Microcosms 184

Greetings, flash fictioneering friends, and welcome to Microcosms 184!

Before we get into the prompt, we have some changes for you this year! Here’s a brief rundown (details can be found on our FAQs page):

  • Weekly contest runs Sunday – Saturday.
  • Community pick winner(s).
  • We also have a default spinner you can use now if you don’t like the prompt(s) offered. Enter as many times as you like!
  • We’re now using the Pacific Time


  1. You have ONE WEEK (Sunday – Saturday, midnight – midnight) Los Angeles Time (PST/PDT) to submit your masterpiece.
  2. All submissions must be no more than 300 words in length (excluding the title and other header info)
  3. NO FAN-FICTION, please, and NO USE of COPYRIGHT CHARACTERS for this contest.
  4. Include: word count, the THREE elements you’re using AND a title for your entry
  5. If you are new to Microcosms, please check out the full submissions guidelines on our FAQs page.

Please use the following format when submitting your entries (feel free to copy/paste and edit or save a copy of the Google Doc linked below):

My Amazing Story Title
XXX words
Element / Element / Element
My Preferred Name
Optional: website or social media link 1 (please include full URL)
Optional: website or social media link 2 (please include full URL)
Optional: Yes, I am open to derivative works, including audio productions. Please contact me via one of the above channels for more information. /// OR /// No, I am not open to derivative works at this time, thank you.


My amazing story content goes here.

You can use HTML to add a link. Example:
<a href="https://twitter.com/MicrocosmsFic">https://twitter.com/MicrocosmsFic</a>

Please kindly use this format, then copy/paste your response as a comment on this post. (It’s totally fine to be creative with the “words” part, like “253 ripe bananas”, as we’ve seen some people do in the past.) Not using this format with NOT disqualify you. But it will help us out if you do use it.

We have prepared a free and easy-to-use, pre-formatted document in Google Docs to help simplify things. Just save your own copy and then replace the content with your own. (Sometimes, adding links will get your comment flagged by the spam filter. If you think that happened, please contact us for assistance.)

Took inspiration from fairy tales this week, plus an outlier. Should be fun!

Also, it’s time to announce the Community Picks for Microcosms 181 and 182.

Huge congrats to:

  • Steve Lodge (MC 181)
  • AJ Walker (MC 182)

Don’t forget to vote for your favorites from last week and this week, too. All being well, MC 183 Community Pick(s) will be announced at the end of the week.

Happy writing!


(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/setting, and genre/style.

We spun, and our three elements are:

Frog / Castle / Sci-Fi

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. (Don’t like any of these? Try our default spinner.)

  • Butcher
  • Baker
  • Candlestick Maker
  • Wolf
  • Princess
  • Frog
  • Mermaid
  • Used Car Salesman
  • Butcher Shop
  • Bakery
  • Renaissance Faire
  • Forest
  • Castle
  • Pond
  • Ocean
  • Used Car Lot
  • Drama
  • Romance
  • Sci-Fi
  • Action
  • Fantasy
  • Horror
  • Poem
  • Comedy

We are always and forever in need of assistance. If you have any spare time to help, we will happily accept. Even something as little as 5-10 minutes a week would be amazing. (You have no idea.) To find out how you can help, please visit our volunteers page.

Microcosms 185
Microcosms 183

6 thoughts on “Microcosms 184

  1. Frog in Throat
    300 words
    Frog / Castle / Sci fi
    Sal Page

    The three ships were called Frog in throat, Frog & Toad and Leapfrog. No one knew why. The deep space expedition had been in the planning stages for four throusand ears, give or take a docade or two.

    So it was finally time for them to set off. I would supply details of the howz and watts but I know more about building sandcastles than building spaceships. I just know they were all three simmering silva with a Kermint-green & Miz-Puggy-pink trim. These colours were named after something also lost in the lists of time, along with witch was witch.

    There was a captain & foreteen crew members abroard each of the three ships. Captain Throat had seniority over all three ships though he spent most of the voyage to who-knows-where in the Frog in Throat’s Jacuzzi. He liked the bubbles filling out his shorts. Out of the Jacuzzi he was lanky & ill-endowed, in it, Keef Throat felt more than a man. With wrinkled feat & bum bubbles.

