Welcome to my little page dedicated to 5-Minute Fiction.  If you have not heard about this phenomenon, then go here and read on, have I got something fun for you!

What is it?  A writing contest! It is the brain child of Leah Petersen, and now resides at Nicole Wolverton's. It has become a love! You have 5 minutes to write a fresh new piece of fiction in any style or genre. You post it in the comments of a blog post after the top seekret word prompt has been revealed.  A judge will choose the top five entries, and the public has until 9am the following morning to vote.  There are typos, there are rambles... this is an emergency folks!

What do you win?  Fame! Glory! Bragging rights! Blog Badges!

When is it? Every Tuesday at 8:30PM (EST)

Where is it? It is usually at Nicole's blog but has been known to go on tour, so read the posts and keep track of it on twitter #5MinuteFiction

I have really enjoyed taking part in this, it has sparked my creativity in unexpected ways. I've never written flash fiction before, but now I highly recommend it.  I wanted to save my entries in a single place because, well, I hoard things.  There. Now you know.

Unfortunately for me, the contest changed times and I am not always able to participate.  

Here are my entries - bear in mind that we have five minutes to come up with the story and write, so excuse typos and such.  Thanks!

SEPTEMBER 10, 2012
Prompt: Red Balloons
Results: WINNER! 
Sitting on the Lido Deck this morning I watched a bunch of red balloons go sailing by. Their shadow hit me first, blotting the page of the novel I was reading and making it hard to read in the bright sun. I caught them as they passed right over the sun, little stained glass orbs searing my nision.

“Someone’s celebrating,” my husband said, tipping the remains of his bloody mary into my glass.

“I don’t want any more to drink.”

I grabbed my wrap and walked along the deck, trying to keep the balloons in sight.

“Excuse me. So sorry.” I brushed against an elderly couple as I mounted the stairs.

They were tied with pink ribbons. An odd choice for red. I thought then of how Sydney would have loved that color combination. The balloons were caught in a breeze and moving back the way I came.

“No.” I was running out of deck. I turned and took the steps back down, two at a time. Passed my husband and ran along the railing. I couldn’t explain it, but something about those red balloons brought me back to Syd. Brought my daughter back to life, if only for a moment.

The red bouquet swooped down low against the deck. I reached over the rail hoping to catch a sliver of ribbon, just a hint. A touch. Let me feel something, anything.


The cruel wind whisked them away before I could grab hold. Just like Syd. Sweet Syd. I watched them until they were just a speck in the clouds on the horizon.

“I’ll never stop watching for you.”

OCTOBER 3, 2011
Prompt: Flamingo
Results: WINNER!  (in a squeaker of a contest!)
“Lawn flamingos at Christmas? Honestly honey? Can’t we have one holiday where those things stay in their box?”

My husband just doesn’t understand. There is something magical about the delightful pink creatures and their wire legs. He doesn’t appreciate their elegance.

“Take them down if you will, but know that I was up for hours last night hot glueing the tinsel antlers to their little heads. Hours.” I know he would never remove them. He knows it would break my little pink heart.

I smile as I dab hot pink paint on the wall of our foyer, the flamingo stencils I found at the craft store are much nicer than the ones I did in the kitchen. More detailed.

“But you can barely see them with all the snow!” His face is growing pink with his exertions. Flamingo pink. Almost, but not quite.

“I know honey, but I have to have them there. You know that.”

And he does.

The last time he took my flamingos inside was over the Memorial Day holiday. He objected to the little camouflage outfits I’d sewn for all sixteen of them. We had a little platoon all lined up saluting the tiny American flag.

But I showed him what happens when you mess with my flamingos. The following morning they were all wearing a tiny slice of his toupee. Hot glued to their perfect little pink plastic heads.

Prompt Sentence: Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad.

Results: Not for me this time - but I must say, this is one of my fave entries to date. :)
Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad. How long can one person be expected to tolerate that kind of abuse? It is one thing to be stuck in a prison cell for the rest of your life, it is quite another to be stuck with a cell mate who can’t stop snapping her gum.

Snap snap snap. The wet chewing made it worse.

She ground her teeth with impatience as she contemplated her plan. The only potential downside was that once she killed her cell mate, she was sure to be moved to solitary confinement for at least a month. That was going to be the hardest part. If nothing else, she was a social creature. After the month of solitary, assuming she’d survive that, they’d move her to the maximum security wing.

Snap snap.

But they couldn’t sentence her to more than her already endless 987 year to life sentence without possibility of parole. She began to realize the freedom that her life sentence gave her. Possibilities spread out before her. If only she could overcome her fear of solitary.


