Thanks to all of you who made the trip to your input device of choice and submitted a story to Round 61. We had a total of 14 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 Steph Ellis for judging MC 61. Here’s what she had to say:
It’s been a little while since I’ve judged our weekly contest, so it’s nice to take a break from entering and read (blind) from the other side of the fence. When it comes to writing, I’m always in awe of those who come up with their stories so quickly for Microcosms; by the time I get home from work and my brain re-engages, I find I am usually one of the last. But I try and I keep on trying, because that is what writers do; it’s what everybody here does – week in, week out – and it’s wonderful to see. So thank you to all those who submitted their stories; I enjoyed all the entries.
And by the way – did anybody actually fly on Friday?
Come on, Steph… we’re talking about Microcosms flash fictioneers. They ALWAYS fly on Friday! 😀
Favourite / Favorite Lines
Bill Engleson – …the cobwebs are as thick as an old prospector’s beard…
Ronel J. van Vuuren – The sound of someone sucking the last milkshake out a glass through a straw played on repeat.
Nthato Morakabi – As usual, he carried a stench of aftershave that bordered on toilet spray.
Alva Holland – She would dissect his thoughts, create his world.
Geoff Le Pard – He had even trained himself to urinate in regular quantities.
Holly Geely – “This is just a guess, but it could be the one that’s covered with blood.”
Geoff Holme – “Looking rather sheepish today, Geraint.”
Carin Marais – …he ran from one bottle to another, looking through all the memories that washed up here that were not his, but his late wife’s.
Angelique Pacheco – Reality was also looking for a bite.
Nicola Tapson – “Hey, lift your jaw; your drool is forming a puddle.”
Sian Brighal – ‘Sorry,’ he muttered softly. ‘I think I need to slip into something more appropriate, and I think you’re my size.’
Stephen Shirres – Everything a contest of dicks and peacock’s feathers.
Firdaus Parvez – Then I felt his bone snap under my hand.
Caleb Echterling – “…I’ve been faking the cleaning reports for the past week.”
Angelique Pacheco – Rambling Roses
Don’t we all want to disappear sometimes, just for a while, leave responsibility behind? Nice to see a happy ending to emerge from what had turned into disaster.
Honorable / Honourable Mention
Sian Brighal – Travelling Clothes
Clever little piece of darkness. An elderly gentleman, first-time flier – he’s bound to come off worse. Isn’t he?
Geoff Le Pard – Hubris and the Wall
A salutary lesson to all those who think they can put themselves above the laws of nature. Although I think the government might be opposed to the car because they can’t find anything to tax it on!
Carin Marais – At the Bottom of the Bottle
Such wonderful imagery in this piece which oozes regret for a life lived more for work, and not for what really matters – family. So much was bottled up, so much was missed. A lesson for so many of us.
And now, without further ado, we present the winners of Microcosms 61.
(insert drumroll here)
Nicola Tapson – A Train Affair
Business Person; Train; Romance
The glint off her carriage caught my eye. I slowly perused her engine, and knew that she had been constructed with meticulous care. There were millions of other engines on display, but none as beautiful as her. With her sleek curves and her every detail carefully arranged, her beauty kept me awe-struck.
“Hey, lift your jaw; your drool is forming a puddle. She is a beautiful locomotive, don’t you think?” lilted the voice behind me.
“She is a masterpiece.” I watched her hug the curves of the track with precision. “Who does she belong to?”
“Me!” exclaimed the voice. I turned around. If the beauty of the locomotive had a human form, it would have been the lady who stood before me.
“You? But…” I stammered.
“…you’re a girl” she finished my sentence for me. It was very uncommon for women to be train buffs. “Yeah, and so? Does it make the locomotive less impressive?” she chided me.
“No, the locomotive’s beauty is only outshone by yours.”
She offered me a coy smile, and walked behind the table. This was going to be a game of cat and mouse, if I ever intended to win the locomotive and her heart.
Geoff Holme – A Bridge Too Far?
Despite some references which might be taken as a direct address to me (husband Geraint – Welsh, live Southampton, often cross Severn Bridge, youngest Rhonwen – not Bronwen, but close), I ignored all that and focussed on the very clever placing of ‘Bridge’ into the various conversations. The pre-emptive interruption of ‘Bridge’ was always – humorously – wrong, until the last day. Reminded me very much of the sort of sketch the Two Ronnies would have done. I needed a laugh after a very tough week, and this hit the spot. Great fun. Tidy!
Cruise Passenger; Ship; Comedy
A Bridge Too Far?
“Hello. I’m Colin.”
“Alright? Geraint’s the name.”
“First trip on a cruise liner?”
“Yes. My sister Bronwen finally persuaded me to join her. She drove us down from Caerphilly.”
“Not really. I was OK until we were approaching the Severn Crossing, but I get anxious when she drives over the…”
“…Speed limit. She suddenly realised we’d only two hours to reach Southampton, see.”
“Crikey, Geraint! You don’t look well.”
“Bleurgh! It’s feeling seasick, I am.”
“I know how to cure that. Here, have a treacle toffee.”
“No, ta. I can’t. I don’t want to break my…
“…promise for Lent. I’ve given up sweets.”
“How did you get on in the snooker competition?”
“Knocked out in the first round, I was.”
“No. We were all square in the last frame, with just the black left. But the cue ball ended up in an awkward spot. I had to take the shot using the…”
“…Other hand. Fluffed it!”
“Looking rather sheepish today, Geraint.”
“With good reason. I sat down to speak to one of the violinists after last night’s concert, not realising his instrument was on the seat. I nearly broke the…
“…Caerphilly high-jump record when he yelled at me!”
“See here, Colin! An official invite to the…”
“…Captain’s table this evening! There’s posh!”
“Pfft! All the cruise newbies get one… eventually.”
“You look different today, Geraint… No glasses!”
“Mmm… I dropped them in the bathroom, then trod on them when I stepped out of the shower. I broke the…”
“…Toothbrush glass when I screamed!”
“Can’t stop for a chat, Colin. Bronwen loves to play cards. I promised her I’d make a fourth at…”
“Rummy? Euchre?… Whist!”
“… Half past ten. We’re playing bridge. Ta-ta!”
Thanks very much, Steph, for selecting my story as this week’s Judge’s Pick, and for the flattering review. (I nearly used the adjective ‘fulsome’, but I looked it up, and my dictionary defines that primarily as ‘sickeningly obsequious; nauseatingly affectionate, admiring or praiseful’!)
I find it overly time-consuming to take on the responsibility of Microcosms judge in addition to dreaming up, compiling and submitting the contest post and compiling and submitting the results post… not to mention sending out reminder AND results summary tweets!)
So, I’d like to invite this week’s Community Pick, Nicola Tapson, to judge Microcosms 62. Please let me know whether or not you are interested ASAP!