Microcosms 157

Welcome back, flash-masters. For your delight and delectation, we present Microcosms 157.

 

REMEMBER!

(1) You have just 24 hours until midnight, today (Friday) New York time (EST) to write and submit your masterpiece.
(2) All submissions must be no more than 300 words in length (excluding the title)
(3) NO FAN-FICTION, please, and NO USE of COPYRIGHT CHARACTERS
(4) Include: word count, the THREE elements you’re using AND a title for your entry
(5) Do NOT give details of your entry on social media, your blog, etc. until the Results post is live
(6) If you are new to Microcosms, PLEASE check out the full submission guidelines 

 
Another easy week for your co-curator — I could get used to this! — as our old pal, Geoff Le Pard, steps up to the plate as Guest Host. Take it away, Geoff…

 

On 10-JAN-1929, the first ever Tintin story – Tintin In The Land Of the Soviets – was published in Le Petit Vingtième. Ever since I discovered Tintin in Eagle magazine (circa 1960), I have loved that bequiffed boy reporter and his eccentric entourage. So I feel truly spoilt to be able to celebrate this 90th anniversary with you all.

Over the years, Tintin has visited many weird and wonderful places and encountered a spectacular range of characters on his way – what a perfect combination for a Microcosms prompt!

GLP

 
(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:

Absent-minded Professor; Inca Sun Temple; Adventure

Write a story using those OR feel free to click on the “Spin!” button below, 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.

 

  • Old Sea Dog
  • Cub Reporter
  • A Pair of Incompetent Detectives
  • Absent-minded Professor
  • Overweight Opera Singer
  • Butler
  • Inca Sun Temple
  • Desert
  • Pirate Ship
  • Submarine
  • The Moon
  • Tibetan Monastery
  • Crime
  • Sci-Fi
  • Adventure
  • Thriller
  • Drama
  • Comedy

 

Spin!

 
Last week’s Judge’s Pick, Harrietbelle, has kindly agreed to act as the judge this time around.

 
All being well, results will be posted next Monday.

Microcosms 158
Microcosms 156

Leave a Reply

28 comments for “Microcosms 157

  1. Storm
    11 January 2019 at 12:41 am

    292 words
    Old Sea Dog; Desert; Sci-Fi

    Another World

    The ship sailed along the north Pacific and Gary could feel the waves beneath the helm. He stood on the edge of the deck enjoying the water spray onto his face; it had been a few months since he had been home and he looked forward to seeing his family. The sea was calm, but the air was alight with electricity, Gary was an old sea dog and always prepared for the weather changes at sea. This time, no one saw it coming.

    The ship flung itself to the side and Gary flew overboard hanging on the railings. Confusion set in as men started running around the ship, a shipmate helped Gary back into the boat, and it was all hands on deck. The sky went dark; men ran in panic as the water starting flooding in from below. He walked to the edge to see what they had hit, but all he saw was a glow from beneath.

    Gary woke from the heat of the sun burning into his skin; Gary’s eyes adjusted, and he found himself standing in the middle of the desert. He used the sun to navigate and decided to head north to find a city or town. After three days of walking he saw a nomad town, and as he got closer, he realised he was no longer in the world he knew. Gary tried to recall his last memory, he remembered the purple glow, and then he went overboard again, missing the rails the water pulled him down into the light. Gary turned to leave as one of the creatures caught him leaving. You see there were only a few humans left in this world and they paid a lot for them, it was just business.

    3+
    • 12 January 2019 at 4:26 pm

      Interesting idea here. Questions abound. Were there always few humans left in this world and Gary’s ship was taken, or was Gary and all taken to a new world with few humans in it? 🙂

      0
  2. 11 January 2019 at 1:07 am

    http://www.engleson.ca
    @billmelasterplea
    299 words
    A Pair of Incompetent Detectives; Desert; Comedy

    Smoocher and Pitchfork – The Best and the Biggest Dicks in Town

    She sashayed into the office like she owned it. We didn’t, so it was possible she was the Landlady. Kilo Smoocher, my partner, dealt with the financials. He paid the rent.

    I‘m Slam Pitchfork.

    I’ve got the private dick ticket.

    It’s a good partnership: Kilo’s got the patter, I’m the one always looking for the missing needle.

    “You must be Pitchfork,” she said, her hips chugging away like an out-of-whack metronome.

    I nodded ‘yup’, part of my News Year’s resolution to say even less.

