#5MinuteFiction Week 35

And we call it 5MinuteFiction because you write a nice little piece of fiction in five minutes. Crazy people that we are. Are you new? Get in there and start scrapping!

The Rules

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

* You must directly reference today’s prompt: lad

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

photo by Michael Foley Photography

* 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, Jaimie Lynne Teekell, @thejaimie, will nominate five finalists. I’ll put the nominees in the poll on the side of the page, and at 9:00 EST tomorrow 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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13 Responses to #5MinuteFiction Week 35

  1. Jaimie says:

    Good luck everyone!

  2. Bronwynk says:

    While Brianna watched Duncan practice his sword word, she realized that he was no longer a lad. He was a sexy powerful man. His black hair fell just below his bare broad shoulders and was pulled back by a leather string. His blue and green kilt hung long on his hips. The muscles in his shoulders and arms flexed and rippled with each movement of his sword.

    Until that moment, Brianna had managed to view Duncan as the friend of her little brother. As the lad that she grew up with. But now she sees the man and wonders how to catch him.

  3. “He’s just a wee lad,” Jim said.

    “Excuse me?” I spit cappuccino. “When did you start speaking Irish?”

    “English, Ben. They speak English in Ireland.”

    “Yeah, but when we speak English here in the States, we don’t say things like ‘wee lad.'”

    Jim shrugged. What was done or not done never mattered to him much.

    “So who’s a wee lad?” I said finally, giving up.

    “Phillip.”

    “Phillip your brother Phillip? Seven foot tall Phillip?”

    “He’s not seven foot. He’s six nine at the most.”

    “Oh, well that makes a difference,” I said, rolling my eyes. “Maybe you need to study up on your Irish, but in no language does ‘wee’ ever apply to a six foot nine man.”

    He shrugged.

    “Right,” I said, getting up and turning away with a sigh.

    Sometimes I think the point of every conversation with Jim is for him to drive me batty. And, you know what? I swear as I walked away he said under his breath, “I win.”

  4. David looked at the lad across the street. He’s seen him before, looking very much like some street waif from a Dickens novel. He was always eye catching, the large coat, pie hat and the fingerless gloves, standing on the bridge, looking over the Themes. David sighed. The lad always looked so sad, big eyes red as if they had been crying. This time, he was determined to find out who the boy was. He got off the bus and walked across the bridge to where he saw the lad, but when he got there, the boy was gone.

    “Excuse me,” he said to a young girl that was playing stones with her friends. “Excuse me, lass, did you happen to see a boy here? With a coat and a hat?”

    “Oh, yes,” she said, excited. “The one with the gloves what ain’t got no fingers on ‘em?”

    David nodded. The other children stopped playing and looked up, excitement shining in their eyes as well.

    “Do you know him?” he asked.

    “Oh, no,” she said, suddenly turning serious. “Well, not really. We just see him every day, and he does the same thing.”

    “And what’s that?” David asked.

    “Well, he jumps,” the girl said, as if it were obvious.

    “Jumps? Where?”

    “Why, into the river, o’ course.”

    “What?” David said shocked, running to the edge of the railing at the bridge. He didn’t see anything down there but water.

    “Oh yes,” she said as if she were talking about the weather. “He does it every day. Funny, ain’t many adults that see ‘em. Just us kids, normally.”

    “What are you saying?” David asked, the truth beginning to dawn on him.

    “Well, he’s a ghost, innit he?”

    @BlanchardAuthor

  5. My grandfather was my hero, my best friend. When I was young, he was the one who took me to movies, out for ice cream, or just to walk and talk. He was the one who taught me how to behave on a first date, what qualities to look for in a girlfriend, and how to be myself. When I wanted to major in the arts, instead of law or medicine (as my parents), he was the one who stood up for me.

    I loved him with all my heart.

    Unfortunately, the years passed. We got older and drifted apart, I moved away for a job, he had health problems.

    Then came the day my world ended.

    My mother called, trying not to cry. Alzheimer’s. Already advanced. They hadn’t wanted to worry me, but I needed to know, needed to see him now, before it was too late and all of ‘him’ was gone.

    A quick flight with a hastily packed bag and I was standing at the door to his room. He must have heard me, because he turned to look at me. I did see a moment of confusion in his eyes, then the light of recognition.

    “Oh, Jimmy, my lad, you’ve come!”

