Microcosms 119

Greetings, my flash fictioneering friends, and welcome to Microcosms 119.

This week’s contest is based on anniversaries occurring today (20-APR).

  • 270 years: birth of Georg Michael Telemann, German composer and multi-instrumentalist
  • 210 years: birth of Napoleon III, French politician, 1st President of France who died in exile in England and is buried at St Michael’s Abbey, Farnborough, Hampshire
  • 100 years: Manfred von Richthofen, a.k.a. The Red Baron, shot down his 79th and 80th victims, his final victories before his death the following day, aged 25
  • 80 years: birth of Peter Snow, British historian and journalist, famous for his use of the BBC election night “swingometer”
  • 50 years: British Member of Parliament Enoch Powell made his controversial “Rivers of Blood” speech in opposition to immigration and anti-discrimination legislation
  • 10 years: American Danica Patrick won the Indy Japan 300, becoming the first woman to win an IndyCar auto race

Geoff

 

(If YOU have an idea for a future contest and would like to be a guest host, please contact us.)

 

Our contest this week begins with THREE things: character, location and genre.

We spun, and our three elements are – character: Racist, Location: TV Studio, and genre: Mystery.

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, location 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 – not included in the word count.
*** NO FAN-FICTION, PLEASE, and NO USE of COPYRIGHT CHARACTERS **

 

  • Composer/Musician
  • Emperor
  • Fighter Pilot
  • Election Analyst
  • Racist
  • Racing Driver
  • Hamburg
  • Abbey
  • WWI France
  • TV Studio
  • Birmingham
  • Japan
  • Fairy Tale
  • Comedy
  • Poetry
  • Memoir
  • Sci-Fi
  • Mystery
Spin!

Last week’s Judge’s Pick, Kate Giffin, has kindly agreed to act as the judge this time around.

 

REMEMBER: all submissions should be a maximum of 300 words in length (excluding the title).

You have just 24 hours until midnight, today (Friday) New York time (EST) to write and submit your masterpiece.

*** If you are new to Microcosms, remember to check out the full submission guidelines. ***

All being well, results will be posted next Monday.

Microcosms 120
Microcosms 118

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39 comments for “Microcosms 119

  1. 20 April 2018 at 1:13 am

    Twitter: @billmelaterplea
    http://www.engleson.ca
    300 words
    Racist; TV Studio; Comedy

    Laugh and the World Limps Along with You Like a Bus with No Tires on A Discontinued Route

    So, I’m down at my local, The Scoot On Inn, and there is this little reporter chickadeelight with a long-haired camera guy, all pimply and tiny hands…hey, Donnie, you ain’t the only one, I’m proud to say…and they’re lookin’ for something they call…get this…What the Common Man Has On His Mind.

    I’m thinking right away…have they struck gold? You can’t get more common than me.

    Lucky bastards. I coulda been rolling some balls down at Leo’s Pins and Pints and missed it all.

    But I hold my horses and quaff a couple of brewskis, knocking them back with as much style as I can muster while raising my voice just enough for them to overhear my Common Man speech. “It’s like the Pols are on a different planet from folks like you and me,” I say. “Like Earth is their own pleasure palace, and they can twiddle and twaddle away with her and ignore the common folk.”

    I’m thinking “twiddle and twaddle” sounds damn good, especially with the punctuation of common folk.

    I see her pink little ears perk up, and her eyes start blazing like a dragon’s fart. She grabs Long-Hair by his nose and pulls him over to where I’m holding court.

    “Sir?” she says to me, as polite as an air hostess on the Hindenburg, “Would you like to tell our viewers what’s wrong with the country?”

    And I look up at her, almost drooling, thinking, sweetie, I would love to share my darkest, deepest thoughts about the sad state of affairs of our country…and the frigging world.

    I can see the sweat on her little brow. She knows she has found the common man.

    I’m oozing it.

    “Darling,” I say. “I’m your man. We are in a state of irreversible decline. Turn on your camera.”

