Greetings, flash fiction friends! We are pleased to announce the winner(s) of Microcosms 212!
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 212 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 212!
It’s a tie! Huge congrats (and bragging rights) go to our Community Pick:
- John Holmes
Great job, John!
Community Pick Entry
As a reminder, here is the story that won over our community!
A Slight Mistake.
Wedding Planner/Wine Cellar/Horror
Yes, I am open to derivative works, including audio productions. Please contact me via one of the above channels for more information.
The Merlot dribbles in a clockwise flow from a small slit in the wooden barrel. The dim light, escaping from the flickering fluorescent tube, enhances the dark crimson colour of the wine.
Dave, lying on the cold, stone cellar slabs, mouth open, catching every drop of the vintage red, isn’t appreciating the soft tannins nor the wild fruit flavours. No, he is simply getting drunk.
Above him, in the white linen-lined room, is the bride, scrunched in a corner near the fallen, layered cake. From a distance, the white dress appears to be covered in intricately embroidered red roses, the colour of wine. Closer inspection would reveal that, although it is a liquid, it has never seen the inside of a barrel. Unfortunately for the bride, she had recently seen the outside of a double-barrel. So had the groom. A real shotgun wedding.
ABBA plays on.
Dave closes his mouth for a few seconds, allowing the cool, scarlet stream to roll over his lips. Somewhere in the distance a siren screams. The police probably won’t get too many invites to weddings. They’ll have to radio through to their ambulance friends when they discover what awaits them behind the large, wooden doors. Gatecrashers.
Dave is aware that the carnage is all his fault, so he reopens his mouth and allows a self-service refill. His back is getting stiff and his thoughts are growing blurry. Images of knives and flashing guns zip through his mind.
Being a professional wedding planner he should never have made such a blunder.
He should have double checked.
The bride had used his services for her first wedding. Dave had mistakenly sent the invites for her second big day to all the friends and family of her first husband.
And the Judge’s Pick, and winner of this week’s $25 Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction, is:
Congrats, Stephen! Please contact us for instructions on how to accept your prize and also let us know if you’d like to judge MC 217!
Here’s what judge Laura Cooney had to say:
Despite there only being 9 entries this week this was very tricky. Everyone used the prompts really well.
Overall the winner for me was “Wine em’ Wine em‘” I loved the dialogue and the conclusion to the story. The Sophie character was creepy without her saying much and I liked the skill in that. I found the rounded ending satisfying, it’s not just Wine in ’em barrels.
Special Mentions to Just Desserts which was bonkers and Dingleberry The Contrary Polymath which was amusing with a tidy comical ending and lastly to Dark And Spiraling, I was intruiged by the character and wanted to read more, amazing what you can reveal in 250 words.
HUGE thanks to Laura for judging this week!
Judge’s Pick Entry
As a reminder, here is the story that won over our judge!
Wine ‘Em, Wine ‘Em
Wedding Planner / Wine Cellar / Horror
Stephen Kramer Avitabile
Yes, I am open to derivative works. Please contact me via one of the above channels for more information.
Heavy oaky smells in the cellar… uncertainty even heavier.
“What do you think?” Sophie yammered. “June wedding here is beautiful. Nine months from now though…”
“Waddaya make more money from? Wedding planning or wine?” His studious brown eyes scanned the barrels.
Sophie grimaced… sucked her teeth. “It’s about an even split.”
“I’d think the wedding planning would earn you more.” He was elbowed by his fiancé.
Sophie turned her attention to the fairer of the two. She inhaled, smelling her heavenly aroma.
“What’s that scent of yours?” Sophie beamed. “It’s fruity but…”
“Gooseberry.” The woman interrupted. “Astounding health benefits. I have perfume, body wash, shampoo, lotion, I consume them with every meal…”
“She exudes gooseberry.” He quipped.
“I love the smell.” Sophie uttered. “Everyone would. In a close space like this… mm! Your guests will love drinking lovely wines during the ceremony…”
“We’re going to think about it.” The man backed away. “We’ll call you. Which way is out of here?”
I hate showing them the way.
Sophie smiled and motioned to a door.
It smelled less oaky in the cellar.
“What do you think?” Sophie asked impatiently. “June wedding here is beautiful. Three months from now…”
“We’ll take it!” The man exclaimed.
He and his fiancé hugged. Sophie grinned. She preferred making money from wedding planning.
“Let’s celebrate with wine.” Sophie opened a barrel and poured glasses for them. She explained how she’d decorate the place and everything else she’d plan.
“Mm!” The woman was surprised. “This wine’s so unique.”
“One of our newer blends.” Sophie said.
“Can we have it for the wedding?”
“What’s that immediate flavor?”
The man’s blue eyes danced. “Hopefully not real goose. We are vegan.”
Sophie forced laughter for his corny joke. “No. Not goose.”
Please help us congratulate our winners, especially in comments and on Twitter!
See you for MC 214, coming right up!
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