• microcosms wrote a new post on the site Microcosms 2 months ago

    Microcosms 211 Flash Fiction Contest + The Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction MC 211 Flash Fiction Contest Greetings, flash fictioneering friends, and welcome to Microcosms 211! This week, we are pleased to continue with […]

    • The Final Delivery
      300 words
      Flight Attendant / Small Town Post Office / Mystery
      Deanna Salser

      I am open to derivative works.


      I set my bundle down on the counter while I wait to be acknowledged. I can’t believe I’m really here.

      Before the Pony Express gave way to the United States Postal Service, this spot was marked and guarded. Only a priest or an advanced advocate with protective energy could even approach. It was my ancestors who figured out how to contain this. I am the last priest of my people, exiled since I left these ancient lands for a modern life. But now that I’m back, I see there’s something about flying around the world for a living that makes this town seem even smaller than it did when I left.

      “Jeanie?! What a pleasant surprise!” I take a deep breath and paste a smile on my lips before raising my head.
      “Marie!” My baby sister hadn’t changed one iota. I watch her expression shift as her eyes drop to the package. She sucks in a breath, and when she looks at me, her face is radiant.
      “Is it time?” she whispers. I nod and duck under the section of counter she raises for me.
      “You grab supplies, and I will start the procedure,” I tell her. Her face falls.
      “But you just got here!” she wails. “I’m not ready to lose you, yet!” I smile and caress her cheek.
      “Nor I, you,” I avow. “Now go.”

      When she’s gone, I produce the key from a chain around my neck, open the metal compartment, and place the box inside. As the weight of it leaves my hands, a rumble starts, deep underground. I grip the rings fixed to the box for this purpose as a small whirlwind appears beside me, becomes a large one, and engulfs me.
      “Sorry, Marie,” I whisper as grit collects in the corners of my mouth.

    • Awesome! Loved ‘the sodden airfield belched the remnants…’

    • Then I hit the mark! Thanks!

    • Thank you! That gives me an idea. I wonder if I could work a serial into next week’s prompts?

    • I agree with Laura, and that title is very catchy.

    • Ha! Great characters as always!

    • Very good!

    • Well, it is a mystery…

  • microcosms wrote a new post on the site Microcosms 2 months ago

    RESULTS – MC 209 Flash Fiction Contest Winners Announcement Greetings, flash fiction friends! We are pleased to announce the winner(s) of Microcosms 209! This week, we are pleased to […]

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  • microcosms wrote a new post on the site Microcosms 2 months, 1 week ago

    Microcosms 210 + The Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction (Flash Fiction Contest) MC 210 Flash Fiction Contest Greetings, flash fictioneering friends, and welcome to Microcosms 210! This week, we are pleased to continue with […]

    • Come On, Baby, Light My Fire
      300 tiny flame beetles
      Firefighter / Enchanted Forest / Crime/Thriller
      Deanna Salser

      I am open to derivative works.


      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.

    • Devastation
      94 words
      News Reporter / Newsroom / Drama
      Galen Gower
      Yes, I am open to derivative works including birthday party clowns.

      Elliott sat among them as he cried.

      “Did he get laid off, too?” his co-workers whispered, each glad it wasn’t him. The paper’s bankruptcy cast a shadow.

      She’s gone, Elliott thought, and it’s my fault. Finally got what I deserve.

      Elliott laughed into a sob at how she would repeat her punchlines.

      “One is a horrible, slimy bottom-feeder and the other is a fish!” she’d say, this time with more gusto.

      Elliott knew his co-workers would make assumptions, but they didn’t matter.

      “We should take him for drinks…” they whispered, “once he pulls himself together.”

    • Title: Trespasser
      300 words
      Firefighter/ Enchanted Forest / Crime/Thriller
      By Vicky Hinault
      Twitter: @staytrue_create
      Yes, I am open to derivative works


      The yellow and black of the crime scene tape clashed against the lush greens of the trees laden with summer leaves that splintered shards of sunlight down onto the earth.


      A bare-armed firefighter dropped his bulky jacket onto the floor and nodded while securing a rope around his waist.

      A deep burrowed tunnel sank into the ground in front of him. He dropped down and shuffled his way in, arm over his face protecting himself from the dirt that dislodged with each movement. After a tight squeeze, the tunnel became a cavern and his torchlight filled the space.

      “Can you see her? Is she there?” A hysteria-laden voice cried.

