Microcosms 103

Merry Christmas, everyone. Welcome to Microcosms 103.

As last year, there are no contest posts in the holiday period. This is the first of two ‘just for fun’ posts to bring 2017 to a close. There is simply a photo prompt below – no character, setting and genre elements and no slot machine. Let your imagination run wild – although not too wild, as the usual word count of 300 words maximum still applies, but the challenge is open for a whole week until midnight, Thursday, 28-DEC-2017 (EST).


*** It will still show 24 hours , because I don’t have the technology to adjust it… ***


CC by 2.5

Covent Garden’s display of Christmas decorations: stack of large silver baubles (CC by 2.5)

Microcosms 104
Microcosms 52

18 comments for “Microcosms 103

  1. 22 December 2017 at 1:59 pm

    300 bits of seasonal prattle

    A Babble of Baubles


    “Huh? What’s with the bling-bling thing, Eustace?”

    “Ah, Ernest. It’s a beautiful thing, the finest thing in the world. Bling-bling’s a real beauty.”

    “It may be, Eustace, but I‘m at a loss.”

    “Oh, do forgive me, my old friend. I thought you might be viewing our world through the same eyes as mine. Here I am, on the threshold of my own extinction, having lived a life at once full and rewarding yet possessed am I as always of small regrets, I look upon this festive season and my heart is full of…”

    “You’re full of something, Eustace. ‘Threshold of my own extinction’, indeed! Volcanic claptrap. You’re as healthy as a steaming horse fritter…”

    “Hmmm! I suppose. Life has blessed me. Still, the cliff is always there. One stumble and you suddenly find yourself in freefall.”

    “Then stay out of the mountains. What brought this nonsense on?”

    “CNN. I watch it constantly. It’s quite disheartening. I may have let my fancy run away from me. There I was, watching that POTUS buffoon and I just had to get away from it. I began googling the universe. The funk increased. All I wanted was a fine Christmas spirit. What I found was so much sorrow. So many lives lost at sea, Madness everywhere. One is compelled to seek out some beauty. But I couldn’t find it…until.”



    “I’m getting dizzy, Eustace.”

    “I’m not being clear. There I was, swimming in the cyber universe pool. Wanting…something to alleviate the distemper of our times…and, lo and behold, I found a small writing site. Microcosms. Something called Flash Fiction. Staring out at me was this delightful display of giant Christmas ornaments. Each the size of a woman. Here, take a peek.”

    “Nice. THIS is your bling-bling?”

    “And now it’s yours, my friend.”


  2. Alva Holland
    24 December 2017 at 1:15 am

    Alva Holland
    238 words

    Wish Upon A Star

    Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, a young alien spawn made a wish. He’d had a vision, a vivid image of a magical sleigh carrying an old man dressed in red, sacks of brightly wrapped presents stuffed into sacks filling the back, drawn by a team of eight reindeer, led by one with a crimson red nose.

    It didn’t matter how many times the alien spawn tried to explain the phenomenon, it made no sense to anyone except him because no-one else had seen the vision.

    Alien spawn (let’s call him AS) crossed his scrawny digits and wished for a stack of five silver baubles to be delivered to him by the man in the sleigh. Carefully, he scrolled his address into the side of a moon rock, along with his wish and sent it hurtling into space, hoping that the magic of Christmas would deliver it safely and he would see silver baubles in his cocoon the next morning.

    Unfortunately, Santa’s elves misread AS’s address. His 99 Comet Garden order was delivered to 99 Covent Garden, London, England, Earth.
    AS’s tears fell far and wide into the galaxy when he woke up on Christmas morning to find a jet-propelled custom-built junior jet-pod outside his cocoon, but no silver baubles.

    His tears created shooting stars which, on a clear night could be seen from the streets of London, specifically Covent Garden where they reflected in the sculptured stack of silver.


    • 24 December 2017 at 10:10 am

      Lovely story, Alva – I’ll look out for those shooting stars.


      • Alva Holland
        25 December 2017 at 12:11 am

        Thanks, Jane. I look for them every day. Merry Christmas!


    • 24 December 2017 at 1:09 pm

      A stack of silver perhaps, Alva. More pure gold flash, I figure. The best of the season…


      • Alva Holland
        25 December 2017 at 12:10 am

        Many thanks, Bill. Merry Christmas to you 🙂


  3. steve lodge
    26 December 2017 at 4:52 am

    Limehouse by Moonlight by Steve Lodge @steveweave71
    300 words just for fun

    They’d met in The Green Bananas. It was Heavy Metal night. He told her his name was Jet Thrust, an internationally famous singer in parts of London. His band had just split up through jealousy and he was forging a solo career.

    He told her he was visiting his dear old Mum in Limehouse, but she’d fallen asleep so he’d popped out. He tried The Statellite Club in Silvertown first, but it was still a crime scene. So onwards to The Green Bananas.

    She said her name was Maureen but he didn’t believe her. “It’s not exotic enough for someone so beautiful, who dances like a ballerina even on heavy metal night.” He’d shouted while dribbling into her ear above the music.

    “Fair enough, I admit it,” Maureen confessed. “I’m Natasha, a trainee ballerina and apprentice baker.”

    He nodded as if he wasn’t surprised. He told her he could help her career, being well connected within the Russian ballet, but that would turn out to be bolshoi.

    “Let’s go up west, milady.” He said bowing in front of her, while guys called Slicknife or Jumbo One-ball, were dangling their lank hair into their beer mugs, then flicking their hair back, trying to catch the beer in their mouth. No prizes awarded.

    There was a bit of fumbling and ensnogglement in the cab. Leonard, the cabbie glanced in his mirror. He’d seen it all before, but seldom so clumsily.

