Greetings, flash fiction friends! We are pleased to announce the winner(s) of Microcosms 214!
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 214 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 214!
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!
How Well Do You Know Your Literature?
Not since Guy Montag’s time on earth had there been such a bonfire of books.
As Firefighter Paige Turner stood, almost drawn to the flames, in the ancient library of Didcot she found she was quite helpless to quench such a blaze with so small a crew. Backup was at least ten minutes away and the dwindling water supply beneath her feet, which was another story, was never going to be enough.
“Damn it, this is catastrophic,” she said; in the understatement of the 28th century.
The last remaining copies of every book from The Bible, to Cornflakes and Gravy by the great Attie Lime were in here, had been in there. People would find it difficult to know what it had meant to write words of fiction, rather than just having them thought over The Network. The last bastion of great literature in the world was now ablaze. How would anyone understand the last musical recordings of Gareth P. Jones now? All was lost.
A voice crackled over Paige’s ancient radio. Darren’s voice crawled through.
“Boss, I’ve extinguished children’s fiction, I’ve got a few copies here by a man named Williams, what do you want me to do?”
“Bring them here,” she replied. One day she was going to have to tune into The Network for real, this crackling was getting much worse.
Darren emerged from the kids section a gloopy, sooty, soggy mess; a failed super hero in action.
“Here you go, at least I was able to save a few eh?” his round proud face glowing against the inferno behind him.
Paige tutted, “Oh, shit Darren, remember, you need to remember to ‘chunk’ your words. This says WALLIAMS, we don’t need any more of these in the world.”
And with that, she threw it over her shoulder back into the burning building behind. Leaving Darren, who had scarcely ever read a book. Agog.
And the Judge’s Pick, and winner of this week’s $25 Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction, is:
Congrats, Steve! Please contact us for instructions on how to accept your prize and also let us know if you’d like to judge MC 219!
Here’s what judge Geoff Le Pard had to say:
‘What a week for the weird and wacky. There was a fair bit of cruelty and dark dystopia, too. And while I enjoyed How Well Do You Know Your Literature for it’s cruel treatment of David Walliams’ oeuvre, and the idea in Cyborg that soul extractions began in September 2004 – which explains a fair few encounters on my commutes to work in the recent years – I had to go with We Are Out Here. I was taken at the first line – ‘Ordinarily I would never kiss a camel…’ – and as the story segued from a desperate escape to a shocked realisation of a dream in a cinema and back to the self same camel, now 207 years old, it had to be the winner. Well done; I will never risk dozing off in the pictures again…’
HUGE thanks to Geoff for judging this week!
Judge’s Pick Entry
As a reminder, here is the story that won over our judge!
WE ARE OUT HERE
Ordinarily, I would never kiss a camel, but when you’ve been renamed “Tropical Eleven,” whisked off to a secret research facility in the back of a nursing home somewhere between the Three Moons Of Chaos and Promisco Seven, you tend to take chances.
I’d heard Escape Juice is only available at The Oasis Of The Ravaged Hawk, through a kiss with a camel lasting not less than fifteen seconds and not more than an hour and a half.
They will realise I have left the facility soon, when the insidious Security Patrol do their tour of Paranoia Ward. By then I must have taken the Escape Juice and slept for at least twenty four hours. When I wake up, I will be back in Endurango Flats. I will no longer be “Tropical Eleven,” I will revert back to the real me. Harry Elsener.
I was shaken awake. “Harry. Wake up. What is wrong with you?”
“Mavis,” I said, stirring. “Is that really you? Let me sleep a bit longer. Maybe you can bring me breakfast in bed? It’s been so long.”
“Harry,” she seemed angry. “We’re in the cinema, you buffoon, and the film is over.”
I sat up and looked around. The lights were slowly coming back up now.
“How…long…was I asleep?” I asked, feeling a little uneasy.
“Let’s see,” said Mavis. “We arrived at the cinema just before 8pm. It was my birthday, October 31st. You said I’d love the film but by 9pm, you were sound asleep. And now…”
I looked closely at her for the first time, at everyone there for the first time. I was gripped with horror.
“And now… I have become a two hundred and seven year old camel.” And, as she began to laugh, her head fell off.
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See you for MC 216, coming right up!
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