Microcosms 188

Greetings, flash fictioneering friends, and welcome to Microcosms 188!

We have some super exciting news – announcement forthcoming! Keep an eye on this spot for more information next week.
(I’m dying to spoil the surprise, but I won’t!)

Microcosms 188 

Prompts: Body Waxer / Grim Reaper Convention / Sci Fi

Come write a story is 300 words for fewer. Fun and free! microcosmsfic.com

Here’s a brief rundown of changes we have made (details can be found on our FAQs page):

  • Weekly contest runs Sunday – Saturday.
  • Community pick winner(s).
  • 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!
  • We’re now using the Pacific Time

New! Add Recurring Weekly Calendar Reminder

Never forget to enter again!

Click the arrow to expand options for a weekly recurring calendar reminder. (Choose as many as you like!)


  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. We enjoy fan fiction! Just not for this contest. 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 (see format guide below).
  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.)

It’s time to announce the Community Pick(s) for Microcosms 186.

Huge congrats to:

  • E. M. McConnell

Don’t forget to vote for your favorites from last week and this week, too. MC 187Community 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:

Body Waxer / Grim Reaper Convention / Sci Fi

Whelp, let’s see what you’ve got!

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.)

  • Alien
  • Body Waxer
  • Bank Teller
  • Grim Reaper
  • Inanimate Object
  • Clown
  • Gladiator
  • Florist
  • Space / Spaceship
  • Spa
  • Bank
  • Grim Reaper Convention
  • Curio Cabinet
  • Circus
  • Colosseum / Arena
  • Florist
  • 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 189 + Announcing The Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction
Microcosms 187

3 thoughts on “Microcosms 188

  1. Title: The Wheat From The Chaff
    306 words
    Body Waxer / Grim Reaper Convention / Sci-fi


    Jaime Bree

    Yes, I am open to derivative works, including audio productions. Please contact me via one of the above channels.

    I flick through the scythe-making manual and roll my eyes. I miss the days of being a badass, sword wielding bounty hunter or the guy who snips the red wire with seconds to spare.

    Quantum Leap has SO much to answer for. That show literally ruined careers. Now my job’s low profile as shit doing quick clean ups and why I’m gluing fake blades onto plastic poles about to sell them at a Grim Reaper Convention.

    But hey. It gets me in.

    This place is a real life Where’s Wally except there’s a thousand reapers and just one ‘Body Waxer’.

    It’s ironic really. A soon-to-be murderer disguised as Death.

    I smile. I sell. Can’t believe people buy this crap.

    I look around. I see him. Well, I see yet another grim reaper looking like every other grim reaper, but THIS is my guy.

    The smell from his job gives him away. Formaldehyde. (I guess that’s why the cops choose that particular serial killer name).

    ‘Ah ha!’ I shout, raising my scythe in the air. I may be selling the rubbish but I ain’t gonna look like no chump. Plus I need to get his attention somehow and what better way than with a beautifully crafted, one of a kind, well-oiled weapon.

    ‘Wow, man. Nice scythe. Where d’ya get it?’

    ‘I made it.’

    ‘May I?’ he asks, hand outstretched.

    ‘Of course.’ I grin. This one’s in the bag.

    He grasps the handle. I don’t let go. He’s not happy, but soon realises it isn’t that I’m possessive of my stuff when, along with the scythe, we curl into smoke and disappear into the ether.

    You don’t need to know where we take them. You just need to know that the world is a much better place without them.

    Believe me, I’ve seen the future and it’s terrifying.

  2. Career Moves
    300 words
    Body Waxer / Grim Reaper Convention / Comedy
    Lauren Guyatt

    She was late for the convention. Running down the street with her poster and easel in hand that she had ordered online and was much shorter than she had intended. She pushed open the glass doors and begged security to let her through to her appointed spot. The guard was surprisingly kind for someone in such a position of assumed authority and helped her carry her tiny easel to convention location 237.

    The event was already underway and cloaked individuals seemed to float past her booth uninterested. She nudged her sign further onto the walkways red carpet and a potential customer’s outfit got snagged, reeling them in.
    “Free wax?”
    “Why not,” the hooded taker replied.
    He sat down in an uncomfortable folding chair provided by the location and let her know this was his first time as she prepared the wax.
    “Really? I’m shocked, you look like someone who likes to pamper themselves.”
    “It’s tough in my line of work, never in one place for too long.”
    “That sounds fascinating, what do you do exactly?”
    “I’m a grim reaper.”
    The body waxer took pause, she had lost track of what she had signed up for replying yes to every email invite willing to have her. No matter she thought, work is work.
    “Roll up your sleeve please.”
    She poured on the wax.
    “Ouch!” he squealed.
    She carefully placed the waxing strip and gave a count of three before yanking it off. He started to bleed, and, in a panic, she poured on more wax hoping to congeal the oozing red flow.
    By then end of her error he had a full layer of wax that looked like skin and he was asked to leave the convention, his job and return to the world as the fleshy human he had become.

  3. Corpse Candle
    300 words
    Body Waxer / Grim Reaper Convention / Sci Fi
    Galen Gower
    Yes, I’m always open to other interpretive works based on my story, especially dance. I can be reached via email.

    “Aye, this is the charnel house, where the chandler may lie upon his stores, while the chanters upstairs,” he gestures dismissively to the floor of the church above us, “beseech the ethers in vain. The angelic satellite will not, or shall not, answer their prayers. Bodies, wax, we shall deprive and waxers be to light our passage.”
    He laughs at his own jests. I draw my cloak tighter as he begins positioning the remains. They do wriggle and jostle and it makes me uneasy in my mind.
    “Hold us a candle, boy, so we’ll see to skin this one. It’s the fat ‘neath the first layer we need. The pressure preserves it, and then according to the ritual, we’ll purify and render it down. With the wick and quickly tuned wit, we’ll have light yet, in this darkened crypt.” I light the candle and I can’t look away from the corpse’s face. His skeletal, cold metal hand folds open and makes the incision. The fat from the body pours into his hand, the still flesh and blood one.
    “Go then, and light thy way with the larder of my labor, made lasting by the light I shed upon thee, though my spirit doth dwindle and waste,” the corpse says. It turns to look me in the eye and I shudder. “Take thee my sight and be blind, to wander among those who were lost before me, and go to the place where death gathers in his many faces, but sheds not a one.”
    “There’s our invitation, boy, douse the light and let’s find the place. Now’s the time, as good as any I’ll wager.” He’s already moving toward the spectral doorway, saber in hand. We’ll go now to the place where deaths from all times gather and slay them all.

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