RESULTS – MC 197

Greetings, flash fictioneering friends! We are pleased to announce the winner(s) of Microcosms 197!

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

As the host, I wanted to add that I really enjoyed reading everyone’s stories this week. Some were touching, and some made me nearly spit out my coffee laughing. I don’t always have the energy to reply to everyone directly, but please know I appreciate everyone who enters, every week, and I truly enjoy reading everyone’s takes. Thank you for participating. You make it worthwhile. <3

Announcement

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

MC 197 Winners!

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Without further ado, it’s time to announce the winner(s) of MC 197!

Community Pick

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

Great job, AJ!

Community Pick Entries

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

Where Is That Italian?

300 words
Psychic / Subway / Mystery
A.J. Walker
https://awalker.org
Twitter/Spoutible: @zevonesque
Yes, I am open to derivative works, including audio productions. Please contact me via one of the above channels for more information.

***

‘Communication is all, dear.’ Mystic Gina said, gesturing for Carla to sit down beside her.

Communication and money thought Carla, having just paid for the sitting. She’d heard nothing but good things though about Gina’s talents. She’d foretold new relationships and their breakdowns, accidents & illnesses, births and deaths. If Auntie Annie was right, Gina’s record was second to none in the state. Though Annie was a trifle gullible.

Carla put her hands into Gina’s. She felt a tingle and wondered if she’d picked up static from the carpet.

‘Ah! I see your questions are about your near future. Oh yes, very clearly. I see it.’

Carla said nothing. Not wanting to direct the answers at all. She wanted to hear the future from Gina’s abilities, not from mirroring her hopes.

‘Nice. I foresee an Italian. Do you know any?’

‘I don’t think so. Even the guy who runs the pizza place was born on my street.’

‘You definitely have an Italian in your future. And your love will be total. Brown skinned and six foot.’

‘Sounds interesting! Where will we meet?’

‘The subway.’

‘Oh dear. How will I know? I mean that’s a hectic place to bump into someone.’

‘You’ll know.’

Weeks passed without any love interest. Carla almost forgot the prediction after deciding it was all just a parlour game.

It was only sighing out loud whilst she was eating a Meatball Marinara that she decided that Gina had almost perfectly predicted it. She loved that filling on a 6” Hearty Italian and it was a Subway. Perhaps Gina had simply mixed her feet and inches. That would explain how she hadn’t met the Italian man yet: there wasn’t one. As she chewed the last of the sub she decided that was the only 6”s she needed anyway.

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!

Congrats, Eden! Please contact us for instructions on how to accept your prize and also let us know if you’d like to judge MC 200!

Here’s what judge Laura Cooney had to say:

This was incredibly tough competition. In the end and after much deliberation and re-reading I
declare the winner to be His Brother’s Wings. Though not using the pre chosen prompts this story stayed with me long after I read it and for that reason I am so happy to announce it. I thought it was beautiful. There was so much depth and a lifetime covered in so few words. I loved vivid language and the imagery created throughout; the yearning, loss and determination written into the characters. I love a story that loops back round and the butterfly’s presence at the beginning and the end really got me in the throat. I loved it and would love to read more from this writer, whoever they are.

Special Mentions go to The Future Bender. The hook in the middle was superb. ‘But then she grasped his arm. He was so surprised, he almost dropped her. He hadn’t seen this part. How had she been able to alter events?’ I may just have been a little confused as to each of
their motives and wondered if this needed to be clearer. But I loved this story and the idea that
there were possibly two psychics and would adore it if it was made longer in the future.

The ending line of Billy Finn is Not A Ghost was impactful and made the piece resonate with hope. I very much enjoyed it and liked the fact that it was told from the perspective of high school kids. There was the right level of ‘nasty to nice’ in it and “I’m impressed.”

Always loving a pun and zany plots, names and actions I would lastly like to mention Untitled
(Featuring Mr Wellbeloved) and Where Is That Italian? These both made me smile and easily went into the shortlist.

Finally, well done to all who entered. It is not easy to put your work up for judging and believe me when I say there was something in every piece worth reading. Keep going!

Laura

HUGE thanks to Laura for judging this week!

Judge’s Pick Entry

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

His Brother’s Wings

300 words
Butterfly / Bridge / Action
Eden Solera
Twitter: @EdenSolera
Yes, I am open to derivative works, including audio productions. Please contact me via one of the above channels for more information.

***

A young boy sits on a half-rotten bridge over the river. A blue butterfly alights on the rail just out of reach, and he extends one hand, the other pressing down on the wooden planks. Too rotten to bear his weight, they crumble, and he plummets into the rapids.

The butterfly watches as he is swept over the waterfall.

Another young boy falls weeping to his knees beside the broken bridge, and at the bottom of the falls, the first boy lies still, head wreathed in crimson.

A day later, he is found, nursed back from the brink to become the son of those who saved him. And as he grows, a butterfly always follows.

The boy, now a young man, lives in the city just outside the woods. He is the Butterfly Knight, named thus for the blue butterfly on his armour and the matching clip in his blond hair. Laughter heralds his passing, and no one has ever seen his face.

A decade passes, and the city burns. A score of knights defend their king’s escape, but only three remain at the bridge, rebuilt after the tragic loss of the young prince nearly thirty years before. There, the Butterfly Knight pauses, declares he shall hold the bridge alone, but the king refuses his sacrifice.

Remembering what they both lost, the Butterfly Knight removes his helm, revealing his face, features twisted on the right side by his scar. Even so, it is the king’s face. He presses his hair clip into the king’s shaking hand. “Go, brother. Take my wings, and fly.”

Drawn by his other two knights, the king runs, but looks back as he goes. In the centre of the bridge, the Butterfly Knight stands tall, sword raised.

Beside him, a blue butterfly alights on the rail.

Please help us congratulate our winners, especially in comments and on Twitter!
See you for MC 199, coming right up!

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One thought on “RESULTS – MC 197

  1. Thank you, Laura, I will take your very wise words into consideration. Thank you also for your special mention comments, and congratulations to both Eden and A.J.

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