#5MinuteFiction Week Twenty-Three

This, in case you somehow missed the title of the post, is 5MinuteFiction. You have been assimilated.

And welcome to 5MinuteFiction. That means we write fiction. In five minutes. Shocker, I know.

The Rules

* You get five minutes to write a piece of prose in any style or genre

* You must directly reference today’s prompt: reverse

(Note: The prompt is the word. The picture is for decoration/inspiration.)

photo by Kanpeki Yume

* Post your entry as a comment to this post.

I’ll close the contest at 1:45. That gives you 5 minutes to write and ten to accommodate the vagaries of relative time, technology, and the fickle internets. If you are confused or just want to whine, feel free to email me.

At the close of the contest, this week’s guest judge,  ME!, will nominate five finalists. I’ll put the nominees in the poll on the side of the page, and at 9:30 PM EDT I’ll close the poll and declare the winner.

(Did you know I’ve never judged the contest myself? Never, ever? My own contest? About damn time, I say.)

For updates, you can subscribe to my RSS Feed, or follow me on twitter.

What’s the prize? Well, nothing, obviously. But we’ll all agree to tweet and/or blog about the winner of today’s contest so their fame and fortune will be assured.

A Few Notes:

* In the interest of time and formatting, it’s best to type straight into the comment box. It’s also smart to do a quick highlight and copy before you hit “post” just in case the internets decide to eat your entry. If your entry doesn’t appear right away, email me sometimes comments go into the suspected spam folder and I have to dig them out.

* I reserve the right to remove hate speech or similar but I’m not too picky about the other stuff.

* This is all for fun and self-promotion. So be sure to put your twitter handle at the end of your post and a link to your blog if you have one.

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20 Responses to #5MinuteFiction Week Twenty-Three

  1. Richard Wood says:

    Angels are egocentric, pompous assholes.

    You have to understand something. There are no trumpets, harps, glorious lights when Angels appear. The true face of God is actually the reverse.

    It’s death.

    As I sit in my fucking freezing trench 100 meters from the krauts I prayed for salvation. I prayed for my life, and the life of my brothers.

    I of course never expected anything to happen–but when you see enough people machine-gunned or poisoned with gas– you try anything to survive.

    So I prayed.

    And this winged creature appeared. Blonde, dressed in white–it carried the biggest fucking sword I’d ever seen.

    Salvation was at hand, right?

    Fucking angels.

    The creature started hacking into us. The screams were horrible.

    As the angel, covered in the blood of my brothers, stood over to me cleaning its sword, I asked why.

    “The Germans prayed harder,” it said.

    Fucking asshole.

    @rbwood

    http://www.rbwood.com

  2. Jules Carey says:

    I put the car in reverse and backed out of the garage. The scream and the thunk came at the same time. I hit the brakes and put the car in drive. Pulling forward, I heard and felt it all again.

    Once again in reverse.

    Once again in drive.

    Thirty.
    Fourty.
    Fifty times?

    I lost count.

    How many would it take before he’d shut up? Guess it didn’t matter. I had all day. I smiled to myself and turned up the radio.

    @JulesCarey

  3. Tony Noland says:

    The wind blew her hair forward into her face again. She let it come, the strands massing and waving over her, obscuring her vision, tickling her nose, catching on the flakes of skin on her chapped lips.

    In a moment, it would reverse and she would be able to see again. See the old pickup truck back away from the wreckage, see the broken glass fly upwards and weld itself into a smooth, unbroken sheet. The man’s face would retreat backward, his blood rushing back into his scalp as he flowed back into his seat.

    In the other car, the newer one, the smoke would hiss back into the window, and the airbag would contract, revealing the shocked face of the girl looking back down at her cell phone.

    The accident would undo itself and the sun would shine on, until time reversed itself again, and she would be forced to watch again, until the wind covered her face again.

    @TonyNoland

  4. Mitchell caught sight of the too-familiar face in the crowd and quickly reversed direction, jogging back the way he had come. A cold sweat broke out on his brow and his hands were trembling as the thought tumbled through his mind over and over. He didn’t see me. He couldn’t have seen me. He’s not following. He’s not.

    He didn’t believe a word of it but wouldn’t look around, afraid of what he might see.

    His half-run was clumsy with apprehension and the people around him cast him annoyed or curious or nasty looks as he bullied through them. His breathing was harsh and loud in his ears.