    4+
    • Geoff Holme
      20 April 2018 at 11:57 am

      And we’re back with another classic Englesonian title! Do you dream them up during the week and hope you can match them with the story? Lines like ‘her eyes start blazing like a dragon’s fart.’ and ‘…as polite as an air hostess on the Hindenburg’ make this tale a plagiarist’s paradise!
      I’d take my hat off to you, sir, if I weren’t, as always, bare-headed in your presence.

      1+
      • 20 April 2018 at 12:30 pm

        There are so many flashy little tricks, Geoff, as I am sure you aware. On occasion, not this particular occasion, I have conjured a title and prayed the prompt would coincide. Or cooutcide a tad…

        Best wishes…

        0
  2. steve lodge
    20 April 2018 at 3:56 am

    Twitter: @steveweave71
    300 words
    Fighter Pilot; TV Studio; Memoir

    Bimmer And The Guffler

    Her Ladyship sat beneath a tree, her bodice discarded on a nearby haystack. The farmer threw back his hair. Despite reading an anthology, “Exhausted Daffodils After A Wasp Chase” (Published by Messrs Gently & Stuffing), she looked up and caught it.

    Coyly, she placed the little finger of her left hand between her front teeth, staring deeply into his eyes which were pools of azure and smoke.

    “You shouldn’t be no toast farmer,” she laughed. “You should be a model in that London. Your body has Wow-factor.”

    Urgently, he grabbed his shirt, buttons flying hither and everywhere, although there were only four of them.

    She gasped at his gorilla-like chest. He stood, panting like a rhino, his heavy breathing clouded her glasses even at distance. By then, she’d closed her eyes. All was silent, waves of tranquillity.

    He shattered the peace, roaring, “Where’s my lunch, lass? I could eat a horse, including the colon.”

    Chapter Seven

    Me and The Guffler are in a TV studio, watching Patrick Thistle as The Toast Farmer and Hazel Kestrel as Lady Melingerer bring our words to life for this TV Special. Writers now, but once, I was Harry ‘Bimmer’ Bimson, fighter pilot and The Guffler my tail gunner.

    My claim to fame: downing three enemy planes in an hour somewhere in the skies of war.

    The Guffler’s claim to fame: downing ten Tequila Slammers in seconds without buying one of them. The mould went mouldy after they moulded him.

    On that last mission, I stopped a bullet that was going somewhere else and The Guffler fell out of the plane on landing, always swearing he was sober.

    We reinvented ourselves, as writers of romance for TV under the joint pseudonym, Lady Harriet Guffland. If our comrades knew, the ones still alive would wet themselves.

    3+
    • Geoff Holme
      20 April 2018 at 11:42 am

      Marvellous take on the chosen elements, Steve. I’d bet my last Belzonian dollar that ‘The mould went mouldy after they moulded him.’ will be the favourite line!

      1+
  3. Stephanie Cornelius
    20 April 2018 at 4:09 am

    299 words
    Composer/Musician; Hamburg; Memoir

    No Music Left

    I have decided to write the story of my life. My memoirs, if you will. Why would anyone be interested, you ask? Well, it’s not as if I’m famous, but, I am a relatively well-known instrumentalist from Hamburg. I write all my compositions myself and I play piano, violin, saxophone and even the drums.

    March 1st, 1930, I was born in Hamburg to a fromager of some reknown. I was expected to learn the “family trade”. Cheese was not a passion for me as it was for my Vader. He lived for cheese; I just ate it. I was five when I realised that I was in love with music. None of this vocal rubbish, I was in love with REAL music. The kind of music that speaks to you without words. The power of which, you can feel through your bones. The fact that I cannot hold a note myself might have added to my dislike of vocalists, but I would never admit to that out loud.

    By the time I was 15, I was playing my music for friends and family and my Vader finally decided that I was serious about it, and should go to a school of music. It would take another five years before I found the right one. I was accepted into The Staatliche Hochschule für Musik now The Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Hamburg. I was one of their first students.

