Microcosms 12

Hey, everyone! Has it really been 12 weeks?? What??? Thanks for sticking with us and continuing to contribute. I’m so proud to be part of this community.

Per my usual MO, I’m looking at holidays, etc. March is Irish American Heritage Month, and yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. I don’t know if it’s really celebrated overseas, or if we just place more importance on it in America, for drinking purposes, just like we do with Cinco De Mayo. But I thought I’d use these two things for inspiration. So, the characters and settings this week are inspired by Ireland and a variety of Irish folk tales. 🙂

As usual, our contest will begin with three things: character, setting, and genre.

We spun, and our three elements are character: fairy, setting: ocean, and genre: mystery. Hmm…

Feel free to write a story using those or spin a new set of your own. Be sure to include which three elements you’re using.

  • leprechaun
  • fairy
  • changeling
  • pooka (hobgoblin)
  • merrow (siren/merperson)
  • banshee
  • ghost
  • witch
  • fairy doctor
  • priest
  • devil
  • giant
  • royalty
  • thief
  • saint
  • forest
  • rainbow
  • pub
  • castle
  • garden
  • town
  • village
  • cliff
  • island
  • cathedral
  • ocean
  • graveyard
  • haunted house
  • horror
  • sci-fi
  • steam punk
  • mystery
  • fantasy
  • romance
  • drama
  • comedy
  • poem


Judging this week is one of last week’s winners, AJ Walker, along with yours truly. 🙂

All submissions should be 100 words in length, give or take 10 words (90 – 110 words). You have until midnight, New York time to submit.

Winners will receive a copy of the Kindle version of Celtic Fairy Tales
(currently available in the US, the UK, Australia, and other territories), or a similarly priced book of their choosing; alternatively, winners may elect to have the monetary equivalent donated to World Reader or another literacy-related charity.

If you like, you may incorporate the following photo prompt (not required).

forest with stream
Killarney National Park by Belén Galán

Microcosms 13
Microcosms 11

43 thoughts on “Microcosms 12

  1. Water Wings

    Expecting a hostile boarding, Admiral Graham was instead greeted by pirate vessel manned by a five corpses and no clue how the criminals came to find themselves dead.
    “Sir!” Lieutenant Harold called, holding out a small note and a wide mouthed glass bottle.

    You took is from our home.
    Prisoned us in glass
    You tortured my dear wife
    Your deaths will not be fast
    You thought that we had gold
    This voyage is your last

    “There’s this too.” Graham looked up from the note to Harold’s open palm where there were two long iridescent wings, bloodied at the ends where they’d been ripped off their fairy’s back.

    107 words

    1. Intriguing tale, Brady. I re-read the note, hearing the retribution- threatening voice of Liam Neeson, from the “Taken” series – linking in the Irish-American theme. 🙂

      [In the first sentence, “…greeted by pirate vessel manned by A five corpses…” should obviously be “…greeted by A pirate vessel manned by five corpses…”.

      PLUS: Yet another ***Compound Adjective Alert***! It should be “wide-mouthed”; what you have indicates a bottle that is wide and also has a mouth. 🙁 ]

  2. @firdausp
    (108 words)
    ‘A dangerous affair’

    A romantic getaway in the forest, secluded and quiet.

    You’re late and I’m nervous.

    The Banshee cries in the distance as I pace impatiently.

    You finally arrive.

    Perfectly beautiful. Red curls, green eyes, all mine.

    You walk into my arms and our lips lock. I wrap my arms around you–tightly. Tighter…

    Until I hear the sweet crack of a rib, as it punctures your lung.

    Swallowing your screams, I slowly sip your soul.

    I can feel your heartbeats dim against my galloping ones, until you’re limp, and I sigh.

    I’m sorry, you shouldn’t have been late, the Leprecaun blood, from my father’s side, makes me so angry.


  3. The Case of the Airy Fairy

    Tuesday, 10:50 a.m.

    I followed Tinker Bull from the Malt Ditzy Bar and Grill to the Cruise Ship Malarkey Queen.
    She fluttered aboard like a drunken moth and lost me in the crowd.

    10:55 a.m.

    As per instructions, I secured passage, packed the essentials and boarded.

    6:00 p.m.

    At 1800 hours, we departed Boston for Dublin by way of Amsterdam.

    Wednesday, 6:00 a.m.

    I am exhausted. Even though I spent the entire night searching high and low, but mostly high, for Tinker Bull, the winged pixie has evaporated.

    6:05 a.m.

    As per instructions, I will abandon the chase.

