#5MinuteFiction #NaNoWriMo Edition, Week One

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.

NEW for NOVEMBER: In honor of National Novel Writing Month, since most of us have lost our minds– I mean, are writers attempting NaNoWriMo–we’re going to add a NaNoWriMo twist to #5MinuteFiction. If you’re lucky, you might get to include your entries among the 50,000 word goal for your NaNovel.

The prompts for the month of November will focus on the main character of your WIP, and will be more specific than our normal one-word prompts. It ought to be interesting to see how some of these adapt to the more fantastical worlds some of us run with.

Now, if you’re one of those who has a brain and uses it, otherwise known as isn’t crazy enough to do NaNoWriMo, feel free to participate.

The Rules

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

* You must directly reference today’s prompt: your novel’s Main Character votes on Election Day

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

photo by: rachel_titiriga

* Post your entry as a comment to this post.

I’ll close the contest at 1:45. That gives you five 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, Aisling Weaver, @AislingWeaver, 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.

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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19 Responses to #5MinuteFiction #NaNoWriMo Edition, Week One

  1. Richard Wood says:

    She looked down at the sleeping man and sighed.

    Penelope Price had a mission, and sometimes her end game involved semen oozing down her thigh. So be it.

    Her current mark was a scientist. By his flailing about, it’d been obvious to Penelope that the man’s sexual experiences didn’t extend past Wonder Woman comic books and hand lotion. He’d developed the schematics and plans for what would have been a complete revolution to the world around her.

    Time travel.

    He’d proven the concept at the micron level. His current plans involved expanding his experiment to a bigger—a much bigger–scale.

    A scale large enough for Penelope’s plans. All he needed was the right woman in office to get funding.

    Unfortunately, this brilliant minded, small-penised man would never get the chance to cast his vote.

    Penelope double-tapped him in the head while he slept.

    As she walked away from the burning building, time machine plans safely tucked away in a hidden pocket, she was already mapping out the next steps of her plan to restore the family name.

    And that included a quick stop at the polls to vote. For the man that would never fund such nonsense as time travel.

    She’s already forgotten the scientist whose dead flesh was currently melting off bone in the heat of the set blaze.

  2. Kalen Cap says:

    Jerry waited in line at the polls. Mrs. Washington had driven three residents of the group home to the building where they voted.

    He had his I.D. in one hand and a crumpled list in the other.

    Jerry felt nervous. The only other time he’d voted was during a presidential election and his aunt Vera had told him who to vote for in that election. This time, he was making his own decisions. Even though he was slow, he’d been learning a lot from the group home’s tutor. Though 26, he still read at a seventh grade level and that was an improvement.

    Instead of voting for those who his Aunt Vera suggested, Jerry voted for the opposing candidates. He was slow, not stupid.

  3. Tony Noland says:

    “Yes, I see, but do you mean that as a noun or as a verb?”

    The Plutonium Politician stared uncomprehendingly back at the Grammarian. “What? As a verb, of course, as in ‘VOTE FOR ME’. As if you had any choice!” His thick laughter resounded through the elementary school auditorium, stunning the fourteen people lined up at the check-in table. “My mind control ray will force you all to vote for me, whether you wanted to or not!” He pointed his gamma ray enhanced finger at each person in turn.

    “And yet, you could simply be pointing at ‘the’ vote, as in ‘the ongoing process of casting individual ballots’. That’s also a perfectly grammatical interpretation of that exhortation, is it not?”

    “Uh, perhaps, but that’s not what I -”

    “You could also just as easily be representing an existential commentary on the unfettered expression of democracy itself. Isn’t that also true?”

    “Well, I guess, but I -”

    “In fact, given all of these possibilities, and the many, many more which I don’t have time to list, you don’t really understand what ‘vote’ means, do you?’


    … and on Wednesday morning, the citizens held a parade for the Grammarian in honor of his having upheld democracy through the power of reasonable discourse.

