Microcosms 182

Greetings, flash fictioneering friends, and welcome to Microcosms 182!

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 on this post. (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.)

Than you ask for bearing with me while I got over the flu or whatever the heck that was.

Random seems to be the most fun, I think, so I went with that again. I really love to see what you all come up with!

Also, it’s time to announce the Community Pick(s) for Microcosms 180. Everyone who entered was a winner!

Huge congrats to:

  • Steve Lodge
  • Sal Page
  • AJ Walker
  • A.V. Arsic

Don’t forget to vote for your favorites from last week and this week, too. MC 181 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 (can’t wait to read these!):

Calligrapher / Candlelit Room / Romance

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.)

  • Calligrapher
  • Wanderer
  • God/dess
  • Blacksmith
  • Busker
  • Teacher
  • Fortune Teller
  • Time Traveler
  • Candlelit Room
  • Landscape
  • Underworld
  • Forge
  • Street Corner
  • Classroom
  • Seance
  • Time Machine
  • 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 183
Microcosms 181

4 thoughts on “Microcosms 182

    299 words
    Steve Lodge
    Twitter: @steveweave71
    Instagram: steveweave_cheese

    I felt a little nervous. As a livener, I had poured myself a glass of Cressila, a wine from the nearby vineyards of Transmordia. For tonight would be the first time Persis and I would dine in my room alone.

    Candlelight flickered in the soft breeze wafting into my room from the nearby nuclear power plant.

    She was beautiful. She was late. I’d cooked a popular local dish. Shriek and Jekyll, salted with open tappouri and tree scampi and a neat dressing of flen blemish. It’s funny. Tree scampi are everywhere in my country, yet I have never heard mention of them in a song.

    The doorbell rang. I coughed my nervous cough, got up and opened the door to my stunning guest.

    “Persis, you look amazing.” I gasped.

    “I’ll have to take your word for that,” she smiled. “Tell Isan she can go.”

    I waved and Persis’ maid closed the door as she left. I should tell you that my beloved Persis is blind.

    “Cirrus,” she purred. “Thank you for inviting me. I have so looked forward to this evening, my love.”

    “I too, oh gorgeous Persis. Since I first met you, I have wanted to kiss you with every lip on my face.”

    “Cirrus,” she smiled. “I brought you some presents. I hope you will like them. Isan says they are some of my best work. Sometimes it is hard being a blind calligrapher, but my other senses are more finely tuned. You smell of good Cressila.”

    “I will place your beautiful writing all around my apartment, darling.”

    I was overcome by the moment. We laughed. I held her gently in my arms until long after the tree scampi were burned. There was something else on the menu that night. That night that I shall never forget.

  2. Invitation to Forever
    299 words
    Calligrapher / Candlelit Room / Romance
    Deanna Salser
    Optional: Yes, I am open to derivative works, including audio productions. Please contact me via one of the above channels for more information.


    I knocked on the heavy oak door, the letter clutched in my fist. The first thing I saw when it opened was the dark hole of a gun barrel. Ducking instinctively, I glanced around her chamber, trying to swallow past the obstruction in my throat as an instant flop sweat glued my clothes to my body. There she was, her porcelain features screwed into a mien of terror. Our eyes met across the room and she bolted to her feet. I saw the fine chains around her wrists and ankles glitter in the candlelight as they brought her up short.
    “Come on in,” said a gruff voice from the shadows behind the barrel. I stepped over the threshold and held out my hand, the beautiful flowing script peeking out from inside the folded missive.
    “I’m expected,” I managed, through trembling lips. The precious note was snatched by a grubby hand, my heart jumping up into my throat with the sudden movement.
    “Yes you are,” the voice snapped and I squinted to try and see past the single flame in front of the speaker. The round black circle bobbed as cackling laughter erupted around it. Everyone in the room joined in, sounding forced. A tiny man dressed all in black stepped forward. In his hand was an ancient volume. Was he a judge or a priest? Would we be forgiven or put to death?
    “Get over here, girl!” The strength of his words belied the stature of the man. I obeyed without thinking, my hands itching to touch her, so close. If forgiven, would they give back the letter? I had memorized those five pages filled with her feelings about me, perfect calligraphy I knew not many could read. The skeletal figure spoke again. “Dearly beloved, we are gathered together…”

  3. Love Strokes
    174 words
    Calligraphy / Candlelight / Romance
    A.J. Walker
    Website: https//awalker.org
    Twitter/Spoutible: @zevonesque


    Ian had worked hard at calligraphy for years.
    Lit by candlelight and heated by a faulty stove.
    Overly stretching his eyes to the point of pain.
    Vision damaged by his art.
    Every day he suffered for it: and for his love.
    Yesterday’s had been his best, in his view.
    Obviously he’d strive for better.
    Undeniably she deserved it.
    Vivid rainbows passed across his eyes.
    Intricate black ink!: colours are a break from
    Ordinary reality.
    Left to his own devices he’d paint in violet.
    Except he never liked being obvious.
    Today he signed his name in black, as always.

    She finally wrote back: “I love an acrostic. Have you always done this? Do I need to go back through all your past work? I hope not. I’ve used them all for kindling. Violet x“

    It had been neat work. And she’d finally spotted his once hidden thoughts. Lighting fires with all his hard work though. It hurt. But love hurts. He could feel a song coming on. Maybe that would be easier than acrosticated calligraphy?

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