RESULTS – Microcosms 14

High quality work, as always!

A HUGE thanks to this week’s judges, Voima Oy and Geoff Holme.

Here’s what Voima had to say:

What fun to read these stories! Wonderful inventiveness and language. Well-done, everyone!

And here’s what Geoff had to say:

Hi, flash fictioneers! That’s the term I prefer – they use Word Counts (as opposed to flush fictioneers who use WCs…)

That’s the punning out of way (all being well) and we can get down to the serious business of judging.

I would have loved to have been able to enter this week: the rhyming slang element seemed very similar to the Special Challenges which were a feature of Finish That Thought – yet another long-running weekly flash contest that is now, sadly, brahn bread.

I was wondering how familiar rhyming slang is to you seppos – Aussie rhyming slang: ‘seppo’ = ‘septic ’ = YANK (as opposed to J Arthur Rank… but we won’t go into that here!) I’m sure if Steph had know that there were iffy Cockney Translators on the web, she would have specified that entrants should list the slang + translation below the story; I struggled with some of them – Gawd only nose ‘ow Voima coped!

And I’m not surprised nobody incorporated the photo prompt – a little obscure, although my trouble and strife’s first husband’s parents were Pearly King and Queen of Chingford.

Enough blather… Here’s the judgement:

Honorable/Honourable Mentions

Steph Ellis – The Story Plate

Comments from Geoff: Clever stuff, Steph. I had never heard of story plates, but discovered that they can be used in creative writing sessions. This and the last sentence reminded me of Ray Bradbury’s short story “The Illustrated Man”.

Holly Geely – Knotty Wolf

Comments from Geoff: Amazing that you managed to maintain the strict rhyming scheme, Holly, (until the bowdlerised last line!) and still hit an exact 100 words – although I haven’t checked… I appreciate the fact that you often remind us that romance need not necessarily be heterosexual.

Comments from Voima: For humor, and what’s not said.

Meg Kovalik – Cockney-Blocked

Comments from Geoff: Poor ol’ Arfur didn’t fink that one froo, eh? A gentle tale of shy advances, Meg, nicely told – although I was initially baffled by your use of ‘Señor’ and ‘señorita’ (Spanish) in Rome, instead of ‘Signor’ and ‘signorita’ :-S

Comments from Voima: Lovely story!

Runners Up

Daisy Warwick – Near Notre Dame

Comments from Geoff: Amusing tale of communication breakdown, caused not only by rhyming slang but also the impenetrable Cockney accent. I would imagine that the story element of pen and ink might apply to the vagrant, as well as the ‘John Cleese’.

Steph Ellis – The Story Plate

Comments from Voima: Fantastic imagery–truly horrific and subtle at the same time.

AJ Walker – Spellbound Beneath a Roman Sky

Comments from Voima: Love the images and language in this one.

Favorite/Favourite Lines

Before we get to our winners, here are Voima’s favorite/favourite lines from this week.

“I was just a Bruce Lee lad then, over ter the continent on a school trip.” – Bill Engleson

“Then she spoke to me; the spell was broken” – AJ Walker

“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” – Steph Ellis

“Come on love, let’s find some John Cleese with a ripe old pen and ink” – Daisy Warwick

“and they commenced with…their date” – Holly Geely

“Maians are, as you know, asexual and polymorphic shape-shifters.” – DE Park

“Oh, yes, now to cut the meat.” – Stephen Shirres

“Now you slice ’em and I’ll pop them in the slot” – Geoff Lepard

“He bashfully shook his head, passing her a simple note” – Meg Kovalik

And now, without further ado, I present to you the winners of Microcosms 14.

(insert drumroll here)

Community Pick

AJ Walker – Spellbound Beneath a Roman Sky

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: 110
mince pies, Rome, romance

Judges’ Picks

Geoff Lepard – Into the mouth with babes and sucklings

Comments from (the other) Geoff: The back and forth between the two characters and the overall concept reminded me of Brian S. Creek’s “Chris and Mike” series from MicroBookends. It contained my overall favourite, surreal line: ‘Stop philosophising and give me a rubber band with the bacon slicer.’ Loved the punning title, and It was also nice to see the bacon slicer gag on day-release from the Old Jokes’ Home. Great tale, Geoff.

‘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

Bill Engleson – Me Damien Hirst and only golden dove

Comments from Voima: Outstanding word-play and wonderful story!

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

Congratulations! Each of you will receive:

  • A winner’s badge on the site
  • An invitation for inclusion in the anthology (with a note that your story was selected as a winner)
  • A Kindle copy of Pygmalion. If you already have the book or don’t have a Kindle, etc., you are free to choose another book of similar value or donate the cost of the book to World Reader, The Book Bus, or another literacy-related charity. Please contact me with the country you live in and the e-mail address you’d like me to send the Kindle book to.

Additionally, you are each invited to judge the next round of Microcosms. Please let me know if you are interested!

RESULTS - Microcosms 15
RESULTS - Microcosms 13

2 thoughts on “RESULTS – Microcosms 14

  1. I should, of course, have said “signorina”, not “signorita”, and “septic” should have read “septic tank”. Looks like a did a pony job of being a Baraby Rudge! 🙁

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