Microcosms 117 took a slightly different form. Instead of the usual slot machine, we had to include a judge’s favour line from the past few months and write a story around that. I’ll explain more in the author’s notes but this style of competition doesn’t suit my writing style but I settle on the line:

Uttering a simple prayer, she scattered Gloria’s ashes on the breeze, returning her beloved friend to her native soil.

Below the line you’ll see how well I managed to include the line in my story A Simple Plan. Let me know in the comments below if you enjoyed it.

A Simple Plan

Uttering a simple prayer, I scatter Gloria’s ashes on the breeze, returning my beloved friend to her native soil.

The plan was simple. The club thrashed and crashed with the music. Humanity moved in waves across the sticky dance floor. Happiness bought from the bar. Only one person stood out — Gloria. Her green eyes shone against the neon. The contrast hung on her arm, puffing out black smoke in a ‘no smoking’ area. Nigel Johnson, misogynist and wannabe hard man.

“What do we have here?” The words crept out of his mouth. I could feel them stroke my skin.

“I’m a friend of Gloria’s.” Politeness and comfort argued over whether I should shake his hand.

“Oh are you?” His lips slithered into a grin. “We have some business to attend to upstairs and then she is all yours.”

I watched her leave, walking up the white stairs, shining out of the darkness. Once her heel disappeared from view, I went out to wait by the car, our escape from all of this. I measured time in cigarettes. Each one disappeared far too quickly. The flick of light rain mixed ash with the dirt of the alleyway. All I could think was ‘Come on, Gloria’.


A dumpster buckled. A cloud of dust rolled across the world. Green eyes pierced the darkness. I ran over, my shout uncontained. “Gloria!”

The body was not so long ago. Blood dribbled from her vacant eye. I lifted her body and carried it to our getaway car.

The plan was simple.