Microcosms 209 + The Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction (Flash Fiction Contest)

MC 209 Flash Fiction Contest

Greetings, flash fiction friends, and welcome to Microcosms 209!

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

A question question clarification that came up:

You are very welcome to share your entry – e.g., your blog, social media, etc. In fact, we encourage it! However, please wait until the judging period is done to mention your title, etc., on social media (to help keep the judging blind). Please also link back to the site or the specific contest.

Time Left to Submit

DAYS
HOURS
MINUTES
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Quick Access Links

Info Tabs

Start here if you’re new or haven’t been here in a while. Click each tab to learn more.

To qualify for the cash prize, must MUST:

  • ***Submit your story as a comment below.***
    Story must fit within the contest criteria, including word count guidelines, and be on time. (A few minutes is okay; contact us if there are technical issues preventing you from submitting more than 5 minutes past midnight, PT.)
  • Include the prompts used. (You can use the ones we spun for or spin your own from the current or default spinner, but it must be clear what you used.)
  • Vote AND leave a comment on at least one other story for the week that is not your own (doesn’t have to be the same story).
  • Share a link to the contest on social media, if you have one. (I.e., if you include a social media handle in your submission to promote yourself, please extend the same courtesy in return.)
  • Acknowledge that the decision of the judge(s) is/are final.

Please kindly use this format, then copy/paste your response as a comment on this post.

(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 (how you'd like to be credited as if your story is selected)
(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>

You can also use it to do italics or bold text.
Examples:
<i>text you want to be italicized goes here</i>
<b>text you want to be bolded goes here</b>

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.)

REMEMBER

  • You have ONE WEEK (Sunday – Saturday, midnight – midnight) Los Angeles Time (PST/PDT) to submit your masterpiece.
  • All submissions must be no more than 300 words in length (excluding the title and other header info).
  • We enjoy fan fiction! Just not for this contest. NO FAN-FICTION, please, and NO USE of COPYRIGHT CHARACTERS for this contest.
  • Include: word count, the THREE elements you’re using AND a title for your entry (see entry format tab).
  • If you are new to Microcosms, please check out the full submissions guidelines on our FAQs page.
  • I feel like this should go without saying, but just in case – absolutely no AI submissions.
  • Constructive feedback is fine, but all comments should be made in the spirit of kindness. Determination of what that means and if there are any consequences (such as warning or banning) is at my sole discretion. This is a safe space. Racism, homophobia, transphobia, or anti-Semitism, etc. (including “dog whistles”), will not be tolerated. This has never really been an issue, and we generally have a very nice community here – let’s keep it that way.
  • You retain all rights to your story, except otherwise noted and unless otherwise agreed upon in advance (e.g., if selected for inclusion in an anthology, a contract will be sent with details). By submitting your story to this contest, you are granting us worldwide, non-exclusive, perpetual, royalty-free rights to display it on our website (and store it, as needed).

Here’s a brief rundown of changes we have made (details can be found on our FAQs page):

  • Weekly contest runs Sunday – Saturday.
  • New! Judge’s pick winner gets a $25 USD prize. (Default is by PayPal; other options available.) Contest is still free to enter!
  • Community pick winner(s) for fun and bragging rights!
  • We 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 using the Pacific Time (PDT/PST, as applicable – Los Angeles time).

Add Recurring Weekly Calendar Reminder

Never forget to enter again! Choose as many as you like!

Add a recurring reminder for Sundays

Add a recurring reminder for Mondays

Add a recurring reminder for Tuesdays

Add a recurring reminder for Wednesdauys

Add a recurring reminder for Thursdays

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This Week’s Prompts

Our contest this week begins with THREE things: character, location/setting, and genre/style.

We spun, and our three elements are:

Superhero / Michelin Star Restaurant / Horror

OR

Archaeologist / Crime Scene / Action

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.)

Character

Setting

Genre

  • Detective
  • Chef
  • Astronaut
  • Teacher
  • Rockstar
  • Archaeologist
  • Surgeon
  • Superhero
  • Pirate
  • Crime Scene
  • Michelin Star Restaurant
  • International Space Station
  • Classroom
  • Backstage at a Concert
  • Ancient Ruins
  • Operating Room
  • Metropolis City
  • Deserted Island
  • Drama
  • Romance
  • Sci-Fi
  • Action
  • Fantasy
  • Horror
  • Poem
  • Comedy
  • Mystery
  • Steampunk
  • Western
  • Crime/Thriller
  • Fairy Tale

Notes

Helping judge this week is MC 205 winner John Holmes!

