Microcosms 78

Hello, hello, hello! And welcome to Microcosms 78. Taking a break from the fairy tales this time around for another post submitted by Michael Emerson. Thanks, Michael! I think you all will enjoy this one. 🙂

Time Travel! Since the mid 1700’s time travel had captured people imaginations for a number of reasons. From the possibility of changing something, as in the Terminator movies, or just simply the idea of seeing, being away from their own worlds and times, like the Time Scout series by Robert Asprin. Which one of these is the defining pull of time travel, I don’t know.

Either way the idea has stayed with us, we have played with the idea in science fiction for years, we have used wormholes, time machines, portals, both magical and mechanical, space ships, you name it and quite possibly it has been used to travel through time at some point.

So let us start our engines, warm up our wormholes, vacuum our magic carpets and get ready to change history, travel through time to places unknown and just maybe find out the meaning of everything.
Michael

 

With that in mind, I’ve selected some characters and locations commonly associated with time travel, from both the past and future. There’s also a “your choice” option for the setting, as I didn’t want to limit anybody but also didn’t want to have 100 choices. 🙂 Feel free to interpret the prompt however you like! (E.g., one could argue that exploring a memory is a form of time travel.) Have fun with this one!
KM

 

(If YOU have an idea for a future contest and would like to be guest host, please contact us.)

 

Our contest this week begins with THREE things: character, setting and genre.

We spun, and our three elements are – character: Detective, setting: 1800s, and genre: Drama.


Write a story using those OR feel free to click on the “Spin!” button, and the slot machine will come up with a new set – you can keep clicking until you have a set of elements that inspires you.

*** HEY! Remember to include which THREE elements you’re using AND a title for your entry ***

*** NO FAN-FICTION, PLEASE, and NO USE of COPYRIGHT CHARACTERS ***


  • Scientist
  • Robot or Cyborg
  • Political Figure
  • Astronaut
  • Royal Family Member
  • Peasant
  • Knight
  • Dinosaur
  • Caveman
  • Ship Captain
  • Space Traveler
  • Detective
  • Assassin
  • Soldier
  • “Average Joe”
  • Alien
  • 1800s
  • Space Colony
  • Victorian-Era England
  • Outer Space
  • Future City
  • Utopia
  • Dystopia
  • Prehistoric
  • Your Choice!
  • Wartime
  • Underground
  • A Ship
  • Apocalypse
  • Crime
  • Horror
  • Fantasy
  • Memoir
  • Thriller
  • Comedy
  • Steam Punk
  • Drama
  • Poem

Spin!


Judging this week is Microcosms 77 Judge’s Pick John Herbert.

All submissions should be a maximum of 300 words in length. You have until midnight, New York time (EDT) to submit.

*** If you are new to Microcosms, remember to check out the full submission guidelines. ***

All being well, results will be posted on Monday.

Microcosms 79
Microcosms 77
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

83 comments for “Microcosms 78

  1. 30 June 2017 at 1:35 am

    Title: Too Little Too Late
    Prompts: Time Traveler/Your Choice!/Crime
    Words: 283
    @meadow337

    The dog trotted purposefully down the midnight street. It knew where it was going. It turned a corner and stood up. J’ngel peered at the chronometer. “Blasted disguise,” he muttered as he tried to read the face through the hair. The drunk rolled under the cardboard box made his millionth commitment to stop drinking. J’ngel dropped to his paws and scampered out the alleyway. He was late. Late in the way only a time-traveler on a limited budget could be. He had arrived one day late and five hours too early. If he was going to be in position to see the assassination, he had to hurry. No time to lose the disguise and still get in position in time to wait out the remaining hours in safety.

    “I’m late,” J’ngel cursed. It had taken longer than he anticipated navigating the streets as a dog. He dashed across a busy road narrowly missing a car as he tried to get into position. The assassination would occur any moment now, and if he was to get any usable data for the commission, he had to hurry. An angry curse floated out of the car after him as it braked. The Very-Important-Person in the back clutched the seat to keep his balance, but it was too little too late. The bullet disintegrated his head right on schedule. The crowd erupted into chaos.

    J’ngel stood, hang-dog, in front of his superior. “It was too little, too late,” he said. “I couldn’t get in position in time to see the gunman.”

    His superior sighed. “I think there is a conspiracy here,” he said. “No matter how many archivists we send, we never find out who shot JFK.”

    8+

    • 30 June 2017 at 2:02 am

      So good! You’ve sure set the bar high with this one. Nicely done.

      1+

    • 30 June 2017 at 4:08 am

      Great variation on the classic ‘go back and assassinate Hitler’ time-travel story.

      But your fluster over being late may have forced you to submit your entry before checking it. It seems highly likely that you meant ‘JFK’, rather than ‘JKF’. 😉

      1+

    • 30 June 2017 at 2:50 pm

      I admire your writerly dogged determinism.

