Microcosms 127

Hello everyone! Welcome to Microcosms 127. 🙂

 

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IMPORTANT! PLEASE READ!
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Pressing the [REPLY] button in order to leave a comment on an entry is not working properly: the comment will simply appear at the end of post and not as a thread immediately below the entry.

** Workaround **

Until we can solve the problem permanently, you should “right-click” on the [REPLY] button, then click on “Copy link address”, paste that into the URL box at the top of the screen and then press return key. This will take you to the comment box, with the proper link to the comment to which you are replying.

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APOLOGIES FOR THIS INCONVENIENCE
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I am working to resolve this issue, but it’s become a thing. Thanks for your patience!

Alright, everybody. I don’t know about you, but I rather enjoy the randomness that comes from historical events of the day, so I’ve continued with that. There were a bunch of natural disasters on 15 June, oddly. So I used some of those for settings. I hope you enjoy!

KM

 

(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: World Leader, Location: Solar Eclipse, and genre: Comedy. Let’s see what you do!

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 **

 

  • Military Leader
  • World Leader
  • “Ordinary Person”
  • Doctor
  • Researcher
  • Pilot
  • Filmmaker
  • Solar Eclipse
  • Tsunami
  • Volcanic Eruption
  • Airplane
  • Horsetrack
  • Battlefield
  • Wedding
  • Drama
  • Comedy
  • Romance
  • Thriller/Horror
  • Young Adult
  • Sci-Fi/Fantasy
  • Biographical
Spin!

Last week’s Judge’s Pick, Deanna Salser, 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 128
Microcosms 126

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28 comments for “Microcosms 127

  1. 15 June 2018 at 1:43 am

    @billmelaterplea
    http://www.engleson.ca
    288 words
    World leader; volcanic eruption; drama

    The Despot Blues

    It is said I am a monster.
    It is said I am a troll
    It is said I am a villain
    And I say, its just a role.

    I am the son of a dictator,
    The grandson of an autocrat
    I had little choice as I matured,
    The fat was in the fire,
    the fire was human fat.

    Our land is burning deep inside us,
    Our rivers bubble, the poisoned air glows
    Our summers explode with forest fires
    And our winters stink of volcanoes.

    I am the whelp of a dictator,
    The inbred grandson of an autocrat,
    I played along as I grew older
    For I was a spoiled brat,
    Spoiling for the blood of a bat.

    The world cannot stand us,
    And I know we are a laughing stock,
    Our people starve in labour camps,
    Their tongues are wired shut; they cannot talk.

    I am the twisted spawn of an evil dictator,
    The rotting seed of a corrupt autocrat,
    I care nothing for those around me,
    I spit on them, I spat
    I spit on the world wherever I’m at.

    There are a few moments when I imagine,
    When I think, “Could I ever change?
    Could I disappear into the ether
    Or the Paektu-san mountain range?”

    But I am trapped in my own destiny,
    The fouled issue of a dictator,
    A worthless chunk of progeny
    And a second-generation autocrat.
    There is no escape, no joyous ecstasy,
    Just a lineage, a line, a life so flat,
    Control, destruction, and that is that.

    Oh, I have seen the lights of Singapore,
    It is the land of nevermore.
    And it is all so very clear to me
    I will go nuclear,
    Oh sweet volcano, Baekdu,
    And set the whole world free.

    1+
  2. 15 June 2018 at 2:44 am

    @CarinMarais
    http://www.maraiscarin.com
    287 words
    Ordinary person, Airplane, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

    A Taste of Peace

    It was as close to the aliens that I had ever been and I sighed inwardly as I saw that my window seat with the extra legroom was next to a couple of Greens.
    I stowed my hand luggage in the top compartment, keeping my book clutched against my chest.
    Lingua franca, just use the lingua franca. Everyone decided on it when the first lot of aliens landed, didn’t they? I swallowed past the lump in my throat. And I was just an ordinary admin worker. No one special. Not a trouble-maker.
    “Hello, may I please pass?” My accent was thick, that much I knew; in class, I’d been mocked about it many times.
    The couple looked as flustered as me, only nodded, and I squeezed past, sitting down with the book on my lap. It was an old, yellowed paperback, the spine fixed first with sticky tape and now with duct tape.
    I hid the cover from my neighbours. It was one of the old pulp sci-fi stories. We all liked the idea of a lone alien from a destroyed planet keeping us safe. Hundreds fleeing from their planet to this one… not so much. Apparently, the Greens had thought the planet was uninhabited. We’d thought so too when we first arrived and tried to assimilate.
    “We do not speak well,” the green alien said.
    “Me also.” I relaxed.
    The woman – I think it was a female – held out a bar of chocolate.
    “Share?”
    I stared back at her. Greys and greens usually don’t see eye to eye. Apparently, it was Greys who had attacked the Greens in the first place after years of secret government abductions and experiments.
    But who could say no to chocolate?

