Thank you to everyone who commemorated The Day The Music Died by submitting a story to Microcosms 57, and showing that flash fiction is very much alive and kicking. We had 13 entries this week.
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 Dana Faletti for judging MC 57. Here’s what she had to say:
Congrats everyone on a fantastic week, and thanks for the opportunity to read.
I really enjoyed the diversity of entries here! Some pieces took a creepy spin, while others were hilarious. I actually laughed out loud on a few of these. I write YA and middle grade as well as adult romance, so my YA/middle grade sense of humor came out when I read a few of these. Nothing funnier than a fart story.
I love seeing how the same prompts can resonate in different ways for different writers, inspiring such a great variety of Microcosms!
Favourite / Favorite Lines
Bill Engleson – h. I will not pick my nose (just in case you forgot)
Alva Holland – …Chantilly lace which she kept harping on wasn’t made in France at all but in Belgium.
Ronel J. van Vuuren – ‘If I had a match, I’d show you flames,’ Mark muttered as Joan cried.
Nthato Morakabi – The voice replied from beyond the wooden grating separating confessor from absolution.
WolfRich93 – You can call me with a whisper, call me with a thought.
Nicola Tapson – Luckily, I had snuck in a bean dinner the night before.
Angelique Pacheco – She wants to tell him not to frown. He’ll get wrinkles.
Holly Geely – “Bentley… He’s wearing underwear on his head,” McKinley said. “He’s almost naked otherwise.”
Geoff Le Pard – ‘I heard it’s another attempt to download intuition.’
Jen! – Her alluring smile turned into a look of agony, as orange shone from her mouth, like birthing the sun.
Steph Ellis – Further down the aisles he walked, the cold of the ancient stone walls kissing his cheek, a bold courtesan reclaiming her lover.
Iona Winter – That night she was under the pear tree looking up. / ‘I’ve always been crazy,’ she said, ‘you just didn’t notice.’
Richard Edenfield – The sound slipping through the air on a water slide of rain falling outside the window countless needles dropping on the ground as the moon spins fragmented melodies and stars listen with diamond-tinted ears.
Honorable / Honourable Mentions
Steph Ellis – Wind the Bobbin Up
My favorite thing about this piece – besides the beauty of the language – is how the story unfolds. We don’t realize at first what the protagonist is doing. We don’t catch it until the creepiness of it hits us in the face. It’s so well delivered, and you’re left at the end saying “ahhhh. ugh…” Really great. And the line about the courtesan reclaiming her lover – if this contest was for best overall line, this line would win. Beautiful imagery here.
Bill Engleson – Louie Langhorne’s Back in Town so Lock Your Doors, Shutter Your Windows, and Hold Your Nose
The characterization here was just so strong. The protagonist’s voice was clear and loud and unashamedly crazy, and I loved it. This piece made me laugh and reminded me of some of the favorite students I used to work with when I taught special ed. – one in particular who knew the rules, suffered the rules but never missed an opportunity to bend and express his discontent with them! Great job!
Nicola Tapson – The Life of a Thunderer
Again, this one appealed to my YA/MG sense of humor. I love the idea of someone using a fart as self-defense! This would be a great scene in a ‘coming of age’ movie for boys – Stand By Me meets Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The only suggestion I have is that some of the prose would pack a greater punch if it was formatted differently, separated instead of delivered in one long paragraph. Otherwise, this was a real humdinger of a story.
And now, without further ado, we present the winner of Microcosms 57.
(insert drumroll here)
Community Pick AND Judge’s Pick
Richard Edenfield – With Tears As Full As Guitar Picks Playing My Dreams
The language here really slays. The imagery is evocative, and the subject matter is grabby. I worked as a teacher for Deaf students for 9 years and was pretty involved with the Deaf community in my area, so this piece resonated with me.
I loved the idea of a brother who loved music so much, who so wanted his Deaf sister to be able to experience what he loved. I thought it was so cool that he would think to write words to equate to the sound of songs. I loved this guy’s heart for his sister, his passion for music and his determination to make the translation. I could imagine his frustration and also his poor sister’s trying to understand something that is so elusive to her.
When grown kids are first implanted with cochlears, they have to go through tons of therapy to understand what their “mechanical ear” is experiencing. I can imagine it could sound like something as illogical as the girl’s dreams.
Crying, Waiting, Hoping / Memoir
The sound slipping through the air on a water slide of rain falling outside the window countless needles dropping on the ground as the moon spins fragmented melodies and stars listen with diamond-tinted ears.
My old record player is in my deaf sister’s room. She has been deaf since birth, and this will be the first music she will hear after the implant of the electrical device. I have spent a good portion of my life trying to describe music to my younger sister. Being an aspiring writer, I would explain sound to her with my prose. The entirety of a summer down at the Westport beach trying to illustrate the pulse of Buddy Holly. Tears would play her cheek with perfect notes as I struggled to fuse my poetry with an angle of sunlight that would illuminate the sound of “Not Fade Away.” She would half smile in an effort to be polite as waves brushed sunlight from a retreating shore.
She walks into the room and sees the record player and laughs. She sat on the bed as I grabbed a record. Christ, I must have written a library trying to describe ‘Everyday’ to her. I touched the disc to the turntable. The stars tipped the windowsill with careful light as the song begun. I hoped it would sound familiar. I waited for her expression. A smile slowly started to form on her face the way I imagine a great poem is born in the heart.
“It sounds like he is playing my dreams,” she said with an eager moment in her eyes that searched the air as if his voice was coming from some tucked away heaven. We stayed up all night listening. And I could have sworn I heard angels taking notes over our shoulders.
Congratulations, Richard. As this week’s Community Pick AND Judge’s Pick, you are invited to judge Microcosms 58. Please let me know whether or not you are interested ASAP!