RESULTS – Microcosms 121

Thanks to all who submitted to Microcosms 121. We had a satisfying 16 entries this time, with a return of old Microscosms friends, Nthato Morakabi and A J Walker. A warm welcome also to first-time entrants, Samantha Carr and Arianna Hammond.

 

You may have noticed that I’ve amended the blurb on the Microcosms Countdown clock to make it clear(er) when it’s counting down to the deadline for a currently running contest, and when it’s counting down to when the next contest goes live. All being well, this will help to alleviate the problem of people submitting an entry after a contest has closed.

 

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 120 Judge’s Pick, Bill Engleson, kindly agreed to act as judge for this contest. Here’s what he had to say:

It has been a lovely warm week here on Canada’s west coast. I snipped my first lawn of the season a couple of days back. Though Friday saw a predicted sprinkling, the weekend is full of promise. Kinda boring, huh?

Around the world, floods, sandstorms, drought, lava flowing, a host of non-Rudy Giuliani disasters, assaulted the earth. Against that cataclysmic backdrop, sixteen fine flash fiction writers played in the Microcosms 121 fantasy sandbox. I think they had a lot of fun.

If I had been submitting this week, I might have had Al Capone, Nap Bonaparte and Maggie Thatcher sharing a cell on a desert Island, or perhaps on the Big Island as Kilauea erupted. That would be an apocalyptic trip. I might still do that. I would, of course, throw in his esteemed POTUS Potentate, DJT, for good measure.

My mental gymnastics, time-travelling proclivities aside, there were a fair number of confusing laughs to be had this week. Judging, as ever, was a grueling task. FF writers are always winners though because little universes are created, moments in time that would not exist without their unique, virtuoso vision. So, here goes…

Bill

 

Favourite / Favorite Lines

Arthur Unk – My boy’s teeth are so crooked that they are running for Parliament this year.
Angelique Pacheco – The presidential candidate lay spread out in bits and pieces on the airfield like dominoes waiting to be put together.
Steve Lodge – All captured and tied to trees around a small clearing with monkeys sucking our toes, waiting for painful torture.
Nthato Morakabi – He nods at Merd, whose head splits open like a Venus fly-trap, releasing barbed worm-like appendages glowing with an electrical charge.
Samantha Carr – Cat pictures distracted him from his terror for a few minutes.
Stephanie Cornelius – The consequences of death – even the beautiful become reduced to smelly corpses.
A J Walker – He’d broken out of prisons before but today he was having to break in to get out Ronald Drumpf; the gross plastic gangster owed him a great deal of money and had got himself sent down following some bizarre run-in with a dolly bird called Dormy Samuels or something before paying Sans for the last job (the one where he blew up a moon size weapon with a piece of lego strapped to a safety match).
Ted Young – Ms Piecrust’s philosophy, stating, “If you’re not there, you can’t put your foot in it,” was convincing.
Nikky Olivier – “Tomorrow when they catch the President with all that smack in his briefcase, we can name our price.”
Justin J. – Oh, sure, the only places people went easily were to the moon and back, but he would go to MARS!
Helen Buckroyd – Sherlock Holmes’s Inspired Midget Minor Miner’s Blowpipe Assassination Attempt Thwarted!
Beckham Lawre – Her eyes are sunken, dress tattered, hair matted, smile rotting.
Geoff Le Pard – ‘Jeez, Pete, he’s not worried about the sugar-nazis, is he?’
Nicolette Stephens – Of course, he’d been unaware of her fate, too wrapped up in his abrupt descent from the pinnacle of ego-driven hubris to do more than sulk in his bedchambers for hours.
Stephen Shirres – A car roared into Jason’s thoughts.
Arianna Hammond – At this point, David just wanted her to shut up, so he snatched the lipstick and smeared it on.

 

Special Mention

Special Award for either a Clearly Trumpcated Story or One That Could Easily Be Mistaken for One.

Nicolette Stephens – The Emperor’s Nude Beach

It’s likely none of us wants to imagine a nude Trump*. Still, the possibility always exists. Golf Course! Nude Beaches! Economic opportunities aglow. Are you watching, Mr. President?

[ * Especially Melania… (GH) ]

 

Honorable/Honourable Mentions

Steve Lodge – Always Have A Smile and A Reason To Pretend

Time travel or a typo… I don’t know. Was it 1950, or 19:50 or nearer to 8 pm? I never did find out. Nor do we really know what happened to those four intrepid fellows, Bimmer, The Guffler, Sid and the author. Most of us believe that no man should meet his maker with monkeys sucking on his toes. And, I guess, at the end, what happens in Southport has to stay in Southport, even if you’ve never been there*.

[ * I’ve been – even the sea doesn’t want to stay too long… (GH) ]

Justin J. – Rainbow Bridge

Look, even after googling, I haven’t a clue as to what a Bifrost engine is. Nevertheless, I do appreciate a dollop of hallucinogenic creativity…so take that, Mr./ Ms. Rainbow Bridge writer. An honourable mention is nothing to sneeze at.

