#5MinuteFiction Week 54

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: ice

(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, dk Levick, @dk_levick, author of Bridges, will nominate five finalists. I’ll put the nominees in a poll, 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 or notepad. 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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22 Responses to #5MinuteFiction Week 54

  1. Tom Doolan says:

    If he could just get this ice off of his windshield, everything would be ok.

    That’s what Bill told himself as he scraped and scraped. True, Julie wouldn’t be coming back anytime soon. She had left him for another man, and he just had to deal with that.

    His job would still be in jeopardy. New legislation threatened his department with layoffs. And being a minor government functionary, he held no illusions as to his prospects.

    But the ice. Wisconsin was freezing in Winter, and the ice was a daily ritual. Scraping it was cathartic. Lie he was scraping away all of the crap that life had recently dumped on him.

    He let out an audible sigh when a huge chunk broke away and slid down the rapidly warming glass. There was progress. A clear spot in an otherwise obstructed view. Life would be ok, he just knew it. he had to know it.

    Because if he didn’t hold to that belief, what was he doing with this scraper?
    Tom Doolan recently posted..My Top Five Craptacular Fantasy Films and one Sci-Fi filmMy Profile

  2. Aden says:

    I could feel everyone’s eyes on me as I sat on the porch swing to recover. Someone put a scratchy blanket around my shoulders, and shoved a paper cup of water into my hands. As they rushed around and tried to assess the scene, they mostly left me alone. I was the freak, the weirdo. Very few people trusted me, and the one the trusted me the least was moving up the stairs towards me. Detective Warling stood in front of me with her arms crossed over her chest, everything about her body language, and tone of voice was ice.

    “They told me you didn’t see anything.”

    I gripped the paper cup, and fought back the urge to grab her arm. In a blink I could make her see what I saw, every last detail. I could make her feel all of the rage, the fear, the arousal. It would only take a moment, but I knew if I did that it might send me into a coma for awhile.
    I also needed to keep up the eggshell treading within the police force, because of one lucky break I was on the payroll as a consultant, and I had rent to pay.

    “It’s not an exact science.”

    The word science made her face scrunch up, and I had to look away to keep myself in control. As long as she didn’t ask me to try again, it would be okay. I just wanted to go home, take a bath and sleep.

    “I need you to try again.”

    @adenpenn
    Aden recently posted..Getting by with a little plug from your friendsMy Profile

  3. Bronwynk says:

    They called him Iceman. Not because of his lack of emotion as he got ready to tackle his next bull ride. But because his heart was encased in ice. It had been that way for years, ever since the love of his life ran off with another rodeo cowboy. Walker discovered that it was easier to freeze his heart than to try and work through the hurt and sorrow that woman had brought him.

    But now that ice is starting to thaw. All because of a feisty red head who happened to be his cousin’s best friend. She was kind and gentle to him. Always smiled when he walked in to the room. And most recently, blistered his soul with her kisses.

    Maybe it was time to let the ice melt and embrace what she offered.
    Bronwynk recently posted..Memorial Day Message From My DadMy Profile

  4. The ice felt like glass under my fingers as I ran a bare hand over the icicles.

    “You should keep your gloves on,” my father said.

    “My hands aren’t cold.”

    He glanced meaningfully at my hands, red-cold and snorted. “They will be.” But he didn’t press the point.

    The woods were quiet and the lone shed, abandoned and empty of human detritus, made me feel a little sad, though I didn’t know why.

    “Whose was it?” I asked. “There’s nothing around for miles.”

    Father shrugged, his hands in the pockets of his jacket.

    “Did you come here when you were a boy?” I asked.

    “No, I’ve never seen this before. You found it, son.”

    I smiled to myself. “Oh.”

    “It’s a big responsibility,” he said. “To find a thing that’s been lost.”

    I stared at him, suddenly unsure.

    “Did you ever find anything?” I asked.

    “Yes.”

    “What?”

    He didn’t answer for a while and I thought maybe he wouldn’t.