Don’t forget to vote for your favorites from last week and this week, too. All being well, MC 208 Community Pick(s) will be announced at the end of the week, along with the Judge’s Pick, who will win $25!

Happy writing!

KM

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. If you have an idea for a future contest and/or would like to be a guest judge, please contact us.

MC 207 Winners!

We’ve moved our Winners Announcements to their own posts! You can find the winners of MC 207 here: https://microcosmsfic.com/2023/09/16/results-mc-207-flash-fiction-contest/

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Microcosms 210 + The Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction (Flash Fiction Contest)
Microcosms 208 + The Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction

82 thoughts on “Microcosms 209 + The Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction (Flash Fiction Contest)

  1. Without A Bat, Can You Ever Have A Ball
    Superhero/Michelin starred restaurant/horror
    Geoff Le Pard
    301 words
    @geofflepard

    The gore splashed over the Mayor’s galoshes. ‘Chief Blue? A word?’
    Blue belched. ‘Can it wait? I need to digest everything. It’s so rich.’ He waved at the discreet door. ‘Did you hear they’ve been awarded a Michelin star?’
    ‘Have you seen the body count, Chief? The riots are out of control.’
    They stopped by his state-of-the-art police car bristling with the latest ways to disable, maim and, if necessary, vaporise any challengers. ‘Not a problem, Mayor.’ He patted his love.
    ‘For now, Chief. The Chamber of Commerce are voting on a no confidence resolution tonight.’
    ‘Sorry, Mayor. I’m sure you’ll find something.’
    ‘It’s about you.’
    He looked horrified. ‘Me? It’s never been so calm, Mayor. A little civic disturbance is nothing.’
    ‘It’s fine for you and yours, cruising around, looking sleek and successful, eating in fancy restaurants. Meanwhile we’re broke. Tourism’s down, hospitals are closing, the construction industry is barely functioning with nothing to restore; throw in the raft of closures of hardware stores, gunsmiths, physiotherapists, walking aides, gentlemen’s onesie Lycra outfitters, car repair shops, rocket boot makers, spotlight silhouette artists… you don’t get rid of a Bat-based economy and then fill it with nothing and expect peace.’ She turned her umbrella to deflect a spray of viscera. ‘Having the Bat meant we attracted every wacko and nutcase to try and take him down and people made money. Now… Chief, are you listening?’
    He held up his phone. ‘I’ll sort this.’
    The Mayor frowned. ‘You calling the Bat?’
    He covered the mouthpiece. ‘God, no. The prison governor. We need crime and lots of it. Once the Joker is out and the Penguin defrosted, the Bat will be back.’
    ‘Can you be sure?’
    ‘Believe it. If there’s one thing bigger than his biceps, it’s his ego.’

    1. Love it! “you don’t get rid of a Bat-based economy and then fill it with nothing and expect peace”

  2. Rooster Island
    Detective / Deserted Island / Fairy Tale
    Galen Gower
    295 Words
    GalenGower.com
    Yes, I am open to derivative works including makeup tutorials.

    “Once upon a time,” Reynolds said to no one, “there was a fishing boat accident and the only drunk idiot wearing a life vest washed ashore on Rooster Island.”
    The rooster closest to him cocked its head but resumed pecking rocks on the beach a moment later. The roosters were Reynolds only company, thus his choice of name for the island.
    “Bryyeeeeeeeah!” called the rooster. “Brrr-”
    “I don’t speak rooster!” Reynolds yelled and kicked a splash of rocks at it.
    “Well, then, sir…” it said as ruffled it feathers and shook rocks loose, “you could have just said so.”
    Reynolds gaped.
    “I must say, you’re making a poor impression as a guest and a worse one as a detective,” the rooster continued.
    “Wait, are you really talking?” Reynolds asked.
    “Look, the other councilmen and I calculated your arrival with our star charts. By Thursday we were certain you’d wash up today by around lunch.” Other roosters peered out of the scrub bordering the beach.
    “How’s that now?” Reynolds asked.
    “Our conclusion is, despite your oafishness, you’re a credit to your species and therefore deserve our assistance. You’ll be granted use of one pair of wings up to and including the time it takes you to fly back home.”
    “Wings?” Reynolds asked, involuntarily imagining celery, carrots, and blue cheese, too.
    “Yes, one pair for one use only,” another rooster said, its voice muffled by the wings in its beak.
    Reynolds, nonplussed, took the offered wings.
    “Well, put them on then, and be off,” the first rooster said. The other roosters, and there were scores by now, all blinked and waited. Reynolds put on the wings, and much to his astonishment, flew home where he was overworked and underpaid, but more or less lived happily ever after.

