It’s it great the way one word can prompt so many different ideas. I love that about 5MinuteFiction.
No, not really, she didn’t bribe me. But she was kind enough to invite me over to gush about 5MinuteFiction. Honestly, I didn’t say enough about how great our contributors are.
This week was no exception, but, unfortunately, there can only be five finalists. They are:
Here are their excellent entries. Enjoy. And vote at the bottom. Also send all your friends, enemies, and assorted acquaintances. If you’re a finalist, so you can gloat, if you’re not, so they can agree with you that the judge doesn’t know anything. 😉 Winner will be posted at 9:00 EST tomorrow. See you then!
To be a priestess meant forever asking boons of those much more powerful than herself, to kiss the feet of spirits who could crush human bones with a wayward thought. It was to sit until her back ached, hunched over until her spine resembled that of a turtle’s. She had done this for many seasons on end, since she was old enough to set foot in the temple. She grew to womanhood hunched over, hands pressed flat against the stone floors as she begged the spirits to hear her plea, to intervene in the ways of the world.
She had thought they had answered her prayers when from the ashes of a dark world came a hero, one keen of eye and brave of heart. Her bows had turned to excited rocking, praising the gods for their goodness.
A summer later, she had watched the hero fall. His blessed body had been dashed on the rocks; the next spring’s seedlings would be nourished by his blood.
She entered the temple with her back straight. She passed her hunched sisters, ignoring their gasps. She set her feet firmly on the altar and lifted herself to her full height. She would beg no longer. The time of mercy had passed. This time, the spirits would not receive pleas.
This time, it would be the priestess who gave the commands.
Your time is up.
They’re hard, endings. This is yours. I’m sorry.
You had a good run. God granted you many good things.
You were young, and strong, and beautiful. Pain, and grief, and loss were things you knew little of. Be grateful, little one.
If, perhaps, there were things you missed, like the wedding, the children, true love and true friendship, know that you also missed their endings.
Your life was brief. But you lived it with vigor and enthusiasm, and you left it quietly and with grace.
“I will grant you one wish. Should you use that wish to wish for more wishes, the original offer of a wish will be voided. Do you understand?”
Brad looked from the empty Coke bottle in his hand to the genie and back again. Someone slipped something in his drink while he was taking a leak. That explained everything. But why chose a genie to hallucinate? He frowned, more at his fucked up subconscious than the green creature giving him an impatient look.
“Well? I’m not going to float here all day.” The genie tapped a pen against the contract laying on the table.
“No one else can see you.”
“They didn’t summon me. Now sign the damn thing. I’m missing a Buffy marathon.” A green hand slammed the pen down.
“Okay, fine.” What did he have to lose?
Brad scribbled his name at the bottom of the contract. The genie grinned, showing off a set of chompers a piranha would be proud of. “One more step before you can wish.”
“Wha- Ow!” Brad glared down at the pen. A thin blade stuck out of it. Blood welled up from the small wound in his finger and dripped down onto his signature. It soaked into the page and vanished.
“Now that the legal bullshit is over, mind telling me what you want?” The genie gave a bored look.
“Yeah, sure.” He grabbed a napkin out of the metal container on the table. “I wish Joss Whedon never created Buffy.”
“Is it done?”
My eyelids fought gravity as I lifted my head to meet my partner’s anxious gaze. With a sigh I pushed the printout across the desk.
“Done and submitted.”
Vera dropped into the chair across from me with a sigh that expressed every ache and worry wracking my body.
“We need this grant, Fi.” Her gaze, purple and surreal, held mine and shoved down the swell of frustration.
“I did the best I could, my friend.” She dropped her head, colorless hair swirling free of its netting for a brief moment. I watched it halo around her head. The populus didn’t know how to handle the Outer Reaches’ newest immigrants. They couldn’t accept they were just as real as a human was.
A quicksilver tear streamed down Vera’s cheek and I caught it, lifting it to let the sugary sweet drop explode on my tongue.
“Let’s go home, love,” I whispered, tugging her to her feet. “We won’t know for at least a solar cycle whether we’ve a chance.” Vera yielded to my touch and I led her from the office.
We were compatible.
And if we got our grant we would prove just how much. Until then I was more than happy to distract my friend and lover reminding her what we sought was more than our dream.
The queen had power. She could order ones death or grant a pardon at the wave of a hand. Upward meant life, downward meant a sharp, searing pain to the neck and a coffin that was 12 inches shorter then it would normally needed to be.
She knew her power. She liked it. She had been raised with the understanding that one day her power would be absolute. She could be as kind or as ruthless as she wished to be. In her 21 years of life, she had been kind, granting pardons as they came to her. She couldn’t imagine becoming a tyrant.
Never had she imagined her hand would be forced like this.
When they brought her enemy to the throne room for trial, surprise filled the great hall as she started to laugh. For endless minutes the delirious laugh pierced castle walls. Of course it would be him. She was blind and stupid to think her lover would never betray her. The lesson of the day was one she would take with her to her grave. She let him stand there squirming for endless minutes as she laughed and laughed.
Finally, with tears in her eyes, from laughing or not no one could tell, she let her hand drop then sat and watched as his head did the same. Swift, final punishment. The tyrant unleashed.