Thanks to all who submitted to Microcosms 166. We had nine entries this time. Looks like things are getting back into the swing of things!
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.
Thanks again to Matilda Rice for providing this week’s prompt!
MC 165 Judge’s Pick, Eden Solera, kindly agreed to act as judge for this contest. Here’s what she had to say:
This week, I found the climate change theme to prove a bit difficult in choosing a winner. Each story was, while more similar than usual, still a very different take on the theme. It was hard to choose between the nine great entries, and in the end, it came down to the characters. Both the runner-up and winning stories were told by characters who instantly pulled me into the story as if I was there with them.
Favourite / Favorite Lines
Bill Engleson – Something had to be done. Something extraordinary. Daring.
Tim Hayes – The church holds that there is an inverse correlation between the falling number of pirates in the world and the increase in global warming.
Graham Robert Scott – Emaciated carrion birds.
Angelique Pacheco – No birds, no rustling of leaves from trees, even the breeze seemed to have deserted this place. And no wonder.
Ellen Grace – The Avocado will stand as a monument to the possibilities of sustainable building in our wonderful capital and inspire my colleagues in the Commons to take the same kinds of chances in their own constituencies.
Jody Kish – Remnants of the meteor showered the barren landscape, dissipating amidst shrubs and cacti; wild desert creatures were the only other witnesses.
Eloise – There before him he sees a wall of water charging towards his building.
Stephen Shirres – You have taught many people and given strength to feeble hands.
When someone stumbled, weak and tired, your words encouraged him to stand.
Deanna Salser – I just watched the other tower slip away out of my sight, disappearing like a bad magician’s trick.
Tim Hayes – Salvation Through Piracy
Loved how absolutely ridiculous this story was! Just the idea that piracy could save the world had me laughing before I’d even finished reading.
Stephen Shirres – Twenty-Three Words
I enjoyed how this story took the theme of this week and used it in a different way. The 23 words at the beginning really tied this story together and made it stand out from the other entries.
Bill Engleson – A Sky Full of Sun
I’m not entirely sure what it is, but something about this story really made me feel for the narrator. Right from the beginning, the story seems simultaneously surreal and down to earth, and is, overall, masterfully written.
And now, without further ado, we present the winners of Microcosms 166.
(insert drumroll here)
Bill Engleson – A Sky Full of Sun
CEO; Skyscraper; Diary Entry
August 8, 2019
An obscure albeit prescient author has issued a call for the survival of mankind. In part, she announced that, “July this year was the hottest month in recorded history; a major milestone, that proves just how serious climate change is becoming.”
The world has taken notice and projects to ensure mankind’s survival are popping up everywhere.
Around the world, skyscraper projects are stretching the boundaries of construction heavenward. The Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia promises to be the tallest ever at 3307 feet.
I propose a complete universe in one 10,000-foot-tall structure.
They think me mad.
But what if it works?
August 8, 2034
Fifteen years we’ve been at it. We should be close to completion. There are many problems but few solutions.
Breathing at this altitude is impossible.
Workers are tumbling to earth.
August 8, 2037
I have no choice. I must take the blame. I was so sure it could be done. The air had become so foul. The seas were rising at a remarkable rate. The weather had become so unpredictable. Something had to be done. Something extraordinary. Daring.
Milligan’s Core Belief Consortium had burrowed down into the catacombs of inner earth. “There will be an infinite well spring of water there,” they proposed. “We will be safe from the lethal rays of an unfettered sun.”
The Pang Project, under Professor Stewart Rettiger, argued the imminent failure of earth as we knew it. They built a fleet of Arks, gathered representatives from every country of the world, and blasted off into the heavens. Rettiger was a fool and had watched When Worlds Collude one too many times.
It has been years since we have heard a peep from either.
One cannot help but be disheartened.
Have I proven to be any better than they?
Eloise – The Tsunami of 2025
What made this story really stand out and take the top spot for me was its length. Using just over half the allotted word count, this story manages to make a bigger impact than all of the others that have double the words. I was instantly drawn in and could feel the suspense of the situation as if I was there to experience this tsunami along with the characters.
CEO; Skyscraper; Diary entry
“The view out today is beautiful. I watched the speck of people playing in the park. My little Johnny in his sunflower yellow coat was running up and down the new obstacle course we had donated. Ah the joy of the child. I wish I had more time. But this project will revolutionise our planet. We won’t have to live in free of the tsunami which may one day engulf our seaside village. Wait why is the sky darkening?”
Jacob shouts out to his secretary: Sarah! Please open the curtains again. I want to look at the view.
Sarah: Sir. I didn’t close the curtains.
Jacob looks up from his screen. There before him he sees a wall of water charging towards his building. He dives under his desk with his laptop and continues his diary entry.
“If you are reading this entry then my laptop survived the greatest Tsunami of 2025.”
Congratulations, Eloise. 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!