This, in case you somehow missed the title of the post, is 5MinuteFiction. You have been assimilated.
And welcome to 5MinuteFiction. That means we write fiction. In five minutes. Shocker, I know.
* You get five minutes to write a piece of prose in any style or genre
* You must directly reference today’s prompt: length(Note: The prompt is the word. The picture will be for decoration/inspiration.)
* Post your entry as a comment to this post.
That’s it. I’ll close the contest at 1:45. I think we know how this works, but 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, Noel Gayle, @tadbo will nominate five finalists. I’ll put the nominees in the poll on the side of the page, and at 9:30 PM EDT I’ll close the poll and declare the winner.
For updates, you can subscribe to my RSS Feed, or follow me on twitter.
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. 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.
I am not quite sure how this works or how this is timed? Is it on the honor system?
The length was never the problem. I could deal with sitting on it all the time or spending hours in the mirror trying to arrange it just right so no one would hurt themselves staring in wonder. But when I had to start pulling it up out of the way to go to the bathroom, oh and lets not forget the massive headaches from the weight, I knew it was time to get it cut.
“How much do you want off?” The stylist asked, a hopeful gleam in his eyes. They always wanted to hack at it. There was just so much there to play with.
“Take it all off, Phil. I’m tired of it.”
Phil gave what can only be described as a hyena’s giggle. His fingers locked around the scissors and I held my breath. It took him five swipes to hack it all off. I kept telling myself there was no pain, but it was there deep in my heart.
“So much hair to lose,” the woman at the station next to us said.
She was right, it was a lot of hair. But like everything else, it will just grow back.
Seven pounds, four ounces. Twenty one inches long.
It seemed larger than it really was. Three months ago…hell, three days ago, if someone had told Ellen “Pretty soon you’re going to push seven pounds out of your vagina”, she would not have believed them.
But there they were, and all of a sudden, seven pounds didn’t seem so heavy, and twenty one inches didn’t seem so long, because Charlotte, cradled in the crook of Ellen’s left arm, seemed impossibly tiny–a perfectly formed human, but miniature, infinitesimally tiny fingers and even smaller fingernails (surprisingly long, but so, so small), tiny toes and the smallest little nose Ellen had ever seen. Perfect.
And she loved her. She had been worried about that, and although Eli, who loved her so, had tried to convince her that of course she would love the baby, she was still afraid that she’d feel…nothing, because she was eighteen years old, because she had wanted a baby boy and gotten a baby girl, and because she just had no idea how to be a mother, how to love this baby, but she knew. She just knew, somehow, even if she didn’t know how to be a mother, she knew how to be Charlotte’s mother, and that it would be okay.
Seven pounds, four ounces. Twenty one inches long, and perfect.
length. strength. and a motherfuckin’ skink. not skank. mind you. snink. the stink. the brink. back from the edge of. and think. which is what we don’t do. which is whot we won’t do. which is wot we kont do. she was the fysh. sysh. dysh. fysh free. koptomelian. but not totally. saab-juug-ation to a point. then reference. then diligence. then library. effortless yyy. before. sillysally. gonk. on a monna pee yeah. then freud was smacking my smackings. limp. and it was all over. almost after it that was underneath holyfield syntax mother. um-hmm. vector. toss. never before the floss. dorm. white. girls. panix. \\ bavkslash. bavkslysh. konjk. genius. sunlight. genius. philosopher. vegetarian. and gone. spellchek.
I wander the room, waiting. I wonder, again, what length she’ll go to in her avoidance of our kiss. Because it’ll happen; it’s inevitable. Somewhere in this space we’ll meet, our eyes will clash and cling. We’ve danced these steps before and it ends the same, each time. A stare, a drift, a collision course of mouths that concludes in one of our beds, tangled in a fuck neither of us comprehend.
So I wait, examining the gallery walls, feeling her orbit narrow onto me, our gravity too strong to break, our inevitable immersion latent in the air. And ponder, too, when one of us will actually stay.
“Is the Packard ready?”
“Yeah boss. We’re all set. Full drums for the Tommy’s as well.”
“Good job Ned. Thanks.”
Carl Stramandinoli grabbed his fedora off the table and headed out to the massive black car idling in the driveway. A half-dozen men were all taking drags from their smokes, waiting for their boss.
“Get in boys,” called Carl.
Cigarettes flew in all directions as the men scrambled to get into the car. They left the shotgun position for the boss, of course.
