Microcosms 35

Thank goodness Friday comes round only once a week! How to come up with another contest for Microcosms… I’m so glad that I managed to brow-beat this week’s judge, A J Walker, into being guest host as well. Take it away, AJ:

Normally at this time of year I’m off to the wonderful End of the Road festival down on the Dorest/Wiltshire border, but this year I’m having to give it a miss. Fantastic music, beautiful setting with quirky added details, lovely audience, sunshine (hopefully), food from around the world, real ale and cider from round the corner. A fantastic event – everything I could possibly want in life, in microcosm. In fact, this year I’ve not gone to any music festivals – an awful turn of (non-attendance of) events. Next year…

So, to fill this void, I’m after your stories of festivals – be they music, beer, food… free love?

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

We spun, and our three elements are character: Undercover Cop, setting: Field, and genre: Memoir.

Write a story using those OR feel free to click on the “Spin!” button, and the slot machine will come up with a new set – you can keep clicking until you have a set of elements that inspire you. Be sure to include which three elements you’re using.

  • Festival Virgin
  • Festival Veteran
  • Singer
  • Ticket Tout
  • Volunteer
  • Undercover Cop
  • Organiser
  • Warehouse
  • Field
  • Performance Tent
  • Conference Centre
  • Public Park
  • Former Church
  • Camp Site
  • Memoir
  • Thriller
  • Romance
  • Aga Saga
  • Science Fiction
  • Parody
  • Horror
  • Comedy
  • Fairy Tale


As already mentioned, judging this week is Microcosms 34 Judge’s Pick, A J Walker.

All submissions should be a maximum of 300 words in length. You have until midnight, New York time to submit. (If you are new to Microcosms, check out the full submission guidelines.)

All being well, results will be posted on Monday.


If you like, you may use the following pictures to inspire you – purely optional.


Unicorn at EOTR 2014
Snazzy Unicorn at End of the Road 2014 (copyright A J Walker)


Somerset Cider Bus 2014
Somerset Cider Bus 2014 (copyright A J Walker)



Microcosms 36
Microcosms 34

23 thoughts on “Microcosms 35

  1. “Prince Blueblood”
    292 Words
    Undercover Cop/Old Church/Memoir

    All I can remember is how effing hot in there it got. I mean sure, I get it, I sinned, sinned plenty. So what if I got a little horny from time to time? That’s when it hit me: Captain assigned the case because I couldn’t keep my zipper zipped. That was my punishment and this was my hell.

    Two years from retirement, I kept telling myself, two years from retirement. Full pension. Put these past few years behind me.
    But there I stood with nowhere to go. It was, as they say, an eternity.

    Bronies, Bronies everywhere.

    I know what you’re thinking. Grown men who dress up like “My Little Pony” must be into some pretty weird shit. Illegal-type shit that’ll land you on “To Catch a Predator.”

    But, no, that’s not what I was there for and nope, they’re actually some pretty cool dudes. No harm, no foul.

    As I watched them dance and mingle and drink and God-knows-what-else, these two dudes came up to me and one said, in his best pony voice, “Prince Blueblood, I presume?”

    “Huh? Oh, yeah. Prince Blueblood.” I neighed with laughter. “That’s me.”

    “When did Prince Blueblood become a Deadhead?” asked the other, indicating my tie-dye shirt.

    Again, I neighed and the two looked at one another, then leered at me and I could just about feel the wrath of God raining down from the roof of the old church. Knowing I didn’t belong, they backed away, never once taking their eyes off me before disappearing into the crowd.

    They must’ve said something, because in a matter of moments their eyes turned on me.

    I felt like such an ass before men dressed like ponies, me in my unicorn mask, searching for a drug-mule.

  2. @Alva1206
    WC: 300
    Undercover cop/Field/Memoir
    Queen Fabiola’s Downfall
    She was a phony of course, but judging by the long snaking queue outside her tent, a lot of people were willing to be taken in by the melodramatic antics of Queen Fabiola’s predictions for the future. Each year she flounced through the festival field with her multi-coloured tepee, its gold star perched atop, squeezing her temporary premises in between the coconut shy and the hoopla stall.

