I just love all our talented 5MinuteFictioners and the great new authors who pop in every week. What a great way to spend a Tuesday.
Congratulations all! Below are their entries and on the right of the page is the poll. So read, vote, and come back tonight at 9:30 to see who wins!
I’m staring at the prompt. Inability. What I have is an inability to come up with anything for this week’s writing contest.
This is not going well.
I fidget. My pants are too tight. My ponytail holder is too loose. I can hear the clock ticking behind me and I make a note to ask my husband to throw the thing in the nearest dumpster at his earliest convenience.
What the hell am I going to write about?
I know I’ve already wasted at least two of my five minutes just thinking about it.
I look away from the keyboard and notice lint on my shirt. Five seconds to pick the miniscule piece of fluff from my shoulder. Ten seconds to decide the previous estimate of time was too much and edit. Ten more seconds to reread and change the word “amount” to “estimate” in the previous sentence.
Surely another minute has passed by.
My gaze slides off the computer screen and onto the preschool artwork hung on my wall behind the monitor.
I smile, thinking about my children.
A story idea comes to me! I start writing. My fingers fly on the keyboard.
The online stopwatch buzzer goes off. I’m out of time.
“I don’t understand.” She stared out the window, eyes so liquid they mirrored the lake without.
“Oh come oh, Tina, you know how things are, how we are.” She could follow his steps by sound as his feet brushed aside twisted up balls of failed drafts.
“No. No I don’t. Explain it to me. Or is that yet another inability you’ll lay at my feet?” His stricken reflection failed to act as the blow he’d expected and she turned, throwing her ring across the room.
It bounced, with accidental accuracy, off his chest. “Explain it to me, James,” she snarled, her voice something she couldn’t, wouldn’t recognize, as she crossed the room.
“Tina, it just is, okay?” He stepped back once, then again. And still she advanced.
“No. It’s not okay. You’re throwing away everything. Explain. It. To. Me.” She punctuated each word with the impact of her finger against his chest. His face darkened, a glower tightening his eyes and her stomach twisted.
“I want to know why. I want to know how. I want to know why it’s my fault.”
As her finger jabbed at him once more his hand closed around it, jerked her against him, twisted her arm into the small of her back, lifting her up onto her toes. His eyes bore into hers. Her heart fluttered like a rabbit’s before a wolf.
His lips pulled back from his teeth in something that should have been a smile but looked much more dangerous.
“Because you won’t shut up, Tina,” he growled, his lips descending to hers in a vicious kiss that was everything she’d been pushing for and more.
It wasn’t a concept he liked to consider. All his life he’d been considered a genius. Every obstacle had fallen before his attempts. Every conquest had prostrated themselves at his feet. But, like it or not, this was different.
He stole a glance at the slumbering form on the other side of the bed, almost afraid his thoughts would leak out and wake his companion. He wasn’t ready to answer questions, not until he came up with a solution.
Of all the things he thought would trip him up, this wasn’t one he would have imagined. But it was clear that without a solution his cozy life would fall apart. ‘Stupid Grandmother and her stupid will,’ he thought angrily.
He needed to fulfill the terms she laid out, he was counting on her money to finally quash his competition once and for all. But he never thought she’d put conditions on his inheritance.
Marriage, no less. He smiled wistfully and ran his fingers through his lover’s hair in an attempt to soothe his nerves. After all they’d been through it was killing him to know this would be their last night together.
Once again he cursed the backward society he lived in, the inability to marry the man he loved left him with no choice. He took a deep breath and slid quietly out of bed, penning a quick note of explanation and dropping a tender kiss on the tousled mop peeking out of the covers before slipping out of his lover’s house for the last time.
Your inability to see me, hear me, accept me, love me for who I truly am is the deepest wound a daughter can experience; it has torn at the very fabric of who I am, ripped at my soul & picked apart the stitches of my psyche.
Isn’t it fortunate then that I’ve spent my life learning to be my own seamstress.
They called it a ‘smart virus.’
A variation of herpes that could target specific DNA types. Read: races.
Once unleashed, it could wipe out an entire ‘targeted group’ within a generation. Maybe two.
It was the ultimate biological weapon with a one hundred percent mortality rate.
“A new sexually transmitted disease,” they said.
“Abstinence is the best way to avoid contracting the always fatal ‘super bug,” they also said.
‘They,’ apparently, were never horny teenagers.
Condoms were useless. Any sort of sexual contact. Kissing, blow jobs–even hand jobs would spread the virus. It didn’t matter.
They must have giggled to themselves when they’d first created it. Then screamed in frustration at their inability to control it.
See, what ‘they’ didn’t realize is that they’d created a real ‘smart bug.’ By smart I mean intelligent. Self-propagating. And self-aware.
They’d created the fucking Einstein of STDs.
Then ‘they’ declared war on the uber-herpes. Uber-herpes declared war back.
In three months it was all over.
As I look down from the International Space Station as the last surviving member of the human race, I try to find fitting last words. The oxygen is in the red now.
I think of Neil Armstrong and his “One small step” speech. What bullshit.
As the last tank goes dry, all I can think to say is “They…were a bunch of assholes.”