Thanks to all who submitted to Microcosms 139. We had 16 entries this time.
Welcome back to old friends, Alva Holland, Diana L. James, Kelly Griffiths, Vicente L Ruiz, Steph Ellis, Caleb Echterling and Craig Anderson. What a turn-out! I know I gave Caleb a less than complimentary nudge, but whatever encouraged the rest of you to join us this week, I’m very grateful; numbers would have been very low without your input.
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.
Way back, MC 125 Judge’s Pick, Steve Lodge, was unable to judge the next contest. As MC138 Judge’s Pick, Ted Young, is recuperating after leaving hospital — are you keeping up with this? — Steve kindly agreed to act as judge for this contest. Here’s what he had to say:
I’m honored/honoured to judge this week’s contest. It is always a pleasure to get involved with the Microcosm family, because family is what it is. And it is growing. I wouldn’t presume to be one of the close relatives, Lord no. Probably at best a grinning, slightly moronic cousin.*
But I know a good story when it slaps me in the face and, once again, judging a Microcosm contest has been made all the more difficult by such stunning entries in response to great prompts.
Congratulations to all who entered. Great reads. Thank you for the privilege of judging these fine stories.
*Fishing for compliments there, Steve… [GH]
Favourite / Favorite Lines
Bill Engleson – There were so many things to do. To see. To be.
Alva Holland – Where did my cocky confidence go?
Geoff Le Pard – At least, when they broke the dam and filled the canal he’d be there, part of his creation not jailed in ignominy.
Diana L James – She turned all the heads, men and women alike.
Kelly Griffiths – Life was about to go into the red.
Tim Hayes – I’m often asked which genre I prefer to which, I reply, the one that pays the bills!
Johanna – I’d prepared charts and graphs and heartfelt speeches.
Vicente L Ruiz – He taught me to be kind to all people, regardless of their position.
Angelique Pacheco – No one else would rob a bank wearing six inch heels, except her crazy sisters.
Justin J. Conidaris – “Sir, you’re aware you’re selling dried donkey shit, not spice.”
Deanna Salser – Homo sapiens would proliferate, she could feel it.
Steph Ellis – Got one of those diseases you’d need to rob a bank to cure…
Nikki Olivier – “It appears that a great number of the teeth you deposited were false.”
Arianna Hammond – “I know this already, Bear7. Just lay off the affirmatives.”
Caleb Echterling – “See, honey, I told you higher education was filled with perverts.”
Craig Anderson – Unfortunately, now I have to burn you, before you become Exhibit A…
Bill Engleson – Follow That
Alva Holland – Circumstances, Chances, Choices
Angelique Pacheco – Money Hunny
Justin J. Conidaris – Donkey
Awarded to these four stories. In each, I found it almost impossible to select only one favourite line. I ended up fighting with myself (and sometimes lost).
Caleb Echterling – Amphibian-Style Architecture
For the wonderful name ‘Angus Frogbottom’. A lot of great lines from which to choose a favourite, and a brilliant last line.
Vicente L Ruiz – A Good Lesson
Well paced, with a nice twist in the story that I was slow to see coming. I am a lover of a happy ending. A great way of spreading the message of being kind to all people; always important, always relevant.
And now, without further ado, we present the winners of Microcosms 139.
(insert drumroll here)
Nikky Olivier- Take It to the Bank
Entrepreneur; Bank; Memoir
“Your account is overdrawn.”
I remember hearing those dreaded words and I shudder, for what this was to unveil had the potential to be the greatest scandal in tooth fairy history.
Having made my regular deposit just the day before, it was unthinkable that there could be so few teeth in my savings.
“How can this be?” I asked down the line.
“It appears that a great number of the teeth you deposited were false,” the branch manager replied in icy tones.
I scoured my logs and records to try and find any errors when, lo and behold, I found an unusually high number of teeth coming from one particular address.
Not that this was an unusual occurrence in itself, given that there are often household with numerous children that require my services on a regular basis but, given the circumstances, unusual enough to warrant a closer look.
I snuck in in the usual way, with a sprinkle of dust, and commenced my investigation. Noticing immediately that this was the home of an only child and his parents, there was no reason for me to have been called here as often as I had over the last few weeks.
I soon discovered the source of all my problems hidden in a dark corner of the six-year-old wardrobe – a small paper bag filled with multiple sets of dentures and a small pair of pliers.
With a chuckle and a shake of my head I replaced the offending items back in their hiding place and swore never to make the case official.
After all, who was I to stand in the way of such an entrepreneurial spirit?
Tim Hayes – It’s an Actor’s Life for Me
Of the 16 excellent stories, this one resonated with me the most. I loved it. It was well-crafted and funny, and identifies with some of the jobs actors really do while “resting” and how they try to get through each day. Here in faraway Singapore, several of us will be residing in these or similar jobs when the curtain falls on ‘MacBeth: The Comedy’ (if we could afford a curtain).
Actor; Café; Memoir
Let me introduce myself, I, Sir, am an actor. You may not have seen much of my work since I graduated from the academy, but I assure you that I have been constantly active. In between times I’ve taken many an odd job to make ends meet. I’ve been a bank teller, I’ve waited table in numerous cafés, and even, at my most desperate, taken on the distasteful job of working on a dustcart. For a while I worked in an emporium, but I’ve never worked in something as vulgar as a common shop, I have my pride. One of my most memorable occupations was the time I was employed as a steward on the cross-channel ferry but, unfortunately, that came to an end with the introduction of the channel tunnel.
I’m often asked what genre I prefer to which, I reply, the one that pays the bills! I do have a preference for the stage. I enjoy appearing in Shakespeare. I’m not fussed. Comedy, tragedy, romance, it’s all the same to me. You can’t beat the Bard. My television work is varied. I’ve played a detective in a long running crime series but also enjoyed a number of guest star appearances in a cult science fiction series.
As I said earlier, I’m an actor. I live for my craft. When forced to take on a job outside of my profession I treat it as a part. I’m not just some mundane employee, I am playing the part of an employee, whatever that may be. It’s a form of method acting of which I’m very proud. I’m never just an ordinary person in a dead-end job. I’m always polishing my acting skills and performing the part to the best of my ability.
Do you want fries with that?
Congratulations, Tim. 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!