#5MinuteFiction Week 63

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 begin your entry with the following sentence from A Line in the Ice: “You point it at a group of people and it’ll obliterate everything in its path.”

(Note: The prompt is the word. The picture is for decoration/inspiration.)

 * 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, this week’s guest judge, Vivien Dean, who is one half of the writing team, Jamie Craig, @jamiecraig which is making a stop on my blog this Thursday as part of the Novel Publicity blog tour for their recently released, A Line in the Ice, 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? 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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20 Responses to #5MinuteFiction Week 63

  1. B.C. Young says:

    “You point it at a group of people and it’ll obliterate everything in its path.” Robin said.
    “I don’t understand.” Rosanne said.
    “Trust me, it’s comic genius. Especially if you get the timing down right.”
    Roseanne stuck out her finger towards Robin. She didn’t find it very funny.
    “So what?”
    “The next part is important. Make sure everyone is laughing really hard. Keep the finger just as you have it then say ‘Hey you! Pull my finger.’ If you can time it right with the sound, you’re gold!”
    Roseanne practiced it with the rest of her routine. When she performed it that night, it went over well. Almost too, well. While her other jokes were indeed funnier, the timing of that one sent the audience into a howl and she thought they were going to die from laughter.

    Twitter @byoung210
    B.C. Young recently posted..MountainsMy Profile

  2. Nicole says:

    “You point it at a group of people and it’ll obliterate everything in its path.” Cal Heddinger laughed maniacally for effect, twitching as he threw his arm out, laser pointer gripped in his bony fingers.

    The boys jumped and screamed. The copper bell above the door mimicked their panic when they shoved out onto the sidewalk, jumbling over each other in their haste to escape Cal’s sonic death ray. Well, the FAA certainly considered them so, but they were really just a tool for suits giving boring Powerpoint presentations.

    “Scaring more little kids?” his wife asked, her hips sashaying side to side to like a great galleon. She’d been watching her soaps, probably, but she couldn’t resist checking out any loud noises in the showroom.

    He grinned and nodded before setting the pointer back in the box. “I’m not sure what it says about rugrats these days that they’re so willing to believe that I can kill ’em dead with a big of plastic and red light.”

    “Count your blessings.” She shoehorned herself behind the counter, huffing out a soft sigh the second her ample buttocks hit the stool. “The day kids don’t believe is the day it all goes straight to hell.”

    His shoulders rose and fell, just like his wife’s bosom as she breathed around her fat. Despite it all, he loved her still. Thirty years seemed like nothing and everything.

    “Too bad we couldn’t have any of our own,” he said, his voice barely a whisper.

    She smiled across the register and absently scratched at her neck. “Yeah, too bad.”
    Nicole recently posted..Here Comes the SunMy Profile

  3. DL Thurston says:

    “You point it at a group of people and it’ll obliterate everything in its path.”

    Karl was certain this was a put on. He looked at the kitten, a slightly wall-eyed tabby, as it started cleaning its face. “This thing?”

    “Research and development has been at work for years on ‘this thing,’ Karl. It’s the latest in crow control technology.”

    “Control?” Karl asked, horrified. “Obliteration isn’t control. It’s…it’s…it’s god damned obliteration. And anyway, this is a kitten!” Karl picked up the furball, which started purring from the moment he made contact. It snuggled into his arms and fell blissfully asleep. “How are people supposed to be afraid of this?”

    Mitch recoiled. “For gods sake, don’t point that thing at me!”

    Karl repositioned the kitten so his hands were under its front legs, and lifted it to eye level. “He’s a cute little guy. Does he have a name?”

    The kitten mewled, and opened its eyes. They were yellow with thin black slits. Except. Karl looked deeper into them, and saw within the slits little pinpricks of light, light the stars in the night sky. He could feel a heat come from the kitten’s gaze, but couldn’t look away.


    The kitten’s pupils dilated, and more of the abyss flooded Karl’s mind and vision. “It’s beautiful Mitch. I can see it all. It just goes on forever. It just goes on…”

    Karl felt a small click in his mind, and was no longer aware of what he was. The kitten fell to the ground with a squeaky grunt, and immediately curled back up and fell asleep. Mitch could only watch, transfixed by what he’d just seen.

    Those boys in R&D had outdone themselves this time.

    DL Thurston recently posted..Anthologius InterruptusMy Profile

  4. “You point it at a group of people and it’ll obliterate everything in its path.”

    The little head tilted to the side, a fall of soft hair covering bright blue eyes for a moment. “Why?”

    The grizzled, old soldier frowned. “Why what?”

    Furry brows drew together. “Why would you do that?”

