Microcosms 158

Felicitations, flash fictioneering friends, and welcome to Microcosms 158.


(1) You have just 24 hours until midnight, today (Friday) New York time (EST) to write and submit your masterpiece.
(2) All submissions must be no more than 300 words in length (excluding the title)
(4) Include: word count, the THREE elements you’re using AND a title for your entry
(5) Do NOT give details of your entry on social media, your blog, etc. until the Results post is live
(6) If you are new to Microcosms, PLEASE check out the full submission guidelines 


Today — 18-JAN — is the 240th anniversary of the birth, creation, delivery, nascency, natality, nativity, parturition in 1779 of English physician, lexicographer, and theologian, Peter Mark Roget, author of ‘Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases’.

However, this week’s contests is based on notable ‘firsts’ that occurred on 18-JAN.

  • 1778James Cook is the first-known European to discover the Hawaiian Islands, which he names the “Sandwich Islands”.
  • 1884Dr. William Price attempts to cremate the body of his infant son, Jesus Christ Price, setting a legal precedent for cremation in the United Kingdom.
  • 1896 – An X-ray generating machine is exhibited for the first time by Henry Louis Smith.
  • 1911Eugene B. Ely lands on the deck of the USS Pennsylvania anchored in San Francisco Bay, the first time an aircraft landed on a ship.
  • 1981Phil Smith and Phil Mayfield parachute off a Houston skyscraper, becoming the first two people to BASE jump from objects in all four categories: buildings, antennae, spans (bridges), and earth (cliffs).
  • 2000Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is officially observed for the first time in all 50 states.


(If YOU have an idea for a future contest and would like to be a guest host, please contact us.)

Our contest this week begins with THREE things: character, location and genre.

We spun, and our three elements are:

Physician; San Francisco; Romance

Write a story using those OR feel free to click on the “Spin!” button below, and the slot machine will come up with a new set – character, location and genre. You can keep clicking until you have a set of elements that inspires you.


  • Explorer
  • Physician
  • Professor
  • Pilot
  • BASE Jumper
  • Non-violent Activist
  • Island
  • Funeral
  • College
  • San Francisco
  • Skyscraper
  • Memphis
  • Journal
  • Tragedy
  • Romance
  • Adventure
  • Comedy
  • Crime



UPDATE: Last week’s Judge’s Pick, Sian Brighal, has kindly agreed to act as the judge this time around.

All being well, results will be posted next Monday.

Microcosms 159
Microcosms 157

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