#5MinuteFiction 1st BIRTHDAY PARTY!

PARTY TIME!

It’s the ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of 5MinuteFiction!

What is 5MinuteFiction, you say? It’s an adrenaline-fueled, instant-gratification sort of writing contest. It’s open to everyone and, yes, that means you. Have you never done this before? WHY NOT???

It’s not hard.

The Rules

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

* SPECIAL for our 1st birthday party: this week’s prompt will be a sentence you must use as the first sentence of your entry!

* You must begin your entry with: Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad.

* Post your entry as a comment to this post.

I’ll close the contest at 1:45. 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, our special ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY guest judge, Roni Loren, @RoniLoren the host of my absolute favorite writer blog, *Fiction Groupie* and author of CRASH INTO YOU, which will be published by Berkley Heat in January 2012, 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.

What’s the prize? Usually, there isn’t one, but this is our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY party, so of course there’s a prize. Prizes, actually.

For this week’s winner: A ten page critique from Roni Loren, a ten page critique from me, and a copy of JM Frey’s Triptych.

For one finalist, chosen at random: a copy of JM Frey’s Triptych

For one participant, chosen at random from today’s entries: A five page critique from Roni Loren, a five page critique from me.

That’s right, you can win just by typing as fast as you can into that little comment box for five minutes and then hitting “post” before you pass out from the adrenaline rush!

ALSO: Thanks to the design efforts of Richard Wood, @rbwood, we have NEW 5MinuteFiction badges for all of our winners and finalists, past and future.

See:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And you’ll be added to the blogroll on the new 5MinuteFiction Page. So if you’re a past finalist or winner and you’d like your badge or to be added to the blogroll, please email me at your convenience.

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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43 Responses to #5MinuteFiction 1st BIRTHDAY PARTY!

  1. I’m so excited! 🙂
    Chris Blanchard recently posted..Friday Flash Fiction- The CureMy Profile

  2. Aden says:

    Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad. But she was walking away, it was over now. She left her keys on the counter, her apron folded neatly on one of the cracked vinyl stools. She had been shoving her tip money into a coffee can for the last two years. Taped the side of the can was pictures from magazines. Beautiful rolling savannah scenes, the tall necks of giraffes shadowed in the dusk. This was it, she was going to Africa. No more greasy plates, no more drunk men grabbing her ass as she refills their coffee mugs. In a few hours she would be boarding a plane, and leaving all of this behind. In a few hours she was going to start over.

    @adenpenn
    Aden recently posted..Someone likes me- sharing the warm fuzziesMy Profile

  3. Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad. It was unbearable, insane, ludicrous. How could anyone expect– But they did expect. Helen put her face in her hands and sobbed. It was too much.

    “Not anymore,” she said. “Please.”

    The crowd jeered. Not one face showed compassion or mercy. It was hopeless.

    “Don’t you understand?” she screamed. “Do you even know what you’re asking? I can’t do it anymore! I won’t!”

    The power of defiance rushed through her. She clenched her fists and marched up to their leader.

    “Never again. Not one more damn day processing your incomplete paperwork, or answering your damn phones or cleaning up your mess in the kitchen. Not one more day. I quit!”
    Leah Petersen recently posted..5MinuteFiction is One Year Old!My Profile

  4. DL Thurston says:

    Another year of That and she was sure she’d go mad. And yet there it stood, impeding her path once again, blithely refusing to be visible to anyone else walking past. She’d tried to name it, tried to come up with some possible explanation for it, but all she could come up with was “That.”

    “What is it this time?”

    That looked at her with its large, baby blue eyes. That, as a whole, was large and baby blue. “Where are you going today?”

    “I’m going to the store. For some milk.”

    “You don’t need any milk.” That was it. That was always it. She brushed by That, ignored the people who stopped to look at her. Why didn’t they look at That? That was right there in front of them! That was always right there in front of them.

    “You’re going to talk to him again, aren’t you?”

    She ignored That. But she was. That was the problem. That was always the problem, the one she talked about with her psychologist.

    “It hurts, you know. Hearing him talk about how I don’t exist. Hearing you agree with him. It hurts miserably.”

    That hurt her, just a little. She looked over her shoulder. His tail swished ever so slightly, and his big mouth was blubbering. That always took her breath away.

    “Actually, instead of milk, maybe a bit of ice cream.”

    The big baby blue That smiled broadly, and caught up with her, passing through the other people on the street. The ones who couldn’t see That. Who hadn’t heard That. Who didn’t know That.

    Another year of That and she was sure she’d go mad. But maybe. She didn’t know. That didn’t seem quite so bad.

