RESULTS – Microcosms 53

Thank you to everyone who made a resolution to submit a story to Microcosms 53. We’ve had 13 entries so far this year – not bad after the holiday hiatus. Nice to see one or two old faces returning to the fray.

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… ME! for judging MC 53. Here’s what I had to say:

Apologies for the delay with results post for MC 53 – due to the perfect storm of the usual high standard of submissions, plus me also having two writers’ groups meetings this week which needed some attention. I know that some of you have been champing at the bit to know the outcome of deliberations – champ no longer!



Favourite / Favorite Lines


Alva Holland – The policeman’s shiny buttons glow in the lights of the front door wreath.
Louise Mangos – I said many book lovers are happy to immerse themselves in a life more flawed than their own.
Steve Lodge – It was in that position that they found her one bleak December morning in early July.
Vibha Lohani – The touch was always different according to her moods.
Geoff Le Pard – Joining a bunch of smokers on the 2nd of January and boasting about all your own resolution successes when it was patently clear they had already failed in theirs.
Ronel J. van Vuuren – Memories of him finally waved at her from where she’d pulled a veil over them.
Angelique Pacheco – That is the story of how love came to my little puddle.
Bill Engleson – Most smokers, I believe, are perched on a sharp blade pressing into their…cheeky seating apparatus.
Steph Ellis – They paid her no attention, too focussed on their self-inflicted suffering—how she envied them.
Voima Oy – “A new year, a new you,” the ad for the new gym promised.
Caleb Echterling – Francine’s tongue took a lap around her lips to wipe up stray bits of sweet, creamy goodness.
Josh Bertetta – I could tell by the slick scraping behind me it walked on tentacles.
Craig Anderson – …only 1 week in and I’ve already lost 180lbs of dead weight..


Honorable / Honourable Mentions

Angelique Pacheco – NO TITLE

Ronel J. van Vuuren– Ephemeral Resolutions



Geoff Le Pard – A Smoker’s Death

An exploration of the dangers of taunting people struggling with nicotine addiction with a list of your New Year’s resolution successes, and the frustrations in communication of the recently departed.

Josh Bertetta – Heads or Tails

Memories of Douglas Adams’ anti-hero, the double-headed Xaphod Beeblebrox, are evoked in this tale of the struggle with substance abuse and a radical solution.


And now, without further ado, we present the winners of Microcosms 53.


(insert drumroll here)


 Community Pick

Louise Mangos – Twittering On

253 words
Writer / Writing a Book / Romance

It’s been one year. We met online in January, haggling for one of my colleague’s new titles in a free giveaway on Twitter. I fell in love with your humorous syntax and the split metaphors delivered from your 140 characters.

You said you liked the premise of my second novel but scorned the title. I said I’d let you read it when I’d finished. You said ‘Girl’ has been done to death. 2016 should be the year of the ‘Woman’. I said I would make it my resolution.

By December you’d read my book. In reality and in the figurative sense. You said the protagonist should die earlier in the narrative. I said it would ruin the suspense. You said the decisions she made were annoying. I said everyone has their flaws. You said there must be at least one thing the reader likes about a lead character. I said many book lovers are happy to immerse themselves in a life more flawed than their own. You said it made you want to throw the manuscript across the room. I said the heroine’s death should therefore have been more satisfying. You said by then you didn’t care about her any more. I said perhaps her death should be more violent. You said I needed to go back to basics. I said what do you mean? You said I should make her personality more complex.

140 characters, each esoteric individually, but making sense as a whole.

I said my protagonist was based on you.


Judge’s Pick

Caleb Echterling – One Simple, Easy to Follow Rule for Dating That May or May Not Actually Work

This entry was in line for a Special Mention for the Best Title, but then I read the story… It’s packed with a host of memorable lines – making the choice of just one very difficult – and it’s a chuckle-fest from end to finish. Great job, Caleb

290 words
Online Dater / Spend Less / Comedy

“Another horrible date last night,” Edgar said. He stirred Splenda into hot water, and cooled the concoction with a slow stream of air. “ is the worst.”

“What did you do?” Francine asked. Whipped cream tickled her nose as she sipped from a double shot triple chocolate-mocha Frappuchino.

“The Church of a Vengeful God had a free showing of The Muppets Burn in Eternal Damnation for Their Sinful Ways after a two hour seminar encouraging us to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. At least, I assume they did. My date screamed ‘Fire!’ and ran off in the confusion.”

Francine’s tongue took a lap around her lips to wipe up stray bits of sweet, creamy goodness. “Sounds like you’re violating the U.N. Convention Against Torture. You are allowed to spend money on dates, you know.”

Edgar added more Splenda to his water and stirred like he was unstopping the commode. “But my New Year’s resolution is to spend less money. I have to start somewhere.”

“As a woman, let me lay this out for you. Spending money on a date signals that you are interested in her. And that you are successful.”

Edgar caressed the two junctions where his upper and lower lips met. “Successful, you say? That gives me an idea.”

The next Friday night, an Uber car screeched to a stop on a residential street. “Be right back.” Edgar left the car running. The slamming door muffled the passengers’ howls of complaint. Edgar held the passenger door open for a woman in a green cocktail dress and slid across the hood à la Luke Duke. “Multitasking. One of the seven habits of highly successful people,” he said. “Dating and earning money at the same time.”


Congratulations, Caleb. As the Judge’s Pick, you are invited to judge Microcosms 54. Please let me know whether or not you are interested ASAP!

RESULTS - Microcosms 54
RESULTS - Microcosms 50

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