    The back of his neck prickled and a hand fell heavy on his shoulder from behind.

    “Mitch?”

    Mitchell managed not to groan with dread as he turned, involuntarily, to face his brother in law. The most boring and persistent man on the planet, and the prospect of hours of his nattering. Mitch sighed heavily and surrendered himself to the dreadful fate.

  5. Girl in Reverse

    Something told him to go the other way so he turned around. There were people ahead of him now, all around him, crowding him. Everyone had committed to their own reversals.

    A girl was right beside him; he looked over at her and tried to smile. Secretly he couldn’t stand her. She was right beside him but he knew she was out to get him. Hell, everyone was, but he could tell she had it in for him.

    “First time?” she said, glancing at him. He wanted to trip her.

    “No,” he replied, now wanting to pull her hair and shove her to the ground in her beloved mid-step, “I’ve done this enough to know better.”

    Her expression was obvious: WTF?

    “Look,” he went on, “I just want to do this. I’ve lost three times and fuck if I’m gonna lose again.”

    She smirked and picked up her pace. “We’ll see about that.”

    By the time they got to their respective ends, they had bruises and cuts and scratches. They were disqualified and never came back again.

    Over dinner a few weeks later they agreed that going the other way was worth it after all.

  6. Steven walked out the Starbucks and looked around to find his car when he dropped his coffee. Instead of the busy street where he had parked, there was a forest. No buildings, but trees and grass. He looked to his left, and saw a large, white horse with a single, strong horn sprouting from its fore head. It winked at him.

    He reversed direction, heading back into the coffee shop. When he turned around, everything inside looked the same. The tables were still there, the music was still playing, the coffee was still brewing. But a closer look showed that the tables were real wood, the music was being played by a live band made up of tiny fairies and the coffee was being brewed over a live fire. The woman behind the counter, the same woman that had given him his coffee earlier, now had long, pointed ears. He spun as a man sitting at a table next to him in a business suit got up, setting his paper down. Steven backed away when he saw that the man’s lower half was that of a horse.

    He turned again, heading towards the door. The unicorn was at it now, pushing him back inside. He fled from the beast, all the way to the table.

    “What the hell is going on here?” he screamed.

    The horse winked once again.

    “What’s going on?” it asked in a pleasant, female voice. “Why, nothing more than the saving of the world.”

    “What?”

    “We’ve been waiting for you,” the Centaur said.

    “For quite some time,” said the elf from behind the counter.

    “Waiting for you to save us,” said the unicorn again.

    Steven looked around at them all and then back to the unicorn, and promptly fainted.

  7. Reverse

    I looked behind me. Just what I thought.

    More flowers.

    Dammit.

    I pumped the handle seven more times and slammed the lever backward again. Backward, dammit, go backward!

    The vibration shook the whole tub. I closed my eyes this time until the shaking stopped.

    I took a deep breath.

    I looked behind me.

    More flowers.

    Dammit!

    I leapt out of the tub, kicked it over, then let myself topple, crushing my outline into the peonies.

    I stared up at the sky. Empty. Empty as it will always be.

    I was alone. Truly, utterly, inexcusably alone. No sign that humans had ever touched this planet. I’d wiped it out. Everything. Everyone. Even Laila.

    Laila.

    I did it for her. I swear, I just wanted to make it better for her. Better air. Less crowding. I didn’t want to empty the whole planet.

    Really.

    I’m sorry.

    I’ll write a note. Stick it in this tub. And maybe, just maybe, millions of years from now, some hyperintelligent peony will see that once upon a time there was one single idiot, alone and adrift, regretting the day he left the instruction book on his desk.

    @thatneilguy

  8. “Why do you keep coming back here?” Her words might have held more impact if her voice hadn’t teetered on the edge of breathless.

    He shook his head, buried his face in her shoulder, and pressed her to the bed. “I don’t know,” he whispered, sliding into her.

    “You have to stop living your life in reverse, Russell,” she breathed even as she closed around him, arms, legs, and deeper. He groaned and she turned her head away from his kiss.

    “I’m not,” he disagreed falsely, refusing to admit he sought a solace in Amy that he would never truly find.

    They moved together, bodies familiar, the motions ingrained in muscle and nerve. The pleasure they shared bright and blinding, for the seconds it stretched.

    Until it faded, showed itself the hollow, empty thing it’d always been. She rolled from under him, wrapped in the sheet, walked away.

    “Don’t come back, Russell, please.”

