Tag Archives: Five Sentence Fiction

The mighty will fall


This year would be different.

He’d eaten a huge breakfast, an even bigger lunch, and guzzled half a dozen flimsy bottles of water.

He was gonna get rich claiming money from the fraternity brothers who’d bet against him, boisterous guys who were now one pint lighter, chowing down on cookies and juice while they taunted him from the canteen.

As the vivacious young nurse swabbed the crook of his burly arm with iodine, the sounds of the Red Cross volunteers speaking to other donors spiraled into silence as if sucked down a huge drain, until all he could hear was his own pulse thundering through his veins.

Though his vision was quickly dimming, he saw the overhead fluorescent light glint off the sterile needle being brandished by delicate latex-clad fingers, and true to form, the biggest, baddest linebacker on campus hit the floor for the fourth straight year.


A very loose interpretation of Lillie McFerrin‘s Five Sentence Fiction prompt thunder, inspired by my own blood donation yesterday. There was no actual drama at the blood drive, and no college football players were harmed in the creation of this story.


Posted by on September 3, 2013 in Challenges, Fiction, Tuesday Tales



Known unto God

11,954 burials, 8,367 of which are unidentifiedCommanders in far-off war-rooms issue orders as if the supply of khaki-clad boys were limitless. Bravely they do as they are told, charging bunkers, strafing airfields, storming beaches. By the tens of thousands they fall, sons, brothers, fathers, uncles. Too many to send home, too many to identify–nameless heroes planted reverently in some farmer’s field. In perpetual anonymity they rest, their final slumber deep, if not peaceful.


five sentence fictionLillie McFerrin’s Five Sentence Fiction prompt for this week was the word “limitless.” When I visited the WWI battlefields near Ypres, Belgium, earlier this year, the rows of gravestones of unknown soldiers buried in Tyne Cot Cemetery seemed limitless to me. No surprise, I guess, since there are nearly 12,000 headstones, 8,300 of which are nameless. The waste of human life took my breath away as I tried to imagine the families back home who were left with empty arms and were not even given the cold comfort of a gravesite to visit in return.

My five sentences didn’t emerge as fiction…my apologies for that.


Posted by on July 30, 2013 in Challenges



Wiser for the experience

101_3154“I don’t know, why don’t you try and find out?” I said when my granddaughter brought a proposed solution to her dilemma to the arm of the porch swing where I sat carving in the warm afternoon sun.

A little while later, she reappeared and plopped dejectedly beside me, propelling the swing into a gentle rhythm before sighing, “It didn’t work, Grandpa.”

“I’m not surprised, Pumpkin.”

“If you knew it wouldn’t work, why didn’t you tell me before I started?”

“If I had, I would have robbed you of the wisdom you gained by trying it yourself.”


This short piece was written for Lillie McFerrin’s Five Sentence Fiction prompt “wisdom.”

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Posted by on July 23, 2013 in Challenges, Fiction, Tuesday Tales



Love’s last flight

100_9530The sunset flight had been her birthday gift to him last week, and his face had lit up at the thought of crossing one more thing off his bucket list; he really needed to start adding to the list so as not to be bored senseless in his old age.

She had perused customer reviews on the balloon company’s website and studied ten years of meteorological data, trying to find a window of opportunity when cancellation due to weather was least likely, then finally just closed her eyes and pointed to a random square on the calendar.

She’d regretted her impulsive selection process when the sound of rain pattering against the windows awakened her before the alarm this morning, but the showers had passed before she’d even reached the bottom of her ritual mug of Earl Grey and the balloon pilot had rung at lunchtime to confirm their flight would depart as scheduled.

As they drifted silently above a breathtaking patchwork of carefully tended fields, bisected by an undulating ribbon of sparkling gold, the pilot gave a slight nod and she raised her glass of complementary champagne to toast the dwindling bucket list.

Then, with only a moment’s hesitation, she turned her face into the sun and tipped her husband over the side of the wicker basket, a new widow’s tear-choked prayers following his ashes as they billowed out in the balloon’s wake.

“Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist,” says Lillie as she offers up her weekly challenge on Lillie McFerrin Writes. The word she chose for this week’s inspiration was ‘flight’.



Posted by on July 9, 2013 in Challenges, Fiction, Tuesday Tales