    @DL_Thurston

  5. Rik Davnall says:

    Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad. The fast-time tank had played muzak at her. Muzak! It might have shortened the year down to twenty minutes, but she’d had to spend it listening to William Tell, of all things. She’d ordered an audiobook, and had received the ‘file not found’ message at the start of the stint, but instead of loading her second choice it had gone straight to the Overture as if there was nothing else in the files.

    She stepped out of the tank feeling as groggy as usual. One year closer to Tim’s return. He’d be passing through Barnard’s Station soon. Five years to go. But she wasn’t spending five years – even reduced to two hours – listening to more tinny, miserable ditties from three centuries ago. There were staff here, and she was going to make damn sure they fixed the playback before she went under again.

    Except there were no staff here. Sunlight shone through a ragged hole in the ceiling. The tank room was littered with rubble. Someone’s remains sat in the corner, decayed down to just a skeleton.

    At least that explained what had happened to her audiobook…

    (by @eatthepen)
    Rik Davnall recently posted..Heaven Can Wait- Im a Writer a public apology DMy Profile

  6. S.P. Bowers says:

    Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad. So would everyone else. She’d make sure of that. It was probably the only reason she was graduating. They wanted her gone as much as she wanted to be gone.

    It wasn’t so much the force feeding and regurgitation of information, or the shallowness of all the identical students. It was just that if she had to pretend to be human for one more minute she would scream. It hurt to keep her arms tucked in so no one would notice their unnatural length, and the wig scratched and squeezed her scalp uncomfortably. No, she couldn’t do it anymore.

    She stretched her arms to their full length arching he back deliciously. It felt so good. She unfolded her wings for the last time. She would never have to keep them folded up under her shirt until they ached again. And she could wear pretty clothes instead of the bulky hoodies she used to hide the bulges.

    She’d have to leave home though, it was the one dark spot in the celebration but until she found the courage to tell her parents what she was she had to either hide her nature or leave. And she was done hiding.
    S.P. Bowers recently posted..Missing!My Profile

  7. Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad. She’d pry the heels from her feet, scream and kick and jam a manicured toe right in his eye, because that is what a mad person would do. Without hesitation she would make and break promises, drink whole milk by the jug, dial her mother from the bar. She would go to bars.

    Dieting. Dating. Pretending to care for what he did because his apartment was larger than hers.

    She’d start today, with Cole sitting stiff and suited across from her – his toes were manicured, too, she bet – breaking bits of scone with his fork. She would not need forks and he would drop her so fast she’d have to be quick if she wanted to take out his eye.

    “Are you going to eat that?”

    Teeth and nails glittered as dangerous as her smile.

    @jtotheill
    Jillian Kuhlmann recently posted..Baba O’ReillyMy Profile

  8. Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad. Her tapping at the keyboard ceased with the last entry on the table of contents for her thesis. Tiny seeds, 52 weeks of tiny seeds. Black ones, white one, hard ones, soft ones, sliver shaped or round, all turning green as the first sprig of life emerged from them.
    In the beginning a thesis on seed and seedling morphology of native plants had seemed a great idea. Lab work, no bugs, no sunburn, well except when she went out to collect the seed. What she hadn’t anticipated was how many native species she would find lacked the study she was giving. They were often grouped by families. Current need to be pre-chilled for four months, cranberries need a warm and cold period to break dormancy, but never a detailed, how to and how best to grow these tiny little plants.
    Her thesis was finished now. She’d counted 100 seedlings every day for two months preparing her tests, then checked and watered the dishes twice a week for 52 weeks. She’d plotted the germination over time, assigned each treatment a germination rate, documented the ideal treatment. Her head swam with numbers. When she closed her eyes, all she saw were tiny seeds and tiny seedlings… occasionally a bit of bright green mold growing on them. Those were the worst.
    But it was over. She would spend the next year in a green house monitoring emergence, growth and survival. More numbers and more bugs, though not of the biting variety, thankfully. Surrounded by green and growing instead of tiny and dormant. She needed more LIFE!
    Another year of that and her grandmother’s warning about her eyes might have come to fruition.
    Hitting save one last time, she put her head to her keyboard.
    Kimberly Gould recently posted..NovelistMy Profile

  9. Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad. The mechanic came up from the bowels of the ship covered in grease from bow to stern. He was so dirty she could hardly recognize him, her mind was so filled with filth he likely wouldn’t have recongnized it.
    “Status Report Dr. Trilgaard.” She said as formally as possible as she envisioned herself peeling off his blackened coveralls and took his greasy smitten hand to lead his naked dirty body to her personal shower.
    “The vacuum counterforce is repaired and the magnetos are back on line.” He said removing his saluting hand from his temple leaving a dark streak above his right eyebrow. “It was hard trudging but I finally got it.”
    She didn’t get passed the ‘Hard’ part. “Good work Doctor, how long until we will return to full operating capacity?” She asked.
    About twenty-five minutes captain.
    “That’s just enough time.” She said and lept at him ripping off his overalls revealing what she had hoped for, a clean torpedo to fill her empty space.

