#5MinuteFiction Week 73 FINALISTS!

“Jungle” was in my head because I just finished Gabriel’s Return by Steve Umstead. Read it and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

So how’d you fare with the prompt. I love what y’all manage to do with the prompts every week. So much diversity all from the same starting place.

This week, these five were selected by our judge, Kaolin Fire@kaolinfire, as finalists:

DL Thurston, @DL_Thurston

DeJean Smith, @dejeansmith

MLGammella, @MLGammella

N. R. Brown, @nrbrown

Jennifer Brinn, @JenBrinn

Congrats to our finalists! Their entries are below so read and vote if you please. Then come back tomorrow morning at 9:00 Eastern to see who wins!

DL Thurston, @DL_Thurston

“More dangerous than it is beautiful, the jungle pities no man. Or woman, I suppose. Though it might pity perhaps a small child, maybe one only a few years old, because really, the jungle isn’t a horrible monster, now is it?” In the control room the engineer’s hand went up. “No good?”

“Can we just stick to the script?”

The narrator took a drink of water, “I just thought maybe we could go a different direction with this one. Everyone’s seen all those grand mastery of nature documentaries, and I think they might be quite sick of them. Look, we’ve got an imposing jungle, we’re going to show how everything in there could kill a man. Then we’re going to show penguins looking after eggs. Always penguins looking after eggs.”

The engineer pulled back from the studio mic rubbed a frustrated hand down his face, then leaned forward again. “Look, I don’t write the script, I’m just here to get the recording. Can we start again?”

“Fine.”

“Rolling.”

“More dangerous than it is beautiful, the jungle pities no man. In direct contrast with Mr. T who is know to pity–”

“CUT!”

“Still no good?”

“Look, we’ve only got three more studio days and another hour of programming after this to dub. You were fine through the first three episodes. Now please. Just the script.”

“Just the script.”

“Yes. Rolling.”

“More dangerous than it is beautiful, the jungle pities no man. And yet, even here man has found a foothold, building platforms in the trees. And constructing radios and television sets out of coconuts, much like the Professor on Gilligan–”

“CUT BLOODY CUT!”

“Come on, just a little of that.”

“No. We’re getting this, then I’m going home, and I’m going to drink. Read it. Please.”

“Fine.”

“Alright. David Attenborough, take five. Rolling.”

DeJean Smith, @dejeansmith

More dangerous than it is beautiful, the jungle pities no man. Fortunately, I’m not a man.

And, if you believe that bullshit, I’ll sell you a bridge in Brooklyn.

I push back my sweaty bangs with the back of one hand, realizing I’ve just spread the muck from who knows what across my face. Oh, well…I’m sure there’s a spa somewhere in Europe that sells ecomuck facials for high prices. I’m ahead of the curve now. Yay, me!

Heap lot of good that’s going to do me since I still have to hike three hours through the overgrown garden of Eden that is between me and civilization according to my iPhone ‘where the hell am I’ app.

I glance down and realize I’m only at 55% battery without a power source in sight and promptly shut it off. I take a tentative step, babying my twisted knee. At least I was the lucky one. I hobbled away from the crash site.

Come to Costa Pacifica! See the world in a new way!

Yeah, see the world while upside-down in a Range Rover that had been driven by a drunk tour guide who may or may not have seen the washed out road.

Damn torrential rains.

Damn washed out road.

Damn beautiful jungle.

Just….damn.

MLGammella, @MLGammella

Title: Hunger

More dangerous than it is beautiful, the jungle pities no man, especially a man who enters unprepared. This is where Sergio found himself, knee-deep in a mire and unable to extricate himself. As he tried to reach for branches or vines, anything to pull him out, the jungle waited, patient as it was old, until Sergio tired of his feeble attempts.

The jungle was hungry, the vines could practically taste the nourishment that his fleshy body would provide. The small animals and insects jittered in excitement. Soon it would be time to feed. Soon it would be time for Sergio to scream.

Soon.

N. R. Brown, @nrbrown

“More dangerous than it is beautiful, the jungle pities no man.” A baritone voice wafted up to the limb on which Selka sat. She rolled her eyes.
The tour guides were getting worse and worse, the Company was scraping the barrel. Then again, she wasn’t shocked, they’d been cutting corners for months now. Maintenance on the jungle had practically ground to a halt, and Selka and her sisters couldn’t keep up with the problems anymore.
The group moved into position beneath her, she could barely see them through the lush green fronds that separated them. She took a deep breath and stepped off the limb into thin air. She tucked herself into a tight ball, waiting for the wires to take hold and slow her descent.
When she was halfway to the group of babbling tourists she began to worry. She couldn’t feel the familiar tug at the harness around her waist. Three-fourths of the way to the ground and she felt a slight hitch, but not nearly enough resistance to stop her.
She closed her eyes the instant before she hit, and decided that the jungle pities no woman either.

Jennifer Brinn, @JenBrinn

More dangerous than it is beautiful, the jungle pities no man. A woman however might just have a chance.

Anne hated the skirts that tangled around her legs, but Lord Westhawk forbade her trousers; he in fact made it a stipulation of her joining this adventure. His prudishness hadn’t saved him from the water fever. Only his wealth and title provided him with the means to continue, albeit on a litter carried by locals. A proper gentleman, he complained and wheezed his way along the river.

Anne never complained. Not only wasn’t it ladylike, it wasn’t going to give her any advantage. And an advantage was what she needed to reach the temple said to be built of gems and precious metals. A library, lost among the jungle, seeking to protect its secrets from Westhawk’s ilk. And from her.

Because if the research was right, there was a book that would change the world.

One by one, the jungle took them. A crocodile here, a quicksand there. Sibling rivalry and spoiled food and fear, dark blue vines that were serpents, and finally, the last native guide just laid down and died. Like a lamb lost, he set down the litter he dragged and bleated himself into the final sleep.

At the doors of the temple, the great lost library, Anne leaned down to whisper in Lord Westhawk’s ear. “When the secret of the Amazons is mine, your son will pay for what he did to my sister.”

“He–”

“Deny what you will. He broke her heart.”

“Just like a woman,” Westhawk spat, “to destroy a man for love.”

“It is better than what you have done. You destroyed their relationship for pride, just as you did everyone on this expedition.”

“Except for you.”

“No, not me. For I was destroyed the moment my sister flung herself from the tower.”

[poll id=”73″]

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