      2+

    • 1 July 2017 at 12:11 pm

      Love the idea of a time traveler on a limited budget. I see the potential for a series of stories there. Nicely done.

      1+

      • 1 July 2017 at 2:24 pm

        Thanks, it was a riff off budget cuts to education etc. didn’t think it would be any different in the future. had this picture of this dusty old department no-one really cared about stuck away at the back of the library trying to do research through time-travel … didn’t really think of them as a series, but that’s a good idea, thanks!

        0

    • Sian Brighal
      2 July 2017 at 6:36 am

      Fantastic story. Like the idea of investigating the past…but with the dog stopping the car, are the investigators potentially involved in the event instead of just studying it? That’s a great but terrible idea.

      0

      • 2 July 2017 at 8:40 am

        but it didn’t change the outcome which is in keeping with most theories of time travel, that no matter what one does, you can’t change the past because it has already happened.

        0

  2. 30 June 2017 at 3:46 am

    Point of clarification, KM.

    If we go with the radical new ‘Your Choice!’ option for setting, are we supposed to specify what our choice of setting is, or is it immaterial?

    0

    • 30 June 2017 at 5:00 am

      Haha! I suppose I should have clarified that. Good question! I think it would be best to specify what the choice is, yes. 🙂

      0

  3. 30 June 2017 at 4:15 am

    “Average Joe”/Your Choice(Medieval)/ Comedy

    Word count: 297

    Medieval Madness

    The landscape was lovely and I could see my potato plant doing well here. I was skulking around the back of a hen house to spy on a vegetable patch when I felt, rather than saw someone, in the way of a knock on the head. I turned around to see a rather scowly-faced girl with two plaids in her hair wielding a small shovel.

    “Your face will stay that way if the wind changes,” I said.

    Her eyes widened in horror. “Ma!” she yelled. “There’s a man going to magick me!”

    Her mother appeared and looked frightened. It took me a while to assure her I didn’t mean any harm and I was not going to perform magick on her unruly little one. She looked almost disappointed. I explained to her that I needed a place for my potato plant.

    She looked at me confused. “What’s a potato?” she asked.

    “You know, they grow in the ground. You eat them.”

    “Never heard o’ that,” she said, but she graciously showed me her garden.

    There were onions, parsnips, garlic, carrots, cabbages and beans, but no potatoes. It would seem I had come to a time in history, when potatoes had not been discovered yet. I thanked her kindly and shimmered out.

    You know that this was the era that dragons became a popular notion, right? I can sort of explain that. The soldier bots arrived shortly after my departure and happened to run into that same little brat I did. They asked for Dargon (Which is my name, by the way, pleased to meet you.) She heard Dragon and went off yelling that she had seen Dragons. The more she spoke about them the more she embroidered on the story, hence the dragon myth. Apologies for that.

    4+

  4. Eloise
    30 June 2017 at 4:40 am

    Soldier/Utopia/Crime
    Word count: 241

    The Memory Thief

    “Where am I?” wondered Cedrick, his eyes fluttering open to see a woman of indescribable beauty.
    “You’re in Utopia.”
    “Utopia? But it doesn’t exist.”
    “Oh but it does.”
    Cedrick opened his eyes and soaked in the wonder before him. The world was just as he imagined it. Slowly, he raised his body and rubbed his head. He scrunched his eyes tightly closed and opened them again, but the image remained the same. He followed the lady before him. She led him through the forest towards a wonderful house. It had vines curling up the side. As he moved closer he saw a car. A Jeep.
    “Whose car is that?”
    “Yours,” lilted the lady.
    He rushed towards it. This dream was starting to become unbelievable. As he reached out his hand to touch the car, something whizzed by him and the image started to shudder.
    “What’s happening?”
    “The elf is stealing your dream.”
    “The elf?”
    “Yes, he is a memory elf. He sneaks into your mind and steals your dreams.”
    “He what? Where does he live?”
    “He lives on the edge of your memory.”
    Slowly the image before him started to scramble from the sides. The woman flashed her teeth at him. They were pointed.
    “What’s happen?”
    “The elf is changing memories.”
    “But I don’t want it.” Cedrick’s body started to jolt.
    “It’s too late,” she screamed.
    Cedrick’s eyes flashed open and he heard the whizz of bombs overheard.
    “Sergeant, he is alive.”

    2+

    • 30 June 2017 at 9:17 am

      Great story!

      1+

    • 1 July 2017 at 12:23 pm

      Cool story. one quick tip: never write “indescribable”, it feels like cheating. I want to see her.

      0

      • Eloise
        1 July 2017 at 3:22 pm

        Ok cool 🙂 thanks for the tip Bill. Will keep it in mind.

