Greetings, flash fiction friends! We are pleased to announce the winner(s) of Microcosms 211!
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 100micro2 – our first ever quarterly contest! Submissions are open through 31 December 2023.
MC 211 Flash Fiction Contest Winners!
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Without further ado, it’s time to announce the winner(s) of MC 211!
It’s a tie! Huge congrats (and bragging rights) go to our Community Pick:
- Laura Cooney (reclaiming the title!)
Great job, Laura!
Community Pick Entry
As a reminder, here is the story that won over our community!
Flight Attendant / Small Town Post Office / Mystery
I am open to derivative works especially if the writers of the League of Gentlemen or Inside No.9; Reece Shearsmith or Steve Pemberton want to get in touch. Lol.
“Dylis, did you hear that?” Neville pushed his glasses up and peered cautiously at Dylis. She was squatting on all fours fishing something out from behind the stacks of beans and grunting, her sizeable posterior wobbling like tumescent jelly.
“I SAID DYLIS, DID YOU HEAR THAT?” shouted Neville.
“I can hear YOU, you old arsehole,” grunted Dylis as she stood, holding what appeared to be a pair of used ladies stockings in her hand. Neville didn’t flinch.
Both spoke at once;
“Did you hear that?”
“What are these?”
“I’m more interested in what these are doing behind the cabinet? THAT’S the only question in my mind.”
And at that exact moment the bell of the post office door rang true. A disheveled and grimy young woman who seemed to be wearing a tatty Devoid Air
cabin-crew uniform stumbled in, Dylis assessed her, she’d seen her here before.
Neville looked. The woman spoke. Mainly to Neville, a momentary recognition followed by confusion.
“Ne—, what is—, how did—,” and then, “who are you, again?” Dylis cut in,
“We could ask you the same thing hen, are these yours?” Neville shot her a look. And Dylis, who missed nothing, noticed the way the girl instinctively took Nevill’s hand just before Mrs Norris blustered into the Post Office.
“Did yous hear the bang oot there? A plane’s gone down abou’ half a mile away, thae poor people!”
“Ah, that solves the mystery of the bang.” said Neville.
Not the only bang to occurred here, thought Dylis who observed the scene; Nevill’s arm round the girl, his genuine shock and concern, Mrs Norris oblivious, to it all scrutinising the bean cans.
Enough! She handed the tights to the air-hostess.
“Here, hen you’ll need these back.”
And Neville’s weak protest drowned by the bell; ringing true her exit.
And the Judge’s Pick, and winner of this week’s $25 Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction, is:
Congrats (again!) AJ! Please contact us for instructions on how to accept your prize and also let us know if you’d like to judge another round of Microcosms!
Here’s what judge Vicky Hinault had to say:
I wanted to mention how much I enjoyed “Come On Baby Light My Fire” (Jaime Bree).
I loved the juxtaposition of the hopeful and the jaded characters. The use of “O’Dreary’s ‘Oh So Cheery’ Circus” captured the tone of the story brilliantly. It was a fun read with a surprising conclusion.
I also wanted to give an honourable mention to “Dead Letters” (Zannie Rose).
This felt like a perfect snippet of life, like I had peered through a window into a real scenario. The characters were so instantly recognisable and so clear that the story read quickly and swiftly and created a great cliffhanger. It sucked me right in and left me wanting more.
For me, however, the winner was “The Missing Days of Lorraine Little.”
I loved this story. The details and descriptions drew me right into the setting and made me feel like I was walking with the character. The choice of words reflected the tone of the story and that added to the richness of it. The phrase “There was a sign informing her she was entering Brixworth, wherever that was” was a moment that really gave a strong sense of the writer’s voice. In addition to all of this, what I really enjoyed was that it was a story that both created and concluded the mystery and that felt like a really satisfying read.
HUGE thanks to Vicky for judging this week!
Judge’s Pick Entry
As a reminder, here is the story that won over our judge!
‘The Missing Days of Lorraine Little’
Flight Attendant/ Small Town Post Office/ Mystery
With her handbag over her shoulder and her shoes dangling on the straps, Lorraine found herself walking barefoot down a country lane in the early morning hours completely bemused. She didn’t know what day it was, or where she was. It would be helpful to remember where she’d been, but her brain was unable to assist. The last thing she recalled was being on the flight to Qatar. It was supposed to be the first a long run taking in Qatar, Delhi, Kuala Lumpar, and Hong Kong, before heading back to the UK. It sounded like a glamorous trip but it was hard work being perfectly turned out and constantly smiling throughout those long cattle class trips. As she stumbled slowly down the middle of the country road she tried to work out where she could be. She wasn’t smiling. It was green, or it felt like it would be when daylight arrived properly. It certainly wasn’t Qatar. The banks and hedges at the side of the road reminded her of her Devonshire holidays.
Her feet were past feeling sore. She periodically stopped to knock off the accreting chunks of gravel. But she plodded on relentlessly hoping to see anything she’d recognise. Then it came: lights and silhouettes of civilisation. There was a sign informing her she was entering Brixworth, wherever that was. She only became certain it was England when she made out a Post Office van outside a row of shops.
The Post Office door was open and she made her way in.
Her tired legs failing, she tripped through the door and landed on the day’s newspapers. She came face to face with herself; or more precisely a scratchy colour photo of her under the headline, ‘Where is Lorraine? Missing Flight Attendant Mystery Extends Into Second Week’
Please help us congratulate our winners, especially in comments and on Twitter!
See you for MC 213, coming right up!
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