RESULTS – Microcosms 87

Thanks to all who submitted an entry to Microcosms 87. I personally found them all very moving… (Geddit?!) There were 15 entries this week (plus, once again, one VERY late one).

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.

Last week’s Judge’s Pick Bill Engleson returned yet again as judge for this contest. Here’s what he had to say:

As honoured as I am to be judging Microcosms 87, there is, inherent in stepping away from the fun of microcosmic flash writing for a week, a slight sense of loss. These days, as a retiree, writing on my own schedule, marching to my own tone deaf drummer, free to squander time or use every second fastidiously, I often set the clock by such delights as Microcosms. Not totally, of course, but I am a creature of habit, of comforting routine.
This week’s theme is moving houses. A few weeks ago, I attended a 50th anniversary reunion of a communal house (two massive houses with close to twenty bedrooms). Decades ago, when I lived there, we often had “room shuffles”. Initially, one room would become vacant. Like dominoes, someone would want that room and this would free up their room. That room would need to be filled. Another space was created. The only way to curtail everyone going on the move was to bring in somebody new. Exciting times…moving inches.
Around the world – Texas, Louisiana, Bangladesh, Nepal, India – thousands of homes are awash in nature’s fury. Millions of lives are floundering. Hundreds of thousands of homes compromised at best, destroyed at worst.
It never seems like we have seen it before…but we have.
Perhaps it’s all too much for us writers. While there were no flash fiction sundries this week about all that soggy soil, those drowning people and water-logged houses, there were a bevy of tales about the intricacies of lives moved in and out of houses, lighthouses, heavy houses drenched with dread. And there were yummy sagas of human-eating beds and other horrifying glutinous pastimes.
And humour. A jiggling bellyworth of that as well.
Thank you all. Without further a doo doo, my judgement.

Bill

 Favourite / Favorite Lines

John Herbert – If it’s good enough for Woolf, I thought, I’ll head to the lighthouse, escape herself and her dalliances with dilettantes, come down to the dunes and the snot-green sea and write.
Ell Meadow – Now I know I was not supposed to take the sink, and it did take me a considerable amount of time detaching it from the wall, but I had a good reason.
Danny Beusch – I drilled the hole, assuming that the white dust was plaster, cursing myself for not covering the mattress.
Louise Hopewell – In reality Damon was as disappointing as the Cape, his conversation consisting mainly of wind and grunts.
Carol Rosalind Smith – Once divided the wardrobe easily fitted up the stairs, where Bob glued and braced it back together.
Nthato Morakabi – To think I’d be moving back to that woman who claims to be my mother but treats me like a bad rash.
Eloise – Let’s see what we have. Impala, Zebra, Kudu and human. Human?”
Dave Allen – “Yes, Agents. meat is murder, tasty, tasty, murder.”
M Levi – He left again, leaving her alone with the bloody clothes and a half-cooked stew and a blindingly steamy kitchen.
JK – Baking and eating fattening butter cookies until we couldn’t move.
Angelique Pacheco – A strange little man with beady eyes watched them from a distance and, being a good judge of character, he decided to help.
Steph Ellis – It had been a long day and both Gregg and Diane were dead to the world.
Dave Allen – I took a harpoon that was gracing the wall (he thought it was a cool decoration), and viciously drove it into his chest.
Caleb Echterling – Warped floorboards danced the Charleston as Janice and Tameka sloughed the piano off their shoulders.
Valita Suzanne – It had been a hiding place for the son that came after, a skinny boy with a dimple in his left cheek.

 

Special Mention – Best  or Longest Title

I regret to inform you that no one really picked up the best or longest title this week. As someone who usually spends more time constructing titles than writing the bit, I am sorely disappointed. With intoxicatingly engineered titles the likes of “The Bed”, “The Laundress”, “The Wardrobe” and yes, even everyone and his/her mother’s item of last resort, “The Kitchen Sink”, why, it was enough to make this Judge want to leave the Court, penniless and homeless, and run screaming madly into the streets.
Or maybe I place too much emphasis on titles.
Thankfully, Jimmy, Marcel and the Second-Best Bed tried somewhat modestly to satisfy my longing for meandering length.

 

Honorable / Honourable Mentions

Angelique Pacheco – The Unexpected Gift

I kept waiting for a twist, a slick movement to horror or death, a witty wrap-up, a knee-slapper. But the unexpected gift was a sweet story of disruption and generosity. Thank you.

 

Caleb Echterling – Songs of the Sea

This tale was simply pure fun. The images were rich, the whole brief story deserves a longer telling. The punch line was a hoot, the musical references a pleasure. The title was tasteful but perhaps deserving of expansion. That quibble aside, we Flash Fiction people appreciate The Village People.