        0

    • Sian Brighal
      2 July 2017 at 6:43 am

      Fast-paced and thrilling story.

      1+

      • Eloise
        3 July 2017 at 3:56 am

        Thank you Sian

        0

  5. 30 June 2017 at 8:08 am

    (Title) The Time Traveler
    (Themes) Average Joe/A Ship/Drama
    (Wordcount) 299

    Average Joe crossed the helm of his ship, The Time Traveler. Before him, luminescent sails shifted as they caught the interstellar winds, driving the sleek and ancient ship through space. “Wind-powered” she was, the last of her kind, worth the gold of a thousand galaxies or one captain’s life…

    He stopped in front of the control panel. He knew ever inch, every secret tunnel and every soul on board. If he closed his eyes, he could almost sense the quiet dreams of most his crew below. A few men, led by the bosun, were moving through the ship towards the cabin where he slept, unaware of the betrayal his men were about to commit.

    He reached out and closed off the mid-section of the ship. The thump and grinding of the blast doors were felt throughout the ship. Awaking men and himself from the warm comfort of sleep. He sensed his past self leaping out of bed, already assessing the meaning of the sounds he heard as the men, caught amid-ships, realised that they are caught.

    He took one last look out at his ship. He would not survive the blast wound in his side, as he pressed a button, venting air and men into space.

    Slowly, the ship took control, and closed the airlock and started the process of stabilising the pressure. The crew paced their quarters, running what diagnostics they could, as Average Joe stood on the helm, and sadly looked down on his body or at least… well, he didn’t want to think about it too much. He set his laser to evaporate and aimed it at the corpse at his feet. It was a shame about the mutineers, but they should have known better than to try and kill a time traveler.

    THE END

    4+

    • Eloise
      30 June 2017 at 9:24 am

      I enjoyed the pace of your story. I felt like I was travelling through space

      1+

    • 30 June 2017 at 11:59 pm

      Naughty, naughty having two of yourself in one place and time LOL

      1+

    • 1 July 2017 at 12:25 pm

      I definitely had a vision of a three masted sailing vessel traveling through the stars

      1+

    • Sian Brighal
      2 July 2017 at 6:48 am

      Clever ending and engaging writing.

      1+

      • 3 July 2017 at 12:45 am

        Thank you! 🙂 Although honestly it could have been better… I wrote long and cut back to reach 300 words and that never works well for the pacing and overall everything of a flash piece. You need to write it at the length that it is meant to be. :/ But I will eventually get back into the mindset of writing short though. 😀

        0

  6. A.J. Walker
    30 June 2017 at 9:28 am

    The Filth at the Coffee Shop
    by A.J. Walker

    There was something about the fellow across the street that drew George’s attention. He couldn’t put his finger on it despite watching the man for many minutes. It annoyed him, he didn’t like giving up on getting the answer to any question, but his coffee was cold and what was left mostly grit. The cup bottom looked like the Thames at low tide. He didn’t want to know what was in it other than coffee. Rumours of faecal matter had come to the fore recently. Hopefully just from rival coffee shops.

    Looking back across the street he saw the man now looking directly at him. The watcher watched.

    ‘Damn,’ he cursed. He’d written off the question. He’d no option but to spin the penny. Heads he’d confront him, tails forget him.

    Heads.

    George got up, nodded to the coffee lady, leaving a tip as always; it was his go to place after all.

    Dodging the horse shit and buckets of waste he insinuated through the city crowds towards the out of place man, not taking his eyes off him.

    ‘Afternoon, Sergeant,’ said the stranger.

    George smiled. ‘You have the better of me, Mr…?’

    ‘Let’s not waste time.’

    ‘What’s your game?’

    ‘I’ve two messages for you. I believe you’re investigating the Billingsgate strangler?’

    ‘And what do you know of that?’

    ‘I know the perpetrator. I can tell you where he’ll be tomorrow and what time. You can catch him in the act.’

    ‘How?’

    ‘I can’t go into that. Let’s just say this thing has happened already. But you, you can stop it.’

    ‘What nonsense! Are you of the opium?’

    ‘I am not.’

    ‘And what’s the other thing?’

    ‘The rumours on the coffee are correct. I’d go home as quickly as you can… and drink plenty of water.’

    ‘Water! You are mad.’

    ___________
    WC: 300
    Detective / 1880s / Drama
    #NeverSpin

    4+

    • 1 July 2017 at 12:30 pm

      This was really great, loved the conversation, but I was confused when this was occurring. Were there coffee shops in London in 1800s?

      0

      • 1 July 2017 at 11:38 pm

        The first coffeehouse in London opened in 1652, Bill. I was more concerned with the seemingly anachronistic phrase ‘his go to place’ which didn’t chime with the Victorian vibe, and the detective being able to avoiding horse droppings and waste buckets, and weaving through crowds while not taking his eyes off the man he sought.