    “Is Kilo here? I need him,” she said.

    “He’ll be back soon. Why don’t you turn off your engine and park it in this chair?” She plopped into our spiffy client’s chair.

    Upholstered.

    Used to fine fannies.

    “Tell me what’s ailing you, Toots?” I asked.

    I could tell she was ready to open the floodgates. Just then, Kilo made his entry. She gumbooted it outta the chair and wrapped her fluttering flesh in Kilo’s arms, cried, “Oh, Kilo, Mr. Pettigrew ran away. Right out the door.”

    “There there, Charlotte. Which way was he headed?”

    “I…I think into the desert.”

    “That’s not good, Charlotte,” Kilo commiserated, adding, “Charlotte lives on the outskirts of Palm Springs, Slam. Mr. Pettigrew ain’t the healthiest.”

    I could see it already. It wasn’t looking pretty. The two of us trucking out into the damn desert looking for some sick old geezer.

    “Kilo,” I pleaded. “I’m a city dick. The city’s cold. A killer. I like that. I don’t do desert searches for feeble old men.”

    “Have a heart, Slam. Mr. Pettigrew ain’t some old fart. He’s Charlotte’s chihuahua. Cute little guy. You gotta look for him.”

    So, we gave it our best shot.

    Never did find the mutt. No hide nor hairless.

    Eventually, Kilo and Charlotte got hitched.

    I’m still a dick.

    5+
  3. 11 January 2019 at 1:10 am

    Oops…Geoff, sorry…The Title is Smoocher and Pitchfork-The Best and the Biggest Dicks in Town. I knew I shouldn’t have had that brandy…

    2+
  4. 11 January 2019 at 8:56 am

    @ellengwriter
    300 words
    Old Sea Dog; The Moon; Crime

    Early Retirement

    The knock on the door turned out to be Anna-Claire, in her uniform.

    “Here on official business, Hank,” she said. “Mind if I come in?”

    Hank bit down on his cigar, grumbled, stepped aside. Anna-Claire came in, pointed at one of the rickety chairs in Hank’s living room. Hank nodded; Anna-Claire took a seat, and Hank went over to the kitchenette.

    “Wanna cup of coffee?”

    “Two sugars, please.”

    Hank came back with two cups, gave Anna-Claire one, and settled himself down in the chair opposite her.

    “I’ve got some questions to ask.” Anna-Claire pulled a notebook and pen from her spacesuit pocket.

    Hank stubbed out his cigar in an ashtray on the table. “Ask away.”

    “Can you account for your whereabouts between seven and eleven last night?”

    Hank crossed his arms over his chest. “Here. Listened to the radio, drank a few beers. Billy’ll corroborate.” He gestured his head towards his dog, asleep on a blanket in the corner of the room.

    Anna-Claire hummed and jotted something down.

    “What’s this about?”

    Anna-Claire sighed; met Hank’s eyes. “Someone drained the Sea of Tranquillity.”

    Hank sank back in his chair. “Guess I’m out of a job, then.”

    Anna-Claire shrugged a shoulder. “You had to retire someday, Hank.”

    Hank grumbled. “Didn’t want it to be this soon, though.”

    Anna-Claire sighed, closing her notebook. “Look, this is just a formality. We know it wasn’t you.”

    Hank narrowed his eyes. “Nice of you to break the news all sensitive like.”

    Anna-Claire grit her teeth. Downed her coffee in one. Stood. “Just how the process has to work, Hank. You know that better than anyone.”

    She turned and made for the door.

    “Wait.”

    Anna-Claire did.

    “Find who did this. Send ‘em screaming back to Earth.”

    Anna-Claire met Hank’s eyes. “Will do. Don’t you worry about that.”

    3+
    • 11 January 2019 at 11:22 am

      great dialogue…my personal sea of tranquility is now all aflutter wanting to know more…

      1+
      • 11 January 2019 at 11:24 am

        Thank you! Thank you so much!

        0
    • 11 January 2019 at 11:26 am

      Oh dear, I just realised that I have used Frank instead of Hank at the beginning… That character’s name is definitely Hank!

      1+
      • 11 January 2019 at 2:53 pm

        As Rhett Butler might say, “Hankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. Its still great dialogue.”