    The Festival of Fair Play had attracted an eclectic mix of entertainment, food stalls, bric-a-brac and more. ‘Fun for all the Family’ was its motto and it lived up to that pretty much until Queen Fabiola stole the show in 1975 by predicting death. When the twisted body of Mr. Crooked Councillor was discovered under the back wheels of Flame the Fire Swallower’s caravan, I had little chance of convincing anyone of Queen Fabiola’s rogue status. I wasn’t even supposed to be there. My case was the adjacent farmer who’d been under surveillance for growing illicit plants under glass, this puny illegal greenery now forgotten in the mayhem of the dead body discovery.

    I had to come clean when the cops decided my shifty stance was enough to warrant hauling me in for questioning. Realising I was on their side they banished me from the makeshift interview area, warning me to tell them immediately if I had any further information on the grisly murder. ‘One thing at a time, mate,’ when I coughed up about Farmer Jack and his greenery. ‘Got a dead one here.’

    Of course Queen Fabiola could predict the death of Mr. Crooked Councillor. Sascha, the wily hoopla stall operator had witnessed the canoodling behind the rainbow tent each year but said nothing until Her Majesty’s silk scarf was found tucked into Mr. CC’s underwear. Festival of Fair Play indeed!

  3. Crapper In The Field
    by Steve Lodge
    278 words
    Undercover Cop / Field / Memoir

    Well, of course, I did it for the wife, really. God rest her soul. “Max Crapper,” she said, “after a lifetime in the police, there’s a memoir in you somewhere. You are hopeless at golf and gardening. Bloody write your memoirs. Go on, bloody do something.” So I bloody did. Course, I never sent it for publishing, like and sadly, she never got to read it. Passed away last June, she did. So I made this pact with meself. I read the Bible every morning and I read out loud for her a page or 2 of my hand-written memoir in the evening.

    Last night was when me and Archie (we’ll call him that, shall we?) were under cover out at Abbotts Field during the annual Sparrowditch Jazz festival, just keeping an eye out, like, for pushers, pickpockets, dodgy pie sellers, that kind of thing. For me it was routine, but I liked the music. Everything seemed to be cool. But Archie, he went off and next time I saw him he was onstage with his shirt off, grabbed the mike and was shouting “Come on, Abbotts Field, let’s make some bloody noise” during Blind Tommy Pugh’s awesome sax solo. He later tried to arrest one guy for possession of clammy feet and another for “arsing about in flip flops.”

    Archie seemed to have a foot fetish, alright. Cos later he fell asleep in the toilet area and ended up suffering from “trench foot” – a disease usually only heard of in World War One. Well, I would have helped him out of the toilet area, you see, but unfortunately I’d passed out in the beer tent, honourably drunk.

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      1. Done, Steve. (Also, since you have lots of spare capacity, I corrected ‘trenchfoot’ to ‘trench foot’ and tweaked the word count – you’re welcome! 😉 )