  4. Forbidden

    The house was silent and I absorbed the sense of it for a moment. How long had it been since he’d left? How long before he returned?

    I hated the feeling; that storm looming on the horizon, terrifying and threatening, promising damage.

    I never escaped unscathed.

    I looked down at the pup sleeping across my feet. In fact, I never escaped.

    Except. . .

    I reeled my mind back in from the precipice. I couldn’t afford to let those tendrils of hope find purchase. Doing so only made the return to reality that much harder to handle. That much more damaging. Because it isn’t the fall that hurts, it’s the impact.

    My eyes strayed to the window, stared down the length of the empty driveway. Frank would be back from the polls, soon, having done his civic duty and voted.

    I wasn’t smart enough to vote. Or so he said. My fingers reached down to sink into Nikisha’s fur and her soft pink tongue licked my arm.


  5. R.C. Murphy says:

    “Shit.” Alex peered over the stack of political fliers cluttering her desk at the man sitting across the room. “I forgot it’s election day.”

    Titivillus tilted his head, black eyes narrowed as he tried to understand what she’d said. “I give. What the hell is Election Day? Does it involve cake?”

    Stifling a laugh, Alex grabbed her sample ballot and waved it at the demon. “Our country relies on the citizens to vote in order to make big decisions.”

    From the couch came a barking laugh that quickly turned into hysterical laughter. Alex raised an eyebrow. In the weeks that he’d been camped out in her house waiting to screw up her manuscript, Titivillus had never laughed like that before. The idea of democracy must be amusing somehow.

    When he finally calmed down, she spoke again. “Are you done? I need to run down to the church and vote.”

    “You know what happens if the citizens of Hell try to tell Luci what to do?” Titivillus asked as he hoisted his large human shell off the couch.

    Alex’s stomach flipped. Titivillus skinned a demon that owed him money. He said Lucifer was a hundred times worse. “No, I don’t need to know.”

    “Yeah, you’d probably toss your cookies. It’s not pretty.”

    “I’d like to keep breakfast down, yes.” She grabbed her coat. “Come on. And try not to climb any walls this time, please.”


  6. Ruth says:

    How far back does his infidelity go? Goodness knows, I don’t.
    Of course if I actually looked the history of my marriage square in the face I might know.
    But I don’t I let my gaze slide off the face of it, merely glance rather than stare at the stark truth of it.

    Perhaps as far back as 1979, that memorable election day when Mrs Thatcher came to power. God we were hopeful then. Or at least he was hopeful then, I just closed my eyes and my mind and swallowed his hope whole.
    Took all he said to be my truth.
    Wore pussy cat bow blouses with slight puff sleeves, a line powder blue skirt suits. Sensible clothes for his sensible wife.

    His business flourished in those years. Now I can see the damage that time did, not just her policies but ours too.

    Our policy of brushing things under the carpet, presenting the family front that was expected.
    Husband, father, breadwinner.
    Wife, mother, homemaker.

    In those years fminism hadn’t reached the home counties.



  7. Aries walked to the high school. It felt so weird to be coming back here, after having been gone for months on Earth. And now, he was to be voting for the rulers of a nation back on that green and blue globe that claimed dominion over his world. He looked up at the sky, a pale blue with very little clouds. He looked out the dome at the red sands that made up most of his home planet. Mars. How different Earth was from his home, how alien. The sky there was dark, and seemed… thick to him.

    Maybe Bo was right. After having been there, he was really beginning to wonder what, exactly, those men back on Earth really knew about this place. Mars was different than Earth, and not just in the geography. It was different in politically, a true combination of cultures that even the United States didn’t have. And yet, America was one of two governments that claimed his colony as theirs, and so he went into the high school gym to cast his vote for the new rules of that far away land. He sighed and walked in.


  8. “I take it you haven’t come to put in your vote of confidence in my rule?” he said. The King’s normally jovial voice was quiet and sad.

    He wasn’t in bed as Sara had expected. When she entered the room he was sitting by the fire in his nightclothes, staring into the flames. The light caught the edge of the blade in her hand and cast odd glimmers and shadows on the wall above the King’s head.