    “Myself.”
    Leah Petersen recently posted..Why All Writers are Secretly or not so much SchizophrenicsMy Profile

  5. Erica slowly made her way across the pond. She clutched her shawl tight around her. Despite the sun high in the sky, it was a cold winter morning, and the ice covering the pond was solid as rock. But it was warm enough to make the ice wet, and therefore slippery, so she slowly put one foot in front of another as she made her way across. She looked over her shoulder and smiled. No one was following. She knew she had lost the stranger in the dark cloak at the river, but crossed the lake as a second precaution. No one crossed this lake if they could help it, it was known for the turbulent waters under it, from the rushing river that fed it. The ice could break at any second. But Erica was small, especially for a girl her age, and had crossed this lake many times in past winters as a short cut home.

    She paused as a wolf howled. It was too early in the morning for the hunters to be out. She felt a shiver up her spine, and it wasn’t the cold. The man in the dark cloak was close. She started across the lake again, a little faster this time. She was more than halfway, and if she could just make it to the other shore, she would be safe and to home. The Dark Man wouldn’t dare to follow her to the town.

    She looked up at the shore as she walked across the ice, then back at her feet. When she looked up again, the Dark Man was there. She screamed and fell backwards. She heard the ice crack, and screamed again. She reached out, and the Dark Man was in front of her, standing on the ice, looking down at her. Without thinking, she thrust her hand out, and white fire leaped from her finger tips, engulfing his woolen cloak and causing him to fall back. More terrifying than anything else, he made no noise.

    She only stared at him as he burned into nothingness, not even ash. The crack of ice brought her attention back to reality, though, and she slowly made her way to the shore on all four. She stared at her hands. What was happening to her?

    @blanchardauthor
    Chris Blanchard recently posted..On the Road of ResearchMy Profile

  6. B.C. Young says:

    This isn’t so bad. 2011 is a great year, but time for a change.

    I think I’ll just see what happens when they turn it on. I wonder if I’ll feel cold. Probably not. They told me it would be really quick.

    It would be pretty cool to see my eyes glaze over with ice. Doubt I’ll see it though.

    When are they going to turn it on? —

    Whoa! Man it’s cold. Wait. Why are they opening the door already.

    “Hello, Mr. Kip. Welcome to 2311,” a man I don’t recognize says to me. “You should warm up in about thirty minutes. But we need to hurry. The aliens discovered the lab, and word is, they’ll destroy it soon.”
    B.C. Young recently posted..Taco Update 03My Profile

  7. Amanda Leduc says:

    When Andrea’s father came back from the north, he told her about how he’d gone ice fishing.

    “They cut holes in the glaciers and put the cubes into their beer,” was what he said. “Folk told me two of those cubes could go into a glass of rye and last you all night. And it’s blue ice, Andrea. BLUE, like you’ve never seen.”

    These years later, she likes to think about this, stuck as she is in this town that never sleeps, never cools down. She spends her mornings brushing the dust from her eyelids, and wondering how it is that she’s landed so far from home. Her father went back to the ice fishing coast — Newfoundland, such a strange name for a place that had existed forever — and died there, the year after he first told her the cube story. He fell under the ice and they couldn’t get him out in time. Floated up beneath the surface of the ice and held his hands out to his fellow fishermen like some kind of priest blessing his constituents.

    Ice melts, down here in Raleigh. Down here, she can’t get her ice cubes to last more than five minutes.

  8. DL Thurston says:

    “Brace! We’re going to hit!”

    The ship struck the ice hard, skipping across the surface, unsettling the main cabin. Gravity shifted back and forth as the ship defined parabolas over the frozen surface, before finally coming to a sudden and violent stop as it struck an outcropping of rock.

    “Is everyone alright?”

    Groans answered the commander, and he unstrapped his harness and fought to get his legs under him. The whole ship was at an angle, and he stumbled as he tried to walk straight across the bridge. He grabbed one of the other chairs to steady himself, recoiling when he saw that its occupant, Lieutenant Logan, hadn’t been nearly so lucky in the crash.

    A red light came on and a klaxon filled every speaker on the bridge.

    “Everyone out of harnesses, into suits, we’ve got to get the hell out of here!”

    The whole thing was going critical, the ship, its engine, everything was about to become a big old pile of hell on the ice, and they needed to get as far as they could as quickly as possible. The crew that was still mobile scrambled out of their seats, helping those who had survived the crash with some bangs and breaks. They scrambled into suits, and followed the commander to the emergency hatch. It blew open, and they ran.

    Around them it was dark as night, below them the ice gave difficult purchase as they scrambled for traction. The klaxons continued in their helmets, giving them a countdown, letting them know just how far they needed to get for some semblance of safety.