      “Nothing yet,” he answered through the darkness.

      He tugged firmly on the rope to signal a need to further his descent. In the corner of his eye, he saw a sparkle zip past.

      He looked – suddenly, nothing.

      Then a large glow from below. A spiralling explosion of light shards pulled him into a downward spin where he hit the floor hard.


      “I’m OK.”

      The glow flared again, forcing him to squint in response. When he opened his eyes, an indignant sprite floated before him.

      “You’re trespassing.”

      His silence spoke volumes. He thumped himself on the head to knock away his daze, but the sprite remained and was surrounded by countless others.

      “I’m…I’m looking for a missing girl.”

      A glow rippled and dimmed around the tunnel then another sprite appeared and whispered to its brethren.

      “South of the brook. Alive. Broken ankle.”

      Simon nodded. The glow and the sprites vanished instantly.

      Minutes later he emerged into the woodland.

      “Nothing, but we should search near the brook.”

      “Why do you say that?”

      “You’d never believe me, even if I told you,” said Simon who watched a glow form in the distance.

    • Aha, I love the voices! “three-quarters swallowed” made me snort. I love the combo of detective lingo and fairy tale, nice work.

    • Wow, thanks, Geoff! I’m flattered.

    • That was amazing. I love your mind.

    • Thanks, Sophie! Appreciate that 🙂

    • This is so rich in imagery and creates a incredibly rich world so quickly!

    • I love that this is all soliloquy, yet I could picture the scene right away — like shakespeare in the park~

    • Wow, Much appreciated, Sam!

    • The History of Magic.

      259 words

      Historian/ Movie Set/ Fantasy



      2700 B.C. the first conjuration of balls was done by the magician Dedi. 1300-650B.C… references to the magic abundant in ancient Greek myths is recorded. Present day- magic…, no longer exists. It’s been 4700 years since the first recording of magic, or some may say, the devil’s work, an arbitrary of drunk—asses, or just a silly—game on boards—and—paper.

      However, magic does exist.

      During film, one may find that the standard scene of “plays”, “script—writing”, and “voice—acting” all contribute to the magic. However, it is the director’s work piecing these all together, that matters.

      Without the director, the magic falls apart: the Grand Master loses his kingdom, the people lose his respect, and the students go hay—wire. However, all is not lost, if the director returns. One, to save the day act—after—act, from the “rising—action” to the “resolution”. So, remember, when the director leaves, all the magic goes along with them. “Him”, “her”, ‘them’. Who, cares?

      With the director, all is well. Magic is set from the brightening of the studio—lights, to the opening of one’s mouth, to the rummaging of one’s pockets for a key to a secret dimension, hidden but, within the walls of the Academy.

      One can find, the inner—peace, that comes with being a director, because, it’s in the name. Truthfully, as a historian I find that this fact matters the most. IQ. EQ? Who, cares? It’s about the SQ and the ability to bring about, a change to the world.


      a, Humble—‘Historian’

    • Love how the character’s voice perfectly encapsulates the theme!

    • “Dupes stupid lupus” is a killer line! Love her voice!

  • microcosms wrote a new post on the site Microcosms 2 months, 1 week ago

    RESULTS – MC 208 Flash Fiction Contest Winners Announcement Greetings, flash fiction friends! We are pleased to announce the winner(s) of Microcosms 208! This week, we are pleased to […]

  • microcosms wrote a new post on the site Microcosms 2 months, 2 weeks ago

    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 […]

    • Rooster Island
      Detective / Deserted Island / Fairy Tale
      Galen Gower
      295 Words
      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.

    • Gentleman’s onesies… I’ve often imagined a future where I can lounge a form-fitting onesie and consume all of my calories in futuristic bars or shakes only.

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

    • Well done!

    • Good stuff, Sophie. You really packed in a whole convincing tableau here.

    • This is great. Fantastic detail that really drew you into the story. I also like the social commentary.

    • A super fun story! Nice twist on how Batman is normally viewed! thanks for sharing 🙂

    • This was lovely, Some real heartfelt emotions were built into the flow of the story which grew so quickly and so subtly! Nicely done.

    • No Sacrifice
      300 words
      Archeologist / Crime Scene / Action
      Deanna Salser

      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.

    • Wow! So much going on there.

    • Creepy! So taboo!

    • Thanks, Sam! Appreciate that 🙂

    • Thank you, Jaime!