    1+
    • stephanie cornelius
      15 June 2018 at 9:48 am

      OMG! That is so true lol who can say no to chocolate!!! Bet it’s the only good thing we’re going to contribute to the Universe lol

      1+
  3. Angelique Pacheco
    15 June 2018 at 4:08 am

    World Leader/ Solar eclipse/ Comedy
    12 words

    Some world leaders think that the sun shines out of their asses.

    2+
  4. Ted Young
    15 June 2018 at 5:32 am

    298 words
    World leader – Solar eclipse – Comedy

    Sartorial ignorance
    There are places that exude Peace, harmony and joy, Kookooland, was such a location.
    It was bequeathed to a community generations ago, and had evolved into a naturists paradise. The trees, shrubs and flowers showed obvious happiness; the birds would have shed their feathers if they could, such was the freedom that reigned there.

    The ‘territory’ consisted of a valley gently sloping to a pebbled beach. The only blemish being a highway skirting the sea; the community accepted that people less fortunate than themselves had to travel.

    The President of the country on which Kookooland was just a dot, decided to relocate his administration away from the city and chose the spot by the highway at the foot of the valley.
    You can contravene a law or entitlement if you are the law and have all the entitlements you need to trump everybody else’s, so he built…. higher and higher…….

    Soon Kookooland was plunged into darkness as the building blocked the sun. The trees were visibly unhappy, flowers raised their heads mumbling “what’s the point” and lowered them again, birds were glad they hadn’t found a way to remove their plumage and emigrated.

    Harmony still reigned in Kookooland and the community took their peace, joy and unfettered philosophies into the walkways and gardens of the administration, where the stolen sun still shone.
    Visitors to the government buildings envied these joyful souls and cast off their cloying fabrics to share in the freedom.

    The president noticing that everyone was naked hollered “Hells bells what’s to do!”
    The advisers, who had embraced nakedness, suggested,
    “If you can’t beat ‘em join’ em”.

    You can be portly and beautiful; slim and lovely, but the president who was none of these, declared….
    “No thanks!”…….
    Dismantled his tower and scurried back to the city.

    1+
  5. 15 June 2018 at 8:10 am

    @geofflepard https://geofflepard.com
    Ordinary person, battlefield, drama
    299 words
    Doing Lines, Crossing Lines

    ‘What did you do, sir?’ ‘Tell us about Jerry, sir.’
    Always the same. Trying to distract him. The cacophony of fourteen year old voices rose to a peak. Old Gibblets will tell us about the war and then the class would be over.
    William Gilbert took the chalk, writing etre, underlined it and then je suis, tu es and on. Then he started again.
    Gradually the noise dimmed. The boys thought he wasn’t listening, but he was. The hubbub behind him brought back those nights and Jean-luc’s moans, shivering in his nightly sweats; a fellow inmate at Stalag VII from whom he’d learnt French.
    Each teenage cry echoed the men, trapped on Absolom Beach as they landed. Each hoot of laughter reprised the lads’ nervous release as explosions perforated that calm, terrifying crossing.
    The class fell into an eerie quiet, while he crawled up the sand dune where all but he had died.
    And as alone as he had been, surrounded by gore and death, he was lonelier here, secure in a class of the fourth formers, sure as he had been that death was a heartbeat away.
    They were only boys. They didn’t understand what they were doing, each encouraging the other to defy their fears.
    ‘Are you writing lines, sir?’ One questioning voice.
    Like the astonished German who’d found him, just a bloodied corpse yet oddly alive.
    ‘What have you done wrong, sir?’
    The tear hit the toe of his highly polished boots. He had survived. A mistake for which he would pay in his imaginings for the rest of his days.
    He turned on his inquisitors. ‘What about when we set fire to the RSM’s bed?’
    The hooting and hollering exploded. Old Gibblets was back. They were just boys; they deserved a life.