    “Outcropping!” the commander shouted, pointing at a rocky promontory just ahead. The voice in their helmets got down to the single digits, and the distance felt impossible.

    “Three. Two. One.”

    There wasn’t exactly a sound. In fact, it was an entire lack of sound as the system feeding them the klaxons went dead. The shock wave hit hard, sending the small crew flying. The commander just avoided going face first into the outcropping, but saw his second in command wasn’t nearly so lucky. Once some order restored, he did a count.

    Three. Three people out of a crew of ten. That was all that survived the crash, survived the explosion. Now they just had to survive the ice, and the remoteness of Pluto, waiting for a rescue that might never come.

    DL_Thurston
    DL Thurston recently posted..A Dashing PostMy Profile

  9. Katie says:

    Shelly lay on her back waiting for the others to get help. It would take a while for the chopper to make it up this far, but she had known the dangers when she agreed to climb with the team.
    Mt. Everest was the biggest challenge she had yet faced. Until 20 minutes ago, she had been defeating it. Now, surrounded by ice, she knew she had only been fooling herself.
    The cold wasn’t suffocating. It was the thin oxygen. Too bad her tank had fallen down further into the crevice. She thought she might have been able to reach it, only five feet below the ledge she lay on. That thought left her quickly when she felt the pain in her back vanish with a loud snap as she moved to try.
    Death by ice. It had never even occured to her that she would die up here. The chopper wouldn’t make it in time. Already her vision was blurry and her breath came rapidly, with no relief.
    Shelly closed her eyes and felt the cold of the ice around her.
    It was comforting.
    She took a deep breath, as much of one as she could anyway, and waited for death, or rescue. Whichever came first.

    @Kathleen_Doyle
    Katie recently posted..My Daughter And Her Beautiful Innocent WisdomMy Profile

  10. His trek was long and arduos, he had sailed south from Chile and was now entering the icy water of the antarctic. Iceburgs were getting larger and more frequent but still he pressed. The ancient family herloom grew colder in his grasp. It was a scale, his grandfather had sworn it had magical powers, Yentl knew better, he had seen paintings of scales like this, it was a dragon scale.

    Each hour the artifact grew more active. A layer of frost formed around it on the helm of the ship, then a loud crack. The wood splintered in the extreme cold and the scale fell through. Yentle grabbed it before it burned icily through the deck and it bonded instantly to his hand. Instead of pain he felt instant power. His own breath blew small shards of ice, his heart slowed, his blood thickened. He knew where he must go.

    Within a few days he finally reached land, he knew somewhere burried under the thousands of feet of ice was the last remaining dragon, and he was going to be it’s master.

    @DRyanLeask
    Author of “Counting Down the Storm”
    Available Everywhere

  11. Ellen says:

    It was February when the melt started. That year she couldn’t predict the weather, no one could predict the weather; and after months sitting in front of the stove wrapped in the thick-cable vests her grandmother made, the sun emerged in time for the Strumica Carnival. Zuki told Goran that she would be there, and for the week before it was clear what all this good weather meant, they communicated by strings of text messages, all their plans for her three days in Strumica.

    The first landslide came on the day her friend was meant to travel to the capital for her teaching exam. On the news it looked not like a landslide but as though the mountain had stepped over, landed on top of the road. Power lines looped ragged through the wreckage, and five days later when she went for her rescheduled exam Linda told her how the kombi had let them out on one side to pick their way across the rubble.

    To the south, the road flooded; it was a simpler melting there, the ice turning into waterfalls that fell down the mountain, built up the river until it surged over its banks. Then, a week later, another landslide to the north, then a third, a fourth. She wrote him to ask what she should do and was meant with silence, and for the first time she felt the weight of all that land and chill water surrounding her. She wrote him a second time, a third, a fourth. She wrote him one time for each landslide, for the fifth one that came the morning of the carnival, and came to see that warmed-up ice as the best and only answer she was likely to receive.
    Ellen recently posted..Review- Haruki Murakami’s A Wild Sheep ChaseMy Profile

  12. I could see her face through the ice, distorted and blue. No matter how hard I slammed my fist against it, it would not break. It was too thick. Her eyes were wide. Complete fear had overtaken her. Her movements were like molasses.