    He stared at her, knew the sound of her tears falling. Knew he would return, and break her heart over and over again, never able to be enough, never able to turn away and face his future.

    Stuck in reverse, hung up on a dream that never was.

    @AislingWeaver

  9. R.C. Murphy says:

    Jesus Christ did he reek. I’d smelled some horrible things in my life, but nothing compared to this. It made my brother’s shoes smell like roses.

    “You didn’t tell me it’d smell this bad.”

    “For shit’s sake, Ted. It’s a dead body.” My brother doubled over and lifted the corpses shoulders. “Get his feet, will ya?”

    He wanted me to get closer to it? Sal owed me big time for this. I didn’t like working in the funeral home. Not one god damned bit. It always smelled funny, even upstairs where I usually worked and I swear there were ghosts lurking in the corners, waiting to snatch my soul up.

    What would a ghost do with a soul? Fuck if I know. Play catch with his ghost pals, I guess.

    “Earth to Ted. Lift. The. Feet. Before this fatass breaks my back.” Sal trembled under the weight of his cargo.

    I bent down and grabbed the dead guy’s feet. They were freezing cold. It took every ounce of willpower I had not to look up at the rest of him. It. The body. Keeping distance from them was important, Sal said once.

    We hoisted the body up on the slab. Sal and I walked to the center of the table, only then did I allow myself to look at the rest of it.

    “Well, shit. How’re you going to fix that, bro? His head is reversed.” I’d never seen anything like it.

    Sal gave a grin and reached for the tray of tools. He grabbed a nasty-looking saw. “Cut and paste.”

    @RCMurphy

  10. BronwynK says:

    Devon pulled the horse in reverse and did a smooth roll back, before running down to the other end of the arena and doing it again. When she was done, the crowd gave her a standing ovation. Devon loved reining. She loved the competition, the oneness with her horse, and the spectators. It always gave her a rush when she would finish a pattern. As Devon guided her horse out of the arena, she saw her nearest competitor getting ready.

    That bitch was known to cheat and wasn’t a forgiving trainer. Stacy was hard on her horses, especially when they don’t perform well. Devon watched Stacy do her run and smiled to herself when Stacy’s horse refused to do the back up and roll back. That little refusal would disqualify Stacy. With that disqualification, Devon was the winner of that show, and her horse would be getting some extra love tonight for doing a great job.

  11. Sarah Olson says:

    My life flows in reverse.

    Yesterday I will buy the shoes I’m wearing today, even though the hard plastic lining the sole is rubbing a large blister onto my big toe. I am unable to change my behavior, only lament the uselessness of my knowledge.

    I climb the steps to my mother’s house and lightly rap on her screen door. The rusted metal door hangs slightly off center, as if it’s too much trouble to stand up straight. No answer. The door creaks open as I sneak inside and browse the rooms for her familiar face.

    I see her sprawled on her bed, face down. My heart skips. I lean over and touch her shoulder, but she doesn’t move. I slide down onto the bed next to her and curl up next to the crook of her arm. I knew this was coming, but it doesn’t comfort me. My poor mother died alone with no one to hear her cries or moans. I cry myself to sleep.

    I wake up in my bed. I pull the covers down and run down the stairs, the sound of frying eggs and bacon sizzles down the hall, the smell overpowering my empty stomach. I wrap my arms around my mother, alive again in my tomorrow and her yesterday, and breathe in her lilac scent.

    I can’t wait for another yesterday.

    @saraheolson

  12. Robin Michelle says:

    I dropped the phone & ran to the car, throwing it into reverse, barely waiting for the garage door to open far enough.
    I’d been dreading this day for months, knowing it would happen, but hoping & praying it wouldn’t.
    Approaching my parents house, my childhood home, I counted at least a dozen people gathered in the yard, clutching pictures of my father. He’d wandered off, gotten lost – Alzheimer’s. My mother in tears, begging me too find him, bring him home.
    Our lives had reversed – I now held the role of adult & caregiver while they became as children.

    @_Robin_Michelle

  13. Raziel Moore says:

    Wind it back in reverse.

    What the hell was that?

    We look at each other in a near state of shock.

    I slowly, reluctantly pull back.

    It takes minutes, eternal minutes to disentangle.

    My hands won’t let you go.

    Your legs stay locked around me.

    The shuddering, the spasming, the screaming completion just won’t stop; please, never let it stop!