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  3. The Perks of Being a Ghost
    Superhero/Michelin starred restaurant/horror
    Mileva Anastasiadou
    297 Words
    twitter: @happymil_ instagram: @happilander
    Yes, I am open to derivative works

    Dead Superman is after me. He has superpowers even in afterlife and he is here to haunt me. He’s more gifted than ever, he has ghost superpowers too, and he doesn’t need kryptonite, not after he died. Among the perks of being a ghost, is you don’t need a weird back story supporting your skills, you’re dead for god’s sake, and still somehow alive, so anything can happen.

    Dead Superman knows what I have done, he knows my guilt, he won’t forgive me, he was alive like all of us, and also flawed, and now he’s dead and angry. I hear flapping when he is near like he has wings, although he doesn’t, he didn’t have wings either when he was alive, but he could fly, and now he’s fast, he’s furious, he’s here to punish me.

    Dead Superman attacks though food, he makes me nauseous, he makes me puke, and doctors have given up on me, they don’t believe me when I say I’m haunted. He is persistent, infests every single mouthful I swallow, and at first I thought I was unlucky, that it was the junk food, but he managed to sneak in here too, at this world famous restaurant, where food is tasty and also healthy. The chef comes near, apologizes, but I’m too busy dying to tell him it wasn’t his fault, and that coward superhero tells me it’s too late, that good food won’t save me now, and he will let another take the blame.

    You’d think that superheroes live forever but they die sometimes and when they do, they become ghosts and they haunt people for ridiculous reasons, like eating junk food, because the perks of being a ghost also include the right to be however judgmental, about whatever killed you.

  4. BFFs
    Rockstar / Classroom / Mystery
    280 words
    twitter: @hetty_mo

    ‘You shouldn’t be in here…’ the security guy tails off when I turn and give him a hundred-watt smile.

    I have stunned people to silence before, but this is the first time it has happened at a crime scene. My face appears on billboards so often, that it perplexes people to see it in real life. I watch the guy try to make sense of me being here.

    ‘It’s been cleared with the governing board,’ I lie, ‘David, can you escort this man out and explain the situation…’

    My own security detail leads him back under the tape criss-crossing the doorway. Of all the privileges celebrity has conferred on me, authority is the strangest.

    Alone again, I try to picture you here: taking notes, asking questions…napping, texting? There are large windows that overlook the rest of the campus, dust motes in the air, a blackboard still streaked with chalk.

    I grip my phone tight in my pocket. It holds an archive of messages, going from a few days ago back to when we were teenagers. Already, I have felt the absence of you, missed the pre-show texts wishing me luck and the video call catch ups from the back of a sweaty tour bus. I miss you and I miss the glimpses I got into your life, into regular life: how you were finding your classes, breakdowns of the latest football game, who had done what and made out with who.

    I take in the room, trying to absorb every detail and catch something, anything, that the detectives might have missed. Why here? Why you?

    There’s nothing yet but I know to be patient. I’ll prove myself your best friend.

    1. Nicely done incorporating a whole history in such a short piece of writing. You really wrapped everything up nicely here!

  5. Nouvelles Saveurs
    Superhero/Michelin Star Restaurant/Horror
    Melissa Rotert
    298 words
    @onpunsnneedles
    Yes, I am open to derivative works

    Daniel Sauvage, owner of Nouvelles Saveurs, listened keenly to his guests.

    “I can’t believe you got a reservation.”

    “This sweetbread is delicious.”