  4. Memoir
    299 Words
    Undercover Cop/Field/Memoir

    Our feet swished across the field like nuns shooshing delinquents at the back of a church. In the distance we could hear a thump thump thump of drums backing the hollowed wails of a banshee with a cold. Darkness had enveloped Summerset Field in a cloak unlit by the non-existent sphere in the sky, and a chill rose from the earth snaking up along my spine.
    “Are you sure the intel is correct. They smell like regular folk to me.” my partner grunted, kicking something across the field that drenched his shoes in a rancid metallic scent “Crap.”
    I looked down at the ground, hoping to avoid the same fate.
    “Drugs, sex and rock ‘n roll. Perfect camouflage for deaders.”
    “We’re deaders, and you don’t see me headbanging to teen-aged boys in skinny jeans pretending they know what rock ‘n roll is.”
    “Unless your daughter is in the room.” I give him a grin but his eyes narrow with his mouth. I raise my hands. I’m the only one who knows he has a human daughter – how he pulled that off is a mystery no one has been able to decipher. Yet anyway.
    “Do you even know who we’re looking for?”
    “He’s an ancient vamp. Goes by the name Memoir.” I snort, “Used to be a historian and scribe back when Barnabas and Paul were trading blows in Antioch.”
    “An Elder then.”
    “One of the few remaining.”
    We continued in silence, moving close enough to flit amongst sprawled bodies wafting enough fumes to emulate a brewery. Eventually the bodies were upright and swaying like grass stalks in the wind, music pounding in our ears. My spine tingled again as we drew closer. He was here alright. More than just a detective’s intuition. He was my brother after all.

  5. Undercover cop/field/memoir
    @geofflepard 295 words

    A festival of fun

    Madame Dahlia read leaves; Clarissa Smyth made charms. Each year they hired a tent next to each other at the Herbs and Hope Festival. Dahlia liked it sunny with puffs of dust; Clarrie preferred the rain and sticky mud.
    This year it rained. Clarrie sang, while Dahlia stayed inside dispensing gloom over Twinings. After a particularly sharp flash flood, Dahlia watched in horror as a portaloo floated past. ‘That’s it I’m staying undercover.’
    Clarrie smiled. ‘You need anything?’
    Dahlia hesitated. ‘I promised that man I’d find his bag. It’s his life, he said. ‘Just some old shit, but it’s important to me.’
    Clarrie looked at the last customer. ‘What about lost property?’
    ‘It’s hopeless. The bag will be in there.’ She pointed at the rivers of mud. ‘I so want to help. He reminds me of dad, of when I first felt the fuzzies and knew I had a gift. Finding it would be like going down memory lane.’
    Clarrie offered Dahlia a pair of wellies. ‘We’d better try.’
    Dahlia was far from happy. She huddled under the cover of a huge brolly while directing Clarrie. At each junction, she waited for a sign – a falling leaf, the flap of a scarf, a blown strand of hair – before setting off. Finally, they reached the river. On the other side, a tree sported debris from the flash flood. Two bags hung from the branches and a plank lay on the bank. ‘We get one shot by the looks. So which is it?’
    Dahlia paused; just then the portaloo hurtled past. In the swirling water left in its wake a thin pointy turd popped to the surface. It indicated the bag on the left. Dahlia and Clarrie exchanged a look. ‘I guess that must be it then.’

  6. I Tube! You Tube! We all Tube for… Woodstock

    “So Charley, tell me again. Elise, your granddaughter, Celeste’s kid, right?”

    “Right. Her youngest. Who’d a figured? So, the little munchkin, she starts University. Plans on becoming a copper like her Granddad, like her father… and then, gets artistic…”


    “Takes a film course. What’s a respectable University doing giving film courses, I ask you? But there it is. So, one of the first films they show is that Hippie mud bath, Woodstock.”

    “That’s an oldie…”

    “You’d think they’d use newer films, but no, they have to drag out that epic piece of manure. She’d never seen it. But she watches it. Studies the damn thing. You know, frame by friggin’ frame. Learning how whack-job hippies made films, I guess.”

    “And she never knew…?”

    “That I was on the job there? Nope. Not my finest moment, you’ll agree?”

    “Ha, I’ll say it wasn’t.”

    “I mean, it started out well enough. The Police Brains Trust started getting antsy that spring about what these flash-in- the-pan promoters had up their sleeve. Nobody wanted a gathering of drugged up dopesters whooping it up in bunches all over some innocent countryside…farm communities up in arms…with pitchforks in them. We got the Times and other rags to knock them down. And remember, these yoyos weren’t sure where they were gonna hold the damn thing until a few days before.”

    “I do remember. So, early on they got you growing your hair?”