    Time slowed down to an imperceptible crawl. Each moment was like an eternity. An eternity of eternities was still not enough time.

    My thoughts turned to the time I no longer would have with her. It was too late now for rescue. No one could survive much longer.

    The cold water filled my lungs and set them on fire, dying for a breath.

    @pyritedreamer
    Eric Hamilton recently posted..On HiatusMy Profile

  13. Ice. It’s all I could think of. His face was the color of ice. Then I realized that his fingertips were black. Stupid funeral home, couldn’t even get that right. He is gone from this world and all I have left is an off colored black fingernailed corpse who looks nothing like my Adam did in life.

    @thansenwrites

  14. redhsirt6 says:

    Ice. At the beach. Couldn’t make it in time to do a real writing, he thought. Ice. Ice cold beer.

    Enjoy folks, I’ll read entries and vote later. For now, back to the beach!

    @redshirt6

  15. Cantor struggled to don his space suit. He gathered himself in the lock, evacuated the air, and then stepped out. He was still a bit groggy, but he didn’t want to miss the first sunrise in 2 years. It was dark still as he trudged across the frozen, icy wastes of Meriton VII. His steps sounded muffled, almost muted by his helmet’s enclosure. Although the ice itself was hard, The Laws of Physics themselves saw to that, his steps still broke down thousands of tiny, jagged peaks int he ice.

    The same peaks replicated a million-fold before across the Plain of Sardinia, stretched out before. The Sun, Meriton technically, was just breaking the bluff. With no atmosphere it went from dark to light in the blink of an eye with a quick, blue flash. The plain and valley, now illuminated, glowed with a soft rainbow of sparkily iridescence. Colors danced in, through, and around the ice in a performance that happened once every two years.

    “And,” thought Cantor, swearing to himself, “I forgot the camera. Again.”

    @D_PaulAngel
    D. Paul Angel recently posted..FridayFlash- An Eighth of CopperMy Profile

  16. Islinda Yang says:

    “Holy cow,” Zach said, staring straight ahead of him. When I came to a stop behind him, I finally saw what he was gawking at, and my own jaw dropped.

    If you had asked me to describe fully and carefully what we saw that day, I honestly wouldn’t have a clue how to go about doing it. The funny thing is that the other guys all had a completely different idea of what they saw that day, entombed in the ice. Zach had described it as a black, stick-like figure that was definitely not human, while Aubry had used the phrase “a giant praying mantis”. As for me, I had simply shook my head every time someone asked me what I saw. I simply had no words, and I didn’t think anyone else who wasn’t in that Arctic Expedition would understand.

    However, the three of us who had gone on that expedition definitely agreed on one thing: whatever that black, alien figure trapped in the ice was, it had been hunched protectively over a smaller, equally stick-like bundle in its arms, mouth open in a frozen scream. Whatever had gotten them, got them fast.

    I had been in awe of what we found, but at the same time, I couldn’t ignore the sad, sudden ache in my chest.

    When I had gotten home and was lying in bed with Maria, who was now six months pregnant, she had often asked me why I was so quiet after returning from the Arctic. And as I looked at my wife, cradling her bump as she gazed questioningly at me, I said, “Nothing,” and simply held her tighter, thinking about mysteries that may be better left unanswered.
    Islinda Yang recently posted..darkonfire- @mandamcmoo @theturinbrakes That was my first thought- but Olly has confessed- so God only knows about the darkness that lurks within TBMy Profile

  17. Alana says:

    Those who caught a glimpse of her called her the ice queen. She was tall, slender, pale as the moon with a heart frozen in time.

    Her Christian name was Valentina, but it had been centuries since she felt any attachment to it. She had been a warm, loving child and a young woman with passion flowing out of every pore, eager to experience life and love.

    Today she would “celebrate” her 750th deathday, precisely 766.47 years after her birth. For it was 750 years ago today that she raised her mouth for a kiss, and the boy she loved swooped down to drain her neck instead, leaving her just conscious enough to transform into this otherworldly eternal being. The first 50 years or so she had pined for him. She followed him around the world, seen how he wooed other young girls, made them fall in love, and tried to transform them too. She had always swooped in once he disappeared into the shadows though and finished them off to die instead. Then one day he made the mistake of kissing a girl who caught his lips first. He melted with the touch of her garlic filled mouth and disappeared.

