#5MinuteFiction Week 78 #NaNoWriMo Edition

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!

And to celebrate NaNoWriMo, for the month of November, all the prompts will be designed to feature YOUR main characters in your WIP. (If you’re not participating in NaNoWriMo, no worries. Just use the prompt with whatever characters you wish.)

The Rules

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

* You must directly address today’s prompt: Your main character gets caught stealing.

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

* Post your entry as a comment to this post.

I’ll close the contest at 12:45. 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, Mhairi Simpson, @AMhairiSimpson 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, 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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21 Responses to #5MinuteFiction Week 78 #NaNoWriMo Edition

  1. “What do you think you’re doing?”

    I whirled around to find Pete standing there, looking less than pleased.

    “What are you doing here? You were supposed to be in a council meeting.”

    “Well I’m not,” he said dryly.

    I fought not to squirm. “Yeah. I see.”

    “So. What do you think you’re doing? Last time I looked this was my office, and generally considered off-limits to anyone but me. Especially the things in it. As in they’re not to be removed. Like that.” He pointed to the innocent looking palm-tab in my hand.

    I looked down at it.

    “I thought if I took a look I might find something the techs missed.”

    “You’re a physicist. Not a technology expert.”

    “Yes, I know, but I just–”

    “Wanted to see what Blaine was doing.”

    “Ummm, well, yes.”

    Pete held out his hand. I blushed and dropped the tab into it.

    “I’ve got some work to do in the lab,” I said, “I think I’d better get back to it.”

    “Yeah. That might be a good idea.”
    Leah Petersen recently posted..#5MinuteInterview with Bryan Thomas Schmidt of The Worker PrinceMy Profile

  2. Kaolin Fire says:

    The crowd gave a respectful applause as the she pulled up a new slide. “And this,” she said, “is where my system detected me stealing.”

    @kaolinfire

  3. Sessha Batto says:

    Muffled voices resolved as they grew closer. Mai doused the single candle, grabbing the sword from its stand and slipping behind the elaborately carved jade screen. ‘Hiding like a dog, again.’
    Resentment bubbled up inside her, and she forced herself to bottle the urge to strike out at the source, settling instead for eavesdropping. She held her breath, recognizing her brother’s airy tones. His patience with her had been growing thin of late, and getting caught listening in on his private discussions would not help her position.

    Mai shifted cautiously, trying to get a better angle on the room through the perforations of the screen, and watched her sibling pace back and forth. Concealment was well worth the discomfort of being wedged into such a confined space. ‘Son of Heaven, indeed,’ she thought with a sniff. ‘If he was a god he would know I was here.’

    “It’s high time you made a match for your sister, Mikado-sama. She will be valuable as a bargaining chip. Perhaps the Shogun is in need of another wife?”

    She didn’t bother trying to see the speaker. It didn’t really matter which one of her brother’s so-called councilors it was, they were uniform in their desire to get her safely married and miles away. Mai shivered when the emperor’s eyes seemed to meet hers, wondering briefly if his anger would be as much for her state of dress as for her theft. Of course, subterfuge was to be expected in the palace. A princess caught stealing valuable relics, on the other hand, was a serious breach of protocol.

    The voices finally grew faint, and she slipped out from the claustrophobic niche . . . only to find her brother waiting for her. “It’s not what it looks like,” Mai stammered.

    “Of course it isn’t. You would never stoop to stealing what I would have freely given you, little sister.” His reply only increased her sense of unease, and she darted to the side, hoping to escape into the labyrinth of passages riddling the palace. ‘At least, until he’s had a chance to calm down.’

    She made it three feet before a hand fisted in the back of her yukata and threw her to the ground, the object of her obsession clattering to the ground beside her.

  4. Kaolin Fire says:

    ^^

    @kaolinfire [whoops, as ever]

  5. @Kimmydonn
    Is it really stealing if no one is tracking the goods?
    Smashing the glass of the third and final grocery store left in Fort Collins, Heph and I hurry into the maze of aisles like rats after the cheese. I get cheese. I also load up on butter and milk. The milk is probably all spoiled, but there might be a few cartons in the back that haven’t turned.
    Heph has found cheese too, but only already baked into buns and bread. Like my selections, there might be some spoilage, but we’ll take what we can carry and sort it out at the other end.
    We leave our carts with the crew at the van. They’re already opening fire on the meat sacks coming our way, so we hurry for one more pass. This time we hit staples. I’ve got the baking aisle, tossing sack after sack of sugar and flower. There a crashing of metal an aisle over as Heph sweeps cans from shelves.
    Sprinting for the truck, we both pull our pistols and fire with the guard at the van.
    “Do it, Cass,” Heph tells me and I stash my gun, throwing sacks into the back. Heph and another of the guard cease fire to lift his cart and pour tin cans atop the flour and sugar. I’m already climbing atop the pile, as is one other guard. Then Heph jumps in, yanking the doors as the last two hop into the front and peel out, crushing zombies beneath our tires.
    It’s not like they were eating the food anyway.
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  6. Jen DeSantis says:

    It was worth it. The herbs behind the broken window would heal Violet’s wounds. Leteh didn’t care if someone would mistake him for a common criminal; if it saved young witch’s life, that was good enough for him.

    “Stop right there,” a gruff voice said from the corner.

    Leteh froze, his large hands wrapped around the precious packet. They’d yet to see any of the inhabitants of the InBetween up close, but he knew they had been watching them from the shadows. He wondered briefly what they might look like, what magic they might possess.

    “Who do you think you are, anyway?” another voice asked when Leteh didn’t turn around. “Sneaking around our town and stealing our supplies?”

    Leteh turned slowly, his hands raised in surrender.

    “I’m sorry. My friend is injured and I needed there herbs.” He turned around to face the two people who had addressed him and couldn’t suppress the gasp that escaped his lips.

    The two small figures were wrapped in dark rags, covering them from head to toe. Only their strange blue-green eyes shone out from a slit around their faces. They held tiny pitchforks up at Leteh, poking them nervously forward as he cocked his head to the side, his arms falling as he took in the innocuous creatures in front of him.

    They were no bigger than Clidna and Leteh could feel the fear rolling off of them. If they possessed any magic, he couldn’t sense it. He’d never encountered any beings like these before in his entire existence. Leteh’s arms fell to his sides, shock giving way to a surety that these beings, whatever they might be, could not do him any permanent harm. He stepped forward, causing the two men to scurry backward against the wall. Leteh reached a hand out in curiosity.

    “What are you?” he asked.

    It was his first mistake.

    @JenD_Author
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  7. John Hancock says:

    “Moral question: if I’m starving, is it truly stealing?” the Ernt said to no one in particular.
    It was pretty sure the answer was yes, but it was so, so hungry, in its own way.

    The Ernt looked out over the ground. Iridescent lines of data wriggled across it like dying eels, struggling homeward. They all had purpose. The Ernt had purpose, too.

    The only way to achieve its goal was to defeat the goal of another. Isn’t that the code by which all life exists? Animal eats animal or plant to progress in existence another day. Plant ingests nutrients and sunlight. DataGhosts gorge on discarded threads of code.

    The Ernt would have sighed, if it had lungs. Instead, it ran multiple simultaneous analytic siphons on the data around it.

    Nothing here. All the snippets were parts of larger streams and portions of trunks. Nothing could be taken without the overheaders noticing.

    Forlornly he drifted on….DataGhosts survived within the system like invisible leeches.

    There. there was a hapless snippet wriggling along a barren node. The Ernt pounced like a starving tiger, swallowing it whole.

    The Ernt would have smiled, had it lips to smile with.

    Suddenly his insides started exploding from several hyperspatial points.

    Damn, thought the Ernt. A retrovirus.

    And then the last thought it had was “Is stealing morally right if survival is…..”
    John Hancock recently posted..Grokdad: http://twitpic.com/78gb5a @TheActorJPayton here is your pic! if you like it, please retweet to your followers. Thanks for our chat! 🙂My Profile

  8. Jessica says:

    “Did you really think I wouldn’t notice?” Wolfe stood over her, effectively preventing Jenny from being able to get out of the chair. “You’re too new at this to cover your tracks effectively. Besides, I taught you most of what you know about hacking.”

    Jenny couldn’t even breathe, let alone answer him. Wolfe was supposed to be her friend, her lover. He wasn’t supposed to be the enemy.

    “C’mon, Red.” He smirked as he spoke. “Such an appropriate hacker handle, even without this.” He reached out and grabbed a handful of her hair. Wolfe pulled so that Jenny was bent almost over backwards, forcing her to look up into his face. “Or should I call you Jennifer Dawson?”

    Jenny gasped, unable to hide her fear at this point.