        2+
  5. nicola
    11 January 2019 at 10:04 am

    292 words (in this format – not “Word Count: XXX”, “WC: XXX” or some other variation)
    Butler; Pirate Ship; Adventure

    An Eye for a Crow

    Sharkbait Squiffy Rivers was my ticket to a king’s ransom he just needed to stop walking the plank.

    “Squiffy! Squiffy! Where are you?” I hissed.
    “Here!” the muffled cry come out from one of the crates on the deck.
    I marched towards it but as I lent down, a shadow grow before me and a peg leg poked me in the side.
    I jumped up. “Capitan Bluebeard. How nice to see you again” I grimaced.
    “Theobold Tasker. What a pleasure.” He ripped the lid of the crate, and “Who is this?”
    “Sharkbait Squiffy Rivers, my apprentice sir”.
    Captain Bluebeard glared at Sharkbait. “Fine, but remember what happened to your last apprentice” as he sauntered off.
    “Yes, sir. I remember.”, said Theobold as he dragged Sharkbait below deck.

    Sharkbait’s eyes enlarged. “Theobold, what is going on? What happened to the last guy?”
    “The crow pecked his eyes out, but never you mind about that you will be long gone before that”

    “Fine. So what is the plan?”
    “Bluebeard has left the map on his table and he is on his way to sleep off the rum and very little will wake him up”.
    “Excellent, so let’s go. We could be off this ship before its left the port”.
    “Not so fast. Bluebeard has a crow.”
    “A crow? So we have a this” Sharkbait flashed his pistol at Theobold. “Yes, that could work.”

    They inched their way into the captain’s study. “Hello Theobold, do you have my loot?” rasped a voice in the distant.
    “Yes, sire. His eyes are particularly blue, just like you like them”.
    Squiffy’s blue eyes quivered.
    “Sorrybut it’s the only way for me to get the map”.
    Theobold grabbed the map and slammed the door. Leaving Squiffy with the crow.

    4+
    • 11 January 2019 at 11:24 am

      definitely a smack of flash to crow about…

      1+
  6. Steve Lodge
    11 January 2019 at 11:12 am

    @steveweave71
    299words
    Absent-minded Professor; The Moon; Drama

    Taking The Silent Way

    I’d long been an admirer of the cross-discipline elements of Lo Fat’s work, ever since I’d first taken an interest in Art. A fellow lecturer at Lunar Point Academy, Professor Gonad had stressed that a love of Art would cure me of tintinitis. His voice even now ringing in my broken, jangling ears.

    In a gallery by the Lunar Sea, I first saw ‘Treasure Box Within Blue-Glazed Vessel’. It was a landscape Lo Fat had painted with wicked brush strokes while seated in a field overlooking the rent and the sea. I suspect it may have been from his Southern Earth: The Hedgehog Axis project. In the foreground was the beautiful Treasure Box, but it was the backdrop that caught my eye. An eerie building stood on the promontory, looking quite out of place in the tranquil setting. Was this the building referred to in an article I’d read on Earth some years ago about the origin of the dreaded sea creatures, The Maunkex? I forget exactly when I was last down on Earth but I could check if you need that information. For a funeral, I think.

    I’ll tell Shanghai Steve. He had authority to follow leads like this. Would it supply answers to the whereabouts of the missing trio hired by the Government of Earth to find the lair of the Maunkex? The fearless Mandalay Mike and the two adventurers — both called John Coleslaw — had been unseen for years now.

    A dog barked in the distance, yet it wasn’t snowy. Crisp and petrifying, a deep space fog was settling; you could hardly see your identical twin in front of your face. Oh, you wouldn’t get me out on the Lunar Sea on a night like this or any quite like it. At least, I shouldn’t think so.

    1+
  7. 11 January 2019 at 1:36 pm

    @j_writes_stuff
    300 words
    Absent-minded Professor; Inca Sun Temple; Adventure

    A Stack Of Old Rocks

    Tina sat down on her backpack and watched as her uncle approached the Inca Sun Temple. Ecstatically, he put his hands on the stone and traced the ancient hieroglyphs around the massive doors.

    “Imagine Tina, we could be the first humans to decipher these symbols!” he exclaimed.

    Tina pursed her lips and blew a pink bubble. It popped and scattered sticky bubblegum all over her chin.

    “You mean the first humans since the actual Incas,” she mumbled.

    Her uncle didn’t hear her. He was already flicking through his papers, busily comparing his notes to the centuries-old writing.