    @DRyanLeask

  10. B.C. Young says:

    Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad. After all, you go only handle so much.

    “Mr. Hubble, this is what you asked for?” she insisted.

    “No!” the old man barked back at her. “I wanted the vanilla ice cream with cherries. The kind Ike always liked.”

    She turned around, went into the kitchen, and had the cook prepare the vanilla ice cream with cherries. Ten minutes later, she came back.

    “Here you go, Mr. Hubble. Just as you requested,” she said trying to put on the sweetest smile she could.

    “What are you talkin’ about broad?” Mr. Hubble yelled. “I don’t want nothin’. Get out of my face! Wheel’s about to start.”

    Every day it was like this for her. The old, decrepit, end-of-life portion of society kept frustrating her. Sometimes, she thought she was the one with Alzheimer’s.

    She needed a break and sat in a chair next to the picturesque window. The trees swayed outside and she saw some children in the distance playing at the playground. She rocked in her chair, back and forth, back and forth.

    “Mrs. Hubble,” a voice said from behind her.
    “Yes,” she said.

    “Here’s that vanilla ice cream with cherries. Just like your husband always liked.”
    “Now why would I want that,” she said. “I always hated that man.”

    Another year of this and she was sure she’d go mad.
    B.C. Young recently posted..TinyMy Profile

  11. Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad. If she wasn’t mad already…
    Alyce appreciated all the work the agency was doing to help her restore her memory, but at some point enough was enough. Maybe she wasn’t meant to remember; maybe this new life was all that was important. She was tired of the sessions, the tests, and the drugs–especially the drugs. They weren’t helping and no one seemed to understand. No one except Madison…
    But he was different. He knew something about her past, about her true identity, but he wasn’t about to open his mouth and ruin everything they had together.

    My first time here at the 5minutefiction. It was fun! =)

    Twitter: @MayDay_Aura
    Blog: http://www.may-daysdaze.blogspot.com

  12. Mieke says:

    Here goes… (closing my eyes):

    Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad. Jane knew that she wouldn’t be able to stand it any longer.
    The hazing process that Dan went through was simply horrific. They blindfolded him with sticky labels, then would rip it off, taking along his eyebrows.
    The pain they put him through, was indescribable.
    Why? For what?
    The glory of being named a survivor of the test.
    Jane’s heart bled for her brother.
    When the rapture came three years ago, only a handful of males were left in the community.
    The community needed only the strongest of the strong. The one who would save their world of from certain death.
    Only Dan, and one other, had gotten this far.

  13. redshirt6 says:

    Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad. It was insane. The same old routine day in and day out. Morning prayers. Work. Mid-morning prayers. Work. Prayers before lunch. Lunch. Prayers after lunch. Work, and on and on and on and on. There is no way I can stand another year of this, she thought.

    “Number one four seven niner alpha alpha echo,” the guard called out. Barked.

    “Number one four seven niner alpha alpha echo, present, Sir!” she responded.

    “Number one four seven niner alpha alpha echo, you are charged with a crime against the state and against God. How do you plead today?” the guard barked in a ritualistic cant.

    “Number one four seven niner alpha alpha echo pleads ‘guilty’, Sir!” she responded automatically.

    “Only those who seek forgiveness before the endless love of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ, may ever have a chance at Salvation or a return to citizenship,” the guard intoned. “On your knees.”

    She dropped to her knees on the cold concrete along with all of the other sinners, the sound a smacking crunch in the cavernous prayer hall.

    “All pray,” the guard bellowed.

    In unison, all thirty seven hundred of them began.

    “Our Father, who art in heaven,…”

    @redshirt6

  14. Tony Noland says:

    Another year of that and she was
    sure she’d go mad. ’twas because
    that 5MinuteFiction
    had become an addiction –
    it forced her to write without pause.

    (BAH! “Addiction”, not “addition”)

    @tonynoland
    Tony Noland recently posted..FridayFlash in the newsMy Profile

  15. Another year of that, and she was sure she’d go mad. In fact, she might already be mad already, she wasn’t sure. Madness was always so hard to determine in oneself. She reached up to touch the blindfold across her eyes.

    “Don’t touch it,” came the deep male voice. She had no idea who the voice belonged to, but it resonated in her like a base drum. She felt it as much as heard it, all the way down in her toes. She pulled her hand away and continued to walk.

    “Where are you taking me?” she asked. Maybe she should have asked who he was. That seemed a more logical question.

