#5MinuteFiction Week 50

What is 5MinuteFiction, you say? It’s an adrenaline-fueled, instant-gratification sort of writing contest. Sound fun? Great! Get in there and get dirty!

The Rules

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

* You must directly reference today’s prompt: garden

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

 

* 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, Charlie Cole, @CharlieCole, will nominate five finalists. I’ll put the nominees in the poll on the side of the page, and at 9:00 EDT tomorrow I’ll close the poll and declare the winner.

For updates, you can subscribe to my RSS Feed, “like” my Facebook Page, 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 50

  1. I looked out the window, the garden shrouded in darkness but a bed of stars on proud display above it.

    “What do you see?” he whispered in my ear, a warm, solid piece of the darkness around me.

    “Night.”

    “And?”

    “Nothing.”

    “Nothing else?”

    “No.”

    “No stars, no moon?”

    “No.”

    “Why?”

    I turned to face him, just as the tangible boom shook the house, the sound of tinkling glass playing softly in the startling wake, falling into the sudden, complete darkness.

    I knew, though I couldn’t see him, that his mouth would have fallen open, his eyes wide and frightened. I knew what he saw behind me. Or, what he didn’t see, really.

    “That’s why.”
    Leah Petersen recently posted..No- Mom- I’m Not Looking at Internet Porn- or The Perils of Social MediaMy Profile

  2. Aden says:

    The smell of rot was overwhelming, and Arthur felt his breakfast trying to make a fast escape. He pulled a hankerchief from his pocket and held it over his mouth and nose. He was only three steps inside the side gate to the house, and right at the back of what at one time had been a beautiful garden. Now it was overgrown, the fruits rotted, the branches blackened. What no one told him was, it wasn’t like that yesterday.

    His steps were slow as he moved up the cobblestone path to the back of the house, and he could see where the rot had moved along the grass, but stopped just below the blue painted wooden steps. Small tendrils of blackness had tried to move up the wood but didn’t make it too far. Arthur realized with a sinking feeling just what was going on, and prepared himself as he moved up the steps. He was about to face a level of magic he had never handled before. His heart raced as he ran up the steps, hoping it wasn’t too late, that his mother was still alive.
    @adenpenn
    Aden recently posted..Dick and JaneMy Profile

  3. Angie says:

    The delicate flowers nibbled at her toes. Snapdragons, with candy-colored petals, and johny jump-ups, those frisky little violet nippers. When the lillies caught up to her, she was done for. They were voracious feeders, always wanting more fertilizer. Of all the times for her to trip and fall, doing so at the edge of the enchanted garden was the worst yet. If she ever got out of this, she was going to have words with Prince Charming about hiring the local witch to do the landscaping. Sure, he felt bad after slaying her dragon, but it was an honest mistake. How was he to know green dragons were herbivores? Another nip – they had made it to her knees. Well, at least the dead-nettle had numbed her entirely, and she would have the finest garden in the realms…
    @techtigger on twitter :)
    Angie recently posted..Tales from the House of Winds – Darendale- Fire’s QueenMy Profile

  4. The Man and the Woman each had a garden. The Woman grew many fruits and vegetables; herbs and tubers. The Man grew only flowers. Some wild, some Heirloom, all magnificent in their beauty.

    “Your garden is so plain,” Said the Man. “Everything is green, lush even, but where is the color? Where is the beauty?”

    “My garden is my sustenance,” the Woman replied. “It feeds me. It feeds the ones I love. Tell me, Man, how do you feed the ones you love?”

    “My garden is so beautiful, people bring me food to look upon it. You are lucky that you live next door that you can gaze upon its splendor without need of paying.”

    “But, Good Man, what about when your garden fades? When the flowers wilt, and their beauty is overrun? How will you eat?”