        But these are minor quibbles. I thought the piece was excellent, AJ; given that the Ripper murders are still unsolved and still talked about today, an 1880s serial killer would be a prime target for a time travelling intervention; but one risking a rift in the timeline with unforseeable ramifications, such as the paradox that, as a result, the time traveller might never be born.

        Are you working on a Victorian detective novel, AJ? You’ve written some great stuff using similar elements.

        0

    • Sian Brighal
      2 July 2017 at 6:55 am

      Lovely writing.

      0

  7. Stephen John Lodge
    30 June 2017 at 9:38 am

    The Burning Light Of The Midnight Lamp: London 1888
    by Steve Lodge
    @steveweave71
    300 words
    Detective/1800s/Crime

    A woman shows two police officers into a small lounge.

    “Madam, I am Inspector Ogden Dimlit. I have an implausible 19th century moustache and a cheeky grin. This is Sgt Carlos Pussy. We are here, at his last known address, to investigate the suspicious death of Mr Vernon Clavicle at the Menagerie Trois Club in Hendricks Road last night.”

    “Carlos?” the woman ponders the name. “Are you Interpol?”

    “No.”

    “Inter Milan?”

    “No.”

    “Inter-related?”

    Dimlit interrupts, “No, look, stop it. Just tell me your name.”

    “Goldie Silver, but people call me Meat And Gravy Davy.”

    “But that’s a man’s nickname,” states Dimlit.

    “Yes, I borrowed it from him.”

    “From whom, madam?” jumps in Sgt Pussy.

    “You’re not really a policeman, are you?” she asks.

    “Oh, yes I am,” replies Pussy.

    “Oh, no, you’re not,” returns Goldie.

    “Madam, pleeeease. How did you know the deceased?” questions Dimlit.

    “I was his dentist.”

    “Well, that’s odd because you let us in to his apartment, you are dressed as a cleaning lady and carrying a mop. None of which are the actions of a dentist.”

    “OK, you’ve got me. I did it,” confesses Goldie.

    “I knew it. Tell me exactly what you did, good woman,” enthuses Dimlit, licking his pencil.

    “His cleaning. Tuesdays and Fridays. I’m not really a dentist at all.”

    “What is wrong with you? This is a murder enquiry. I’ll take you down to Bow Street, I will. You’re wasting police time… and… and why are all your toenails missing?” Dimlit just notices.

    “That’s another story. Now, if that’s all, Sherlock, I need to unclog his toilet. Someone tried to flush a bloodied dress, a wallet, a pair of spectacles and a kebab.”

    Dimlit shouts, “You are hindering our enquiries.”

    She jeers. “If I don’t clear this toilet, you’ll have nothing to go on.”

    7+

  8. 30 June 2017 at 9:39 am

    Never Reveal
    298 Words
    Jeff Messick
    Detective, 1800s, Drama

    “He can’t!” screamed the man in front of me, incensed almost beyond reason.

    “He must!” I growled in return, holding the pistol with iron control.

    The man’s eyes darted about, looking for an escape, or a distraction. He would find none, I had chosen the location well.

    Finally, he took a breath, calming himself a moment. “Why is this so important to you?”

    I almost smile. “I could ask the same of you, but I will answer. With his decision, one of the greatest achievements of this country will be set into motion. We will enter dark days, but in time, will be much better for it.”

    The man hissed out laughter. “You speak as if it’s already happened.”

    Fear lanced through me. The cardinal rule of my work, Never Reveal. How many mistakes had been made to cement that rule into the minds of the Corporation? Napoleon not defeated at Waterloo, but much later after nearly a third of the population of Europe was wiped out, comes to mind, as does the bitter dregs of knowing World War II Japan had captured the entire Pacific, before it eventual defeat at the cost of untold human lives.

    “The time has come for slavery to end in this country.” I say.

    The man stepped forward, drawing himself up to his full height. “It will never end. We will never give up our property, as is our right by the Constitution!”

    “All men are created equal.”

    The man spat at me. “You’re not my equal.”

    Anger burns in me. “No, I am far above you, from a distant future where your beliefs have finally been laid to rest.”

    My gun fires, he dies. My dusky hand never wavers.

    Never Reveal has a caveat.

    2+

    • Sian Brighal
      2 July 2017 at 7:06 am

      Fantastic start, great writing and a disturbing ending. Great read.