    It’s perfection, completion – I no longer see your eyes, we see through, into each other.

    Bodies merge, pleasure cascading into something transcendent.

    Staring into your eyes as the rhythm takes care of itself.

    No hesitation, no trepidation now; just warmth, just heat.

    That first delicious trespass, welcome, ensnarement – it’s all the same.

    Contact of bodies, matching of gazes.

    We look at each other, and reach.

    Wind it back in reverse.

    @_Monocle_

    **This is a total experiment. I hope it comes even close to working!

  14. T.L Tyson says:

    The pitching and turning of the boat on the never-settling waves wake her. Opening her eyes, the sun causes her to flinch back. Under her fingertips she caresses the rough wood of the planks. For a long time, she simply remains lying where she is, her eyes growing accustomed to the brightness of the day, her mind coming to terms that she’s still alive. Summoning her strength, she pulls herself into a sitting position and scans the limitless ocean. There is no land in sight.

    In her gut, she knows no one will save her—everyone is dead.

    A loan caw on a crow circling overhead taunts her. If she wasn’t a seasoned sailor, she would have false hope that land was near, but she knows how far birds will travel from land for food. Especially crows. They’re scavengers, not unlike her.

    In an effort to snap herself out of her trance, she reaches over the side of the rickety boat and splashes the cold water o her face. It stings her cracked and bleeding lips. She’s parched. And the salty taste on her thick tongue makes her gag.

    The close hanging in tatters on her skinny frame are encrusted with dirt. A large wave comes up underneath her and she hangs on, trying to steady herself. Blinking to clear the blackness threatening to swallow her head, she hears a growling. Frightened, she cowers into the corner of the boat and looks around. Then she realizes, the sound is coming from her own belly. Her stomach wants to eat her other organs in order to survive.

    She tries to reverse time. To remember what happened. But nothing comes to her, just emptiness, like that in the pit of her body. A flash of metal on the bottom of the boat catches her eye and she inches forward. A doubloon…shiny and heavy in the palm of her hand.

    Treasure.

    And it comes back to her. She found the treasure and she escaped before the ship went down. A manic laugh comes gurgles from the back of her throat, erupting from her mouth in a crazy titter. She snatches up the coins, shoving them in her shirt. Slivers embed under her skin as she scrapes them across the planks, raking up her riches.

    “I’m rich!” she screams, her voice dying seconds after her words escape.

    “I’m rich,” she whispers, clinging to her treasure.

    Another growl comes from her stomach and she searches the boat, running her swollen tongue over her split lips. And the realization takes her by storm.

    She has no food.

    On twitter —–> @TL_Tyson

  15. Tony Noland says:

    Damn, forgot to list my Twitter name:

    @TonyNoland

  16. Paul Freeman says:

    “Don’t say it.”

    “Say wha’?”

    “You know wha’, dont’ say the word.”

    “Why not?”

    “Jesus Mary and Joseph you know why not.”

    “I do?”

    “Yes, you bloody well do.”

    “What’ll ye give us then?”

    “Give you? I’m not giving you anything. What are you nuts?”

    “Will you give us a go of yer mot?”

    “Don’t be ridiculous, of course I’m not going to give you a go of me mot. An’ anyway that’s a stupid thing to say, cos none of that lot out there know what yer on about.”

    “What do ye mean?”

    “I mean none of them have a bogs notion what a mot is.”

    “Everyone knows what a mot is.”

    “Ah, everyone from here knows what a mot is. It’s like a one’n one, or the five lamps or the ha’penny bridge. Everyone here knows what they are, but that lot are from all over the shop, they haven’t a clue what yer on about.”

    “You could always tell them.”

    “I suppose. Ok I’ll tell them what a mot is, the rest they’ll have to look up for themselves. A mot is your bird, your ball and chain, your better half. Alright.”

    “Do ye think they heard?”

    “Doubt it, if I were them I’d have buggered off after the first line. Ah Jaysus you’re going to say it”

    “I’m not.”

    “I know ye are, I can tell by the way yer sittin’ with yer arms folded and the scowl on yer face.”

    “I’m not”

    “Ye are”

    “I’m not”

    “Are.”

    “Not.”

    “Reverse!”

    “What the hell did you say it for. You just spent the last ten minutes tellin’ me not to.”

    “I thought you were going to say it.”

    “Well I wasn’t”

    “I thought you were.”