    It was important that each patron leave his restaurant satisfied and wanting more. He demanded that his chefs execute every dish with perfection and creativity. To provide a singular experience meant nothing less than what could not be recreated elsewhere, using the freshest and rarest ingredients.
    With satisfied mouth-sounds filling the air around him, Daniel stepped back through the kitchen to the rear door where deliveries were made. Perhaps the most sought after ingredients on the menu arrived soon and he alone could receive this delicacy.

    ***

    Across the city, a superhero—with perhaps even more notoriety than Nouvelles Saveurs itself—trailed his target from above. The young man below had been responsible for a string of petty robberies over the last few nights and Trencher Man knew it was only a matter of patience before the criminal’s appetite intensified.
    Trencher Man drifted to the ground of a nearby alley as the man approached a convenience store, fumbling in his pocket. From behind, the hero wrapped his arm across the man’s face, cutting off his air as he dragged him into the shadows. Legs pumped furiously against the pavement until there was no more fight in him. His hand fell from his pocket clutching his wallet.

    ***

    In the alley of the restaurant, Daniel paced. Trencher Man was never this late.

    A breeze from behind him, announced the hero’s arrival. A cooler clutched in one hand.

    Trencher Man wiped a smudge of blood from his lip. “You’ll be a kidney short. I stopped for a snack.”

    Daniel handed over the cash and took the cooler inside without a word. It’s best not to bite the hand that feeds your customers.

  6. Curses Upon the British
    297 stolen cultural artifacts
    Archaeologist/Crime Scene/Action
    Sophie H. Sigrafys
    I’m open to derivative works and can provide contact information to those interested

    Dr. Farouk Al-Ameen dabbed his receding hairline. Nervous sweat trickled past his temple as he glanced to the corner of the archival room. The camera was still switched off, and, if his squinted eyesight was correct, he probably had five minutes left before British Museum security would come knocking on the door.

    Damned Brits. If only they knew how many of their pillaged artifacts from across the continents had caused numerous bloody crime scenes. The carved grin of the shabti and the khopesh in its grasp glinted menacingly in the light. Uninitiated archeologists had mistaken the faint scarlet outline on the inner blade as age-dimmed paint.

    With gloved hands, Farouk gently lifted it from its pedestal, placing it in the nearby secured briefcase. Wards and glyphs painted onto the case glowed maroon as the object passed over them. He stuttered over the binding spell utterances, ending in an unceremonious “Fuck!” before clicking the latches down sharply into place. A line of crimson bloomed from the cut in his glove. He gave the case an extra good kick under the table.

    Another glance at the clock. Three minutes. He dabbed his hairline again, then poured the contents of his thermos into the trash.

    The replica sloshed into the can with a soft thud, 3D-printed, glazed clay shining with espresso. Peeling off his gloves, he swapped them for the idol. The coffee seeped into them, hiding the red stain.

    Two minutes. Bandage. New gloves. Microfibre cloth. Distilled mist. Micro-dust brush.

    The door swung open

    “Everything okay in here prof?”

    “Aces, Bernard.”

    “Grand. I’m just going to take a peek at the camera… Are you sure you’re feeling alright?”

    The damp handkerchief struggled to absorb more perspiration. “You wouldn’t believe how taxing artifact maintenance is on the nerves, my boy.”

  7. Pirate, Backstage at a Concert, Scifi.
    I’m open to derivative works
    Eryn McConnell
    300 words

    Cosmic Concerts Ahoy!