In one movement, Carl launched himself from the running board into the seat while swinging the door closed. The driver spun the wheels of the massive Packard and they headed into town.
Today was a good day for a bank robbery.
The First Bank of Indiana was located on 12th street in downtown Indianapolis. It was about 10 that fateful morning when Carl and his boys pulled up front of the granite steps of their target.
Without even attempting to hide their intent, four men sprinted the length of the steps and into the bank with their machine guns drawn. One of the men was left out on watch and of course the driver sat waiting for everyone to complete the job.
Carl walked in and smiled. All was as he’d been told. There were two cops inside, both flirting with the same stunning redhead. Too bad, he thought as he mowed all three down with a quick burst from his Tommy gun.
Screams echoed in the large open space.
Jumping up on the table smeared with the blood of the two police officers and the redhead, Carl said in a loud but calm voice.
“In case you numbskulls haven’t figured it out yet, this is a hold up. Everyone on the floor.”
Jumping down from the table while his men took their positions, Carl grabbed a fat, balding middle-aged man with horn-rimmed glasses he’d been tipped off about.
“Mr. Bank President, why don’t we go for a walk.”
Dragging the man by the collar, Carl made his way to the vault.
“Open it,” he said.
Nervously the bank president turned the tumblers for the massive vault. It took him two tries. When the vault opened, Carl pulled is 1911 semi-automatic from its shoulder holster and tapped the fat man twice in the head.
“Two tries, two shots to the head. Bam bam,” Carl said to the crumpled and bloody corpse.
The boss walked into the vault and stopped short. Yellow, glimmering bricks were everywhere.
“Jesus H. Christ,” he muttered. “There must be thousands of bars here…”
Just then, gunfire erupted behind him in the main foyer of the bank. Carl swung around and dashed back into the main part of the bank, gun drawn.
The room was filled with gunpowder smoke and the acrid smell of sulfur.
“What the fuck…” Carl stopped short.
His boys lay in a heap on the floor. None of Carl’s potential hostages were to be seen.
A well-dressed man standing at least six-four was standing in the center of the bank.
Without thinking Carl emptied the drum of his Tommy gun into the man. The bullets seemed to hit everything but him.
Carl dropped the machine gun and redrew his pistol. It suddenly turned red hot and he dropped it with a scream.
The man moved fast. Before Carl knew it, he was tied up next to his men. They all seemed to be alive, just unconscious.
“You can wait here for the authorities, Mr. Stromandinoli. They are on their way.”
The well-dressed man turned and began to walk out.
“Hey!” yelled Carl. “Who are you?”
The man turned slightly. “Just a concerned citizen who happened to be passing through at the right time.”
“What’s your name?”
“Kent.” replied the man who then disappeared across the length of the bank foyer faster than a speeding bullet…
“When I die, I want to die like my grandmother, who died peacefully in her sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in her car.”
“What length would you like them?”
Frank stared. Jeans came in lengths? It figured. For years, Frank had been shopping in the baffling ladies’ section. A 16 in one brand could easily be an 18 in another which would be the same as a 24 juniors. Lengths were all labeled in obscure, ambiguous terms like “pettite,” “tall,” “regular,” and “statuesque.” Now Frank had to deal with waists in inches and lengths of the legs. It was boggling, yet comforting.
Frank knew that a 34 waist would be a 34 waist wherever you went. Collars, sleeves– all of it was systematic and uniform. It had numbers and logic behind it all. Frank had avoided this moment up to now. The baggy sweatsuits around Franks’ waist were all “larges” which seemed adequate enough. All the shirts were XL, which were annoying but comforting.
One couldn’t wear sweatpants and a redskins’ t-shirts for an important dinner like this, though, so braving the Labor Day traffic Frank had come here to the GAP to make a good first impression. Tonight his parents would meet their daughter, Francis as their son, Francis.
It was Frank’s first official day of being a man. And looking at the numbers lining the Jeans rack, he wondered what he had been so worried about.
forgot my twitter name (curses) @lil_monmon
The length of my life is at the mercy of the following conditions. One, that I remove these handcuffs. Two, that I find a way out of this hell-hole. And three, that I still have the will to live after what happened to me.
I concentrate on the images I’ve seen during the intermittent periods of light. Three feet to a desk. The key must be in there. Five feet behind and a few feet to the right is the door. The door that is locked. But four feet behind me on the left is a window. My best bet at getting out of here.