    And the Man said nothing.
    @D_PaulAngel
    D. Paul Angel recently posted..FridayFlash- An Eighth of CopperMy Profile

  5. B.C. Young says:

    On the warm sunny day, he walked down the path to the garden, hoping she would be there. They had agreed that no matter what happened, no matter what they experienced, they would reunite. The one place they said they would go was their favorite—a symbol of their love.
    They had been torn apart quickly—men ransacked their home, taking her into one vehicle and he was taken to another. They each went their forced separate ways, hoping they would see each other again.
    But the war was over, he had survived. He was bruised, battered, and broken, but his spirits were high as he anticipated seeing her beautiful face, feeling her soft skin, and kissing her moist lips.
    The sun grew hot in the midday. The sun began to cool come evening. And by the middle of the night, he knew. The coldness of the moon was all he had left to comfort him.
    B.C. Young recently posted..Explanation Vs InterpretationMy Profile

  6. DL Thurston says:

    They were his children, and to him they were beautiful. Bright flowers, spreading leaves, exotic plants he’d collected from every corner of the globe. He planted them, nurtured them, and cultivated them. They in turn supplied him.

    “I don’t need much today,” he whispered, delicately plucking a soft red petal from a flower, cooing at the remaining bloom like it was an inoculated child. “That didn’t hurt too much, did it? You’ve got to stay brave for me, I’m going to need more help.”

    So he went around the garden, collecting what he needed, sniffing flowers and watering the soil as he went. In the end, he had what he needed. Petals. Leaves. Clippings. A little sap to bind it all together. The perfect amounts, processed and turned into a syrup, quite sweet to the taste.

    Quite deadly to the body.

    “Daddy’s got to go out and do some work now,” he said. “But I’ll be back.”

    He left his children, and was off to his task. He took pride that he could still conduct his lethal work and give a little something back to the planet. His own little way of controlling his carbon footprint.
    @DL_Thurston
    DL Thurston recently posted..Capsule Tech- PaperPhone and SnapletMy Profile

  7. S.P. Bowers says:

    I looked around at the dots of white in the dimness. This was my favorite garden. I had spent months planning it. Years really. Months just searching out the variety of flowers. Each of them interesting, beautiful and white. Only white. It was my nighttime garden. The pale flowers were all you could see in the dark, beautiful pale orbs or cascading petals.

    I shivered and held my arms to myself; they still felt the cold, loneliness of his absence. A moment ago his arms had been around me. Now he was gone and I would never see him again. My heart cried for him. I felt each beat and pulse as a pain in my chest. Soon it would be over. I watched the blood, a darker shadow, pool under the flower. A few flecks darkened the nearest rose. I would finally be part of my garden.
    S.P. Bowers recently posted..The Plotless NovelMy Profile

  8. Lost

    “Who’s brilliant idea was this.” It was a question but an invective. Trish shoved at her hair, refusing to grant the twisting, nervous cold in her gut had even a hint of fear to it. She would not admit she was lost.
    No way.
    No how.
    She plodded along the manicured path, her eyes fixed on the flagstones, blocking out the towering hedges.
    “I. Am. Not. Lost.” This was a growl, angry and frustrated. She had only herself to blame, and now her relaxing weekend showed every sign of following the same helpless, direction-less path her marriage had for the last three years.
    Somewhere seven hours north her husband tossed a hook into a river, watched the line for clues.
    It wouldn’t matter if he didn’t catch a thing. Wouldn’t matter if he spent the whole week staring at the water with no fruits to his attention.
    “How fucking apt.” Trish ignored the empty reach of paths to either side of her. The metaphor had sunk its claws into her thoughts.
    She was in a marriage with no direction. Jerry would never help her find a way to better things. He was content.
    Trish wasn’t.
    The grass filled the air with the crisp, clean scent of green. The hedges smelled of sun and climbing sweet pea vines.
    When the living walls fell away she paid them no mind, ignored the people seated around the patio waiting for friends and family to emerge from the labyrinth.
    She couldn’t do it anymore.