    “Captain Sable!”
    The voice behind her trembled with fear. She turned, enjoying the moment. “Are we ready?”
    “Yes,” the cabin cat whispered. “We are approaching the city now. I have word that Xero is already preparing for the show. Will you need anything else?”
    Sable waved the cat away, smiling. Her cunning plan was underway.
    She watched the asteroids fly by as her ship slowly descended towards Caelum.
    “Void, show me the poster.”
    Void beeped and complied, throwing up the holographic poster in front of her. She turned to gaze at it, reading the words again.
    The universe-famous Maestro Xero, the Eternal Enigma, playing a once in a lifetime concert at Caelum City.
    Strictly invite only.
    Sable rolled her eyes at the last line. As if that would keep her out. The city could extend it to the glitterati and the rich as much as they wanted. She had a way in, thanks to Ryn, her quartermaster, and his ingenious methods.
    “Void, summon Ryn.”
    Scant seconds passed before Ryn arrived, hands full of their backstage uniforms, stolen ID visors and of course, her guitar.
    Sable took them, nodding her thanks.
    “How long till we land?”
    “Just a few minutes, Sir. We’ll be backstage on schedule.”
    She smiled.
    “And the plan, Sir?”
    Sable looked back out, watching the looming planet get closer.
    Once we are backstage, you will take over the Stell-Synth. I will play guitar. Xero will hear us and know that we are the future of music. And then -”
    “And then?”
    “Then he joins us, to tell the stories of our piracy and make us famous. Xero will be our newest crew member.” Sable paused. “Or he dies. Which would be a shame. I hear he is rather handsome.”
    Ryn laughed. “And what Sable wants, Sable gets!”
    “Exactly.”

  8. Title: What’s Inside
    300 words
    Archeologist/Crime Scene/Action
    By Vicky Hinault
    Twitter: @staytrue_create
    Yes, I am open to derivative works

    ______

    The small light turned from red to green as the door unlocked.
    They looked at each other; he grinned with joy while worry ran riot over her face.
    “You know, if you don’t want to be here…”
    “No,” she cut him off. “We found it together, we split what’s inside.”
    He didn’t engage beyond an exhausted sigh and took eggshell steps into the room.
    At the centre of the room, the sarcophagus, blackened from years of being buried, shimmered under his gaze.

    Urgency overcame him but her hand grabbed his arm. He looked back and watched as she indicated ‘calm’ with a fluid hand gesture. He took a deep breath and nodded.
    He reached the piece and after a tentative touch to ensure the alarms were truly off, he placed his calloused fingertips on the head of the stone and savoured the moment. He began creeping his fingers around the stone and counting; the numbers silently forming shapes on his lips.
    His steps froze and his pupils widened. He rummaged through the room with his eyes but she wasn’t there.

    “Laura?”
    She stepped from a shadow and came toward him. He ignored his frustration and pushed on.
    “I have it.”
    He tapped his fingers lightly, then came a firm push.
    Nothing. He pushed again, more insistent this time.
    “Why won’t it open?”
    He looked at her and chuckled to himself.
    “What? What is it?” she asked, now concerned.
    “I forgot the thing.”
    “What thing?”

    He pulled a blade from a sheath on his side,
    “The blood sacrifice.”

    Her eyes widened as the blade flew through the air and plunged directly into her heart.
    As her blood merged through her shirt the lid of the sarcophagus growled open and a swarm of black flew out, consuming him in one fluid motion.

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  9. The Patron Saint
    300 words
    Superhero / Michelin Star Restaurant / Horror
    Sam “One-Wheel” O’Neil
    @OneWheelONeil on all my socials
    Yes, I am open to derivative works. Please contact me via Sam@onewheeloneil.com for more information.
    ***
    Pitmaster James awoke hanging from his feet in a tiny room. The smell made James retch. Everything was shrouded in gloom. A puddle of something wet reflected the sickly flame of a lone candle. James’ heartbeat punctuated the dull ache in his head with spikes of agony.
    His hands and legs were bound with butcher’s twine that dug into his flesh.
    The last thing he could remember… let’s see. He went to dinner at Assisi Vegan Grill. Chef St. Francis recognized him and offered to comp his meal. Tried the Incredulous Burger…
    The pressure of blood pooling in his head made remembering difficult.
    And painful.
    “Hello, James,” someone said.
    James knew the resonant baritone voice, but he couldn’t place it. Trying sent new waves of misery through his head.
    A large, muscular man stood just outside of the flickering light. His fire-red, skintight uniform bore an insignia made of two overlapping Cs.
    “Commander Combustion?”
    “There was a certain wisdom to keeping my identity secret. Much easier to fake your death when it’s time to pursue new passions.”
    “But you’re one of the good guys!”
    “Oh, I still am. Did you know hundreds of millions of animals are killed each year to feed just our city? Everyone wants me to save a dozen reckless skiers, but can’t fathom why I’d want to save billions of innocent livestock. ‘They’re just animals,’ they said. Like we aren’t.”
    “Please, please!” James began to weep. “I’ll never barbeque again. I’ll close my restaurant! Or… or… I’ll ask Chef St. Francis to help me set the menu!”
    “You carnivores think you’re above cows. Above chickens and pigs. So, I opened a restaurant that uses no animal products.” Commander Combustion removed his mask and stepped into the light revealing Chef George St. Francis holding a bolt gun.

