Greetings, flash fiction friends! We are pleased to announce the winners of Microcosms 210!
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 100micro2 – our current quarterly contest! Submissions are open through 31 December 2023.
MC 210 Flash Fiction Contest Winners!
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Without further ado, it’s time to announce the winners of MC 210!
Huge congrats (and bragging rights) go to our Community Pick:
Great job, Deanna!
Community Pick Entry
As a reminder, here is the story that won over our community!
Come On, Baby, Light My Fire
Adam aimed his nozzle at the base of the flame and pulled the trigger. His eyes still light-blinded, he peered through the expanding shadows of nightfall. Another bright flicker beckoned, deeper in amongst the trees. A Fire Fairy. Teasing him, leading him on. She knew how dangerous it was for him in the thicket. His heavy boots and axe made it hard to move quickly, yet she led him still further into the brush. Every time he tried to turn back, she let her hot little hand touch a piece of dry bark or leaf and leapt away, laughing, as he rushed to put it out.
He was completely lost, and tangled beyond hope. He had tried to hack his way out when tough vines completely encircled him. He knew this forest was more than it seemed, but even so, he couldn’t have let it burn. His eyes widened as she suddenly hovered before him, her bright wings burning his retinas.
“How could I live here if I were a danger?” her tinkling voice asked him rhetorically as she demonstrated the trees’ natural ability to put themselves out.
It was a trap.
His heart beat wildly as she floated toward him, her size increasing as she neared. Adam cringed back, her heat making him sweat from a mere foot away.
“What do you want?” His voice quavered with fear. Hers rang like a bell as she answered.
“I want a child.”
His clothes caught as she removed them, his flesh singing everywhere she touched him. She climbed atop him, beckoning, and tiny flame beetles landed on his skin, sucking up just enough of the fire to keep him from being consumed as she took her pleasure. His anguished cries echoed through the woods long after she was finished with him.
And the Judge’s Pick, and winner of this week’s $25 Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction, is:
Congrats (again!), Geoff! Please contact us for instructions on how to accept your prize and also let us know if you’d like to judge – again! haha
Here’s what judge John Holmes had to say:
This week’s collection of stories certainly contained a fair amount of blood and guts, surprise endings and plenty of humour.
The quality of writing was very high and reflected the time and effort all the writers had put into their pieces.
Personally, I was attracted towards the more humorous entries, and particularly to the story, ‘Bureaucracy in Fairy Land’. It was a cleverly devised plot, really well executed and very funny – well, it certainly made me laugh. The style reminded me of Roald Dahl’s work, Revolting Rhymes.
Congratulations on this excellent piece of short writing.
HUGE thanks to John for judging this week!
Judge’s Pick Entry
As a reminder, here is the story that won over our judge!
Bureaucracy In Fairy Land
Geoff Le Pard
Walter Cannon hesitated. The enormous red cloaked woman striding towards him looked anything but friendly. He checked his phone. It definitely said Little Red Ridinghood.
The woman loomed over him, glaring. ‘Took your time.’
‘Who else? You think I’m some caped crusader? This is the enchanted forest not Gotham Woods or whatever.’ She looked past him. ‘You alone? No kit?’
‘I’m surveying the scene and will report…’
‘In all that’s magical, you don’t have time to faff about. Granny’s three-quarters swallowed. Don’t you have an axe?’
‘Sorry. No one said.’
The enormous vermillion female took his elbow and began marching him deeper into the trees. To Walter they seemed to be watching.
‘I really need to call in, say I’ve arrived.’
She stopped. ‘What the actual flip, are you? Haven’t you read the story? Little girl lost, goes to grandma’s as she’s being eaten and dupes stupid lupus?’
He eyed her up and down.
She glared, making his skin crawl. ‘I grew, okay? It happens even in fairyland. Are you sure you don’t have an axe?’
‘No, I’m a firefighter…’
Red’s expression eased. ‘Cool. What do you do? Wrestle the flames? Box the shit out of the fuel? Or is it some sort of MMA where…’
‘I use a hose.’
‘Seriously? Hardly fair on the fire. Still I told the Lord Chamberlain that relying on the real world would be a disaster. He made the woodcutter redundant so I get you. Are you sure you don’t have, at least, a hand axe?’
Walter held up a clipboard. ‘I take notes,’ he said firmly. ‘All I do is a risk assessment.’
‘So you’re not going to stop my nearest and dearest being eaten?’
He shrugged. ‘Beyond my paygrade. My job is to ensure all elfin safety rules are met.’
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See you for MC 212, coming right up!
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