    “You’ll see soon enough,” he said.

    She sighed and continued to walk. There was a hand that held her wrist, but she was sure it wasn’t the man’s. It was too small and feminine to belong to that voice. Plus, she heard more than one other person walking down the hallway. It sounded like several, in fact, though it could be echoing. She wasn’t sure.

    Where ever it was they were going, she didn’t really care. At least it wasn’t that cell. A year. She must be mad already. But now she was free. Or at least out of that room, which was free enough for her.

    Finally, they stopped. She heard a door open and she was shoved violently inside. The door closed and she panicked. This place had the same sound of the room she had just left. Not again, not another room.

    She could feel her mind bend, about to snap. What was it these people wanted from her? Why had they captured her so long ago, only to never ask her a single question?

    After a few seconds, she tore off the blindfold. She screamed. It was exactly like the room she had left, only newer, cleaner. There were no marks on the wall to track time. It was starting all over again. She fell to the floor weeping, and she felt her mind actually snap this time.

    Outside, the two men looked at a monitor on the wall.

    “You were right,” the thin man who had been holding her said to his large companion. He nodded and they both wrote notes on their clipboard.

    @blanchardauthor
    Chris Blanchard recently posted..Friday Flash Fiction- The CureMy Profile

  16. Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad. How long can one person be expected to tolerate that kind of abuse? It is one thing to be stuck in a prison cell for the rest of your life, it is quite another to be stuck with a cell mate who can’t stop snapping her gum.

    Snap snap snap. The wet chewing made it worse.

    She ground her teeth with impatience as she contemplated her plan. The only potential downside was that once she killed her cell mate, she was sure to be moved to solitary confinement for at least a month. That was going to be the hardest part. If nothing else, she was a social creature. After the month of solitary, assuming she’d survive that, they’d move her to the maximum security wing.

    Snap snap.

    But they couldn’t sentence her to more than her already endless 987 year to life sentence without possibility of parole. She began to realize the freedom that her life sentence gave her. Possibilities spread out before her. If only she could overcome her fear of solitary.

    Snap.

    It was three years ago when she fought with that guard over her cigarette lighter. It was a gift from her son. It didn’t have any butane inside, and yet that bitch confiscated it simply because she could. Twice she caught the guard lighting her cigarette in the yard with the lighter, her lighter. It wasn’t even premeditated. The guard would never be able to use her left eye again. There was satisfaction there for her, and yet that month in solitary almost did her in.

    The gum snapped again from the bunk above. She slid off the bottom bunk and grabbed the garotte she had fashioned from her torn sheets. She knew she couldn’t live another moment with that noise. It was just too much.

    She steeled herself for solitary.

    Snap.

    @corinneoflynn
    Corinne OFlynn recently posted..Carving Out TimeMy Profile

  17. Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad.

    Just like her predecessor. And the guys in the mail room. And that woman who used to hang out in the lobby, then one day took a swan dive off the highest level of the balcony, making a huge splash in the atrium’s Koi pond.

    The madness had taken her predecessor slowly. It had started with the giggles one day. They it turned into Tourette’s-like outbursts of laughter. Then the day came that she literally could not stop laughing, and the friendly men in white coats came to take her away.
    She thought about the guys in the mail room, how they’d all stripped naked one day and started wrapped all packages with photocopied pictures of their own… er… packages.

    That was an accident.

    She hadn’t meant to hurt them, but it was funny!

    The lady in the atrium? She was practice.

    And her predecessor? Well, that was her goal all along.

    And now that she had the job she wanted, she could stop.

    Because one more year of making others go crazy, and she’d probably go crazy herself.

    @USNessie
    AmyBeth Inverness recently posted..Self-Sufficient StorylinesMy Profile

  18. RBWood says:

    “Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad,” is what the lawyer had said.

    That was the defense in a nutshell.

    The pressure of performing. Of interviewing. Hell, even tweeting. It was too much for her to take.

    It’s not everyday someone becomes famous. And in the very rare instance when it does, no one is prepared for it.

    Well, she’d reached her limit. It was on the Jay Leno show. All Jay had asked was when her next album would come out. It was a very standard question.

    Of course no one expected the answer to be a .38 snub-nosed revolver pulled out of a Gucci purse. Least of all Jay, who summarily had his ear shot off on live television.

    The defense rested. She looked at the jury and saw a few smiles. She knew she’d get off. One benefit of celebrity, she mused. Ask OJ.

    It was a shock, then, when Lady Gaga was sentenced to 15 years.

    @rbwood

  19. Jessica Olin says:

    “Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad.” *click*

    As I had thought, turning off the television got Dick’s attention. He turned to face me, “Hey, I was watching that!” When he saw the expression on my face, he knew that this wasn’t a time to argue about rewatching his favorite movie on television.

