Microcosms 177

Greetings, flash fictioneering friends, and welcome to Microcosms 177!

Before we get into the prompt, we have some changes for you this year! Here’s a brief rundown (details can be found on our FAQs page):

  • Weekly and monthly contests! Weekly runs Sunday – Saturday. Monthly runs for the full month.
  • Weekly will have a community pick winner. Monthly will have both community pick and judge’s pick winner(s).
  • You can enter the same story from your weekly contest to the monthly one, if you like, or write something new. We also have a default spinner you can use now if you don’t like the prompt(s) offered. Enter as many times as you like!
  • Judging is “on your honor”, unless judges request blind entries.
  • We’re now using the Pacific Time


  1. You have ONE WEEK (Sunday – Saturday, midnight – midnight) Los Angeles Time (PST/PDT) to submit your masterpiece.
  2. All submissions must be no more than 300 words in length (excluding the title and other header info)
  3. NO FAN-FICTION, please, and NO USE of COPYRIGHT CHARACTERS for this contest.
  4. Include: word count, the THREE elements you’re using AND a title for your entry
  5. If you are new to Microcosms, please check out the full submissions guidelines on our FAQs page.

Please use the following format when submitting your entries (feel free to copy/paste and edit or save a copy of the Google Doc linked below):

My Amazing Story Title
XXX words
Element / Element / Element
My Preferred Name
Optional: website or social media link 1 (please include full URL)
Optional: website or social media link 2 (please include full URL)
Optional: Yes, I am open to derivative works, including audio productions. Please contact me via one of the above channels for more information. /// OR /// No, I am not open to derivative works at this time, thank you.


My amazing story content goes here.

You can use HTML to add a link. Example:
<a href="https://twitter.com/MicrocosmsFic">https://twitter.com/MicrocosmsFic</a>

Please kindly use this format, then copy/paste your response as a comment. (It’s totally fine to be creative with the “words” part, like “253 ripe bananas”, as we’ve seen some people do in the past.) Not using this format with NOT disqualify you. But it will help us out if you do use it.

We have prepared a free and easy-to-use, pre-formatted document in Google Docs to help simplify things. Just save your own copy and then replace the content with your own. (Sometimes, adding links will get your comment flagged by the spam filter. If you think that happened, please contact us for assistance.)

First of all, a huge round of applause for our FOUR friends who contributed to MC 176 – Steve Lodge, AJ Walker, Wilson Holmes, and Vicente L Ruiz. I didn’t even submit last week! Let’s show our appreciation and go read and vote for their stories.

I know there was another popular contest running, and I also forgot to send out tweet reminders, etc. Let’s see what we can do this week?

Inspiration is random this week!

Also, it’s time to announce the Community Pick for Microcosms 175.

Huge congrats to:

Don’t forget to vote for your favorites from last week and this week, too. MC 176 Community Pick(s) will be announced at the end of the week.

Happy writing!


(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/setting, and genre/style.

We spun, and our three elements are:

Alien / Hospital / Action

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. (Don’t like any of these? Try our default spinner.)

  • Dog
  • Alien
  • Farmer
  • Cowboy
  • Politician
  • Doctor
  • Soldier
  • Spaceship
  • Battlefield
  • Hospital
  • Western Town
  • Political Debate
  • Farm
  • Yard
  • Drama
  • Romance
  • Sci-Fi
  • Action
  • Fantasy
  • Horror
  • Poem
  • Comedy

We are always and forever in need of assistance. If you have any spare time to help, we will happily accept. Even something as little as 5-10 minutes a week would be amazing. (You have no idea.) To find out how you can help, please visit our volunteers page.

Microcosms 178
Microcosms 176

7 thoughts on “Microcosms 177

  1. Alien Abduction
    311 words
    Alien / Hospital / Action
    Jaime Bree

    In true Michael Bay style the building exploded. The metal and glass cracked and crumbled like a bad game of Jenga joining the already huge fireball of debris.

    No one would survive this you’d think. The screams of the patients trapped inside, the explosion of toxic chemicals whizzing, popping and whistling like an expensive firework display high into the air all cemented that opinion.

    No one was getting in to help and no one was getting out.

    Except them.

    As the car burst through the flames with milliseconds to spare, trunk on fire, left door missing, windshield smashed, a shout could be heard echoing into the ether.

    ‘Punch that shit!’

    This was Pete. Passenger side. Anxious look on his face, you could forgive him for that in this situation right?

    Next to him sat Carla. Driver. Blood pouring down her forehead into her eyes, obscuring her vision, making the escape even more difficult. But what was disconcerting was the ‘Whoop’ she roared and the massive smile on her face.

    When she felt they were clear she yanked the handbrake, slammed both feet on the brake and performed a perfect donut, leaving them facing the moment they’d just escaped from, their eyes lit up by the flames.

    Pete slowly turned to her.

    ‘What?’ she said without even looking at him. ‘You said cause a distraction. There’s a distraction.’

    Pete raised his eyebrows.

    ‘We have what we came for and destroyed the rest of it. Job done.,’ she said in her usual matter-of-fact tone.