    “It’s going to be very educational,” was what her parents had said before shipping her off for the summer. “Your uncle is a renowned professor, you will learn a lot.”

    “But I don’t wanna learn anything,” Tina had replied. “I’m on holidays!”

    And now she was stuck here, watching a no-longer-middle-aged man sweating over a stack of old rocks. Someone really should turn on the air conditioning, she thought and leaned back.

    Her uncle looked up and pointed to a group of symbols.

    “I think these pictographs refer to the door mechanism,” he shouted over to her. “Isn’t that exciting?”

    “As exciting as watching rocks race,” Tina muttered to herself. Aloud she asked, “Is it ok if I walk around a bit?”

    Her uncle didn’t react. Tina sighed, got up awkwardly and walked over.

    “I asked if I could walk ‘round a bit?” she repeated.

    “Sure, sure, just don’t get lost,” her uncle replied, his eyes fixated on his papers.

    As Tina was almost out of sight, her uncle suddenly seemed to remember his duties as her guardian. He looked up and called out after her, “And if you don’t find me anymore, remember, we meet in the giftshop when the museum closes!”

    7+
    • 11 January 2019 at 3:36 pm

      Oh my gosh, that punchline! Amazing!

      1+
  8. 11 January 2019 at 2:31 pm

    298 words
    Absent-minded Professor; Inca Sun Temple; Adventure

    The Treasure of the Incas

    Gazing up at the pyramid, the Professor strained to remember what he was doing there. It was hot. Around him the jungle was alive with sound, yet other than for a few brightly coloured birds, not an animal was to be seen. It was all very well to be off in search of adventure, but not knowing what exactly he was searching for put a damper on the whole thing.

    He heard someone call his name. He turned back to face the jungle and saw a youth emerge from the sea of green, waving in his direction. He was accompanied by a bearded giant of a man muttering something about barnacles.

    ‘Professor, how did you get so far ahead of us?’ asked the youth.

    ‘It’s all a bit hazy, I can’t rightly remember.’

    ‘Anyway we seem to have arrived, now to search for the treasure. Where do you think we should start?’ He was startled to find a small white dog yapping at his heels.

    ‘Let me see, by my calculations it should be round about…’

    ‘Yes, Professor?’

    ‘Round about… Oh dear, I had it all figured out a moment ago. I knew I should have written it down.’

    Later that night, as they sat around the campfire after a fruitless day of searching the ruins, the youth murmured to his bearded companion, ‘It’s not like the old days. He’s still brilliant, but the absent-mindedness is getting a bit much.’

    ‘I have to agree with you. It looks like our next big adventure will be taking the Professor to see the Doctor about his appalling memory loss. I just hope it’s not too late for them to do something for him.’

    ‘Still, he’s had a good innings, at his age it’s not as if it’s early onset dementia.’

    1+
  9. 11 January 2019 at 3:17 pm

    @RussellJFellows
    298 words
    Absent-minded Professor; Inca Sun Temple; Adventure

    Sunrise

    Amelie knelt with her back against the stone wall. Rippers screeched in the forest below the temple. The beasts would be on them in minutes. Amelie shook her head. Focus. Where was Zed? He couldn’t be far behind them. But they could do this. They were ready. They were…

    Where was the professor?

    “Professor?” Amelie whispered. “Professor?”

    A red glow crowned the mountains. They had to get to the altar in the tower, now!

    “Professor?” Amelie said louder. No time to worry about the Rippers hearing her.

    “Yes?” The professor stood on the other side of the wall.

    “Professor! The sun! We need to go! What are you doing?”

    He scanned the ground. “Looking for my glasses.”

    “They’re on your face!” Amelie pulled him over the wall. “We need to hurry!”

    “What for?”

    “The Rippers! We need to get in that tower, now, before sunrise!”

    “Why?”

    “Seriously? Inca Sun Temple? Summer Solstice? Sun disk on the altar at sunrise? Only way to get rid of the Rippers? Ring a bell?”

    “Oh, good heavens no! We have to be at the Gate of the Gods, not the Sun Temple.”

    Amelie’s stomach dropped. “The what?”

    “The Gate of the Gods! You know, near Lake Titicaca. That’s the portal we need.”

    This. Was. Not. Happening. Amelie’s breath was short and rapid. Tears fell from her eyes.

    “But, you said…” she managed a weak whisper.

    “You misunderstood. Good thing Zed listens. That’s why I gave him the sun disk.”

