#5MinuteFiction Week 84

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: lily (the flower, not a proper name)

(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, Jessica Olin, @olinj 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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15 Responses to #5MinuteFiction Week 84

  1. aden says:

    “What is that smell?”

    Margaret moved carefully through the apartment, walking like she was taught at the academy. They were the second on the scene, and it was critical that nothing be disturbed before forensics showed up. Her partner followed close behind, and she could hear him sniffing the air, trying to catch it. She was amazing he couldn’t smell it, even through the copper twinge from all the blood. It was cloying, and reminded her of Easter at her grandmother’s. Of her Aunt’s perfume, and her mother’s funeral. Her walking stopped as she hit the doorway to the bedroom, she found the source of the smell and the body. Both of which had begun to rot. The victim lay naked on her bed, arms folded across her chest. She was surrounded by a ring of white, rotting lily’s. Margaret could tell each flower was placed gently and lovingly around the dead girl. This moved the murder into a whole new light.

    @adenpenn
    aden recently posted..the transference of souls: or how I learned to stop worrying and love stalker cat.My Profile

  2. The puckered bud broke along it’s lines, revealing deep red anthers. It was all the old woman could see through the tiny opening. She tipped her can over the soil beneath the bud and then kissed it’s golden yellow tip.
    “You are beautiful, my darling.”
    “Thank you, mother!”
    The woman dropped the can in alarm. She looked over her shoulder, but there was no one in the tiny house with her. Shaking cold water from her slipper, she bent to mop up the spill. Where had that voice come from? It had been high pitched, like a child’s.
    As she rose, she narrowly missed hitting her head on the sill where her potted lily perched. The bloom had opened further. There, where the pistil should have been, was a tiny skinny child with three tufts of golden yellow hair, one falling to the back of her face and one to each of the two sides.
    “Who are you?”
    “I’m yours!”
    @Kimmydonn
    Kimberly Gould recently posted..Happy HolidaysMy Profile

  3. DL Thurston says:

    Lilies always were her favorite. She spoke of them often, and her face would light up whenever I gave her even one as a gift. She delighted in their gently arcing petals, in the sweet smells that softly floated on any breeze that brushed them. We always had them. In the garden, on the table, they were a constant presence in our life.

    Lilies always were her favorite. I still bring them to her. Every week I can find them, even just one, I bring them and lay them on the ground at the foot of her stone. There the petals look to droop in mourning. The flowers know where they are, and they weep. Their delicate fragrance is now the smell of death. It fills my car as I drive the flowers to her, the scent lingers no matter how far I open the windows.

    It accuses me.

    The lilies know she is dead. And they know what I did. I cannot look at them without their little heads drooping, refusing to meet my eyes. The velvety petals sting on my fingers if I brush them. And the smell lingers still.

    But still I bring them. Because they were her favorite. Maybe one day they will forgive me. And maybe soon after I can forgive myself.

    @DL_Thurston
    DL Thurston recently posted..A Writer Reviews: Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along BlogMy Profile

  4. RJ Davnall says:

    Bright white in the noon sun, the lily-flower tumbles away from the scythe. It spins, so delicate, so graceful, as it falls back to the pond, landing face-down.

    The significance is not lost. Matthew, his eyes fixed on the dark, heat-hazed figure across the water, sinks to his knees. Sunlight is a veil shrouding the skeleton, muting the terrible stare of its eyes – eyes that are never quite as empty as a skull’s should be, but Matthew sees the glint of reflection along the scytheblade.

    Blinding. Too hot to look at. Too long for possibility. Why doesn’t it snap off from the shaft?

    The glint vanishes, at it takes Matthew a moment to realise the deed is done; his body topples forward into the water, face first like the lily. He gets to his feet.

    Now the real chase begins…

  5. There was a cracked mug on the table, filled with lilies, and a crushed beer can teetering precariously at the edge. Gram drew on her cigarette with a long hissing sound and blew the smoke, in a blue-gray cloud, at the white flowers.

    “He still brings you these?” she rasped.

    Megan shrugged. “What difference does it make?”

    Gram gave her that familiar ‘don’t be stupid, girl’ look, but it had lost some of its potency when her eyes had begun to cloud with cataracts.

    “So what are you going to do about him?”

    “Do? Nothing.”

    “If you don’t acknowledge him he doesn’t exist?”

    “Exactly.”

    Gram coughed, deep and dry. “I thought you were too smart to stick your head up your ass that way?”

    “What would you have me do?” Meg huffed.

    “Give him what he wants.”

    “Never.”

    Gram chuckled, the sound of grinding rocks. “That’s not your decision anymore, girl.”

    Meg paled. “What do you mean.”

    “He and I had a little conversation the other day.”

    “Oh, Gram, no!”

    There was a knock on the door, a hollow harbinger of doom.