    Ever since we’d moved in together, the relationship had been sliding down hill. Like most couples, we’d started with wine and roses and had lately descended to cheap beer and spray cheese. Not that I minded, but the latest development was something I wasn’t willing to accept.

    “Why haven’t you been giving me my messages?”

    “What do you mean?” He looked confused, but he was a professional actor so I didn’t trust him.

    “Margery said she left three messages. My mom called a couple times last week. And I just talked to Beth. She’s pissed. Said she talked to you and was specific about me needing to call back.”

    “I never talked to any of them!”

    “First there was drinking my milk. Then there was not flushing the toilet. And now this!” I was losing my calm, but I didn’t care.

    He stared at me, anger flashing across his face in response to what I’d said. He stood, grabbed his keys, and stalked towards the door. “I’m not taking this abuse anymore. I’m going. I’ll be back for my things tomorrow. I can’t live with a crazy woman anymore.” And with that, he slammed the door.

    I turned back to the now empty apartment, my mind racing with plans. The little voice from behind me shocked me, though.

    A little growly, and coming from ground level, it took me a moment to see that Starlet – my CAT – was speaking. “I did all those things, you know. But he wasn’t any good for you.” She groomed herself a little. “He stayed too long, though. Another year of having to put up with him, and I’d’ve gone mad.”

    @olinj
    Jessica Olin recently posted..olinj- @subclassz Yeah- their Dortmunder Gold is yumMy Profile

  20. Alana says:

    Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad. Damn neighbors and their urban zoo. Roosters crowing every morning at dawn. Peacocks squawking day and night, letting out their agonizing screams. Dogs growling and barking at every passing stranger. Stray cats caterwauling at midnight. Neighbor lady sitting on the front porch, half drunk all day long, in her robe and curlers screaming at the animals to shut it, but adding more all the time.

    It was enough to make her go insane. Between the allergies and the migraines made worse by the noise, she was sure that she’d go mad.

    Only problem was she owned her house, bought it three years ago, market was high. Now she’s upside down on her mortgage with the neighbor from hell to boot – she could hardly give her house away these days. Something had to be done.

    Migraine banging, roosters crowing, dogs barking, brain closing in, she walked up the stairs, grabbed her husband’s hunting rifle, walked out the front door, turned to the left and pulled the trigger. Again. And again. And again.

    Feathers flew. A few squawks let out. The drunk lady hardly noticed the ambush.

    Finally silence. Now maybe she could get back to work. Damn neighbors…

    @writercize
    http://writercize.blogspot.com
    Alana recently posted..Hey- Whats Your Goal – writercize 54My Profile

  21. Nicole says:

    Another year of that, and she was sure she’d go mad. No more prickly kisses that smelled of antacid. No more hasty romps in their too-hard bed that left her unsatisfied and depressed. Without even stopping to look around at the house they’d bought five years ago, Madison dragged her overpacked suitcase down the stairs and over the brightly-polished wooden floor of the sitting room.

    Yes, the sitting room. Who the hell called a living room a “sitting room” other than a jerk?

    The cab waited at the curb, the engine burbling in the quiet of the night.

    “Where to?”

    She stared at the back of the cab driver’s head, hoping a tattoo of advice would magically appear, some guide to starting her life over.

    “I don’t know. That little hotel at the corner of Market and Jackson, I guess.”

    The driver pulled the cab away, and Madison stared at her neatly-manicured neighborhood. The Jones’s had their Tuesday night bridge club. The Andrews’, they of the prize-winning rose garden that made her sneeze, held the monthly flower exchange. And then came the Benscoters’ house, the Summers’ house, and the big mansion owned by Jim Drake and his creepy glamazon wife.

    “It’s late,” the driver remarked, his tone low and reedy.

    “Yes, too late.”

    “Did you hear that Warren Zevon died today? It’s a real shame, that.”

    “No, I didn’t hear.” Madison hummed, lyrics permeating her brain. Like a dog that whine and cries, this time I have to leave. “It seems appropriate, though.”

    “Is it?” The driver turned to her at a red light and smiled sadly.
    Nicole recently posted..The Space RaceMy Profile

  22. Wylis says:

    Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad. I never knew what to think when I saw her like that. She was so cold and calculating, every movement she made deliberate and precise. I loved her though; against my better judgment dammit I loved her. She is so focused on everything not important to the real life. She was high on the adrenaline of fame and success. I was not enough, the life and happiness we once had was not enough. Good by my dear loved one, good bye, I hope it was worth it!

