Greetings, flash fictioneering friends! We are pleased to announce the winners of Microcosms 205!
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 205 Winners!
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Without further ado, it’s time to announce the winners of MC 205!
It’s a tie! Huge congrats (and bragging rights) go to our Community Pick:
Great job, Steve!
Community Pick Entry
As a reminder, here is the story that won over our community!
THE GREAT BROCCOLI DONUT ROBBERY
Finally, I was released from Shelago Prison. I crossed the border and headed for No Mules Creek. The creek was covered in winter ice so no pristine rock pools for me to wash my hair. I drank from early morning dew and began shaving with stalactites.
I presented as an empty canvas where no shadow had fallen. I survived on wild marmalade tacos and sheltered among brittle bones of the dead. I was awaiting news of when I could rejoin The Max Twist Gang, though I knew they’d just give me all the crappy jobs as penance for falling off my horse and getting arrested in Twisted Trail.
Moonbeams bounced off the icy creek each night. I dreamed of Titanix, a beer from the local Sombrero Poncho Brewery. I would wake unusually, with large amounts of dribble running from my mouth toward the gully of my neck.
Max finally approved my return. My first job was the Murmura Bakery in Pondercruz. The baker, Estap Chalsis, was massive. I doubt he’d seen anything south of his stomach for years. My gun appeared magically in my hand. “So, listen to me, El Gordo. You know what I want.”
The baker shrugged. “There’s no cash. Bank hasn’t opened yet and all I’ve sold this morning is a savoury almond cheese lardy flatbread to Sheriff Sheriff.”
“Donuts.” I said evenly. “Fill this bag with broccoli donuts. No funny business. I’m running a bit late. I still need to get 20 lattes for the boys from Jake’s Coffee Shack.”
Chalsis presented me with the bag full of our preferred donuts and I left. There was a bit of a queue at Jake’s, so I went back into the bakers.
“What now?” asked Chalsis.
“Is your Sheriff’s name really Sheriff or do you have a stutter?”
And the Judge’s Pick, and winner of this week’s $25 Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction, is:
- John Holmes
Congrats, John! Please contact us for instructions on how to accept your prize and also let us know if you’d like to judge MC 208!
Here’s what judge Laura Cooney had to say:
The winner is Who Shot The Sheriff
Wow! I am blown away with the quality of writing agin this week. I found this really difficult.
I absolutely loved the humour and comedy ending of The Great Brocolli Donut Robbery.
I loved the hopelessness and sadness in The Killer Against Years and really felt the character
development was superb.
I loved the strong female protagonist in Killing To the Sound of My Mama’s Voice and thought the tension was created so well.
Half Baked! Bring on a pun! I love a pun. It was puntastic.
Any of these could’ve won.
Everything that I read was enjoyable in one way or another but the winner for me was Who Shot The Sheriff. There was an innocence to the tale that I couldn’t forget and it was cleverly done, making the cowboy a child and having us think there was a robbery taking place. I really enjoyed this one and it is still making me smile.
HUGE thanks to Laura for judging this week!
Judge’s Pick Entry
As a reminder, here is the story that won over our judge!
Who Shot The Sheriff?
[Note from KM: I can’t find your profile on Twitter/X. Happy to fix it, though! Help?]
Yes, I am open to derivative works
The last Friday of the month; always brightly circled with red ink in Jane’s calendar. Pay day. And this month, a bumper wage packet to collect
“A lot of dough,” her husband jokes, before she sets off from the house.
Jane parks illegally, right outside the bakery. The queue of customers is all smiles and friendly greetings. Ali, from Dean Street, nods in the direction of the boss and suggests that Jane should be working today as “…he looks like he can do with some help”.
“Never on a Friday. I knead time off,” Jane responds, deliberately pronouncing the K. The humour misses the mark, like a badly fired bullet, yet it hits the boss behind the counter. He responds with raised eyebrows.
Billy slides across the back seat of the car and represses the door button. He then squeezes down into the space behind the seats, accidentally knocking off his Stetson in the process. As he pops the hat back on with his left hand, he moves the Winchester in and out of the fast draw leather holster, using his right. Practising. Speed is going to be everything.
He’s ready, so he pulls the rim of his Stetson over his eyes and flips the gun’s safety catch.
Jane finally makes her way back to the car, envelope full of cash in one hand, car keys in the other. She pings the doors open and drops into the driver’s seat. A hand, holding the loaded shotgun, pokes through the gap between the seats and lines up with Jane’s head.
“Your money or your life,” demands Billy.
His mum turns round and tells Billy the Kid to fasten his seatbelt.
“Beans and toast for tea,” she says in her best sheriff’s voice. “Real cowboy food”.