    I learnt how to play anything and everything that spoke to my soul and eventually I was being asked to give private concerts for the Mayor and his friends. Which brings us to today. I lay here, on my deathbed (cancer) and I can honestly say that I would change nothing! My life is complete.

    I’m ready to leave.

    1+
  4. 20 April 2018 at 5:52 am

    Twitter: @CarinMarais
    http://www.maraiscarin.com

    295 words
    Musician; Hamburg; Fairy Tale

    Mana’s Gold

    The harp’s music drifted over the still-sleeping town with its looming castle. Though not yet light, Mana sat in the room at the top of the castle’s tallest tower and played the golden harp by the light of a lantern.
    As she played, the spinning wheel in the corner of the room spun straw into gold all by itself. Already the room was lit in glittering light from the golden thread that she had made through the night.
    She stared out of the window. Another day and the moon would be in the right stage of waxing.
    The last few pieces of straw were turned to gold, and she stopped playing. She had told them that it was the music that was magic and turned the straw to gold. In truth, it was the music that kept her unborn child safe.

    The next night, after the straw had been spun into gold, Mana placed a spell on the harp to keep playing while she took the golden thread and dragged it to the window. She forced it open and spoke another spell. Then she threw the end of the thread into the air and it soared higher and higher until it tied itself around one of the points of the sickle moon. She threw her wedding ring on the ground before gingerly stepping onto the golden thread.
    Mana walked and walked until she reached the moon from where she had fallen seven years before. She untied the golden thread and sent it back to the tower. She had no need of silly gold when she had golden sunlight, silver moonlight, and her child.

    The next day, the people of the town marvelled at the gold thread spilling from the tower’s window like someone’s golden hair.

    3+
    • Geoff Holme
      20 April 2018 at 11:22 am

      I love this beautiful tale, Carin. It certainly fits the requirements of the genre. Good job.
      [ You have “Mana walked and walked until she reached the moon…”, so it seems redundant to begin the next sentence. “Reaching the moon…” Would you like these three words deleted? ]

      0
      • Carin Marais
        20 April 2018 at 11:49 am

        Oops! Yes please! Thanks

        0
    • Caitlin Gramley
      21 April 2018 at 3:22 pm

      Very nice take on the fairy tale. 🙂

      0
  5. 20 April 2018 at 9:10 am

    Twitter: @ArthurUnkTweets
    Website: arthurunk.com
    119 words
    Composer/Musician; Japan; Poetry

    Of Love and Limericks (Less Is More)

    There once was a little hottie
    Who had the most beautiful body
    She played on a Stradivarius violin
    And to everyone’s chagrin
    Sounded like someone using the potty

    She lived in a depressive state
    Because she could not attract a mate
    She tried her good looks
    And quoting smartly from books
    But could never find the right bait

    With great anger, she packed up a van
    And drove from Portugal to Japan
    It took a very long time
    And cost more than a dime
    Her method of travel was antediluvian

    Just outside of Tokyo
    She sat underneath a weeping willow
    Her instrument sang a great verse
    Because during her travel, she rehearsed
    And finally met her husband, Michaelangelo

    4+
    • 20 April 2018 at 9:21 am

      I hate working the night shift…

      Could you please delete the second use of the word “beautiful” before Stratovarius. I’m going to bed so my brain will function properly again.

      Many Thanks,

      Arthur

      0
      • Geoff Holme
        20 April 2018 at 9:54 am

        ‘Less is More’, eh? Amendment made.
        [ Q: What do you get if you cross an electric gee-tar with a priceless violin? A: A Stratovarius 😀 ]

        2+
      • 20 April 2018 at 4:51 pm

        Many thanks for helping a night-shifter’s broken brain

        0
      • Geoff Holme
        20 April 2018 at 10:57 am

        Microcosms artiste, Arthur Unk
        Turned to verse, but synapses went CLUNK!
        Night-time working’s no breeze:
        He’s in need of some ZZZZees,
        So he took himself off to his bunk.