    It was time to go.
    @AislingWeaver
    Aisling Weaver recently posted..Hello my dears…My Profile

  9. Pat Jones says:

    It was early autumn, before the first frost, that I got the letter from Dr. Hottinger. I had been expecting some contact from her for weeks, but without reward. I had just come home from the conservatory where I work, tending the gardens of flowers and budding bushes, and picked up the mail when her letter, more of a package than a plain envelope stuffed with pages, dropped to the ground. I bent down to retrieve it and upon doing so, noticed a second package, further back in the mailbox that gave me pause. Soaked through the brown paper wrapping, even through the bailing twine used to tie it, a reddish liquid had permeated it and puddled in my box. I dismissed it for the moment, as Dr. Hottinger was fond of sending odd, even disturbing gifts. Tearing open her envelope, I skimmed through the usual greetings and how-are-yous to the meat of it. Two thirds of the way down the page, I found the bounty of this letter’s harvest: An invitation, in word alone, to come to South America and join her on the expedition. Along with this letter, she said, she had enclosed a sample of the unusual plant they’d discovered deep in the remotest jungles of western Brazil.
    @cedarlock

  10. “It’s not Tuesday.” Gary said sitting in the garden cafe sipping his latte.
    “Yes, it’s right here on my calendar, Tuesday, July 15th.” Liz was poking at her blackberry with a stylus.
    “It can’t be Tuesday, I have a hair appointment.” The waiter brought Liz her salad wrap and Gary a hamburger. It seemed out of place with the smells of tulips and greens flooding the patio.
    “For a fag you sure eat like crap.” Liz said watching Gary dip a greasy french fry into a pool of ketchup.
    He gently wiped his face with a serviette and finished his mouthful, “Well if you’d go to the gym once in a while you could eat what you want and not worry about your hips.”
    She kept chewing and raised her middle finger to him.
    “I just can’t do Tuesday, you know I have such a crush on Steffan.”
    “Screw Steffan,” she paused to lick a piece of lettuce from her teeth just long enough for him to cut in.
    “That’s the idea.” He smirked, she gave him her patented finger wave again.
    “Come on, you can get your haircut any day, I only have one best friend to show my wedding dress to.” He shrugged. Why not? He may as well see the wedding dress. He had to enjoy her friendship as long as he could, wasn’t going to be much friendship left after he reveals his affair with the future groom.
    @DRyanLeask

  11. Nicole says:

    Sleek and fast, the tires of my bike kicked up mud, sending up a spray of dirt over the fence that penned me in. I squealed in delight as a cascade of dogwood blossoms rained down over me, blown in by the frantic wind whipping my hair across my face.

    I clawed the strands stuck in my lip gloss and irritating my eyes, eager not to miss a minute of white shower. My nose picked up the lush notes of magnolia and the stringent odor of fresh chives. I sucked in gulp of air, eager to taste the flavors of everything growing rampant around me, seeds giving birth to seedlings, tiny plants giving way to showy tulips. Buds bursting into delicate lilacs, here and gone in just the matter of a week.

    “Delia!” my mother shouted, waving her arms.

    “Mom, watch!” I commanded. I popped back on the bike, riding a one-wheeled, loopy line through the overwhelming smells and sights whirling around me like a kaleidescope. I laughed again, my voice high above the rough gurgle of the engine vibrating under me.

    The front tire returned to the mud with a jolt, and I bounced twice before skidding into a curve to take another go down the path I’d created.

    “Delia Janet Jones!” my mother screamed again, her mouth working with more words I couldn’t quite make out.

    I powered down the bike and hitched the kickstand, tossing myself off the seat, the smile nearly splitting my face in two.

    “Mom, did you see? Wasn’t it great!” I tripped the grass, twirling the helmet after removing it.

    Her fists clenched at her sides, and through gritted teeth, she hissed, “Would you kindly stop decimating my garden?”
    Nicole recently posted..Now With Extra Motivation- ROW8010My Profile

  12. redshirt6 says:

    Slowly, rhythmically, she breathed. Her mind, she allowed to flow without directed thought. Her body swayed forward, then back, then to the side. Her shoulders turned and her arms seemed to float of their own accord. All in response to what she sensed.
    Snap.
    What was that?! she thought. Her eyes opened, her body tensed alert, her head jerked around towards the corner of the garden from which the sound seemed to come. Nothing.

    “Dammit,” she said quietly to herself. If something that simple was going to break her concentration then she was hopeless, she thought. But still, she thought. Something tickled at here awareness. Something suggesting… “You’re just imagining things now,” she muttered.

    Looking down she could see the patterns she had raked into the sand. Circles and swirls and straight lines. Sometimes she tried to think back to when she actually made the different shapes and she was amazed to discover that she couldn’t quite remember at what point in her exercise she made any specific pattern. That always made her smile.

