RESULTS – Microcosms 66

Thanks to all who submitted! We had a total of 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 Sian Brighal for judging MC 66. Here’s what she had to say:

This wasn’t easier the second time round. The entries were a delight to read. I am still amazed at the range of responses these prompts generate. The stories I ultimately selected were so close to each other, and placing them was incredibly difficult; they had me smiling, sighing, sniffling and jumping at everything.

I made my decisions, and I won’t be able to speak with my Aunt Reen about no nails in the same way again. She may wonder why I keep grinning. I probably won’t be playing the clarinet for a while, either. It’s been a pleasure, and thank you all for the brilliant stories. Good job!

Sian

 

 Favourite / Favorite Lines

Bill Engleson – The way he looked away from me.

This line summed up so much in this wonderful story about behaviour, doing what needs to be done, what thoughts hang over such things.

Angelique Pacheco – Her friend Mary had spoken of the years of abuse suffered at his wife’s hands and she was too afraid to speak out against her.

The title takes on its meaning with this line, and the whole story flips on its head.

Carin Marais – Gone were the electric lights, noise, and pollution of the city, replaced by the notes of the music that now sounded even sweeter than it had inside the confines of the hospital.

Combined with the rest, this sentence brings home the liberation felt by the two dancers as they left the confining world behind and found the next.

Alva Holland – Patient placated by a Gibson ’57.

After a bit of googling, this line made me smile for its linking of elements.

Geoff Le Pard – It’s wonderful to find your voice, she thought, but only if the people hearing it matter to you.

Poignant and bittersweet last line.

Dana Faletti – Erik’s song weaves through my mind, torturous.

This has got to be the most painful line…haunted by it.

Stephen John Lodge – She always had the kettle on and people were popping in for a cup at all hours, even though her tea could rot concrete.

This line created such a nostalgic mood and, for me, showed the strength and courage of Aunt Reen, which made the ending harsher.

Nicola Tapson – The Mardi Gras Disaster – The flowers flew.

I have this image of pots flying through the air and the sheer chaos of it.

Fatima Okhuosami – This time it wasn’t Flobuster but a middle aged man with a prescription before her.

I can almost see the dream getting crushed under the weight of life.

Stephanie Ellis – … so that her last breath filtered up and out of the instrument in a long tormented wail.

A shocking turn of events, and the image is disturbing and haunting.

AJ Walker – Go on then, why not. Let’s put the band back together!’

Made me smile. This is true camaraderie.

Stella Turner – I’ll be the victim in court.

This line just hits you hard, putting it all together.

Patrick Stahl – It’d always helped him with the blues, that much was for sure.

This line popped out when I reached the end; made me think that he was just as classy, forgiving and carrying on.

 

 

Special Mentions

Patrick Stahl – Until Dawn

I enjoyed the flow of this piece, with the mix of short punchy sentences and longer, flowing descriptions, adding a bluntness to the tragedy and stretching out the reflections upon such. The lack of recriminations, but ‘classy’ acceptance of their state, also appealed, tugging a little at the heartstrings. Lovely piece.

 

Dana Faletti – The Guardian

An incredibly bittersweet story of getting and losing. The start built you up and the middle hurled you down. The end was a soothing solace. I enjoyed how the story wove the concept of music and sound throughout, enforcing the passion for music and making the loss all the more brutal.

 

Honourable / Honorable Mention

Stella Turner – I Need My Fifteen Minutes.

This was such a shocking piece! It led you one way and then another until the cold truth slipped in like a knife in the back. The lengths people will go to! The way the narrative went from a seemingly clumsy and sweet performer to coldly intelligent and vicious plotter was jarring. The use of first person here made the piece seem more direct and intimate…as though I was involved in some way in the whole thing.

 

Runner-up

Steph Ellis – Meat on the Bone

I do like horror, and this didn’t disappoint. The description was excellent, helping to create a delightfully gruesome picture, and the brutality in it, in so few words, was just brilliantly written. The expressions and phrases used were a great way of adding depth to the story. I found it interesting that the event centred on the concept of a Preacher ‘offering’ to feed a ‘beggar’, and the almost religious phrasing of ‘do unto’ later in the story. This gave the story a depth of feeling and richness. And of course, the ending, which implied that such a meal was not the first nor the last…or even a terrible thing to do.

