Microcosms 14

Hey, flashers! Er… flash fictioners. 🙂

This week’s contest is brought to you by Steph Ellis, who decided to take the contest in a slightly different direction this week. Enjoy!

Language is a wonderful thing and the English language in particular is a bizarre beast to the extent that I often feel sorry for those who try to learn it. With our use of idioms, colloquialisms and regional slang we often flummox visitors to our shores and cause no end of confusion.  One particular delight is Cockney Rhyming Slang, born in the East End of London, and elements of which are still widely used in everyday conversation, albeit in an often abbreviated form. My favourite is ‘Donkeys’, which I use a lot (as in ‘I haven’t seen him in donkeys’); this is from Donkeys Ears meaning years. And no, I’m not a Cockney.

So this week I have not included a character – that is totally up to you – what I have done is give you a phrase which you can include either literally as an object, eg ‘He picked up a loaf of bread to make a sandwich’ or in its more figurative sense, eg ‘He used his loaf and came up with a great plan’.

You can find definitions of these terms – and more – at http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/cockney-rhyming-slang.html

And what I’d really like to know is – do other countries have idioms or bizarre turns of phrase?

Slightly different this week, our contest will begin with three things: Cockney slang, setting, and genre.

We spun, and our three elements are Cockney slang: mince pies, setting: Rome, and genre: romance.

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.

  • China Plate
  • Butcher’s Hook
  • Mince Pies
  • Brown Bread
  • Pen and Ink
  • Loaf of Bread
  • London
  • Paris
  • Washington
  • Rome
  • Moscow
  • New Delhi
  • horror
  • sci-fi
  • steam punk
  • mystery
  • fantasy
  • romance
  • drama
  • comedy
  • poem


Judging this week are last week’s winners, Geoff Holme and Voima Oy. 🙂

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 Pygmalion (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).

Pearly King and Queen by Vilakins on Wikipedia
Pearly King and Queen by Vilakins on Wikipedia

Microcosms 15
Microcosms 13

17 thoughts on “Microcosms 14

  1. Me Damien Hirst and only golden dove

    I didn’t know…she ‘ad brahn mince pies, glimmerin’ in the bloody sloop. I tripped on me Early Drawers and fell Crust of Bread over hellish ‘eels. It was golden dove loike nah Pope ‘ad ever known.

    I was just a Bruce Lee lad then, over ter the continent on a school trip. I ‘ad nah experience wif women, or ocean pearls. I’d never even ‘ad a pet to call me Jack Jones.

    I took ‘er ter a small restaurant and we ordered pasta and octopus. I’d never eaten then suckers and I Kate Moss-ed me cookies aw over the Betty Grable.

    That was it.

    She skedaddled.

    106 dickie birds
    Mince pies; Rome; Romance

    1. A small edit is required. It may be ‘ard ter Randolph Scott but could ya Pope in Rome on the bloomin’ range I’d never eaten then suckers ter I’d never eaten them suckers

      Arfur J. Shanks

  2. Spellbound Beneath a Roman Sky
    A.J. Walker

    The pizza was Neapolitan thin though we were beside the Pantheon. The wine was young and fruity, going down like pop. The moon was full in a cloudless sky and countless stars were winking knowingly at the lovers beneath them.

    We barely said a word. Drinking in the moments; this piazza, this meal, this perfect night.

    She looked at me with those green mince pies, as deep and awe-inspiring as a nebulae. I felt I could look into them for ever.

    Then she spoke to me; the spell was broken. That Mancunian twang cut through me like a blunt knife through brisket and I shivered. We could never be.

    WC: 106
    mince pies, Rome, romance

  3. The Story Plate

    108 words

    Elements: China Plate, London, Horror


    “A Story Plate. Are you mad!”

    “Don’t worry. These are just knock-offs from Whitechapel. Thought you might appreciate them,” said Theresa.

    Val calmed down. Real Story Plates were said to show how you were going to die. And these were gruesome enough, depicting a mutilated body beneath a street lamp, a tall dark figure in the shadows, but they were perfect for her Ripper Collection.

    Fascinated, she reached out for her wine, knocked the glass against the plate’s rim. And stared as red liquid pooled across the scene … which had now changed, showed two women at dinner and behind them, a shadow stepping out of the gloom.