    “It’s nothing personal,” Sara said, her voice oddly thick. How many men had she killed before this? It was so easy now, almost commonplace. But her hand was oddly hesitant. The old man watched her with tired eyes and a look of silent resignation.

    “Will you tell me why?” he asked.

    “Because I have to. It’s not my choice, and not your fault. I am sorry.”

    “That’s strangely comforting, child,” he said. “I always did think so well of you. Such a pretty young thing. I see my daughter when I look at you, and it’s nice. She was much like you at your age.”

    “She was my mother,” Sara said, startled at the confession tumbling from her lips.

    The King’s eyes went wide, the color drained from his face. The sudden look of longing, desperate hope and love for the daughter long buried.

    Sara gripped the knife so tightly it trembled, her knuckles white and aching. She drove it deep into the old man’s chest, shaking with the sudden sobs that took her.

    For several minutes after the old man’s breaths whispered away, Sara knelt on the floor in front of him, her head in his lap, crying silently.

  9. Sarah Olson says:

    Ava checked her watch again. Damn. There was still a long line of people in front of her and the line was moving slower than a dead turtle. There was no way she would make it to her plane on time.

    She should leave. She should jump in that cab and tell the driver to pretend his cab was Speedy Gonzalez and scream “Endalay” (or however that was spelled, since she didn’t actually know any Spanish but she was sure she could scream it correctly.)

    She knew she wouldn’t leave early. It was her eighteenth birthday. The first time she had the ability to vote. She was a functional member of society and she had a voice. She’d never had one before. She couldn’t waste the opportunity.

    Yet, she had to get on that plane. Her whole life depended on it. Her future depended on it.

    She did what she had to do. She walked to the front door of the senior highrise and wormed her way around to the front of the line. She didn’t apologize to anyone as she cut in front of them.

    “Name?” The woman at the table didn’t even look up at her.

    “Ava Murphy.”

    “I don’t see an Ava here. There is an Ab..Ai..um…”

    “Yeah, it’s Aibhlinn,” she said as she spelled her first name for the woman. As usual, the citizens of NYC had no idea how to pronounce her name. She wouldn’t either if her mother hadn’t taught her how to say it before she had died.

    The woman checked her ID and gave her the form. she butted in front of a few more people to grab the last open booth. To her surprise, no one protested or complained.

    Ava didn’t even check the names as she filled in the circles with her pen. She didn’t have time to actually choose anyone specifically, and she had never looked up the candidates before she arrived. She hadn’t had time for that.

    Ava handed her form to the woman next to the large machine who fed it in like a fax. As she walked away, an enormous grin spread over her face as she congratulated herself on her first vote.

    She had a voice and it was heard. And someday she was certain she’d have an opinion as well.


  10. “Explain it one more time.”

    He shrank back slightly from the dour samurai. “It’s called voting. We each list our choice for who will run the government. The person with the most votes gets the job.”

    “Even if they aren’t qualified?” Kenshin probed.

    “Well, hopefully no one would vote for someone unqualified. But, there isn’t any sort of test. Anyone can run for any office.”

    “So, your country runs efficiently?” Kenshin was willing to be flexible. He had an opportunity for insight into another way of doing things. Only a fool would pass up the chance to study it. “What is the punishment for poor performance in office?”

    “No punishment. It isn’t about efficiency, it’s about choice.”

    “As you say. I will observe.” With that dismissal Kenshin finally breathed a sigh of relief, knowing full well that his people would easily dominate any conflict between the two cultures. After all, this ‘voting’ could only end in chaos, and against chaos he would prevail.