    We have been tracking the wrong fairy.

    It simply didn’t pan out.

    The End

    alternate ending
    It just simply petered out.

    110 light-hearted words plus The End plus the alternate ending
    Fairy; ocean; mystery

  4. @KreskaFiction
    110 whiffs of perfume

    Title: Sweet Honesty

    ‘What are you?’ I asked, curious at so small a creature I found lurking in Dún na Rí Forest Park.
    ‘Why I’m a leprechaun – if you let me go I’ll grant you three wishes.’
    ‘Deal. I hate my mother-in-law, can you get rid of her?’
    ‘Done. She no longer exists.’
    ‘I want money – a trillion pounds.’
    ‘Done. It’s in your bank account.’
    ‘I want to live forever, is that possible?’
    ‘Done.’ I released the tiny, chuckling fellow, looked down and immediately recognised the shoes, the laddered tights, the A-line skirt, felt my hair to be curly…wait…only my mother-in-law wears Avon’s perfume: ‘Sweet Honesty’.

  5. The Color of Water
    103 words

    Between the blades of grass, the color of water. This is the pathway, this is the door. The trees creak, or is it just the sound of the wind passing? The trees shake their shaggy heads.

    It is not wise to come here. It is said, that there is no way out of this forest. The sunlight seems inviting enough, but there is no warmth in this light. It is cold and relentless illumination, a light without shadows.

    There is a spirit who lives here, among the foxes and water birds. Her eyes flash green. The door closes, and only the wind remains.

    1. A spooky tale, with a light touch (although the idea ofpassing wind had me smirking like a schoolboy… 😀 )
      “It is cold and relentless illumination, a light without shadows.” – a very phantasmagorical, atmospheric line. Loved it, Voima.

    2. very evocative, lonely and starkly beautiful, menacing, yet comforting, hopeful, yet one is ill at ease, waiting, hearing, at last, only the sound of the wind.

  6. “It simply didn’t pan out.” / “It just simply petered out.” Ha! I CLOCKed what you did there, Bill. Nice HOOK!

    When I saw that TinkerBULL was a female fairy, I thought this story was going to be a CROC… but that’s SMEE all over – it turned out to be a DARLING tale!

    [ But “…Boston for Dublin by way of NEW Amsterdam” would make make better navigational sense. 🙂 ]

    1. Thanks Geoff . Every writer needs a BO’SUN to help keep them on course. Geographical accuracy has always been one of my major BARRIErs but that’s the way the WENDY (aarg) blows. Okay. I give up. Time for his NIBS to grab the first coffee of the day. I feel like I have excessively gilded the TIGER LILY in this response. Cheers.

  7. Eddie’s Treasure
    110 words
    Fairy, ocean, mystery

    The stranger slammed a map on the table. Stella (Sailor/Private Investigator, Available For Hire!) traced the dotted lines and the X with her left tentacle.

    “A treasure map?” Stella said.

    The stranger nodded. Her twinkling wings bobbed and made rainbows on the walls.

    “Eddie left months ago. I told him he was being stupid; Satyrs aren’t built for sailing.”

    “The ocean’s a big place,” Stella said. “You want me to find him?”

    “Hah! I want you to find the treasure, not the idiot,” said the fairy.

    “What is the treasure?”

    The fairy shrugged. “Hell if I know.”

    “I’m in,” Stella said, though one day she would come to regret it.

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  8. Murder in the Community

    DI Bluebell wears a life vest. She’s dealt with these people before; it didn’t go well.

    At least the banshees have stopped keening. Someone needs to have a word – the wailing alarms humans; they’ve enough problems as it is.

    ‘Let’s get going,’ says the skipper.

    DI Bluebell clips on her lifeline.

    The merpeople have shown up, which is something. But they remain mute, their arms crossed over their chests. The boat bobs in the waves. DI Bluebell is feeling seasick. She doesn’t have time for attitude.

    ‘Selkies don’t just drown. And only one of you could have held her down.’

    (100 words)
    fairy ocean mystery

  9. Gulliver

    97 words
    Elements: giant, castle, horror


    Visitors to Jonathan’s castle described the building as a rich man’s folly but they came nevertheless, driven by rumours of a giant held captive in the dungeons.

    And Jonathan encouraged them, carefully selecting his visitors, allowing himself the pleasure of their company – albeit briefly – before permitting them to indulge their curiosity. He watched as the last of the day’s guests descended into Gulliver’s realm, their cries of discovery echoing back to him. But nobody else heard them. And nobody ever asked after them.

    Jonathan picked up his pen. He had a new set of invitations to write.

