Microcosms 102

Microcosms 102. Woo hoo!

Lots of interesting things happened today in history… the opening of Schindler’s List, Jean Paul Getty III was found in Italy, and famed bandleader Glenn Miller disappeared over the English Channel. All of those events are pretty intriguing to me, so I thought I’d use them all for inspiration.

Due to the late posting, the due date for this round will be 5:00 a.m., New York time, despite what it says below.

I’ve also included the “Your Choice” option once again. If you do use/choose the “Your Choice” option, please specify what it is that you’ve chosen.

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: Someone Who Vanishes, setting: Airplane, and genre: Your Choice.

Remember, if you do use/choose the “Your Choice” option, please specify what it is that you’ve chosen.


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 – character, setting and genre. 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 ***



  • Kidnap Victim
  • Billionaire
  • Bandleader
  • Someone Who Vanishes
  • Mafia
  • Prisoner
  • Guard
  • An Eccentric
  • Someone Hiding
  • Your Choice!
  • WWII
  • Concentration Camp
  • Airplane
  • Italy
  • Ocean
  • Your Choice!
  • Sci-Fi
  • Fantasy
  • Romance
  • Drama
  • Comedy
  • Poetry
  • Horror
  • Memoir
  • Crime
  • Steampunk
  • Western
  • Post-Apocalyptic
  • Historical
  • Alternate History
  • Fairy Tale
  • Choose Your Own Adventure
  • Your Choice!

Spin!


Judging this week is MC 101 winner, Jane Lomas.

All submissions should be a maximum of 300 words in length. You have until midnight, New York time (ET) 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 105
Microcosms 101
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41 comments for “Microcosms 102

  1. steve lodge
    15 December 2017 at 7:56 am

    Steelogian Codex No 17
    by Steve Lodge @steveweave71
    300 words
    My Choice: Policeman/Ocean/Crime/

    There were a number of cases on my desk at Scotland Yard, and they weren’t briefcases. My psychiatrist, Steelogian, insisted I take a break. “Illingworth,” he said “Get out of London. Get rest. Go and write the next chapter of your memoirs, you buffoon.”

    Well, Ralston, the axe murderer of Bethnal Green, was behind bars. When finally arrested, he had murdered 11 axes.
    Alfred Moribund, who buried people prematurely beneath the cellar of his pub, the Conquistador in Silvertown had made a schoolboy error, going off on holiday to the Essex coastal town of Blackwatch. He got sloppy, hired a boat, “The Frisky Rhino” and lured people aboard for “fishing trips.” They were never seen again. He was prematurely burying people at sea. Locals got suspicious, tipped the police. When arrested, he’d 37 wallets and purses on him.
    Then the Hart brothers, butchers by trade. We got them for selling human meat at Hendricks Road market.

    I took Steelogian’s advice, an ocean cruise with friends, Uwe Golem, the film director and the famed Italian criminologist, Shylock Holmio and his friend, Roman and countryman, Il Dottore Whatsap.

    Shylock spoke of cases we had worked together, especially the so-called Fear Dimension cast by the evil Silencio Santa Cruz and his girlfriend, a dreadful Scandinavian villainess called Elke Pone. I remember fighting Santa Cruz armed only with a bunch of shallots.

    First night in the ship’s cinema, in honour of Golem and Holmio being on board, Uwe’s 1942 film “Menace In Venice, The Merchant Of Tennis” was screened. In the film Shylock was played by a young Otis Cochise, probably about nine then, and looking ridiculous smoking a pipe. Dr Whatsap was played by American actor, Al Fresco. The critic Tarquin Fuse said the film was “incomprehensible.” Maybe because of the dubious dubbing.

    3+

    • 15 December 2017 at 1:34 pm

      Steve, my head won’t stop swimming. Fortunately, my body is treading water quite well. Scotland Yarn, indeed! This tale is like Rufus T. Firefly had morphed into a copper.

      1+

    • Alva Holland
      16 December 2017 at 12:59 am

      Elke Pone did it for me, Steve! Excellent as always. You crack me up!

