Thanks to all who submitted to Microcosms 162. We had just 11 entries this time. A warm welcome to first-time entrants, Kirsty Peto and Graham Robert Scott.
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 161 Judge’s Pick, Tim Hayes, kindly agreed to act as judge for this contest. Here’s what he had to say:
Each time I get to do this I find that the task becomes more and more difficult. There are so many potential winners.
Unusually, all of this week’s entries stuck with the theme of the competition, Go Green Week, rather than just going off in all directions as the three prompt elements were explored.
Favourite / Favorite Lines
Stephen Shirres – The second Nigel was far worse; he thought he was funny.
Eloise – Green’s gold tooth glinted as he smiled.
Bill Engleson – Every so often, I raise the question, “Do we really need to eat meat?”
Ellen Grace – Linda still remembered steak. She was one of the unlucky ones, in that sense.
Angelique Pacheco – Hiding in plain sight was what he was good at.
Geoff Le Pard – She dabbled with the four major religions and dropped them once they revealed their inherent internal contradictions.
Deanna Salser – Moss green eyes met hers of crystal blue…
Matilda Rice – We destroyed it slowly and watched as it died, doing nothing to save it.
Alysia Ascovani – Shimmering mists answer the call, Her barren soul do they enthrall
Kirsty Peto – I knew I should have packed ear plugs.
Graham Robert Scott – …in mutual orbit yet remote in ways apparent to a careful observer.
Alysia Ascovani – Forsaken Rapture
Kudos for delivering an entry written entirely in verse.
Graham Robert Scott – Age of Project
An interesting bit of experimentation in formatting the story.
Kirsty Peto – Planet Saving Poems
A well-delivered piece of natural-sounding dialogue.
And now, without further ado, we present the winners of Microcosms 162.
(insert drumroll here)
Matilda Rice – We Are Killers
Eco Warrior; Climate Change Conference; Crime
I always loved the ocean. Standing knee-deep in its liquid blue, I felt loved and protected; safe in a way that I never felt on land. Its cold embrace encompassed every inch of my skin, slowly leeching the heat away from my flesh, leaving me soothingly numb. It was perfect and whole: a flawless haven in a world that was falling apart at the seams. Until everything changed.
The shift was gradual, at least at first. Small bottles began to appear along the beach, buried beneath the golden sand like hidden treasures. They had seemed so special then; tiny gifts from the waves. I used to fill them with sand and throw them back, watching as they sank into the sapphire depths. I wish I hadn’t now.
I remember the day the ocean changed. By then almost everything was different; each aspect of the world already broken and mutated. But the ocean was different. It was powerful and strong; an eternal force in a world of weakness. It resisted, fought back.
Until one day it didn’t.
The day it gave in was the day I lost hope. Looking at its faded cobalt surface being smothered beneath the synthetic white and grey objects that already covered the earth, I knew that the fight was over. There was nothing left to save.
I felt alone and lost, desperate for salvation. I went to every conference, listened to every speech, searching blindly for a solution, but deep down I knew there was none. I watched as ‘experts’ paraded across the stage, spreading lies of hope to the world whilst turning a blind eye to the truth: our planet was dead. We destroyed it slowly and watched as it died, doing nothing to save it. We are killers.
And now we must pay.
Angelique Pacheco – Leaves of Love
A nicely-paced, simple story that draws you into the narrative, ending with a pleasing twist.
Eco Warrior; Rainforest; Romance
He stared at her lovingly like he always did. She was a beauty. Her long dark hair cascaded over her shoulders like a waterfall and her skin was as pale as ice. She walked into the water, naked. She always bathed here, but he was sure she would never spot him. Hiding in plain sight was what he was good at.
She washed her hair with a piece of soaproot. Her home was a mere fifteen steps from the river. So far removed from her life just a year ago. Back then, she was an advertising executive living in the ‘Big Apple’. Her main concern revolved around whether the local coffee bar could supply her ever-growing addiction to caffeine. One day, she lost a huge account, one for a ‘green’ company. She wasn’t surprised really. What did she know about the environment? But the loss was huge, and her company fired her. She walked out of the office, drew all her cash out of her account and taxied to the airport. When all was said and done and she landed, she found herself in Manaus and there she bought supplies. That was a year ago. She lived on her own in the rainforest, she fed herself and clothed herself (although really, some days she didn’t even bother). It was a simple life but now she knew she could never go back. She was determined to save nature. The wind rustled though the trees and she looked at the magnificent oak on the bank.
She seemed to be looking right at him. He stood as tall as he could and even danced a little, shaking his leaves. She got out of the water and walked past him caressing his trunk. She would save them all. How he loved her!
Congratulations, Angelique. 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!