Microcosms 131

Greetings, my flash fictioneering friends, and welcome to Microcosms 131.

 

I *think* everything is finally working again the way it should. Yay! But please let me know if that’s not the case!

Since most of our writers are in the US or the UK, and since Trump is visiting the UK, it seems appropriate to use that as inspiration for this week’s contest, no? I tried to stay neutral and choose people and settings from current events (though, being human, my judgment is naturally clouded). However, feel free to express yourselves.

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: Candidate, Location: World Summit, and genre: Action.

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 **

 

  • World Leader
  • Judge
  • Porn Star
  • Candidate
  • Voter
  • Immigrant
  • Queen
  • World Summit
  • Voting Booth
  • Courthouse
  • Border
  • Movie Set
  • Campaign Stop
  • Drama
  • Comedy
  • Romance
  • Sci-Fi
  • Fantasy
  • Action

 

Spin!

 
Last week’s Judge’s Pick, Steve Lodge, 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.–> I posted late. Giving everyone an extra half an hour!

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

All being well, results will be posted next Monday.

Microcosms 132
Microcosms 130

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24 comments for “Microcosms 131

  1. 13 July 2018 at 2:05 am

    http://www.engleson.ca
    @billmelaterplea
    300 chuckles
    World Leader; World Summit; Comedy

    He Who Laughs First Might Just Crack Up the World

    We had talked economy up the yin yang. We had bandied about the puzzle of climate change till smoke came out of our respective political leader butts. Terrorism? There had been three summits on terrorism in the past two years.

    And what had been achieved? Twenty extra pounds around my midriff…weighing me down, giving me an ungainly gait.

    Not much else.

    We had grown fat and weary not solving the problems of the world.

    Country after country became more insular. The dispossessed had fewer sanctuaries available.

    “Look After Your Own” became a rallying cry.

    Trump burped and one of Canada’s provinces elected a baby Trump.

    So how did Canada respond? In 2019, they bounced the handsome one and elected a comic.

    A friggin’ comedian.

    And pretty damn smart.

    He’d made it big in the States but suddenly he was back in his home country with a simple message. It was sort of a Trump-style message with a softer twist. And damned if he didn’t channel Will Rogers. Remember him? Died tragically but his main shtick was lampooning politicians. So, the comic used one of Rogers’ best lines: “Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.”

    Went over like gangbusters, let me tell you. Of course, Canadians are a dull people. Easily amused. Nevertheless, the world press got curious. Was it something in the water? Could humour save the world?

    Finally, after a lot of chatter, and the ubiquitous repetition of Breaking Out in Giggles News, as Wolf Blitzer cracked one weekday afternoon, the World Summit of Comedy was set to happen.

    In Berlin. Yup. Trump and Putin had been pushing Moscow but Merkel carried the day.

    East and West, North and South.

    A United Nations Summit of Laughter.

    It might just work.

    5+
    • Geoff Holme
      13 July 2018 at 12:51 pm

      ‘Canadians are a dull people’? If so, Bill, you are the exception that proves the rule.

      1+
      • 13 July 2018 at 5:03 pm

        T’would that be so, Sir.

        0
  2. Angelique Pacheco
    13 July 2018 at 5:50 am

    295 words
    Candidate; World Summit; Action

    World Environment Summit, 2052

    “Tiger, would you make your presentation now?”

    “Yes, candidate Wilson.”

    “For some time now, we, the animals, have allowed humans in our territory as there was not enough space allocated to you. We have lived in relative harmony until now, but we have noticed that humans are falling into their same patterns. There has been an increase in murders in the area lately and we, the animals, are not going to allow human beings to destroy us again.”

    “Do you have proof that the humans are involved?”

    “Order! Order!”

    But it was too late. The human threw the first punch and the tiger retaliated. Soon, animals and humans were in full combat mode. Snakes were tripping up humans and elephants were swatting bears with their trunks. The smaller animals knew to stay on high ground. No-one wanted to get squished at a world summit. It had happened before. The humans seemed to be enjoying this. No doubt this action was remnant of the old days of “parliament” where politics and cage fighting would merge to create a spectacular show. The only difference now was that different species made things more interesting. A chair went flying. The stork was aiming for the head of a man who had another stork by the throat. Apes screeched and horses stomped their feet petulantly. The gorilla was holding a woman by her hair. Two moose had their horns interlocked. They were getting nowhere. One human found himself atop a giraffe’s back wondering how he got there. A fracas to be sure, this was.

    The human political candidate, James Wilson, hid behind the podium and muttered, “This is what you get when you run a kangaroo court.” Although to be fair, the kangaroos politely declined their attendance to this year’s summit.

    3+
    • Arianna Hammond
      14 July 2018 at 12:43 pm

      Woah, that was a brilliant story. Through all the chaos, I could still picture the scene. 🙂 Great imagery!

      1+
      • Angelique Pacheco
        15 July 2018 at 5:58 am

        Thanks 😉

        0
  3. 13 July 2018 at 7:32 am

    Twitter: @zevonesque
    ajwalker.org
    300 words
    Candidate; World Summit; Action

    A Pissing Accident

    Surrounded by unprecedented security and pointless luxury, the seven self-adopted leaders of the world sat ensconced in their crystal and gold plated palace, plotting their continued dominion over the world. Little did the six lesser leaders realise that the alpha male of the group was indeed the devil incarnate; his cleverly hidden Evil genius was cunningly disguised in swirls of apparent stupidity and a moronic hairstyle.

    In their own rooms, the leaders sat in front of their gilded mirrors looking back at their paunchy faces and wondering how, if all was so right for them why it did not feel right. Except in the one room where a smuggled Russian prostitute with a suddenly large bank balance (who looked a little like his daughter) peed on the orange moron as he giggled at the warm audacity.

    Meanwhile, there was Good on the isolated mountain. The shadow candidate who aimed to shake the world with his audaciously kind presidency scaled the peaks to get to the incumbent moron. He had god on his side and he would have it out with him that night and boring normality would return to the world. That was his simple mission.

    The moron, sated in his dirty desire, stood now in the garden. Elated in a warm glow and icky stickiness, he threw his devil red MAGA hat into the air. Uncoordinated as he was, he missed the catch and the hat floated down the mountainside until it hit the Good climber just as he was reaching for a difficult hold. In what seemed like an eternity, Good fumbled for the one hand hold available but, with his vision impaired by the ludicrous hat, he missed again and again until he let go and crashed down the mountain.

    And that is how Evil beat Good.

    2+
  4. 13 July 2018 at 9:09 am

    Twitter: @ArthurUnkTweets
    Website: https://arthurunk.com
    170 words
    Queen; Courthouse; Fantasy

    There Once Was, But Not Anymore

    There once was a beautiful queen
    Instead of purple, she dressed in green
    She looked kind of funny
    But had lots of money
    And used it to be quite mean

    She ruled over the planet Zed
    And left her foes without their head
    Death came at the swing of a sword
    Or the riots of a mobbing horde
    Either way, the streets ran red

    Years passed before there was a hero
    He attempted a coup when others did zero
    Fast-talking gained him support
    And soon the queen found herself in court
    With a kangaroo jury lead by mighty Nero

    “Lies! All lies,” she said
    Losing the case meant that she would be dead
    Opinions were swayed
    The queen was dismayed
    The guillotine cut downward and left her face in a pillowed bed

    Nero was made into the next king
    And the bards with haughty voices did sing
    Of courtroom drama, a royal sycophant
    A secret jury plan, approval with sounds sibilant
    Joy to one and all on bells that ring

    2+
    • Deanna Salser
      13 July 2018 at 6:47 pm

      Now that was delightful!

      0
  5. 13 July 2018 at 11:36 am

    @geofflepard
    291 words
    Queen; Voting Booth; Drama

    The Guiding Hand

    Ever since Harold had died and without his opinions to guide her, Queenie Marchmont had used an Elizabeth II figurine to help her vote.
    Queenie knew she had to vote – Harold made that clear – but the how escaped her. She needed someone unbiased and who better than the Queen who couldn’t vote herself. On polling day she took her small cast with the wobbly base and spun it. Whoever she pointed to got Queenie’s vote.
    Nine elections passed without this method being challenged. Then the returning officer was replaced by a new, keen, young woman. She saw something wrong in Queenie’s scheme. Queenie had never been good at explanations. She just didn’t know how she wanted to vote without some guidance. And she hated making a scene. She began to leave, knowing she had let Harold down.
    Because of the kerfuffle, a small queue had formed and each waiting voter stared at Queenie. Queenie wanted to apologise and looked at each in turn, getting some irritated glances and few sympathetic ones. The last in the line was an elderly stooped woman in a headscarf. Her head was bent and faced the floor but as Queenie passed, she lifted her head, and their eyes met. Despite being wrapped up, Queenie didn’t need to see more than the eyes. She’d stared at those self-same eyes for all her 78 years. She’d know them anywhere. It was the Queen.
    Queenie blinked, aware she was staring. In her surprise, the old woman had dropped something: a flyer for the Eco-Vegan Alliance. Queenie didn’t stop to wonder why Her Majesty was secretly voting, nor why she had chosen this particular party. She spun round and with new found confidence, demanded her voting paper back.

    1+
  6. Geoff Holme
    13 July 2018 at 12:08 pm

    Twitter: @GeoffHolme
    300 words
    World Leader; Border; Comedy

    Working Visit: Some Presidential Profundities

    The UK is a great country… great country. Not as great as the USA… but still a great country. People here in the UK – as well as Scotland and Ireland – love me… they love me BIGLY.

    The US has always had a special relationship with the UK. It’s even stronger after the wedding of your Prince Harry to America’s Meghan Markle… Great shame though that he now has German Chancellor Angela Markle as his mother-in-law…
    *
    We kicked off our visit with a trip, with the PM, to Blenheim Palace where Queen Elizabeth lives. (NYT said that she lives in Buckingham Palace… more FAKE NEWS!)

    So sad that Her Majesty couldn’t make the black-tie dinner. I saw there that what I’d heard about knife-crime in the UK was true. They do have a knife problem… there were three or four at each place setting! No need for hand weapons when you chow down on a cheeseburger!
    *
    I’ve always liked Boris Johnson… even after I found out he’s not actually Russian. Did you know that? Not Russian. But he’s a great guy. Been very nice to me, very supportive… gave me the name of his hairdresser. Now he’s resigned as Foreign Secretary… so sad. He’d make a great PM though when Nigel Farage takes over as your ambassador to the US.
    *
    I’m not impressed by the way the UK deals with illegal immigrants. This has been a BIG problem for the USA too, HUGE problem… one which NO OTHER PRESIDENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATE has solved.

    But you don’t have any land borders with Europe… don’t have ANY! That’s a BIG, BIG PLUS! That’s why, when I get home, I’m gonna authorize scrapping the Wall in favour of excavating a ten-mile-wide trench from the Pacific to the Atlantic.

    MAGA!

    1+
    • 13 July 2018 at 12:27 pm

      Love this, Geoff…Angela Markle…dare I say BRILLIANT? My bearskin’s off to you, maestro…

      0
      • Geoff Holme
        13 July 2018 at 1:44 pm

        Thanks BIGLY! I owe the inspiration for it to you, Bill: your misspelling/typo ‘Merkle’ – now amended. 🙂

        1+
  7. 13 July 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Thanks Geoff…I almost when with Murkle…but then I thought… what would Studs Terkel think of that…

    0
  8. 13 July 2018 at 3:22 pm

    297 words
    World Leader; World Summit; Drama

    In Defence of Our Realm

    It was the year 2118 and all of the major nations of Earth were joined together in a Summit at the United Nations to discuss the looming extraterrestrial threat. Recently, scientists had identified a cloud of an alien nature approaching the planet, and now it was time to decide what to do.

    An astronomer was tasked with describing the nature of the threat to the world’s leaders. ‘It’s life, but not as we know it,’ he began, before continuing, ‘We’ve not been able to get a close enough look at the danger and what it represents to brief you more fully, other than to describe it as an amorphous orange blob of uncertain dimensions and to confirm that it’s coming this way.’

    The military were consulted as to whether an offensive course of action could be taken that would successfully repel the threat. It was decided that an outright missile attack would be a worthless gamble, given the nebulous state of the threat, but that there were possible defensive measures that might solve the problem.

    A worldwide network of planetary defences was put into place, and before long every country of the world was prepared with a barrage of inflatable structures designed to prevent the landing of the orange menace from space.

    As the alien threat closed on the Earth, the chief of defence began the countdown which would launch the barrage. Closer it came until it was brushing the atmosphere of the planet and then the fateful order was given to deploy the ultimate defence. Three… Two… One… Launch! And with that, an uncountable number of blimps were launched into the atmosphere.

    As they rose, the British leader remarked to her American counterpart, ‘Well that’s it then. It looks like the balloon’s gone up. Fingers crossed’

    1+
    • 13 July 2018 at 3:34 pm

      High drama , indeed!

      0
    • Geoff Holme
      13 July 2018 at 3:47 pm

      A hundred years from now, and the planet still threatened by an amorphous orange blob? EEK!
      [ ‘…an approaching cloud of an alien nature approaching the planet…’ Would you like the first ‘approaching’ removed, Tim? ]

      1+
      • 13 July 2018 at 4:00 pm

        Please.
        ‘…a cloud of an alien nature approaching the planet…’

        1+
  9. 13 July 2018 at 4:48 pm

    200 words
    World Leader; World Summit; Drama

    The Reason That Resolution 181 Was Not Passed

    LEADER 1 (tall, dark and handsome): …and therefore, we must affirm this resolution, for the good of our nations and of the world.
    LEADER 2 (shorter, less dynamic, with glasses): Hang on.
    MODERATOR (perhaps a minority, so as to get better reviews): Please wait for your turn, sir.
    LEADER 2: I’m sorry, it’s just–did no one else feel that?
    MODERATOR: You’re out of line.
    LEADER 2: I’m sorry.
    LEADER 1: I stand open to questions.
    MODERATOR: Fine, yes. LEADER TWO, you have the floor.
    LEADER 2: Did you feel the world just…shift?
    LEADER 1 (laughing): I don’t think my speech was quite that good, LEADER TWO.
    LEADER 2: No, no, the…the shift in narrative format, I suppose? I feel as though the entire format of our world just changed. I’m sorry, I don’t know how to describe it…but there’s less detail, it’s all just dialogue–
    LEADER 1 (uncomfortable): Are you feeling quite alright?
    LEADER 2: Yes, I just–I suppose I’m going crazy. I’ll sit down now. (He sits.) There! Did no one else see that?!
    MODERATOR (rubbing his/her head with his/her ambiguously-colored hands): Damn it, I told the organizers that we shouldn’t’ve had this meeting in a former nuclear testing area.
    (WORLD LEADERS laugh good-naturedly.)

    2+
  10. Nikky Olivier
    13 July 2018 at 5:15 pm

    299 words
    Candidate; World Summit; Action

    Top Trumps

    “This can’t be happening now!” Paul thought with frustration as the masked gunmen stormed through the doors, shouting obscenities and waving loaded weapons in the air.

    The pleas and screams of the initial killings had the effect of immediately subduing those still alive.

    They quickly separated the political heads from the aides and attachés and forced them to the ground. While all the hostages had their phones stripped from them, those candidates that were running for the presidency of the New UN were dragged in front of the cameras so that the world could witness the hostage drama unfold as the militants demanded their ransom.

    “We are the end of your New UN!” their leader declared into the cameras. “We will not allow this summit to continue until our demands are met!”

    Paul took this all in with an unusual sense of detachment. He looked around at his fellow delegates, huddled in groups, similar looks of fear and shock on everyone’s faces.

    “You have all been trained what to do in a hostage situation,” the terrorists announced. “Please stick to your protocol and no-one else needs to be harmed.”

    Paul held back a grin as he saw the heads of various countries all herded onto the stage like heads of cattle. If he did it now, no one would ever know who the real target was, and Paul could get away without suspicion.

    Slowly he reached into the hidden pocket in the back of his jacket for the detonator.

    “Wait…” he murmured under his breath.

    “Now!”

    As his whisper sounded, he pressed the detonator — and fulfilled his contract.

    The president was dead.

    “I guess an assassin trumps a terrorist,” Paul said with a chuckle as he walked away from the carnage and disappeared into the crowds.

    5+
  11. 13 July 2018 at 5:28 pm

    295 words
    Porn Star; Voting Booth; Comedy

    A little Privacy, Please

    Candice ignores the stares of the men in line as she walks past them on her way to the booth. What? She votes. Just because she has sex for a living doesn’t mean she’s empty upstairs.

    Parting the curtain, she steps into the privacy of the box, closing it before anyone can see inside. She giggles as she fills in the circles according to her cheat sheet. This is going to be fun. She used to get upset when men would recognize her; her success in her field was largely an accident. I mean, who sets out to become a porn star? But she quickly discovered ways to make her outings enjoyable.

    Starting out quietly at first, with some heavy breathing and some soft little moans, she begins to fake an orgasm.

    A rustle begins outside the booth, and Candice covers her mouth with her hand as an anticipatory laugh tries to escape. Composing herself, she groans a little louder, whining a little as she breathes harder for effect.

    An indignant harrumph from an elderly woman in the unseen line nearly makes her wet herself, and it takes her several minutes to gain control. Stifling her giggles, she ramps it up, moaning loudly.

    “Oh, God! Oh, God!” she cries, peeking out through the crack in her curtain. People are looking at each other incredulously, some are smiling but others are frowning. Screw them, she thinks and goes in for the finish, getting even louder before letting her voice die down. She sighs loudly, shushing her hysterical co-conspirator, and pushes her out through the curtain.

    Silence reigns as Candice’s grandma steps out of the booth. All eyes are round as the moon as she straightens her hair and loftily walks past them on her way out.

    2+
  12. Arianna Hammond
    13 July 2018 at 11:15 pm

    279 words
    Queen; Campaign stop; Comedy

    ROYAL STRESSES

    All I have to say right now is that I am going to
    explode straight out of my dainty little body. No, allow me to rephrase that: It’s a ghastly 89° out and I’m wearing a long sleeve, navy blue, cotton dress (not of my choosing for your information.). On top of that, I’m utterly bored. Although, that isn’t the half of it.
    For instance, all the ‘whys’:

    Why do I have to sit at this blasted campaign table?

    Why can’t becoming queen be simpler than handing out pamphlets and buttons with my slogan?

    And why oh why did my sister decide to run against me in the first place- creating this mess?!

    I glare at Alexandrina across the path, she who is smiling and shaking hands with her own gloved. Attempting not to grit my teeth, for I’ll end up with an awful migraine, I narrow my eyes instead.
    Three civilians walk away from her stop, looking pleased and not giving so much as a glance at my table. She finally notices my burning stare and waves smugly.

    “Darling sister! How is your campaign selling?”

    She knows it’s awful.

    “Maybe if you didn’t wrinkle your face like that you would attract more people!”

    I restrain from giving her the finger. A true lady would never do that. Especially not a future queen.

    “Darling Charlotte! Why on Earth is your nose so shiny? Perhaps you forgot powder, shall you want to borrow some? You don’t want the glare blinding others!”

    That’s it. The finger has a mind of it’s own and it’s serving justice.
    The flash is what scares me. Blast! That will probably be the front page tomorrow.

    3+
    • Angelique Pacheco
      15 July 2018 at 6:00 am

      Cute story! I love princesses with sass! 🙂

      0
      • Arianna Hammond
        15 July 2018 at 1:24 pm

        Thank you! Yup, never judge a lady by her class

        1+

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