      1+

  2. 15 December 2017 at 9:27 am

    someone who vanishes/airplane/humor
    296 words
    @GriffithsKL

    Tight Flight

    I pressed the call button. Pinned to my window seat by the slumped behemoth of a man, it was the only thing I could do. His flesh oozed beyond the arm rest, assaulting my left thigh with an intimate, maddening pressure. His body heat passed through his polyester pants, through my jeans and ignited a wick of claustrophobia. Wasn’t there a weight restriction on standard seats? If he could afford sustenance to maintain nether regions the size of Russia, he could afford a first-class seat that would contain them. 

    First-class’s seat tray could not be put down, for obvious reasons, so First-class had the plastic cup wedged between his legs, which he spread well into my section, as defined by the invisible, but no less real and authoritative line that extended from the end of his seat into the seats in front of us. First-class let out an animal grunt, snapped his gargantuan legs closed, cracking the plastic cup and spilling soda all over the seat and floor. His head lolled, unfortunately toward me, and there remained. Eyes closed. Mouth open.

    The seat belt sign was on, so I guessed that explained the absence of the blue-clad flight angel who should appear instantaneously, lean over the seat and ask in hushed, soothing tones, “Can I help you?” 

    Not like I hadn’t tried to rouse the sleeping leviathan myself. When that didn’t work I pressed the button. Seven times. It was moderately aerobic because I’m short and the ceiling buttons were just beyond my reach. Weren’t flight attendants handsomely paid to defy turbulence and saunter the tiny, lurching aisles like runway models? 

    Ten minutes later, still, no attendant.

    First-class roused and swung the arm rest up, unleashing the full scope of his girth. I all but vanished.

    5+

    • 15 December 2017 at 4:38 pm

      I feel your pain. Haven’t we all been there – whether train, plane or bus?

      1+

      • 15 December 2017 at 9:52 pm

        Haha… yes! I always hate waking people up when I’m on the window, and I thought, how awful would it be if they just didn’t wake up?

        0

    • Alva Holland
      16 December 2017 at 1:00 am

      Splendid story, Kelly. Was full sure the guy would somehow vanish! But no!

      1+

  3. 15 December 2017 at 9:37 am

    Kidnap victim, WWII, Sci-fi

    How WWII made strange bedfellows of Donald Tweeb and Adolf Hitler

    298 words

    @geofflepard

    Donald Tweeb was weedy, disposed to bursts of irrational anger, and resembled an Austrian painter. Like many he wanted to do his bit, as long as it was a little bit. At a recruiting day a pipe-smoking Yorkshireman pulled him to one side, flattering Donald and offering him a ‘unique’ opportunity. He was tried, tested and treated like a lab rat. Then they told him his purpose.
    ‘You, Donald, will end this war.’
    In terms of doing his bit, it was possibly a bit too much.
    ‘You will now be equipped for the most important job ever undertaken.’
    It almost sounded glamorous, until the ‘being equipped’ became clear. He was operated on, given weird medicines and gradually withdrawn into a sterile vacuum more redolent of Hollywood than home.
    ‘It is time.’ The men who had become his family lined up outside his glass room and clapped as he entered the transport chamber. Clean air and filtered light were pumped to him as he flew into the night.
    It seemed to take days but finally the bumps stopped, the bangs ceased and the cover was removed. He was inside a windowless room, surrounded by smoke. Many men watched him. One was his doppleganger but instead of fear he saw satisfaction. Stunned he stepped out and the mysteries of the last years became plain. The war was ending and he was dying for a cause he didn’t understand. The man he was replacing stepped into his box, said, ‘Danke’ and disappeared. If there was to be fame for Donald then it was only in his passing.
    And the new Donald Tweeb? He returned from his service with a strange accent, a tendency to give rousing speeches no one listened to, and a lingering sense of his own futility.

    2+

    • Alva Holland
      16 December 2017 at 1:03 am

      Super opening line, Geoff. Loved this story.

