could get an invitation to that celebration!
Congratulations, Alva. I have no doubt that you’ll be in a flood of emotions when you hear the news, but you’ve definitely been building up to this win. As the Judge’s Pick, you are invited to judge the next round of Microcosms. Please let me know whether or not you are interested ASAP!