Greetings, flash fictioneering friends! We are pleased to announce the winner(s) of Microcosms 196!

This week, we are pleased to continue with “The Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction”, brought to you by Alert Terminal Warehouse.


Be sure to check out MC 100micro1 – our first ever quarterly contest! Submissions are open through 30 September 2023.

MC 196 Winners!

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Without further ado, it’s time to announce the winner(s) of MC 196!

Community Picks

Huge congrats (and bragging rights) go to our Community Pick:

Great job, Laura! You’re racking up these community picks!

Community Pick Entry

As a reminder, here is the story that won over our community!

The Mermaid and the Margarita

300 words
Mermaid / Spaceship / Western
Laura Cooney
Yes, I am open to derivative works, including audio productions. Please contact me via one of the above channels for more information.


“Well, Howdy!”
When we arrive on the Alhambra VI, a cup is placed into our hands and magically a drink appears, it is the drink you most desire and mine is a frozen Margarita. It’s only 9am, but it has already been A DAY!
“We’ve extensively reconfigured things for you. You will be seated in Pod 7 and seat 8.”
He says this with a grimace and I know full well that having a disability in 2094 is seen with… horror. There aren’t many like me, that’s for sure. With all the medical advances since 2019, the year of the Scourge, you wouldn’t really expect to have to make ‘spaces for people.’ I smile at him, because he is young and a robot and he really has no idea how ridiculous he looks in that cowboy hat. When he is grown, or updated, whatever, he’ll learn politeness, like we all had to… Well most of us.
“Fuck off Bot Boy” my pal Derek, has no time for dickheads, electronic or not. I pat his arm. It is no matter. We are off to experience life outside of this hick town of Dallas Sur Mer and we are going to be FREE, for three whole days, there’s no judgement in space!
The day that The Gulf of Mexico overran Houston people didn’t really believe it was happening, you know? It seemed to me that it would be a good time to come up and see what the hell was going on. Our world was getting bigger, theirs smaller. It needed more people. It was as good a time as any to come to land, I supposed, and I’d always wanted to try a frozen cocktail.
Now I’m living my best life, the first mermaid on a spaceship, tequila in hand…YEEHAW!

Judge’s Pick

And the Judge’s Pick, and winner of this week’s $25 Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction, is:

Drumroll, please!

  • Sophie H. Sigrafys

Congrats, Sophie! Please contact us for instructions on how to accept your prize and also let us know if you’d like to judge MC 199!

Here’s what judge Eryn McConnell had to say:

Alrighty. I have 5 notable mentions, as below. My absolute favourite is Unhooked, Punch-lined and Sunk. 

The Mermaid of Santa Ladonna Springs has such a strong authorial voice! An incredible inner dialogue there. 

Once Upon a Time in the Stars, is for fun, but I wanted to mention that it is a lovely story! A great ending line. 

Unhooked, Punch-lined, and Sunk. Oh this is punny! I love the dichotomy of the puns and the banter with the ending that progressively becomes more serious, and then bittersweet. “Watching bioluminescent constellations swim the darkness,” beautiful. 

Farewell Atlantis has something lovely to it, it’s beautifully written. Very poetic. 

Ain’t No Luck In The Draw: what a twist at the end! 


HUGE thanks to Eryn for judging this week!

Judge’s Pick Entry

As a reminder, here is the story that won over our judge!

Unhooked, Punch-lined, and Sunk

300 words
Astronaut / Atlantis / Romance
Sophie H. Sigrafys
I’m open to derivative works and can provide contact information to those interested


“Do you have a hook? I think I got lost at sea when I fell for you, and I need somebody to reel me in.”

“You lost that hook several hundred feet ago,” Harbor smirked sadly, poking the severed fiber-optic tether sprouting from the top of Marlowe’s space-age diving exosuit. “How far did you fall for me, creature from beyond the darkness?”

“Maybe three hundred leagues beneath the sea? I’m NAUT quite sure.”

“Okay, now that one was a bad one!” The Atlantean grimaced, short fangs reflecting the suit’s chest light in the dark water.

“Shaol’d I keep going? I’ve got plenty ‘cause you octopi my thoughts. Shell I compare thee to…uhh? What counts as a summer’s day down here?”

Harbor groaned, swatting a pale, webbed claw at Marlowe’s pressurized metal exterior. Leaning over the viewport so she could see Marlowe inside, she asked:

“Tell me, how do I know you truly love me?”

The silence of the Midnight Zone’s blackness enveloped them as Marlowe contemplated.

“I know it probably won’t mean much to you since it is something you might never see. It is a pretty big deal on the surface though. Harbor, I love you to the moon and back.”

“Do you love me enough to never see the moon again?”

Marlowe chuckled weakly, copper-skinned hand pressed to the glass of the sunken exosuit. The other hand controlled rotary joints and placed the suit’s metal prehensor in Harbor’s palm. They “held hands” as Harbor laid down next to Marlowe.

“I have more than enough stars to watch with you down here, to last me the rest of my lifetime.”

As the two continued to lie on their backs, watching bioluminescent constellations swim the darkness, sensors blinked dimly green inside the suit.

CAUTION: 3/50 hours of life support remaining.

Please help us congratulate our winners, especially in comments and on Twitter!
See you for MC 198, coming right up!

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