  10. Summoned

    102 words
    Elements: ghost, forest, poem


    Silver slivers of moonlight
    Slice through naked branches
    Seeking out shades and shadows
    A spotlight on the world beyond
    Where death does not dwell in darkness
    But returns to display itself
    In the shape of an unquiet soul

    A spirit unseen, unheard, except
    By screech owl and demon bat
    Whose eyes follow the intruder
    With curiosity, knowing
    The veil has been pierced
    And they are in the company
    Of what lies beyond

    In turn, the wind whispers
    Its own welcome
    And the shade pauses
    Appears to listen
    Before drifting on
    Towards another voice
    That has been calling

    And calling

    … and calling

  11. @stellakateT
    110 words

    A Stitch in Time

    Since Flynn had found his crock disturbed and a number of gold coins missing he’d become paranoid. Anyone setting foot in the forest was fair game. She’d lost count of the amount of faces she’d stitched back together not always getting it right, attaching a man’s ear to his girlfriend or vice versa. Angelina liked neatness. She loved to hear the babbling brook, the sun dancing on the water, so naturally she did most of her repairs here. Today Flynn was disembowelling his latest victim; she’d never stitched large intestines before.
    Marry a Leprechaun and repent at leisure went the old proverb.
    Good job she loved needlework and Flynn equally.

  12. @geofflepard
    106 words
    Witch, graveyard, scifi
    ‘Witch’ they said as she swallowed their dead. Sharon swelled her head and spat the bones into the ground.
    She loathed swelling, though the manual for standard species interactions required a scare to pacify pre-techno peoples. She linked her cortex with her mentor. ‘How much more human flesh do you need me to absorb, Tarquin?’
    Tarquin saturated her with a mild arousal to calm her. ‘You’re done. Their components are fine. They’ll develop on their own from here. You can teletrans when you’re ready. You bringing anything?’
    ‘There’s one plant I’ve got hopes for.’
    ‘Plant? Really? Must be special.’
    ‘You’ll love it. I’ve called it coffee.’

  13. @learavoice
    110 WC


    I stood with my toes over the cliff, arms outstretched. The fog made it hard to see though I sensed the distance to the ocean below.

    She told me she believed in fairies and that they weren’t what people thought. She wanted me to believe.

    The night Destiny disappeared, I wanted to believe.

    I closed my eyes as the wind tore at my clothes. I rocked slightly wishing I was brave.

    I heard Destiny call. I opened my eyes. She was suspended by waves or fog or will.

    She touched my cheek then motioned for me to come.

    “You have to believe in fairies. You have to believe in me.”

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  14. @WarwickDaisy
    Words – 109
    Leprechaun/ Village/ Fantasy

    Cursed March

    The breeze seemed to giggle.
    “Whatever,” Aiden grunted, preoccupied with thinking about his meringue catastrophe. A priggish, local food critic was waiting expectantly for him to produce dessert. He didn’t need the universe mocking him.
    Discarding his cigarette, he turned inside to wash his third batch of lemons. But, they were ravaged – drained and torn apart.
    Amidst the peel lay a hiccupping leprechaun with a reddish-coloured beard.
    “Soz. Vitamin C… good for hangovers,” slurred the little man.
    “Did the food critic send you?” asked Aiden.
    “No. Ma burfday,” mumbled the intoxicated leprechaun.
    Aiden realised he’d have to set some traps. It was that time of the year again.

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  15. In the green depths

    110 words


    Elements: fairy/ocean/mystery

    When folk call to me from the distant Emerald Isle I send back my song, from the green depths to the green isle. I know not who they are and to them I am a will-’o-the-wisp, one of the little people. But my song has spun and spread through the land, adopted as its very emblem.

    There are those who whisper that they know the secret, but not one does. If they stand upon the shores of the island looking west, on an evening in Spring, they may taste my song upon the breeze. They will sigh and for that moment be utterly content. But only, sadly, until they turn.

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  16. The New World
    by @The_Red_Fleece

    Fey woke to a world of blue. Only the contrast at the horizon reveals where the sea ends and the sky begins. Her home had been the green hills of Éire.
    “Fey come here.” A human man she doesn’t recognise calls her to the side of the ship. “See that spot in the distance? That’s America. Our new home.” He hugs her tight. His Irish accent almost lost in the wind.
    Fey smiles. Now she remembers why she is on this boat. The first of her kind to reach the New World. A huge achievement for a simple changeling.

    character: fairy
    setting: ocean
    genre: mystery
    Word Count = 99 words

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