Greetings, flash fictioneering friends! We are pleased to announce the winner of Microcosms 198!

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 198 Winner!

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Without further ado, it’s time to announce the winner of MC 198!

Community Pick

We have a double dipper! Our community picked the same story as our judge! Keep reading…

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!

  • Dennis Conrad

Congrats, Dennis! Please contact us for instructions on how to accept your prize and also let us know if you’d like to judge MC 201!

Here’s what judge Cay Macres had to say:

Out of all these scary and fun stories, I chose “Irregularity” as the winner! I thought the words used for descriptions were carefully chosen and haunting. All of those body horror descriptions really put me in the piece! I was also drawn in by the omission of certain details. This story kept me guessing just the right amount to allow me to feel the uneasiness that usually comes with horror. The simple sentence, “Not a scalpel” kept me wondering about the mysterious tool after the story was finished. Slowly revealing and building up the tension made that plot twist really satisfying!

I also want to give shout outs to two more stories. All the proper nouns in “I’d Love to Avalanche of Pizza” are hilarious, especially “John Coleslaw” and the boat called “The Frisky Rhino!” “Coffee Run” also made me laugh and wish I could know more about Melissa’s supernatural life. I would read a whole book about a barista serving coffee to monsters!


HUGE thanks to Cay for judging this week!

Judge’s Pick Entry

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


293 words
Just Woke Up / Operating Room / Horror
Dennis Conrad
Yes, I am open to derivative works, including audio productions. Please contact me via one of the above channels for more information.


Buzzing fluorescents whine in my ears. Smell of formaldehyde and sanitation. I cannot remember my name but I can remember that I am not supposed to be awake. A feeling of emptiness. Feeling of openness at my midsection. The pain is less intense than one might expect and I feel more acutely that exposure, that things that should not be in the light are. A scrub-clad shadow shifts over me. Glasses rendered mirrors of pure light peering down at the void in my body. Holding aloft a tool I have never seen. Not a scalpel. Something much crueller.

His voice mutters and I can only make out the word “irregularity”. He might be aware of what’s happening. My emotions are still deadened by whatever narcotic pumps through my veins but I do not want him to use that tool he’s holding. Upon further inspection it is curved and serrated. A thing cannibals would have carved their meat with. He must see my heart quivering exposed like a panicked animal nestling into too small a space.

I see that shadowed face lean closer to the yawning cavity and the quaking jelly-things within. I hear now what he says: “Shall we proceed?”

And I look to the other murky forms in this room and see none turn to speak and wonder, indeed, if he’s addressing me. And I try to form the words to beg him not to. I can only feel something in my throat twitch and fail to make a sound.

But something else answers. A voice more terrible than anything I’ve imagined rasps from my open chest: “Proceed.”

Everything within me is so occupied with the effort of screaming that I do not even feel the doctor go to his hateful work.

Please help us congratulate our winners, especially in comments and on Twitter!
See you for MC 200 (wow!), coming right up!

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One thought on “RESULTS – MC 198

  1. This is a huge honor, especially with some really excellent competition. Thank you very much for the kind words!

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