      0

  4. 15 December 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Billionaire; Ocean; Alternate History
    300 totally fabricated, completely impossible prophetic words
    @billmelaterplea
    http://www.engleson.ca

    At Sea in the Year, 2035, with a Big Bundle of Moolah and a Heart of Gold

    It is thought that the idea of the Billionaires Ingenuity Group originated with Harry Overton, a pharmacist who had invented the Perfecto Pleasure Pill, the TRIPLE P as it was popularly known, which had become the biggest selling aphrodisiac of all time.

    Like the late great President Donald Trump, Overton had been a keen observer of world tragedy, of mass migration and the natural human inclination to solve large problems that would benefit humanity.

    Initially, Overton sought out two well-placed peers, Vlad Putin, still going strong at eighty-three, and Lucien Absolutus, CEO of the world’s greatest, most monumental cruise line, Superior Sails.

    They agreed to meet in Marseilles.
    “Lucien. Vlad. I’m so glad you agreed to help. The thought of the hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children flailing away their lives on the sea, in the sea, haunts me daily.”

    “I too am somewhat concerned, Harry,” offered Vlad. “Oh, one can almost become immune to this…how shall I say…this sea of humanity. It seems endless. So, what is your idea?”

    “Gentleman, I propose that we three, dare I say, incredibly wealthy men, seek out our peers, form a humanitarian combine…lets call it the Billionaires Ingenuity Group…BIG, if you will, pool our massive resources and solve this catastrophic crisis that seems to have no end.”

    “BIG, indeed!” added Lucien Absolutus. “How do you envision this, Harry? I mean, if we do get help, the cost would be immense. Nothing like this has ever been tried before. Dunkirk, maybe, but even that would seem like a rubber dinghy ride in a fish pond compared to what you propose.”

    “Wealth has responsibility, my friends. To start with, we must have access to hundreds of cruise ships. Beyond that, food, ports of entry…ARE YOU WITH ME?”

    “Yes, Harry,” both said. “WE ARE!”

    3+

    • 15 December 2017 at 8:17 pm

      Props for the subtlety, “…the late great President Donald Trump…”

      1+

    • Alva Holland
      16 December 2017 at 1:07 am

      Excellent, Bill. We can but wish!

      1+

  5. 15 December 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Person who dissapears/Airplane/Plain fiction (realism?)
    187 words
    @VicenteLRuiz

    Flying alone by night under the stars, the engine roar my only company. That is usually a pleasure.

    Not tonight. Tonight, the storm is raging outside. I can barely see through my windshield, as the sweepers struggle uselessly against the wind and the rain pelting the airplane skin.

    Then lightning strikes, and for a second, I see.

    I wish I didn’t. I find myself surrounded by black clouds, electric discharges slithering from one to the next. It’s only a question of time that one finds the metal of my airframe.

    Then what?

    I don’t have to wait long to know.

    It must be some kind of miracle, because the engine stutters for a second, but the propeller keeps churning the air. One glance is all I need to know my instruments are fried. The altimeter is gone. The compass is spinning wildly.

    The storm rattles the airplane.

    When the next lightning strikes, I discover that I can no longer see where I’m going. Or even where’s up or down. I cannot tell the sky from the sea.

    All I can do is keep flying, and hope.

    Hope.

    2+

    • Alva Holland
      16 December 2017 at 1:08 am

      There is always hope, until there is none. Well done, Vicente.

      0

  6. 15 December 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Your choice: A country squire/Your choice: a winding road/ fairy tale
    Word Count: 285
    @DRAllen201

    Mirglip and The Squire

    Once upon a time a young country Squire was out lunting his way down the winding road that headed to his country manor with his favourite pipe. He was thinking about his next venture and what it might take to be a success when he chanced upon a strange little man.

    “Excuse me, Squire Stanley, could I have a moment?” asked the little man.

    Surprised at the use of his name, Squire Stanley nodded his ascent.

    “My name is Mirglip and I am given to understand you are about to start a new venture?”

    “That’s correct,” Squire Stanley said, “do I know you?”

    “I live in your protectorate sir and wanted to give you some advice on how to succeed.”

    Unable to think of any good reason not to, Squire Stanley gave Mirglip permission to give his advice. Mirglip reached into his pocket and handed a small rolled up parchment to Squire Stanley. He took the offered scroll and read.