  23. Pat Jones says:

    Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad. Between Leonard’s incessant drumming at all hours and Shawna’s collection of rare birds that seemed all the more excited as the bass line sped up, it was all that she could do just to maintain composure, let alone sanity. How ANYONE could possibly piece together the makings of a good story was a mystery in itself which made the Sherlock Holmes Jr novella seem an inside joke. Writers didn’t really have to suffer for their art, but if by some chance it helped… Jolee was willing to make the sacrifice.

    @cedarlock

  24. Kadin Seton says:

    Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad. Allison hated her job.

    She took folks who had more money than they knew what to do with, on boomerang rides around the sun. It was very addicting. So much so, the passengers had to sign a waiver before departing. It was also very expensive. Even the wealthiest travelers could only afford a few trips a month.

    She was hoping this was her final trip around the sun. When she returned to earth, there should be an email waiting with a job offer to pilot interstellar ships. Now that was a real job, not some warped excuse for legalized drug dealing.

    Allison wore a special headpiece called a blocker, which protects against the affects of the ride. She had no desire to become one of those habitual users, trapped forever in a drug induced haze.

    The affects of boomerang rides were similar to those of heroin, except it was twice as addicting and killed twice as many brain cells. In fact, anyone who had gone on more than three rides had never been able to break the addiction. This sort of thing should be illegal, but it wasn’t. At least not as long the government could tax the ride at 63%.

    Allison watched with a jaded expression as the passengers exited the ship. The regularly scheduled maintenance man boarded and looked over the equipment. He looked at Allison with a worried expression and said, “Your blocker has been out of commission for the last five rides.”

    @kadinseton

  25. Islinda Yang says:

    Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad. They had been on the brink so many times, and she had considered ending everything so many times before. There were always signs, always little earthquakes that tested her resolve and made her want to throw in the towel. But somehow she had always managed to hold on. One more year, she kept promising herself, one more year and I’m done.

    The funny thing was she had always believed that strength was a prerequisite for sustaining such a toxic relationship. However, more than anything, she came to realise that it was a sense of humor that was helping her hold it all together. After all, watching your children deliberately and wilfully destroy themselves required a particular kind of amused detachment, and that was the only thing keeping her together. That, and the occasional bubble bath thrown in now and then.

    She lifted her robes and climbed down from her seat on the tree branch, brushing her hair back. It had once been black, long and lustrous like dark silk, but now it was grey and frayed at the ends. Her nails were brittle, and the wrinkles in her unholy face told of the grief she had to bear for centuries. Eventually, a sense of humor could only last you so long.

    As she descended from the ancient tree, a sprite stepped forward and knelt deeply before her. “Mother, what do you require?”

    Mother Nature said with a sigh, “A bubble bath.”

    @darkonfire

  26. Shane Arthur says:

    Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad. After all, it was her site’s 1st birthday and a database error was no way to start the new year. She had to get it out or she’ll blow a gasket. Twitter to the rescue. 😉

    Happy Anniversary.

  27. Jarrett Rush says:

    Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad.

    “Happy anniversary,” he said. He slipped a card on the kitchen counter next to her coffee mug, kissed her on the cheek. “Twenty two years. Pretty unbelievable.”

    He sat at the table and pulled the newspaper closer to him. His robe was falling open and she could see his thick thigh spilling off the edge of the chair. His hair was a mess and his cheek still scruffy with stubble.

    She looked across the living room at their wedding picture that sat on top of the TV cabinet. “Yep,” she said. “Pretty unbelievable.”

    He coughed and she turned her attention back to the stove.

    “Whatever you’re making,” he said, “I need it quick. Big meeting this morning. Can’t be late.”

    Twenty two years, she thought. Seven days a week for twenty two years, standing here. Scrambling eggs, pouring cereal, cooking meals. Never helping, never contributing, just expecting it to be done.

    The bacon sizzled and the eggs firmed in the pan. She heard him flipping pages in the newspaper.

    “Seriously, I need that now,” he said.

    “Almost done.” She reached into the cabinet and pulled the box with the picture of the dead rat on it. She pulled a pinch of the powder and sprinkled it across the top of the eggs. “Just needs a little more seasoning.”

    Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad.

    Jarrett Rush
    @jarrettrush
    http://jarrettwrites.blogspot.com
    Jarrett Rush recently posted..An interview and Friday FlashMy Profile

  28. Another year of that and she was sure she’s go mad. The good news was, she didn’t have another year. The guard dragged her baton over the steel bars of Erin’s cell and leaned in to whisper “Three more days Ms. Hutchinson.”

    Erin smiled. In three more days she wouldn’t have to ever deal with that bitch ever again. She rolled over and faced the cold wall, pulling the thin scratchy blanket over her shoulders. She shivered when it brushed up against her earlobe.