        2+
      • 20 April 2018 at 11:41 am

        This looks like so much fun…may I offer…

        Flash fiction writers sometimes roam
        From tiny tales to poetic loam.
        And for thoughtful bits of critical kerplunk
        Nothing beats a witty chunk
        From flash fiction master, Geoffrey Holme

        2+
      • 20 April 2018 at 4:50 pm

        The man known as Arthur Unk
        Returned joyfully from his bunk
        Rested and well
        He gave the writing community Hell
        His brain never in a writer’s funk

        2+
  6. Angelique Pacheco
    20 April 2018 at 12:15 pm

    Twitter: @angs_pacheco
    298 words
    Racist; TV Studio; Mystery

    Accidents Happen

    “Albion Terblanche was a racist pig who hid behind ‘free speech’.” That was the nicest comment uttered about him on the day he died.

    Albion was the racial ‘Jerry Springer’ of the television world. His shows were so explosive that riots would break out on the streets outside the television studio. The cops were always tuned into his show like a CBS radio, waiting for the words that would begin their shift.

    He was always surrounded by bodyguards, so when the cops happened across the body at the studio the first question on everyone’s minds was ‘Where are the bodyguards?’. He had apparently given them the night off, their first in three years. They had gone drinking, and some were still passed out when the cops called.

    His body was hanging. There was no hiding the fact that the manner of his death was very indicative of the hangings in the south many years before. Detective Amaury Blackburn stood watching all this, stone-faced. He couldn’t for one moment show that this was the absolute, best thing that had happened in his life. Albion hung there, slack-jawed, as if something other than a racial slur would escape his mouth. Amaury looked around at the others. Their expressions were not what he expected. They looked at Albion’s body disgusted but mingled with glee. They seemed just as happy as him. He relaxed and walked over to the body. He cut it down and let it fall. Then he removed the noose. He walked over to the nearest cupboard and took out a broom. He laid it near Albion’s feet. Everyone in the studio was silent. You wouldn’t think they made “talkies” there.

    Amaury stood up. “It looks like he tripped and fell. Mystery solved.” The others smiled and walked away.

    1+
  7. Gabe
    20 April 2018 at 12:48 pm

    280 words
    Emperor; Japan; Mystery

    No Son of Mine

    “Emperor! Someone has made off with the crown jewel!” a servant ran into the throne room and fell in front of me.

    “Go! Find the thief and bring him to me!” I urged.

    Several guards hustled out of the throne room and into the palace. I waited impatiently, nervously mumbling to myself. I would be a laughing stock if anyone found out about this. After the several other losses from deep within the palace, the crown jewel would demoralize my people to no end. Suddenly, the silence was shattered by a servant bursting into the room.

    “E-Emperor they’ve found the thief. He is being brought to you now.”

    A moment later, the door flew open again, and innumerable guards marched in, four of them holding a man. They marched him to me and dropped him on the floor in front of my throne.

    He was a tall man and had a black mask covering his face. Everyone leaned closer, eager to know who the thief was. This man was a repeat offender, and he had gotten away several times before, but now I had him. A guard walked up to him and removed the mask.

    The man was my own son. Silence reigned in the room, no one daring to speak.

    “Son! Why would you do this? Why would you betray me?”

    “You’re no father to me. You prefer Katrina. Everyone knows you love my sister more than me. You didn’t even notice when I never came back months ago.”

    “Take him away,” I said, nodding to my guards. “Treat him well, but show him that he is still a thief.”

    He didn’t look back as they dragged him away.

    3+
  8. Ted Young
    20 April 2018 at 1:49 pm

    285 words
    Racist; TV Studio; Mystery

    Colour Blind

    ‘Snowy’ was a happy, bright, confident boy; born halfway through World War II. With bomb-sites to play on, the freedom of West London bestowed on him due to the lack of any supervision, unencumbered by the presence of a father until he was five years old, when a man called Dad returned from overseas postings.

    Opportunities stacked up awaiting their turn to enrich Snowy and the gang, known to themselves as ‘The Gunza’.