  11. Allison Mosier @Slytherin_Pixie says:

    “I still don’t know why you dragged me here, Lina,” Theresa Donatta grumbled at her cousin and best friend.
    “We may live outside of the law, outside of society’s conventions for us, but we still need to help make sure things go the way we want it to, same as anyone else.” The dark haired woman shrugged, picking some lint off the dark sleeve of her blazer. It was almost comical, the only female mob boss in the city, if not the country, and her consigliere, lined up to vote with everyone else.
    “Did you lose the funding to bribe the tabulators again?” the blonde whispered. Nicolina flushed crimson and suddenly became very intent on studying her shoes. “Honestly, you’d lose your head if it weren’t screwed on.”
    “The money was needed for the police, you know that. I had to chose. At least this way we can be considered good citizens for once.” She shrugged and stepped up to the ballot box and beginning to do things the honest way for once.

  12. Ruth E Day says:

    The council was gathering. The mourning period for King George Thornton was finally over and it was time to vote on who would be the next King of the Emerald Isles. Arthur sat among the other council members, shifting nervously from side to side. Should he be loyal to Ironden and vote for the previous king’s son? Or should he go with his heart?

    If Arthur went with his heart, there was no doubt his choice would win. The council members always voted for their own Duke. That was why elections usually lasted days – sometimes weeks. The councilors would engage in constant debate until, finally, one of them agreed to vote against their province. Arthur could end the election today. It would be the shortest election in living memory.

    But did Arthur want to go down in history like that – as a traitor to his people? He thought of Charlotte. The many conversations he had had with her. She was wise, there was no doubt, but so young. Could she handle being the first queen of the Emerald Isles to rule in her own right?

    The election overseer started called the first name.

    Then the second name.

    Then the third.

    Arthur took in a deep breath and raised his hand.

  13. Signs littered the entrance to the Council Hall. Half were red with blue letters saying “Vote for David the Gnome.” The other half were blue with red letters saying “Vote for Gary the Dwarf.”

    “Which one is which again?” Aleia asked.

    Franklin the overweight (large-boned he would say) unicorn huffed, “Honestly, you humans. One is a dwarf and one a gnome!”

    “They’re both short men with white beards,” Aleia said, “and they both speak in that annoying falsetto voice.”

    “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Franklin said, “Gary has a reddish blush to his face, while David’s cheeks are scarlet. Also, they have completely different stances when it comes to public policy.”

    “Such as?”

    “David supports the public financing of the singing tulips, while Gary supports a public fund be created to support the singing tulips.”

    “Isn’t that the same?”

    “Are you even listening to me, Beulah?” Franklin snorted.

    “Aleia,” Aleia corrected.

    “Whatever,” Franklin said, “All human names sound the same to me.”


  14. @robhollywood

    It was widely understood that Ebbie Lee McCaskin, of the Boon City McCaskins, was one of the most misinformed of not all the McCaskin kin, not only in the Blue Ridges, but in the whole of Appalachia (include and not limited to the Crisp family, those survivalists who, living out on route 81 near Morgantown, seeming at first to believe in nothing but guns and ammo and, of course, cheap whiskey, did hold certain truths to be self-evident—they believed in something). But Ebbie Lee, nearin’ his mid-twenties, had never so much thought about the government, let alone wanting to vote for them, so when the election day came to and everyone was wearing pins and stickers announcing that they did, in fact, just vote, he was as confused as ever. His Meemaw, MaryHelen McCaskin (née Priest), on his Daddy’s side, was a ferocious woman who didn’t believe in anything either, and, on top of overseeing the production of the finest crank this side of the Piedmont, thought the government was good for nothing—so it makes sense then, since MaryHelen had raised the boy since about ten, that he too would see not real need to get out and vote for men that, as he put it, “Live far away and don’t pay much attention to folk like us in Boon City.”

