Greetings, flash fictioneering friends! We are pleased to announce the winner(s) of Microcosms 203!
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 203 Winners!
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Without further ado, it’s time to announce the winner(s) of MC 203!
Huge congrats (and bragging rights) go to our Community Pick:
Great job, Laura!
Community Pick Entry
As a reminder, here is the story that won over our community!
Motherwell, Scotland- 6/8/2023 20:09pm BST
“No way!” she blurted as she ironed John’s fifth pair of underpants, the keks, the scants, the Y’s. “No. Way!”
The T.V ad told her that if she entered the 1st Annual Extreme Ironing Extravaganza then she would be in with a chance at a trip to Belissima Island, the mode of transport her personal magic carpet and she’d be provided with her own gnome valet for the trip.
In between pairs, Martha disappeared into the tranquility of a silent fairy glade, a waistcoated gnome serving her rainbow champagne as she sat by a deep green pool, the only thing to wonder was which of the frogs within could replace Derek and become her prince. It would certainly be easier to iron their knickers. Jesus. The size of these.
This giveaway was perfect, she loved to iron. She ironed the bedsheets, the pillow slips, the socks and even her curtains, just once a month, mind, she wasn’t crazy. When she wasn’t ironing, she was thinking about ironing and for the first time in many years, stopped mid load. This was important. She needed to book her place and get some accommodation sorted before all the slots were taken. Switching off the iron, safety being paramount, she went off to look for her wallet.
Arizona, USA- 6/8/2023 12:09pm PST
“We get another sucker Jeth?”
“Sure did buddy, somewhere in England. Just paid us £900, what’s that in dollars again?
“Ehough, what you having on your pizza? Stuffed crust?”
“Sure, why not, we can afford it, anything.”
Jethro closed the lid on the Crystalmac, feeling slight guilt. His mother liked to iron, but there was always a sucker willing to part with their money and he found that extremely addictive.
And the Judge’s Pick, and winner of this week’s $25 Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction, is:
Congrats, Geoff! Please contact us for instructions on how to accept your prize and also let us know if you’d like to judge MC 206!
Here’s what judge Jaime Bree had to say:
Can I just say first of all WOW, what an amazing array of writing this week. Each one completely different and genuinely every one had something in there that put them in contention, be it creative sci-fi worlds, heartfelt drama, comedy, fantasy slotted amongst compelling stories or unique formatting. It was all here.
Special mention to the wonderful world created in ‘CLOAK OF THE WIZARD’. The opening three paragraphs drew me in completely and then the story continued with clever, witty language ‘Lost, yet found amid an uncomfortable diplomatic hoohah. Handbags Across The Galaxy’,
and acronyms fitting for a unique sci-fi world ‘Intergalactic Crime Elite Command React, Extract And Meet (ICECREAM) Division.’
But… This was pipped at the post by the winner this week which is…
‘When seeking the Answers to Life’s Conundrums, don’t ignore Threatening Letters.’
This was a really well-rounded tale. I loved the use of the prompts in this and the subtle way the fantasy world built up in the opening paragraphs through the main character’s misdemeanours. The letters were a great tool for guiding the story and the use of the Philanthropist prompt was very special! ‘The Anthrow-Pists. Phil is their head.’ All of these were wrapped up in an opening line that grabbed my attention with wit and a closing line that made me smile.
I feel grateful to have been able to read everyone’s writing this week blind. The standard really is exceptional.
HUGE thanks to Jaime for judging this week!
Judge’s Pick Entry
As a reminder, here is the story that won over our judge!
When seeking the Answers to Life’s Conundrums, don’t ignore Threatening Letters
Geoff Le Pard
Justin Outline was sketchy on the details. He’d sought enlightenment in the depths of learning but instead of knowledge he’d found countless jewels dropped by djinns escaping the ignominy of lamplife. He’d scaled mountains certain he’d find wisdom; instead he’d found pots of gold left by forgetful leprechauns when they set up yet another rainbow. He was rich beyond despair and as ignorant as ever.
And then he received the letter.
We act for various aggrieved parties and understand you may have taken advantage of their specific circumstances to misappropriate significant quantities of valuable commodities. A list itemising the each theft is attached and we look forward to hearing from you with your suggestions for immediate restitution.’
When Justin didn’t reply, a further letter followed.
This is really bad form. Our clients are not nice people. They have magic powers which they use in, frankly, egregious ways to achieve what they perceive to be their just desserts. We encourage you to supply us, by return, with a schedule indicating when and how you will make good.’
He’d barely opened the envelope when the ‘boys’ arrived.
‘Mr Outline. You have something that belongs to us.’
‘Not any more. I gave it away.’
‘Why’d you do that?’
‘It needed a home with someone who understood money. Fortunately there’s a local family who deal with this sort of thing.’
‘And you believed they might help?’
‘Oh yes. I knew it would be fine.’
‘And how is that?’
‘They’re well regarded in the gifting world. The Anthrow-Pists. Phil is their head Have you met him?’
‘No, but we will. Meanwhile would you walk this way?’
‘I don’t think I can. I’d need to have lost the use of my knees.’
‘We can arrange that while you wait.’