Thanks to all who submitted to Microcosms 128. We had 15 entries this time.
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 127 Judge’s Pick, Nicolette Stephens, kindly agreed to act as judge for this contest. Here’s what she had to say:
Taking part in Microcosms has always been a fun and exciting challenge for me. Getting the opportunity to judge the amazing entrants is a huge honour. Thank you to our hosts, who take the time to come up with the amazing ideas every week, and to the authors who make it such a pleasure to take part.
A quick note on how I judged this week’s entries: I like stories that inspire emotion in me. On a personal level, flash fiction needs to have a purpose. So I look for emotion first, then the feeling of the story having accomplished something. What that may be, can be different from person to person, but reaching the end should always feel satisfying. The winners this week are the stories that evoked the most emotion and satisfaction while reading.
Favourite / Favorite Lines
Bill Engleson – We’ve coptered over the island every so often. Frightened our share of their sheep.
Vicente L Ruiz – After all this time, Haniel still found confusing how the Fallen had chosen sexes.
Ted Young – To talk to an inanimate object and expect — even demand — an answer requires more faith than most religions.
Geoff Le Pard – ‘Martin Deep. Doing a set. Takes a drink, and seconds later, he’s clutching his throat. Last words apparently ‘I could murder a decent scotch.’ ‘Looks like the scotch got in first.’ Meldrew looked around
Angelique Pacheco – The knot in my stomach releases and I feel like I can breathe again.
Steve Lodge – Everybody else in the Department had given up on the case or was allergic to lavender.
M. Levi – “Did you all just ask that in unison?” Hendricks said. “If so, that was impressive. And creepy.
Justin J. Conidaris – At that exact moment, a large fish slammed into my head from on high as another ‘fish storm’ arrived.
Nikky Olivier – Given all that time to think, I concluded that perhaps the knights of old were no longer with us because grand acts of chivalry lead to even greater deaths.
Deanna Salser – I’d like to say I did everything by the book, but that would be a lie. Harry
Mpart – She wasn’t here to admire a few magic tricks that managed to add a bit of color to the world.
Harrietbelle – Nobody understood, of course, so we had to run away to be together, and where we ran was three miles away from home to this old windmill.
Steph Ellis – Goats didn’t get stuck on mountains.
Monica Wenzel – They were built of better than our natures let them be.
Arianna Hammond – When she combusted as we crossed the atmosphere, I realized she meant the flowers.
Steph Ellis – Goat
An unusual sort of horror with an otherworldly feel. I could see it easily becoming a short film.
Harrietbelle – Full Circle
I loved how the title tied into the story, and the recognition of the old windmill being a place where young lovers continued their trysts for generations.
Deanna Salser – A Little on the Side
A dark detective tale, that was brilliantly played out, taking the reader from the present, back to the past and the collapse of the narrator’s world.
And now, without further ado, we present the winners of Microcosms 128.
(insert drumroll here)
Since the voting system is still not functioning properly, we consider it unfair to officially declare a winner until it’s fixed. Therefore, we will keep it pending until we can have a proper vote. We can poll everyone again in the next contest or two (depending on how long it takes) and then update all affected Results posts with the new information.
M. Levi – The Queen’s Horse
A brilliant twist on a fair maiden fairy tale, this story had me laughing out loud. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and hope that the queen gave her horse a well-earned rest. It was a cleverly-written piece that gave all the details, while still packing a punch with some rather hilarious social commentary. My theatre soul could see this produced as a pint-sized play!
Veterinary Surgeon; Stable; Fairy Tale
And so the people of the castle all began to lament, ‘Ai! Ai! Who can cure the Queen’s Horse?’
The third of the doctors was a maiden, pure enough to bring a unicorn from the woods and kind enough to melt the rock walls of the castle. She approached with a strange bag of herbs, and the people parted around her–
“Herbs?!” Hendricks demanded. “Who do you think I am?!”
She was a maiden, pure enough–
“I went to school for eight years to get my degree! I didn’t amass all this student debt to be judged on my–virginal status. Jeez. What year do you think this is?”
The time was midday, in a kingdom far, far away.
“Yeah, yeah. Just show me the horse. I didn’t drive all this way to let it die. Did you know that they made me get out of my truck when I came onto the property? It’s like a cult around here!”
And so the people of the castle greeted the young non-maiden. ‘Can you cure the horse?’ they asked. ‘Our Queen is in need of her steed, for she loves to travel the countryside and all who see her beauty feel their lives greatly Improved.’
“Did you all just ask that in unison?” Hendricks said. “If so, that was impressive. And creepy. And–good Christ, this li’l baby isn’t sick or hurt, she’s just overworked. In other words, it wasn’t a tragedy, it was idiocy. I’m prescribing bed rest. Now get me out of here.”
And so the people of the castle rejoiced at these tidings. But the Queen was deeply unhappy, for her daily rides gave her much joy–
“Yeah, I don’t really care,” Hendricks snapped. “I’ve got some real work to get to, so someone take me back to my truck.”
Congratulations, M. Levi. 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!