It was three years ago when she fought with that guard over her cigarette lighter. It was a gift from her son. It didn’t have any butane inside, and yet that bitch confiscated it simply because she could. Twice she caught the guard lighting her cigarette in the yard with the lighter, her lighter. It wasn’t even premeditated. The guard would never be able to use her left eye again. There was satisfaction there for her, and yet that month in solitary almost did her in.

The gum snapped again from the bunk above. She slid off the bottom bunk and grabbed the garotte she had fashioned from her torn sheets. She knew she couldn’t live another moment with that noise. It was just too much.

She steeled herself for solitary.


April 26, 2011
Prompt: Blue

Results: Finalist!
“I’m just feeling a little blue, that’s all.” Sarah’s voice sounded small in the dark bedroom this morning. I was running late and raced through the house getting ready for work.

“Do you want me to call your office again, honey?” I wanted to be helpful, but never really knew how to deal with Sarah’s waves of depression. When they took hold it seemed all I could do was hang on and ride them out.

I had no idea how heavily life weighed upon her.

I’d tried calling her twice before lunch. I figured she was asleep or hoped vainly that she was in the shower.

When she didn’t answer at all after lunch, I left the office and headed home.

She’d cleaned up before she’d gone. The house was immaculate. As if she didn’t want me to be embarrassed to let people in afterward I started making the calls.

Even the bathroom was sparkling and fresh. She took care to keep her slit wrists inside the tub and under the water.

April 12, 2011
Prompt: Redeem

Results: Not this week :(
“Redeem myself? How do you redeem yourself after this? It’s not like I hit a baseball through her damned window, I ran over her dog!”

We stood in the driveway looking down at Mr. Jeepers, our neighbor’s award winning, blue-ribbon, AKC CHampion Pomeranian. Mrs. Poole never took care to have the dog gated up at home. She assumed that every resident in Sunny Meadows revered Mr. Jeepers and watched over him.

“Maybe we could toss it over the fence into the greenbelt, the coyotes were back last night.” My husband offered.

I actually thought about that for a moment before the kids started spilling fromt he car to see what we were looking at. They’d never be able to keep this a secret.

“Is that Mr. Jeepers?” My son, aged ten asked, wided eyed.

“Mister Jeepers!” three year old Carrie started crying.

“Great, now what are we going to do?” I looked around in horror as some of my neighbors started our way. I rubbed my face with hy hands.

“Mrs. Poole is going to kill you, mom.” My son said.

“I know, but ugh…”

I didn’t want to talk to Mrs. Poole about killing her dog. As HOA president I had called her repeatedly these past few months warning her that if she wasn’t careful Mr. Jeepers would get stolen or run over.

And now I had to be the bearer and the evildoer explaining how it was all just an accident.

April 5, 2011
Prompt: Trap
Results: Winner!
The police detective stood over the body that was sprawled on the floor at his feet. There was blood everywhere, so much blood. And the way her body'd been flayed open like that was clearly the work of the same guy. No doubt about it.

"You wanna call it?" The police officer asked.

"Yeah, no question. It's the work of the same guy." The detective said. "We've got to catch him soon, or the chief's gonna have us for breakfast."

This was the fourth body to be found in as many days. Usually a serial killer took a break in between kills. Not this guy. If you counted the hours he was actually ramping up. Not good. Not good at all.

The two detectives stood on the edge of the room, careful to touch nothing and stand still on the small patch of dry wood floor available amidst the blood. The forensics team was still five minutes away.

There was a creaking sound above them. The two officers looked up and stared, their brains not comprehending what their eyes were clearly seeing.

The creature crouched on the ceiling like a fly. It was looking down at them with a curious look on its leathery purple-skinned face. It was covered in orange fur that seemed to sparkle in the harsh light from the single bulb in the corner of the room.

There was a snick as it opened its blade-like claws, a single drop of blood dripped to the floor. Its face spread wide in a grisly smile. The two detectives had nowhere to go, the door behind them was shut and opened inward.

The creature had them trapped.

March 29, 2011
Prompt: Decade
Results: Finalist!  Congrats to Nicole Wolverton 2 in a row!
The newscaster's voice droned from the TV. No amount of makeup could hide his sunken eyes and missing teeth. "Scientists have located the source of the bat-killing fungus. They blame decades of overuse of pesticides and antibiotics that allowed this super-spore to develop and ultimately wipe out the world's bat population. Efforts to create a test-tube bat are still progressing."

