Such a great field of new faces this week. Only one of our finalists had ever been in the finals before, so this week was lots of fun for me. Such great writers out there who finally found us! Welcome all, hope you’re back next week.

But this week, well, we’ve got our winner!

Sharon Wachsler, @AfterGadget

Congrats, Sharon! She’s not only going down in history with the illustrious group of 5MinuteFiction winners, she’s getting a copy of When the Hero Comes Home which includes the short story, Full Circle, by this week’s guest judge, Steve Bornstein@steve_bornstein.

Want a copy too? Well come back tomorrow then, for a 5MinuteInterview with Steve Bornstein@steve_bornstein. I’ll be giving away one copy of When the Hero Comes Home to a commenter chosen at random. So come back and heckle Steve…I mean, give him compliments and ask polite questions. Either way, see you tomorrow!

Now, here’s our winner and her winning entry. Enjoy it and be back next week for 5MinuteFiction!

Sharon Wachsler, @AfterGadget

“It was the look in your father’s eyes that finally convinced me,” she said, hefting the laundry basket onto her hip, the cast clunking against brown wicker before turning and asking, “Could you hand me those?”

I picked up the bottles of bleach, fabric softener, and detergent and handed them to her so she could hold them in her good arm. They were heavy, so I had to use both hands, heaving them up, one at a time. The basement laundry area smelled of urine and old peanut butter. I wanted to get away.

We trudged up the stairs to the noise and chaos of the daytime area. Two kids were sitting on the floor crying next to some Leggos. Their mothers sat nearby, smoking.

Mom kept trudging ahead of me. Her thick legs in Bermuda shorts were all I could see except the peeling and crayon-scrawled walls on either side of us as we took the next flight up.

Finally, we arrived at our little room, with its bunk beds and Mom’s big burgundy suitcase and my little soft-sided lavender one with the Hello Kitty patch. I sat on the floor and ran my fingers around and around the patch.

Mom looked in the mirror for a moment and turned away in disgust. I wanted to make her feel better.

“You look much better now. They’re yellow instead of red,” I said. “And much less puffy. Plus the doctor said the break would heal fine.”

“Yeah,” she said. “All those times he said he’d take you. I never believed him till this time. And we just couldn’t let that happen, could we?”

I ran to her and put my face in her lap, the Bermuda shorts soaking up my tears. She stroked my hair.