Thanks to all who submitted to Microcosms 134. We had 15 entries this time. Welcome back to long-lost friend, Brady Koch.
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 133 Judge’s Pick, Arianna Hammond, kindly agreed to act as judge for this contest. Here’s what she had to say:
Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to be a judge this week.
I absolutely enjoy reading in general, and it’s so fun to read community creations of all styles and genres.
Admittedly, I was a bit unsure of microfiction in the beginning. Though, once I joined a writing group and was introduced to the miraculous world of microfiction, it became hard to stop all the possibilities soaring out of my pencil with one small rule of a word count. Trying to fit as many understandings of a character, thought, or even describing a setting in all of 300 words is incredible to me. I love the challenge, as much as you all probably do, and reading all of the stories everyone makes each week that shows some form of amazing literature is so inspiring!
You all stun me with your craft, and choosing stories from the beautifully unique mix was very hard. There were so many great stories, and each one made me feel like I wanted to read more of it!
Give yourselves a round of applause, wonderful authors!
Favourite / Favorite Lines
Deanna Salser – The door was ajar, and when he pushed, it opened onto the destruction of his heart.
Stephanie Cornelius – Her melancholic sound was both beautiful and painful for him to hear.
AJ Walker – But I’m a good guy with a big heart and all this money I’ve made from luck, good friends and banks should be put to good use.
Vicente L Ruiz – In the corner, sparks flew from Jakey’s station.
Geoff Le Pard – He always looked hawkish but even he smiled with warmth.
Steve Lodge – Anyway, that’s all carbonated water under the bridge now.
Holly Geely – Alfonzo’s pocket erupted with a dance party.
Bill Engleson – I suddenly saw the joy I could bring BEYOND just scratching plaque.
Angelique Pacheco – Leprechauns are known to lie, if you believe in them, of course.
Eloise Tapson – The tooth fairy stamped her foot and a cloud of smoke rose up.
Mileva Anastasiadou – Deep in his heart Jack felt the calling; a voice inside him asking him to return.
Nikky Olivier – At these words, the masses huddled in the blustery autumn wind, raised a deafening cheer.
Tim Hayes – It was a barren place, fit for the gods, with its volcanoes and hot springs offset by snowy wastes.
M. Levi – Unsure of how else to prove it, Jenna widened her lips, displaying the set of teeth with a gold filling at the back.
Brady Koch – Julius nodded, jogging in place, keeping his heart up and his mind off of the approaching headlamp.
Special Mention: Best Title (which I had to repeat multiple times aloud to actually say correctly)
Bill Engleson – Doctor Malachi Mandible’s Magnificent Molardrome of Dental Hijinks
Besides the awesome title, this story was a true comedy. I loved how while the point of view was through the mind of Doctor Malachi Mandible, it felt almost as if they were having a conversation with the reader. Writer, you had me laughing from the beginning; thank you for all the puns and fun lines.
Stephanie Cornelius – Regrets
This story contained a beacon of hope, while still being consumed in a cloud of tragedy. Though pain held fast to the main character, I enjoyed the sense of hopeful peace. Amazing. My heart was completely out for this story.
Vicente L Ruiz – Goals And Achievements
A wonderful mixture of energy and interesting characters. I liked the way it felt sprung and witty with excitement, along with the uplifting dialogue thanks to the character’s happiness. That last line really got me thinking because it diverted from the prior scene, and made the sparks in the story truly fly. Well done!
Also, after reading this, I had Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’ stuck in my head. Ha, ha. 🙂
Holly Geely – Alfonzo’s Tragedy
Loved the way the conversation conveyed each person’s personality, without giving too much away and leaving enough room for brilliant twists. I was laughing throughout the story, and enjoyed how dark one character was in contrast with the other. With every dismissal of something awful, it turned almost comedic. Dark, but comedic. This was a tragedy in many different layers, but one that stayed relatively light.
