Microcosms 128

Felicitations, my flash-fiction friends, and welcome to Microcosms 128.

 

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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 the post and not as a thread immediately below the entry.

KM has gamely been plugging away at the plug-ins in order to try to solve this problem; by the time you read this, it may have been solved. If not, read on…

** 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 the 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’ve been spending way too much time watching World Cup 2018  football/soccer matches, rooting for the underdogs against the top teams so that England have a better chance of progressing if — no, when! — they reach the knock-out stage; it’s been working out pretty well so far!

As a consequence, I’ve become very familiar with …

This week’s challenge is based on interpretations of the names of some of the players competing in the group stages:

  • Argentina: Enzo PÉREZ – Surname of a fictional Shetland Detective Inspector, created by crime writer Ann Cleeves
  • Belgium: Thomas MEUNIER – the French for ‘miller’
  • Brazil: GABRIEL Jesus – the angel who appeared to the Virgin Mary, foretelling the Immaculate Conception
  • England: Harry KANE – the focus of Orson Welles’ classic masterpiece
  • Peru: EDISON FLORES – An inventor… presented with Spanish flowers!
  • Tunisia: NAÏM SLITI – an anagram of LAMINITIS (inflammation of sensitive tissue in a horse’s hoof)

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: Police Detective, Location: Windmill, and genre: Memoir.

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 **

 

  • Police Detective
  • Miller
  • Angel
  • Newspaper Magnate
  • Inventor
  • Veterinary Surgeon
  • Island
  • Windmill
  • Nazareth
  • Deathbed
  • Flower Shop
  • Stable
  • Comedy
  • Horror
  • Crime
  • Memoir
  • Sci-Fi
  • Fairy Tale

 

Spin!

 
Last week’s Judge’s Pick, Nicolette Stephens, 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 129
Microcosms 127

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27 comments for “Microcosms 128

  1. 22 June 2018 at 1:23 am

    http://www.engleson.ca
    @billmelaterplea
    298 pots on the wall
    Police Detective; Island; Comedy

    Big Smoke Island: The Last Harrumph of Detective Leon Argentina

    “They think they are immune, sergeant. That’s the long and the short of it, I’m afraid.”

    “Yes, sir, so I’ve heard.”

    “They’ve never had real policing, have they? I mean serious, in your face bull-doggedness.”

    “It hasn’t really been warranted, sir. It’s a peaceful island. You know, aside from their giggle stick inclinations. We’ve coptered over the island every so often. Frightened our share of their sheep. Occasionally spotted one of their little hippie lettuce plantations out in the boonies. Plucked a few gardens, we have. That’s certainly ruffled their feathers.”

    “That’s all we’ve managed, isn’t it? Scared a few dumb animals, pulled out a few plants…of course they’re peaceful. Their brains are all fogged up.”

    “Don’t forget, sir, there are quite a number of loonie-tune Roswell conspiracy theorists on the island. You know, ex-pat Yanks who never trusted their own government. Our flyovers at dusk have generated quite a few alien invasion calls. That almost makes it worth it.”

    “It’s a good point. But our drug enforcement program has been one big bust. And now, in a few days, marijuana will be legal in Canada. They’ll have the last damn laugh.”

    “I think laughter is part of the whole toking experience, sir. Or so I’ve heard.”

    “You’ve heard right, sergeant. Heaven knows we’ve been inundated with enough training. How many times did Headquarters make us watch I Love You, bloody Alice B. Toklas!”

    “Three by my count, sir. But it was a lot more fun than that clunker, Reefer Madness.”

    “Clunker? Fun? Training films are not supposed to be fun.”

    “Sorry, sir.”

    “It’s all right. My point is that life shouldn’t be just laughter. There’s responsibility. Sobriety. My whole life has been a testament to sobriety. I can’t let it go, sergeant. We’ll hit them at dawn.”

    1+
    • Geoff Holme
      22 June 2018 at 7:54 am

      “Giggle stick”? “Hippie lettuce”? Every week is an education with you, Bill. Great stuff, as ever.