    “Well if the crowds get out of control you’ve got to protect your men.”

    “But aren’t they your men too, these crowds?”

    The soldier shifted and frowned again. “Well, yeah. But if they won’t settle down and do what they’re told then they’re the enemy.”

    “Your own men?”

    “Look, it’s more complicated than that. It’s just something you gotta do. Get it?”

    The deep green fur on its face darkened and it’s eyes grew wide and sad. “Oh no,” he/she/it said. “I don’t. I don’t think I want to. Thank you for your hospitality but I don’t think we like it here. Perhaps another species…”
    Leah Petersen recently posted..Review of In Leah’s WakeMy Profile

  5. MMMReader says:

    “You point it at a group of people and it’ll obliterate everything in its path.” The law professor told her class.
    It was scary, it was massive and the sheer power of it intimidated and excited the budding young peice of redtape in the front row of the class.
    Casey could not wait until she was the one with the US Treasury badge and the power to make all people quake with a simple Summons document.
    She cackled silently in her head.

  6. Kaolin Fire says:

    “You point it at a group of people and it’ll obliterate everything in its path. That’s the power of a good idea.”

    The President shivered, tried to mumble through his gag.

    “And this child, she has something better than good ideas.”

    Whimpers echoed around the room.

    “She has nightmares.”

    Dark shapes pulled themselves from the walls, and began harvesting.


  7. Jessica Olin says:

    “I didn’t think these existed anymore.” John’s voice was raspy and low, the tone I’d come to know as intense interest. “Where’d you find it?”

    “Up in my mother’s attic. There’s an old trunk that has a rusted lock. She once told me that she wanted to figure out what was in it, but I guess she never found the time. It’s been a couple years since she died so I figured it was time to clean out her house. I got to the attic today.”

    He turned to face me and I had to suppress a laugh. He looked like a cliche: his blue eyes were actually sparkling with interest.

    “I cut the hinges off the back of the trunk in order to open it. There were a bunch of them in there, but I knew you’d find this one interesting.”

    John’s sly smile told me I’d been right. “They outlawed them… what… 25 years ago? There was a time that people would say if you point it at a group of people and it’ll obliterate everything in its path. It’s so dangerous, they’d say. The common man can’t be trusted.”

    I sat down next to him, and took the revered object out of his hands.

    “I know. I can’t believe my mother… MY mother of all people… had a whole trunk of these in her attic.”

    John put his arm around my shoulder, conspiratorially. “You’re right. Your mother was so safe, so a-political. I’d never have guessed that she owned books.”

    Jessica Olin recently posted..Communication Skills Are Not Optional by Jeff WanserMy Profile

  8. Bronwynk says:

    “You point it at a group of people and it’ll obliterate everything in its path.” Diego explained.

    “I thought it was illegal to handle and use those weapons, so how do you know?” Thomas asked as he eyed the small ball resting in Diego’s hand. The ball reminded Thomas of the Thermal Detonator that the Bounty Hunter threatened Jabba The Hutt with in Return of The Jedi.

    “I found my grandfather’s diary talking about it.”

    “And what did he call it in his diary? Little Ball of Boom?”

    “No, dumb shit. He called it the most destructive weapon our species has ever seen.” Diego carefully put the ball back in to it’s velvet lined case. “Can you imagine what that weapon did to soldiers during the Civil War?”

    “Yes, I can. It obliterated them. Which is why we have the monument of missing soldiers.” Thomas was grateful that Diego was no longer holding the weapon. “I want to know is how that technology was developed during a time when no one had electricity.”

    “I didn’t read all of my grandfather’s journal. Maybe there is some clues in that about how this weapon ended up buried at a Civil War battle site.” Diego closed the box and carefully locked it. “Let’s go inside and read that journal.”

    Thomas reluctantly followed Diego in to the house. Unsure if he wanted to know the answer.
    Bronwynk recently posted..I Owe My Mother….My Profile

  9. redshirt6 says:

    “You point it at a group of people and it’ll obliterate everything in its path,” Johnny said as he handed the claymore mine to her. “Just make sure you’re on the right side of it when it goes off.”

    Rachel eyed the Claymore mine with a little more respect and tucked it away in her ruck.

    “So what do you think caused this to happen?” she asked, “I mean, I’ve never heard of anything like this happening before.” Her eyebrows wrinkled as she focused on securing the detonation switch and wire. “Well, in a movie yeah, but you know, not in real life. Zombies aren’t supposed to be real.” She looked up at Johnny as she finished.

    Johnny appeared to be focused on his own packing although he glanced up at her as she finished speaking.

