Thanks to all who submitted to Microcosms 137. We had 14 entries this time. A warm welcome to first-time entrant, Kyle Spencer.
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 136 Judge’s Pick, Johanna, kindly agreed to act as judge for this contest. Here’s what she had to say:
I entered this contest for the first time in last week’s competition, so being the one who judges this week is a steep promotion.
First and foremost I would like to thank everyone who submitted a story. It was fun to read all the different ideas, and especially interesting to see all the different interpretations of “Romance”. And I learned that one should never start a story by describing the weather.
Favourite / Favorite Lines
Bill Engleson – Men have always returned from battle unstrung, their ends as loose as their beginnings.
Stephanie Cornelius – Much like myself, she felt that romance is a waste of energy.
Steve Lodge – I’m a vegetarian.
Nthato Morakabi – As such was my single purpose in life, I fell deeply into my stories and worlds, forgetting all beyond the paper and pen.
Eloise Tapson – Wrapped in the rain like a big cozy blanket, she hugged her legs and watched as the lightning painted pictures across the sky.
Geoff Le Pard – I’ve been practicing with the lasso for weeks now and if you’ll just shift over a little…
Mileva Anastasiadou – The story I’ve been trying to write has already been written.
Tim Hayes – Anybody who thinks writers live a romantic existence has no idea of what they’re talking about.
Arianna Hammond –
Deanna Salser – I stumbled through the darkness in the direction of the sound, calling out in panic as my lightning-blasted corneas blinded me all over again, every time I blinked.
Angelique Pacheco – I loved watching thunderstorms. They ignited something inside me.
Nikky Olivier – Your laughter still echoes through my soul whenever I hear the first crash of thunder, or the drip, drip, drip of raindrops on the roof…
Stephen Shirres – The sun will shine on us.
Kyle Spencer – “I say! What amateur decides to swerve suddenly on a snowy road? I almost spilled my champagne.”
Geoff Le Pard – Deliverance (The Worksop And Middle-Hinton NHS Trust Version)
For funniest story. A bit confusing in the beginning, as I thought the husband was a disoriented patient and the wife was a nurse calming him down, but when it finally clicked in place, it was hilarious.
Arianna Hammond – Versus
This deserves a special mention as in my opinion it is more poetry than fiction (especially with the use of geometry in the writing) and is therefore outside the competition.
Deanna Salser – My Turn to Bleed
As soon as I read that the guy was named Frank and wore stockings, my mind jumped to the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Big fan. However, to me this is more erotica than romance. But each to their own.
[ I certainly agree with the ‘erotica’ comment. – GH ]
Stephen Shirres – God’s Love
I really liked the synergy between the title and the story. He, being her writer and therefore her god, and at the same time being in love with her and putting himself into the story… this makes space for a lot of interesting meta-questions.
And now, without further ado, we present the winners of Microcosms 137.
(insert drumroll here)
Community Pick AND Judge’s Pick
Nikky Olivier – The Write Kind of Love
What stood out most for me was how effortlessly this story connected all required elements. A beautifully written love letter that left me with my heart aching just a tiny bit.
Writer; Thunderstorm; Romance
Thunderstorms always remind me of you, my love.
I remember our first kiss, under the awning of that small-town soda shop, where we sheltered from the sudden cloudburst…
Mrs Potts read the letter out loud for the rest of the staff at Shady Pines nursing home, just as she did every evening.
“That man has such a way with words.” Mavis, the middle-aged nurse’s aide from ward four sighed.
“Shhhh…” Several of the others shushed her, then quickly turned their attention back to Mrs Potts.
…You always told me that the puddles were your favourite part of any rainstorm but, for me, it was the way you always seemed to light up when those first drops fell. Your childlike enthusiasm as you’d press your nose to the window, making sure that it was well and truly raining before you’d run outside. Your laughter still echoes through my soul whenever I hear the first crash of thunder, or the drip, drip, drip of raindrops on the roof…
When the reading was complete, and all the nurses and aides had dispersed to their nightly assignments, Mrs Potts quietly entered room 224 and placed the box back on the night stand.
“Here you go, Marvin. Thanks again for letting us read these, I know how personal it must be.”
“She was my life, you know?” the frail old man replied from his bed.
“Well, I’ll let you get your rest. Busy day again tomorrow.”
As Mrs Potts left, Marvin turned to the figure sitting on the chair in the corner.
“So, love, there’s a rainstorm on the go…”
With a smile, the figure held her hands out to her husband and slowly began to fade into the storm, the thunder cracking just as Marvin breathed his last.
Congratulations, Nikky. As Community Pick AND Judge’s Pick, you are pretty much obliged to judge the next round of Microcosms this coming weekend — unless you are otherwise engaged. Please click HERE to let us know whether or not you are interested!