It all started with the bats. Nobody gave it much thought when bats started dying around the world. "Good Riddance!" The voice of the people was unanimous and clear. I mean, who really cared about bats? Unless it was wearing a rubber suit and saving Gothem from the evil of the world, bats were rarely the topic of conversation. 

But people cared now. It's all anyone can talk about. The bats. I'd give my eyes to have the bats back.

The food chain is a funny thing. From the lowliest flea all the way up to man himself - we're all connected. See, it's the bats of the world that control the rodent and insect population. When the bats died off it wasn't a trickle effect, it was a tidal wave. 

Worldwide crop failure due to insect infestation came first. A plague of locusts, indeed.  Then came the rats. Disease spread through cities from the abundance of rodents. Medicines ran out. Rats and mice no longer hid in the dark recesses.

The grocery ran out of food months ago. Nobody leaves their homes anymore. We're down to our last cans of fruit cocktail. It's hard to keep a family of six fed when the world is dying.

I walked into the bathroom and stared at my reflection in the mirror. Funny how you get used to seeing yourself waste away. I used to be so afraid of nuclear war. And here starvation would be the end of us all. I'd lost another tooth this morning. That made three this week.

I turned off the TV and curled up next to my wife and kids in our bed. I joined them mid-prayer for the miracle we knew would never come.

March 22, 2011
Prompt: PUB
Results: Not for me this week. Congrats to Nicole Wolverton!
He walked into the pub at four minutes past two in the morning. I watched, from the booth in the back corner as he stepped into the smoky room and ordered a pint at the bar.

He sipped it, then turned and began to look for his date. I knew he was looking for a tall blonde, with blue eyes, wearing a white red shirt and a black leather skirt. That is what I told him I'd be wearing, after all.

He didn't seem surprised when I, a bearded man in jeans and a brown leather jacket to slid in to the booth across from him instead.

"I should have know it was you, Marley." His voice was like velvet on silk.

"I'm sorry old friend, you know I can't help myself."

I pulled the dagger from my coat as he leaped from the booth and into the crowd. Hunting vampires is not something I do by choice. And I don't kill them either. But still, they don't trust me to keep that promise.

I [promised I] would find her after she was changed and taken away. I am just looking for my wife.

March 15, 2011
Prompt: LAZY
Results: Winner! Hooray!
I never got to say goodbye. I'll never get over that. My brother would certainly never forgive me. I could see in his eyes that he didn't want to hear my excuses, not today. Never again.

I woke up five minutes late, just five. But that translated into two hours late when I missed the express train and had to take the local. I imagine they tried to delay for me. But time waits for no one.

Five minutes late. I knew they all thought I was just lazy. I knew my hair was still a mess. I grabbed a glance in the side-view mirror in one of the parked cars and saw mascara caked under my eyes from sleeping on my face. I licked my fingers and tried to wipe my eyes clean. Maybe they would see my eyes and assume it was from tears.

I walked up to the grave site through a sea of the mourners as they were filing out past me. Nobody met my gaze. Each person shook hands with my brother and whispered small words as they stepped on to the the emotional safety of the freshly cut lawn.

My mother always joked that I'd be late for my own funeral. I don't think any of us could have imagined that I'd ever miss hers.

March 8, 2011
Prompt: WORST
Results: Tied for 1st place with Nicole Wolverton!  Hooray!
The day started off all wrong.

I woke up late and threw some cereal into the bowls for the little ones. An action which was met by howls of displeasure from the four children perched around the table. Yes, it is all my fault we’re out of milk. Again. Doesn’t every kid love to eat dry cereal?

After fights with socks and shoes we’re in the garage, the kids are buckling up while I search for my keys. Not again.

In the house, tossing papers off the desk, wishing I had a clapper.

The was becoming the worst morning ever.

I had only thirty minutes to get the kids to the bus stop and then I had an interview for the job of my dreams. Six months of phone calls and meetings with some of my future colleagues, today was the day. An interview with the CEO.

There! Keys in hand, I race to the garage, the kids are screaming at each other about whose transformer action figure is in pieces on the floor among the hardened french fries and papers and other detritus of our life in a minivan.

“Guys, please stop shouting!” I roar over the din.

I back out of the garage and toss the children out at the corner. I check my makeup in the rear view during stoplight pauses and get to the interview with five minutes to spare. And there was even a front row parking space.

“Rock star parking!” I squeal as I grab my bag and jump out of the car.

My feet touch wet pavement. I look down, a coil of dread tightening in my belly.

I’m barefoot.