 

And now, without further ado, we present the winners of Microcosms 66.

 

(insert drumroll here)

 

Community Pick

Carin Marais The Man in Blue

243 words
Musician; Hospital; Fantasy

Music drifted through the silent hallways of the hospital as the clocks outside tolled the midnight hour. Sleeping patients woke as a figure dressed in blue slowly stalked down the long hallways, silver flute pressed to his lips. Around him nurses and doctors seemed not to notice the music or the figure, only seeing that the patients became restless in their beds.

Here and there patients peeked from the doors at the tall, skinny man whose long coat was hidden in midnight shadow. Some said prayers and crossed themselves, willing their feet not to move to the sound of the ethereal music. At last one man stepped from his room, following the unearthly music and the man in blue.

Step for step he followed the dark figure, entranced, swaying to the music that only the dying could hear. A woman joined him, white nightgown shining in the hospital’s half-dark hallways. Together they danced-walked-waltzed behind the man in blue, out of the wards and through the reception to a lush moonlit garden appearing just outside the sliding door.

Gone were the electric lights, noise, and pollution of the city, replaced by the notes of the music that now sounded even sweeter than it had inside the confines of the hospital. The man turned to them, revealing his midnight cloak to be shining wings. He lowered the flute from his lips, but the music remained. Around them the night garden bloomed.

 

Judge’s Pick

Bill Engleson – Zebra’s Folly

I read through this one many times. The first line set up a scene of childish escapism into a realm of glory and wealth from the gloomy, maybe Spartan, attic, and when you delved a bit more, it revealed a world of a pair going through life as best they could. The writer doesn’t give away the feelings of the narrator, rather allowing us to draw our own conclusions about the woman and child and their progress through life. Maybe dropping hints through the actions and words of the cab driver, and Mae’s optimism versus the narrator’s description of events rather than disclosure of his feelings. The sense of determination and hope overshadowed by a sense of doom or weight of unfulfilled endeavours made it a powerful piece for me.

300 downtown moments
Prostitute; Brothel; Memoir

Some nights, I slept under the bed in the attic. I imagined it was cave, deep down in the earth, as far away as an spelunker could get from Zebra’s Folly.

The first time Mae called me her little spelunker, we had only been in the Zebra’s Folly and Fandango Pleasure Palace for one night.

She’d crawled into bed oozing of sweetness and death and slobbered in my ear, “It’ll be a goldmine, my little spelunker. Let’s dig deep. Make it work.”

We’d caught the Greyhound out of Chicago after midnight two nights before.

I was almost seven.

We were always on the move.

“It’s sudden, baby boy,” she’d cuddled me as I drifted off in her arms, the highway whizzing by, the bus as dark and foul as a sewer, wretched snoring going on in the back, tearing into the other grunts and the smells. She then said something close to what she always said. “I know I promised we’d plan for the next time but it isn’t always easy. Chicago ain’t for us. We’re goin’ south.”

A dozen cities hadn’t been for us. And we’d been north and east and west and south a thousand times.

I slept anyways. It was always the only smart thing to do.

“Wake up, kiddo,” Mae finally woke me a thousand hours later. “Time to say hello to St Louis, Missouri.”

We’d hustled off the bus and caught a cab.

Mae asked the driver, “You know the Zebra’s place?”

I saw his look. The way he looked at Mae. The way he looked away from me. He then said, “Yeah, I know where it is. It ain’t a place for kids, Lady.”

“Just drive,” Mae’d said. “Drive and mind your own beeswax.”

Mae was always on top of the world…until she wasn’t.

 

Congratulations, Bill. As this week’s Judge’s Pick, you are invited to judge Microcosms 67! Please let us know whether or not you are interested ASAP!

RESULTS - Microcosms 67
RESULTS - Microcosms 65
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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

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