    “Yeah. Margie kinda liked it. Thought I was working with the drug squad. Which I was but it was the special Hippie Festival Task Force. Anyways, it all went sideways…”

    “The acid in your coffee?”

    “Yeah. It mighta been okay if I’d kept my clothes on…”

    “Yeah. And it hadn’t been caught on film…”

    “Yeah. And immortalized.”

    “Yeah. On You Tube. Forever.”

    “Enough, Frankie!”

    Undercover Cop; Field; Memoir
    300 Kodak and more moments

  7. Bloodstock Blues

    Elements: undercover cop, field, memoir
    296 words


    I’d worn a kilt. It’ll help you blend in they said. That and a few tattoos and piercings. My DI made sure I suffered before I even got onto that bloody field. Pulling festival duty was down to his sadistic sense of humour; he’d found out I played the violin in my spare time. Thought this would be a good joke.

    “Don’t just stand there,” buzzed a voice in my ear. “You stick out like a sore thumb.”

    I frowned, there seemed to be plenty of other sore thumbs around me and no one paid them any heed. Still, I duly obliged and started bobbing my head about like a demented monkey until I literally banged heads with the bloke next to me. I thought I was going to get thumped but he just grinned and carried on.

    “Windmill,” said my earworm.

    I moved out of the crowd and went looking.

    “No, you pillock, windmill. Hair. Look, copy the guitarist.”

    I prayed my glued-on dreads would remain in place but I didn’t even manage a complete rotation before I got tangled up with my neighbour.

    More buzzing laughter. “Wall of death,” they shrieked and suddenly I was dragged back as two groups of metalheads split apart. When they charged I’m afraid the dreads and half my scalp went. I thought the game would be up, they would realise I was a fraud. But there was none of that, instead I was pulled into the frenzy of the mosh pit before being flung out and up where raised arms sent me forward to the barrier in a wave of violent approval. Needless to say the planned drugs bust failed but I did swap the violin for guitar and the boss and I started a band, Maggot Party.

  8. This Is Us

    This is us at the end of the night.
    This is us with a load of others.
    This is him when he first landed in the field, still in his unicorn head. I was on stage later but was wandering around, soaking up the atmosphere and taking photos. And there he was.
    The unicorn head was to blend in, he confided, but I knew you could blend in here with the most outlandish of heads so I encouraged him to remove it. He was delighted no one was at all alarmed at his appearance. I certainly wasn’t.
    This is Glurgle. Such a gorgeous shade of purple, green beard and five incredible eyes. Perfect.
    This is him tasting his first pint from the cider bus, like it’s the finest thing he’d ever tasted. Maybe it was. I left him slurping up his second while off I went to do my set.
    This is me on stage. This is the band. This is Glurgle watching. The field was full of folk, everyone happy. Flags flying, sunlight through the trees, warm evening breeze and that ungraspable smell of summer.
    This is us while I’m singing my final song; me on stage, him at the front. Lovely to see him look up at me. Sky darkening, silver stars, Glurgle’s ear tubes and mauve nose flapping to the beat. Folk dancing with him on the grass. Don’t think he’d ever heard music before that night.
    This is us later. More cider. Happy. Love. Together.
    This is Sky and Star, our twins. Such clever, funny, beautiful girls. Their Dad comes back every year. To see us, to taste the cider and listen to the music again.
    This is us all together last year.
    He’s not turned up yet. It’s the last night.
    This is me waiting.

    300 Words
    Singer – Field – Romance

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  9. stellakateT
    270 words

    Festival virgin / Warehouse / Memoir

    The Beat Goes On

    It was dark, scary and my first time. I kept my head down avoiding anyone’s gaze. I’d been warned the place would be full of drunken yobs, high on crack or whatever was cheap that night. The girls would be the worst in their tiny little outfits, more on show than was legally decent. I imagined my greatest fears would come true and I’d be found dead the next morning in this out of town warehouse. An unflattering photo of me looking old and tired splashed over the tabloids with lurid headlines.