  10. No Sacrifice
    300 words
    Archeologist / Crime Scene / Action
    Deanna Salser
    https://www.facebook.com/Beadanna777/
    https://beadanna777.wixsite.com/procreation
    I am open to derivative works.

    ***
    Mackey shoved his prominent lock out of his eyes as he stood and stretched his back. Wiping the sweat from his brow, he bent back to his work clearing the dirt from around the base of the pyramid. Excitement mounting, he swept the last of it away and set down his brush. Reverently touching the golden knob he had just unearthed, he felt it shift, and with a deep scraping sound, a section of the wall rotated toward him. As if it had been a signal, natives rushed out of the jungle and surrounded him. Amid bloodcurdling screeches, and bristling with a myriad of dangerous-looking weaponry, all pointed at him. Shaking, he raised his hands, expecting to be skewered at any moment. A hush descended. The circle parted, revealing an elaborately dressed man leading a child in similar clothing. He pushed the child toward Mackey and, spewing something unintelligible, handed him a beautifully carved ceremonial knife, gesturing to the top of the pyramid and to the newly uncovered door.
    Oh God, they wanted him to sacrifice the child.
    He shook his head, but the priest grabbed him and shoved him and the child inside, the door grating closed behind them. The child seemed drugged, so Mackey picked him up and carried him up the long flight of narrow stairs to the top of the pyramid. At the top, Mackey blinked as they emerged into the sunlight. He could see the natives far below them, watching as the priest took the child and placed him upon an altar. Stepping back, he gestured for Mackey to begin.
    There was no way out.
    Mackey approached the altar and raised the knife. At the last second, he diverted his hand and the priest tumbled down the steps with the knife jutting from his chest.

  11. There Are No Heroes Anymore
    294 words
    Superhero / Michelin Star Restaurant / Horror
    Sarah R. New (how you’d like to be credited as if your story is selected)
    https://sarahrnew.wordpress.com/
    https://twitter.com/aldbera
    Yes, I am open to derivative works, including audio productions. Please contact me via (one of the above channels for more information).

    ***
    There are no heroes left, the chef thought to himself as he surveyed the wreckage of his Michelin starred restaurant. His reason for living. His dream.

    Tears flowed from his eyes as he watched the last hero lie on the floor, motionless, blood flowing from a now obliterated eye socket. They had had no chance.

    He watched his patrons, many of them rich and privileged and unaccustomed to such things, cower in fear under their tables. Tables he had excitedly picked out for this new venture for him, this new chapter. One of his patrons had demanded the villain stop their violent rampage that instant. The villain had responded by slamming the man’s head into the table over and over and over again. He was unrecognisable now, just a heap of damaged flesh and destroyed brain. His wife lay on the floor flung over his body, sobbing and wailing uncontrollably.

    The chef watched as the villain continued his destructive path through the clientele of the restaurant, slashing, ripping, stomping, cackling uncontrollably the entire time. These pale marbled floors would never be clean again, would forever be marked by blood and the horrific tragedy that befell here.

    “I am death reborn.” He gloated, his voice deep and otherworldly, his pupils black and blown. He looked like a demon, the chef thought. Maybe he was a demon. Only something not of this Earth could wreak this much violence, this much destruction, this much pain.

    And now the villain turned to him, a maniacal grin gracing his face, a crazed look in his eye. The chef knew that it was now his turn, his end. His eye fell again to the mutilated hero as the villain advanced. There were no heroes, not anymore. They were all dead.

  12. Twas Just A Dig

    Iona looked to the camera streaming her dig to the world. She’d not been sure about filming live when first suggested, but had grown into that aspect of the project as the days past. It helped of course that they’d found the remains of someone important – and the associated treasure. Who didn’t like a treasure story? Especially one with pictures. Worth a thousand words. Or more importantly a few thousançççd Likes on social media hubs. Iona had already taken a call from Channel 4 about a possible documentary. Channel 5 had followed. Iona Roberts in the centre of a bidding war, who’d have thunk it?