    Valentina, who expected to follow him forever, felt oddly at peace with it all and resigned herself to an existance without any more attachments. She made a choice to close off her non-beating heart to the world and slip in and out of human daily life as quietly and nonchalantly as she could.

    Today, for her 750th though, it would be a crimson party of passionate memory for all who looked like her beloved. She would awaken the passion one last time before returning to ice forever.

    twitter: @writercize
    http://writercize.blogspot.com
    Alana recently posted..A Lost and Found Relationship – writercize 62My Profile

  18. timqueeney says:

    Years ago they had told her he died in a training exercise. In North Carolina.

    She stepped from the high wing Otter ski plane and walked across crunching surface. Snow and ice stretched to the horizon. Before she got to the site she had to step over a freshet of meltwater that carved it’s way across the glacier, falling back underground somewhere.

    Her paid guide led her forward, as if she couldn’t see the bundle of uniform clothing ahead. As she got closer, she didn’t want to look. She didn’t want to see him that way — an ice man re-emerging from the Arctic depths. Not the way she remembered his warm touch and his hot breath on her neck.

    Then she looked down at his shrunken, whitened face with faded red hole in his forehead. Master Sergeant Ryan Holcomb had not died in a training accident in the woods of North Carolina. Whoever had killed him hadn’t counted on the glacier retreating and the ice melting.

    @timqueeney
    timqueeney recently posted..FBI agent crashes Ferrari – official misconduct rampantMy Profile

  19. Monocle says:

    “You know, up in the outer solar system, it’s so cold, ice has the same properties as rock here?”

    I wiped the sweat from my eyes and looked over at Kim. She was reading one of her science mags, oblivious to the heat.

    I heaved myself from the couch, and waked to the kitchen, pausing in front of the fan, but moving before she could complain about me blocking the air.

    The kitchen tile, a curse in the winter, was good to bare feet in a house without a/c. I opened the freezer, avoiding the temptation to stand there for the rest of the day, and grabbed a cup full oficecubes from the tray.

    I plunked myself back down on the couch, lifter Kim’s shirt, and nestled a small ice cube in her navel.

    After she shrieked, I smiled at her.

    “I like living on an inner planet,” and I fished another cube out.

    @_Monocle_
    Monocle recently posted..7-6-11 – showerpoetry failureMy Profile

  20. Tauisha Nicole @sYhells2003 says:

    There was no getting Gran to sit down. She refused to rest, or take it easy. Didn’t seem to be in her. When Leah found her in the kitchen, she sighed. “Gran! I thought you were taking a nap.”

    Her gran sighed, while pouring freshly made tea into a pitcher of ice. “You won’t always be here to help me. Besides, it’s almost dinner time. Someone has to cook for everyone.”

    “Doesn’t have to be you, Gran,” Leah sighed as she checked the stove. “The stove is full, Gran. How did you even get all this food together so fast?”

    “I’ve been running a house full of people longer than you’ve been alive, young lady,” she walked over and smacked Leah’s hand and closed the stove. “Let that macaroni bake and sit down. The food needs the heat to cook.”

    Leah sat as her Gran told her to and found a glass of iced tea and a plate with pound cake on it. “Settle in for a second. How’s my darling doing?”

    Leah sighed. “Gran, why is he here?”

    Leah looked outside and saw Carter painting the shed as he promised he would. She shook her head, feeling bittersweet. She was happy to see his mother. But as for Carter…

    Seeing him…

    “Gran, why is he here?” she asked again.

    “My house, my guest. And he’s going to stay as long as I wish it,” Gran finally sat down and drank a glass of water. “When are you two going to get over what happened? You don’t have to take him back. You don’t have to ask him to be a father. But, civility? Civility is better than being this ice princess you’ve turned into where he’s concerned.”

    “How am I supposed to feel? He is rejecting his child!”

    “So, you’re going to return evil for evil?” Her Gran stood and shook her head. “Is this how I raised you?”

    At that, Gran left Leah to her thoughts.

  21. Time’s up! Have fun? Be back later to find out who the finalists are. Should be 3:00 or thereabouts.

    See you there!
    Leah Petersen recently posted..Why All Writers are Secretly or not so much SchizophrenicsMy Profile

  22. Tauisha Nicole says:

    oops….it’s @shells2003

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