Greetings, flash fictioneering friends! We are pleased to announce the winner(s) of Microcosms 200!
This week, we are pleased to continue with “The Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction”, brought to you by Alert Terminal Warehouse.
Be sure to check out MC 100micro1 – our first ever quarterly contest! Submissions are open through 30 September 2023.
MC 200 Winners!
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Without further ado, it’s time to announce the winner(s) of MC 200!
It’s a tie! Huge congrats (and bragging rights) go to our Community Pick:
Great job, Laura!
Community Pick Entries
As a reminder, here is the story that won over our community!
One Man’s Hell is Another Man’s Heaven
Frenemies/Heaven or Hell or similar/Romance
By Laura Cooney
Yes, I am open to interpretive works, especially mime!
The first and last time they’d shagged was enough. Enough for them to know that they were in love. And yet, trapped in purgatory, it would be necessary instead to hate each other forever.
It was a Tuesday in December when the car they were in skidded off the road and wrapped them round a tree. 5 years of saying but not saying, looking but definitely not looking, arguing sulkily silent…and now this weirdly impromptu trip to the coast, the end of all that.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” He looked at her steadily as she surveyed the signs on the doors.
“I don’t understand!” She said, instinctively taking his hand, why not now?
The left, ‘HELL’
The right, ‘HELL’
And the one in the middle,
‘LIFE, but you must never see each other again.’
“Hellish decision,” he said with a smile, the old humour still intact.
“I really do hate you, you know.” She said turning to face him. “This is just typical, this would never have happened if…” She trailed off as he kissed her for the third time, long and deep.
“One man’s heaven is another man’s hell, right?” he said putting his free arm on the handle.
“And vice versa, for sure,” she breathed.
As the door opened, they knew it really was no choice.
And the Judge’s Pick, and winner of this week’s $25 Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction, is:
Congrats, Jamie! Please contact us for instructions on how to accept your prize and also let us know if you’d like to judge MC 203!
Here’s what judge Eden Solera had to say:
This was a tough week to judge because I really loved the theme and getting to read everyone’s different take on it. However, I did manage to narrow things down and choose a winner, which is “Virtue and Vitriol Mean Nothing In The End, It’s Just Horses and Dice.” This story took the challenge of combining both sets of prompts and did so not just smoothly, but subtly, in a way that felt completely natural. I was further impressed by how this story was told entirely through dialogue, yet still managed to give off the feel of taking place in a fully realised world. In particular, the last three lines provided a masterful combination of closure and a yearning to read more of the characters and the world in which they live.
HUGE thanks to Eden for judging this week!
Judge’s Pick Entry
As a reminder, here is the story that won over our judge!
Virtue And Vitriol Mean Nothing In The End, It’s Just Horses And Dice.
Frenemies/Heaven/Hell/Romance & Hero/villain/ hostage situation/ steampunk (I think!)
Yes, I am open to derivative works, including audio productions. Please contact me via one of the above channels for more information.
‘These plebs are seriously mistaken if they think they get to choose where they end up.’
‘Why did you design it like this?’
‘Bit of fun for that last moment in life, Gabby.’
‘They’re already dead, Bub, you don’t need to prolong their agony.’
‘Everyone knows calming carousel tones help to lull into nostalgic catatonia. Besides, it detracts from the fact it’s all random.’
… You’re not kidding?’
‘Nope. So, why not make some cranky carousel, with its weird curling snake-like centre, enthral until it concertinas out and nabs them into Hell?’
‘You make it sound so romantic, Bub. And those not nabbed?’
‘Ridden off into the sunset towards the creaking gates of Heaven on their iron stallions.’
‘A fitting end.’
‘I’d say so. A flick of the dice, the Devil decides.’
‘Who goes where and to which side? I’m a poet, they don’t know it…’
‘That they’re actually in prison, held to ransom by your flicking switch.’
‘You roll dice, Bub, not flick them.’
‘You’re an annoying idiot, but I have to admit I couldn’t do this without you.’
‘I just said that.’
‘I mean… You actually couldn’t. One of us leads up, the other takes down. There’s literally no you without me.’
‘It’s the truth.’
‘The truth hurts.’