#5MinuteFiction Week 70

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 BEGIN your entry with: Pale light, broken apart into individual beams by the thick diamondglass of the skylight, cast stark shadows on the faces of the four men seated around a small table.

(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, Steve Umstead, @SteveUmstead author of Gabriel’s Redemption and the newly-released Gabriel’s Return 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. Or follow us on twitter with the #5MinuteFiction hashtag.

What’s the prize? Well, usually, nothing. We’ll all agree to tweet and/or blog about the winner of today’s contest so their fame and fortune will be assured. But today Steve’s donated a copy of both Gabriel’s Redemption and Gabriel’s Return for the winner and I’m giving away a copy of Gabriel’s Return to one participant chosen at random!

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.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Loading Facebook Comments ...

17 Responses to #5MinuteFiction Week 70

  1. Pale light, broken apart into individual beams by the thick diamondglass of the skylight, cast stark shadows on the faces of the four men seated around a small table.

    “Well, Vinnie? What’s the word?”

    “Boss’s serious this time,” Vinnie said. “He’s ending Malone.”

    Big Joey whistled. “Big risk. Boss may have bit off more than he can chew this time.”

    “Shut your mouth,” Tony snapped. “Boss knows what he’s doing.”

    “Shut up both of you. Boss ain’t asking your opinion and I don’t give a shit what you think. You ain’t here for your brains.”

    Big Joey turned red and trembled a bit, but those anger management classes must have been worth what the taxpayers paid for them.

    “So when’s it going down?” asked Big Tony, who had been silent so far.

    “The big game, tomorrow night.

    “Shit,” cursed Tony, Big Joey, but he shut his mouth when Vinnie glared at him.

    “So is it you, Vinnie?”

    “Nope, not this time.” Vinnie looked over at Big Tony and waited.

    “Yeah, I can do it. Malone won’t know what hit him. The chess championship is ours this year, fellas.”
    Leah Petersen recently posted..Why I Unfollowed YouMy Profile

  2. Jen DeSantis says:

    Pale light, broken apart into individual beams by the thick diamondglass of the skylight, cast stark shadows on the faces of the four men seated around a small table.

    “Allow me the chance, father,” the youngest among them said.

    “The chance for what?”

    The youngest blanched at his father’s harsh tone, pulling his face back out of the light.

    “Tell me, son. The chance for what?”

    His voice had softened, if only slightly. The young man sat forward, an eager, greenish tint to his eyes as he looked at his father.

    “For vengeance.”

    Silence fell around the table as a cloud moved in front of the sun, dimming the room. In the smoky air, the oldest man nodded his head once and the three others stood, ready to take the challenge.

    @JenD_Author
    Jen DeSantis recently posted..One Teacher Can Change EverythingMy Profile

  3. Pale light, broken apart into individual beams by the thick diamond glass of the skylight, cast stark shadows on the faces of the four men seated around a small table. The smoke from their cigars and cigarettes, swirl above them and hang heavy in the air. Their eyes are scrunched tight in concentration on the pieces of paper they have scattered on the table in front of them.

    Jim, the oldest, pulls a fresh sheet from the stack, and begins to fold it according to the instructions. Bill, who sits next to him runs his finger along each crease to make sure it is smooth. Donnie, with the cigar, hands over the scissors. Arnie, just watches from his spot, fingering the scotch tape in its holder.

    Jim makes the first cut. The blade goes to far. A shred of white paper falls to the table. He thumps his fist on the table in frustration. “God damn it!”

    Arnie, snorts, “Why couldn’t we just buy the baby shower decorations from the party store?”

    ——————————-
    twitter: @mzmackay
    blog: miekezmackay.blogspot.com
    Mieke Z. Mackay recently posted..Inspiration SundayMy Profile

  4. DeJean Smith says:

    Pale light, broken apart into individual beams by the thick diamondglass of the skylight, cast stark shadows on the faces of the four men seated around a small table.

    “What is it?” one demanded, poking hesitantly with a mechanical pencil at the diamondglass.

    “Damned if I know,” another replied. “I’m a physician not a physics major.”

    “It’s called a prism,” a third sighed melodramatically. “Honestly, haven’t you ever seen one before.”

