Greetings, flash fiction friends! We are pleased to announce the winner(s) of 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.
Be sure to check out MC 100micro1 – our first ever quarterly contest! Submissions are open through 30 September 2023.
MC 209 Winners!
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Without further ado, it’s time to announce the winner(s) of MC 209!
Huge congrats (and bragging rights) go to our Community Pick:
Great job, Melissa!
Community Pick Entry
As a reminder, here is the story that won over our community!
Superhero/Michelin Star Restaurant/Horror
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.
And the Judge’s Pick, and winner of this week’s $25 Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction, is:
- Vicky Hinault
Congrats (again!), Vicky! Please contact us for instructions on how to accept your prize and also let us know if you’d like to judge MC 213!
Here’s what judge Geoff Le Pard had to say:
My tastes have been drawn to the grim side of life this week as gore and death seems to have predominated in your responses to the prompts; goodness, you do know how to get under the skin of a story.
That said there was a terrific range of approaches, styles and ideas, from the toe curling to the eye popping. Still, taking a big breath and slipping into my big boy onesie. I found these four took the (extended) podium
- Nouvelles Saveurs (Melissa Rotert) – it’s best not to enquire too deeply into the magic of a top chef
- Curse Upon The British (Sophie H. Sigrafys) – I wonder how many of those wondrous exhibits are replicas?
- What’s Inside? (Vicky Hinault) – this one casts itself, when the script is sold to Paramount
- Just a Dig (AJ Walker): I knew working late was overrated
And the winner is, and please be upstanding for…
What’s Inside? This carries notes of The Mummy, The Raiders series, alongside Jumanji with its own rather despicable trick and final satisfactory twist. And some truly peachy lines ‘…worry ran riot over her face’ and ‘he… took eggshell steps into the room.’ Well done.
HUGE thanks to Geoff for judging this week!
Judge’s Pick Entry
As a reminder, here is the story that won over our judge!
By Vicky Hinault
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.
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.”
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.
Please help us congratulate our winners, especially in comments and on Twitter!
See you for MC 211, coming right up!
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