    1+
  6. 15 June 2018 at 8:29 am

    Night Flight

    World Leader, Airplane, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

    Words: 212

    “We are experiencing turbulence. Please stay in your seats.”

    He groaned as the plane shook in the air. This was why he hated flying, it made him freakin’ nervous. Why couldn’t he have a private plane like the American president did? He was a world leader too.

    Actually, that wouldn’t make it any better. He’d still be in a plane. The woman next to him, however, was completely calm as she read something on her tablet.

    “Oh, relax,” she said. “It’s just a bit of rocking.”

    He glanced at her. “Easy for you to say. I hate flying in these things.”

    The woman put her tablet down and looked out of the window. “Yes, I suppose flying within the atmosphere is a bit old fashioned, isn’t it?”

    The man blinked. “Huh?”

    “Actually, I should be going. Good luck, Mr. Prime Minister.”

    There was a strange feeling of being submerged in water, and a moment later the woman vanished in a flash of light. The Prime Minister stared at the empty seat and looked around.

    Nobody seemed to have taken notice of it. “Uh,” he held up a finger. “Can I get a Scotch over here, please?”

    Above the plane, a flying machine from another world quickly and quietly left.

    2+
    • 15 June 2018 at 9:11 am

      Vidhya Harish Iyer – Tomorrow

      https://www.bandaharbookseries.com

      300 Words

      World Leader; Tsunami; Young Adult

      An Atlas was projected on the giant screen. A revised map in a fluorescent color was superimposed on the existing map of earth.

      ‘The world of tomorrow, Mr. President. Thirty days to ETA. We are still not firm on the selection process.’ They had run through this conversation innumerable times in the past five days.

      ‘Natural selection Mr. Secretary. Darwin’s theory, survival of the fittest.’

      ‘Are you sure? Wouldn’t that cause immeasurable chaos, Mr. President?’

      ‘In chaos, we shall find order, Mr. Secretary. This universe was created billions of years ago through natural selection. Anything else would involve corruption and nepotism. It is perhaps one last chance for the earth to repudiate the effect of crony capitalism and hyper-consumerism. Are we Gods to determine who gets to stay and who doesn’t?’

      The secretary ran his hand through his thinning hair. The room was air-conditioned, but he was sweating. ‘What about informing the leaders of other countries? Our advanced Tsunami prediction systems have confirmed that the killer wave will strike on 31st July 2018, 9.28 PM EST. ‘

      The President’s voice turned harsh. ‘What preparation can be achieved in a time frame of thirty days? We now know that out of 192 countries in the world only 30 countries will remain whole. Everything else will be torn, ruined and fragmented by the force of water. Do you really think the world can plan for this disaster, Mr. Secretary?’

      ‘Are you a God, Mr. President?’ Mr. Secretary had spent the previous night debating. Suddenly, a decision was made, consequences be damned. He reached into his pocket, and three rapid clicks ensued. A hint of a smile crossed his face. The Tsunami news was shared from the President’s official Twitter handle. The Internet would take care of the rest.
      God bless net neutrality.

      1+
  7. stephanie cornelius
    15 June 2018 at 9:40 am

    Pilot, Wedding, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
    Words: 294
    Son to Sun

    It was to be the wedding of the Millennium. Everyone who was anyone caught a shuttle to the Space Station for the wedding of the King of Nualing and the High Priestess of Juno. The fashion ranged from staid (yes, they still have prudes in the 45th Century) to downright pornographic (that would be the sheer materials of the Junites, although how completely see-through can be considered sheer, only they know).

    The wedding was being officiated by the King’s eldest Son and the Heir to his throne. HRH Prince Hyar had done his time as a Space Pilot and as such had been ordained so that he could officiate the nuptials of the many famous faces that often took Space flights. Prince Hyar looked dapper in his electric blue flightsuit. Even HP Benefica in all her “sheer” glory, and King Chyar in his royal robes, could not hold a candle to him.

    The ceremony went off without a hitch. The reception was held on the holo-deck, with slideshows of the different planets in the known Universe, floating past. At last it was time. The moment we had all been waiting for – the farewell launching of the happy couple. We crowded around the viewing decks, all vying for the best spots. The countdown began suddenly. 10… 9… 8… 7… 6… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… As the Prince pushed the button to launch his Father and his new Step-Mother into the Sun, there was a slight smile on his face. No one could tell whether it was due to him now being the King, or whether it was the honour that had been bestowed on his family to be chosen by the Gods to join the High Priestess in her sacrificial journey as her spouse.

