RESULTS – Microcosms 135

If this is Monday, then it must be time for the Results post! Thanks to all who submitted to Microcosms 135. We had 14 entries this time. A warm welcome to first-time entrants, Jessica Matthew, Ramona, and Maya Levine.

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 134 Community Pick, Mileva Anastasiadou, kindly agreed to act as judge for this contest. Here’s what she had to say:

Judging proved harder than I’d thought. I’m not the judging kind of person, or better I mostly keep my judgments to myself, being aware of the subjectivity, especially when creativity is concerned. Judging in a foreign language is even more difficult. You can’t just pass through the stories. You have to spend time reading them again and again, or else you’ll miss subtle meanings that you’d easily catch in your native tongue.

Well, it was fun after all. That’s what’s important. All entries surprised me, amused me, touched me in one way or another. So, congrats to all who wrote those wonderful stories!

Thank you all for making it so hard for me. And please, don’t take me seriously. Take this contest seriously, but not me.

Well done, everybody!

Mileva

 

Favourite / Favorite Lines

Bill Engleson – Some people are their own mystery. They just can’t be with others.
Angelique Pacheco – We are sheltered from the outside but it’s the inside that destroys us.
Stephanie Cornelius – It was a turning point, realising that just because a vampire decided he wanted her, it didn’t mean she had to give in.
Jessica Matthews – If only I had known that those 15 minutes would change my life so drastically forever.
Steve Lodge – “If I don’t unblock the toilet, the police will have nothing to go on.”
Arianna Hammond – “…The beige is hurting my heart.”
Tim Hayes – …I was looking for confirmation from an expert in the field of toilet humour before going into print.
Geoff Le Pard – ‘…It’s not an addiction it’s a bloody fantasy.’
Deanna Salser – …everyone milled around like children after the music stops during musical chairs.
Nikky Olivier – Hopefully this time she wouldn’t hurt anyone.
Ted Young – Cultured brains in circles sat,/for months debating this and that…
Ramona – The eyes of the horse turned into red pinpricks fixing me. Just like laser pointers.
Maya Levine – If Miss Faustine got mad, then all of them might be written out of their stories.
Arthur Unk – The events of the next two-and-a-half seconds burned forever into his brain.

 

Special Mentions

For the language, the comedy and the wonderful last line:

Steve Lodge – Following Leeds

 

For the title and the description of teens’ mental health problems and the Breakfast Club reference:

Angelique Pacheco – Smartly Naive

 

Honorable/Honourable Mention

Geoff Le Pard – In Which Seven People Sit in a Circle

I love the idea of fictional characters sitting in a circle for group therapy, discussing their problems. It’s those problems that put them in the stories in the first place, right?

 

Maya Levine – Miss Faustine’s Group for Recovering MPDGs:

Another meta-fictional story I enjoyed. The idea of Manic Pixie Dream Girls wondering whether they still serve the plot after they leave that role behind is intriguing.

 

Second Runner-up

Stephanie Cornelius – Fangs for the Memories

I love the allegory about the emancipation of the girl. A coming-of-age story about a young girl who decides to put her needs first, in just 282 words. Well done!

 

First Runner-up

Arianna Hammond – 300 Ways to Die, Please a Better One

A sad, haunting story, based only on dialogue, evoking strong emotions which stay with you long after you read it.

 

And now, without further ado, we present the winners of Microcosms 135.

 

(insert drumroll here)

 