    In order to succeed these are the practices you need:
    1. Validate the system
    2. Blaspheme the Pilgrims
    3. Shorune the downser

    Looking up Squire Stanley saw that Mirglip had just vanished. He looked back to the small scroll, chuckled to himself and placed it in his pocket.

    Years later when asked about his success, Squire Stanley brought the scroll out and showed it to the one who asked the question.

    “Why this is just plain nonsense, how could this have helped you.”

    “Mirglip took time out of his day to give me the advice to succeed he thought I needed. I keep this to remind me that the people that patron me and my businesses are all special, so I treat them as such.” Squire Stanley said.

    4+

    • Alva Holland
      16 December 2017 at 1:10 am

      Loving the name, Mirglip! You should claim rights to this, Dave. Great story with a fab and unexpected ending.

      0

  7. Angelique Pacheco
    15 December 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Words: 232

    Prisoner/ Concentration camp/ own choice (Drama)

    Flicker of Hope

    He crept closer. It would have been silent but for the hammering of his heart against his ribs. If he was caught, he would see the next sunrise in front of a firing squad.

    The hens were calm. The odd comfort cackle rose into the air. A gentle flicker of wings. It was now or never. He stuck his hand in the coop and grabbed a hen. Before she could squawk, her neck was snapped and she lay limply in his hands. Still warm with life.

    He sat frozen. Had he been heard? Light began to spill out from the window as a curtain moved. He wished his heart would stop trying to escape from his body. The curtain closed, taking the light with it. He slowly let out the breath he had held for minutes and crawled back to his barracks as the darkness swallowed him up.

    They were waiting for him. They, with their bulging eyes and hollowed out cheeks. They, with their grey, waxy complexions that melted into the landscape. He peered into the hole. Wood and kindling awaited a spark. He began packing mud tightly around the dead bird while Jean lit the fire. When it was blazing, he dropped the chicken in, and covered it with sand, concealing the crime. It would be ready tomorrow and the Germans would be outwitted once more.

    His name was Richard Maassen and he survived Bergen-Belsen.

    3+

    • Alva Holland
      16 December 2017 at 1:39 am

      A harrowing tale, beautifully written, Angelique.

      1+

  8. Alva Holland
    15 December 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Alva Holland
    @Alva1206
    299 words
    Kidnap Victim/Ocean/Crime

    Fish Fingers

    ‘Deadline’s gone. They haven’t paid up. It’s concrete shoes time.’

    ‘Oy! Fingers! Get your sorry ass over here. This one’s history.’

    ‘Clogs, you’re in charge of the blocks – do the job properly. Don’t want this one floating back up.’

    ‘Radar, get the boat.’

    ‘Snake, when we get there, uncoil the rope.’

    ‘Hawk-Eye, keep a watch out for those patrol boats. Clutch has their turnaround times worked out – you’ll have 20 minutes max to dump the vic five miles out in the Specific. Got it?’

    ‘Got it, Boss.’

    Four heavies filed into the warehouse after The Legbreaker left, knowing if they slipped up this time, it’d be their feet in slabs kicking up the coral reef.’

    ‘Psst! Did you clock her though? Bit of alright, aint she?

    ‘Shut-up Snake. Better not let the Boss hear you. Why didn’t they pay up?’

    ‘How do I know? I’d have paid for her, no sweat.’

    ‘With what? Your welfare slips. Get a grip man. Let’s do the job, collect and get outta here.’

    ‘Got a bad feeling about this one.’

    ‘Radar, you’ve always got a bad feeling. Boss’ll chop your antenna off it you don’t get a move on.’

    Radar walked with his legs closer together.

    ‘Clogs! Got the blocks?’

    ‘Yea, where’s the vic?’

    ‘She’s with Fingers. Where did he go? Oy! Fingers, didn’t Boss tell you get your sorry ass over here?’

    Fingers?

    Eight chopped fingers and two thumbs lay scattered on the floor of the lockup, alongside their mate’s body.

    The heavies knew they were toast, burnt toast, hanged, drawn and quartered toast, if the boss got wind of this.

    The vic had escaped. There was only one thing to do.