 

Second Runner-up

Ted Young – Flights of Fancy

I almost came up with a special award for Flights of Fancy. I thought of calling it “The Best Flash representation of a psychedelic journey under the guise of Gatwickian nonsense.” I loved this little story, though I can’t exactly claim to fully understand it.

 

First Runner-up

Geoff Le Pard – Let Them Eat Cake

Trump. Dan Quayle. Cake — stollen, stolen, or otherwise. This tasty little flash bumped along like POTUS gangbusters. Damage control, ever a Trump fitness activity, is humorously at play. Heck, you even get the sense of what it might be like working on staff at the White House. Some amusing laughs here.

And now, without further ado, we present the winners of Microcosms 121.

 

(insert drumroll here)

 

Community Pick

Nikky Olivier – Playing Games

295 Words
Politician; Airfield/Airport; Crime

The small airstrip is deserted at this time of night; the only visible lights come from the interior of the dark sedan idling between two hangars.
Barely visible through the tinted windows are two shadowy figures, deep in conversation.
“Are you sure this is enough?”
“I’m sure. This isn’t my first time, you know.”
“I realise that! You came highly recommended. That’s why I contacted you in the first place.”
“You know how to make the plant?”
“If it’s ‘accidentally’ found in his briefcase as he goes through security tomorrow, no-one can pin it on me.”
“That would be the easiest way. I’ll leave you to it then. Payment?”
“In the case at your feet, fifty, as arranged.”
“A pleasure doing business with you, senator.”
A shadowy figure emerges from the vehicle, closing the door with a slam that echoes through the night, and vanishes into the night like a ghost.
Around the corner another vehicle sits, this one in total darkness; a panel van that looks like any of the maintenance vehicles dotted throughout the small airfield. But inside another discussion occurs, one that could have dire consequences for the senator in the sedan.
“So, did we get that on tape?”
“Yep. The senator delivered himself to us in a nice neat ribbon. Tomorrow when they catch the President with all that smack in his briefcase, we can name our price.”
“Aren’t we taking this a bit far? I mean, letting the President get busted for drugs? Just seems a bit much…”
“If you don’t have the guts for this, then you’re welcome to leave. Just remember where your loyalties lie.”
“I’m a fed, I know where my loyalties lie. Do you?”
“I’m loyal to me. You in or out?”
“Let’s do this.”

 

Judge’s Pick

Nthato Morakabi – Unperceived Existence

I am not by nature a fan of science fiction. I have enough trouble grokking* our ostensibly real world without sussing out fantasy. Nevertheless, this sci-fi ditty charmed me with its nihilistic bent. Right out of the gate, it smacks you on the rump, Stormy Daniels style, with “There’s nothing quite like breaking your own arm and using the serrated bone as a shiv to stab a tentacled guard in its cyclopean eye.” As the tale progresses, a different sensibility ensues…a sort of, ‘if a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound…’ vibration takes over and elevates the complexity of the whole shooting match.

I don’t know the answer but perhaps that philosophical teaser is given a vitamin shot with this story.

[ * ‘grok (verb) to understand profoundly and intuitively – coined by Robert A. Heinlein, 1988’, according to Merriam-Webster… Who grokked? For someone who claims to be ‘not by nature a fan of science fiction’, Bill, you seem to have impressive access to obscure sci-fi neologisms; I read a lot of Heinlein in my youth, but I don’t recall this term. (GH) ]

300 words
Gangster; Prison; Sci-Fi

There’s nothing quite like breaking your own arm and using the serrated bone as a shiv to stab a tentacled guard in its cyclopean eye. Here on this despairing, sun-bleached prison, where the stars sit against a Byzantium-hued cosmos, death is swift and sure.

Mr Pqowi, leader of our gangster-cum-rebel trio, rises from his seat. There is palpable silence, reminiscent of the gaping abyss of space, that stifles the prison mess-hall. Mr Pqowi stalks towards the guard to grab the flow of feelers on the creature’s head, and drags the still leaking guard towards a camera.

“You have secured, within this floating penal institution, some of the galaxy’s most nefarious creatures. Yet you have failed to appropriate suitable sentries?”

He throws the guard aside as one would a dirty rag.

“Or do you have so much confidence in the fact that the entire space-station is a prison, that you thought it unnecessary?” Mr Pqowi turned to face us, an amalgamation of facades and blinking orbs sweeping over each of us in a single instant.

“There is an ancient, philosophical account that arose within the Jroq System where my human friend here resides. It raises questions of observation and perception and simply asks, can we confirm the existence of something we cannot perceive or observe?”

He nods at Merd, whose head splits open like a Venus fly-trap, releasing barbed worm-like appendages glowing with an electrical charge. They attach themselves to various cameras around the room and from his eyes, light projects an image of ourselves as our capturers would see us.

“With that in mind, and as Merd’s reparation to your system gives us full control, let me ask you this – once you no longer observe or perceive our existence in the galaxy… do we still exist?”

Darkness encompassed the ship.

 

Congratulations, Nthato. 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 122
RESULTS - Microcosms 120

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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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