      0

  9. 30 June 2017 at 10:23 am

    Scientist/1887 and 2134/crime

    @geofflepard

    A Slip In Time

    ‘Worple? What’s up?’
    ‘Bloody director’s shutting us down unless we find the funds independently.’
    Norotkin sighed; they’d cracked time travel, they both knew it yet the bloody man wanted more proof. ‘How many more trips?’
    ‘One, then we’re history.’ Worple absorbed the coffee absently, then looked at his colleague. ‘Plan B?’
    ‘I suppose,’ the Russian said reluctantly.
    While Norotkin headed for his uncle’s auction house, Worple opened the fancy dress box and suited and booted himself, before powering up the Teleport 97. ‘Hope this works,’ he muttered.
    #
    ‘Ivan? What now?’
    ‘My colleague, Worple. He has inherited some paintings. He’d like you to sell them.’
    ‘Really? Are they any good?’
    #
    Worple pushed the Teleport behind the hawthorn and exited the Bois de Boulogne in a hurry. By his calculation, he had two hours before the Artists Salon met. First though the Banque de la Republic.
    #
    ‘How many?’
    ‘Ten, I think. Never been seen before.’
    ‘How did his godfather get them?’
    Norotkin shuffled slightly. ‘A little bit uncertain, uncle.’
    The older man smiled. ‘That is why you come to me! Of course, I may have one or two interested people but this will be a private sale, yes?’
    #
    Worple hadn’t robbed a bank before and, but for 22nd century tazers, he wouldn’t have done it now. Still, he had more than enough money and just enough time. Pushing open the Salon door, he steadied himself and smiled. Let’s hope, he thought, that his French didn’t sound too weird.
    #
    ‘I’ve called Grobolmann and Stendest. Good men. Good prices. How long…?’
    Norotkin checked his internal clock. ‘Twenty UTs, uncle.’
    #
    Worple thought open the door; faces turned and waited while he laid out his prizes. The cooing and ohhing lasted a minute before Grobolmann touched the Lautrec. ‘It’s still wet.’

    3+

    • 1 July 2017 at 12:04 am

      this is very good, but it feels like it needs one more sentence at the end to complete it. I’m left saying ‘…and?’ at the end of the last sentence, which is such a pity because the rest of it is very clever and well-written.

      0

    • 1 July 2017 at 12:37 pm

      well done, pacing good, and I laughed out loud at “It’s still wet”

      0

    • Sian Brighal
      2 July 2017 at 7:11 am

      Have to make time travel profitable. Loved the ending.

      0

  10. 30 June 2017 at 1:06 pm

    300 opportunities
    Detective; Utopia; Comedy
    @billmelaterplea

    Joe Barcelona, A very surprized minor league relatively new old school dick

    I wasn’t as good as I used to be. Even then, I wasn’t much good. When Max Ginger took me in as an apprentice and then made me partner, I thought I had it made.

    Especially when the sign went on the door.

    GINGER & BARCELONA, EYES Everywhere.

    Max was a promoter. A hustler. He was never without a case. He’d spot a bad marriage in a crowd, then sent a note to a husband or a wife, whoever seemed to have the moolah, saying, “do you know what he or she is up to?” Sure, sometimes it fizzled. Some people are smarter than others. They figure out a con.

    But I’m just sayin’, Max was a player. A big old player. And he took me in.

    I was still Joey Knickerski back then. Max said it plain, “Kid, they’ll be calling you Knickers in no time. You need a new moniker.”

    So, I picked Barcelona. Well, Max did. “It’s got flare, kid.”

    My old man hated it. He called me Barcelona Baloney. He was a pissy old bugger.

    And then it all went up in smoke. Max disappeared. Poof! No word. Nada!

    I learned quick: I wasn’t much good.

    Business dried up like Vaudeville.

    I’d go to the office and just sit.

    For six months.

    Then, hell, guess who showed up.

    Max!

    Except he was all fluttery and white.

    “Come with me, Knickers. Are you in for a treat!”

    He’d bought a white hearse. Or stolen it.

    “Where ya taking me, Max?” I pleaded over and over.

    He gave me this fat-assed grin like he was doing a toothpaste ad.

    Finally, we reached Max’s destination.

    PRIVATE EYE NATURE PARK.

    “You’ve become a nudist, Max?”

    “We, Knickers. We’ll corner the market in Nudist Crime.”

    That Maxie. Always one step ahead.

    2+

    • 30 June 2017 at 7:46 pm

      Great stuff, Bill.

      Nudist crime – ha!
      “Do you mind answering a few questions?”
      “No, I’ve got nothing to hide.” 😀

      1+

      • 1 July 2017 at 12:41 pm

        I went to that same spot immediately as well. Then a flashback to “A Shot In The Dark”.
        I felt this was all prelude to a great story. I wanted more.

        1+

        • 1 July 2017 at 1:43 pm

          I confess that when A Shot in the Dark came out, and I was an impressionable seventeen, I was drawn in to the naturist world. Ah, for the days of Maria Gambrelli and the irrepressible Clouseau.