    Even in the pitch blackness she could make out the only three squares left on her calendar that weren’t occupied by a large red X. “Just three more days”, she whispered into the night, forgetting that Janessa had been gone for three days, her whisper went unheard.

    She laid still until each of those empty squares had an X through it. She woke on the third day feeling fresh and ready. It was finally over.

    “Ms. Hutchinson, you ready to go?” asked the guard with a knowing smile. Two larger male guards stood behind her, each with a set of shackles.

    “Oh yes, I’ve been ready.” She answered, not allowing the guard the self satisfaction of getting her riled up on her last day.

    “Then let’s get this show on the road.” The guard snorted. “I’ve never seen someone so happy to be going to chair before.”

    Erin said nothing.

    “You really couldn’t last three more days with Janessa?” she asked roughly as they marched her down the dark hallway.

    “No, she had to go too.” Erin said, the smile widening on her face as she marched to her end.

    thansenwrites

  29. Katie says:

    Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad. It didn’t matter now though, sitting in a dingy room, arms tied behind her. Her only goal now was to escape, but she wasn’t quite sure how she was going to manage that.
    Slowly, she moved herself onto her knees, barely able to do so with her hands as they were. Reaching her arms around, she reached into her pocket. She thought Raul might have put something in there during the interrogation, but she wasn’t certain. It had felt like it, but at the time she was distracted by the woman holding her head back by her hair and pouring buckets of water down her throat.

    There, she found it. Raul had come through. She pulled out the small pocket knife and flipped it open.

    Excitement ran through her as she began cutting through the duct tape around her wrists. She calmed herself slowly, knowing if she got into a hurry, it would only cause her to make a mistake she couldn’t afford.

    @katiebeme

  30. Tauisha Nicole @shells2003 says:

    Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad. It’s bad enough Leah is practically in hiding, living with her grandmother. Then, you have the fact that she’s hiding from her ex boyfriend, whom by the way, she still cares deeply for. She won’t even own up to…the L word. And then, there’s the fact that she’s pregnant. Placing her hand on her very large belly, tears streamed down her face. The hormones, the cravings, the mood swings…love this baby she did, but it was highly stressful.

    Oh, and let’s not forget her grandmother had a massive heart attack. Her grandmother: the most healthiest woman alive.

    God, life was really sucking right about now.

    Leah was sitting right outside of the hospital room her grandmother was resting in. She didn’t really want Gran to see her so distraught. It was as if the last six months flashed before her eyes, making her the hugest ball of emotion (and baby) the world has ever seen.

    “And I still have to take care of her…oh, lord. What am I going to do?”

    Leah placed her head in her hands, and doubled over as much a pregnant woman could be. Sobbing terribly, she thought of what it would mean to lose one more thing. First Carter, then her life, since it changed so drastically. The last thing she needed was to lose her Gran. She loved her more than life itself. Trying to pull things together, she sighed and wiped her sweater under her dripping nose.

    “Things couldn’t possibly get any worse, could they? Just couldn’t get any…”

    “Leah?”

    She froze.

    Looking up, she saw what just had to be a mirage. A nightmare. Impossible.

    Carter and his mother were looking down at her.

    Dear lord, he found her.

  31. This one was emailed in:

    Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad. She was so tired of all the clingy, neediness of Scott. It was so hard for her to believe that one man could be so helpless. Perhaps he acted that way on purpose, assuming that she liked feeling needed. To a certain extent she did, but this was above and beyond what was necessary and what was called for in a normal, healthy relationship.
    She was getting to the point where she just wanted to tie him up and leave him in a corner. He wouldn’t be able to bother her anymore and she would release him when she needed him. However, this definitely was not a healthy response to her problem, no matter how much the darker part of her personality revealed in the idea.
    Drying her hands off on the dishtowel by the sink, she resolved to deal with the insanity of her pointless relationship before it infected her. She was a strong, determined woman who did not need people like Scott in her life bringing her down.
    The object of her derision sat on the couch with a bowl of popcorn in his lap, idly watching television. This was where he was usually found. Of course he didn’t have a job, there wasn’t a job out there that was just the right fit for him, so he said. Joanna wanted to call him out on it, thinking he was far too comfortable on her couch to really try to find a job.

    @MLGammella

  32. J.E.Clendening says:

    Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad, was all that Tiff could think as she listened to her thesis advisor suck in his breath through his monstrosity of a nose in preparation of yet another critiquing session. Every other time Tiff had met with Dr. Nordstrom he had given her a thousand changes to her thesis paper and a thousand more reasons why he felt she would never be good enough to earn her Masters in Education. Tiff held her own breath, awaiting more bad news.