    “You gave Zed…” Amelie fell to her knees. They failed. Zed won. All because she trusted this fool.

    The Rippers sounded closer. She had no strength left to run.

    “Besides, we need the day after the solstice. I swear…”

    They still had tomorrow?

    Amelie pushed herself to her feet. There was still hope.

    3+
  10. 11 January 2019 at 3:46 pm

    @alysia_ascovani
    300 Words
    Absent-minded Professor; Submarine; Thriller

    Depths of Death

    “We should speed up.”

    The captain turned to stare at the tall woman who had spoken. Unable to see her eyes underneath her hooded black cloak, he let some of his confusion show. “I beg your pardon ma’am, but why? I was under the impression you were taking your students on a field trip, not a race against nothing.”

    “What race? There’s no race. We need to keep ahead of them, though.”

    “Them?”

    “The Germans, of course. We don’t want them to catch up to us.”

    As the captain fumbled for a response, one of the students, a young man, spoke up, “Professor Viviani, the Germans aren’t here. And the captain’s right, all we’re doing is going on a field trip. To experience history, you said.”

    “I did, didn’t I? But, you know, that’s even more of a reason for the Germans to be following us. History, remember?”

    She laughed harshly, “Captain, you really should speed up, unless you want to die, that is.”

    Gasps rang out as the students huddled together while the Captain could only stare, frozen in place as he beheld the strange woman he had let onto his submarine.

    As she laughed again, some of the students moved as if to look out a window, only to realize that they were deep down in the middle of the ocean, where nothing could be seen anyway. A few sobs filled the air as the uncertain realization dawned upon them.

    She paused for air, tossing back her hood and revealing lined features that molded her stern expression. Her eyes, shockingly blue, betrayed her sanity.

    One of the crew shouted, “Captain, an unknown sub is showing behind us!”

    Screams pierced the tight space, broken by her maniacal laugh.

    “No one ever trusts me. They’re all dead.

    “So are you.”

    2+
  11. 11 January 2019 at 4:05 pm

    300 words
    Old Sea Dog; Tibetan Monastery; Drama

    In Transit

    The old sea-dog sat at the quayside waiting. The liner berthed and its passengers filed down the ramp in front of him. They had a quiet acceptance about them. Out of the sea behind him rose the tip of a single, bare mountaintop. On its facing slope stood a Tibetan monastery. Around the mountain top the calm sea stretched away into the distance on all sides, filled with thousands of empty sailing vessels of every type, from every age, gently riding at anchor.
    ‘Welcome to the second stage. There are many similar places like this. You may have questions but I will explain it all anyway. Forget luggage or possessions. If you stay, then you must enter the monastery. If not, then return to your ship. You can take time to decide as you wish. You can come here again whenever you’re ready. It makes no difference if you go back on board as your ship will never sail.
    ‘You may recognise many of the vessels from history – the Titanic, the Lusitania, HMS Hood etc. Their imprint rests here but all passengers and crew move on eventually. My own vessel was that small fishing smack over there.’
    The last passenger to disembark was an old man in a wheelchair. The sea-dog rose to greet him.
    ‘You’re the eldest. You’ll replace me. I’ll go with them. The awareness will pass to you as soon as I enter the monastery gates. You’ll greet the next boatload and select your replacement.’
    ‘What happens inside the monastery?’
    ‘The third stage – rebirth – depending upon what sort of life you’ve led. There are many forms. The more blameless and compassionate the life you have led, the more likely your soul will be reborn as a human.’
    ‘Will I?’
    ‘Only you know that.’

    2+
  12. 11 January 2019 at 4:16 pm

    Geoff
    Sorry about forgetting to space my dialogue – it’s all bunched together. If you have nothing better to do can you put in the spacing please?

    0
  13. Kevin Curtis
    11 January 2019 at 4:22 pm

    299 words
    Absent-minded Professor; Inca Sun Temple; Adventure

    No Sacrifice

    Mackey shoved his prominent lock out of his eyes as he stood and stretched his back. Wiping the sweat from his brow, he bent back to his work clearing the dirt away from the base of the pyramid. Excitement mounting, he swept the last of it away and set down his brush. Reverently touching the golden knob he had just unearthed, he felt it shift, and with a deep scraping sound, a section of the wall rotated toward him.