    “Well if I had, I wouldn’t have asked the question, would I?” the first retorted hotly.

    “Ladies, ladies,” a man in an orange coat soothed, moving the diamondglass ever so slightly so that the four beams of light no longer struck each man in the face. “What we have here is the beginnings of a weapon. If we harvest the power, we can…”

    “Harness,” the second interrupted.

    “What?” orange coat demanded.

    “It’s harness the power. We’re not reaping what we’ve sowed.”

    “Technically both would be correct,” the first argued.

    “What the hell…” the third shouted, exasperated at the lack of progress in the meeting. He tossed the handful of schematic drawings of the diamondglass that sat before him into the air.

    “Well, it really is,” the second muttered contritely.

    “As I was saying,” orange coat continued, tugging roughly on his lapels. “With a little work, we can use this thingy to create a weapon of mass destruction.”

    “Thingy?” the first asked quietly, hiding a smirk. “Is that a technical term?”

    “Shut it, Larry,” orange coat ordered before flipping the switch that closed the skylight’s louvers and motioning toward a video screen across the room. “Now, here’s what we’re going to do…”

    @dejeansmith on le Twitter

  5. spbowers says:

    “Pale light, broken apart into individual beams by the thick diamondglass of the skylight, cast stark shadows on the faces of the four men seated around a small table… I mean really what kind of book starts like that?”

    “A good one.” He made a grab for the book, wrenching it out of her hands and smoothing the slightly crumpled cover. “Do you know how hard it is to find this book?” His voice was indignant.

    “Whatever.” She shrugged and pulled back out her copy of Elle flipping to the next celebrity photo.

    “You should stop doing that.”

    “Doing what?” She flicked another page over.

    “pretending to be stupid?”

    She glared at him over the magazine and he swallowed hard.

    “I mean. Pretending that that” he waived at the magazine “is all there is to you.”

    “Maybe this is all there is to me.”

    “No.” his eyes bored into hers and dared her to contradict him. She didn’t.

    “You don’t know what it’s like.” She exploded throwing the magazine at him. “Being unpopular, it’s lonely and not fun. I don’t want to be left out. I want to live, I want to have good memories of highschool.”

    He raised an eyebrow. “Good memories. Pretending to be something your not? And I think I do know what it’s like.”

    “Can you honestly say your happy, never going to dances, having the jocks and cheerleaders make fun of you?”

    “That part isn’t so fun, but yea, I’m happy, and you could be too if you were yourself. Are you really happy now?”

    Tears welled in here eyes “I’ve got to go.” And she sped from the room, leaving her magazine behind.
    spbowers recently posted..AgainMy Profile

  6. Jeff says:

    Pale light, broken apart into individual beams by the thick diamondglass of the skylight, cast stark shadows on the faces of the four men seated around a small table.

    “I’ll have no part in this,” Bento said, shoving his chair back from the table. The lord of the yellow planet’s footsteps echoed through the overlarge stone hall long after he’d disappeared.

    The rest of them looked around at each other. None of them wanted to make the next move, Bento was always the leader, the one who always forged the way when times were dark. His absence left an awkward void no man wanted to fill.

    “We have to kill him, now,” Sharpe said, staring at thick fingers wrinkled with age. “Even if the plan works, and the Emperor dies, Lord Bento knows.”

    Sharpe buried his face in his hands. “And that we cannot afford.”

    “Then let’s be done with it. My taste for killing, if I ever had one, is gone. I have no desire to see how deep this pit we’ve dug for ourselves goes,” Rogers growled. Each man nodded, in turn. Even Sharpe, who had fought side-by-side with Bento in the Andromeda Wars.

    Sharpe motioned to the fifth man, the quiet assassin who had been lingering in the deep shadows of the room for hours, waiting to be summoned.

    “Let’s begin.”

    @pfallerj
    Jeff recently posted..Increasing the Influence of BrandsMy Profile

  7. Nicole says:

    Pale light, broken apart into individual beams by the thick diamondglass of the skylight, cast stark shadows on the faces of the four men seated around a small table. The horizontal surface on which they rested their elbows wasn’t the normal wooden or wrought metal appropriate for a garden patio. No, it was made from the tears of circus clowns, pressed and petrified until it formed a single pane.