    Not that there was anyone in his ship he wanted to impress. His crew was made up of a beefy trans-Martian, an Ai-Robert called Robot, a pair of mini-tent lezbonians, a five metre Aardvark-man, three chattering gif-ducks from Plootoe, a Droonbiddy, a one hundred year old woman, a highly IQ’ed Orange Utang, two terrifying flan-heads & a downy dumpling dwarf in a chinchin chair.

    Not that he was prejudiced. He just didn’t find any of them particularly attractive. After a sintury in space though, he might feel very divverent. For now he would stay in the Jacuzzi. Blubble. Blubble. Blubble.

    Me? I think I’m going to stay on this beach and build more sandcastles. I have no desire to go into space with that mutley crew. I’ll leaf you too it.

    300 Words
    Steve Lodge
    Twitter: @steveweave71
    Instagram: steveweave_cheese

    “I tell you, man. This is a wild goose chase. We should have left it to those mercenaries. This is way beneath my dignity.”

    “Rummaging around a castle after midnight is making me uneasy, Janosz. I don’t mind telling you. Full time frantic, that’s me. And it’s not a wild goose it’s a golden frog we are chasing.”

    “Did you believe all that guff Kaptain Kaposzta was feeding us? I was, like, please don’t cover my knees with bullshit. I mean,” Janosz begins talking like an on-the-spot reporter “ hidden here in Rafis Castle is a centuries old golden frog that in the right hands can end this country’s civil war and unlock the future gate releasing our astronauts from the Parallel World they have been trapped in since 2023.”

    Parosi gulped. “Janosz, I remember my grandmother telling me the atrocities carried out by Rafis. He was, like, undead and would drink the blood of virgins from Andromeda and these villages around here before the drone ships kicked his only-come-out-at-night ass.”

    “Don’t let’s jump to conclusions. I think you may be confusing a couple of legends there. You missed out the moon and the howling of the wolves. Not to mention that incredibly tall dude standing right behind you, licking his lips.”

    “Stop it, Janosz. You’re freaking me out……” was as far as Parosi got before Count Rafis tore him to shreds. With blood red eyes and a mouthful of Parosi, the Count looked around for more, and his eyes rested on Janosz.

    “I’m not leaving without the golden frog, Count.” Snarled Janosz.

    “Almost right,” said the Count, spitting a bit of Parosi from his mouth. “You’re just not leaving.”

    Janosz fired the Z-Ray removing the top of Rafis head.

    “Dammit. Should have asked him where the frog was first.”

  3. The Kaeru War
    300 words
    Frog / Castle / Science Fiction
    Galen Gower
    Yes, I am open to derivative works, including audio productions. Please contact me via email.
    I won the Kaeru War when I was a child. I finished my lessons early that day and wanted to get to the bridge in time to watch Haruna Sama take off. It wasn’t called Yua Day yet. I loved watching the starship and my father was first mate, so I always watched him take off and sent a prayer with him. I was a dutiful child.
    I was nearly there when the frog emerged. I saw it swim over to the pilings and attach something. I knew how important our bridge was, and I knew the frogs as enemies. The holoreports warned about them and I watched them every night with my mother. After the frog disappeared again underwater, I ran to the piling and pulled the limpet off. It was my sworn duty to serve my district, no matter the cost. I ran with the heavy disc as fast as I could. As I ran, the starship ascended the sky and I offered my prayer just before the flash.
    I learned the Daimyo herself heard of my sacrifice that day and declared it Yua Festival Day immediately. My parents were honored at the castle for raising a brave, dutiful child. My sacrifice preserved the colony’s supply line and allowed a coordinated response to the Kaeru’s treachery. Their sabotage was aimed at isolating the settlements, but we prevailed. Historians have told me without our bridge, the colony would have been wiped out.
    My implants were damaged in the explosion, so I couldn’t be re-installed. Instead, the last recording of me was put in a shrine and only awakened for the festival. I’ll always be ten years old, but I will live this way forever. It is a great honor. This year will be the 500th anniversary of my sacrifice.