    “Yeah, I know who you are, Little Red. And I know that you’re trying to get to your grandmother. You’re a fairy tale come to life, Red trying to rescue her grandmother from the Wolfe.” He laughed, but it was a mirthless sound. “Only trouble with your plan is that I knew who you were from the beginning. I lead you a merry chase, Red, but you’re going to end up in the belly of the beast.”

    Wolfe reached behind him, not releasing his grip on Jenny’s hair, and grabbed the dataplug that fed into the terminal on his desk. “It’s so convenient that you finally gave in and had the dataport installed. This way I can hack right into your brain, my dear. So,” he plugged the cord in, “let’s get started reprogramming.”

    @olinj
    Jessica recently posted..Be Courageous; Ask For Help, by David GreenMy Profile

  9. Jessica says:

    “Did you really think I wouldn’t notice?” Wolfe stood over her, effectively preventing Jenny from being able to get out of the chair. “You’re too new at this to cover your tracks effectively. Besides, I taught you most of what you know about hacking.”

    Jenny couldn’t even breathe, let alone answer him. Wolfe was supposed to be her friend, her lover. He wasn’t supposed to be the enemy.

    “C’mon, Red.” He smirked as he spoke. “Such an appropriate hacker handle, even without this.” He reached out and grabbed a handful of her hair. Wolfe pulled so that Jenny was bent almost over backwards, forcing her to look up into his face. “Or should I call you Jennifer Dawson?”

    Jenny gasped, unable to hide her fear at this point.

    “Yeah, I know who you are, Little Red. And I know that you’re trying to get to your grandmother. You’re a fairy tale come to life, Red trying to rescue her grandmother from the Wolfe.” He laughed, but it was a mirthless sound. “Only trouble with your plan is that I knew who you were from the beginning. I lead you a merry chase, Red, but you’re going to end up in the belly of the beast.”

    Wolfe reached behind him, not releasing his grip on Jenny’s hair, and grabbed the dataplug that fed into the terminal on his desk. “It’s so convenient that you finally gave in and had the dataport installed. This way I can hack right into your brain, my dear. So,” he plugged the cord in, “let’s get started reprogramming. I’ll teach you not to steal from me.”

    @olinj
    Jessica recently posted..Be Courageous; Ask For Help, by David GreenMy Profile

  10. “What in God’s name is that?” my mom asked me as I climbed into the car from the roadside rest area.

    “What?” I asked innocently.

    “Whatever is behind your back.”

    “Umm, nothing.”

    “Jessie …. what do you have behind your back?”

    “Nothing mom, it’s just a little something I needed.”

    “From where? The rest stop? There’s nothing here, Jessie. What did your thieving hands take this time?”

    She came to the back of the car and wrestled it the toilet paper out of my hands. One roll of state-issued scratchy t.p. You see, I have this habit of needing to record our trips with something small and, according to my mom, technically stolen. If we stop at a restaurant, I sneak out with a fork. If we stop at a candy store, a handful of candy. A car museum? I might slip a key from the ignition into my pocket. At the rest stop, there was nothing besides the toilet paper.

    “Jessie, take that damn roll of toilet paper back to where it came from. NOW!” shouted my mom. “For god’s sakes, Jessie, someone will need to wipe their bum, and you’ll be responsible for their discomfort. Really, think about things, would you?”

    I sulked back into the restroom, roll in hand and hung it back on the toilet paper holder, but not before stuffing a few squares into my back pocket for my memory box of stolen treasures.

    @alanagarrigues
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  11. The water in Ollie’s tank was dank, he’d inked himself sometime in his sleep, another night of bad dreams. What the hell was he doing in space anyway? He couldn’t possibly any further away from his cozy cave deep in the warm Pacific than he was now. Octopuses were not designed for space travel. He needed something.

    He took to the controls of his tank and unlocked it from it’s docking station then wheeled from his quarters, he needed to think. He needed to stretch his tentacles is what he needed but a square meter wasn’t exactly roomy to go for a swim.

    Passing Dr. Vareday’s office he noticed that the door was ajar. Only the light glow of the emergency lighting shone out. Hello he called out, sending a telepathic wave to see if anyone was there. A door to the supply closet was open. He wheeled inside.

    Bales of green filled the lower shelves. He knew what it was he also knew what the Captain and the Doctor had said about using it, “by prescription only,” they said. He didn’t care. He swam to the top of his tank and reached out a tenticle suctioning on to one of the bales and pulled it into his tank.