          0

    • Sian Brighal
      2 July 2017 at 7:30 am

      Fun and lovely read.

      0

  11. 30 June 2017 at 3:11 pm

    Monster

    @danafaletti
    300 words
    Detective, Crime, 1800’s

    1885
    The alleys of Brooklyn smell like blood and urine.
    The baying of cows about to be slaughtered turns my stomach as I traipse through streets, searching for him.
    My great-grandfather – creator of the Handel family legacy.
    First to spill blood of an innocent – Susannah Owens – a woman who wouldn’t submit to his will.
    Once he’d cracked the seal of injustice, his offspring believed it fair game to follow suit.
    His son quenched blood lust with the lives of children.
    My mother slit the throat of an employer who crossed her.
    Having been raised by a sadist, I was glad to put her away. I’ve forgiven the abuse, but I’m loathe to accept the family reputation.
    I catch bad guys now.

    “The seed was sown into your soul,” Ma says. “You can play pretend with your badge, but you’re no good guy. There’s a monster in our blood.”

    I’d prove her wrong.

    I travel to 1885, where Handel is head butcher at Brooklyn Beef.
    Is it her blood on his hands or simply occupational coincidence?
    Turning the corner, I’m chilled by one scream that forces me to accept what I never wanted to believe.
    My monster awakens, and before I can protest his expression of wrath, there’s blood on my hands.
    “Thank you,” Susannah gathers her skirt and faces me.
    I stare at the knife in silence.
    “Who are you?”
    “I’m… a monster,” I whisper then plunge the knife into my belly.
    Susannah’s cries mingle with the dying monster’s roars, but, just as my mother was amused by her wickedness, I can’t help but grin.
    I may not have seen it coming for me in my naivete.
    But, I’ve achieved what I traveled across time to do.
    To prove that there is no monster.
    And now, there isn’t.

    3+

    • Sian Brighal
      2 July 2017 at 7:35 am

      Excellent. Lovely writing and great story.

      0

  12. 30 June 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Beyond the Stars

    Elements: space traveller, outer space, poetry
    124 words

    @el_Stevie

    They turned me into a world walker
    Gave me wings, let me soar
    Sent me into raven night
    Become a fake immortal
    As I left my family behind to live and die
    And live and die again and again

    The length of my life’s thread
    Stretches now beyond the stars
    A skein in the labyrinth of this
    The blackest of deserts
    A once Heaven become Hell
    A cold furnace burning hope

    Here are the endless hours
    Of unbearable solitude,
    As empty as my shrivelled soul
    Since I paid Charon when I entered this craft
    I still taste his coin on my tongue
    How I wish he had placed them over my eyes
    And let me cross the river
    And not this universe without end

    5+

    • Eloise
      30 June 2017 at 4:20 pm

      I loved your description of space

      1+

    • Sian Brighal
      2 July 2017 at 7:40 am

      Wonderful. Feel the despair filling the endlessness.

      1+

  13. 30 June 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Title – Second Chances
    Prompts – Detective/1800s/Drama
    Word Count 298
    Twitter – @nancymbeach

    “I can solve your problem, but it will cost you.” Art was well known for his detective skills.

    It didn’t matter the price – nothing mattered now. 4-year-old Teddy and my wife were dead.

    Without another word, Art picked up my farm deed and walked out the door.
    “Jump in.”
    I looked at him for further explanation. He just looked at me expectantly.
    “Jump in.”

    Brilliant. I’d just signed my farm away to a guy who promised me I could have a ten-minute visit with a ten year younger version of myself and he’s telling me to jump in a pond.

    Whatever. Here goes nothing. As my feet hit the water, I start spinning faster and faster, colors whirring around me. I’m going to be sick.

    Then in a moment, I’m standing alone by the pond. Great. Art duped me. Wait – the trees – they look smaller, younger. Did it work? I sprint in the direction of my farm.

    A younger version of myself is sitting in the corner of the barn, milking the cows.

    “Look, excuse me… you have to listen to me… I only have a few minutes… it’s important…” I’m gasping for breath.
    “I know this sounds crazy, but you have to listen carefully. Don’t give Teddy the medicine. It will kill him. Please, whatever you do…” I began to shake him as I suddenly felt the water swirl around me and the brilliant lights dance before my eyes.

    “Wait! I need more time!” My body flushes hot – remembering the day long ago a stranger ran in dripping wet and rambled on and on. I had dismissed him as crazy. Then realization floods my whole body. I’d known the whole time. It hadn’t changed a thing.