  4. Croak
    300 words
    Frog / Castle / SciFi
    A.J. Walker
    Twitter/Spoutible: @zevonesque
    Website: https://awalker.org


    Danny breathed in the salty air with rare relish. It had been years since he’d been on a beach; even longer since he’d been on one on Earth. It felt special to be back home.

    He settled on the damp sand cross-legged facing the sea. The sand was ideal for his purpose and he set to his task with a happy heart, feeling like a kid. He took his time building it as well as he could. It was the finest sand castle he had ever made. From his back pack he brought out a little flag with a dragon on it.

    Out of his bag he retrieved the box with his prized ray gun that his old buddies from his space jaunt had gifted to him. He’d not used it before and the castle was to be his first trial. Something inanimate and inoffensive. At this point he wished there had been a user manual or there’d been some training. His dad had always said, ‘You can’t beat learning on the job.’

    He turned the dial around a bit, with no idea what the settings meant. Stepping back a good 100 metres seemed wise. He aimed at the castle and pressed the trigger. It took a while but eventually his castle stood before him as tall as a real one. It was a stunning success: briefly. Then the croak of the giant frog shook its walls. Eventually Danny realised it hadn’t been a coincidence; there must have been a frog in the field of the gun. A beach frog! Who knew?

    Over the next few days the sand castle was taken away by the sea. Perhaps of more import locals disappeared, like Danny, as the crab eating frog decided at his size he’d need something more substantial for dinner.

  5. Shakespeare, It Isn’t
    298 words
    Frog / Castle / Sci-Fi
    Deanna Salser
    Optional: Yes, I am open to derivative works, including audio productions. Please contact me via one of the above channels for more information.


    As he looked up the long narrow flight of stone stairs toward the ramparts looming above his head, rain fell into Francois’s upturned face and directly up his nose. He dropped his chin, snorting it back out, the downpour washing it away instantly as it pounded his skull and ran down his cheeks in icy rivulets. Images of long limbs and smooth skin bathed him in waves of scorching energy and he shivered, remembering the heat of her.

    Elizabeth paced the length of her room. Tonight she would finally be free. Free of the fear and the drudgery her life had become without Francois. She subconsciously tucked her shriveled arm inside her sleeve, pushing back memories of the uncontrollable magic her master wielded. Well, no more. Her ‘Froggy’ was coming to save her. She rubbed her hand over her still-flat belly with satisfaction. Even if he caught them, there was nothing the Wizard could do, now.

    Spikes of brilliant purple-white stabbed the ground repeatedly around Francois as the magician tried to knock him down. He could feel electricity snapping off his clothes and his hair, charging the very air around him. One hand gripped a delicate wand, the spell forming like a bubble, curving the lightning away along its glowing edge.

    On the stairs between them, she seemed to appear, her arms silently beseeching. Confused, he paused, shaking water from his face and missed the solid silver shaft that passed right through him. Weakness in his legs and the smell of his own blood, and a long painful roll to the bottom that seemed to last forever. Rain collected in eyes that couldn’t see.

    Elizabeth waited on the edge of her bed, belongings neatly bundled beside her, withered hand hidden, as always, in the folds of her skirt.

  6. Long Live the King
    162 words
    Frog / Castle / Sci-Fi
    Boyd Miles

    I had just become King, crown and everything.
    My castle, yes, I now lived in a castle and not in one of the basement rooms without windows and hope. No, I had a nice room, fit for a king which was fitting as I was the King.
    It happened quite by accident, my ship had a rather unfortunate encounter with a rock and hurled itself toward the nearest planet that was survivable for passengers and crew. The landing wasn’t a good one but the safety rating wasn’t a lie and I wasn’t harmed, much.
    The same couldn’t be said for the unfortunate travelers my ship fell upon, no not at all.
    Fate must have been drunk.
    A tradition well older than memory had the quaint method of choosing the new King from those who killed the old, being the only living being on the ship I was taken from my aquarium and placed on the throne.
    Not bad for a pet frog.

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