P.S. I’m sorry about the Milky Way.
And now, without further ado, we present the winners of Microcosms 134.
(insert drumroll here)
Mileva Anastasiadou – The Boy who Decided to Break the Silence
Explorer; Newfoundland; Fairy Tale
On his tenth birthday, Jack made only one wish; he decided he was old enough to escape growing older. Despite his age, Jack felt he’d seen enough of this world to not like it. Yet nobody paid attention when he spoke. So he mostly remained silent.
Through the window she flew to his side and woke him up. A girl his age, who seemed like a fairy, only she wasn’t.
“I’m Joy,” she introduced herself. She asked him to follow her, yet Jack wasn’t yet sure. “You made that wish, didn’t you?” she asked.
Jack couldn’t fly, yet her wings were strong enough to carry him along. She was his ticket out of this world. He’d had enough of growing up.
“That’s Joyland,” she said, when they landed on a strange place Jack hadn’t visited before.
He looked around in amazement. He felt happy exploring that new found land, where Icarus never fell, because the sun didn’t burn his wings, Robin Hood didn’t steal, because he didn’t need to, Snow White didn’t get lost in the woods, because the Queen wasn’t evil, the wolf didn’t eat Red Riding Hood, because they were friends. Peter Pan, most importantly, wasn’t a boy anymore; he’d grown into a handsome young man, because in Joyland, he had no reason to be frightened of the adult world.
Deep in his heart Jack felt the calling; a voice inside him asking him to return. “My world needs me, Joy,” he said.
He could have lived in Joyland forever. He could have had his happily ever after. Instead, he chose to come back and grow up. He chose to break the silence an get heard, determined to fight to turn his world into the Joyland his people deserved, so that all people would live happily ever after.
Brady Koch – $2.75 Workout
This story had me hooked from the very first lines of conversation. When I read near the beginning of the story, which turns from dialogue to thought, it mentions the first character — Doc Greene — calling his son a protégé. In that, it gives a sense of pride towards his skill. That pride then seemingly becomes shadowed by power and overwhelming endurance. It feels as if we understand the younger athlete, but only know enough mainly though the eyes of another character. Reading this story felt powerful, and not just a proud kind. A prepared kind. I enjoyed reading each side of the story, and visioning every scene. That last sentence gathered it all up and made me gasp. Thank you, writer, I really appreciated this.
Athlete; New York; Crime
“C’mon, son, you only got five days to harden up. You want to take a beating in front of your boys?”
“Then make a fist and get ready.” Doc Greene always closed out his protégé’s workout on the southern side of the 2 platform: the side the subway trains came in fastest. This was after a straight hour running up and down the 42nd Street station’s stairs, doing inclined burpees on the up ramp to the Port Authority Terminal, and repeatedly deadlifting the recycling bin at the end of the D line where the police rarely patrolled.
“I’m gonna make your fists concrete.”
Julius nodded, jogging in place, keeping his heart up and his mind off of the approaching headlamp. Later this week, he’d be squaring up with Jackson ‘Big Bronx’ Davis who hit as hard as the oncoming subway car.
Doc Greene shouted, “Stick out those paws!”
The subway roared from the tunnel and Julius shot out his fist. It connected with the steel side of the subway and he immediately retracted it. In quick succession, he pummeled the side of the train as is passed the platform. Each connection more excruciating than the last.
“Jesus, what the hell are you doing?” a new voice yelled.
Julius turned to see a policeman, hand on his stun gun, ready to act.
“You keep punching,” Doc commanded the boxer. He turned to the cop. “This young man is training for his upcoming fight.”
“You can’t punch the subway car, son.”
“We paid our fare. This is the only gym we have, man.”
The train stopped and Julius lowered his mangled fists. The officer grimaced and walked away.
Doc turned back to Julius. “OK, two more trains for your knuckles then we’re workin’ that jaw.”
Congratulations, Brady. 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!