    Making money was easy for Meano, Nada, Green-bean, Barnoka, Beanpole, Ely and Snowy. The most lucrative machinations were; collecting manure from the horses that pulled milk-floats, coal and brewery wagons and selling this valuable commodity to gardeners; transporting service personnel’s kit from train station to bus depot on pram-wheel carts… and of course, Barnoka, a black Irish kiddie with a withered arm, surprisingly adept at shoplifting.

    This idyllic comradeship continued throughout their poorly-attended schooldays into adolescence when, as a unit, they joined the St Sabastian Youth Club.

    Mrs Marks, known affectionately as ‘Karl’, ran the facility with colossal energy and innovation. She managed to obtain a tour round Lime Grove studios.

    The subject being highlighted that day was Oswald Moseley and racial tensions of the time.

    The Gunza looked bewildered…

    Snowy studied his friends; only two were white — Nada and himself — and Nada was German!

    Childhood ended there.

    Snowy went to Sea School, did a trip to Canada and came back to regale ‘The Gunza’ with traveller’s tales, hearing in return of troubles suffered by his dearest friends, in the job market.

    “Why is this happening?” Snowy asked Barnoka’s grandfather.

    “Be glad it’s a mystery to ya,” replied the wise old Irishman. “You can only play the hand you’re dealt”.

    1+
  9. 20 April 2018 at 2:47 pm

    299 words
    Fighter Pilot; WWI France; Fairy Tale

    An Even Playing Field

    High in the skies above war-torn France flew a solitary gremlin looking for something to do. He was bored and feeling in a mischievous mood. A little distance below him, he noticed two of those bizarre human flying machines engaging in one of their ritualistic duels. One was a dull brown colour decorated with roundels, the other was a bright red and featured gothic crosses as identification.

    This could be interesting, he thought to himself. He swooped down out of the sun and descended on the two machines, unseen. These humans just couldn’t manage to standardise their machines. The red one featured three pairs of wings while the brown one had two pairs.

    They were in combat, something that the gremlin and his kind couldn’t abide, and the red one seemed to be winning. He decided to even matters up and wondered if it was the extra wing that gave the red machine an advantage. Softly setting down behind the human piloting the red flying machine, he examined how the delicate structure was held together. A strut here, a tensioning cord there, it was just fabric held together by string. As he studied the design he began to understand how he could remove the uppermost wing and even up the combat between the two humans. He reached for a cord here, another next to it, then another, and before the pilot could react, the gremlin had peeled away the upper wing. He grinned in delight at the sudden uplift that the great wing gave his little body, and found himself soaring into the air without the use of magic. Glancing back down he noticed that he had indeed evened up the fight as he watched the red machine plow into the ground.

    The Red Baron would fly no more.

    1+
  10. Justin J.
    20 April 2018 at 3:54 pm

    279 words
    Musician/Composer; Hamburg; Fairy Tale

    The Price of Art

    The musician was 80 years old. He sat in front of the fireplace in his manor in Hamburg, reflecting on his life. He had mixed feelings about his fame and fortune, knowing what he owed to that woman.

    He grunted. “I’m an old man,” he said to himself. “Like as not, she forgot the debt, assuming she is still alive.”

    He thought back to that day, 60 odd years before, when he was wandering the countryside and came across a lovely woman in a meadow.

    She looked at him and asked him a simple question, “Do you love music?”

    “I do,” he replied. “I wish to be a famous composer one day.”

    The woman smiled. “For a price, I can make your wish come true. All things have a price. Mine is simple: I will one day seek to use you for my own art. You and, perhaps, your children, if you have any.”

    That wasn’t so bad, the young man had thought back then. Being used as a model for art was nothing bad. He had happily agreed, and the woman held out her hand.

    “Kiss my hand then, young musician, to seal our contract.”

    He did so.

    Now, 60 years later, he was childless and alone…

    “I have come to complete our bargain,” the lovely woman said as she emerged from the shadows. “All things have a price.”

    The old man blinked. “What?”