    “You’ve done a good job. I cannot see any changes that need to be made at this time.”

    The words hung in the air, like dazzling stars, twinkling, seeming impossibly magical as they waited for Tiff’s brain to process them.

    “Okay…” she hesitated and then asked “You don’t have any changes today?” Tiff finally asked, in utter disbelief.

    “None today. However, I had meant to tell you earlier this week, but have been too busy until now, that your defense of this thesis will be this afternoon.” He consulted the clock on the wall. “Actually, you have less than 2 hours until the meeting, so in truth, you have no time left to make changes anyway.” Snort.

    Tiff’s brain welcomed the maddness as it stepped inside.

  33. Wasn’t that FUN?? Well, I had fun, anyway. I usually promise to have the finalists up by three, and I’m still aiming for that, but there are a lot more entries than usual it might take our judge a bit longer. Be kind. I’ll tweet, etc. as soon as they’re posted.

  34. Sheilagh Lee says:

    tried several times to s end won’t go so here it is
    Trapped
    Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad. The incessant whining the long drawn out silences. She was tired of it. Why, why did she stay?
    Did it continue because she was foolish? That’s why, because she’d made a choice and couldn’t change it. Could she? Did she want to?
    No of course she didn’t. It was the sleepless nights the endless prattle about nothing that was getting to her. He was the most important thing in her life wasn’t he?
    Life would go on and get better she knew it would but she was oh so tired. She was like a zombie listening to the crying and the endless days of talking about nothing but this. How did others make this relationship work?
    She would get better at this they insisted she would make this relationship work it only took time; the time that she didn’t have anymore because he took every second of every day sucking up every morsel. She would quit that’s right when it was all said and done she could od that she’d made up her mind this relationship was over.
    “Honey I’m home.” The voice came
    “Good because I have something to say.” she began
    “Good so do I. You need a vacation one week without junior being pampered. We are off to Hawaii.” He replied
    “Thank goodness she thought “Maybe this will work out with some time for us I can be someone’s mother.”

    @SweetSheil
    Blog: http://sheilaghlee.blogspot.com/

  35. Chris Kelly says:

    Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad. MAD. That’s Musing About Dumbos. She wanted to stop reading the posts and tweets and blogs about the bad boy, but she couldn’t control herself. She stayed up late, scouring the Internet for the latest info. Her bowl of M&Ms was emptied twice.

    Joining MAD was the only way she could get the news stories out of her head. Or remove the images from Water for Elephants from her mind.

    The mind that couldn’t stop going back to her own husband’s offenses. And how one day she had seen them together.

    Husband and elephant. Husband playfully spraying a hose while Dumbo did the same with his trunk, dipping again and again in the water pail her husband had so carefully painted with his name.

    She entered the room where the others sat, glum, reliving their own Dumbo stories. A stomping sound came down the hallway. The door crashed open and another baby elephant entered.

    “May I join MAD,” she trumpeted. “I can’t stop thinking about Dumbo, either. We were to fly away last week.” She held a feather in her trunk. “Let him just try it now.”

    I laughed. We were sisters in misery — and she showed us revenge is possible.

    @CKellywriter

  36. Ya’ll are the best, by the way. 😀
    Leah Petersen recently posted..5MinuteFiction is One Year Old!My Profile

  37. Islinda Yang says:

    Oh sorry, forgot my Twitter handle! It’s @darkonfire

  38. Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad. Sure the doctors said that if she took the treatments for another year she would be cured forever. Having a full beard while wearing a bikini was not the way to catch a man. The electrolysis hurt like hell. She might need skin grafts. They were able to transplant a complete face on someone in England. You would think they could get rid of her beard. At least the carpet matched the drapes.
    reggie ridgway recently posted..The BullyMy Profile

  39. Congrats on the fabulous turnout for your 5 Minute Fiction Birthday Party! 🙂
    Corinne OFlynn recently posted..Carving Out TimeMy Profile

  40. Sheilagh Lee says:

    Congratulations on your year anniversary.

  41. Amber Skye says:

    Another year of that and she was sure she’d go mad. Being told what to do, what to wear, what to think was enough to drive anyone crazy. She had to get out. Traditional escape routes were out of the question – barred windows and round the clock security all made sure of that.

    But she was smarter than that. She was going to walk right out the front door and they wouldn’t even stop her – not this time. She had a plan. Madison County Mental Ward was going to have one less patient come tomorrow.

    @a_skye on Twitter
    Amber Skye recently posted..Explicit Sex ScenesMy Profile

  42. Amber Skye says:

    Oops, guess I was in the wrong time zone 🙂
    Amber Skye recently posted..Explicit Sex ScenesMy Profile

  43. Amber, that happens. I’m glad you posted anyway.

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