    1+
  8. Ted Young
    15 June 2018 at 10:20 am

    “History repeats itself,
    It has to, no-one listened”
    Nice one Bill

    0
  9. Angelique Pacheco
    15 June 2018 at 11:56 am

    Ordinary person/ Volcanic eruption/ Biographical
    Words: 281

    Heart Interrupted

    They had no idea what it was. The gods were angry with them to be sure. The ground shook and thundered, smoke billowed in rage and then the fire started to spray. Perhaps it was the strange beast on the ocean.

    They stood on the boat watching in horror as the flames overtook the tribe. One by one their screams pierced the air changing the wind for all time.

    Lord Tremball was a gentleman, who, having become bored with his sedentary lifestyle decided to become an explorer. He craved adventure and certainly had the means to be adventurous. A little pompous by nature as is the nature of this breed, he was full of himself and expectations. What would you expect in such circumstances?

    The ship set sail one sunset and the stars gleamed bright as guides. Lord Tremball lived up to more than was expected of him as he saw sights few will ever see. The boy grew up to be a man. But growing up with haste is growing up too fast.

    They came upon an island in the middle of the ocean, where a tribe of savages lived in isolation. He saw the signs of the volcano beginning to erupt and tried to warn them. But every time the ship sailed close, the arrows would fly as if to say, “Go away!”

    Sadly, he turned away as the eruption started. But the sounds carved a hole in his heart and a few days later he died of stress cardiomyopathy. In layman’s terms it means he died of a broken heart. Who would have thought that the boy so full of himself would die so empty in the end?

    1+
  10. 15 June 2018 at 12:19 pm

    @hollygeely
    http://hollygeely.com
    250 words
    Elements: doctor, battlefield, romance
    ROVER

    The higher-ups were calling it a stalemate. JoJohn, who had been trapped in his single-flier for the past two weeks, was calling it something else.

    He was tired of the view, fed up with his ration bars, and sick to death of peeing in his pants. None of that mattered, because he wasn’t going anywhere.

    “Pilot, the enemy ship is requesting communication.”

    “Put them through,” JoJohn told the computer. At the very least, it would provide him something to look at besides the outside of the enemy’s ship and the interior of his own.

    The face that flickered on the screen was a surprise. He was clean, he was handsome, and he was human.

    “Why’s a human fighting for the Dogs?” JoJohn asked.

    “My father was a Dog,” the handsome enemy replied.

    “No way.”

    “It’s true. Besides that, until a week ago, I wasn’t a fighter. I’m a doctor.”

    Handsome, human, and highly educated. Damn.

    “My name is Rover,” said the enemy.

    “JoJohn.” Handsome or not, JoJohn was surprised at himself for giving up information so easily. He blamed it on extreme boredom.

    “JoJohn. Under other circumstances, it would be nice to meet you,” Rover said.

    “You mean if we weren’t crammed in this void with our ships ass to ass?”

    “Yes. My General called it a stalemate.”

    “Mine too.”

    “Let’s talk,” Rover said.

    That night, the first peace between humans and Dogs was established, as a tiny spark between two handsome human men.

    It’s a strange universe out there.

    1+
  11. Angelique Pacheco
    15 June 2018 at 12:44 pm

    World Leader/ Solar Eclipse/ Comedy (dark)
    Words: 164

    Potayto, Potaato, C’est la Vie

    “Mr. President, is it true that you have discovered definitive proof that there are aliens among us?”

    “Yes, this is correct.”

    “But how?”

    “The solar eclipse was proof of this.”

    “The solar eclipse told you?”

    “Yes. When the sun is covered by the moon it looks like a mouth and the mouth speaks to me.”

    “Err…okay. What else did it tell you?”

    “That I want raspberry Jell-O and not lime. I don’t like lime.”

    “That’s okay. We can change that for you.”

    “Did you know that the derivative of four is cat?”

    “No. I’m learning something new here. Do you remember your name?”

    “Of course I do. It’s Grumpy.”

    “No. It’s William. Nurse Adler called you grumpy this morning.”

    “Oh. Well never mind about that. I must go. There are mice to shave.”

    Shuffles off.

    “It’s so sad to see one of the world’s greatest leaders becoming a potato.”

    “Yes. But he’s happy and well cared for. And you can’t say he’s not entertaining.”

    1+
  12. 15 June 2018 at 1:51 pm

    190 words
    Researcher; Solar Eclipse; Sci-Fi/Fantasy

    The Longest Eclipse…

    It was April 2024 and the world’s scientists were getting increasingly worried. Although the day’s solar eclipse had started on schedule it was going on for far too long. It was an unprecedented event. How could the moon overstay its presence blocking out the light of the sun? Astronomers around the world were at a loss to explain how this simplest of celestial manoeuvres could have gone awry. One of the most prominent researchers came up with the theory that the moon had developed consciousness. As it had become suddenly aware of the billions of people staring up at it, it had become frozen in embarrassment and ceased moving across the sky.

    World leaders called out to their people to look away, hoping that by averting their gaze the moon would feel less self conscious and complete its transit across the sun. As mankind heeded the call to look away the moon slowly overcame its bashfulness but not before setting a record for the longest period of totality.

    2024 became known as the year of the solar ellipsis in honour of the eclipse that went on for far too long…

    1+
  13. Nikky Olivier
    15 June 2018 at 1:51 pm

    World leader; eclipse; comedy
    Around 220 words ( typing on a phone)

    How the mighty have farted!

    “As far as dictators go” claimed Stanley Mugolini “I’m not a bad sort, or at least I try not to be…”

    “ I keep the beheadings to a minimum, don’t throw people into prison for bad-mouthing me, and only cut off the hands of those who are giving me the finger… I mean, no one has even tried to kill me in over 6 months! That’s progress for you.”

    Yes, he thought he was doing quite well and, in his deluded mind, he was. That didn’t stop the rebels and outcasts from trying to usurp his position.

    Everyone wants to rule the world, after all.

    “It was all going so well too, until those accursed rebel pugs decided to step up.” Stanley lamented. “ My end began with my behind!”

    “all those damn beans in the eclipe-celebration stew! I couldn’t sit without letting rip and no-one takes a windy dictator seriously.”

    “Things just went downhill from there, until eventually I stepped down. Rather a disappointing end to my family’s legacy.”

    *ding* Staff announcement – Stanley, clean up aisle six, Stanley.

    “The only thing I rule right now is the mop-closet. Oh well, better than the fate they had in store for me. At least I get to keep my head, if not my pride”

    2+
  14. Nikky Olivier
    15 June 2018 at 1:55 pm

    A quick note for the admins…
    Not sure if this is my problem only, but I can’t seem to place a vote for any story that had been voted for… every vote made is reading as though it’s mine, bur I haven’t voted for a single story yet. When I do try, it removes the vote already there instead of adding one?

    0
  15. Angelique Pacheco
    15 June 2018 at 2:10 pm

    I’m having the same problems here 🙁

    0
    • 15 June 2018 at 10:47 pm

      I would blame it on the American Electoral College…or the Russians.

      0
  16. 15 June 2018 at 2:41 pm

    @el_Stevie
    100 words
    Researcher, wedding, horror/thriller

    Dress Her In Black

    He had seen that look before, the besotted gaze of a bride as she exchanged vows. This time, Susanna was to become a Belvedere. Five times now she had changed her name. Perhaps this would be fifth time lucky but somehow Jason doubted it, his research had discovered a tendency to addiction ran in her husband’s family. He grinned, something they had in common. His own was currently dressed in white. He preferred to see her in black—and that could be, would soon be, arranged. He followed the groom into the garden, offered him white, dressed her in black.

    1+
  17. 15 June 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Aha! Perhaps this explains the mystery of the missing votes.
    You get a warm cuddly feeling on seeing a vote appended to your piece then come back an hour or so later to find it gone.

    0
  18. 15 June 2018 at 5:54 pm

    Message In A Bottle

    I warned them. They cannot say I didn’t. Well, they can, and that’s why I’m recording this, isn’t it?

    My name is Dell Voelker. I’m Supreme Admiral of Earth’s Defence Forces. And I warned them. I told the president and her cadre of corrupt politicians what would happen. Our intelligence was magre to say the least, and even so, what we had should have been more than enough.

    Did they listen?