    “Go on, girl,” Gram’s voice was strangely soft and gentle. “I invited him. Don’t want to make the grim reaper wait out in the rain.”
    Leah Petersen recently posted..Prose Pet PeevesMy Profile

  6. DeJean Smith says:

    “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

    “Seriously?”

    “Well, it’s not like I grew up in a florist shop or anything.”

    “It kind of looks like a grappling hook.”

    His head cocked to the side for a moment before he nodded in agreement.

    “Yeah, it does. Fits since she likes to rock climb.”

    “And you’re sure she likes these?”

    “Absolutely. Though I’d kind of rather just get roses. Those I know.” He gazed at the array of lilies in the cooler.

    A semi-polite cough brought the two men out of their ruminations.

    “May I help you find something?” the shopkeeper smiled, hoping for the big sale.

    “My girlfriend loves lilies and I thought I’d get her something.”

    “Certainly! Would you rather a stargazer or tiger or…”

    “Jim, did you see this one?”

    Jim gazed at the plant at the end of his buddy’s finger.

    “Ah,” the storekeeper smiled. “The voodoo lily. Always a good choice.”

    @dejeansmith

  7. redshirt6 says:

    “Look at all of those flowers,” Jason said in a loud whisper. “Those are lilies!”

    “How do you know?” Michael asked.

    “My mom told me about them.”

    “Big deal,” Ryan said, “just because she has flowers growing in her yard doesn’t mean she’s a witch.”

    “But I heard that witches bury the remains of children under lilies. That’s why they have so many!”

    “Do they really?” Michael asked, his eyes growing larger by the minute.

    “That is just an old wives tale,” Ryan said.

    “No it’s not!” Jason objected. “You can see the blood from the bodies because it seeps up through the roots of the flower and makes those little speckles on the top.”

    “That’s stupid,” Ryan said.

    “No it’s not!” Michael insisted. “I tell you I heard it from—“

    “That is not stupid,” a female voice suddenly said. All three boys froze in terror as the face of Ms. Jones peered at them over the fence. “But actually, witches first burn the bodies and then spread the ashes in the flower garden. Much better way to hide the evidence.” She glanced over her shoulder as she spoke.

    All three boys followed her gaze and saw that she had fire burning in an old, metal drum in her back yard.

    “Would you boys like some lemonade,” she asked.

    That was the last time they tried to spy on Mrs. Jones.

    @redshirt6 aka Robby Hilliard

  8. Kaolin says:

    She stuck her nose in the lily—the bouquet reminded her of her husband: shifty, not quite right, a little too strong. It wasn’t a proper lily smell, and she supposed that was proper. He hadn’t been a proper husband. At least he died right. At her hand.

    @kaolinfire

  9. Tauisha Nicole (@shells2003) says:

    Carlie loved living on her own. It’s always been a blessing to have as much space as she wanted. The downside to it all was the location.

    She picked a place that had frequent power outages. Most of her friends thought she was being highly artistic when she bought loads of candles. They learned the hard way when she had movie night at her place one evening and she began to light candles everywhere.

    This particular evening, she had only one friend over. Marcus wanted to stop over for just a second. Unannounced. When he walked in, he smiled and replied, “Nice mood lighting.”

    Blushing slightly, Carlie replied, “Yeah, setting the mood for a few hours of powerless fun is more like.”

    He nodded and sat on one of her sofas. “No, it’s nice. Mom always did tell me to light a candle for myself sometimes, how it’d make me feel better. This does kinda make me feel nice…even though you’re the one lighting them.”

    Carlie grabbed her lighter and proceeded to light a long row, each light bringing more light than the last candle. “Sorry you had to see this, but you really should have called first.”

    “It’s fine.”

    She seemed determined to light each candle in her apartment. Marcus sighed. “Carlie, light any more and you’ll be giving the sun a run for it’s money.”

    Blushing again, Carlie finally grabbed a seat by him. “Sorry. Sorry. It’s just, I like light. A lot.”

    Marcus smiled at her, “Well, I did want to speak to you. That’s why I’m here.”

    She tiled her head slightly when she finally saw he was holding a single calla lilly in his hand.

    “About?”

    He sighed. “I’ve been meaning to ask this girl out. Just need to muster up the courage, get some nerve. You know? And she’s really special, but…”

    Carlie smiled. “But, what?”

    “I don’t know how she’ll take it.”

    “Any girl would love you,” Carlie spoke from experience. “Any girl would love to belong to you, if you asked her. Believe me, she’d have to have no pulse if she said otherwise.”

    He smiled and looked down. “So, I should just go for it, then?”

    Really wishing she had a little more notice for this, Carlie brushed some of her hair behind her ears. “Guess the lighting is perfect for this conversation, huh?”

