Microcosms 16

Hey, everyone!

Well, today is Titanic Remembrance Day, and although it’s not quite in the spirit of things, I thought we’d use characters inspired by Leonardo DiCaprio movies. This could be a fun one!

Also, the 17th is Bat Appreciation Day, so I’ve thrown a bat in there, too. 🙂

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

We spun, and our three elements are character: millionaire, setting: England, and genre: steam punk.

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.

  • frontiersman
  • stock broker
  • thief
  • dream hopper
  • slave owner
  • artist
  • undercover cop
  • millionaire
  • con artist
  • US Marshall
  • star-crossed lover
  • gangster
  • smuggler
  • orphan
  • bat
  • wilderness
  • Wall Street
  • New York
  • airplane
  • diamond mine
  • in a dream
  • mausoleum
  • mansion
  • England
  • 1920s
  • The Titanic
  • cave
  • horror
  • sci-fi
  • steam punk
  • mystery
  • fantasy
  • romance
  • drama
  • comedy
  • poem


Judging this week are two of last week’s winners, Bill Engleson and Sal Page. 🙂

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 Titanic: The Sinking of The Titanic (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).

an iceberg
Iceberg by Jos Browning

Microcosms 17
Microcosms 15

19 thoughts on “Microcosms 16

  1. Here be Monsters

    105 words
    Frontiersman – wilderness – horror

    Nobody said the frontier was a place for a man’s health. Nobody said the endless prairie could drive a soul mad with its unchanging beauty.

    Nobody said a word about the monsters that lurk in the wilderness.

    Cold sweat trickled down Eli’s face, cold despite the harsh hot wind. His rifle was a lead weight in his hand, out of bullets two minutes ago. They’d come now, the blood-soaked creatures that writhed in darkness and had already destroyed his companions.

    His baby son whimpered within the wagon, hushed swiftly by Eli’s scared wife.

    A howl in the dark announced the beginning of the end.

  2. @WarwickDaisy
    Con Artist/ 1920s/ Poem
    110 Words
    1929: Dancing to ‘When You’re Smiling’

    Following my lead,
    Stepping in small circles as smoke
    Fills my lungs, dampening my need
    To kiss her whilst I toke,
    Remembering tomorrow is Sunday
    Explains the crowd in this speakeasy
    No one frets about Blue Monday
    We’re young, drunk and needy
    To become lions of the ‘20s
    But our ‘Roars’ are subdued –
    The illegality of our empties
    Brings down the mood
    I can’t offer much to Daisy
    Maybe a poor quality wine
    But her husband’s friend’s a Mafia ‘crazy’
    I know she’s not mine whilst we step in time
    Questioning the American Dream;
    What the pain of sobriety might mean
    She’d be bankrupt…
    Proof it’s necessary to be corrupt.

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    Brian S Creek
    110 words

    From my penthouse I watch Britannia’s greatest airship, the BF Prodigious, glide softly into the capitals airspace. She is a sight, and then some. I hear the drawn breaths of my party guests behind me. They point and smile and toast to the moment.

    It’s going to be quite a night.

    I sunk a lot of money into her construction, though to me it was mere pocket change. She’s to be an icon of our mighty empire; the crown jewel of the Kings fleet.

    I check my pocket watch. The explosives I planted on board will detonate before she reaches her berth.

    Oh, it’s going to be quite a night.

  4. Shelter

    110 words
    elements: frontiersman, wilderness, horror


    Tobias stumbled through the blizzard sensing he was being watched. When would they show themselves? He was more than a year late in joining his brother at the small outpost. And now his horse could go no further.

    Tobias pulled out a knife knowing he had one chance. He slit the animal’s throat and cut open the stomach, hauling out the bloody entrails to make a cavity big enough for him to crawl into.

    He did not hear starving voices cheer at the sight of the horse, the cries that at last their luck was turning and their famine was over. Nor did his eyes open as the axes fell.

  5. @stellakateT
    110 words
    Gangster / Mausoleum / mystery

    It’s a Mystery

    Every ten years the ancient oak door was unlocked and two men wearing protective suits would enter. Stan knew they’d be in and out within ten minutes. It was just a formality, part of a government mandate, health and safety.