    As the sun came up, I sat on an old pallet nursing my sole, not the one Father Joseph is still after. My left foot had stood on broken glass and, when blood spurted between my toes, this young bloke had whisked me to the side and poured copious amounts of water over it. I was pretty middle-aged then, but felt like a teenager. He held my hand gently and told me about the throbbing beat he followed all over the country. I told him I was here just to try and understand why my son had disappeared. All he’d left behind was a CD slipped down the side of his bed in the rented flat. I really thought that night he’d be there at this gig.

    Tonight, I’m off to Glastonbury, no longer a festival virgin. My husband doesn’t understand. I’m no longer just searching for our son. I’ve come to love the music, thrive on having new friends. I do hand out photos of Shane but, after all these years, would I even recognise him myself?

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    * * *

    290 words
    Undercover Cop / Field / Memoir

    * * *

    Peter checks the last page of the book, comparing the description to his surroundings; abandoned farm building, a mighty oak tree, the lake beyond the north wall. The middle of the night, the middle of a field, and only a scarecrow for company.

    This is where the last page of the story ends.

    But it isn’t a story though. It’s his life. Bound in leather. Finished with beautiful gold detail. The mysterious book that arrived this morning. It has his childhood, his highs and lows, all of his loves. Every major decision he’s ever made.

    And all of his secrets too.

    Somehow the book contains everything. Someone out there knows everything. And Peter needs to know who.

    His hope is that the person wrote the ending as bait. Peter has decided to bite down and see what happens.

    He wonders how long he should wait. He checks the book again, flicks through the last pages, just to make sure there’s nothing else.

    “You won’t find anymore.”

    Peter turns, looking for who has spoken.

    No one.

    Just him and the scarecrow.

    Him and the scarecrow.

    Him and-

    The scarecrow has moved, turned on its pole. It’s looking right at Peter.

    What the fuck.

    “What the fuck?” Peter yells, brandishing the book like a priest fighting back a demon. “Who wrote this?”

    “All of your secrets,” says the scarecrow. “Nothing is hidden.”

    “What do you want?”

    “I want nothing,” says the scarecrow. “But my employers want you dead.”


    “Not who you say you are. They know now. Mr Undercover. Mr Lawman. Mr Liar.”

    Peter opens his mouth to protest, and the scarecrow takes the shot.

    Job done, the scarecrow climbs off the pole and walks across the field, into the night.

  11. Clocked To Trot

    300 words

    Festival virgin/Camp site/Science fiction

    They’d promised her “some trip”, by word of mouth. No blurb boasts. Nothing to speak of online, notwithstanding Google’s omniscience. Just a friend of a friend saying Callie would remember it, if she went. Their name escaped her, blurry. She’d had no idea what to expect. She’d signed up anyway, some way, somehow, somewhere along the line. Now, she was waiting, goosebumps superseding the heat along her arms, as the dusk settled down into dark.

    “Bring it on,” she said, screwing her eyes up against the pitch closing in around her. “Some of us are waiting. For the whatever. And, seriously, where is everybody, anyway? Doesn’t anyone keep track of time?” She might have had a couple of ales earlier to compensate for the trauma of pitching her tent imperfectly. She might even have completed the task half-cut. Possibly. So long as it stood a couple of nights. So long as no-one walked into it in the early hours. Its equilibrium stood a little uneasy for that.

    “Sod it,” Callie said. She’d cope. Whatever.

    “You’re late,” a dark haired guy said, emerging from amidst tree-shaped shadows. “We weren’t banking on that. They’ve gone on without you.”

    “Really?” Callie queried. “There’s me thinking I’d done a pretty decent job of keeping on track, despite everything.”

    “Trust me, we’re clocked to trot, here,” he said seriously.

    “I don’t,” Callie replied. “I know what time it was. Is.” She drew a breath. “Whatever. You get me, right?”

    “Got you,” he said.

    “Look, can I catch them, or what?” she asked. “Presuming the “they” are worth it?”

