Microcosms 99

Welcome to Microcosms 99, flashionistas. This day – 24-NOV – marks the anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, and is internationally observed as Evolution Day. You have 24 hours to nurture the evolution of your selection of raw elements into a fully-formed flash fiction phenomenon.

This time round, I’m eschewing (lovely word!) my usual selection of birth and/or death anniversaries in favour of events that have occurred on this day in the past. Here’s my selection:

  • 1835 – The Texas Provincial Government authorizes the creation of a horse-mounted police force called the Texas Rangers
  • 1922 – Nine Irish Republican Army members executed by an Irish Free State firing squad. Among them is author Robert Erskine Childers, who had been arrested for illegally carrying a revolver.
  • 1962 – The influential British satirical television programme That Was the Week That Was is first broadcast.
  • 1963 – Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin of President John F. Kennedy, is killed by Jack Ruby.
  • 1969 – Apollo program: The Apollo 12 command module splashes down safely in the Pacific Ocean, ending the second manned mission to land on the Moon.
  • 1971 – During a severe thunderstorm over Washington state, a hijacker calling himself Dan Cooper (aka D. B. Cooper) parachutes from a Northwest Orient Airlines plane with $200,000 in ransom money, never to be found.



(If YOU have an idea for a future contest and would like to be guest host, please contact us.)


Our contest this week begins with THREE things: character, location and genre.

We spun, and our three elements are – character: Author, location: Airplane, 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 – character, location and genre. You can keep clicking until you have a set of elements that inspires you.

*** HEY! Remember to include which THREE elements you’re using (if you select [Your Choice], please specify exactly what your choice is) AND a title for your entry – not included in the word count.

  • Policeman
  • Author
  • Satirist
  • Assassin
  • Astronaut
  • Hijacker
  • Texas
  • Firing Squad
  • TV Studio
  • Police HQ
  • Mars
  • Airplane
  • Crime
  • Historical Account
  • Comedy
  • Conspiracy Theory
  • Memoir
  • [Your Choice]


Last week’s Judge’s Pick, Sian Brighal, has kindly agreed to act as judge this time round.


Let me reiterate: all submissions should be a maximum of 300 words in length. You have 24 hours until midnight, today (Friday) New York time (EST) to submit.

*** If you are new to Microcosms, remember to check out the full submission guidelines. ***

All being well, results will be posted next Monday.

Microcosms 100
Microcosms 98

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