RESULTS – Microcosms 109

Thanks to all who submitted to Microcosms 109 – especially 12 first-timers: Holly Kilmister, Jaden Zaleski, Tim Hayes, Kate, PsychoGirl, Kennedy Arabella Lawson, Ted Young, Caroline Lewis, Josh, Elijah Harbaugh, Rachel, Gabe and nblog38There was a huge increase to 34 entries this week – totes amazeballs!

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.

We encourage everyone to reply with a positive comment to any and all of the entries AT ANY TIME: It’s good to have feedback.

 

MC 108 Judge’s Pick, Marsha Adams, kindly agreed to act as judge for this contest. Here’s what she had to say:

In a delightful irony, the default genre was ‘fairy tale’ in a week in which your judge is a childless woman who mostly writes smut, who won last week by writing a horror story, who doesn’t really like fairy tales and who’s never judged a story other than her own. I tried to put all that aside and judge these stories on their own merits: if you went with the default genre, it certainly didn’t give you a head start; but I don’t believe it handicapped you either.

In the end, I enjoyed all the stories, much more than I enjoyed having to pick out just five for special attention. There were lots of enchanting variations on the castle gardener, each better than I would have managed – one of the perks of judging is that I didn’t have to try – and a sufficient spattering of other characters and genres to prevent me completely regressing to childhood. I wasn’t converted to a love of fairy tales, but so many were so charming, so deftly and differently executed, that I did learn to see the genre in a new light and with a new appreciation.

I tried to judge on three qualities: how original the story seemed, how well realised the fictional setting was and – totally subjectively – how I felt when I’d finished it. If you didn’t win, it may have been that last criterion that was responsible: on another day, in a different mood, I might have come up with different results. If you wrote a story, thank you; it was a pleasure to read it, even if it was torture to have to judge it against all the others.

Marsha

Favourite / Favorite Lines

Storm Jarvis – There was a new man looming above Jerry’s prized chrysanthemums!
Carin Marais – He turned around, spread out his arms, and let the void and emptiness in his heart swallow him as he fell.
Bill Engleson – He does have the build of a slightly corpulent gnu, I’ll grant you that.
Jane Lomas – ‘A pure heart and a love that’s true is the secret, sire.’
Steve Lodge – I poured tea into his hands (cups were yet to be invented).
Angelique Pacheco – The queen watches him through half-closed eyes as she drops her prize before him.
Nthato Morakabi – Immediately flakes of darkness peeled away, whisked into the wind.
Dana Faletti – Pockets of extra flesh cushioned her belly and backside with bitterness.
Holly Kilmister – The unicorn loved to watch the gardener, he tended the castle gardens with lovingly tender motions, but there was loneliness to him.
Andrea Allison – Speaking of my innocence was useless on a crowd too blind to see the wolf attacking the sheep.
Eloise – The lines of his face drew deep stories.
Jaden Zaleski – The berries were covered with a light dusting of water that sprang off in hundreds of directions as I plucked them off the bushes.
David Johnson – “I’m not fit to be a king! I’m just a gardener!”
Nikky Olivier – The Gardener dropped his trowel with a sigh of satisfaction.
Vicente L Ruiz – The Royal Palace became just a Castle again as it lost its Gardens.
Tim Hayes – An enchanted Mandragora berry that the queen had worn as a charm was to be used to seed his successor.
Kate – The beaming sun rested in the sky, its light peeking over the walls of the castle.
PsychoGirl – The sun tucked itself behind the mountains as I pulled out my sword and swung.
Kennedy Arabella Lawson – “I think he’ll be happy with whatever the baby is.” Aurelia smiled, but I could sense the lie.
Arthur Unk – Nah screw that! I’m gonna tell you the real truth. No one lives happily ever after in this story.
Steph Ellis – Their bones were buried deep in the soil he nurtured, family forever one with Nature.
Gloria Blumfeldt – Constantly, I would have to remind myself that what happened is in the past and the monster had been defeated.
Ted Young – The Busker’s “reward” was rhubarb which, as Columbine only worked between dusk and dawn, was regularly “posted” through his letter box in the dead of night.
Caroline Lewis – I have done nothing to you nor have I tricked you. You were as ugly as you said you were!
Ella Steyer – I was happy to hoard all the enchantment.
Josh – The gardener wanted to find a way to trick the king into letting him marry his daughter.
Elijah Harbaugh – I feel the heat across my body scorching my skin.
A J Walker – He had to listen to his advisors apparently, whilst they didn’t listen to him – no one respected kings these days.
Rachel – Sometimes he would read stories to me while I weeded, but most of the time he helped.
Stephen Shirres – He was the kind of man who’d cut the thorns off a rose.
Paul Nevin – ‘They’re too deep,’ it said. ‘We can do peas, maybe, but not root vegetables.’
Gabe – “My dear man,” said an elderly rabbit, “will you really?”
Cassandra – The smell of warm soil created a comfortable aura around the old man.
Nblog38 – She never acknowledged his wave, but scowled whenever her eyes met his.