    But, as he walked down Main Street itching for a beer, but realizing the bars wouldn’t open for another few hours, Ebbie Lee couldn’t help notice the line forming over by the high school. So, as curious as he was (some say to make up for the acute lack of common sense that seemed to skip right over him), he wandered over and wound up stuck between two men he had only briefly seen in town once: Clay, who owned a gun range not far out of town, and Dustin, a trucker who had, at one time, been engaged to Anjalee, Ebbie Lee’s second cousin twice removed. It wasn’t long before the line had taken him into the school, through the main halls and past the front offices where he once spent a great deal of his youth, right on by the trophy case and by the thee-ater, to the gymnasium, which was smaller now, he thought, smaller than he remembered it being, anyway, and just by chance he found himself giving up his driver’s license to prove in fact he was who he said he was, and swept up into one of them booths looking almost exactly like a port-a-john, with a ballot in front of him filled with names of people he had never heard before.

    For a moment a fear rose in him, a fear that he truly was not part of this community, more of an outsider than he already figured he was, but then, as he punched the first choice on the docket, a senator who’s name sounded like a great expensive car, a proud swelling rose in his belly, a pride he had only felt in him twice before, and he found himself smiling and humming a tune as he punched the rest of the ballot, finally emerging like he had been victorious in some great scuffle.

    And, he figured, perhaps he had been.

  15. Heather Grayson (heathergwrites) says:

    Jessie couldn’t believe her luck. She so didn’t want to vote for the student body president. She didn’t want anything to do with election day.

    Jessie had her reasons.

    And hey, if your best friend took your place in the runnings for student body prez based on some very stupid (and very false) allegations, would you want anything to do with it?


    Well, most people would just vote against her. But, the other option was her ex boyfriend. So…yeeeeaaaah.

    So not voting this year.

    “Jessie! There you are!” Carlos, one of her friends grabbed her arm. “Hurry up! We gotta hit the polls before it gets crazy crowded.”

    She frowned, her deep green eyes glaring at him. “Carlos, didn’t we talk about this already? I thought I told you-”

    “Yeah, you’re not voting. Copy that,” Carlos dragged her around the corner. “Thing is, I don’t believe you. Not for a second. Mallory is your friend. Even though she screwed you over, stole your boyfriend Craig, who just so happens to be running against her, stole your whole campaign-”

    “If this is your bright idea of a pep talk, it seriously needs some work.”

    Carlos chuckled as he settled in line behind a few nerds. “No matter. The point is, you have to be the bigger person, Jess. Don’t let Mall and Craig rain all over your parade. Besides, if you don’t vote, you won’t get to see the surprise!”

    This got Jessie’s attention. “Surprise? What surprise?”

    Carlos smiled that sly grin of his that smelled of victory. “Won’t be a surprise if I spill the beans. C’mon.”

    The cafeteria was conveniently turned into a voter’s haven complete with ten private booths and a few T.V’s showing footage of the live voting for the actual president of the U.S.A. Cool how they try mock elections to make you feel as though your vote does count somewhere.

    Well, if there isn’t a “I don’t want either of these fools” box to check on the ballot, Jessie so didn’t care. She could be sitting in study hall right now…but noooo.

    Carlos tugged on her arm. “Look!”

    Walking in the opposite side of the cafeteria were Mallory and Craig. They both looked so diplomatic. The school paper geeks were snapping photos the two walking towards the booths to put in their votes. Craig smiled, tossing up a thumbs up on his way into his booth.

    Mallory flashed a quick grin, turned and walked into her booth…

    And screamed.

    Carlos laughed.

    “What did you do?” Jess couldn’t help but laugh.

    “Go into the booth and find out.”

  16. Ugh, mine’s rough and messy. Sigh face. Ha.

  17. Oh, wasn’t that cool? Did it work for you? Think you’ll get something out of that for your novel?

    Mine probably won’t go in, but it’s something that will probably happen behind the scenes. Then again, I rather like it, rough as it is. We’ll see…

    OK, lovely that you all stopped by today. Come back next Tuesday for more NaNo-esque 5MinuteFiction. But first come back at 3:00 for the five finalists for the week and to vote for the winner.

    See you then!

  18. Oh, man… my entry has an editing error… I typed in “Maybe blank was right,” expecting to change “blank” with a character name, “Bo,” and never did.

    That’s what I get for being in a hurry.

  19. Fixed it for you, Chris.

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