Microcosms 101

All right, settle down, class. This may be Microcosms 101, but it’s not an Introduction to Flash Fiction. We’re looking for top-notch stories; so, sit up straight and pay attention to our guest host, Stephen Shirres:

75 years ago, one of the greatest, most beloved and most quotable films ever made was released onto the silver screen: Casablanca. The film stars Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, with Claude Rains stealing every scene he is in. It is a wonderful war romance, and contains six lines from the AFI’s 100 years…100 Movie Quotes list – the most from any single film:

#5   “Here’s looking at you, kid.”
#20 “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
#28 “Play it, Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By’.”
#32 “Round up the usual suspects.”
#43 “We’ll always have Paris.”
#67 “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”

What more do you need for a Microcosms theme?

SPECIAL CHALLENGE: incorporate one of the quotes into your 300 words.

To view a clip from the film, click HERE.



(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: Petty Crook, Location: Market, and genre: Romance.

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.

  • Bar Owner
  • Piano Player
  • Police Captain
  • Petty Crook
  • Resistance Leader
  • Refugee
  • [Your Choice – SPECIFY!]
  • Gin Joint
  • Paris
  • Casablanca
  • Airport
  • Market
  • Police Officer
  • [Your Choice – SPECIFY!]
  • Romance
  • War
  • Drama
  • Thriller
  • Crime
  • Sci-Fi
  • [Your Choice – SPECIFY!]

Last week’s Judge’s Pick, Geoff Le Pard, 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 102
Microcosms 100

36 comments for “Microcosms 101

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.