    The woman smiled, a chilling smile, and a canvas appeared in front of her. “All things have a price. You should know that.”

    She pulled him into the canvas, his brief scream of fear silenced forever as he became her art.

    2+
    • Justin J.
      21 April 2018 at 12:45 am

      Whoops. Hey, Geoff? Could you edit this a bit? I said ‘tail’ instead of ‘tale’. That’s what I get for doing this while tired.

      0
      • Geoff Holme
        21 April 2018 at 2:32 am

        No Big Bad Wolf, Justin, otherwise it could have been “Furry Tail”. 😉
        Done.

        0
      • Justin J.
        21 April 2018 at 4:34 am

        Thank you.

        0
  11. Susi J Smith
    20 April 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Twitter: @susi_moff
    Website: https://mairi187.wixsite.com/susi-j-smith
    285 words
    Election Analyst; TV Studio; Mystery

    They Do It with Green Screen

    “This swing majority–” Eric heard the sniggers, and frowned at the green screen.

    “Eric,” his earpiece chirped, “we’re cutting back to Terri.”

    The red light above camera three went off. Joe stepped out, scratching his head.

    “Another glitch?”

    Joe scoffed. “Depends how you feel about clips of flower-loving hippie orgies.”

    “That’s the fourth time the screen’s been messed with since Mark got canned; it has to be him.”

    “Only if it were his ghost.”

    Eric loosened his tie. “His what?”

    “His ghost. Spirit. Spook. Spectre.”

    “Are you having a stroke?”

    Joe chuckled, wheeling camera two offstage. “Mark’s dead; hung himself three weeks ago.”

    Eric reddened. “Jesus!”

    “Nah, pretty sure it was Mark.”

    “That’s not funny, Joe.”

    Joe shrugged. “Point bein’, it ain’t him. So get thinkin’, Miss Sherple.”

    Eric shook his head. “Mock all you want; I got a handsome reward for finding that jewel thief last summer.”

    “Aye, it was lucky that he jumped into the back of that ol’ banger of yours thinking you was a cab. Luckier still, he couldn’t figure out the child locks.”

    Eric sighed and headed for the dressing rooms.

    As he passed Terri’s, he heard shouting: “You have to stop with the graphic graphics…Anna…of course he didn’t do it!…You did it! You left me a drunken confession…Restless spirit my butthole…He didn’t hang himself; we killed him, remember?…So we could live happily ever after…No, we separated. You sobered up and decided you were straight, although, why it took you nine months to figure that one out…”

    Eric grinned and turned in the direction of the front reception desk. Joe stood, slouching against the wall, shaking his head. “Miss Sherple strikes again. Next stop, the Hound of the Orient Express.”

    1+
    • Susi J Smith
      20 April 2018 at 4:27 pm

      Think something went funny with my pasting there – just to clarify, They Do It With Green Screen is the title 🙂

      1+
      • Geoff Holme
        21 April 2018 at 3:07 am

        No problem, Susi. Great take on your chosen elements.
        [ But I personally find the final paragraph a little confusing…
        * I’m wondering if ‘front’ is really necessary before ‘reception desk’: where else would a reception desk be?
        * It begins with Eric, then switches to Joe. The inference is that “Miss Sherple strikes again. Next stop, the Hound of the Orient Express.” is spoken by Joe. If that’s the case, splitting it into TWO paragraphs after the first sentence makes this absolutely clear for the reader; if not, then adding something like ‘Eric said’ is rquired.
        But why is Joe shaking his head? How does he know what Eric just overheard? ]

        1+
      • Susi J Smith
        22 April 2018 at 3:59 am

        Thanks Geoff, you are absolutely correct. Guess that’s what I get for writing/submitting after bedtime lol

        I think I was trying to get across that Joe had basically been there almost as long as Eric (hence the casual pose) and so heard the confession too.