    Gaynor’s shrill shriek would have wakened the dead if that was possible, sprawled over the coffin a dead body. Showing signs of decay, bullet hole between the eyes, a designer suit, and top end leather wallet carelessly thrown on the floor. She might be new at this job but she knew it wasn’t Winston Churchill who was hopefully still in the coffin. It was the missing gangster Miles “Armani” Malone.

  6. @AvLaidlaw
    Millionaire / England / Steampunk
    110 Words

    The Sun Never Sets

    Lord Havisham strides through Kensington, past the beggars leaching from a smog tinted blood red by the sunset.

    The gas lamps flicker on. He glances at them with one eye, the other lost in the Mutiny and replaced by a diamond from the looted treasury of some Hindu prince. His legs, shattered by a cannonball during the Opium Wars and held together by clockwork and wires of African gold, click with each hurried step. He tosses the beggars a few shillings.

    He is an old man and remembers this place before the city. The fields and laughing brook. His heart was made of English oak then, but rotted long ago.

  7. Checkmate
    by Stephen Shirres (@The_Red_Fleece)
    Millionaire, England, Steam punk
    Word Count = 109

    I move my queen across the chessboard, a polished silver cog her crown. The only bright thing in Charles’ prison cell. “Check.”
    My old friend doesn’t react. His attention on his own dull chess pieces. The only things left after the Queen took all his millions after his failed revolution. Giving him a view of Buckingham Palace was especially cruel. The Union Flag is bright today against the dull sky of London steam.
    Eric moves his rook, carved from an old brass pipe, into the same square as my queen. “Checkmate.”
    “Sorry old sport, you only took my queen…”
    Our view of the palace becomes fire and dust.

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  8. Mourning Machinations
    WC 110

    After Rose’s untimely death, most days were spent in his workshop, while the rest of their Victorian country home went to ruin.

    He pulled the decorative fabric from his creation, folded it and placed it on a nearby chair.

    James then took a chain and key from around his neck. He inserted it into the keyhole turning it over several times. He replaced the chain safely tucked in his shirt.

    For a moment, he listened to the flesh heart encased in her glass chest.

    He flipped the toggle on her neck and smiled as the clockwork began to rotate. Her mechanical eyes flung open allowing him to see endless possibilities.


    Report user
    1. I sincerely apologize. I only just saw that it was waiting now. The software automatically holds any comment that has more than two links in it, as protection against spam. 🙁 If this happens again in the future, and I don’t respond right away, feel free to submit it again (maybe without links). I’d rather have it on there twice than miss out on it altogether. Again, I’m very sorry that I didn’t see this earlier.

  9. On the rocks

    “Captain, this craft is not sea worthy.”
    The captains breath formed clouds as he spoke, “nonsense, this is the sturdiest vessel in the Atlantic. I hired the best engineers in the world to make it so.”
    “But why this particular design?”
    “Stealth of course! Now full steam ahead.”
    “Captain, full steam would literally melt the ship from the inside. May I suggest very light steam.”
    The captain slumped into his icy chair with a sigh, “I suppose.”

    There was an almighty crash, followed by screaming. The Captain jumped to his feet, “What was that?”
    “I believe sir that may have been the HMS Titanic…”
    “I told you we were sturdy!”

    110 words
    Millionaire, England, and steam punk.

  10. Tall, Dark and Handsome
    101 words

    Who was he? He was tall, dark and handsome. The model for The Great Gatsby, some said. He was from Chicago, he said. His charm was the talk of Wall Street and the society pages.

    He was truly a man of the moment, understanding the flow of money. He sold stock in electronics and bizarre inventions. “Technology is the future,” he said. He sang, “Blue skies from now on.”

    Others saw dark clouds gathering. Investors expressed foreboding that the market was heading for a crash.
    Timing is everything he said. He had his futures options, a time machine in his garage.

  11. Overcoming Patience

    Amos was still blocks away from the table where the kindly old woman at the front of the bread line would hand him a stale loaf. It was barely fit for ducks.

    The Depression hardened his little heart almost as much as his parents abandoning him at the church. It was time to test the treasure he’d found in the burnt crater behind St. Germain’s this morning. Amos held up the glass disc and pressed the protruding button. A green arc of light struck the hunched man in front of him. The man evaporated, leaving a pile of dingy clothes. Amos stepped forward and waited for the device to recharge.

    110 woords

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