    “Drop us by the baubles in Covent Garden, mate.” Jet called out. “You gotta see these, Nat.”

    When they got out of the cab, she stood staring at the silver balls.

    “What giants tree did these fall off?” she asked.

    He was attempting to climb the baubles.

    What a prat, she thought. Hanging out with someone called Jet, though, seemed quite cool.


  4. 27 December 2017 at 5:34 am

    Vicente L Ruiz
    300 words

    Christmas time.

    Damn Christmas. I hate this time of the year, and I hate myself for hating it. People realized I had become a killjoy and stopped inviting me, and that made me hate them and myself and the whole bloody Christmas even more.

    Perhaps what’s worse is that, compared to other people’s tales of woe from these holidays, mine is small, insignificant. They carry unbearable memories.

    Me? I miss him. We both knew it was going to be this way and we accepted it. He even offered not to go, but I said no.

    I wish I had said yes. I wish I had told him to stay with me.

    But that’s not what love is. How could I take that away from him? It was his life. Or at least, the part of his life that didn’t necessarily include me.

    It’s bloody cold today. My hands are cold even within the thermal gloves. The news my phone feeds me are full of holiday crap and I switch to music, but they’re playing carols. To top it all off, some idiot has decided to fill the square with pyramids made of giant baubles. All I want is to kick the ones in the base and send them all rolling off into the river.

    And then I see him.

    He’s just standing there, with a smile on his lips and a bouquet of freesias, my favourite freesias, in his hand, and how has he managed to find them in winter? He looks exactly the same: it’s been only two years for him. I suddenly realize how I must look after twenty years, but he gazes upon me exactly the same way he did back when he left.

    I weep as we embrace, relativistic effects forgotten.

    We’re together again. And it’s Christmas time.


    • Alva Holland
      27 December 2017 at 1:26 pm

      Love this, Vicente. All about the miss one feels at Christmas when everyone else seems to be having fun. Your ending made it all worthwhile.


      • 27 December 2017 at 2:53 pm

        Thank you, Alva! I had the idea and just felt I needed to use it. And I’m now seeing the places where I should have edited, oops… 🙂


  5. 27 December 2017 at 5:43 am

    It’s a light, funny piece, Alve, yet you also imbue it with feels! Love it!


    • 27 December 2017 at 5:46 am

      That should be Alva, not Alve, and in response to Alva Holland’s story, but my browser keeps acting funny on me today… Sorry folks!


      • Alva Holland
        27 December 2017 at 1:25 pm

        Thanks, Vicente. I will accept a compliment on my story no matter where on the page it appears!


  6. 27 December 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Words: 273

    It’s a Small Life

    They fall like doodlebugs. Silent, sometimes deadly. Falling ornaments are just one of the hazards of living in a Christmas tree. We are an ancient people, having rebuilt our civilization every year in our new tree. We go mostly unnoticed, as we live our lives parallel to yours. We have schools, hospitals and restaurants depending where you are on the tree. Our world is so tiny you could blink and miss us entirely. Not children and animals though. They see us. Children eventually forget, but the animals not.

    I nearly got hit by a giant Christmas ball today. I was walking home from Uni and considered stopping for my usual doughnut at Bert’s diner. I was annoyed with my girlfriend Sarah who didn’t want to go to the New Year’s bash at my friend Eddie’s place. She said he gave her the creeps. So instead of stopping at Bert’s where I knew she would be, I stormed home in a cloud of angry thoughts. The Christmas ball came out of nowhere and hit various branches on the way down, taking with it the diner, the elementary school building and the fire house. Thankfully the school was closed for the holidays and the firemen were called out to keep an eye on a wayward candle on the tree. We only lost seven people in the diner but I lost my world. I wish I had been there today. I wish I had made things right. It doesn’t make a difference how big or small the world is, the pain of loss is the same. I sigh. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas this year.


  7. 28 December 2017 at 4:09 pm

    What remains.

    Word Count: 296

    “Mother, it’s a meaningless holiday. Materialistic. Silly. I won’t be home for Christmas this year.” Martin’s mother sighed as he continued. “And your gardenia perfume is overwhelming. What, do you bathe in it or something?” Christmas was nothing to him. He refused to play a part any more, pretending to like the things his mother did every, single year. He didn’t know it was her last.

    This year, as if the annual tidal wave of tinsel, garland, and ribbons wasn’t bad enough, the city had allowed a so-called artist to erect a monstrosity in City Park. Gaudy fake ornaments the size of smart cars piled in a triangle. Ridiculous! Martin sneered as he read the title of the display, “Magical Memories of Christmas.”

    He’d had enough.

    That night, he stood before the obscenity, swinging his sledgehammer again and again until the silver shards twinkled on the ground. His smile faded as orbs rose from the rubble, casting their glow upon his face. Hearing whispers, his eyes scanned the park. He was alone.

    “It’s just what I wanted!” “May I put the star on the tree?” A father’s laughter boomed over giggling children and rustling papers. A mother’s voice, “it’s your favorite – Snickerdoodles!” “Look, there’s Santa!” A prayer: “Please, God, let her have just one more Christmas. Please.” Jingling bells decorated the cacophony.

    He staggered as eddies of warm cinnamon, oranges with cloves, freshly cut pine, and incense enveloped him. One orb rose into the midnight sky, swelling as a choir sang, “Glory to God in the Highest.” His hammer clattered to earth as the light swirled, dissipating into the darkened streets.

    For a moment, he stood as lifeless as a Christmas tree on New Year’s Day. Turning to leave, he caught a faint whiff of gardenia.


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