        0
  12. 20 April 2018 at 6:29 pm

    @geofflepard
    298 words
    Racing Driver; WWI France; Memoir

    Cruelty Dressed Up As Kindness

    Not many opportunities to race, on the Front. The mud, the lack of a car. Not much enthusiasm either. But that’s what they wanted to talk about, racing. Brooklands, the championship decider. Their eyes, I remember their eyes. Alive, there, living that moment when the flag dropped.
    ‘Lieutenant, we’ll let you know. Hope you get another chance.’ General Mathers smiled.
    It took me a moment to understand he was talking about racing, not the transfer. Another chance. Didn’t he realise this transfer, joining the Royal Flying Corps, was that other chance? A reinvention?
    Odd, isn’t it, how the mundanity of one life is the stuff of dreams for another? Racing was fine if you could be competitive, but those last two years were gnawingly frustrating.
    ‘Why do you want to fly?’
    It felt like a trick. To get away, to breathe, to be on my own. I suppose that’s why they asked about the British Championship, the Monte Carlo Endurance. To be in that car, at that moment. To rely only on myself and my machine.
    This bloody war is dehumanising, but you know what? It’s the inability to be alone that we’ve lost. Crammed together, holding on to whatever space we can. We can no longer be ourselves. We are the machine now.
    ‘To do my bit, sir. To use the skills I have, for the benefit of the country.’
    Did they realise it was my desertion they’d been asked to decide? My way out.
    Mathers turned back just then. ‘Brave, you know.’
    ‘Sir?’
    ‘Flying. Out here. But you chaps. Do you understand the risk?’
    I watched him go, leaning into the track’s banking, imagining a reality that didn’t exist. Would he give me what I craved or was he cruel enough to save me from myself?

    2+
    • 21 April 2018 at 7:59 pm

      This was a well honed read. I know people say this quite often but it left me wanting to know more. Thank you.

      0
  13. Jennifer F
    20 April 2018 at 10:29 pm

    300 Words
    Racist; Hamburg; Mystery

    Passing

    Her mama was so pretty; but when her belly started to swell, he looked into her black eyes and clenched his jaw. Arkansas wasn’t friendly to all folks. So he put her on the bus. He’d have flown her out if he could have, but he wasn’t the Red Baron and his little plane couldn’t fly far enough.

    He sent her out of Hamburg, Arkansas. She was black and he was white. Forbidden love.

    So Lettie was born in Nebraska, a state so white that no one even saw color. Daddy was planning to join them, but somehow he never showed up.

    Her mama married a white man, but he was a little dark and Lettie, if she stayed out of the sun and fussed with her hair enough . . . well, Lettie could pass. And pass she did . . . right on out of Nebraska and right into Arkansas where she found a job waiting tables.

    She told everyone that she was “taking a gap year and just wanted to stop off in the South a while.” She laughed and simpered and learned to say “Y’all” and “Sugarfoot” and how to make sweet tea.

    She took the time to learn how to paint her face just right, and she studied those ladies who knew how to wear white capris without getting barbecue all over them. She prayed that her sin of deceit wouldn’t seep through when she walked into her Daddy’s house one soft sweet spring day with all the other Sunday School girls who had been invited over to mingle. Because after all, Axton Jackson was the best man in town.

    And so, with his blonde wife by his side, he opened his doors to all the girls who needed a little help getting by; or getting out.

    1+
  14. Caitlin Gramley
    20 April 2018 at 11:05 pm

    Twitter: @RealMommaRamble
    293 words
    Composer/Musician; TV Studio; Fairy Tale

    Not Your Average Princess

    “Gooooood morning, and welcome to Fairy Tale Today. Our featured guest is the beautiful Princess Farah. Thanks for joining us, Princess.”

    “Thank you, B.B. Wolfe. I’m glad to be here.”

    “Now, we citizens of Ever After are dying to know, what’s new?”

    “Well, I was surprised to be asked to appear on your show, as I have only recently told The Royal Family. I’m going to be a traveling singer.”

    “Um, I was talking about the wedding.”

    “Wedding?”

    “We heard about your run in with the prince. It’s the talk of the kingdom. Can you give us details of the encounter?”