I scoot my heavy chair forward inch by inch, but covering the short distance to the desk takes an eternity. Time I don’t have.
I reach the desk and swipe my face across its surface. I find the handle and pull on it with my teeth. I hear the clinking of the keys and connect the sound with my teeth. Yes!
I drop them in my lap where my handcuffed arms are tied to my thighs. I fumble through the keys, trying to remember the shape of the one that will set me free.
I hear a noise outside.
Oh shit. He’s back.
She looked at the measuring tape.
She looked at the pants.
She looked at the label.
She looked again at the measuring tape.
This can’t be right. The label says waist 36. The measuring tape reads 41. How can this be?
She measures the length of the inseam. It matches the label.
Wait a minute.
This can’t be right.
She measures the waist again. 41.
“What’s wrong?” he asks. He’s popped his head into the bedroom.
“Nothing,” she says. She covers the measuring tape with the edge of the blanket.
“Okay.” He pads off.
“Jerk,” she mutters. She pulls out the measuring tape. Measures the inseam again.
This time it’s off. By an inch.
“Wait a minute.”
She remeasures the waist. 36.
She flings the measuring tape against the wall.
He pops his head back in.
“I thought the pants would fit you. But they won’t. I have to take them back.”
“Okay.” He disappears.
Magic pants, my ass. Then she remembers. Her last words to the creepy woman in the alley.
“I would go to any length to get rid of him,” she’d said. Dammit. That stupid old woman. She’d given her some sort of shape-shifting pants, not pants of slow, untraceable death.
To hell with it. Time to take matters into her own hands.
She retrieved the measuring tape. She tested it. Yep, it would make a fine garrote.
It’s the length of a pencil.
Well, a golf pencil.
And he’s so proud of it too. What does he think he’s going to be able to do with that thing? I don’t have the heart to tell him no girl is going to be happy with it.
And he’s full grown too, poor boy.
I just don’t get it. Why would anyone want such a small snake? I mean, what’s a golf-pencil sized anaconda eat anyway?
The days keep getting shorter.
Sometimes I wonder whether I’ve managed to slip above the arctic circle without noticing, and pretty soon the length of my day will be one hour, then five minutes, then nothing at all.
I shouldn’t have forsaken the sun.
I don’t think I meant to. It was the heat. It was too much brightness. It was the pain of looking at her face, her hand in the grip of another. I cursed my eyes for seeing it. Cursed the sun for showing it to me. For showing her to me that first time in the early spring, and for letting her see me.
Then, the days were never long enough. We spent them wandering, touching, looking, drinking each other in. And each day moved into a bright with stars – enough for dilated eyes to see whatever they wanted to.
We didn’t notice the solstice. We didn’t care. No, that’s not true. _I_ didn’t notice. _I_ didn’t care. But when the season began to turn, so did she. To her, I was Summer – light and heat, blossom and fragrance. Fall… I didn’t want it to come, but she did. She twirled with the earth, and I stayed rooted. And I lost her. I cursed my sun.
And now I’m losing her as well.
I will close my eyes, and sleep.
Spring, if you come, bring her back to me.
Alise examined herself in the mirror once more, taking a deep breath. Her auburn curls were gathered at the top of her head, held in place by a bejeweled tiara. Pearls graced her earlobes and the long column of her neck. Her décolletage peeked, as was the fashion, in a low-scooped bodice in ivory satin and lace. The matching skirts draped to the floor. But the true testament to her status was the length of her train. It trailed behind her, requiring twelve maids to hold it up from dragging on the ground.
For all her outward beauty, a sadness emanated from her.
“Father, must I?”
Her father strode to her side, dressed in finery. “It is for the best. Your duty.”
She nodded, her eyes drawn to her feet. He gathered her arm and escorted her to the large wooden doors of the church, where her betrothed waited.
An organ sounded her arrival and she raised her chin, determined to do what was expected. She could find love later.
He squinted and tilted his head to get a better angle. He shut one eye, then the other, marveling at the difference it made.
“Have you finished?” his boyfriend asked, amusement coloring his voice.
“I just never noticed before.” He peered down the length and squinted again.
“Stop fooling around and get down to it.”
The demand made him lift his head with a smirk, reaching out to fondle what he had just been admiring. “But it looks so much bigger that way, you should try it.”
“I don’t think I can manage that angle,” came the dry retort.
“Ha, ha. Fine lazy man, I’ll bring it closer.”