    “Right lighting? So…you know who I’m talking about?” His smile wavered a little. “Wait, so…your sister is here?”

  10. Nicole says:

    I peered down at the pink flower pinned to the strap of my dress. “Are lilies supposed to be for funerals?” It’s little cranberry freckles stared back at me, the little strings growing out of the middle reaching forward.

    Zoe shrugged. “It’s better than nothing at all. Mom and Dad barely noticed when I left. I mean, I’m wearing a freaking ball gown, for chrissakes. Would it have killed them to take a picture? Ask why no one was picking me up?”

    “I’d share my corsage with you, but I’m not sure how I’d attach it. Besides, Dad stabbed me with the pin. Mom had to come to the rescue.” I pointed a few inches above my boob. “Look, there’s a little spot of blood.”

    “I can’t believe we don’t have dates.” Zoe’s disgust was thick, like the fog outside the car.

    I touched the window to my side and wiped my clammy hand on the fabric of the seat. “I don’t know. I’d rather go with you than one of the jerks from class. Getting a lily out of the deal, even if it is from my dad, is better than fighting off Tommy Christaldi all night.”

    “Maybe. Although getting groped seems like a small price to pay not to have to go stag.”

    Lights twinkled through the soup lingering ahead of the car’s hood. They grew larger with each mile Zoe drove. She swerved to avoid a piece of metal, and then again so she didn’t hit a chunk of something red and . . . blonde?

    “Stop the car,” I said. “Or slow down or something.”

    She craned her neck to look out the window and slowed the car to a crawl. “What is that?”

    “I don’t know. A car door? Oh my god — is that — oh my god, it’s a leg!”

    The car screeched, and Zoe threw the car into park before darting out the door. She was back in a second.

    “Lilies are definitely appropriate for a funeral,” she said, wiping vomit from her mouth.

    @nicolewolverton
    Nicole recently posted..Embrace the Horror: On Querying a Horror NovelMy Profile

  11. Allison Mosier (@Slytherin_Pixie) says:

    She’d always loved lilies. But the fairy tale would remember it as an apple.

    She was completely unsuspecting as she took the flower the old woman offered. Erica ran her fingertips along the petals before putting it to her nose to inhale the fragrance. That was when she knew something was wrong, when the scent wasn’t quite right. She looked down at the quickly shriveling flower before her legs gave out under her, sending her to the ground. The crone stood over her as her breath stilled, eyes went dim. She heard some sort of taunt about true love’s kiss, but what did it matter?

    Who cares about true love when you’re dead?

  12. M L Gammella says:

    Title: Bloody Fields

    Alana was puzzled. The last thing she remembered was laying down to sleep but now she found herself walking through Wardville. She was by herself, which was strange. Usually David was with her when she was in town.

    The sky was an odd opal hue, almost like there were Northern Lights but during the day. Everything was completely silent. Trees didn’t rustle, although she saw leaves wave through the wind. Birds didn’t chirp, although she saw their beaks open. There also weren’t any cars on the street, or any other people for that matter.

    She was completely alone.

    Alana turned the corner towards the Town Hall and was immediately surrounded by a field of lilies. Normally such a pleasant flower, Alana was struck with how sinister they looked. The petals were blood red and looked wet to the touch. As she approached one, she gingerly reached a finger out.
    The petal of the lily felt vevelty soft, as was normal. As she pulled her finger away, she noticed the tip was bloody. Quickly, she wiped off on her pants. There wasn’t a cut on her finger or anything. Nervously, she looked back at the lily. It remained as it did before.

    She touched it a second time, leaving her finger there for a moment. Fluid collected on the tip of the petal until it finally dropped to the ground. It was blood. The lilies were bleeding.

    Alana woke with a start in her bed. She sat up and looked around and everything appeared to be normal. With a sigh, she reached up to brush her hair out of her eyes. She screamed when she saw her hand covered with blood.

    @MLGammella
    280 Words of #WIP500 goodness.
    M L Gammella recently posted..Flash Fiction Week of January 16thMy Profile

  13. “A lily? You gave me a lily? What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Martha asked Johnathon, her Valentine’s date and steady boyfriend for more than seven years.

    “I don’t know. I walked into the florist, and she had all these roses jacked up to like five times what they should cost, and I saw these in the corner and thought they looked pretty, and you would like them. Aren’t they the flowers you’re always pointing to when we go for walks, that you want to grow them in the garden you want to have one day?” he replied.

    “Yes, I want to grow them. But Johnathon, it’s been seven f-ing years, seven, and you give me a bunch of lilies? And your excuse is that roses were too expensive? Seven years, you fool! Seven years isn’t worth overpriced roses, at least?”

    “You know what the economy is like now. You know I’m trying to save money for my future. Err, for our future. I can’t justify buying into all that silly Valentine’s Day Hallmark crap to drop a hundred bucks on flowers that will die in a couple of days. You know I love you. I love you every day, and that’s what matters. Who cares about roses?”