 

Second Runner-up

Danny Beusch – Powder Your Nose

In North America, death by fentanyl overdose (or poisoning) is at epidemic proportion. Not that “Powder Your Nose” is about that. Still, I was sucked in to the drug tale, the always sickly-sweet corrosiveness of addiction, the piercingly-hard snag of love swagging lovers down into the pit. And of course, the punch line: why no pictures should ever be hung on the wall.

 

First Runner-up

John Herbert – Jimmy, Marcel and the Second-Best Bed

I loved the voice here, Jimmy’s banter with Magnus, (a cat, I assume, and the delightful Magnum O’Puss* that I would have given my cat’s eyeteeth to create…sorry Shadow and Jasmine) the almost casual acceptance of Nora’s infidelities, the recordings, the back pain. And the Lighthouse escape.

Jimmy is the penultimate example of the self-absorbed, ridiculously-forgiving writer. Surely many of us can relate (not for the tolerance but for the writerly self-absorption).

And then there is Trieste. I passed through it once. I don’t remember it being that cheap.

[* Bill spotted the flaw in what would otherwise have been a fantastic feline pun: although ‘opus’ seems  to be a masculine noun, it is, in fact, neuter, so the literary phrase should be ‘magnum opus’. GH]

 

And now, without further ado, we present the winners of Microcosms 87.

 

(insert drumroll here)

 

Community Pick

Ell Meadow – The Kitchen Sink

278 words
Kitchen Sink; Cottage; Thriller

I packed everything including the kitchen sink. Now I know I was not supposed to take the sink, and it did take me a considerable amount of time detaching it from the wall, but I had a good reason.

When I moved into this cottage I was delighted with its rustic charm, the blowzy roses over the door, the low beams in the upstairs bedroom, the leaky tap in the bath that dripped all night (it kept me up at first, but later became a metronomic counterpoint to my nightly activities), and of course the cat from next door that caught mice and left them on my doorstep; but the delight soon faded. I grew tired of banging my head on the beam, the rose petals blew indoors and scented the cottage with their overblown sweetness, I much preferred other odours, which brings me to the kitchen sink.

I washed my dishes in that sink. I washed my hands in it, after gardening, especially after planting those special plants. I am attached to my sink; too attached – I suspect that my gardening has left too much evidence in that sink, and so when I came to leave this delightful place, having planted all I can in its small garden, I cleaned thoroughly, washing the last of my tools in the sink, when I found myself staring thoughtfully into its depths. As the last of the blood swirled down the drain, I thought I could not leave it. I must take it with me. Perhaps I shall install it in the small cottage I have found in Portsmouth, I am sure that I shall be gardening there too.

 

Judge’s Pick

Valita Suzanne – The Wardrobe

Trieste and self-absorbed writers aside, “The Wardrobe”, hands down, was my favourite flash this week.

This was such a fine mood-poem, a gorgeous allegory dripping of time and love. I was swallowed willingly into the deep anguished grain of the Wardrobe’s oak skin, huddled close to the singing boy, brought to tears by the hum of his mother for as long as she waited in the dark closet, lost in the loneliness of the silent cottage. So beautiful. And I apologize for sounding like Trump here.

297 words
Wardrobe; Cottage; Memoir

It was an oak wardrobe, old and respectable like a wealthy aristocrat who had attained a great age, and yet looked the same at eighty as he had at forty. Its home was at Hiraeth cottage in Tír na hóige, where it had stood proudly in the master bedroom since the house was built.

It was a tall wardrobe, though narrow, carved to depict scenes of battle and festival, moments of grief and terror, and great joy. What craftsman had taken it upon himself to shape it from the tree, no one knew, not even the wardrobe itself. It had only ever known the cottage.

It had been there when its first master found a lady who suited him, had stored her fine dresses for a time, before she sold all but one when the master died.

It had been a hiding place for the son that came after, a skinny boy with a dimple in his left cheek. He had carved his name on the inside of the wardrobe with a knife he’d stolen from the kitchen. The boy was fond of singing, but only ever did so behind the safety of the oak door, not knowing that his mother would sometimes slip off her shoes, and tiptoe to the side of the wardrobe to listen.

The wardrobe was sad in its way when the boy left home. His mother never wailed or wept, nor had she done so when the master died. But some nights she would sit inside the wardrobe and hum her boy’s songs quietly to herself before bed. Eventually she stopped coming. Eventually, the cottage was silent.

The wardrobe waited long before the boy returned, now a man, with a baby girl in his arms, whom he sang to sleep every night.

 

Congratulations, Valita. As the Judge’s Pick, you are invited to judge the next round of Microcosms. Please click HERE to let us know whether or not you are interested!

RESULTS - Microcosms 88
RESULTS - Microcosms 86

Post navigation

17 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

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.