    They bundled fingerless Fingers and his digits into the truck. They would finish the job – concrete shoes, different size.

    4+

  9. 15 December 2017 at 4:34 pm

    I Vanished Once

    74 words
    Elements: someone who vanished, concentration camp, poetry

    @el_Stevie

    I vanished once, only to reappear
    Here
    Beneath smoking skies
    A shadowed husk
    Standing on dead soil

    I vanished again
    Name faded to numbers
    Inked on flesh
    A tattooed death
    Yet to come

    Warm arms cradled me
    Skin against skin
    Huddled together
    Beneath a descending fog
    And I vanished one last time

    I am someone who vanished
    I am one of millions
    But we did not disappear
    We are here
    To remind you
    Always

    4+

    • Alva Holland
      16 December 2017 at 1:40 am

      Never ever to be forgotten. Thank you, Steph.

      0

  10. 15 December 2017 at 5:07 pm

    Susi J Smith
    @Susi_Moff
    242 Words
    Character: Someone Who Vanishes, setting: Airplane, and genre: Humour

    The Field

    I sat in the field looking around, still fastened to my seat by the thin strap across my lap. Luscious, green grass filled the flat horizon. Cerulean sky spattered with white, wispy clouds stretched down to meet the ground. It was idyllic, romantic. But where was the plane?
    Disconnecting my seatbelt, I walked, running my fingers through the tall grass, breathing in the scent of manure. Six minutes ago I was on my way to New York. Six minutes ago it was her sister’s third wedding. Six minutes ago it was five maxed out credit cards and a seat between two screaming toddlers.
    Smiling, I lay down, placed a buttercup stem in my mouth and my hands behind my head.

    Andy sat in the middle of the narrow aisle, chequered picnic blanket presenting ham sandwiches to an angry airhostess.
    “Get back in your seat sir; the seatbelt light’s still on.”
    “I…I…”
    “Let me show you.” For a petite brunette with an inflated cleavage, she had the muscles of an Amazon. Her child-like hand gripped his shoulder, hauling him to his feet and propelling him towards a space on the floor between two tired, tantruming toddlers.
    Andy winced as his bundled blanket was dropped into his lap.
    “Excuse me?” A stern woman with a tight bun and beady eyes leant forward from the seat behind.
    “Yes?”
    “I believe these are yours.”
    Andy looked down at the small bundle of credit cards and groaned.

    2+

    • Alva Holland
      16 December 2017 at 1:42 am

      I had to read this a few times! Loved that final line, Susi.

      1+

      • 20 December 2017 at 3:27 am

        Yeah, section break looked good on Word but pretty small on here lol. Thanks 🙂

        0

  11. 15 December 2017 at 8:07 pm

    Title: Never Fly in the Rain
    Word Count: 300
    Elements: Someone Who Vanishes/Airplane/Fantasy

    Patricia sat terrified. Her eyes remained closed as the thunderstorm raged outside. An air pocket returned a queasy stomach to her throat. It had been two hours since take off, and she was convinced that the final destination of the flight would be a mountainside or a lake. A prayer to whatever God would listen escaped trembling lips.

    A moment of calm washed over Patricia and her stomach settled. One eye opened, then the other. An empty cabin looked back. Calm turned into confusion as she stood and inspected her surroundings. ‘Perhaps the plane landed already,’ she thought to herself. All the windows were covered by the plastic pull down shades and no engine sounds could be heard. She moved towards the front of the plane and saw a flight attendant standing by the exit door.

    “Excuse me? Did we land already?”

    The man smiled and gestured towards the exit. Patricia moved towards the exit and an uneasy feeling gathered in her stomach. She paused for a moment at the edge of the open door.

    “How long have we been on the ground?”

    “We?” the man asked.

    The first step out the door sent her tumbling into a free fall. Wind rushed through her hair and long screams escaped her lips. The ground spiraled towards her at a terminal velocity. Death laughed and opened his arms for a sweet embrace.

    The jolt of her body waking up caused the man in the business suit next to her to give a dirty look. The captain’s voice flooded the fully packed cabin.