    “Bad news, Bonko,” said the one they called The Great Randimous. He honked his nose twice to alert the others to the seriousness of whatever news he was about to reveal.

    “What’s that?” Despite the gloom, Bonko’s heavy white pancake make up still stood out from the others in the room.

    “You’re fired. That kid you shot in the face is suing the circus. Mr. Termini says he can’t let it slide.”

    Bonko tossed his gloved hands into the air, exasperation like new car smell wafting around the men. “It was just water! From a flower! A plastic flower!”

    “Sorry, Bonko.” The man across from him at the table, a short guy with giant pants held up with rainbow suspenders, braced his arms on the table before rising to his feet. “Ain’t no sense in arguing. Dakota here,” he said, jerking a twitching thumb at the clown to his right, “will take care of the formalities.”

    The Great Randimous positioned his hand over his heart, the painted tear on his face all the more poignant. “It was a great honor serving with you.” He led the giant pants-wearing guy out of the room, leaving just Bonko and the final clown, who reached into his red polka dot pants and pulled out a gun.

    Bonko doubted it shot flags or water.

    “All right…let’s just get this over with.”

    @nicolewolverton
    Nicole recently posted..Victory…Tastes Like BlueberriesMy Profile

  8. redshirt6 says:

    Pale light, broken apart into individual beams by the thick diamondglass of the skylight, cast stark shadows on the faces of the four men seated around a small table.

    “So what’ll it cost me?” he asked. Ashton Palmente was not one who was used to asking such things. He flicked ashes towards the ashtray not even trying to hit it. The ashes spread out on the table.

    “What do you think it should cost you?” Simon replied. His skin looked rough but solid like bleached concrete.

    “Look,” the first speaker came back, “I’ll throw in the girl and we’ll call it even, okay? I don’t want any trouble over this, you understand? I can get you all the young women you need. Boys? You want boys? I can get those for you as well. So how’s that?”

    Simon surveyed the other three men without moving his eyes. Two guerillas and Ashton Palmente. Ashton was the kind of scum Simon hunted with glee.

    Some would say that Simon was a psychopath. In fact, several had said just that. He actually thought it sounded rather cool. He’d let the psychologist live for that very reason. Not so the guards. But that was long ago. Simon was much more refined now.

    “I’ll tell you what it will cost you. Your life, the life of your two goons here, and anything else I decide it will. Okay?”

    Ashton Palmente froze. The two goons at his side were clearly uncomfortable. Neither had ever heard anyone speak to the boss that way. After a moment of staring with disbelief, Ashton Palmente laughed. It started as a low rumble and then burst out into a full blown belly laugh. And then he was laughing so hard he was having trouble breathing. And then the two goons at his side were on their knees, their hands at their throats.

    Simon watched as the three men succumbed to the biological agent. He watched without moving as their bodies twitched. He crossed his legs, placing his hands on his knees while he waited for their bodies to stop moving.

    Simon liked this part best. He place the opened cylinder on the table in front of him.

    @redshirt6

  9. Pale light, broken apart into individual beams by the thick diamondglass of the skylight, cast stark shadows on the faces of the four men seated around a small table.

    The room was pitch black except for those beams, reminiscent of a spotlight in the theater. The entire scene was actually very theatrical. Stark furnishings, just the card table and four folding chairs and a couple boxes off in the corner, draped with bedsheets, left the room feeling temporary. The four men, three of them wearing a stronger cologne than the next, each one with steely eyes and poorly shaven faces, a gold tooth here and there, large bellies showing the signs of a six-pack or so a night, and the fourth man, slight, nervous and dressed in business attire, felt temporary as well. The first three for what was sure to be a life cut short, lost in the dirty underworld, and the fourth for his apparent discord sitting there with them.

    “So, my sister, huh? What the hell do you want with her?” the biggest guy snarled at the little one, spittle jumping from his mouth to the other man’s forehead.

    “I’m in love. I want to marry her, give her a life outside of all this, all of you,” he replied, his hands held down by the other two, itching to wipe his forehead.

    “You got love?”

    “Yes.”

    “You got money?”

    “Some.”

    “You got respect?”

    “Absolutely.”