    No.

    I still don’t know why I’m surprised. They did what their kind have always done through history: send the soldiers to die, while they stay back. I argued, I cajoled, I prayed. They were sending my crews to their deaths.

    It was useless.

    I saw it in their eyes. All I could do was resign as Chief of Staff and join the Fleet. And now I’ll die with the soldiers under my command.

    As I should.

    What’s worse is that not only did they refuse to listen, they didn’t understand. They thought they’d be safe. They’re the elite, the chosen ones. They’ll hide in their bunkers and wait the disaster out, then they’ll take a peek and reap the spoils.

    Fools.

    We are the last line of defense. Once we fail, there’s nothing holding the enemy back.

    Humanity will be a footnote on the Galactic History books.

    And it will be their responsibility. But it won’t matter any longer.

    There will be no-one left to put the blame on them.

    1+
  19. JK
    15 June 2018 at 6:27 pm

    Prompts: Researcher Battlefield Romance
    Word count: 291

    Title: I Will Love You until the Pigs Fly Home

    Callie was an enthusiastic and mysterious young lady. She was a native of the San Juan Islands and worked as a researcher for a local paper. She was working on a piece about the Pig War or Potato War – people really had fun with this one. What seemed like a simple task between the United Kingdom and United States was not so easy, but at least no one died except for the pig.

    Callie was interviewing British politician Finlay Hughes he was a real peach when it came to collecting information about their stand on the Oregon Treaty. She could not help, but think they should have spared the pig and took him.

    Finlay was shy and awkward, heart in the right place, but came off like a real snot to most. He found Callie to be amusing and really liked the San Juan Islands compared to his city life. He thought I could really settle here and maybe Callie could get me acquainted to the area.

    So they worked together a few weeks. He did his political duties, as they worked diligently on information for the article, and she begrudgingly showed him what San Juan was like. Little did he know that she was undercover and not a researcher for the paper, but a spy for U.S.A. He found this out from his superior.

    He thought well sneaky of her to lie about being a researcher. Two could play this game, I like her, and I can keep some secrets myself for now. Finlay thought I might be playing with fire when it comes to Callie, but love and war does not always have to be sunshine and roses or rivers full of tears or bloodshed. At least I hope.

    1+
  20. Arianna Hammond
    15 June 2018 at 6:42 pm

    Ordinary person; solar eclipse; comedy
    298 words

    LATE, LATE, LATE.

    I’m late. Twenty minutes late to be precise. It’s not completely my fault traffic was so bad, well, I suppose I did stop for that one coffee…and I did help my elderly neighbor get that one cat out of her bush- whether it was her cat or not, I couldn’t tell. All I knew was she was hysterical and needed the cat out immediately. Needless to say, that took some time.

    Pulling over to the side of the road, just barely scraping my tire along the curb, I put the car into park and whip my keys out while shifting to open the door. I attempt to jump outside but then get snapped back by my forgotten seat-belt. Unfastening myself, I swiftly thrust my body out of the vehicle. That’s when my shoelace comes undone and snags on the lever that opens the gas hatch, causing me to fall upon the hot asphalt, my face nearly colliding with the ground as well. Twisting over, so as to untangle myself- I reach forward because my foot is elevated. The ripping sound is what makes me bite back tears. My bare back is now exposed to the open air, my favorite dress shirt: torn down the middle. Finally getting the lace off, I stand up; grab the briefcase resting upon the passenger seat. I turn around and notice a person standing on the opposite sidewalk, just…watching. It takes only a second of me wondering how long they’ve been there before my briefcase unclasps…releasing all my papers. I lose it.

    Snatching some papers, I march down the street, not bothering to look back. Before entering I look up- the eclipse is almost halfway complete. Damn it. My teacher will be pissed I’m late for the science club viewing and project fair.

    2+
  21. 15 June 2018 at 6:52 pm

    @Rhapsody2312

    Researcher | Horsetrack | Sci-fi/Fantasy
    300 Words

    A Real Girl

    “Mother, what’s a horse?”

    “A four-legged mammal, domesticated by humans as beasts of burden, and as a form of transport.”

    “Oh. I thought they’d be more interesting than that.” She looks at the images on her Plas-Screen. “So, what’s a horsetrack?”

    “An arena where humans raced horses to see which one was the fastest.”

    “How did they make the horses go?”

    “They had riders, called jockeys, who spurred them on.”

    “Was it dangerous?”

    “There were some dangers, as with any sport.”

    “What happened to the horses?”

    “When humans left Earth, they left their animals behind. Horses are wild animals now. Only the very wealthy keep them, in zoos or as pets.”

    She ponders this for a moment.

    “Mother, can I have a horse?”

    “Where would you keep it?”

    “I could build a track for it in one of the empty loading bays.”

    “What would you feed it?”

    “I don’t know… what do horses eat?”

    “Their primary diet when domesticated is hay – dried grass, supplemented with other grains or plant food. They require approximately two kilos of food a day.”

    “That’s a lot of food.”

    “They are big animals.”

    “I still think I’d like a horse.”

    “It is said that every little girl dreams of having a horse at some stage.”

    She touches her face, the lifelike texture of Plas-Skin soft and pliable.

    “Mother, what’s a little girl?”

    “A human child, with female reproductive organs.”

    “And… I’m a little girl?”

    “You are learning to be one.”

    “Why?”

    “For your human parents to take care of and love.”

    “What are parents?”

    “Caregivers of children, most often a mother and father.”

    “But you’re my mother!”

    “I am merely a programme designed to serve as your primary caregiver until you are adopted.”

    “Oh… Do you think my real parents will give me a horse?”

    1+
  22. Richard Edenfield
    15 June 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Ordinary person; solar eclipse; comedy
    300 words

    The Wedding Band of an Eclipse Playing Blindness
    ———————————————————————-

    They were blinded by love. By the light: the eclipse happened during the ceremony. Vows escaped air and launched dreams into a stratosphere of folding space—the way her dark flower quilt slid over starch white sheets—on her wedding night—after corneas burned like popcorn left in microwave too long. Contained confetti. In a bag. Popping: a celebration deferred.

    She was dressed in white, her least favorite color. Who hates white? Who loves it? White had no commitments. It was free. He wore black that reminded him of his father after he had been drinking all night. It was a focused blur. A billboard of sleep.

    The sky started to darken. The sun seemed squeezed like an orange. Sweat oozed down his face, zigzagging, awkward, like coins dropped in water.

    “Don’t look up! It’s an eclipse!” Someone yelled in the third row.

    “How did we not know?” The bride’s mother exclaimed.

    “We knew. We just didn’t know when all the arrangements were made… that it would coincide…” The bride’s father said.

    Everyone stared straight ahead. A shadow came across the lawn. The temperature dropped slightly. She felt a chill on her arms as his lips touched hers.

    There are no seatbelts for eyes except sunglasses and they weren’t wearing any when their eyes crashed into the sun—they thought the eclipse was done.

    On their wedding bed they had bandages on their faces, but they were determined to make love. They weren’t blind, but they could not see—for now. They gropped at each other and then decided against it. They could see bands of gold outlining their darkness, the sun burning its facination on their vision. Then they went to sleep as the rings fell on the floor with a gentle tap like a key understanding a lock.

    1+
  23. 15 June 2018 at 8:39 pm

    Twitter: @ArthurUnkTweets
    Website: https://arthurunk.com
    146 words
    Ordinary Person, Battlefield, Drama

    This Is Not My Life, This Is Not My Home…

    Alone I sit and begin to cry
    Death surrounds me, and I don’t know why
    My shaking hands grip a useless gun

    Just an empty shell
    Trapped in Hell
    Tired and on the run

    The demons come in the night
    To steal the souls of those who fight
    One by one we disappear

    The only one left is me
    Fighting things that should not be
    Reflected dead eyes show that the end is near

    Is it luck or is it fate
    Surviving in this primal state
    A life forever changed

    I don’t recognize the man staring back
    In the mirror before the attack
    Priorities forcefully rearranged

    I pray it’s all a dream
    Victim of a madman’s scheme
    Get back to living a normal life

    Yet I wake up in the dirt
    With the pain, the blood, and the hurt
    The new normal is now only strife

    1+
  24. Deanna Salser
    16 June 2018 at 10:05 pm

    So, I counted the votes earlier today and now there are a whole bunch missing. I kept track of them if you are interested, KM.

    0
  25. 17 June 2018 at 1:00 pm

    Sorry about the problems with the voting! I’m not sure what happened. 🙁 I am trying to get it fixed.

    0

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