  4. ‘Near Notre Dame’

    Pen and Ink/ Paris/ Comedy
    Words – 110

    “Scuze, speak English?”
    “Nah,” said Carl, brushing past the inquiring vagrant.
    “Come on Carl, give ‘im a nicker,” said Laura.
    “Two Euro,” said the beggar.
    “Where’s your ‘orse and cart? Look at his Scooby Doos,” said Laura.
    Carl glared at his wife before reaching into his pocket.
    “No knickers! No horse!” said the man, waving his hands frantically before adding, “Coffee is fine. Where you from?”
    “Landan mate. ‘Eyar,” said Carl, handing over some coins.
    “Thank you,” said the man.
    “Come on love, let’s find some John Cleese with a ripe ole pen and ink. When in Paris…” said Carl.
    The beggar stood alone looking confused.
    “Landan. Where is that?”

    Report user
  5. Knotty Wolf
    100 words
    Mince pies, Rome, romance

    Knotty Wolf was far from home,
    In fact he’d done got stuck in Rome,
    With nothing but a fine-tooth comb,

    His holiday was sucking.

    He had no way to brush his hair,
    No money left to pay his fare,
    Nor even one clean underwear,

    Somehow he kept on trucking.

    Then Knotty’s trip was saved by fate,
    That afternoon he met his mate,
    In the park at half past eight,

    A mighty stallion, bucking.

    Knotty gazed into the stallion’s eyes,
    “Good lord, they’re like two round mince pies,
    They make me want to touch the skies,”

    And they commenced with…their date.

    Report user
  6. Crochet de Boucherie
    108 words, Butcher’s Hook/Paris/Sci-Fi
    Dave @ParkInkSpot
    “The Maian Consul tells a story about how this place was christened.”

    “A Maian has a story of a Parisian bistro?”

    “Maians are, as you know, asexual and polymorphic shape shifters. One Maian bumped into Yukon Pierre, an aggressively macho Canadian logger type”

    “Drunken Pierre suggests this small, quiet Maian must be a petite little girl.”

    “The quiet Maian doesn’t comment and heads into the restroom.”

    “Then Pierre goes in, too.”

    “See that sign? ‘On a pendu cette ordure à un crochet de boucher.’”

    “Roughly, ‘they hung his shit from a butcher’s hook.’”

    “The locals caught Pierre red handed, looking very surprised and holding a naked, preteen girl.”

  7. Preparing Tomorrow’s Meat
    by @The_Red_Fleece
    China Plate/London/Horror
    Word Count = 106

    “Thanks my old china plate.”
    Why can’t George just say mate like everyone else? The mockney accent makes him sound even more of a tosser. He’s only here because his dad owns the restaurant. No one else is trusted to cut the ‘special’ meat. Rarest in London, supposedly. Still cleans off the bone china plates the same as any other.
    “Almost done?”
    I drop the final plate back into the soapy water. “Jesus George. No need to sneak up on me like that. Guess you’ve finished sharpening your knives?”
    “Oh yes. Now to cut the meat.” I feel a paper cut across my throat.

    Report user
  8. @geofflepard
    ‘Into the mouth with babes and sucklings’

    ‘Ironic name for the beast’s lair. The China Plate cafe.’
    ‘Stop philosophising and give me a rubber band with the bacon slicer.’
    ‘Christ, it’s a first date. Why not a knife?’
    ‘This’ll be quicker. We have to feed the beast by midnight.’
    ‘The letterbox is the mouth, yes?’
    ‘That’s what the Oracle said. Go grab the babies; they’re in the van.’
    ‘They’re dead right?’
    ‘Sure. Now you slice ‘em and I’ll pop them in the slot.’
    ‘Don’t get too close; or it’ll be like the old joke?’
    ‘Will customers refrain from sitting near the bacon slicer as we’re getting a little behind in our orders.’
    ‘Ha. Good one.’

    107 words
    China plate, London, horror

  9. Cockney-Blocked

    There she was: radiant as ever in her simple dress, with luscious, chocolate waves of hair captured in an unadorned ponytail. Arthur was enraptured again by this Mediterranean Beauty as he slowly made his way across the piazza.

    Pasticceria!” she trilled, “Pasticceria in vendita!

    As he reached the stall her eyes beamed in recognition. “Señor Artie! Same again, si?”

    He bashfully shook his head, passing her a simple note. “I could drown in your mince pies…” it read.

    The señorita shook her head in confusion, quizzically offering him a fresh pastry.

    Stammering out a “Ch-cheers!” he slunk off with his pie, vowing to not be so cryptic tomorrow.

    108 words

    Mince pies; Rome; romance

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.