    As if it had been a signal, natives rushed out of the jungle and surrounded him, amid bloodcurdling screeches, bristling with a myriad of dangerous-looking weaponry, all pointed at him. Shaking, he raised his hands, expecting to be skewered at any moment.

    A hush descended. The circle parted, revealing an elaborately dressed man leading a child in similar clothing. He pushed the child toward Mackey and spewing something unintelligible, handed him a beautifully carved ceremonial knife, gesturing to the top of the pyramid and to the newly uncovered door.

    Oh God, they wanted him to sacrifice the child.

    He shook his head, but the priest grabbed him and shoved him and the child inside, the door grating closed behind them. The child seemed drugged, so Mackey picked him up and carried him up the long flight of narrow stairs to the top of the pyramid.

    At the top, Mackey blinked as they emerged into the sunlight. He could see the natives far below them, watching as the priest took the child and placed him upon an altar. Stepping back, he gestured for Mackey to begin.

    There was no way out.

    Mackey approached the altar and raised the knife.

    At the last second, he diverted his hand, and the priest tumbled down the steps with the knife jutting from his chest.

    1+
  14. Angelique Pacheco
    11 January 2019 at 5:27 pm

    300 words
    Absent-minded Professor; Inca Sun Temple; Adventure

    A Fool’s Errand

    He was sure that when the bus dropped him off in the middle of South America, Domingo would be there to meet him. As it was, he stood on the side of a dirt road using his map to swat insects with one hand and holding his compass in the other.

    When he told the other professors that he wanted to find the Ancient Inca Sun Temple nestled in the rain-forest, they had sniggered at him, thinking he was a fool. It was true, he could be absent-minded at times, buttering his egg and salting his toast, but that was because he had so many other important things to think about. Like Incan Gold! If he made this discovery, he would go down as the most noted academic in the history of the world. Or at least, Chicago.

    He sighed. There was no sign of Domingo. He would try find the temple on his own. He made for the nearest opening and disappeared into the thicket. He hadn’t walked very far when he heard a rustle in the bushes. He froze. His breathing became rapid and his heart started to pound. When the bush shook again, he took off at a run. He crashed through the trees and prayed as he hauled his lumbering body to a stream of light some distance away. Ten more steps, he huffed. Five more steps, he puffed and then he broke through. The light was sharp and blinded him for a second. When he could see again, his jaw gaped, as he found himself staring into a park full of people staring back at him. He blushed and before he could make a hasty exit, he heard his name called.

    “Professor Tinder! Where have you been?”

    “Having an adventure,” he muttered under his breath.

    2+
  15. Deanna Salser
    11 January 2019 at 5:46 pm

    @beadanna7
    300 words
    Absent-minded Professor; Inca Sun Temple, Adventure

    The Right Motivation Creates Incentive for a Major Discovery

    Sally sat down on the edge of the top step and looked around her at the surrounding landscape. She was pretty high up, but without her notes she couldn’t remember how high the top of the pyramid was. She could see them down there at the bottom, along with her backpack, and her mouth felt like the Sahara at the thought of the canteen she knew was in there. Her mother used to say she would forget her head if it wasn’t attached and Sally knew it was true. It wasn’t like she didn’t try, she did, but her mind had a way of attaching itself to certain thoughts, making the rest skitter right out of her brain at the most inopportune moments. Like right now, she was parched after climbing up all those steps, but there was her water, down at the bottom.

    Leaning back on her hands, she felt the rock beneath her hand shift. Directly in front of her, the air began to shimmer. In seconds it solidified, looking like a window through which she could see her things on the grass right in front of her. Her eyes as big as saucers, she tentatively reached her hand into the rectangle hanging in midair. The window moved with her hand, seeming to know her intention, and settled on her backpack. A flick of her wrist brought it tumbling down into her lap, and she realized with a flash of insight that this must be how the builders of this pyramid had moved all these huge blocks into place. She leaned on the step again, bringing back the window, and grabbing the frame; she bravely stepped into it, and somersaulted into the grass at the bottom. Laughing, she knew she had just made the discovery of a lifetime.

    1+
  16. Sian Brighal
    11 January 2019 at 6:01 pm

    293 words
    Old Sea Dog; Tibetan Monastery; Thriller

    Can’t Distance the Dead

    This was the highest, the furthest, he could get. During nights where deeply sunken terrors left ripples on the surface, he walked up the mountain until the cutting cold tried to freeze the air in his lungs and he prayed he was high enough. Surviving the night, and when calmed by the biting reality of year-long winter, he walked back to the monastery, stroked the prayer wheels, and worked for his board and meals.