    “I don’t know Rachel, this is the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard of.”

    Both double checked the ruck sacks, made sure their weapons had the safeties turned off, and stepped up to the supply room door to look out the window into the hallway. The supply room was on the third floor neo-natal ward of St. Ward’s Mercy General Hospital. Outside the window the hallway was crawling, literally, with the tiny zombies.

    “Who would ever have thought it could start with babies?” Rachel said.

    “No shit,” Johnny replied. “Let’s do this.”

    With that, they opened the supply room door and opened fire, each with shotguns. Baby limbs and brains covered the hallway walls.


  10. Miranda says:

    “You point it at a group of people and it’ll obliterate everything in its path,” my associate tells me as I investigate the new product he gave me.

    It looks so simple really. One would never think it would cause the damage that he claims, but he is most knowledgeable about such things. I have learned in the past not to doubt him. It usually didn’t end well for me.

    Looking it over, I shot him one last dubious glance, but shrugged as I continued to imagine what this could do. He only stood there and watched me impassively. I laughed as my imagination ran away with me, filling my head with carnage and destruction, the likes of which have not been seen before.

    “So, shall we?” I asked, failing to hide the smirk on my face.

    “We shall, or should I say, you shall. You paid for it after all. My hands are clean,” he replied.

    “Yes, I suppose you are right.” I sighed as I prepared myself. “Time to get the show on the road.”

    I stepped forward, onto the red carpeted podium and to the microphone that was waiting. Once I stopped, the whole area quieted down in anticipation of my news.

    “Today, we have for you, the world premiere of the latest Justin Bieber album!” I cried, holding the shiny silver jewel case above my head.

    The roar of the crowd as soon as I uttered the teen sensation’s name was enough to break sound records. It was mind-numbing. I think the girls in the front actually fainted. I grinned happily, as the crowd turned into a gibbering pile of goo in their excitement to get their hands on the new album. Ah, sweet success. It was devastating.

    Miranda recently posted..The Disappearance of John RossMy Profile

  11. “You point it at a group of people and it’ll obliterate everything in its path,” he said

    “And that’s legal?” I asked.

    “Legal?” he said, moving the cigar in his mouth to the other side as he aimed the large contraption that looked vaguely like a rifle at an imaginary target. “Who gives a shit about legal. We’ve got outright rebellion going on in the streets. People are tearing down buildings, grabbing politicians and anyone working for them, and hanging them over bonfires. And you’re worried about legal?”

    He had a point, I supposed. But still. The whole thing bothered me.

    “Look,” I said, “I’ve been doing this kind of crowd work longer than you have. And in all that time, we’ve never outright killed civilians to stop a riot.”

    He glared at me.

    “Outright, I said.” That probably came out a little harsher than I ment it. But, to hell with him.

    “And I didn’t say riots,” he said, chewing on that damn cigar. “I said rebellion. Those folks out there aren’t just protesting some police violence, or taking out their aggression about the poor economy like in 2013. No, this is war. The revolution has come, and we’re on the side of the power trying to oppress it. And as in any war, you want the firepower to stop your opponent. And this,” he tapped the gun, and it hummed in response, “will stop anyone.”

    I walked across the weapons room and looked at the television. The riots were getting worse. In Wisconson, the capital building had been burnt to the ground. In California, the governor had been pulled in half by two Hummers. And here, in DC, the people were coming. Armed with pistols, shotguns and even some police riot gear, they were coming. Hell, some groups were being supported by the military. There weren’t many left supporting the Powers That Be. And I was starting to wonder if I wanted to be one of them.

    “I just don’t like it,” I said.

    “You don’t have to,” he replied. “You just gotta follow orders. If ya don’t, you’re no better than those rubes out there.”

    “Maybe they’re not so wrong,” I whispered.

    “You saying you side with them?” he asked.

    “Maybe I do,” I said. And that was the last thing I remember before he shot me with that fancy new gun of his.

    Chris Blanchard recently posted..The Magic BulletMy Profile

  12. “You point it at a group of people and it’ll obliterate everything in its path.” A gleam of jubilant self-satisfaction shone across Doctor Bradbury’s dark brown eyes and a crooked smile formed as if it were his first such attempt. That’s what he had been hiding behind his cold stoic demeanor all these years. It made me sick.

    I considered the ramifications of this– this device. I gulped for air. “And how many of these did you say you made?”

    “Forty thousand thus far,” Bradbury said, “Fifty thousand by the end of the week, and after that a production capability of twenty thousand more each week thereafter.”

    “With a capability of destroying–” the words caught in my throat. I was getting dizzy.

    “Thousands,” the gleam came back to Bradbury’s eyes, “Hundreds of thousands in the right hands.”

    “The right hands,” I said turning the device around in my hands. “The right hands.”

    “Aren’t you pleased?” Bradbury said. “This will end the war.”

    “No, Doctor,” I said pointing the device at his crooked smile. “I will end the war right now.”

    Eric Hamilton recently posted..TimeMy Profile

  13. Brian Cortijo says:

    James couldn’t believe it. It had finally come. The item that he had been waiting for. The instructions were as clear as day:

    “You point it at a group of people and it’ll obliterate everything in its path.”

    Of course, such power had to be used sparingly. It took forever to charge, and the electricity bill afterwards would probably be astronomical.

    Still, it was a wonderful toy to have in his possession.

    James giggled.

    He would never be last in line for a World of Warcraft expansion again.


  14. “You point it at a group of people and it’ll obliterate everything in its path.” She said disgusted.
    “Oh baby, it ain’t that bad, just a bit of gas.” He lifted one cheek off of the perfectly contoured couch cushion and let another one go.
    “Beau, you’re fucking disgusting, Jesus Christ, why did I marry you?” Her eyes were watering now. She stood up and opened a window hoping that the smell of the pulp mill across the street would cover the smell of her husbands rotting ass.
    “Because you luuuuve me.” He took a big gulp of his beer and let out a belch followed up by another sphincter ripping fart. “And I knocked you up.”
    “God, I can’t believe I actually had sex with you.” She shivered.
    “And you do it every night too.” He smirked and motioned for her to come over. She smiled back. He was disgusting but he did know how to fill a void. She sat on his lap and let him fondle her saggy tits.
    In the heat of the moment another gas attack hit. “Aw for fuck sakes Beau.” She waved her hand, hoping to swat the almost think stech away. “She got off him and pulled out a cigarette. If she was going to fuck him she had to have something close to her nose to alleviate the smell.
    She stuck the dart in her mouth and pulled out the lighter. Another ripper, she couldn’t get it lit quick enough, and then…
    They couldn’t find the gas leak, actually, they couldn’t even find a gas source. The fire department determined that somehow a cloud of methane gas had settled into the area around the trailer but had all burnt up in the explosion along with Tracy and Beaufort Prast.

    D. Ryan Leask recently posted..Broken ankles are far worse than the painMy Profile

  15. “You point it at a group of people and it’ll obliterate everything in its path.” The mageware salesman smiled broadly as he held the wand out to the young man.

    Jonuz gingerly took the rod of steel in his slender fingers, and was surprised at it’s warmth. But, he supposed he shouldn’t be. It was a fireball wand, after all. “How much?” The young mage, asked.

    “Fifty gold talons.”

    “Fifty???” Jonuz extended the wand back, and the salesman reluctantly took it, his smile only slipping slightly.

    “Perhaps you are looking for something a bit more economical…” he placed the rod back on the shelf absently as his eyes scanned the many different instruments in his magic shop. He kneaded his short, tight beard between his beefy fingers, his eyes roving across the wall, occasionally landing back on Jonuz appraisiningly.

    Jonus stood patiently, doing his best immitation of Master Denholdt, in his infinit patience and wisdom-laced gaze. Of course, he knew that the salesman could see right through the facade. It was plain as the newly-purchased robes about his slender frame that he was a neophyte. Just graduated from apprenticeship and given full Wizard status by the Guild.

    Normally, Jonuz would not have even bothered to come in here. But, dammit, he was a wizard now. And if he planned to adventure with a party seeking fortune, he had better be prepared for whatever he could be. And that, in his mind, required a good, offensive wand. There were orcs and goblin aplenty, these days…

    “Ah!” The salesman’s sudden oath startled Jouz from his musings. “I have just the thing.” The portly man retrieved a small, wooden wand from a lower shelf, and held it forth with the same reverence he had the fireball wand. “The Staff of Headstrumm. Said to have been used by the only pixie-wizard in history.” He smiled, as Jonuz took it, eyes alight with wonder. “None know it’s full capabilities, but an astute wizard like yourself should have no problem plumbing its secrets. And all for the meager price of a single gold talon.”

    Jonuz thought for a moment, then sighed. This was it. He knew it. The best he could hope for was the staff of a miniature wizard, dead a thousand years. As he reached into his pocket for the gold talon, he absently handed it to the salesman, suddenly wishing to be done with all of this.

    As he left the store, he whispered to the wand-like staff in his hand. “Please do more than just throw fart noises across the room.”
    Tom Doolan @TDoolan005 recently posted..Reflections on GamingMy Profile

  16. Monocle says:

    “You point it at a group of people and it’ll obliterate everything in its path.”