    3+

  14. 30 June 2017 at 6:12 pm

    @GeoffHolme
    #FlashDogs
    300 words
    Robot; Future City; Drama

    A revised and heavily redacted version of my entry to Finish That Thought (Round 3-6)

    The Portal Into Summer

    The salesbot for TimePortal Inc.’s Heinlein Bootstrap™ arrived at 23:54. The portal’s aura lit up the lounge where I sat watching the hologram-remastered, 21st century classic ‘Minority Report’.

    I groaned. “Thought I’d seen the last of you guys. Cold calls are illegal now.”

    “Almost, sir. That law comes into force tomorrow. Meanwhile…”

    “You’re wasting your time… no pun intended. Ain’t interested.”

    “Really? I predict that, within the next few minutes, you’ll step into my office and sign up to become the proud owner of our latest model.”

    I paused the movie. “You a precog?”

    “You’re a Dick Head… Philip K. Dick, I mean. Precogs are fictional. No, my prediction wasn’t simply a strong probability but a stone-cold fact. I am, after all, from the future.”

    “Even if I took the bait, I ain’t got the $1.5m asking price.”

    “We know, sir, but invest $5000 in TimePortals Inc. stock now and, when you reach my desk, you’ll have more than enough to cover it.”

    “OK, I’m gonna make a prediction: if you don’t haul your scrawny ass out of here before midnight, I will be calling the cops.”

    As we tried to stare each other down, my cat Pete ambled over and rubbed against it. It lifted him, stroked his head, and moved towards the portal.

    “Here’s what’ll really happen. The cat and I are leaving. You’ve two minutes, twenty-seven seconds to make that investment then join us; otherwise, the portal closes, you don’t see Pete again. He’ll love it there – it’s mid August.

    “This may seem menacing,” it whispered, “but you need this impetus to do what you were always gonna do.”

    They disappeared.

    I yelled to my retro, voice-activated, digital assistant, “Cortana, invest $5000 in TimePortals Inc.”, grabbed my jacket, and strode towards my destiny.

    2+

    • 1 July 2017 at 12:48 pm

      loved the idea of “invest $5000 in TimePortals Inc. stock now and, when you reach my desk, you’ll have more than enough to cover it”, it has the whole ‘invest in this timeshare’ vibe.

      0

    • Sian Brighal
      2 July 2017 at 11:09 am

      Hopefully, he’ll also get his cat back. Great story, thank you.

      0

  15. 30 June 2017 at 6:38 pm

    Caveman/political figure / future city/ poem
    234 reason to take a drink
    @billmelaterplea

    Klump: A Man for All Malfeasance

    I do recall with certainty
    When Klump first ran for election.
    And I recall it verily
    And not very much affection.

    The world had collapsed in shatters,
    A matter of nuclear rage,
    Our political world in tatters,
    And our culture, a bit stone age.

    Klump arrived from out of the east,
    Not immediately our first choice
    He seemed a large orange burly beast,
    Small hands, small feet, a squeaky voice.

    But there was something there, a brand,
    A bluster, a je ne sais quoi,
    Slightly raw, unschooled, brassy-bland,
    That rankled some, stuck in one’s craw.

    He had a certain arrogance,
    A primitive childish smirk,
    That left the weak-minded in a trance,
    And others stunned at this piece of work.

    Against his foes, Klump whooped them all,
    With asides, insults, screams of “lies.”
    One by one they began to fall,
    “Til he was the one with the prize.

    Even then, he had to duel the One,
    She had magic, strength, royal blood.
    Klump lay waste ‘til she was undone,
    And he landed on top with a thud.

    We are now in the Kingdom of Klump,
    He rules with a vicious twitter.
    We are trapped in a sad Klump slump,
    Ruled by a monarch so bitter.

    There seems no end, no sweet escape,
    He blusters and bullies and berates.
    We drink too much juice of the grape,
    And we wait and we wait and we wait.

    2+

    • Sian Brighal
      2 July 2017 at 11:11 am

      Nice flow. Great poem.

      1+

  16. JK
    30 June 2017 at 9:36 pm

    Title: Gifts of Gold
    Words: 300
    Prompts: Drama, 1800s, Crime
    Lillian was new in town fresh out of a mine shaft. Somehow she made her way from the bathroom of her best friend, Margaret’s house to a filthy, mine shaft. The last thing she remembers was crying about her husband relocating to California to mine for gold, meanwhile she was back in Georgia having a tea party.
    Lillian remembers the women talking about their husbands and the letters they received. However, she did not receive any! She has been fearful of where her husband, Jayden has been. Worried something happened in the mine, maybe he wasn’t happy with her, or he realized he was still in love with his ex in Virginia and was planning to find her on his travels home.
    All sorts of things were running through her mind. She thought maybe she should walk away for a while until they talked about something else. She left the table, wandered around the garden and came back in to go to the restroom. She looked at herself in the big silver mirror above the sink. She started bawling until she seen a glimmer in her eye of an old gold mirror.
    She stepped towards the mirror and felt quite drawn to it. She picked the mirror up, looked into it and noticed a glow around herself. The moment she looked into the mirror and said out loud “I wish I knew were my husband Jayden was”. In the following moment she ends up in a mine on the other side of some rubble. She can hear her husband, Jayden saying “I wish someone would find me! I just struck gold then those 2 guys took their pick axes to the side of the mine. Now I have been stuck for days longing for my wife Lillian.”