    A long hug, then time spent reminiscing and filling in the details of our years apart. It was as though we’d never been separated.

    I could see he was tiring and left him to nap, knowing when he woke up it might all be gone, and he’d never know me as his “lad” ever again.

    @_Robin_Michelle

  6. Raziel Moore says:

    I first saw the lad when we passed through Inistioge. He was maybe five years of age and watched rapt as I repaired his mother’s cast iron pot on my small forge. He haunted the caravan the entire two weeks we were in town, and cried in his mother’s arms as we trundled away.

    I saw him again when we passed through the next spring. Taller, messier, nosier. But I had eyes for his older sister, and thought little of him other than to shoo him away.

    The following year was a hard one, and every village was more gaunt, with less work. We spent more of our time cheering spirits with song in trade for rations than earning a keep, but that’s the way of things. Sean, for that was his name, asked to try my whistle, and did very badly, but could still keep rhythm.

    This year , as we rolled in to town, he was there to greet us, and bold as you please, he asked to become my apprentice. I was going to shoo him away until he confided in me he knew where his niece’s curls didn’t come from his brother in law. Imagine that. A farmer’s son apprenticed to a Gypsy tinker.

    His whistling still needs work, though.

    @_Monocle_

  7. R.C. Murphy says:

    He couldn’t have been more than ten years old.

    Ten years spent living in fear that one day his parents wouldn’t be able to shelter him from the civil war tearing the country in half. Ten years with his nose pressed into comic books, hoping the fantasy worlds within would suck him in, keep him safe.

    Ten short years on the earth. It wasn’t enough.

    The lad’s blood snaked around the cobblestones. Tiny rivers of red raced down the hillside. He never had a chance. The gunman had too much training, knew all too well what the cost to his person would be if he failed in his mission. “Make an example of the fence sittin’ cowards,” they said. And he did.

    A mother’s screams cut through the ringing pain left after the volley of gunfire. Her tears fell into the rivers of red and were carried off. She scooped up the boy. Held him close. Provided the shelter she should have only minutes before bullets tore his small body apart. He was naught but another victim of war that would be forgotten by its leaders but forever remembered by family.

    @RCMurphy

  8. Paul Freeman says:

    “Whore! Harlot! Look, see there, look at the fallen woman, see how she parades her shame in the face of God and honest folk.” The old preacher screamed his tirade from a plinth, set up in the open square so that he could preach to his God fearin’ flock of the frontier town.

    “Don’t listen to him Eibhleen, you know he only hates you because you spurned his advances and refused to marry him.”

    “I know, but his barbs find their mark all the same,” Eibleen said to her sister, tears glistening in her eyes.” The two girls hurried from the square with the preachers taunts ringing in their ears and the scornful eyes of the town folk on their backs.

    “Let he… or she who has forsaken God feel the heat of Hell’s fiery flames. Let her burn. See, see how she turns from the words of our saviour, see how she scurries when I brandish the good book.” He held aloft a tattered, leather covered bible. “I name thee Satan’s child, witch. She has cursed us and damned her own soul.” Spittle flew from his mouth as he worked himself into a frenzy, jabbing a finger at the girls retreating backs. “Our Father, who art in heaven hallowed be thy name…” He roared the words after them.

    “He’s gone too far this time, don’t listen to his lies Eibhleen. We’ll have to have father have a word with him. I’ll make sure he never….” Her words were cut short and Eibhleen felt her fall to the ground.

    “Catherine! Catherine what is it,” she cried.

    “Witch! I live in the farm next to her and all the milk turned sour over night,” a hard faced woman shouted.

    “She cursed my Timmy and the poor lad has been abed sick these past three weeks,” another accused.

    Eibleen was crying openly now, shaking her head at the madness of it all, she was no witch. She bent down to her sister who was lying in the dirt and turned her over, her face was covered in blood, a large rock lay by the side of her head.

    “Grab her! Hold her!” Rough hands manhandled her away from her stricken sister. “Burn her.” The cry was taken up by the entire mob.

    Eibleen sobbed as she was taken to the centre of the town and tied to a stake. She pleaded and screamed to no avail. “I’m not a witch, I’m not a witch.” Through the flames and choking smoke she could see the preacher, watching with his dark malevolent eyes, a barely concealed smirk twitched at the side of his mouth.