    “Ladies and gentlemen, we have landed safely at our final destination. The local time is 10:23PM and the temperature outside is 68 degrees. Thank you for choosing us as your carrier of choice. Enjoy your evening.”

    2+

  12. 15 December 2017 at 8:26 pm

    The Diary of A Gentleman
    By Stephen Shirres (@The_Red_Fleece)
    A 300 word Steampunk tale about Someone Who Vanishes from an Airplane

    They have some cheek, as if I would know anything about young Lady Millerhart disappearing off one of those silly plane things. Why would I know dear reader? When I asked the same question of the peelers interviewing me, their language was quite unprintable I tell you, unprintable. Shocking they let such un-educated fellows be officers of our majestic majesty’s law.
    Once there language returned to polite society they informed me, again, I was the last person seen talking to the Lady. I’m sure they are quite correct but all I was doing was advising her to take the zeppelin with me to the Rivera. A much classier form of travel without the smog and the roar and a better class of passenger. Her response, and I write this as accurate as if it was a gramophone, was ‘your offer is of no interest to me.’ An odd response to a recommendation I grant you but nothing which suggests I would threaten her person.
    The most obvious candidates are those nasty fellows from Ireland’s Republican Army, a bunch of thugs who scream freedom in odd accents. She is, for those who do not educate themselves daily with The Times of London, the daughter of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. I keep telling my questioning peelers this over and over in ever simpler words but it is of no use. They’d rather focus on my brief conversation with the sweet fragranced lady.
    At this point I shall be point out my language feel to their level. I know my dear readers a gentleman should do better but I was frustrated at their constant questioning when they were not listening to my answers. As I kept telling them I only suggested the young Lady Millerhart travel with me.

    3+

    • Alva Holland
      16 December 2017 at 1:46 am

      ‘They’d rather focus on my brief conversation with the sweet fragranced lady.’ Love this line, Stephen! Great story.

      0

  13. 15 December 2017 at 9:48 pm

    252 Words, Character: Someone who vanishes; Setting: Airplane; Genre: Fantasy

    Gat’im couldn’t remember when the skies had fell from the Earth, or when Earth had left the stars behind. He watched the rains trickle down the window of the cabin, beneath a cloudless storm. The craft bobbed atop endless waters almost as dark as the sky, sloshing up and down again.
    For a time the ocean dominated the world, featureless save for cresting waves on the horizon, where the water might’ve met a shoal or sandbar, if there was anything below. Once or twice, Gat’im could make out sharp edges jutting from the water, only to resolve into mists as the plane approached.
    There was enough food on board, packages of peanuts and pretzels, mini-bottles of water, to last for some time. Long enough for someone to find him, he hoped. When he slept, he could hear chatter from the pilots, broken by static, and fading as he woke. The cockpit was locked from the inside, yet no matter how hard he banged on the door or shouted, he was met with silence.
    At first, the rains had drove him mad, drip dripping against the panes of glass like incessant whispers. Still, the return to silence was worse, and the dread for the end of the storm was nigh unbearable.
    Gat’im wandered up and down the aisle, exploring every corner of his new domain, and waited. He waited with dread for the end of the storms, and slept in the silence. Up and down he bobbed, waiting for the stars to return.

    3+

    • Alva Holland
      16 December 2017 at 1:48 am

      A scattering of favourite lines throughout this story, Noel. Well done.

      0

  14. Caleb Echterling
    15 December 2017 at 11:47 pm

    Caleb Echterling
    @CalebEchterling
    kidnap victim/concentration camp/comedy

    300 words

    Hand Over the Glitter, or the Girl Gets It

    Pre-teen girls sat on wooden benches, their postures mimicking The Thinker, if Rodin’s masterpiece had been working on an extra-large bowel movement. Penelope tilted toward her neighbor, Jenny, and whispered, “This is the worst summer camp ever.”

    A ruler cracked across her knuckles. A nun glowered at Penelope. “Here at the Sacred Heart Summer Camp to Teach Flighty Girls How to Concentrate, do we talk while we’re concentrating, Ms. Jones?”

    “No, Sister.” She stretched out the words like a 45 playing at 33 ⅓.