    0

    • 1 July 2017 at 11:42 am

      Welcome to Microcosms, JK! Interesting story, although it’s more ‘Beam me up, Scotty” than time travel! 😉
      [ Maybe it’s not immediately clear, but the idea is to choose just ONE element from EACH of the THREE categories – character, setting and genre – to use as your prompt; you seem to have chosen TWO genres and one setting… oops! ]

      1+

      • Jk
        1 July 2017 at 5:49 pm

        Thank you Geoff for explaining! I was thinking all 3! Also the genres, I will make sure to really hone in on one!

        0

    • Sian Brighal
      2 July 2017 at 11:15 am

      Great story. Nice ending…rich in more ways than one.

      0

  17. Firdaus Parvez
    1 July 2017 at 12:26 am

    Darn I missed the deadline! I was travelling back in time. Next time maybe. Have been missing out on this for too long. Lovely entries.

    4+

    • 1 July 2017 at 11:22 am

      I’ve been meaning to get in touch with people like yourself, Firdaus – previously regular contributors to Microcosms – to say you have been missed and to find out if you might be enticed back. Great to hear that’s on the cards in your case.

      As for the other problem, I suppose it’s better that travelling forward in time, finding that you are this week’s Judge’s Pick, then not getting back in time to submit the entry! 😀

      1+

      • Firdaus Parvez
        2 July 2017 at 2:06 am

        Hahaha Geoff that could happen right? Lol. You’re amazing. I’ll try to be on time next week. I’ve missed all the lovely people and their stories here. Thanks for your sweet words. 🙂

        0

  18. 1 July 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Greetings, all.
    Wouldn’t you know that just as the summer heats up, work gets crazy. That’s life, that’s what all the people say. At least that’s what Frank sang.
    I know I’m too late for “The Competition”. That’s cool. I wrote this yesterday while taking some respite from work and when I came home to upload it the grandsons (6 and 2.5 years) were here. The city has torn up our street for new utilities so we had to explore every bulldozer and like piece of equipment around the block, plus find some really nice rocks to bring home. And then when I finally looked at the clock it was 10:59 CT. Alas (only writers say Alas) there it was.
    ANYWAY….

    Here’s the story I wrote for my own and possibly your entertainment. Read it if you wish or not. All writing makes us better for it.
    And as always, thanks for reading me.
    Bill

    detective_1800s_drama staying with the time travel theme
    300 words

    PLAYING JACK’S GAME

    He slid the headpiece into place. Instantly the visor came alive with data. Via the numerous electrodes plugged into every place one could possibly put one, plus a couple more he hadn’t anticipated, his vital signs were being measured, recorded, and projected. Nothing was left to chance.
    “Are you ready, Mike?” said the technician.
    “Let’s do this.”
    He reached out and pushed “Play”. If all went as designed his consciousness would join with that of a real person living in 1888 London. This would be the greatest VR game ever.

    For a second everything went dark. He purposely slowed breath yet his heart raced as he waited for the connection. When it came the light slammed against his eyes like a truck hitting a wall of sandbags. It took a few seconds to break free and see where, and who, he was.
    It was night. A man standing in front of him was writing on a pad of paper.
    “Are you alright, Mary? You look a bit flush.”
    Mary? Had he joined with a woman? This opened up many wondrous marketing possibilities. He sat back to enjoy the ride.
    “I think so, Detective. I did feel a bit odd for a moment.”
    “I’ll leave you then. I suggest you end your business for tonight and head home straight away. Whitechapel isn’t safe place until we catch this Mad Jack whose running around.”
    “Yes, sir, I will.”
    Her business? Was Mary a prostitute? This was getting better all the time.
    Heavy shadows sliced across the dimly lit alley. Mary hesitated. But it was the quickest way home. Neither she nor her hidden companion felt the knife enter from behind, then cut up with surgical precision.

    Alarms flashed on every monitor.
    “Mike, what happened? Can you hear me? Wake up!”

    2+

    • 2 July 2017 at 2:55 am

      Pity you missed the deadline as this is very good. Love the concept.

      0

    • Sian Brighal
      2 July 2017 at 11:17 am

      Yes, shame you missed the deadline, but I’m so glad you added it. Great idea and tense build-up. Fantastic read.

      0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar