Thanks to all who submitted to Microcosms 131. We had 11 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 130 Judge’s Pick, Steve Lodge, kindly agreed to act as judge for this contest. Here’s what he had to say:
Deeee-lighted to do the judging for this funfest. As a lifelong champion of the absurd, this was for me like arriving in Utopia. I was the fat kid being asked to look after the pie.
Making decisions is not my strong suit so before I do, let me say BIGLY congrats to all who took part in the hoopla, Everybody entered fine tales and everybody scored at least 515 points; there was also a Runner-up and, by tradition, a Judge’s Pick. Even selecting the Favourite Lines was a real challenge – there were just sooooo many.
Favourite / Favorite Lines
Bill Engleson – “Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.”
Angelique Pacheco – “This is what you get when you run a kangaroo court.”
AJ Walker – …his cleverly-hidden Evil genius was cunningly disguised in swirls of apparent stupidity and a moronic hairstyle.
Arthur Unk – Death came at the swing of a sword/Or the riots of a mobbing horde/Either way the streets ran red
Geoff Le Pard – On polling day she took her small cast with the wobbly base and spun it.
Geoff Holme – Great shame though that he now has German Chancellor Angela Markle as his mother-in-law.
Tim Hayes – ‘Well that’s it then. It looks like the balloon’s gone up. Fingers crossed.’
M. Levi – I’m sorry, it’s just – did no one else feel that?
Nikky Olivier – As his whisper sounded, he pressed the detonator – and fulfilled his contract.
Deanna Salser – I mean, who sets out to be a porn star?
Arianna Hammond – That’s it. The finger has a mind of its own and it’s serving justice.
Geoff Holme – Working Visit: Some Presidential Profundities
For bringing us the news that Angela Markle has had a daughter.
Deanna Salser – A Little Privacy, Please
So many questions posed in this charming piece involving spoiled (or soiled) ballot cards and the lady’s grandma as co-conspirator. What a twist. Did not see that coming! This story gained extra points for using the word “harrumph.” Also for the question “who sets out to be a porn star?” I struggled to answer this. I mean, I know what I should answer but…. Hey ho, let’s not go down that road.
And now, without further ado, we present the winners of Microcosms 131.
(insert drumroll here)
Nikky Olivier – Top Trumps
Candidate; World Summit; Action
“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.
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.
Bill Engleson – He Who Laughs First Might Just Crack Up The World
Truthfully, this story had four candidates for Favourite Line – and had a title that could have been from one of David Bowie’s slightly less successful songs. I loved the story, but not in a weird way. Again points were scored for use of the word “midriff” which, frankly, I thought had died of neglect sometime during the late 60s, early 70s. Could humour save the world? Oh, I do hope so.
World Leader; World Summit; Comedy
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.
Congratulations, Bill. 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!