    “I was never goin’ to say it. Are ye mad?”

    “Really?

    “Yeah, really.”

    “That’s that fucked then.”

  17. Eric says:

    “Where do you think you’re going dressed like that, young man?” Danny’s mother blocked the front door.

    “Learn to me want you don’t? Mother, school to going I’m,” Danny said with surprising speed.

    “Your shirt is inside out. Your shoes are on the wrong feet. YOUR UNDERWEAR IS ON THE OUTSIDE OF YOUR PANTS!”

    “Day Reverse it’s!” Danny said. “‘Correctness’ of notions simple your from freed am I. Be should it as.”

    Danny’s mother’s eye twitched.

    @briefconceits

  18. Tauisha Smith (@shells2003) says:

    Across the street from me is where the man I once loved lives. It’s a beautiful two story cape cod complete with white picket fence, two kids, a dog…

    No wife.

    No. That was me.

    It’s his weekend to have the kids. I told him I had a nice weekend planned after he and the kids begged me to at least join them for the barbeque he had planned. The kids couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t stay around. But Alex could.

    Just last night when I dropped the kids off, he followed me outside. “Amy, c’mon. You’re breaking the kid’s hearts.”

    I swirled around and glared at him. “As if you didn’t break mine?”

    He sighed heavily. “Amy…Amy, I can’t say what I did was right. Alright? I know that cheating on you was the biggest mistake of my life.”

    He reached out and grabbed my hands. “C’mon, Amy. I did everything you asked. I’ve been thoroughly punished by you: divorced, joint custody where I only get two weekends a month, being without you…haven’t we’ve played this game enough?”

    I jerked away. “Game? That’s what you think this is?”

    He huffed, his face drawn into a look of pure pain and suffering.

    “Alex, this isn’t a game! This is me taking a stand! This is me not wanting to deal with your cheating ways anymore!”

    “It only happened once, ok?” Alex pleaded. “And I swear to you,” he forced me into his arms, “never again. Never again. I’ve learned my lesson. Please…please, come home.”

    I sighed, gazing deep into his eyes, my treacherous heart wanted so badly to…go back to the man that hurt me. Here I thought I was moving forward…but my heart wanted me to put us in reverse. My heart wanted me to…

    “No,” I pulled away from Alex. “Have a good weekend with the kids.”

    And now, here I sit. Across the street from his house. There he is, chasing the kids around after checking on the burgers. Their laughter floats over to me from where I’m spying.

    Who knew that I have been reduced to spying on the life I want so desperately to go back to? As much as my heart wants to…I just can’t do it.

  19. Sessha Batto says:

    “I don’t know about this.” His boyfriend’s reluctance only spurred Paul to go to greater lengths to convince him.

    “It’s only a block. No one will even know.”

    He reluctantly put the car into reverse and began backing down the suddenly narrow, twisting street, praying that no one would enter from the other end. “Where do you get these ideas, anyway,” Michael grumbled.

    “You’re the one who wanted to experience local culture,” Paul reminded him.

    “That doesn’t include the police station. I just know this is going to end badly.”

    “There, there. Hurry, turn!” Not really thinking about it he twisted the wheel and ended up smoothly backing down an even narrower street.

    “Why didn’t you go past and turn down head first?” Paul had to ask.

    “You said turn, so I turned. I don’t know where the hell I’m going,” Michael nearly shrieked. “This van is going to get stuck an then we’re really going to be in trouble.”

    “Oh yea of little faith.” Paul’s grin faded as he turned to see a herd of sheep flooding the small street behind them. “Stop.”

    Too late. The van plowed into the agitated animals before slewing sideways, wedging it firmly crosswise.

    The pair looked at each other, irritation forgotten in light of their survival. “See, I told you,” Paul insisted. He leaned over to kiss the scowling face, and their lips met just as the garbage truck rammed into them.

  20. And that’s us finished with our fiction flurry for the day. Have fun?

    I hope so. I’m sitting here rubbing my hands together in anticipation since I get to judge this week. I’ll probably be cursing myself for an idiot within the half-hour, but right now I’m pumped.

    I’ll have the finalists and the poll up by 3:00.

    Oh, and during this contest, I keep an eye on my spam folder for comments that might have been flagged accidentally. Well, you’ll be happy to know that you can get a variety of free gay sex videos and any number of penis enlargement options from several apparently generous people who took the time to post about it several times. If you need the info, let me know.

    😉

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