    When they sat down for lunch, Penelope and Jenny huddled close. “Did you finish the ransom note? It’s the only way we’ll get more glitter for pinecone crafts tomorrow.”

    “I’ve got the first four words. Cutting letters out of a catechism is super hard.”

    “We’ll need more food. All I gave Ashley for breakfast was six jellybeans. Quick, create a diversion.”

    Jenny shouted, “There’s two squirrels kissing and nailing The Ninety-five Theses to the door.” During the scramble, Penelope jammed a half-eaten hot dog under her shirt. The two girls ran out the back of the dining hall.

    They spent fifteen minutes patrolling the lakeshore and turning over pinecones. “Maybe I left her under that pinecone there,” Penelope pointed.

    Jenny groaned. “You can’t remember where you left the hostage? Think harder.” Penelope held a pinecone to her ear. Jenny shook her friend’s shoulders. “Concentrate. You’ve got to concentrate.”

    Penelope stroked her chin. “That’s it! I stashed her under my bunk.”

    “But you’ve got a top bunk.”

    “Okay, then. She’s in your bed.”

    They raced back to their cabin, to find Ashley sprawled across the bed perusing The Unabridged Works of John Calvin. “Here’s half a hot dog. Sorry we’re such lousy kidnappers.”

    “No sweat. Being kidnapped is way better than going to this camp all day.”

    2+

    • Alva Holland
      16 December 2017 at 1:49 am

      Super! Great to see you back here, Caleb.

      0

  15. 18 December 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Rebekah/spaceship/Western
    300 words

    Kittycat

    Sheriff Rebekah, pronounced with the stress on the last syllable, hovered the posse of space capsules over the empty homestead. It’s owner, Miss Kitty, captured by the so-called Ned Kelly gang wanted by law enforcement agencies across the galaxy.
    Dang if any gang is going to run off with my girl. Varmints will be dust on my shift. He called his Deputy in the satellite space ship. “Any sign of them, Ethan?”
    “Yes, sirree, Sheriff. Sending the co-ordinates now.”
    In seconds, the screen highlighted the band of pirate space hoppers herding cattle towards their spaceship called the Okay Corral.
    “Is the barrier in position, Deputy?”
    “Sure is, with no access to their ship. They cannot escape unless they go below ground.”
    Rebekah snorted and gave the signal for his posse to roll. With a roar, the three capsules whizzed into position, flanking the sheriff, and they streamed through the desert air in a one, two, one formation.
    Within feet of the spaceship, the hoppers began shooting, and Rebekah and his team returned fire. His capsule sailed close enough to make out the bearded man at the console, with Miss Kitty beside him, a steel band around her body restraining her to the chair. She looked up and winked at him, raising her knee to ease her hand to her boot. The sheriff dodged the flak, swung to the side, and activated the flamethrower. The gang leader jerked as the metal burned. Kitty took the opportunity to throw the knife from her boot into her captor’s neck then she curled into the crash position as Ned Kelly slumped over the controls.
    With the gang leader down, the remaining pirates surrendered.
    Live pictures of the shoot-out at the Okay Corral spread through the galaxy making Rebekah and Kitty rich and famous.

    1+

    • 22 December 2017 at 2:02 am

      Welcome to Microcosms, Lynda.
      Unfortunately, you omitted to check out the rules of the competition – always a good idea! Microcosms is a 24 HOURS only contest, from 00.00 – 23:59 New York time (EST) each FRIDAY, so your submission was well after the deadline.
      Also the ‘Character’ element is meant to be a generic type – Kidnap Victim, Billionaire, Bandleader, etc.; you specified the name of a character, instead of ‘Sheriff’ which would have been a ‘YOUR CHOICE’ selection (although, since Miss Kitty has been captured by the gang, you could have specified the character element in this week’s contest as ‘Kidnap Victim’).
      I hope this does not deter you from entering future contests.

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      • 19 January 2018 at 7:10 pm

        Thank you. I thought I read somewhere to ignore the countdown clock, so must have misunderstood.
        As I did for the names. Duh!
        Will do better next time.
        Lynda

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  16. 19 December 2017 at 5:20 pm

    I forgot to sign up for comments.

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