    “Who cares about roses? Me! I care about roses Johnathon! Seven years and you give me lilies?! Do you want to know what lilies stand for Johnathon? Purity and virginity! You’re giving me virgin flowers for Valentine’s Day? You know what? I’m outta here,” Martha screams as she turns to head for the door.

    “Wait,” Johnathon runs after her. “Just hold on.”

    He chases her out the door and catches her coat just in time to draw her in and turn her head to look through the window back into the restaurant as the waiter drops off a glass of champagne with a very sparkly jewel sitting in the bottom of it.

    “I gave you the lilies because you want to grow them in our garden, in our house, where we will live together. I gave you the ring, sitting in that glass there at our table, because you are the best thing that ever happened to me and I want to marry you. If you’ll have me. Valentine, will you be mine?”

    Martha fights back tears as she lifts her hand to slap him and hug him and hammer into him all at once.

    “Yes, of course, I’ll be yours. You are a crazy fool to lead me off course like that, but yes, I will marry you Johnathon Parker.”

    “Then can we please go back inside where it’s warm and there’s food and talk about it there?”

    The two walk back into the restaurant hand in hand and take their seats to applause and laughter.

    @alanagarrigues
    Alana Garrigues recently posted..#WeekendWritercize 2: Different FolksMy Profile

  14. Monocle says:

    The Queen lay dying in Sten’s arms.

    Sten-26 served Ipria. Queen Seyt, Goddess-Queen _was_ Ipria, and had been for generations. Sten-26 knew this and served. Sten-26 protected the Queen, as her predecessors always had. Sten attended with the Queen in court and in diplomacy, one step behind her, always on alert. Sten had doubled for the Queen before, gone to places deemed too dangerous for the true Queen’s presence.

    For Sten-26 kept the secret of the Stens. Queen Seyt may not age like the rest of her subjects, but she otherwise as human and any of them, and as susceptible to blade or poison or any number of other fallibilities as her mortal kin. And Sten thought that perhaps even Seyt’s immortality had limits, for she attended the Queen every moment – from the negotiating table to the toilette; even when she took one or more of her lovers. Sten’s eye saw how her Lady had slowed, ever so slightly over the years. How the lines at her eyes deepened subtly but surely before daily smoothed out by oils and powders. Sten prayed to her Goddess-Queen she would never know. That she would have the honor of giving all her existence for Seyt. For Ipria. As her predecessors, born and trained had all done. As Sten-27 waited to take her place in the Citadel Creche, and as Sten-28 was now in full training to do. Sten-26 wished nothing more than to nurture Ipria’s life with her death, and protect the land and personage she’d, yes, been born and bred to love, but nonetheless did with all her heart.

    Sten had foiled, to date, four attempts attempts by fate on the the Queen’s Life; three were assassination attempts by external enemies; a concealed dagger deflected, a poisoned lilly identified and burned, a crossbow bolt taken in Sten’s shoulder instead of Seyt’s heart. One the treachery of a formerly trusted adviser that had nearly taken Sten’s life protecting Seyt. Sten-27 had received _her_ first experience in the Queens service until Sten-26 had recovered sufficiently to resume her duties.

    All of that did not matter now, for Sten’s trained eye saw the life ebbing from her fallen Goddess-Queen, and wept. They were alone, for the moment. The rubble of the collapsed wall hid them. A tremor of the earth – Father Nature’s random, dispassionate hand – had tumbled their parapet. Sten had broken the Queen’s fall. But yet the Queen had broken. She was Old. Old and frail. Sten did not know how she had not seen this.

    “I die, Sten,” The Goddess-Queen said.

    “No! You cannot! You are Ipria, my Queen!”

    “Queen Seyt is Ipria,” Her voice was a whisper, “Ipria is, must be immortal. The Queen serves Ipria. The Sten serve Ipria.”

    Sten sobbed, stroking her Queen’s hair.

    “I remember you in the citadel, Sten. You could not wait for me to die so you could serve the Queen.”

    Sten’s brow knotted.

    “And you did. You served Us so well. And now you must do more.”

    With a shaking hand removed the Iprian signet from hand, and pressed it into Sten’s hand.

    “You are Seyt now. As Sten-24 was before me. As Sten-27 will be after you. Rule with strength and wisdom. Long live the Queen. Long live Ipria.”

    Sten-25 closed her eyes and breathed her last.

    Queen Seyt wept over the body of her fallen guardian.

    @_Monocle_
    Monocle recently posted..24/1/12 – winnersMy Profile

  15. Time’s up kids! See you at 2:00 with the finalists!
    Leah Petersen recently posted..Review: Eden by Phil RossiMy Profile

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