Thanks to all who put their thinking caps on and wrote a piece to celebrate Mad Hatter Day – is that really a thing, KM?!
Geoff here, standing in for KM, to post the results of round 92.
We had a huge increase in the number of entries this time – 28 in total. This was due to a tsunami of first time entrants. In the 13 contests we posted in the last quarter of the year, there were a total of 22 new entrants; already in the first contest of Q4, we had entries from 15 first-timers! Welcome to Microscosms all of you. We hope that you will become regular contributors and help to build this wonderful flash fiction community.
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.
Thanks to MC 91 Judge’s Pick, Steve Lodge who kindly agreed to act as judge for this contest. Here’s what he had to say:
Many thanks for the opportunity to judge this competition – and what an expansive collection this week. 28 stories: is this a record? Doesn’t matter. I spent an enjoyable time over several café lattes at the Green Lotus, reading all the entries a number of times. What was clear, as always, was just how much enthusiasm the writers put into their stories. Thanks to all who entered.
A difficult task for a judge, then. Especially for someone like me, who, as a rule, cannot be in the same room as a decision. Anyhoo, here are the results.
Favourite / Favorite Lines
Bill Engleson – “They have schools for that, Lance. I’m gonna steer you in that direction, okay?”
Geoff Le Pard – And if his complexion was more Everglow than Everest, his nose was less the blob than reality.
Nancy M Beach – How can this shadow of a girl show up at the eleventh hour and snatch away my prize?
Dave Allen – “Damn you, Wells!!” shouted the lady.
Katelyn – “Would you too lover birds shut up?! It’s just paintball.”
Eloise – I was still fighting for relish but that was a story for another day.
Angelique Pacheco – Tumbleweeds rolled across the dusty road like a cliché of old.
David Johnson – “I saw you guys were hiring and I came down for an interview, and they hired me.”
Jimmy Hernandez – He began nearing the excavator with a knife in his mouth.
Alison – The mother gave me a thankful look.
Irene – His first wife once told me that she loved Amos more than 1000 salmon.
Ella Steyer – The monster looked hard and strangely robotic.
Elijah – I awoke overjoyed, knowing that today I would become the ruler of my own kingdom.
Fire Fury – I rolled over onto my back, but not because I was itchy.
M. Levi – Witches weren’t supposed to use their powers in front of anyone.
Cassandra Day – Using my superior sneaking skills, I walked by undetected.
Fearless – Whenever I look at the ocean, past the grass, it reminds me of my dark past.
Fearless – All the pain came over me like a wave.
Steph Ellis – On cue the crowds parted and Charlie saw they had cleared a path to a gallows on the edge of the silent bayou.
Liz Elliott – Her team gave her a cup of tea and a biscuit.
JK – It took months to figure out who the skeletons were.
Stephen Shirres – Now the wrinkles and lines are hidden by white hair and beard.
Rachel Carpenter – When I did, I heard a spine-tingling scream.
Gloria Blumfeldt – Inside was cold and sent chills down my spine.
Jaden – Brian walked over to the cat and slowly crouched down beside it.
Paula Nutt – Haven’t seen a pile of horses that big since the Great Blizzard of ’78.
Nina – I gasped for air as cold, fleshy fingers enclosed around my neck.
Geoff Holme – It’s well known that it dwells / in remote scotious dells / in the jungle near Knocknaheeney.
Honorable / Honourable Mentions
Angelique Pacheco – Hijacked
Ella Steyer – The Monster from the Closet
Both provided good, honest tales (tails?) from the perspective of two very different cats – one outdoorsy and the other domesticated.
Cassandra Day – One Last Adventure
Nice wordplay throughout. Lots of choice for a favourite line. Finishing with a good twist.
Steph Ellis – Money for Old Rope
Set the scene well. Good, claustrophobic imagery, then the twist that he is driving himself to his own hanging. Great last line.
And now, without further ado, we present the winners of Microcosms 92.
(insert drumroll here)
M. Levi – The Gavel
Witch; Courtroom; Drama
The doors opened and Ryla entered the crowded courtroom, feeling eyes burning through her. She blinked hard, trying not to panic, resisting the urge to run away. Witches weren’t supposed to use their powers in front of anyone. Doing this trial went against better judgement. She took a deep breath. There were only the bright lights of the room and the watching eyes and the unanswered question.
Ryla met the eyes of the defendant, who looked back at her, terrified. She sat down across from the woman accused of murder and took her hands. They were cold and clammy and shaking a bit. Ryla closed her eyes, trying to use her skills to divine whether the accused had actually killed her father. ‘I’m sorry,’ she thought, ‘I don’t know why I’m here, I’m such a bad witch, I don’t know how right I’ll even be and please don’t be a murderer…’ The eyes of everyone in the room bored into her.
Thoughts washed over Ryla, terrified and jumbled. The woman was named Sabrina Davis and she was afraid of witches, but she was more afraid of heights and her father, and her favorite food was pineapple pizza and her favorite movie was Bladerunner. She hated the watching eyes and she hated Ryla and she hated herself and she hated her father, she once stood on the roof but never considered jumping, she had almost been married, though she had never told anyone–
Ryla jerked her eyes open, knowing the answer, and Sabrina Davis stared back, her eyes screaming for Ryla to lie, to save her, but Ryla couldn’t, she could only sit frozen, there were only the thoughts of everyone in the room pounding at her and dragging her under like a riptide, and then the watchful eyes…
Geoff Holme – Nonsense Verse
I’m very partial to a bit of nonsense and this was a stand-out from start to finish. A pure gem. I loved every line.
My Choice: Bird / Jungle / Poetry
(Special Challenge – create something silly – accepted!)
The Zwoodle Bird, with pokled glee,
Builds its nest in a slim flimflam tree;
It’s well known that it dwells
In remote scotious dells
In the jungle near Knocknaheeney.
The Zwoodle has wiry-haired knees
That whistle and wheeze in the breeze.
This may cause some disquiet,
But its principal diet
Is baloney and tripe, served with peas.
In the spring before it gets too late,
The male Zwoodle, to increase birthrate,
Takes a brief flight of fancy
In the hopes there’s a chance he
May find a wyndiferous mate.
The autumnous climate of late
Has not left Zwoodle birds in a state;
They are snug in all weathers
In a fez of horse feathers
Protecting their sleek, glabrous pate.
As it says in my clympous guidebook:
“In the brook known as Gobbledegook,
You’ll spend many an hour
Searching each jagrhine bower
And spoonerous nanny and crook…
In the tanquerine jimblewig mist,
the Zwoodle Bird’s easily missed;
There’s no knabrous mirage
Or gandreeth camouflage,
For the Zwoodle bird doesn’t exist.”
I will be hosting Microcosms 93, so it’s congratulations to M. Levi! As this week’s Community Pick, you are invited to judge the next round of Microcosms. Please click HERE to let us know whether or not you are interested!