RESULTS – Microcosms 167

Thanks to all who submitted to Microcosms 167. We had 16 entries this time. Wow!

***A quick note: We plan to switch web hosting providers this week, so there may be a brief period of time before the next contest when the the site appears to go down. Please don’t be alarmed. We’ll bring it back ASAP. Thanks!***

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 166 Judge’s Pick, Eloise, kindly agreed to act as judge for this contest. Here’s what she had to say:

WOW. The stories were lovely. I loved the poetry and the expressions of life as soldier. When it came to choosing the winner, I choose the story which stayed with me the most.

 

Eloise 

Favourite / Favorite Lines

Ted Young – Trails of glory everywhere he’s gone.
Bill Engleson – A child playing in my village when the Boko Haram swooped down
like vultures.
Lynda Kirby – Tall stories his daughter called them
Janie Frank – The lyrics were crude and her voice was clearly untrained
David Lewis Pogson – TESTICLES – ??? Told Every Secret To Interrogator, Completely Let Enemy Succeed.
Olivia – I scratched behind his ears in a sorrowful joy
Kirsty Peto – Babe, I spend my life in an upgraded go kart
Phillip Stephens – Foreign travel on a soldier’s ticket
Deanna Salser – Girls dressing skimpy are somebody’s daughter
Graham Robert Scott – Or vanishing elevators.
Steph Ellis – although that might have been due to the signs saying ‘Keep off the grass’
Tim Hayes – Said a young and beautiful rubbernecker
Ellen Grace – Three shots landed in three foreheads.
Stephen Shirres – The notes flicked around the tight cell, echoing off the walls at weird angles.
Eden Solera – She called the shadows to her, melting into their embrace
Janelle Carson – She watched the couples fall into each other and resume spinning, a galaxy of planets without an orbit

 

Honorable/Honourable Mention

Tim Hayes – The Soundtrack of an Affair

I loved the use of Elvis songs to make up a story. Very clever.

 

Runner-up

Eden Solera – No Surrender

I enjoyed the descriptions throughout the story. It also left me wanting to knowing more about the story.

 
And now, without further ado, we present the winners of Microcosms 167.

 
(insert drumroll here)

 

Community Pick

Deanna Salser – Day and Night

300 words
Soldier; Las Vegas; Song Lyrics

I stand on the strip, watching over the town
Tourists and vagrants, walking up, walking down
Money and liquor are flowing like water
Girls dressing skimpy are somebody’s daughter
Music leaks lightly through each open door
Taunting, enticing your feet on the floor
Sounds of excitement, sounds of despair
Someone just lost their life savings in there

I’ve never gambled, except with my life
I carry a gun, a canteen, and a knife
I am the one between you and a fight
I keep the country safe day and night
Day and Night

There have been others inside of my shoes
Moccasins, boots, or suede colored blues
Our pants have had hips that swayed to the beat
Our shirts have had bellies with nothing to eat
We’ve marched in the heat and marched in the rain
Some cry out loud, but most don’t complain
We’ve given our lives in service to yours
We’re here to guard all the scariest doors

I’ve never gambled, except with my life
I carry a gun, a canteen, and a knife
I am the one between you and a fight
I keep the country safe day and night
Day and Night

The strip is a dream with its glitter and paint
And sits at the edge of a nuclear taint
Test after test is destroying the land
Creating a huge patch of nuclear sand
The only thing standing in front of your fear
Are the people like me and the flag we hold dear
The only thing keeping Americans free
Is the readiness of many men just like me

I’ve never gambled, except with my life
I carry a gun, a canteen, and a knife
I am the one between you and a fight
I keep the country safe day and night
Day and Night

 

Judge’s Pick

David Pogson – The Acrostics Distraction Technique (ADT)

This story stayed with me long after I finished reading it. I loved the way tales were woven with the letters of the things used to torture him. Very well done.

Prisoner; Jailhouse; Comedy
299 words

Basement Cell. Darkness. Alone. One locked door. Mattress on floor in corner. Desk. Two chairs. Cold tap attached to wall. Days marked with spoon-scratches on wall.

Day One:
Today they were calm. I told them nothing. Whilst they slapped me about, in my head I practiced the Acrostics Distraction Technique (ADT), learnt in training, to deflect the pain.

SPOON – Stay Polite, Only Offer Nothing.

…should that be Offer Only?

DESK – Deny Everything, Stay Kalm

…no, not Kalm. Stay Kool? Sugar-Koated? It was hard concentrating…remaining focused. They all begin with C not K.

Seek Karma… Shit Kills… Seize Kalashnikov. Then I got it.

DESK – Deny Everything, Say Kissy-kissy.

…I didn’t say that out loud, it might’ve wound them up.

Day Two:
Less calm. More interrogation. Severe slapping and a bit of a kicking this time. I’ve rapidly exhausted the inspiring prompts.

MATTRESS – My Aunt Tracy Tasted Rhubarb Every Second Sunday.

…Didn’t really help.

MATTRESS – My Ambition To Talk, Resisted Every Succeeding Slap.

Better.

CHAIRS – Can’t Help Any Interrogator; Really Sorry.

ADT actually worked.

Day Three:
They went positively mental. Waterboarding. TAP inspired me. Didn’t need anything else.

TAP – Taken As Prisoner, Try Asking Politely, Torture as Pleasure (that’s a strange one), Take A Pill, Take Away Pipe, Tainted And Pointless, Trifling And Piffling, Tongue-tied And Pissed-off, Typically Archaic Practice. Tomorrow Again Please!

…I definitely didn’t say that last one out loud.

Good old ADT – saved again.

Day Four:
I heard them coming along the corridor. I needed new prompts quickly. They carried something in. It was getting serious.

BATTERY – Before Attaching Terminals Take Exercise Round Yard.

CABLES – Can Any Body Leave Early? Seriously!

…No shit. I needed inspiration urgently…

TESTICLES – ???
Told Every Secret To Interrogator, Completely Let Enemy Succeed.

 
Congratulations, David. 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!

RESULTS - Microcosms 168
RESULTS - Microcosms 166
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8 comments for “RESULTS – Microcosms 167

  1. 19 August 2019 at 9:28 am

    I’m very pleased to get the Judge’s Pick. Many thanks to Eloise for the favourable decision. I really thought Deanna’s brilliant Community Pick winner would scoop both awards this week (I voted for it) so it is a quite a surprise to finish ahead in the Judge’s Pick. Well done Eden and Tim and all the other entries for making it a hard fought contest.

    I’ve been invited to judge next week. Anyone wanting to know my judging criteria should read the Results comments for Microcosms 165

    1+
    • 22 August 2019 at 6:43 pm

      I got quite a chuckle out of your tale, David, and was happy to see it win. That prisoner lasted a lot longer than I would have!

      1+
      • 22 August 2019 at 6:57 pm

        Thanks Graham. I find it hard to write comedy so I’m pleased that it made you chuckle.

        1+
  2. Janie Frank
    19 August 2019 at 10:39 am

    Yay! Congrats to everyone, especially Tim, Eden, Deanna and David!

    1+
  3. 19 August 2019 at 11:09 am

    Well done, David. A clever and haunting story.
    Congratulations to everyone for some really great stuff.
    Lynda

    1+
  4. 19 August 2019 at 11:10 am

    Thanks Lynda

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