    • That’s good. Everyone’s on their game this week.

    • Ouchie! Guess he didn’t expect that.

    • That was so much fun! Very nice!

    • I loved this – had a noir feel to it the whole way! Great read!

    • This is great, Sam. Very strong character work! Great read 🙂

    • Witty and wild. Poor Iona, FL6

    • Wow. Sombre and tragic; the villain triumphs. Great story. LF6

    • 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

    • Horror, this, most certainly was, very vividly described.

    • Thank you, Sarah! I could write a full novel of this. 🙂

    • Great delivery on cannibalism

    • This touched my heart and was very cute.

    • A Daily Courier Special Segment
      290 carpaccios
      Superhero / Michelin Star Restaurant / Horror
      Samantha Causey

      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.

    • [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?

    • Haha! Thank you 🙂

  • microcosms wrote a new post on the site Microcosms 2 months, 2 weeks ago

    RESULTS – MC 207 Flash Fiction Contest Winners Announcement Greetings, flash fiction friends! We are pleased to announce the winner(s) of Microcosms 207! Because we had so many great […]

  • microcosms wrote a new post on the site Microcosms 2 months, 3 weeks ago

    Microcosms 208 + The Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction MC 208 Greetings, flash fictioneering friends, and welcome to Microcosms 208! This week, we are pleased to continue with “The Karen Cox Prize for […]

    • Everyone Asks About Androids…

      299 words

      computer programmer/national park/steampunk


      guess who’s finally done with its dissertation (and is writing this on an intercontinental flight somewhere in the arctic circle) anyway this is only relevant Bc my diss was (loosely) connected to Turing who doesn’t feature in this but does in my heart


      Nothing but grass for bloody miles around, and my moron colleagues running halfway to the moon every the train goes chugging on by. And yet!

      I have it.

      Recursion was all it took, functions calling functions calling – well. More functions. You don’t even need anything but functions! My language, growing grammar and syntax and beauty. Because it is beautiful – it is perfect logic, how could it not be?!

      I had the realization in this very field as a youth, taking my first shakey steps into the crowd of my half-siblings. Different mothers, father unknown.

      And that’s what got me thinking – the web of life! The breaking binary of it all! Truth and falsehood, hinging on the flick of a switch. The tick of the steamtrain driving the changing system – what is a calculation but the coming together of a million million tiny pieces in the right place. Bits, if you will.

      At first, I relied on the idiots standing in the right places, doing the right thing. And then I built around it. And finally I built with it – tying my programs together with uncertainty! The generation of pseudo-random numbers!

      I don’t have access to the technology I hear they’ve got in London; we only see it out here in the train and the odd lost airship. But I’ve simulated my machine, over and over, with flesh and blood moving parts and the ideas are sound.

      There’s a guest up in the house. A rich one, with a shiny new car. So I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do.

      I shake myself out, straighten myself up, and I walk in that door.

      “Ah,” says the tall man in the tailcoat.

      “The name’s Baabage,” I say. “I -“

      His companion scowls. “Ma! The bloody sheep’s in the house again!”

    • Thank you so much, dear Jaime. Bless you.

    • Microcosms
      300 Words
      Perfumist/Different Languages/Drama
      Lily Finch

      The duty-free line at the airport was huge, filled with men waiting to be served. The perfumer, a polyglot, served each one.

      The first man was from Spain.
      Me gustaría comprarle un perfume a mi esposa. Creo que le gustaría mucho el perfume. Sé que ella está esperando en casa que le lleve un regalo. Necesito volver a casa con un regalo de perfume. Verás que ha tenido una aventura con otra persona. Ella no sabe que yo lo sé. Espero que esto rompa el hielo y podamos hablar de ello. ¿Tú piensas que soy estúpido? Creo que necesito saber quien es. Para mí hace una gran diferencia saberlo. Huele exactamente igual que el perfume que llevas. ¿Tu esposa usa perfume todo el tiempo? Creo que puede estar teniendo una aventura con otra mujer. ¿Que debo hacer?

      The next man was from the United States. As the perfumer yelled out for the next man in line, he heard,I would like to buy perfume for my wife. I think she would like the perfume very much. I know she is waiting at home for me to bring her a gift. I need to come home with a gift of perfume. You will see that he has had an affair with someone else. She doesn’t know that I know. I hope this breaks the ice and we can talk about it. Do you think I’m stupid? I think I need to know who he is. It makes a big difference to me to know. It smells exactly like the perfume you’re wearing. Does your wife wear perfume all the time? I think she may be having an affair with another woman. What should I do?