    Rachel took a deep breath and tried to relax, allowing her thoughts to drift, to wander in any… the smell of leather. Polished leather was in her mind. She could sense heat from the morning sun as it rose off the saddle…

    “Good morning Master Ton,” she said.

    “Ha,” the old man said. “Had I been an assassin, I would not have announced myself so obviously.” Master Ton took a few steps towards the center of the garden. “You must learn to attend to yourself without losing balance,” he scolded.

    “Yes Master,” she replied.

    Master Ton looked toward the garden corner where Rachel thought she had heard a sound earlier and snapped his fingers.
    ——————————–

    “Damn,” he said. “It seems we lost our signal. Again.” He looked around the van at the others. “Sometimes I think there is something really strange going on behind those walls.”
    @redshirt6

  13. Ang stalked the creature that had invaded her territory, sniffing his scent as she slithered through the garden. Her nest was on the other side of the garden, she had hunted the creature farther than she would have liked, but she was sure her eggs were safe.

    Silently the snake slithered up behind the small rabbit, who had made the mistake of entering Ang’s garden. She allowed the human, because he tended to the ground and always steered clear of her nest. And he was too big to eat, though she wouldn’t hesitate to strike, if she thought her babies in danger. She rarely left them.

    Hunger is what drove her out at this time and the tempting scent of the rabbit. She watched him, nibbling at the green lettuce, completely unaware of the danger behind him. Lightning quick she shot out, biting him in the side. He ran, excellent. That made her venom move faster through the blood stream. Suddenly the rabbit collapsed on his side, his breathing slowing, but not stopping. Ang prefered her food alive.

    Her belly full and distended, Ang lay in the garden, unable to move back to her nest. She heard the human coming. He was too near her nest. He must not have seen it and she wasn’t there to give her warning rattle. She should have avoided temptation. With her belly this full she would never reach her babies in time.
    Lisa McCourt Hollar recently posted..The Miser WifeMy Profile

  14. He’s everything I’ve always wanted in a man. I visit him every morning. I bring him breakfast and coffee.

    I make sure that he gets plenty of rest and I read to him almost every night.

    Sure we have only known eachother for a few weeks but the connection was instant. I couldn’t live without him and he wouldn’t live without me.

    I make sure that he has a great view of the garden. I tell him that one day he can live in the house with me when he learns how to behave. He nods and smiles.

    He is so happy that sometimes, tears roll down his cheeks.

    When I remove his gag he tells me he would like to walk in the garden with me. I am so happy he is finally coming around. His voice shakes with joy. But, I remind him walking in the garden would involve removing his restraints, and that is simply something I am not willing to do just yet.

    No, until a time comes when he can behave himself and be the man I want him to be, without attempting to leave, he is going to have to deal with living in the tool shed…but as I always tell him, it has a beautiful view of the garden.
    @thansenwrites
    http://www.traceyhansenwrites.com

  15. Andrew says:

    Annabel walked among the flowers, her heels slowly clicking on the stones. Low hedges prevented her from smelling the flowers, but she could admire them at least.

    Why Jonathan had chosen the Millennium Garden to meet she had no idea. Their affair was secret. His wife Unna would be furious though she wouldn’t dare divorce a man of his standing. Annabel’s girlfriend Marie would certainly throw her out.

    Jonathan sat between two cherub statutes on a low bench, the sun in his eyes, the light glinting off of his golden curls. Her breath caught.

    “Jonathan.” She leaned against one of the statues, caressing its wings. “Such a public display?”

    He smiled, showing his impressive white teeth. “I’m feeling a little risky today.” He stood up, and glanced around. The gardens remained empty this early in the morning. He took her hand, and she felt a tingle where his rough skin touched hers.

    The walked slowly, through the taller hedges, talking over simple things. She listened to his every word, his voice deep. Soon, they came to a small copse of tall, thick trees. He took both her hands and pulled her in. The area was large enough for two people, barely, and no one could see in.

    His lips, hot were on her neck, and she yield to his pressure. Their clothes fell to the ground. Being with him reminded her of electricity the way she lit up and sizzled. Soon they lay panting on the ground. He slowly dressed himself, and she followed his lead. He kissed her one last time, and exited the protection of the trees. She let him go and would follow in a moment.