  9. “C’mon, lad, let’s get home.” The gentleman stood with a soft noise of smothered discomfort and his terrier lifted his tiny head from my lap. “I do hope yer girl shows, lass.” His lilt rolled the words and tugged at my heart, reminding me of my purpose.
    “Thank you, Tom.” He smile, ends of his mustaches lifting, and reached out to tap me under the chin.
    “I’m sure there’s ample reason she’s late.” With a low whistle he ambled away, owner and dog leaving me to my own company again.
    Where as she? My thoughts returned to my lover who had promised to meet me at the park. I looked at my cell, sighed as time stepped into a new hour. No messages, voice or text. No reason or exclamation for the delay of someone habitually early for everything.
    I rose, shook my coat out around me. Glanced at the flowers on the bench and plucked one of the tulips free. The thick, almost waxy petal curved under my prodding fingertip. “Forty-five minutes is long enough to wait, and answer enough to the question I’d wanted answered,” I murmured, ignoring the cooing of the pigeons around the bench.
    With a soft sigh I set the tulip back with the rest and walked away, head bowed. It was time to go home.

    @AislingWeaver

  10. Tony Noland says:

    Her heels clicked on the hard floor. The post-industrial, pre-apocalypse feel of the clinic was everywhere, a purposeful design decision whose purpose was lost on me. They’d eschewed marble floors for polished concrete, brushed titanium fittings for gray, ultra-high density polylacticacetate plastic with a matte finish, skipped LEDs for phosphor-coated squares of poplar.

    She stopped in front of a display window, so he stopped, too.

    “This one,” she said. “Are the eyes have extra functions, or are they just ocular?”

    “Enhanced ocular, with pheromone-augmented hypnotics.”

    “How old is he?”

    “He’s just a lad, ma’am. Eight years old.”

    She considered for a moment, then leaned in toward the glass. I could see that he was afraid of her, but he didn’t lean back. He let her come in close, matched her gaze with his own. After half a minute, she straightened.

    “How long until he reached sexual maturity?”

    The salesman consulted a chart on the clipboard. “There is some variability in this race model, but perhaps as little as two years, perhaps as long as five.”

    She turned to leave. As she walked past me, she said, “Pay him. I’ll be at the club.”

    @TonyNoland

  11. Tauisha Nicole @shells2003 says:

    “Hey.”

    I looked up and smiled at my grandpa, who sat next to me on the whicker sofa on the patio.

    I smiled. “Hey, granddaddy.”

    He placed his fingers to my cheeks, that were wet from my tears and sighed. “You know, eyes aren’t supposed to leak, love.”

    I looked down and wiped at my face as he titled my face back up. “How can we fix this?”

    “It’s Fred.”

    He lifted a bushy brow. “Fred?”

    Nodding, I continued, “He asked me to marry him. And-and I’m not…I’m not so sure…”

    Grandpa nodded as though I told him everything he needed to know. He pulled me closer to his chest, allowing my head to rest against his beating heart. “You don’t know if he’s the one?”

    I shook my head and released a shuddering sigh as my tears began to spill down my cheeks again.

    We sat in companiable silence for a while as my tears soaked his shirt. When my nerves calmed down, Grandpa placed a gentle kiss on my forehead and said, “You know, when I was a lad and I met your grandmother, she was the most beautiful woman in the world. Still is, you know? And when a man meets such a woman, he does everything in his power to make her happy. It’s so hard to do, especially when one false step could make you lose her forever. And, when I asked her to marry me, she wasn’t so sure at first. She had to think over all we’d ever been through.”

    I nodded and looked at Grandpa again. “What made her say yes?”

    “Well, she remembered how whenever she needed me. Your grandma is a smart woman. She knew that no other man knew her favorite and least favorite color. No other man could make the foods she liked. Most importantly, no other man would care to keep her happy for the rest of her life. I became her happiness,” he smiled warmly, “and she stayed mine.”

    I smiled, thinking of the ways Fred and I were always happy together. He was forever there for me, and he never showed signs of wanting to leave.

    “Granddaddy, I don’t think I could live without him.”

    Kissing my forehead again, he stood and said, “Then, you know what to do.”

    Together, we walked back into the house.

  12. Time’s up! Look, a new face! Welcome Bronwynk!

    Finalists should be posted by 3:00 or thereabouts. See you then!

  13. Jaimie says:

    Great entries, guys! This was a blast to judge.

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