    “Mark, don’t be a dick. we’re not even fucking _signed_ yet.”

    “Ella, I swear, this song will _waste_ them. Just listen to the riff Sid got off. Just. Listen.”

    “Fine, fine. Let’s hear it Sid. And it had better not be a Metallica rip off like ‘My Mother’s Knives’.

    “Fuck you Ella, eat this-”

    “All right. All right. I’ll give you no-suck on that. It’s a start. What else is in this pile of rubbush?

    “Oh, you are such a goddamn Princess, Ella. Nance, please will you drop the beat on her ass?”

    “Ok! This could rock. I’m In let me see the lyrics!”


    “Quit your Bass assing and give me the fucking lyrics! And stop fucking smiling… Oooohh.”


    “Mark! You fucking idiot genius! We will obliterate everything in our path!”

    “Thank me later. Let’s hear you sing it, babe.”



  17. “You point it at a group of people and it’ll obliterate everything in its path.”

    Sure. Tell me something I don’t know.

    “I’m serious, MacKenzie.” She gave me that look, eyes blazing, the one I now knew too well.

    “I know what I’m doing,” I muttered, taking aim.

    Through the ‘scope I could see the crowd below, their chanting echoing across the pavilion. On the stage was my target, his eyes cold, his smirk full of proud contempt.

    I began to squeeze the trigger.

    The barrel kicked sideways and the whole unit fell out of my hands before I could finish the hit.

    I glanced beside me and shouted. “What the hell is wrong with you?”

    She stared at me. “It was only supposed to be him,” she said. “Only Hitler. Not the crowd.”

    “They’re Nazis. All of ’em.”

    “They’re people,” she said, her voice now quiet, calm. “All of them.”

    My wristcom beeped. “Mission aborted,” I told it. “Returning to time capsule.”

    “How many times have I told you, MacKenzie,” she said. “Never use an elephant gun to swat a fly.”

    She’s always right.
    That Neil Guy recently posted..Wild ThingMy Profile

  18. Tauisha Nicole @shells2003 says:

    “You point it at a group of people and it’ll obliterate everything in its path.”

    “What will?” Leah asked, absenmindedly rubbing her stomach.

    “Your stare. Your attitude. Pretty much anything pertaining to you where Carter is concerned.”

    Leah sighed. Leave it to her friend, Amber, to set her straight. But, Leah wasn’t in the mood for it.

    “Can it, Amber.”

    “No. Can. Do,” Amber turned and faced her friend. “A little birdy tells me the last time you saw him, you did everything in your power to make sure you wouldn’t see him again.”

    Leah frowned. She could have sworn she and Carter were the only two people in the kitchen. “What little bird? Who else was there?”

    “Uh, does it matter?” Amber tossed her hands up in an exsasperated fashion. “He’s the father of your child, okay? Me, now, I would be doing all I could to keep him around. What are you doing?”

    “That’s just it, Amber. He doesn’t want to be around.”

    “Open your eyes, Leah! Who else in their right mind would even bother coming around working on the house for your grandmother while you put yourself in exhile with her? Who would come aorund trying to be all buddy-buddy with you?”

    “I don’t want him to be my buddy!”

    “He has to start somewhere, Leah! Where would you suggest? If he wants you back, he can’t assume it’s going to be all roses.”

    Leah sighed, and looked down at her hands. “He doesn’t want this baby. He may want me, but he doesn’t want this baby. We’re a packaged deal now. And if he doesn’t want to be here, good riddance.”

    “You don’t mean that,” Amber shook her head. “Much as you may hate him right now, you don’t mean that. You could have kicked him to the curb so long ago. What’s your problem?”

    Leah stood. “He’s my problem. And right now, so is this conversation. I don’t wish to talk about this anymore.”

    Amber sighed and watched her friend walk back into her grandmother’s house. She new Leah was angry. And it was obvious Leah wanted things to work out between them. Amber just needed to help her friend wake up before she lost Carter forever.

  19. Thanks, y’all! See you all at 3:00ish with the finalists!

  20. Great entries this time! I love how some writers turned the phrase around so it wasn’t actually a weapon, but a metaphor. Can’t wait to see who wins!

    I also love the end tag “This user recently posted… ___” Some of them sounded interesting and I clicked around a bit. It makes a writer think that maybe they should plan to post something *really* interesting (Or at least with a great title lol) on their own blogs right before doing #5MinuteFiction.
    AmyBeth Inverness recently posted..Blame it on the Bossa NovaMy Profile

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