    The monks left him to his work, his penance, his hiding. He didn’t know if they knew, understood or appreciated his fears and needs, and he couldn’t say he cared. He was just glad to be as far from the bottom of the sea as he could be.

    For two years he built the hope he was either forgiven or there were no such things as curses. He dared breathe deep and think of descending the mountain. But the first day of the third year he woke to the smell of brine and the feel of salt on his face. Hope drowned in dread and on the memory of his scuttled ship.

    Then bladderwrack, wrapped around the wheels and broken shells cut feet, and saltwater footprints appeared on wooden floors. The monks whispered, said their prayers could not offer safety or comfort. When he woke to skeletal deep-sea fish and his salt-soaked log on his cot, he ran screaming from the monastery and up, and up, until he drowned on thin air and blood.

    They waited until news of his death came down from the mountain, then they burnt the last of their fish remains, shells and seaweed. The children of the drowned wept their last bits of salt and hoped ghosts could now rest on the ocean floor.

    2+
  17. Aislinn P
    13 January 2019 at 7:56 pm

    295 words
    Depressed professor, bad thoughts, first-person narrative

    I’ve always been forgetful of the good things. The bad things have a tendency to stay in my mind. I’d like to describe it as an addiction of inflicting pain on myself mentally. They manifest into great ideas. I forget the good things in life: memories of my parents, driving a car on my own for the first time, getting married, getting my professor’s degree. I remember the bad things about those times: my parents’ occasional abusive acts, being sprawled out on the road alone after the car crash, my first and last love leaving me for someone better, or nobody being there to celebrate the joy of receiving my entry into a hell on Earth. Everyone I knew would be better of without me, as I would’ve been better off without them. Feeling alone in the company of other caused me to desire and chase after happiness, only to gain loneliness. Writing down my thoughts usually helps. Not necessarily with alleviating the pain, but with emptying out the bad thoughts so I can make space for more. I write them down so I can reflect on this so-called life. I’ve studied my life away to rid of that empty feeling, only to dig deeper into a hole of depression. Living in misery isn’t worth living for. I would much rather die, but I want to keep the bad thoughts coming. When the hour of my death comes to pass, someone could find my journal. I’d be considered a genius, a writing prodigy, or someone to learn from. I’d be worth something for once. Just not in my lifetime. I just want everyone to know that they don’t have to forget the good things. I’m a living example of what it’s like to do so.

    0
    • Geoff Holme
      16 January 2019 at 1:08 am

      Welcome to Microcosms, Aislinn.

      As a first-time entrant, you are prompted in the preamble — even though it should be obvious! 😉 — to READ THE FULL RULES.

      Microcosms contests are held each FRIDAY, for 24-HOURS ONLY, from 00:00 until midnight, New York time (EST).

      In addition, you can submit an entry using the pre-selected elements (Absent-Minded Professor; Inca Sun Temple; Adventure this week) OR click on the SPIN! button until the ‘slot machine’ generates a set of elements that inspires; you are NOT allowed to amend elements OR make up your OWN!

      I hope that this is not too much of a blow, and that you are not deterred from entering future Microcosms contests.

      0
  18. Creative Writers
    15 January 2019 at 2:20 pm

    A pair of incompetent detectives; the moon; crime

    Amy’s Adventure

    As Amy opened the capsule door, she arrived on the room, almost suffocating, and ran back inside.
    “Maybe that’s how the victim died,” said Amy, turning to her colleague.
    “Ah, jee-whiz, Amy,” said Bill, “that sure would be a terrible way to die,”
    “No, Bill,” said Amy, “that’s how you’re going to die, not me,”
    She turned her back and picked up her cup and rolled her eyes. Amy had to remember that Bill had only woke up from his cryogenic sleep from the 1950s two hours ago and the way he spoke was just reminiscent of his time.
    “Well I’m not going to die if I push you out first, but what do I know, I’m just one of a pair of incompetent detectives,”
    And as she pushed him, he grabbed her coat and then she started flying.
    And that’s when the director said, “Cut!”

    0
    • Geoff Holme
      16 January 2019 at 1:14 am

      Welcome to Microcosms, Creative Writers.

      Unfortunately, your entry was submitted after the contest had closed – see my reply to Aislinn P above.

      0

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.