Greetings, flash fictioneering friends! We are pleased to announce the winner(s) of Microcosms 193!
This week, we are pleased to continue with “The Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction”, brought to you by Alert Terminal Warehouse.
It’s come to our attention that including winners in the competition posts really wasn’t the best way to celebrate, so we’re going back to separate posts for winners announcements.
For those of you who won earlier this year in some form or another, don’t worry – we haven’t forgotten about you! We’ll do some showcase winners’ posts so we can celebrate you, too!
MC 193 Winners!
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Without further ado, it’s time to announce the winner(s) of MC 193!
Huge congrats (and bragging rights) go to our Community Pick:
Great job, AJ!
Community Pick Entry
As a reminder, here is the story that won over our community!
‘Beyond Occam’s Razor’
Demon / Cave / Action
On the Devonian cliffs a natural symphony built around James as the waves crashed and flowed with tympanic regularity, building the atmosphere for his return to Keen’s Cavern. It had been years since he first heard of it during family holidays. The locals called it Devil’s Cave – warning all to avoid it. It was possessed ‘by the devil himself’ with countless taken.
James was back for the first time since his childhood. He’d persuaded himself to best the cave: to beat the devil. He knew it was a story told by the locals. There was no devil. Perhaps there was something of value in the rocky monument. Maybe a smuggler’s cave. He was older, stronger, and no longer suffered the impetuousness of youth.
He doubted there was a treasure. It was not The Goonies. His treasure would be his defeat of the devil within; the fear he’d grown up with and those memories of his parents losing their shit when they found Clark had disappeared. His older brother had always been the poster boy for misplaced bravado. After his body washed up beneath Keen’s Cavern, those warnings came back to him again and again. The devil had surely taken Clark. James feared the devil and had the fervent faith in gods ever since. Until his faith fell away after his parent’s death. His faith was replaced with belief: in science.
As he scrambled through the Pre-Cambrian rocks he laughed out loud. This was a cave. A hole in the ground. Through science they could date the rocks, the chemicals in them, and how they were formed – and deformed. Science won over faith. His brother had slipped and fallen. Occam’s Razor.
The devil sensed it all. It amused him how people never believed in him until the very end.
And the Judge’s Pick, and winner of this week’s $25 Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction, is:
Congrats, Sal! Please contact us for instructions on how to accept your prize and also let us know if you’d like to judge MC 195!
Here’s what judge Ben Reid had to say:
A lovely interpretation of the prompts – I enjoyed the way the characters, from their internal world to their appearance, were brought to life by prose that managed to be both surreal and poised at the same time. When the author described the food Algy and Izzie ate I could feel it and taste it and knew them both a little better. Their ‘two up two down’ was a subtle comic touch and I could see everything laid out in my mind’s eye with just a few, deft sentences.
This brief story felt like the equivalent of a Jeunet or Wes Anderson movie – comic, touching, colourful. It was not only skillfully written but genuinely entertaining.
HUGE thanks to Ben for judging this week!
Judge’s Pick Entry
As a reminder, here is the story that won over our judge!
The Mystery of the Steam Punker Biscuit Dunker Spelunker & the Cream Cheese is the Bee’s Knees, Breeze Loving Trapezer.
Spelunker / Circus / Mystery
WC : 300
Algernon loved caves. The darker and damper the better. His skin was prone to sunburn. Even ten minutes in the sunshine & he’d start to go pink. Never mind the sun on his back, the feeling of cold cave water seeping into his boots was utter bliss.
Isobella was a trapeze artist. She loved to be above the ground as much as Algy enjoyed being below it. He went to the circus just to watch her flying above his head. Pale pink hair, sequins & diaphanous tuille. A real contrast to Algy’s black jeans & creased leather boots, moss green shirt, clay-coloured waistcoat and battered top hat with goggles.
Izzie loved fresh air & breezes, pink lemonade, egg white omelettes & marshmallows. She said cream cheese was the bee’s knees whereas Algernon favoured black coffee, mushrooms on toasted rye bread, & biscuits covered in dark chocolate. He dunked them deep into his coffee while Izzie floated her marshmallows on the surface of her champagne glass of lemonade.
They moved into a two up two down. The bathroom was shiny and white, the bed draped with white muslin & the ceiling painted with clouds on sky blue with kites & birds. The windows were always open.
Downstairs, kitchen and living room were all dark wood with a cold stone fireplace, pitch black leather sofas, mud coloured carpet & shelves of ancient books. The windows were always shut.
So many people marvelled at the mystery of Algy & Izzie. The types to say ‘if you like pineapple on your pizza I cannot be your friend’ or ‘My way or the highway.’
Look a tad deeper & we can see that Algy & Izzie, despite their polar opposite differences, were quite similar. Both were tolerant and respectful of others. Accepting, easy-going and empathetic.