    ‘You do realise we could have simply walked in, mind-controlled everyone into not seeing us and complying to our every whim including ‘Could you give us the evidence on alien existence and the vial with the embryo in it ‘ and they would have just done it.’

    Carla spun the vial in her hand.

    ‘Where’s the fun in that?’

    253 Words
    Steve Lodge
    Twitter: @steveweave71
    Instagram: steveweave_cheese

    I hobble down the main corridor of Vaszektomi Hoszpitalnu, looking for Waiting Room Three. Once inside, I see a roomful of miserable people. Not surprising, I suppose, but I wished I’d brought my ukulele.
    “Yes?” says the receptionist whose name badge is called Nancy.
    “Zorg. To see Dr. Florenski about my lazy eye.”
    “Are you an alien from that rocketship in the car park?” she asks coyly. I can’t tell if she’s flirting because I have a lazy eye. I don’t answer immediately so she continues. “I called my goldfish Florenski. He’s really clever. He can lie on his side and fake his own death.”
    “Can I see Florenski? It’s rather urgent.”
    “My goldfish? No, I keep him at home.” She laughs like a cartoon woodpecker.
    I reach for my Z-Ray holster and fire at her but I miss by a mile because of my lazy eye. I whirl round as the other patients start to scream. My Z-Ray goes off in all directions. A door opens and a man in a white coat enters. He is the only earthling I hit. He falls and lies very still. The room goes quite.
    Nancy scurries over to him.
    “Is he….?” I start to ask.
    “It’s Dr Florenski.” She mumbles. “He’s lying on his side but I don’t think he’s faking.”
    “Is he the only eye specialist on duty?” I questioned her. “Because if he was, I’ll just pop to Waiting Room Seven and see if someone there can do something about my webbed foot.”

  3. If 9 Was not 6
    299 words
    Alien / Hospital / Action
    A.J. Walker
    Twitter: @zevonesque


    Cooper was not expecting it to be long before the rumours became ubiquitous alternative facts. He’d placed Primo in an isolated hospital wing designed for infectious diseases so they could look after the poor fellow whilst keeping the visitor away from prying eyes. No-one in their right minds wants to risk an unknown infectious disease on a silly whim. Not everyone has a right mind.

    News began guttering out one lunchtime, from an orderly who’d accidentally walked into Primo’s room when he’d been taking lunch to Mrs Ryder in Room 6. The 9 on Primo’s room had become a 6 due to a minor maintenance issue. Their plan had suddenly been left in tatters with that spinning digit.

    Outside reporters arrived at the same time as interested citizens. He couldn’t believe how fast placards had been produced. Did people have them ready? Religious peoples and atheists alike came to myriad conclusions. Aliens were here to save, or destroy us. He now rued putting him in hospital as some surmised it must be infectious and hence a risk to all humanity.

    The department that had been tasked with all things alien, since his arrival in Accrington in 2003, were rushing to get their pieces in play whilst wondering which of the scenarios they’d modelled would be most likely.

    Their helicopter came in with personnel disguised as paramedics. They’d fly him out in minutes. But then the skies began to fill with fireworks as people celebrated. Cooper was always surprised how people always had fireworks available. Helicopters from the press began to arrive, then one suddenly crashed into the landscaped lake after being hit by a spectacularly ill aimed rocket. Pandemonium ensued.

    Primo looked out of his window wondering whether it was time to go home. Did anyone have a phone?

  4. Cheat!
    273 words
    Alien / Hospital / Action (Well, not really!)
    Vicente L Ruiz
    Twitter: @VicenteLRuiz
    Website: Vicente L Ruiz Writes
    Medium (free to read): https://medium.com/@vicentelruiz
    Yes, I am open to derivative works, including audio productions. Please contact me via one of the above channels for more information.



    “What’s wrong?”

    “The deadline for this week’s Microcosms, that’s what’s wrong.”

    “They made a mistake or something?”

    “No, no. I mean I don’t have a story. And I won’t have it on time!”

    “Really? But why?”

    “I don’t know. The prompts got me stumped, I guess. They were alien, hospital and action.”

    “Can’t you roll new ones or something like that?”

    “Yes, but what’s the point in that?”

    “Well, you used to, if I recall correctly, and you told me you’d decided not to worry too much…”

    “Yes, yes. I want to get back into writing again and all that. I thought I had been off writing for a few weeks and it was almost a year. And I want to have fun and not make it a chore. Thank you for reminding me.”

    “Always welcome. You didn’t have any ideas?”

    “I did. The alien are a person. Like Sting, you know. Or not, maybe they’re illegal. Then maybe they’re a xenomorph, after all. A transplant, also.”

    “Oh, a hospital for aliens? In space?”

    “Yes. I do know there are full books with that, but I only needed three hundred words. I guess the action part was the worst? Oh, some action scene hunting aliens that just happened to take place in a hospital. And perhaps veteran alien hunters talking about one mission, too.”

    “Why didn’t you write those, then?”

    “I don’t know. Well, I do. Busy week. Busy year, so far, to be honest.”

    “Well, you know what you gotta do. The same you do with your daily VSS365 tweet-long story.”

    “Go meta?”

    “Go meta.”

    “But that’s cheating.”

    “You do you.”

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