      Both men opted for a bottle of Johnnie Walker Diamond Jubilee rather than the perfume.

    • I am so very sorry for your loss.
      But the story was awesome. Your randomly selected words in a spoof on French were great. Genius. LF6

    • Love it. LF6

    • Floating Gold
      287 words
      Perfumist / Different languages / Drama
      Samantha Causey

      Yes, I am open to derivative works. Please contact me via the “Contact” page on my website above.


      Two men tumbled into the sea. The whale rammed again, sending the boat keeling just short of ninety degrees. Phineas clung to the bench, praying the boat would hold steady. He cursed his master and his master’s belief that all perfumers intimately know their fresh ingredients—even the dangerous ones.

      Blood so dark red it was near black spilled from the whale’s battle wounds. She huffed, sending a spray of saltwater from her blowhole upon them. Shouting rang in Phineas’s ears as two men gathered themselves up. They braced their thighs against the bulwark while another man stumbled to arm them with lances. This time, when she threw herself against the hull, they were ready.

      Phineas gritted his teeth and covered his ears against her roar of pain. Her tail thrashed, and her body rolled. Violent waters sent the boat lurching. When her fury calmed, they dragged the boat right up against her. She groaned, the sound like a massive closing door, and leeched as she was, gave them no trouble when they pinned her portside.

      Now that she was sedated, Phineas crept closer. He mapped the topography of wrinkled skin that rose up around her large eye. She blinked. It was so human-like Phineas felt his heart constrict. Her groans became something softer, like running a wet finger around the rim of a glass. Phineas wished he understood the words in it, but maybe a song like this didn’t have words. Maybe it was just a hummed lullaby to put oneself to sleep.

      It took only one man with good aim. The creature moaned before surrendering her side to the whalers who would rob her of her teeth and skin and, if Phineas was lucky, floating gold.

    • So sorry for your loss, Dear Steven. You have now joined the bereft of Mom club. I’ve been here for 48 years. It never gets better. As for your story. So much laffink! Thank you for your dependable silliness. Such an imagination!

    • What to Do When the Work Is Dragon
      300 words
      Computer Programmer / National Park / Drama
      Deanna Salser

      I am open to derivative works.


      The backpack was heavy and the trail was getting steeper. There was only the sound of her breath in long, even pulls and the crunch of last year’s leaves beneath her feet. The moon coming up over the tree line looked like it was poking halfway through the black cloth of the sky, tiny studded diamonds sparkling all around it. The wind soughed through stiff needles, bringing the smell of pines into her nose. The perfect vacation. A crashing in the brush beside her had her down on one knee, her crossbow up and loaded. Turning slowly, looking through the sights, Lena was startled by a massive shadow sweeping over her from above. Throwing herself to the side, she watched from her back in the leaves as a giant black shape reached a claw into the trees and drew it back with a struggling deer in its talons. She knew then that it was Dara’s. Dara was the only other programmer who could cough up things like that dragon. Always trying to ruin her time off. Dragging her backpack beneath a nearby rock overhang, she climbed up to attach her dish. An hour later, fingers cramping, she was done.

      Dara stepped outside for a cigarette, thinking how smart she was. Lena was always taking time off to hike, leaving her with the lion’s share of work. She didn’t hike and their office was hidden in this massive forest. She checked her watch. She should be back anytime. A heavy thump shook the ground, followed by several more. Her self-satisfied smile began to melt off her face as she saw what was coming for her.

      Lena was laughing so hard, her headset fell off. She couldn’t help it. Watching Dara wet herself through the eyes of her own dragon was priceless.

      • I loved your description of smell (pine on a breeze), sound (crashing! thumping!), and sight. Helped me visualize what was going on. I also liked how Lena and Dara get back at each other using the power of code!

    • I read it aloud and loved it so much. <3 I’m terribly sorry for your loss.

    • I love it so much ♥️

    • That one was good. Too bad about that misspelling near the end. Made me read it twice which kinda broke the spell.

  • microcosms wrote a new post on the site Microcosms 2 months, 3 weeks ago

    RESULTS – MC 206 Winners Announcement Greetings, flash fiction friends! We are pleased to announce the winner(s) of Microcosms 206! This week, we are pleased to […]

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