A hand reached out and grasped the smooth length, stroking it almost reverently before closing one eye to keep the peace. “Yup, huge.”
“You’re only saying that.”
“No, I’m serious. It’s the most impressive faucet I’ve ever seen. I’m sure the big pot will fit. Now will you just hook it up so I can get out from under the sink?”
“The length that I have to go for these things,” he sighed. It was his fifth straight weekend in the car, which was nothing unusual for someone in his line of work. First, he went to Beaumont. Before that, he drove to tiny Tuscola. The previous weeks, he had gone to Lufkin, Marfa, Abilene and Waller, all to watch these folks do what they do.
It was all in the name of page views and web traffic and — most important — being first. He saw himself as just an entrepreneur with a product that people wanted. The fact that the product was information about high school boys was immaterial. It was a desired product nonetheless. So he went throughout Texas, to the largest cities to the smallest towns to see just how fast that running back could get through the hole or just how quick that cornerback’s recovery time was or just how big and dominant that offensive tackle was. And make no mistake, people want to know these things. They may scoff and say, “Oh, that’s terrible. These are high school kids. Let them be kids, not commodities.” But those same people are the ones who check the website to get the scoop on how a kid’s official visit to a certain school went.
“Did they commit?”
“Are they leaning?”
“How’d he look in his last game?”
“I heard that he tweaked his ankle against Ellison? Is that true?”
As he neared the Tyler city limits, his phone rang.
“Dad, where are you?”
“Middle of nowhere, son. How are you doing?”
“I’m OK. I’m about to start practice and just kind of wanted to call and say hello.” The boy’s voice wobbled. “So, hello.”
“I’m really glad you did, son. Now, I need you to be sure to do your best today, OK?”
“Did you finish your homework?”
“Yeah.” Then the dad heard a whistle blow through the phone. “Dad, gotta run. Love you.”
He didn’t get to respond before the phone hung up. But as he pulled up to yet another high school football practice, he knew that one of the football players that he knew the least about was his own son.
Emily hooks her arm around Colin’s. “Come on. It will be fun. I promise.”
“That’s what you said last time and I was treated to a sixteen hour ballet,” Colin says. He frees himself from Emily’s grasp and begins to walk the other way.
“It was only three hours,” Emily says, “Besides, this time it’s Shakespeare. His stuff is wonderful and just as relevant as anything today.”
“Only as a sleeping aide, perhaps.”
“Colin!” Emily can’t decide if she’s angry or amused.
“To sleep, to dream, perchance to wake.” Colin waves his hands about as he imagines all Shakespearian actors do.
“I don’t think that’s quite how it goes,” Emily says, “but I do like the effort.”
Colin smiles. “I’ll give it a shot, I guess. Can’t be so bad if I get to sit next to you the entire time.”
Emily smiles as well.
“Ma’am, can you recall how long you were on the phone with your daughter?”
“Hmm?” I asked. I heard the words, but did not comprehend.
She snuck out the back door while I was doing the laundry, and I never saw her again.
“Ma’am. What was the length of your conversation?”
“Oh…two minutes, I guess?” I said. There was a spoon next to my cup of coffee. Unused, but intended for stirring the three packets of cane sugar into my drink. In it, I saw my reflection, black tears staining my cheeks.
She was playing tag with her little brother, and ran too close to the edge of the concrete pier at our favorite beach. She fell off, split her skull open on a rock and drowned unconsciously before anyone could pull her out.
“Did you hear anything in the background that sounded familiar. Anything at all. Like a train, or church bells?”
“No…she was just crying. Said she was trapped, and then there was shouting…and then…oh god.”
Her teacher convinced her to stay after class because he thought she had a rare artistic talent. He wanted her to enter her latest piece into a competition. While she was getting a piece of paper out of her bad, he raped her and hung her from the soundproofed ceiling, and then shot himself.
“Ma’am. We are doing everything we can to find your daughter.”
“I know. I know.”
I have counted over 987 irrational Mommy worries since Sara was born. I begin to pray that number 988 doesn’t turn out to be real.
It finally came time – it couldn’t be avoided anymore – and I showed her. It instantly became the gorilla in the room. The tiny, tiny gorilla.
“Oh, my,”she said.
“I know,” I whispered.
“Does it get any long-“, she started.
“No, this is the full length of it.”
We sat there awkwardly for a few seconds. The sounds of the coffee shop surrounded us.