    She pressed the trees aside, and found him still standing there, but not alone. Unna stood with three large, blocky men. They had Light guns at their side, the insignia of House Moran, Unna’s house.

    “There,” Unna said.

    Annabel felt punched, and she dropped to the ground. She could no longer see, the guns having stunned her. She heard voices mumbling, and she had the sensation of being dragged away. “Take her. I don’t want to see her anymore. I’m thinking Urynest home for her.” Annabel felt tears run down her cheeks.

    snowppl.wordpress.com @snowppl

  16. Tauisha Nicole @shells2003 says:

    Carter went to visit his mother since his niece, Jessie, was there. It had been a while since he’d seen the girl. So cute. So small.

    So not what he wanted in his life.

    Best thing about chilren that weren’t yours is that you can give them back. They didn’t cause a complication since they weren’t your responsibility.

    Soon as Carter pulled into his mother’s drive, he saw his brother shoot from behind the house and rush to his car parked on the street. Soon as Carter stepped out of his car, Alex was gone. But, Carla came around the house, looking disturbed herself. She looked up and smiled weakly at Carter. Soon as she was close enough, she gave him a hug.

    “What was going on back there?” Carter questioned.

    “I was dropping off Jessie. Didn’t know Al would be here. I was just taking pictures of her in the garden. She loves your mom’s tulips best. The orange ones? They look so pretty against her skin.”

    Carter nodded. “So why was Alex so upset?”

    Carla wrapped her arms around herself as if to keep her insides together. “Al never liked the relationship I have with your mother. He feels like I’m…imposing. But, he forgets that, no matter how much he doesn’t wish it, we are family. No, we aren’t married. Never will be. But, if the way he’s been treating me lately is what I’d have to look forward to then…”

    Carla made a painful sob as she walked away.

    Carter thought a little on her words as he walked to the back of his mother’s home. He could remember a simpler time between Carla and Alex. They were happy once. What went wrong?

    He smiled softly at the little girl giggling in the garden. She used her small fingers to brush against the soft orange petals of the tulips she loved. Could this innocent child in the garden cause that much pain?

    And people wondered why he didn’t want children…

  17. Well that was fun! Aden’s mad at me for the way mine (didn’t) end. ;)

    Starting today I’m giving myself a little breathing room on the 3:00 deadline for the finalists. Through the rest of the school year, at least. I’ll have them up as soon as I can, whether that’s before 3 or sometime after.
    Leah Petersen recently posted..5MinuteFiction Week 49 WINNER!My Profile

  18. Kira Morgana says:

    Soft breezes and delicious scents did nothing to deter Gizmo. He was fixated on his target, a small fluffy bundle of feathers that hopped through the dew moist grass, collecting grass seed.
    He crept a little closer, the fur on his paws dampening the sound of his paws on the ground.
    “Gizmarina Court. Don’t you dare attack that poor little sparrow!” his human’s voice echoed off the garden walls and made him wince.
    “I wasn’t going to attack him. I just wanted to play a little bit.” he meowed back.
    But of course his Human didn’t speak Felinese, so she just laughed and scooped him up into her arms. “Oh Gizmo, I wish I could understand what you were saying.”
    A thin mist filled the air around them.
    “I wish you could understand me too. Then maybe you’d get things right sometimes.” Gizmo replied.
    “Get what things right?” His human asked.
    She stared into his deep golden eyes, stunned.
    “Did I just hear what you said in English?”
    “Well I wouldn’t know. I don’t speak English. You’re talking Felinese… with a very odd accent I must admit.” The cat wriggled. “Put me down now. I like cuddles, but you smell of Garlic and I hate Garlic.”
    “Like a Vampire?” His human asked, still clearly dazed by her new gift.
    “What’s a Vampire? Never mind. Just go and get me some milk and be quick about it.” Gizmo laid out on the grass and began cleaning his paws…
    Kira Morgana recently posted..Soooz Says Stuff- Meet- Mandy Ward Author and the creator of the new WebZine -”Welcome to Wherever”My Profile

  19. OMG mine didn’t post!

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