      1+
      • 23 June 2018 at 3:13 pm

        I really wanted to work in “wacky tobaccy”, Geoff, but a writer has to draw the line somewhere. And then there is the permitted word count…

        0
  2. 22 June 2018 at 5:55 am

    @VicenteLRuiz
    240 words
    Angel; Flower Shop; Crime

    A Question of Jurisdiction

    Haniel pushed the door. The bells above the door chimed, and they nodded in appreciation. The smells of a hundred flowers, humidity and petrichor filled their nostrils.

    “Haniel, this way,” they heard. Sablo. They’d sent Sablo.

    They waded through the pots and counters. The place looked and felt like a greenhouse, rather than a simple shop.

    “Sablo,” Haniel said when they met Sablo.

    “The victim’s here,” Sablo said. Sure enough, two legs protruded from under a large pot. Haniel knelt beside the body.

    “Are we sure it’s Zepar?” they asked.

    “Should be, it’s his store. No ID in his pockets. We’re waiting until we can move him.”

    There was another chime.

    “Where is he?” came a voice.

    Haniel stood, as in stormed a woman. After all this time, Haniel still found confusing how the Fallen had chosen sexes. But to each their own.

    “Vepar,” Haniel said, and stepped in.

    She sneered at him.

    “Do you think I can’t handle it? I handled you quite well, if I recall correctly,” she said. “He won’t look worse than you did.”

    “Yes, you did. And it’s not that. This is an official Authority matter, Vepar. He cannot be moved.”

    She produced an ID card and waved it in front of them.

    “Surprise, Haniel,” she said. “I’m in the Agency now. Agency supersedes Authority. He was my informant.”

    Haniel took a step back, aghast.

    “Close your mouth, Haniel. This is my case now.”

    1+
    • Geoff Holme
      22 June 2018 at 8:01 am

      Clever use of the elements, Vicente. Love to see the use of the whole-sentence-in-a-word term petrichor. 😀

      0
      • 22 June 2018 at 12:40 pm

        Love the word ever since I learned it (from Neil Gaiman no less!).

        0
  3. Ted Young
    22 June 2018 at 5:55 am

    296 words
    Police Detective; Windmill; Memoir

    The Dancer

    As a London cab driver, I often get asked if I’ve carried anybody interesting. Now some cabbies have a list of ‘notables’ to bore you with; so have I, if I could be bothered, but I usually say, ‘just one’, and leave it at that.

    But I’ll tell you… ‘cos I think you’ll understand.

    I’d had a busy shift, and I was cleaning up the cab when I spotted a piece of brown paper slid down the side of the seat. I eased it out and saw the chalk and charcoal drawing of a dancer.

    ‘Who drew you?’ I asked.

    To talk to an inanimate object and expect — even demand — an answer requires more faith than most religions.

    ‘Come on. Give us a clue.’

    And there it was: the famous monogram — (T-L).

    ‘Who left you here? What’s your story?’

    All night, I went through the fares. I decided the best bet was the young lady I’d picked up from the stage door of the Palladium.

    Next day at the rank, I was quizzed by some snotty little detective constable, who would rather be chasing axe-murderers than faffing around looking for doodles. I told him nothing… the little twit.

    I parked up at the Palladium same time as the day before and waited. She recognised me and slowly walked over.

    ‘Looking for your picture?’ I smiled.

    ‘I’ve been silly… You don’t earn much in the chorus line.

    I joined an escort agency, and this horrible man wanted more than I was prepared to give. But he had this picture; it was my great-great-aunt, La Goulue, who danced at the Moulin-Rouge. She was painted by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. I stole it and ran.’

    ‘There you go, sweetheart. Our secret.’

    Have I had interesting punters?

    Just one.

    1+
    • Geoff Holme
      22 June 2018 at 8:08 am

      ‘Every picture tells a story’ eh, Ted? Lovely, heart-warming stuff.
      [ No ‘rib-tickler’ this week, then? 😉 ]

      0
      • Ted Young
        22 June 2018 at 9:58 am

        I have a sensitive side, Geoff.

        1+
  4. 22 June 2018 at 9:01 am

    @geofflepard https://Geofflepard.com
    298 words
    Police Detective; Island; Comedy

    Laugh And The World Laughs With You

    Crawford focused on the message to distract him from the swell. ‘Two bodies, males. One poisoned, the other to be determined. Both look suspicious. Going to be a real laugh.’
    He sighed. Meldrew was a pain, as if suspicious deaths at the comedy festival were funny. Ho-ho. Why they had to hold it on an island though. He hated boats.
    The constable stood on the temporary dock with a man in red tartan, wringing his hands. Don’t let it be a clown, he prayed. I can’t do this with a bloody clown.
    ‘What do we have, constable?’
    ‘Martin Deep. Doing a set. Takes a drink, and seconds later, he’s clutching his throat. Last words apparently ‘I could murder a decent scotch.’ ‘Looks like the scotch got in first.’ Meldrew looked around. No one laughed.
    ‘Bit quick to be poisoned.’ Crawford knelt by the corpse.
    ‘Doc says it was a strong emetic. Drowned in his own vomit.’ Meldrew grinned at the clown. ‘He must have gagged on his gag.’ This time the clown frowned and sniffed. A tear slide across his cheek, smudging his make-up.
    Crawford dropped the sheet over the dead man’s face. ‘The other one?’
    ‘Next door. Newcomer, Piers Tripe. Seems his set was bombing.’ Meldrew sniggered.
    Crawford grabbed the constable’s arm. ‘If you say he corpsed, so help me…’
    ‘Sir. As if. That would be tasteless. Seems he was terrible, so no one was going to die of laughter in his tent. Sorry. Doc thinks he was also poisoned.’
    ‘Any link?’ He looked at the clown.
    ‘They were both New Right comics. Mindless bigots if you ask me.’
    Crawford looked at the bodies. ‘Why poison them, though?’
    Meldrew stood back. ‘Probably because they’re an acquired taste, sir.’
    ‘Meldrew. Come back here, right now…’

    0
    • 23 June 2018 at 11:44 am

      Some snappy dialogue here with a tasteful smattering of puns and poisonous barbs…

      0
  5. Angelique Pacheco
    22 June 2018 at 9:46 am

    297 words
    Police Detective; Windmill; Memoir

    Full Circle

    My Anika. I could still see her white blonde hair blowing in the breeze the windmill made. Her clogs were always off; she found them uncomfortable to wear.

    The day that changed everything, dawned bright and sunny. The hum of the windmills was only surpassed by the humming of insects. My Anika was missing. I rode over from the station on my bicycle, not in any particular sort of hurry. Anika was well known for her mischievous acts of disappearing. And school was starting that day so I imagined she would rather spend the day lying in the tulip fields watching the clouds race by. But something gnawed at me. A feeling I couldn’t shake. I pushed it aside, citing coffee on an empty stomach as the cause, but I pedaled a little harder.

    Anika’s mother was beside herself. Tears were streaming down her face and she wailed, “Anika, Anika!”Over and over again. She would not see the year out. We searched everywhere for Anika. I paid special attention to her favorite places, and why wouldn’t I? Anika was the love of my life. In a year she would be done with school and we would be married. As much as I searched, I couldn’t find her. And the knot in my stomach grew and stayed with me for years.

    Tears are streaming down my face as I look at the remains of my love. Under the windmill she so loved standing under. The frail bones now clutch flowers and the small nick on her rib indicate that she was stabbed. And I finally know what happened to her. Her mother. Was it an accident? Did it happen in a fit of rage? The knot in my stomach releases and I feel like I can breathe again.

    0
  6. nostalgicablog
    22 June 2018 at 11:57 am

    @steveweave71
    300 words
    Police Detective; Windmill; Memoir

    Nature’s Breath – The Memoirs Of Detective Cliff Hanger (Chapter 7)

    You may have heard about this next high profile case. It was all over the newspapers at the time. They gave it to me and my fellow detective, Ernie Cattlin. Everybody else in the Department had given up on the case or was allergic to lavender. Yeah, that one. The notorious serial killer, whose victims died horribly in a blaze of lavender poisoning.

    We were convinced it was the work of a woman.

    Now, remember from the previous chapter, how I was telling you about my freak sledging accident in the Winter Olympics of ’55 in Zambia?

    That accident nearly cost me my job. Luckily, although it took away all my right arm, it left the entire arm bone and the bone of my thumb and one finger was saved, so I could still shoot my automatic.

    One night, we followed a suspect to a disused flour mill on the outskirts of town. Once inside, Ernie fell into a vat of flour and, as he clambered out, looking like a ghost, my gun went off and… well… I still owe him a right ear and an explanation.

    Suddenly, a blood-curdling shriek ripped through the canvas of the night. Sounded like a witches’ convention.

    “The old windmill. Come on.” I ran off up the road.

    “What?” shouted Ernie, running after me.

    Atop the hill, an eerie broken-sailed windmill loomed. The cackling got louder and the scent of lavender stronger.

    One light shone three floors up. We rushed the stairs and confronted her, mid-cackle.

    “Move away from the lavender concoction, you hag,” I asked politely.

    She made a run for it, crashed through the window, fell on to a windsail then slid lifeless to the ground.

    “That’s the end of Doris Karloff, the Poisoned Lavender Serial Killer,” I shouted triumphantly.

    “Huh?” said Ernie.

    0
  7. 22 June 2018 at 12:22 pm

    300 words
    Veterinary Surgeon; Stable; Fairy Tale

    The Queen’s Horse

    And so the people of the castle all began to lament, ‘Ai! Ai! Who can cure the Queen’s Horse?’

    The third of the doctors was a maiden, pure enough to bring a unicorn from the woods and kind enough to melt the rock walls of the castle. She approached with a strange bag of herbs, and the people parted around her–

    “Herbs?!” Hendricks demanded. “Who do you think I am?!”

    She was a maiden, pure enough–

    “I went to school for eight years to get my degree! I didn’t amass all this student debt to be judged on my–virginal status. Jeez. What year do you think this is?”

    The time was midday, in a kingdom far, far away.

    “Yeah, yeah. Just show me the horse. I didn’t drive all this way to let it die. Did you know that they made me get out of my truck when I came onto the property? It’s like a cult around here!”

    And so the people of the castle greeted the young non-maiden. ‘Can you cure the horse?’ they asked. ‘Our Queen is in need of her steed, for she loves to travel the countryside and all who see her beauty feel their lives greatly Improved.’

    “Did you all just ask that in unison?” Hendricks said. “If so, that was impressive. And creepy. And–good Christ, this li’l baby isn’t sick or hurt, she’s just overworked. In other words, it wasn’t a tragedy, it was idiocy. I’m prescribing bed rest. Now get me out of here.”

    And so the people of the castle rejoiced at these tidings. But the Queen was deeply unhappy, for her daily rides gave her much joy–

    “Yeah, I don’t really care,” Hendricks snapped. “I’ve got some real work to get to, so someone take me back to my truck.”

    0
  8. 22 June 2018 at 12:24 pm

    299 words
    Police Detective; Island; Comedy

    Fish

    So, this is where it ends, huh? Years of working towards my detective’s badge, and it ends here.

    On a freakin’ island, surrounded by fish, after a freak storm picked them up from the ocean and dumped them on the beach.

    Damn it, I hate fish. It stinks, they’re slimy, and the scales are disgusting. Naturally, it’s the staple food of this island. A local approaches me, barely keeping her laughter in check. I idly notice that she’s not bad looking. Dark-skinned, like all the locals, with pretty eyes and long, curly hair.

    She looks amazing in that bikini too.

    “Are you okay?” she asks me, bending down and poking at a fish. “We should have warned you about the fish storms.”

    Fantastic, they happened so often that the locals had a name. “I’m okay,” I said. “I hate fish, though.”

    At that exact moment, a large fish slammed into my head from on high as another ‘fish storm’ arrived.

    The lady just began to laugh.

    I. Hate. Fish.

    So very much.

    “Look,” I say to the woman as more fish slam down around me in what has to be the weirdest day of my life, “can I just get out of this pile of fish and back to the hotel?”

    The woman manages to stop laughing. “Just…just wait. The fishermen will be around to…” she laughs again as another fish hits me in the head. I’m starting to feel dizzy. “…collect the fish.”

    The storm is, thankfully, short, and I busy myself with getting out of the pile of fish. Later on, in my hotel room, after a lengthy shower, I find out that I’m on a local website for hilarious situations visitors end up in.

    Have I mentioned that I hate fish? Because I do.

    1+
  9. Nikky Olivier
    22 June 2018 at 12:39 pm

    290 Words
    Police Detective; Windmill; Memoir

    Defective Detective

    I’d barely unlocked my office when she walked in.

    The longest legs you’d ever seen and a voice like an angel.

    I sprang up from my chair so that I could do the chivalrous thing and pull hers out. A gesture that earned me a small smile – and if her smile could do that to me, I’d move heaven and earth to see it again.

    “I need your help, Mr…?” Her breathy voice was like sweet music to my ears.

    “Detective Sancho. Donald Sancho, but please call me Don.”

    “Well, Don. My Name is Dulcie. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

    As I took her offered hand and pressed it to my lips, I was struck again by how perfect this golden-haired beauty was.

    “How can I be of service, Dulcie?”

    “I’ve lost all my money. My ex-husband has cleared our accounts and run off. I need you to find him. Please.”

    It wasn’t difficult to track him to a country guest-house where I soon discovered the mess my inherent chivalry had led me to.

    This wasn’t some love-nest. No. it was a meeting of the top crime families in the country and my sweet Dulcie was under the spell of the Capo.

    My quixotic nature led me to burst in on him in the middle of his meeting and demand that he set my sweet Dulcie to rights, while my lack of foresight proved to be my downfall and I found myself tied to, and tilting on, the blades of a windmill for the remainder of the weekend.

    Given all that time to think, I concluded that perhaps the knights of old were no longer with us because grand acts of chivalry lead to even greater deaths.

    1+
  10. 22 June 2018 at 1:02 pm

    299 words
    Police Detective; Windmill; Memoir

    A Little on the Side

    I remember the night I lost my badge and my girl. With the storm punching out wind and rain, and lightning flashing every few seconds, it was a wild night. I’d like to say I did everything by the book, but that would be a lie. Harry can attest to that — he warned me often enough about it. But when I get a hunch, I like to play it out, regardless of the rules.

    A call came in about a possible homicide; shots had been fired and a man lay dead in the street. As soon as I saw who it was, I knew who we were looking for. But Harry told me not to jump to conclusions, so I went out to Meunier’s Pond to see for myself. It’s a good thing I told him where I was going, or I would have never made it back.

    I think she was going to jump. There was no other reason for her to climb up the mill. I shielded my eyes with my hand as I craned my neck to see. A helpful flash of lightning outlined her figure about halfway up, clinging to the slippery beams, with the gun over her shoulder on a strap. The massive blades whirled madly above her head as she turned to look at me down on the ground.

    “You’ll have to shoot me!” she shouted, scrabbling for her gun.

    “Come on down, baby,” I called out. “Nobody knows.” A bullet bit into the grass at my feet, and I jumped.

    “You know,” she shouted. Another shot rang out and I dove to the side. The sound of a body hitting the ground beside me had me popping up in alarm.

    “That was a close one,” Harry said, leveling his gun at me.

    0
  11. Mpart
    22 June 2018 at 1:44 pm

    293 words
    Police Detective; Flower Shop; Fairy Tale

    Nymph Hunter

    The woman looked at the storefront with narrowed eyes as a man busied himself, changing out flowers for others for no reason the woman comprehended. The tiny storefront hadn’t suffered like the majority of the world, coated in a thick layer of grey that had come and gone as nymphs had been hunted down. Instead, it had bloomed in bright, vibrant colors as the rest of the world took on the color of ash and dust. Quite literally.

    She shook her head as she made her way to the storefront. She wasn’t here to admire a few magic tricks that managed to add a bit of color to the world. Her footsteps echoed across the cobblestone streets as she dared anyone to meet her gaze.

    No, she was here to find out how a nymph running a flower shop survived in plain sight after a decade of hunting the nymphs.

    She pushed open the front door and ran into a customer who was eyeing a flower arrangement.

    The customer turned around and opened his mouth before closing it and casting his eyes to the ground. Like the nymph, the woman didn’t hide who she was or what she was doing.

    She had a job and was here to finish it.

    The nymph finally met her gaze with bright green eyes that lit up with mischief.

    The nymph’s trademark eyes tainted with grey confirmed what her sources had already hinted at; he was a nymph that had turned his back on his kind and in order not to become the prey, he became the hunter.

    She glared back at him as the customers emptied out one by one after taking note of her.

    The front door came to a close and so it began.

    0
  12. Harrietbelle
    22 June 2018 at 4:01 pm

    300 Words
    Police Detective; Windmill; Memoir

    Full Circle

    A dripping night in October and there I am in my car, keeping watch on a windmill. I can certainly think of other places I’d rather be but it’s my final job before I retire; if I can pull this off, I will be content.

    The radio link crackles into life and a disjointed voice asks, ‘Any sighting up there, boss?’

    I answer in the negative and settle down for more silent watching and waiting.

    There have been reports of lights flashing in the old mill and shadows in the darkness. Suspicions of a drug gang rife in the area.

    I can’t help thinking of my old dad when I look at that windmill, spooky against the darkness.

    Blimey, I remember that night when they found me here. Fifteen I was and besotted with Jenny Marsden. Nobody understood, of course, so we had to run away to be together, and where we ran was three miles away from home to this old windmill.

    It was great at first, wrapped in each other’s arms under the stars, but when it got dark and wet we weren’t so sure! Then the police arrived, flashing their torches and finding us crouched in the corner scared to death!

    I was so relieved to see my dad! I never let him know that though!

    ‘Movement inside,’ the disjointed voice informs me.

    ‘Into position,’ I respond, then, ‘Move.’

    The night is full of shadows black and evil with guns, creeping toward the mill and surrounding it.

    I run, crouching. They shout ‘Armed Police!’ and floodlights blazing suddenly.

    I take the mic and my voice rings out, ‘You are surrounded. Come out with your hands up.’

    There is a movement and they appear. Hands raised and close together…

    A terrified couple of teenage runaways.

    Déjà vu.

    1+
  13. 22 June 2018 at 4:07 pm

    @el_Stevie
    298 words
    Vet; Nazareth; Horror

    Goat

    Mount Precipice loomed over him. Khalid wiped his brow and stared at its steep slope. Abba was up there somewhere with his injured sheep. From this point, he would have to leave his car behind and go the rest of the way on foot. Hoisting his bag onto his shoulder, Khalid started to climb, wondering why Abba continued to keep sheep instead of goats. Goats didn’t get stuck on mountains. Goats jumped. He had herded many goats up here as boy and man.

    A distressed bleat reached his ears and Khalid increased his pace, regretting not having passed the call to his partner but the young vet had his own goats to herd.

    Khalid was almost at the top and the bleating grew louder. He knew the area well. Also known as the Mount of the Leap of the Lord, many misguided fanatics—like Abba’s brother—had attempted their own literal leaps of faith from here. Khalid had often walked with them, helped them on their way, his own cloven hooves keeping him surefooted.

    A goat trotted up beside him, nudged at his hand, then butted him sharply.

    “Hey,” he said. “You could send me over.”

    At these words, another goat appeared, its horns hard and painful as they too rammed at him, made him stumble.

    “Abba,” he called, seeing the man appear at last. “Goats, not sheep? Why didn’t you say when you called.”

    The creatures bleated noisily and began to shepherd Khalid to the edge.

    “Thought it was about time I saw how my brother died. Watched a goat jump. You never know, I might enjoy it.”

    “How did you…”

    “Said a prayer. But it wasn’t God who answered.”

    Khalid looked down and saw Abba walked with Devil’s feet. The mountain had a new goatherd.

    1+
  14. Monica Wenzel
    22 June 2018 at 4:23 pm

    299 words
    Inventor; Deathbed; Memoir

    One Regret

    Giovanni, you asked me, but heard my answer because your mama shushed you and told you not to ask me such things now. I’ll answer now, on actual paper, not a text file or a recorded memo in one of my creations. I write to you now, at the end of my long life, knowing that you might not read it for several years.

    My dear boy, I don’t tell you this to make you doubt yourself when you do what you think you should. Nothing is all good or all bad. Just because an invention might have a bad element in it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t finish it.

    You asked me if I had any regrets. I have no regrets with my family. I loved you all as best as I could, even when I had to be in my shop working. I invented things that I think made the world a little bit better. What more can an old man ask for?

    Yet, I have one small, lingering regret. That creation that made me famous, the one that you look at with pride of your Nonno, has one design flaw that I never corrected. When the owner tells the Human Companion what to do, the robot won’t ever disobey. It always carries out the command, no matter what it is, short of harming people.

    This doesn’t seem like a problem at first. But as I watched my creation, I regret how lazy it made us. We’ve lost some self-sufficiency when the robots just get us beer and go shopping for us. They were built of better than our natures let them be.

    After I die, the world will just remember my inventions, not my regret. It won’t matter anymore. Remember that I’ll always love you.

    0
  15. Arianna Hammond
    22 June 2018 at 10:23 pm

    300 words
    Angel; Flower Shop; Comedy

    Take My Bleeding Heart

    I’m a respectable but ignorant angel.

    Therefore, I think it’s not the biggest deal of the century that I make mistakes.

    Allow me to tell you the mistake that has affected my life for the past eight decades.

    Here we go.

    So, there I was collecting souls on earth, strictly on a mission.

    I had retrieved three already, and the morning was still young; yet it felt late to me with all the running around I was doing. Walking down the street, I headed towards an apartment.

    “6th floor” I reminded myself.

    Before I turned, a woman caught my eye, fiddling with her keys — unlocking the door of a flower shop.

    She entered.

    I felt a pull to follow.

    The dead body on the 6th floor could wait.

    Striding over to the shop, I carefully pushed the door open.

    A little bell attached to the door rang; it was an angel’s lucky day.

    Her voice was the first thing I heard within the shop. “Good morning!” she said smiling.

    I just stood there.

    “We’re having a sale. Do you like ‘bleeding hearts’?”

    I still stood there.

    “Do you have ‘bleeding hearts’ already?”

    This time I spoke.

    “Yes. I’ve collected hundreds.”

    “Oh, oka–”

    “I need more though.”

    “Sure! You seem like a big collector. I’ve been saving a big bunch, but I don’t need it. So you can take my bleeding heart.”

    That’s where I took it the wrong way.

    I guess I got excited that she wanted to go to heaven with me. Was she dying? She had said ‘bleeding heart’…

    So I grabbed her, and we rose.

    She might have freaked out a bit.

    When she combusted as we crossed the atmosphere, I realized she meant the flowers.

    Now here I am. Sitting in purgatory. Waiting for forgiveness.

    0
  16. Deanna Salser
    24 June 2018 at 10:57 am

    297 words
    Police Detective; Windmill; Memoir

    By Way of Apology

    “Yeah, that wasn’t embarrassing.”

    “What wasn’t?”

    “No. I was trying to be sarcastic.”

    “Oh. What wasn’t embarrassing?”

    “Oh, you know. When you make a stupid mistake after ranting about someone else’s stupid mistakes?”

    “Yeah, I know. What was your stupid mistake?”

    “Oh, well I arrested the semi-colon and the period and I had them in handcuffs. I was on my way to the station to book them, when I found out it was the comma who was the culprit all along.”

    “No! Not the comma!”

    “Yes, it was him.”

    “So, what did you do?”

    “Well, I had to apologize, right? I was obviously wrong.”

    “Did you let him go?”

    “Well, I couldn’t very well do that, could I?”

    “Why not?”

    “Okay, you see those huge blades turning up above our heads?”

    “You mean the ones that are spinning up there, the microcosms, the ones that churn out a bunch of three hundred word stories every week?”

    “Yeah, those are the ones.”

    “What about them.”

    “They never stop.”

    “So.”

    “So, they need the comma every week, I couldn’t let him go.”

    “I see. Sounds like a real dilemma.”

    “It was.”

    “What did you end up doing?”

    “I didn’t do anything. I couldn’t after all, the deed was already done.”

    “Well, then, what happened to the comma?”

    “He got taken out by the semi-colon and the period. I had nothing to do with it.”

    “But everything’s fixed now?”

    “Yes, it’s perfect now.”

    “How did that happen?”

    “KM, you know, the guy upstairs? He fixed it without even being asked.”

    “Well that’s alright, then, isn’t it?”

    “It is. I just feel sorry for the comma.”

    “Why’s that?”

    “Because everyone uses him, but no one gets to know him well enough to know where he belongs.”

    “That’s just sad.”

    “It is, isn’t it?”

    0
    • Geoff Holme
      25 June 2018 at 6:54 am

      “Well, that was embarrassing.”
      “What was?”
      “Oh, you know. Writing an ingenious piece of whimsy to apologise for making a stupid mistake after ranting about someone else’s stupid mistakes–”
      “You mean ‘By Way of Apology’?”
      “(Quite so, but please don’t interrupt!) –but neglecting to check the spelling of ‘semicolon’.”
      “Oops! That was a stupid mistake… but KM wouldn’t draw attention to such an error; Geoff Holme, however, is supercilious, pedantic and downright rude enough to do so. Since it was he – rather than KM – who was hosting Microcosms this week, he’d also have the temerity to ‘fix’ an entry without even being asked.”
      “I see.”
      “He might also go so far as to point out that ‘KM’ is the monogram for his Microcosms co-curator Kristen… ‘she’, rather than ‘he’.”
      “You reckon? Jeez! What a [EXPLETIVE DELETED]!”

      1+
      • 25 June 2018 at 11:28 am

        LOL! Oh wow! You’re so awesome! I really enjoyed that. You must be a kick to hang out with. You’ll have to forgive me, I’m new to all of this. It might take me some time to figure it all out. In the meantime, I’m having so much fun!

        1+
  17. Charu
    25 June 2018 at 9:57 am

    173 words

    **Isle Of Man**

    Detective Island Comedy

    “Isle of Man.” Chief Stuttistat stated

    “Is he in the avengers.” I asked, because it might be important to the case.

    The chief looked pained.

    “It is a place Detective Tittie.” he said through clenched teeth.

    “It’s Titté. What’s my assignment?”

    “Find a woman.”

    This was a low blow. Not what you’d expect the chief to say. I mean the women in my family have been harping about finding a girlfriend for me but they’ve now got to my boss too.

    “Did my mother put you up to this? Was it aunt Rhonda? I’m disappointed, sir.”

    “You have an aunt named Rhonda Titte?”

    “No her name is Rhonda Asimov. So, it was her.”

    He cleared his throat.

    ” I have no interest in your love life Tittie.There is a woman named Kitty Papadopollus who has gone missing, her family is frantic. Unfortunately local island police have never handled a kidnapping case. So, I thought of sending you to the island. As a birthday treat.”

    “It’s not my birthday.”

    “It is mine next week.”

    0

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