“It’s not I don’t like you, Brad. Really. It’s just…I have a strict rule about dating flash fiction writers.”
“You’re not the first,” I said. I minimized the browser on my laptop, my minuscule blog shrinking even further into the corner.
She patted my hand, gently, took her coffee and left.
Time’s up, chickens.
I really didn’t think I’d come up with anything today. That one was hard!
I’m off to read. The finalists and poll will be up by 3:00.
Marty’s eyes scanned the crowd. He stood before them, rustling his crumpled piece of paper. Tears stung his eyes. Her mother sat in the front row, her hand laced in her sisters. Everyone stared at him expectantly, but he couldn’t speak. He didn’t know what to say. The random words he’d scribbled on the lined pages didn’t seem to make sense as he stared at them. They didn’t come to life. They didn’t jump out at him. They were haphazard thoughts scrawled hurriedly because he knew he had to write something, get anything down.
Why did he start with how nice she was? Her niceties wasn’t what he missed when he laid in bed at night. He didn’t dwell on how they met or how long they’d known each other. When he was alone at night, curled around her pillow, trying to breathe in the remnants of her scent, he didn’t think about how they were high school sweethearts. That didn’t matter. And so, why were those the things he’d wrote down? Why were those things what he was about to share with all her friends and family?
“I…” his voice trailed off.
People started to exchange looks. They didn’t think he would be able to get through this. He didn’t think he would be able to get through this, but he had to. Didn’t he? Could he just sit down and say, “I’m sorry, it’s too hard”? It wouldn’t be a lie. The pastor moved over to him and Marty held up his hand, signaling for him to stop and sit back down. He balled the piece of paper up, crushing it in his hand and said, “I wrote something for today. But it doesn’t apply. Because what I was thinking about yesterday isn’t what I am thinking about today.”
A sob came from the front row. Her mother dabbed her eyes with a Kleenex.
“Caylee was my life.” He paused and laughed. “It sounds so stupid to say that. I wrote a hundred things down on these pieces of paper. A hundred things that would be appropriate to tell you. About how I loved that she wanted lots of children and about how she used to pick slugs up off the sidewalk and move them out of the way so they wouldn’t get stepped on. Those aren’t the things I dream about. Those aren’t the things that keep me up at night.”
Once more he looked out at the crowd, took a deep breath and expelled a weary, broken hearted sigh. Then he said, “I miss her smile. I miss the taste of her lips, they were like cherries, red with Lipsmackers. I miss the curve of her waist my arm fit so perfectly around when I pulled her in for a hug. I long for the warmth of her breath on my neck, it would lull me to sleep each night. I miss the length of her hair tickling my arm when we danced around our living room to crappy eighties songs that she loved. When I’m alone, I hear her singing in the shower. I imagine her soaping her breasts and I long to kiss down the gentle hallow of her belly. These things aren’t appropriate, but her death isn’t either.”
Whispers ran through the crowd and Marty said, “She tasted like heaven. She was my own slice of perfect happiness. And she’s gone. At this moment, I can’t tell you things will be okay. I can’t tell you she would want us to be strong. I can’t say whether she would want us to celebrate her life, because right now, I can’t see the light through all this dark. I miss her. Not her niceness, not her unwavering kindness, not her ability to cook a gourmet breakfast with three items. No. I miss her. I miss Caylee.”
Tears dropped from his eyes as he moved away from the podium. And the crowd sighed with sadness.
Length is one of those odd words that makes less sense the more you say it.
Ever happened to you?
You sit there repeating the word like a kid tugging on his mother’s leg, saying, “Mom…mom…mom…mom…mom…mom,” and wondering why she doesn’t look down.
What is it with these words?
Why are they in focus one moment, yet resembling the blurred background of photos the next?
Alas, I’ve long since stopped trying to figure out why these words have this temporary, magical ability to turn polished writers into phychotic word-mumblers.
Now, I long for length.
Mine is stamped at 1:44, did I make it?
I never remember to add my twitter name to these things.
Good luck, all!
Today was going to be an excellent mother/daughter day. She decided she wanted to go to an amusement park, and was super psyched about it. Why?
“Because, today will be the day!” she grinned at me.
“The day for what, baby?”
It was like her chest puffed out. “I’ll be tall enough to ride the Cobra!”
Ah, so that’s it. The Cobra.
