Thanks to all who submitted to Microcosms 127. We had 20 aweosome entries this time.
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 126 Judge’s Pick, Deanna Salser, kindly agreed to act as judge for this contest. Here’s what Deanna had to say:
Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to use my voice. I would like to say first that I’m harder on myself than I am on anyone else, but when there is a misspelling, or any other kind of mistake that pulls me away from the story, I develop resentments that affect how I feel about the story, even if it’s really good in concept. Also, I adore subtlety, so when you can cover your prompts without actually coming out and saying them, that impresses me. Another thing is, I like to think, and a story that takes my mind further and gives me inspiration, really gets my attention. Lastly, if a story transports me to the degree that I am loathe to leave it, that one is my favorite. I’m only telling you this because this is how I vote, as well. Just a little insight into me. Anyways, this week was hard! I pored over them all several times and took my time choosing the one that grabbed me the most.
Favourite / Favorite Lines
Bill Engleson – Our land is burning deep inside us.
Carin Marais – I stowed my hand luggage in the top compartment, keeping my book clutched against my chest.
Angelique Pacheco – Some world leaders…
Ted Young – Visitors to the government buildings envied these joyful souls and cast off their cloying fabrics to share in the freedom.
Geoff Le Pard – A mistake for which he would pay in his imaginings for the rest of his days.
Justin J. Conidaris – There was a strange feeling of being submerged in water and a moment later the woman vanished in a flash of light.
Vidhya Harish Iyer – Are we Gods to determine who gets to stay and who doesn’t?
Stephanie Cornelius – The reception was held on the holo-deck, with slideshows of the different planets in the known Universe, floating past.
Angelique Pacheco – One by one their screams pierced the air changing the wind for all time.
Holly Geely – Handsome, human, and highly educated. Damn.
Angelique Pacheco – Did you know that the derivative of four is cat?
Tim Hayes – How could the moon overstay its presence blocking out the light of the sun?
Nikky Olivier – Everyone wants to rule the world, after all.
Steph Ellis – He preferred to see her in black-and that could be, would soon be, arranged.
Vicente L Ruiz – Once we fail, there’s nothing holding the enemy back.
JK – She could not help, but think they should have spared the pig and took him.
Arianna Hammond – I turn around and notice a person standing on the opposite sidewalk, just…watching.
Nicolette Stephens – And…I’m a little girl?
Richard Edenfield – There are no seatbelts for eyes except sunglasses and they weren’t wearing any when their eyes crashed into the sun.
Arthur Unk – Is it luck or is it fate, surviving in this primal state
Arianna Hammond: Late, Late, Late
Because we have all had at least one day like this. I felt every second of this story, thank you for the chuckle I kept up, the whole time I was reading.
Angelique Pacheco: Potayto, Potaato, C’est la Vie
And the potato dialogue: I could totally picture the cute harmless old guy, living out his days amusing his caretakers. He even looked like Einstein in my head.
Carin Marais – A Taste of Peace
This piece caught my attention from the very first sentence, and I didn’t want it to be over. Thank you writer for taking me away, if only for a moment. Oh, and of course, who can say no to chocolate?
And now, without further ado, we present the winners of Microcosms 127.
(insert drumroll here)
Since the voting system doesn’t seem to be working at the moment, I don’t think it’s fair to officially declare a winner until it’s fixed. Therefore, I propose keeping it pending until we can have a proper vote. We can poll everyone again in the next contest or two (depending on how long it takes) and then update this post with the new information. I’ve been trying to fix it, but I think that’s the fair thing to do at the moment. (If anyone has any other suggestions or ideas, I’m all ears.)
Nicolette Stephens – A Real Girl
This one made my mind go in many directions and at the same time I wanted more. Great job writer! Thank you for endearing me to your character so quickly and making me envision multiple story lines all at the same time.
Researcher | Horsetrack | Sci-fi/Fantasy
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.”
“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?”
Congratulations, Nicolette. 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!