    She was alone at the excavaç tion well beyond home time for normal people, but she couldn’t help herself. She dreamed of all the possibilities about the warrior/princess/queen/goddess she was revealing to the world. How could she wait until tomorrow whilst it was just waiting? The body had been revealed and the gold and stone artefacts had been streaming out like a fruit machine jackpot. Another scrape and who knows what she’d find?

    As she dug away an area close to where the skull had been she found that the soils were a different colour. It was easy to scrape out, she knew at once it had been disturbed. It was soft and easy to excavate. She ploughed through it in no time. There was a clink of something metal and she looked to the camera. Initially it seemed exciting, but her face soon portrayed shock as she quickly revealed a gun. Beneath that she found a ring; still attached to a pink finger. She was in an altogether different strata. The archaeology stream quickly morphed into a crime scene investigation.
    Then a man in a balaclava arrived. ‘Your dig’s over, love.’

  13. [Note from KM: story contains some explicit elements.]

    Concert of Change
    Teacher/Backstage at a Concert/Fantasy
    297 words
    Yes, I am open to derivative works.

    All the while, Bon Jovi was belting out “O O Living On A Prayair” while the crowd joined in on the fun. I rocked it up backstage, waiting for his return so we could u k- like rabbits in the bathroom as we couldn’t get enough of each other. We had only met a few minutes earlier but our gaze was electric and desperate, conveying that we were both ready and willing.
    Down went his pants. Up went my skirt. Off came our tops. It was magical; we started to s i e, and he had me while s k n my b e s s until I thought I would explode; then, just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, e e t do n o e, leaning my back against the bathroom wall mirror over the sink as h ad m c m. I wanted to move into that incredible roc ing mot on with him while his penis was inside me. It was so exhilarating and freeing.

    I was elated to be on the receiving end of s x al ple su s for once; it was quite intoxicating. My blood had suddenly grown fingers and tickled my entire body with contentment from the inside.

    What a fantasy that would be! I couldn’t teach anything about it to the grade twelve students. If they were to ask, “What was it like to be backstage?” When is it X-r ted? Can I? I mean, they’re almost my age. Maybe they’d think what I did was okay?

  14. This version is a mix of two different versions that pasted into the same document. Please omit the paragraph that begins “I was elated” until “card and was gone.” Thank you. LF6

  15. A Daily Courier Special Segment
    290 carpaccios
    Superhero / Michelin Star Restaurant / Horror
    Samantha Causey
    https://samanthacausey.wordpress.com/
    Yes, I am open to derivative works. Please contact me via the “Contact” page on my website above.

    ***
    It hasn’t been eight hours since Captain Spectre met his match and already the highly-skilled team at the Michelin starred Chickadee, shown behind me, are cleaning after a successful dinner service. Spectre’s power of invisibility couldn’t shield him forever, it seems.

    Hours ago, a the long walnut farm table in the dining room just inside, several of the city’s finest superheroes waited for the meal to begin. Noble Ember put on a fiery superpower demo for an enraptured Crimson Knuckle beside her. Confirming their sore rumored breakup, Sonic Boom sat at the far end of the table watching Noble Ember, death grip bending fork after fork. Valor sulked across from him. Her red-rimmed eyes glistened, a direct contrast to Hammerman who feigned little remorse. When asked to comment on the untimely death of his old friend, Hammerman just smiled.

    The head chef himself delivered the first course and announced it as “Captain Spectre carpaccio.” Valor burst into tears at mention of the name and sight of the thin, raw cuts of Spectre dressed in lemon juice and olive oil.

    In the lull before dessert, Hammerman managed to use some of Spectre’s power, his face fading into semi-transparency. He shrugged when he couldn’t get it to disappear completely, smiled, and said, “I think Spectre still needs to digest before I get full power.” Around him, the others tried with similar success.

    I’m not sure how long it’ll take them to pick up on how to control the new power, but one things for sure: Captain Spectre’s powers will live on in each of them and continue to do good.

    This is Flora Carmichael, your correspondent on all things super at The Daily Courier, reporting live from Chickadee. Back to you, Chet.

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