It’s only the longest, most scariest of coasters this side of the country. And she’s only wanted to ride it since she was ten. She’s twelve, and just a little bit taller. Considering each time we’ve attempted to take this ride, she’s always disappointed when she is deemed too short. So, for both our sakes, I hope that she’s tall enough this time.
Once we got to the park, we did all the customary things typically done: cotton candy, funnel cakes and ice cream. We took pictures with all the mascots trotting around. She nearly ran me off the road in bumper cars. And, the scrambler was a huge hit. But, it seemed like she was stalling.
“Are you ready for the Cobra, dear?”
She sighed. “Ok, mom. Let’s go.”
Her shoulders slumped as we headed over to the scariest roller coaster on earth. Placing a hand on her shoulder, I replied, “Baby, don’t go through the line looking dejected. Let’s know that you are taller now! And we’re going to have the greatest time going on this ride!”
She smiled and gave me a sideways hug as we continued to walk. “You’re right. I will be tall enough this time.”
When we reached the man who stood by the measuring pole, she walkd up to it. And smiled with glee. Seems she’s a good two inches taller than the minimum. “Mom! We can do it! We can do it!” she jumped up and down before pouncing on me.
I laughed from her bear hug of excitement. “Well, that’s one problem solved.”
“What do ya mean?”
I pointed to the line for the ride itself.
Casey’s eyes bugged out. “Wow, mom. That’s a long line!”
“We can survive this, Casey. We can survive anything.”
Oops, I hit the button early. Yes, everyone here now counts.
Yipes, I went dark this week. Looking forward to reading everyone’s!
I missed it, huh? Dang work.
Well, I’ll post mine anyway.
“Exactly how long are they?”
“Approximately 10 to 15 centimeters, depending on the breed.”
“I see. Can I get a guaranteed one that is 12 centimeters? It best suits my needs right now.”
“Of course, sir. We understand that our customers have specific length needs, and we genetically modify all our species to fit each need. In checking my records, I see that we currently have a dozen available in sizes from 12.1 to 12.5 centimeters in length, with the average being 12.3.”
“Excellent, I will take two in the 12.3 centimeter length, and one in the 12.5 length.”
“Very well, sir. We have all three sizes available in either dark brown or creamy white.”
“An excellent choice. Where are we shipping these to?”
“The shipping address will be the same as my billing address.”
“Very good, sir. We can have them shipped fresh as early as tonight, if you need.”
“Tomorrow will do fine, thank you.”
“Very well, sir. This will be billed to your account per normal, then. Thank you for ordering from us.”
“I must say, since your company conquered that planet Earth, human arms have made an excellent dinner meat. Thank you!”
D’oh. Stupid typo. “She remeasures the wait. 36.” Obviously, I meant want. Oh, no, wait. Waste. Waist. That’s it. Waist. Remeasures the waist.
I know I’m late…my boss kept popping into my cube. Still fun to write…
It was the length of his shadow that made me weep.
Normally, Ralph dressed in an inconspicous manner…muted tones for his pants, standard business power colors for his shirt, neat tie, parted hair. There was never anything distinguishing about Ralph’s appearance that would delineate him from thousands of his fellow cube-zombies marching toward their daily corporate den.
The third of September was different than every other day for Ralph, and for everyone else in the tri-city area.
As waning light played over the crime scene, I took a moment to file away a mental photograph of Ralph Smithson’s body lying akimbo on the cooling Georgia asphalt.
His hair was still neat, his clothes carefully laundered and selected for everyman anonymity…the only thing strange about the scene was Ralph’s floor-length topcoat and strange, yet peaceful smile, plastered permanently on his visage. It was a smile I’d seen a thousand times before and would see a thousand times again in nightmares yet to be had.
If it weren’t for the pool of blood gently cradling his head and the length of his coat, it would all just be a bad dream. Wake up Ralph, it’s just a dream.
Never would I thought to be the officer called to this hostage crisis turned nightmare. Ralph Smithson…the one they call “Senior.” The one they call “Junior”…one father, one son, one bullet, one name, one large shadow to fill.
Patsi, I missed your question, sorry! There’s only 15 min to post within. So it’s on the honor system to only use five minutes of it to write.
Welcome Shannon. Wow! What an entry! I hope you’ll be back.
Having to pick the (subjective) best stories out of so many interesting entries in the length of time given is possibly (maybe) as demanding as entering oneself in the contest.
Thanks for having me, I really appreciate it.
…and now I’m going to go lie down, I think I have a headache.