    “You know if you fuck with her, I will tear you apart, bit by bit. First your finger nails, then the fingers, then the toes, the hair, the teeth, your dick. I’ll work around until you’re nothing but a torso.”

    The little man gulped.

    “Yes, well, I wouldn’t worry about that, sir. I’ll treat her like a queen. I’ll give her what she needs.”

    The biggest man removed the hands of the other two, holding his down on the table, stood him up and embraced him.

    “Well then, you have my blessing. Welcome to the family.”

    @alanagarrigues
    http://writercize.blogspot.com
    Alana Garrigues recently posted..Edit and Embellish – writercize #109My Profile

  10. John Hancock says:

    Pale light, broken apart into individual beams by the thick diamondglass of the skylight, cast stark shadows on the faces of the four men seated around a small table.

    “You better bring us up to speed, Guint” said the massive bear of a man overshadowing the rest of the table.

    “Ok. First, let me say I’ve got nothing against Jackrabbit Slim, nor his family, nor his dog…”

    “Get to the point. I’m late as it is” interjected the redheaded man to his left.

    Nervously, “…ok, then, to the point. Jackrabbit Slim has to die. Who takes care of his family and his househol after that is what we have to decide.” Guint deflated after announcing their task.

    “Can’t say as I feel responsible enough to come up with the scratch to do that. Why aren’t we wasting them all and letting God sort em out?”

    “Yeah, that’s the way we used to do things,” said the bearded cook, “USED TO, remember?” he added sharply.

    “Enough!” shouted the bearish leader. “We aren’t here to hash out what laws we agree with or hate. We’re here to decide. I’m inclined to make those that complain the most contribute the most,” He put out his hands like warming on a fire, “Here is the scrip. For the price of one Jackrabbit Slim, we promise to provide 80 quid each month for a year. After that, 70 quid, and so on, until finally no quid. Then they’re on their own.”

    “This whole thing was his fault!” yelled North, his moustache trembling. Then, after a minute, “Not that I’m complaining. But he had a job, he had a function. If he couldn’t do it, then act of god or whatever.”

    “An act of God? is that what you call 8 slugs in his chest? Wouldn’t that be an act of artillery?” A couple of men smiled in bitter humor.

    “Look, all I’m saying is he was the lookout, and if he didn’t LOOK OUT, then he failed the team. We shouldn’t owe him anything, him or his.”

    They all were hard and quiet for a minute. Some looked out the window. The Bear eyed each in turn, screwing his eyes tighter as he went.

    “Give generously, or I’ll have to start hinting at a traitor”

    the moon came out, and the men left one by one
    John Hancock recently posted..Grokdad: http://twitpic.com/6qn8io .@MarleeMatlin here is your pic! if you like it, please RT to your followers and tweet to let me know. Thank youMy Profile

  11. Pale light, broken apart into individual beams by the thick diamondglass of the skylight, cast stark shadows on the faces of the four men seated around a small table.
    “The meeting of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse shall begin!” War jumped up and bellowed in a baritone voice like a trumpet blast.

    “It’s just us,” said Death, “You don’t have to announce it. We know who we are.”

    War awkwardly returned to his seat. “S-sorry. I just like it when things are officially declared. That doesn’t seem to ever happen anymore.”

    “The email said there would be doughnuts and coffee at this meeting,” Famine wheezed.

    “Sorry,” Pestilence blushed slightly, “I devoured it all before you arrived.”

    Famine would have grimaced if he had the strength.

    “We need to discuss whether we’re going to end the world in 2012 or not,” Death said, “There isn’t much time left, and if we’re definitely going to bring on the Apocalypse we need to start preparing.”

    “I say yes!” War declared. “Tell me if you guys like this slogan I came up with for the Apocalypse: ‘World War 3!'”

    “You’ve been proposing that for over sixty years!” Famine said. “Give it a rest already.”

    “Come on,” War said, “Everyone loves trilogies!”

    “It seems to me that the humans are doing a pretty good job at destroying themselves right now,” Pestilence said, “I say we just take an extended vacation, go into hibernation for seven years or so, and if they’re not all gone then we finish up the job.”

