RESULTS – Microcosms 19

Again, my apologies for the delays. I know how difficult it is to wait. My life has been utter chaos, lately. But your awesomeness makes the contest worthwhile. Please, continue writing. Never stop.

Things should slow down a bit for the next couple of weeks, so the contest should run more smoothly again. At least in that timeframe. I could always use additional help. Like, always…

A huge, HUGE thanks to Steph Ellis for helping me judge this week. I would be losing my mind without you, Steph. Thanks so much!

Here’s what she had to say.

Every time I judge I worry about those I choose and those I have to leave out. I know how hard it is to craft stories in this microcosmic fashion and the effort that everybody puts in time and again to produce perfect little flashes. For those not on the podium I know you’ll be there on other occasions.

All right, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

Honorable/Honourable Mentions

Voima Oy – Eclipse

Comments from Steph: “Stop calling me mummy”. Great line and led me to expect comedy but instead warped in the twilight zone and delivered an unexpected sci-fi twist at the end.

Bill Engleson – Mirrors

Comments from Steph: Very atmospheric piece written from the pickpockets point of view. Sparse use of words convey intent perfectly.

Emily Clayton – Once Upon a Murder

Comments from KM: You had from from “Staff were sprawled upon the age-darkened, chevron-style oak flooring, throats slit and glistening.” This is a frightening little bit of micro fic that I’d love to see expanded into something longer.

Runners Up

Voima Oy – Eclipse

Comments from KM: From the beginning, I had no idea where this flash was going, and I delighted in the myriad of twists and turns that Voima managed to pack in to such a tiny story. Well done.

Leara Morris-Clark – C’est La Vie

Comments from KM: There is a lot of depth in this little story, which boasts lush descriptions, detailed world building, and a three-dimensional narrator.

Cath Barton – Pick a Peck of Pickled Pepper

Comments from Steph: Instant drama from the first, straight into the action with attack from both sides on an ‘unsuspecting’ tourist and then the tables are turned. Enjoyed the element of darkness introduced in the last lines which suggested a particularly horrible punishment was meted out.

AV Laidlaw – Occupations

Comments from Steph: Occupations of different kinds explored here: a German soldier fair game to a pickpocket, a boy whose previous ‘privileged’ life is hinted at with the reference to piano playing. Yet what is stolen inverts your perception of both characters. A picture of a girl reveals a human side to the soldier, normally regarded as a monster whilst the act of destruction by the boy shows how his character has hardened. Nicely done.

Favorite/Favourite Lines

Before we get to our winners, here are some of our favorite/favourite lines from this week.

She whispers, “Vous êtes un homme doux.’’ – Bill Engleson

No illusions in a world full of deception – Bill Engleson.

Suddenly, with a little puff of sparkles, King Khufu popped into existence. – Daisy Warwick

Their show will be a silent one from now on. – Cath Barton

The kid’s fingers are slim and clever. He played the piano before all this. – AV Laidlaw

“Your Mama so ugly, the tide wouldn’t take her out.” – Geoff Holme

The pyramids opened, like flowers reaching for the sun. – Voima Oy

Staff were sprawled upon the age-darkened, chevron-style oak flooring, throats slit and glistening. – Emily Clayton.

Their wallets ride loosely in the pockets of raincoats, tossed in carelessly as an afterthought guided by their grumbling stomachs. – Leara Morris-Clark

And now, without further ado, I present to you the winners of Microcosms 19.

(insert drumroll here)

Community Pick

AV Laidlaw – Occupations

This story was also picked by one of our judges! We’ll let you read it below. 🙂

Judges’ Picks

Geoff Holme – The Hazards of Duke

Comments from Steph: Such a way with words has our Geoff and with a cracker of a line in “Your Mama so ugly, the tide wouldn’t take her out” how could I not give him the winner’s position. Loved the whole redneck setup and dialogue. Wonderful stuff.

Word Count: 109
Mother / Paris / Comedy

The Hazards of Duke

”Says here, Duke, it be National Tourism Day. How’s ’bout we take Mama ter Paris?”
“We cain’t afford that! ’Sides, we be rednecks – no passports!”
“Tain’t ‘International Tourism Day’, doofus! Ah’m talkin’ Paris, Texas. Mama don’t get out none since Papa done gave up his gee-tar fer a harp.”
“Ah’d have ter grease the wagon twice afore I hit the main road…”
“Duke Perkins! You’re tighter‘n wallpaper. You never take Mama out.”
“Your Mama so ugly, the tide wouldn’t take her out.”
“She cain’t hep the way she look.”
“Mebbe not, but she could stay home.”
“No more your ‘too poor ter pay attention’ routine. We’s goin’ ter Paris!”

AV Laidlaw – Occupations

Comments from KM: Wow! From the subtle innuendo of the title to the multitude of layers that build this world, there is so much going on in this piece that I’m marveling it only contains 106 words. And I absolutely love the ending. Bravo!

106 Words
Pickpocket / Paris / Drama


The German Lieutenant leans back on his boot heels as he stares up at the Tour Eiffel, the iron black and brutal against the sky. He doesn’t notice the kid brush against his jacket. The kid’s fingers are slim and clever. He played the piano before all this.

The kid ambles away. Never run. They chase you of you run. He reaches the café on Rue du Laos before he looks at his catch – a photograph, a photograph of a girl. Pretty. He tears it up and lets the fragments scatter on the breeze. Paris is no place for lovers, not these days.

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 Flashdogs: An Anthology. 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 20
RESULTS - Microcosms 18

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