Microcosms 37

Welcome back, if you are returning to Microcosms. If you are new here, welcome! We hope that you like what you see and that you will return in future. Either way, veteran or newbie, this week’s theme is return. Our guest host this week is one of the pillars of Microcosms, Steph Ellis. Over to you, Steph.


At this time of year, many people are making return journeys of different kind: children – and teachers! – go back to school, students go back to college or university. Throughout the year, others may return to childhood homes, old stamping grounds – even Earth itself.

On a personal level I have just lost my son to university (again) but regained the living room and cut the food/drink bill. My youngest has returned to her last year at senior school, and I have returned to my own job as a TA in a secondary school. So, it’s been very much a time of ‘going back’. Let’s explore this theme of return in our flash fiction this week.

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

We spun, and our three elements are character: Pensioner, setting: Home Town, and genre: Comedy.

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.

  • Student / Teacher
  • Homeless Person
  • Traveller /  Ex-pat
  • Astronaut
  • Pensioner
  • Politician
  • School / University
  • Childhood Home
  • Airport
  • Home Planet
  • Railway Station
  • Home Town
  • Memoir
  • Thriller
  • Romance
  • Crime
  • Science Fiction
  • Parody
  • Horror
  • Comedy
  • Allegory


Judging this week is Microcosms 36 Judge’s Pick, Bill Engleson.

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 this image to inspire you – purely optional.





Microcosms 38
Microcosms 36

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