    “I could pull some strings,” the young man said, doubtfully.

    “This is some random shit,” Callie commented, aloud. “They just said we’d be in fields.”

    “It’s relative, though, isn’t it, don’t y’think?” he responded, matter of fact.

  12. Squelch Pop
    by @The_Red_Fleece
    286 words
    Festival Virgin/Field/Horror

    Thick gelatinous mud sucks at my new wellington boots. I’ve been warned it would be bad before Becky lost a flip flop on the first day. Tom said he’d seen people lose a leg to the mud. I don’t believe him. He is all piss take. His latest bright idea is to make me wear his home-made ‘Festival Virgin’ t-shirt cos I really need to spend my weekend dealing with creepy guys offering to help me with my ‘condition’. Just remove the word festival and it would describe him nicely.
    The squelch pop of my wellies echoes through the dark tents. I hope I don’t wake anyone up. The wood chip they put down this morning have already been swallowed. Only pieces float above the mud.
    squelch, pop,
    squelch, pop,
    squelch, pop,
    squelch, pop,
    My left foot rugs against the membrane. The boot stays in the mud. Leg back inside properly, heel in heel and try again. This time only pain moves, the jolt of muscle pulling too far. Mud licks over the green rubber. The ground disappears under my wellies. My right knee splats into the mud. My stomach sours. Cold mud pours into my horizontal boots, the same consistency as the results of a very hot curry.
    “Help.” The world almost pointless it is so quiet. The idea is to wake people, to get help. “Help.” Much louder, much better.
    “People are trying to sleep.” The only shout back. Not even a tent lit by torch.
    Mud waterfalls into my second wellie. I sink faster and faster. There is no other way to describe it. The suction holding my body in place, arms to my side. Mud flowing into my mouth, lungs.

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  13. And The Night Rings On
    296 words
    Festival Virgin / Field / Romance

    “Forget it. Someone’s taken it,” says Matt.

    The Eclectic Dugout wrapped over an hour ago, the finishing act of our last festival of the summer. The band gave two encores as we danced, a heaving sweating mass wishing the night would never end.

    “Can’t believe you lost your wallet at your first Dugout,” says Ryan. “It’s all good mate. We’ll call the bank when we get home!”

    We wander over crushed beer cans and chewed up corn cobs. The crowd has mostly gone, back to pubs or afterparties or bed.

    There’s no buses left so it looks like we’re walking. Jess says her house is closest.

    Our buzz fades away and we get quieter as we slip through suburban streets.

    I walk alongside Jess, falling back. We don’t say a lot but right after the others go round a corner her fingers trail against mine. I let my pinkie slip inside the curl of hers and she pulls me in, kissing me quickly.

    We walk for hours. None of us have any idea what time it is as our phones have all died.

    We come to a park that Maya thinks she remembers. She leads us along past a bunch of angry geese that hiss. We go out to the swept field of a park.

    The sky hangs too low, all weighed down by stars and the echo in our ears. We sit on the grass, shivering in the cool stillness. We, take turns on a swing set.

    I swing next to Jess. She holds out her arms and leans back, soaring in silence.

    I copy her, my chains screeching at the peak. I stretch back, watching the streetlights and the stars and the ground come together and everything is above and below and all around.

  14. Leaves of Grass Meets
    Officer Wilson’s Lawn Mower

    I am not Serpico. I was. Not now. I am a Scorpio. I am retired. I live in suburbia. Some people say I look like the poet Walt Whitman. I have let my beard grow. I tried to read ‘Leaves of Grass’ thinking it was an outline for lawn maintenance. I was wrong. I also tried to read ‘Trout Fishing in America’ as a guide to retirement. Again, I was wrong.

    My neighbors are practicing Wiccans. I see them dress up in strange clothes at night and dance in the extended field that makes up the area behind our homes. I decided to investigate. Tonight. Beltane. Durring a full moon. I will disguise myself as a shadow behind moonlight. I will emulate the mascara of Mother Nature.

    I see them. Barely clothed. Holding hands. One is wearing something strange on their head. It seems like their leader. I will approach.

    I go unnoticed. Moving in the whiteness. Each footstep like a letter. My tracks in snow light. A brisk language on a stiff page. I become a hunter.

    All instincts return. The old days of infiltration. The youth of discovery. I write with a childlike ease. Recalling the wonders of life. Memories built upon like tumbling structures. Reinforced. She sees me. I retrace my steps…

    I am not Serpico.

    I decide to mow my lawn at midnight. I want to create an odd crop circle on my lawn. I want something that represents me. A tattoo of my soul on my soul.

    “A blade of grass is the journeywork of the stars.”

    The long straight lines that my words balance on like tightrope walkers through breeze of thought. As aerodynamic as a wish my heart flutters with a butterflies engagement.

    My fingers touch keys.

    I discover laughter in the air.

    Undercover Cop/Field/Memoir
    (300 words)

  15. Epilogue from Missing Justice: Inside the Rose Murder Trial

    Life after the Rose verdict was as you could imagine. Nobody trusted me anymore. My wife left and took the kid with her. The bowling team dissolved. I found myself assigned to the worst details the force had to offer. Some loyalty, huh?

    Seeing as how Rose walked because of me losing my service weapon, Chief only let me carry a Taser. That didn’t slow me down though. I led the precinct in collars till the day I retired. You can look that up. I also unofficially led the precinct in Tasings. With guns they count every shot you make, every bullet gets inventoried. With the Taser though, you can go hog wild with the thing and no Internal Affairs pencil pusher is the wiser.

    And I suppose you read this whole tell-all wondering if I’d ever mention the incident at the Duval County Renaissance Faire? I know you’re here for the main course: finding out how an obviously guilty Wallace Rose walked free. You really want to know about me getting my comeuppance at that festival. Right?

    I hate to disappoint, but everything you want to know is already in that police report. You can find it on the internet with all of the videos of the day. Yes, there was a riot when those two princesses were fist fighting over the last turkey leg. And yes I got kicked in the teeth by the donkey that the wizard guy was riding. But here’s what I’ll say that wasn’t in the report: I Tased that donkey to the point where he threw that wizard off and then relieved himself on that dopey pointy hat he had on. Probably the most rewarding day on the force in my life. Who’s laughing now? Hope you your money’s worth from my book.

    300 words
    undercover cop/field/memoir


    299 words
    Festival Virgin / Performance Tent / Memoir

    My First Time


    It was hard to compete with the clanging cacophony of the punk rock band on the stage. I shook my head vigorously, then tilted it upwards.


    Unfortunately, I blurted that last word in the split-second silence between the band’s dying chord and the eruption of cheers from the crowd. My face burned with embarrassment, but he didn’t smirk.

    “Drink?” he said.

    We headed to The Booze Bus, an old Routemaster double-decker converted to a bar, and climbed to the upper deck’s relative quiet.

    “How come you know so much about Ancient Rome?” I asked.

    “I’m studying Classics at Queen Mary, London.”

    “My brother went there! Isn’t it mainly an engineering college?”

    “Yeah,” he sighed. “They swab the decks down with testosterone. The male-to-female ratio is dire.”

    “Similar story for me. I’m at a P.E. college. The handful of blokes are beating women off with a stick!”

    “So, it’s your first time at a festival?”

    “Yes. I came with a friend, but she hooked up with some guy the moment we arrived. I’ve never even been camping before.”

    He offered to to help set up the tent, then we found ourselves… er… testing the groundsheet. After that first day, we rarely found time to check out the bands.

    He bought me this tie-dyed djellaba on the last day. We packed up, then hugged for a long, long time.

    “You may not be a Vestal Virgin,” he said, “but you’ve kindled a sacred fire in my heart that you must never, ever allow to go out.”

    And that, kids, is how I met your Father!

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