Community Pick

Geoff Le Pard – In Which Seven People Sit in a Circle

294 words
Schoolgirl; Support Group; YA

‘Hello, everyone. Have you all grabbed a soda? Good. We have a new joiner this week. Do you want to tell us who you are and what your addiction is?’
‘Hello. My name is Buffy. I’m a vampire slayer.’
‘Another one? Geez, whatever happened to drugs?’
‘Please, Dorothy. Let Buffy have her turn. How long since you slayed, Buffy?’
‘Erm, last Thursday. After double maths.’
‘When I was at school it was pot and the odd tab…’
‘Dorothy, please. We know what holds you in its thrall. And could you stop clicking your shoes? That red glitter gets everywhere. Now, Buffy, what do you hope to get out of these sessions?’
‘I…’
‘Blood.’
‘Dorothy…’
‘Oh, for pity sake. Vampire slayer? That’s like saying she smudges her make-up. It’s not an addiction, it’s a bloody fantasy.’
‘Please. Language. I hardly think you are in a position to talk. Scarecrows? Tin man?’
‘They were there, I tell you.’
‘Let’s ask the others, shall we? James?’
‘Can I have another Peach?’
‘James, we’ve talked about this. What do we say?’
‘Keep the peach out of reach…’
‘Thank you. Who else?’
‘There’s that Dutch boy…?’
‘Where’s he gone? James, put that bloody peach down and go and see if he’s got his finger stuck in the plug hole again. Matilda! Will you please put that chair down? Miss Trunchbull has gone, dear. You’re safe. Have some honey. There. Is no one going to share with us? Who thinks we should help Buffy? Tweedle-dum?’
‘I’m Tweedle-Dee.’
‘No he’s not. I am.’
‘Now stop it. Both of you, what do you think about Buffy?’
‘Miss, what’s a vampire?’
‘It’s like a large black crow…’
‘Noooo.’’Where? Where?’
‘That’s it. Dorothy, go. Enough.’
‘Alright. Anyone fancy a joint?’

 

Judge’s Pick

Deanna Salser – One Last Meeting

That was another sad, incredibly well-written story. It grabbed my attention from the first line and made me want to see what happened. The gestures, the dimple, the facial expressions made Joe so vivid, that the plot twist in the end really came as a shock. The closure with Joe fading away broke my heart. Well done, writer!

300 words
Schoolgirl; Support Group; YA

Walking in, I could see I wasn’t as late as I’d feared. Frowning, I glanced back to see that Mom hadn’t driven away yet, and I wondered what her problem was. She hadn’t said anything during the drive here, but I’d felt her eyes on me when I wasn’t looking. Mentally shrugging my shoulders, I turned back just in time to catch Joe’s blue gaze flashing my way. I threaded through the other teenagers still talking, and plopped down beside him, bumping his elbow with my own in greeting. He bumped back and I caught a brief glimpse of a dimple before he gained control of his face, and the bored expression reappeared.

Ms. Lee cleared her throat, and everyone milled around like children after the music stops during musical chairs. I kept catching everyone staring at me as she went around the circle greeting us each, as she checked us off her list. I thought it was odd she lingered on me, and did I imagine her smile looked a little sad? I glanced over at Joe to see him giving me the sideways. I frowned and gave it back, bringing back the dimple.

Joe was last and Ms. Lee glanced briefly in his direction, but didn’t greet him. I opened my mouth, but Joe bumped my elbow, so I let it go.

As was his M.O., Joe was the last to share. I nudged his arm again as I turned my body towards him.

“Your turn,” I said. He smiled wordlessly.

“Liz?” Ms. Lee’s voice. I looked around at eighteen pairs of pitying eyes. “Joe died last night,” she said gently.

“But…” I gestured. He shook his head, eyes sad.

And his apology resounded in my head as his form grew fuzzy around the edges and faded away.

 

Congratulations, Deanna. 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!

RESULTS - Microcosms 136
RESULTS - Microcosms 134

Leave a Reply

3 comments for “RESULTS – Microcosms 135

  1. Deanna Salser
    13 August 2018 at 10:22 am

    Oh my God, I sat and giggled for five minutes after reading this. With so many amazing stories, I can’t believe mine was chosen. Thank you Mileva! This contest, and its participants, give me a reason to keep writing when I get discouraged by so many rejections.

    1+
  2. Arianna Hammond
    13 August 2018 at 1:58 pm

    Glad you enjoyed the story, Mileva. 🙂
    Great job to everyone for all the amazing stories, they were so well done!
    And congratulations, Deanna! Wonderful tale.

    1+
    • Deanna Salser
      13 August 2018 at 10:35 pm

      Thank you, Arianna! I love them all, everyone has such amazing minds!

      1+

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.