    “Ok… I was out looking for a gift for my parent’s anniversary when a cart cut in front of me. The prince caught me before I could fall…

    Audience: “AWWWWWWW!”

    …I said thank you and continued shopping.”

    “Didn’t you fall in love?”

    “LOVE?! I just met the guy.”

    “When a prince and princess meet, it’s always love at first sight.”

    “I don’t believe in love at first sight.”

    Crickets: “Chirp. Chirp. Chirp.”

    “Here in Ever After, everyone does.”

    “I know princesses are supposed to do what they’re told, learn the affairs of state and how to run a household, and take up needlepoint… but I love to sing. People stop at the sound of my voice. I am good at it and I want to share my gift with the world. If I were married, I couldn’t do that. There is more out there than just the kingdom of Ever After. I want to…

    “OK, folks, that’s all we have time for today. Join us next time when we hear from a darling couple who were united by true love’s kiss. Have a good day, and may you live Happily Ever After.”

    3+
    • Geoff Holme
      21 April 2018 at 6:56 am

      Wow! Welcome back to Microcosms, Caitlin. ( The rumours that you had been abducted by aliens were obviously unfounded… 😉 )

      Love the ‘Shrek’ vibe going on in this piece.

      1+
      • Caitlin Gramley
        21 April 2018 at 3:04 pm

        Well I do have huge chucks of unaccounted for time…… maybe that explains it!

        Thanks, Geoff, although I wasn’t thinking of Shrek when I wrote this but I can see it now a bit. (I really don’t remember the movies.)

        🙂

        Glad to be back!

        0
  15. Caleb Echterling
    20 April 2018 at 11:05 pm

    @CalebEchterling
    http://www.calebechterling.com
    288 words
    Racist; Hamburg; Comedy

    What’s a Guy Gotta Do To Get A Schnitzel in This Town?

    Hank and Karen’s matching flower-print shirts sagged with sweat. “According to Yelpenlebensmittelhund,” Karen said, “this is the best restaurant in Hamburg. I’m sure they’ll have the authentic schnitzel you’ve been after.”

    “It better be just like they make it at House of Heinrich in Boca Raton,” Hank grumbled. He scanned the menu for words in English. “Why don’t they put pictures in these things. Garçon!” A man in an apron approached the table. “Bring us two schnitzels. And make sure they’re just like the ones in America.”

    Apron-man placed his arms at his sides and half-bowed. “Many pardons, sir and madam, but the only thing on our menu is hamburgers. You Americans kept coming to Hamburg and asking for hamburgers, so we gave in. Now it’s nothing but hamburgers.”

    Hank threw his cloth napkin at the floor. “Where the hell am I going to get my schnitzel?”

    “Not in Hamburg. The whole city’s gone hamburger.” Apron-man clapped a steady rhythm. His legs flailed about as he danced a jig.

    “But doesn’t Hamburg have a thriving port?” Hank asked. “And an aerospace industry?”

    Staff streamed from the kitchen to join the dance. Shouts of “Ya!” punctuated the stomping and clapping. Restaurant patrons banged on their tables with thick-cast utensils. “Not anymore, jackass. Hamburgers, hamburgers, hamburgers!”

    Karen leaned across the table. “Pardon me, but I thought it was the French who are rude and passive-aggressive.”

    Apron man shrugged. “Blame the European Union. We can all be snotty now.”

    A man wearing a beret with a black-and-white striped shirt scurried to Karen’s side. He kissed her hand and held it to his chest. “Ma cherie, your husband, he is an oaf. Run away with me, and let us invade Poland together.”

    3+
    • Geoff Holme
      21 April 2018 at 7:14 am

      Bring on Brexit, I say, when we can finally enjoy a distinctly British form of passive-aggressive attitude to Johnny Foreigner! 🙂
      What a marvellous take on the Racist and Hamburg elements. Jolly good show, Mr E!

      1+
      • Caleb Echterling
        21 April 2018 at 3:26 pm

        Thanks Geoff!

        0

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