Thanks to all you lovely people who took the time to submit to Microcosms 114. We had a select 14 entries this time. Welcome to first-timer, Roger Shipp.
Please keep returning to Microcosms, and retweet / spread the word about this contest among your followers and friends.
Don’t forget that Microcosms exists primarily to provide a platform for the flash fiction community to hone their skills, and secondarily to give entrants a chance of receiving an accolade from that week’s judge. We also have the vote button for anyone, not just fellow entrants, to register their favourite/favorite(s) and thus establish a Community Pick.
We encourage everyone to reply with a positive comment to any and all of the entries AT ANY TIME: It’s good to have feedback.
MC 113 Judge’s Pick, Ted Young, kindly agreed to act as judge for this contest. Here’s what he had to say:
Since joining the Microcosm community, I have read and appreciated every story submitted. Now, under the added weight of a judge’s wig, this experience has taken on a new dimension. So, with due thanks and admiration to all contributors, and the disappointing absence of offered bribes, here are my humble opinions.
PS I’d like to take a moment to thank Geoff Holme, our literary shepherd. This week, I’ve witnessed first hand the effort that goes into running Microcosms.
[ GH: Gawsh! ‘Tweren’t nuthin’… ]
Favourite / Favorite Lines
Bill Engleson – I put on my mukluks, grabbed Snap Whittier, our staff shutterbug.
Arthur Unk – Sophie hoped that one day someone would pay her to kill the bad guys.
Marsha Adams – …eliciting a feeling at once unfamiliar, uncomfortable and dangerously intoxicating.
Nikki Olivier – “They did the only thing they know, my friend.”
Angelique Pacheco – Reshuffling some deaths gave her the time to have children.
Tim Hayes – I don’t know who he was or why his death was required. I never ask.
Eloise – She just floated along in her bubble.
Thom Connors – …in hushed tones so that Venice cannot hear them.
Helen Buckroyd – …there was something distasteful in the way she smiled at him…
Andrea Allison – Then the idiots got education, and I got whacked.
Geoff Le Pard – …a tangential way to a nice icing.
Michael Pickard – A red flower blossomed on his white shirt…
Steph Ellis – “Your gold is enough, as is one lifetime.”
Roger Shipp – Roxy’s being there lifts the place from a five-star to a six-plus!
Geoff Le Pard – When In The Sights Of An Assassin, It’s Not Only Stray Bullets That Are A Danger
This gives me all the info I need to be a successful hit-man.
Eloise – Ballerina Dreams
I too often wonder what are the real thoughts of those paid to serve us.
Bill Engleson – A Woman of the People
I really rated this; Mickey Spillane lives! Great lines, great story… Thanks.
Angelique Pacheco – Daddy’s Little Girl
This story grabbed me by the collar and dragged me through a proper ‘freaking-out’. Terrific.
And now, without further ado, we present the winners of Microcosms 114.
(insert drumroll here)
Nikki Olivier – Times Of War
Assassin; Venice; Thriller
“It is time, Monsignor,” the advisor whispered in the ear of the priest. “If we are to do this, it must be now.”
With great haste, the two fled the residence into the night and swiftly, silently strode down the cobbled streets. The lapping of the water in the canals doing the best work of masking their steps.
“I don’t like this at all, Gaspode,” the priest murmured. “Why would…”
The words were cut short as a blade was thrown with unerring accuracy, straight for the chest of the priest. The jewelled hilt of the dagger glinting in the moonlight was a clear message that the ruling powers would not stand for any interference from the church.
“Monsignor!” Gaspode exclaimed as he dropped to his knees next to the fallen priest. “What have they done?”
“They did the only thing they know, my friend.”
As the priest breathed his last, the assassin slipped away into the shadows, satisfied in the knowledge that the offer of peace between the two warring cities would never be heard.
With a shaky breath, Gaspode stood and, taking one last look at the body of his charge, he went to deliver his message to the house of Medici…
Thom Connors – Science and the Sea
This made me feel a real affection and reverence for a much loved, iconic city, and a sadness for those who love Venice…a place I’ve never even thought of going to. That’s got to be good writing.
Assassin; Venice; Thriller
Venice is old. It creaks and shifts in a way that other cities don’t, but that’s part of the charm. The people who live there talk about it like an old friend, one that is hard of hearing and barely able to walk. They look after it and take it to the clinic. Sometimes, neighbours bring over meals to keep it fed. The children in the neighbourhood come to clean the yard when their parents say they have to, even if they don’t understand it.
When Venice is at the doctor, it’s a subdued experience. They mention sinking in hushed tones so that Venice cannot hear them. They talk about the way its veins can’t hold in its lifeblood anymore. But the people have banded together against this sickness. They’ve created gates outside of Venice, that restrict the way the water enters its veins.
Like a pacemaker, the gates control the flow of the City’s assassins: the ocean, and the moon, and the spin of this interminable planet.
So when the doctors see Venice now, they ask only one question.
How old can Venice be?
Congratulations, Thom. As Judge’s Pick, you are invited to judge the next round of Microcosms this coming weekend. Please click HERE to let us know whether or not you are interested!