 

Special Mention

‘Most Entertaining Visual Image’: Ted Young – Columbine

I had to pause in my judging and spend a moment enjoying the spell-binding picture of an other-worldly woman, crouched in the moonlight, posting produce.

 

Honorable/Honourable Mention

Angelique Pacheco – Cat and Mouse

An unusual and bewitching concept that appealed to a judge who loves cats more than fairy tales. The chauffeur is wrong.

 

Second Runner-up

Bill Engleson – And There, In That Winter of Treachery

I nearly gave this one a Special Mention for ‘Best Political Wish Fulfillment’, but it was too well realised not to place. It had the advantage of describing a world easily imagined but it also has the captivating phrase ‘slightly corpulent gnu’, which might be the most poetic epithet ever applied to the unnamed prisoner.

 

First Runner-up

Steve Lodge – Trespass

Alluringly absurd, this simply appealed to my love of fantastical nonsense with shades of Lewis Carroll, Mervyn Peake and Vivian Stanshall.

 

And now, without further ado, we present the winners of Microcosms 109.

 

(insert drumroll here)

 

Community Pick

Nthato Morakabi – The Ebony Tree

300 words
Gardener; Castle; Fairy Tale

There stood a tree black as soot, with twisting limbs clawing at the sky. It grew not far from the rise of castle spire where the window no longer shone. Around it trees grew in blossoms of pink from the East, the spiralled greenery of the North, the stout purple of the South, and the azure lilted spruce of the West.
The King wondered through his garden, head lowered as he followed the well-trodden path to the ebony tree. A burly gardener stood at its base, sweat pouring off him in rivulets as he swung an axe.
“Tis been two weeks and you have barely made a dent,” The King said, voice stern yet softened by years of heartache.
“M’Lord, I have yet to see such a vile beast. It yields not, even with the most devout strikes.”
The King raised his head and glared.
“Do not dare speak such filth before my tree.”
“Apolo-” he was cut off with a raised hand. A moment later guards whisked the hollering man away.
“Will there ever be anyone able to bring this cursed thing down?” he cried.
“Perhaps I?”
The King turned and found a young man standing near.
“Ha!” The King scoffed. “You are barely a quarter of the last man. What can you do?”
“M’Lord, I beg only for a day.”
The King laughed,
“None has managed in years and you seek a day?” He shook his head.
“Should I manage I seek only one thing. As reward.”
“What?”
“The soul of the prince who lies at its roots.”
The young man then proceeded towards the tree, kissing the obsidian wood. Immediately flakes of darkness peeled away, whisked into the wind. At its centre stood the King’s son in golden glow.
“You have finally come, my prince,” he whispered.

 

Judge’s Pick

Dana Faletti – Princess Pudge, The (Not-So-Flaky) Godmother and The Lucky Gardener

I didn’t think I liked fairy tales; judging them helped change my mind and this one in particular charmed me. It had what, for me, are the two things that mark out the best fairy tales: a twist and a moral. In this case, both were delivered with an irreverent humour. So, in a twist with a moral – don’t judge a story by its genre – this fairy tale is my winner.

299 words
Gardener; Castle; Fairy Tale

Princess:

I asked her to make me thinner.
Fairy Godmothers are so thick sometimes.
I literally said, “The weight around my midsection is bugging me.”
So, she made me an insect. A long, lean Walking Stick.
For God’s sake, who gave this woman her job?
Fairy Godmother needs to retire.

Godmother:

Princess Pudge was a lovely girl.
But as she aged, vanity began to swallow her beauty.
Tiny lines emerged beside her eyes; her once sweet face fell,
Pockets of extra flesh cushioned her belly and backside with bitterness.
When she cornered me in the gardens this morning, begging my favor, her mouth was stuffed with just-picked strawberries.
I told her not to talk with her mouth full.

Princess:

The gall of that woman!
Since when does the help get to spout orders about agreeable conduct?
“Look, Godmother,” I’d said and a bloody spray of strawberry spittle escaped my lips. “I need a husband, and nobody wants this flabby body. Make me into the type of creature men dream about.”

Godmother:

I granted her wish.
Now, she’s thin enough to climb the legendary Fairy Steps of Cumbria.

Princess:

Damn that flaky Godmother!
I’ve trudged across castle grounds on six scrawny legs to climb these storied steps.
I’m at the top where fairies supposedly grant wishes.
This legend had better not be urban.

Gardener:

“Blimey!” A Walking Stick!
Never seen such a creature in these parts of Cumbria.
“A squirmy bugger, aren’t ya?”
I’ll slip you in my jumper pocket.
“A perfect addition to my collection!”

Princess:

Unhand me!
How dare you touch me with soiled hands?
I need my wish!

Godmother:

“Oh dear.”
It seems my spell has transformed Princess into the creature of at least one man’s dreams.
Gardener seems quite married to the idea of keeping her.

 

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

RESULTS - Microcosms 110
RESULTS - Microcosms 108

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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!”

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