    “Who’s there?” A sleepy voice called out. Lights turned on.

    Ollie didn’t know what to do, he hastily pulled the bale under him, the acidity of his underbelly melted the plastic wrap, and began to digest the pot. Waves of calm euphoria over took him.

    “What are you doing here?” The doctor asked.

    Looking for something to help me sleep, Ollie sent out.

    The doctor looked at the cupboard, then at Ollie. “Did you raid the medicine closet?”

    No, then inexplicably Ollie began to laugh, and in doing so ink flowed from his underside.

    “Move you damn invertibrate!”

    Ollie wheeled his tank around.

    “No, in your tank.” The doctor said, perturbed.

    Oh… The remains of the bales of weed crumbled under him.

    The doctor went over to him, “you spineless little theif! Wait until the Captain hears about this!”
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  12. Alli (@slytherin_pixie) says:

    “Stealing from me now, are you?” Ember turned sharply as she heard Lilith’s voice behind her. The ancient book fell to the ground as the dark haired demon grabbed on to Ember’s arm. “What could you possibly want with a book about getting someone out if a deal? Not growing attached to the musician, are you?”
    Ember bit her lip; how could she lie about how she’d fallen in love with David? Lilith had practically invented lying! A lie was unnecessary, though; Lilith saw the expression, and knew. She smiled, a cold expression that froze the blood in Ember’s veins. Her fingers snapped, and the blond was back in the Pit, surrounded by fire and the screams of the other tormented souls. She would never see David again, and the simple thought made her break down in tears.

  13. Bronwynk says:

    Cullen crept out of the lab with the egg hidden in laptop case. He hoped that it didn’t look like there was an egg in the bag. He walked toward the exit and the security guard standing there.

    “Have a good evening, Mr. Thomas.” The over weight guard said with a smile.

    “Thanks Jerry.” Cullen smiled as he walked out of the building. He opened the door of him large SUV and placed the bag on the passenger seat before settling in to the driver’s seat. Soon he had the vehicle running and he was driving toward his home. Occasionally the egg would make a sound, but he didn’t stop. He wanted it get it home as fast a possible.

    He pulled in to his drive way and went around the house. He parked the truck next to the barn. He grabbed the bag and went inside to an empty stall. Once in the stall, he piled the hay up in to a makeshift nest. Opening the bag, he grabbed the egg and laid it on the hay.

    “Daddy, what is that?” Myra asked from behind him. The curious 6 year old always watched for her daddy to get home.

    “An egg, sweetie.”

    “It’s a very big egg.” Myra crouched next to her father to watch it. The egg started to move, making her laugh in delight. “It’s going to hatch, daddy!”

    “Yes. How about we go inside and change clothes?” He suggested. He hoped he would be able to convince her to stay inside. Cullen didn’t know what would hatch out of that egg. The two left the barn hand in hand and walked in to the house. Myra bounced over to her mom.

    “Daddy brought home a big egg, mommy. And it’s moving!” Myra ran toward the stairs. “i’m going to go change my clothes.”

    “You stole the egg?” Jackie demanded. “You brought it home and you don’t even know what is in it? How could you, Cullen?”

    “I didn’t want it to hatch in the lab.” Cullen said, slightly ashamed of his behavior.

    “But we don’t even know what it is. What if it eats our child?”

    “I’ll make sure that doesn’t happen.” Cullen said sternly. “I’m going to go change my clothes and will be out in the barn.”
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  14. That’s time, folks!

    See you at 2:00 with the finalists.
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  15. Monocle says:

    It’s not often I saw Daciana angry, and that’s saying something with the handful I used to be. But now, her diminutive frame towered over my bed, and her eyes… I realized I’d never in a century seen them with that kind of fire in them.

    “Alak, of all the princelings in this fractured land.”

    I turned from her glowering face – out of necessity more than volition, and looked down at Audo, still asleep on the pillow of my forearm. The marks where I’d bit him were on their way to healing. But it was as much a mistake to look down as look up, because seeing them reminded me of how sweet he’d tasted.

    I wouldn’t turn to meet her eyes.

    “He… came to me, Daci. It’s the first time anyone’s pursued me since before…”

    “That doesn’t matter, Alak. I’d told you my plans for Audo and his house. They were going to ally-”

    “But they still will! I can-”

    “Alak! You still don’t understand everything you need to.”

    Now I was getting angry, and I turned back to her with my own spark.

    “I’m not a child, Daci! And I’m not your poor penned beast anymore either.”

    That stung her a little, I could see it, and immediately regretted it.

    Audo stirred on my arm.

    “We’ll talk about this later, Alak. Now – do your best to keep what you’ve stolen.”

    And she was gone.

    “I thought I heard a girl’s voice…” Audo rolled toward me sleepily.

    “You were dreaming, my Prince. now, where were we?”

    @_Monocle_
    (Characters from my novella-in-progress “Blood Tint”)
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  16. I stepped through the archway as if nothing was wrong. Pretending is good for the soul, or some such nonsense broken-down adage. After all, where I was going, where I’d come from, broken-down was better than nothing.

    The steel and chrome surface of the archway hid a million gears and magnets and other things even the scholar class didn’t know, couldn’t understand. Technology belonged solely to the Clockwork Arcany Guild. They didn’t want us mere mortals playing with fire. In a sick way that made sense; London was still ash-covered ruins, after all.

    My bones vibrated with the resonator. I clenched my jaw against the pain, since it would be over soon. My knees gave out and I stumbled into the City guardsman who rushed forward to stop me. I clung to him tight, allowing him to bear my full weight so my joints didn’t have to grind against gravity as well as themselves. He froze, rigid in the resonator’s power for the few seconds it took for the terminus employees to shut it off.

    They’d strip me clean to search for what I had taken. If I was found with tech, even the tiniest fragment of a gear, I’d be put to death. Growing up on the streets of Edinborough, though, had given me the right kind of skills for this mission. That fragment I’d pulled from the wreckage of the airship slipped down into the pocket of the kind guard who kept me from the ground. They’d stop looking as hard long enough for someone else to get through, unable to trust their scans. Someone will have the real secrets from that wreckage. And maybe, just maybe, someday the children who would grow up to be more like me would have a chance.
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  17. Ian Wood says:

    “You’re certainly looking chipper today, Mr. Curtis.” Tom—Tom the checkout guy, master of fast-swiping catfood cans and seer of all that was hidden on the lower shopping cart shelf—was staring with narrowed eyes at my crotch as he passed apples, Drano, and peanut butter across the scanning lasers.

    “Well it’s a lovely day, isn’t it.” I said. The chilled pot roast in my pants was shriveling my testicles, and I was fairly certain that there was a hole in the plastic seal. Meat juice trickled down my thigh. Outside the SafeWay’s front window, I could see Cabie and Danielle—a well-coiffed and made-up Mutt and Jeff—peering in at me, Cabie with her hands theatrically pressed to her mouth, Danielle waving with cheerful abandon. “Perfect day for a picnic.” I winced as he scanned a 48-pack of condoms. “Those aren’t for the picnic.” It slipped out before I could stop myself.

    “So just the fruit, peanut butter, and drain cleaner for the picnic, then?” He’d stop scanning, and his finger hovered above the Total button on the register, looking me in the eye with his legendary checker’s vision. “No…crackers? Or, say…cuts of meat?” He looked at my crotch again. Such was my guilt—damn Danielle, and Cabie too, with their flirtatious double-dog dares—that I followed his gaze. A large, blood-like stain was expanding from the bottom of my zipper.

    “Of course!” I blurted. “How silly of me.” In one smooth movement and had unbuckled my belt, popped the first two buttons on my jeans, and thrust my hand into my waistband. It emerged, almost triumphant, holding the somewhat compressed roast. As I flung it onto the conveyor with my random groceries, a gout of juice squirted under pressure from one corner of the plastic, inscribing a red line across Tom’s apron and face. I leaned in close. “Also silly of me? I left my wallet in the car.”

    The sliding doors were barely open as I catapulted through them. It didn’t occur to me until I reached the car, started it, and checked my mirror that Cabie and Danielle were in heels, and Tom had caught up with them as they toddled across the parking lot after me.
    The car was in gear. I could go at any time…and leave them to Checkout Tom’s tender, law-and-order mercies.

    @writebastard

  18. Monocle says:

    Frak. The minute turned as I was writing my parenthetical. Do I miss out?
    Monocle recently posted..22/11/11 – CheshireMy Profile

  19. Ian Wood says:

    Whoops. Forgot that there Twitter handle. @writebastard

    Ah well.

  20. RachelAng34 says:

    interesting entries! 🙂 love it.
    RachelAng34 recently posted..Chamonix SummerMy Profile

  21. Jewel says:

    nice! wish i could be a good writer like you guys.
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