    @pyritedreamer
    Eric Hamilton recently posted..De- End to Dis-My Profile

  12. Pale light, broken apart into individual beams by the thick diamondglass of the skylight, cast stark shadows on the faces of the four men seated around a small table. The men said not a word, but watched the center of the table in awe. Only their breaths and the occasional thump from the table could be heard.

    The four men had been brought together in the nondescript room with the promise of something that would change their world, something that would shift their view of the world on its axis. While the majority of them didn’t believe the claims when they walked through the plain door, they all did now.

    One of the men shifted in his seat, itching to touch what was moving around on the small table. He wanted to see if it was as soft as it looked. If it was as warm as it appeared. Respectfully, he looked at the other men, seeking permission. His three companions nodded. Slowly, the enamored man reached down and scooped up what was on the table.

    The tiny silver striped kitten meowed as he held her. The man gently petted her head and scratched under her chin, careful not to hold her too tightly. The kitten closed her eyes and snuggled into his hands, purring loudly. The man sighed, feeling a sense of completion he had never felt before.

    @MLGammella
    Never underestimate the power of having a pet. 🙂
    Miranda Gammella recently posted..Game TimeMy Profile

  13. Sarah Olson says:

    Pale light, broken apart into individual beams by the thick diamondglass of the skylight, cast stark shadows on the faces of the four men seated around a small table.
    “Badger eye,” said the lop-eared man in a red suit, discarding his item with a jerk of the hand.
    “I’ll offer an elephantis cocoon and a newt testicle,” said the man opposite him, his voice floating quietly through this orange shawl that covered his scarred face. He tenderly added his items to the pot.
    “Blow it out your blowhole,” the rubber-skinned man shouted, then he did just that, drenching the other men with tepid water. He jerked back his chair, smoothed his hands down his silver frame, and exited the room with all five noses pointed high.
    “Last time we invite him,” the man in a tall white hat hissed.
    The scarred man folded his hands beneath his orange veil. “He’s allergic to newts.”
    The chef threw his white hat onto the floor, his face mottled and red. “Then why did you throw ’em into the pot?”
    “Last week he ate my dessert.” The orange veiled man’s stomach growled as he stirred the pot of stew.

    @saraheolson
    Sarah Olson recently posted..Flash Fiction: Race for the CureMy Profile

  14. Time’s up! I’ll have finalists posted hopefully by 3:00 but at least by 4:00! See you then!
    Leah Petersen recently posted..#5MinuteInterview with Brian Cortijo from When the Hero Comes HomeMy Profile

  15. John Hancock says:

    Rat, I have a mistake in mine: I meant to say: Jackrabbit Slim is dead. Instead of Jackrabbit Slim has to die

    oops!
    John Hancock recently posted..Grokdad: http://twitpic.com/6qn8io .@MarleeMatlin here is your pic! if you like it, please RT to your followers and tweet to let me know. Thank youMy Profile

  16. Wow, great stuff! I have my work cut out for me…in the meantime, I just followed all on Twitter. Some talented (and fast) writers I’d like to keep up with!

    ~Steve
    @SteveUmstead
    Steve Umstead recently posted..Review: In Her Name Empire by Michael HicksMy Profile

  17. Steve, count this one too, it was emailed in on time:

    Pale light, broken apart into individual beams by the thick diamondglass of the skylight, cast stark shadows on the faces of the four men seated around a small table.

    They murmured to each other, too low for Casey to make out. She watched through slitted eyes, feigning sleep. She dared not draw attention to herself. Laying on the scarred wooden floor trussed up like a thanksgiving turkey, her body aching from the vicious beating, she felt a moment of wild animal fear. Closing her eyes, she took a slow deep breath to steady her nerves.

    As her head cleared she began to note more of her surroundings. The smell of pine and the sound of birds. So different from her usual urban haunts.

    She didn’t know why she was here, but she could guess. Their dress gave away much. They were a hunting party. But today, they’d picked the wrong woman. The wrong prey. She smiled and felt her teeth begin to elongate and bones began to change.

    In seconds a wolf howl broke the woodland birdsong to be quickly followed by human screams.

    @dayalmohamed
    Leah Petersen recently posted..Rule of Three Blog Fest!My Profile

Leave a Reply to redshirt6 Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge