#5MinuteFiction Week 69

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: In my considerable experience, drug dealers are more likely to die a violent death than get hit by a bus.

(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, Pete Morin@petermorin, author of the upcoming Diary of a Small Fish, 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. Or follow us on twitter with the #5MinuteFiction hashtag.

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 69

  1. Kaolin Fire says:

    In my considerable experience, drug dealers are more likely to die a violent death than get hit by a bus. That’s my job, after all. The bloodier, the more shocking, the more of an impact I make—the bigger my bonus. This is Mexico City, after all; I need to make a splash to get those scum bags off the street.

    Then my clients roll in, and fill the void. A higher class of dealers? No, they just pay better. Those things rarely go hand in hand.


  2. In my considerable experience, drug dealers are more likely to die a violent death than get hit by a bus.

    Though I suppose, to the victim, the impact with the bus would seem violent too.

    Still, that’s not really the point of this little ramble. Oh no, I actually have a point. And that point is:

    What kind of mother-effing idiot deals drugs?

    Well, the kind like me. There aren’t many options in this part of the city. Flipping burgers or dealing drugs, more or less. Actually, dealing can be a heck of a lot better for you, since you’re unlikely to use, like the burger-flipper probably does. If you can avoid that violent death, it’s not a bad career choice for someone like me.

    And even the violent death’s probably quick. Painful, but quick. The real problem is when you’re the kind of mother-effing idiot who deals drugs AND isn’t smart enough to keep your ass out of jail.

    It’s really boring here.
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  3. In my considerable experience, drug dealers are more likely to die a violent death than get hit by a bus. Unless, of course, I happen to be the one driving that bus. In which case, pretty much every human in the world has an equal chance of getting smushed into a gooey mass of red and white for the police to come and look at. I didn’t start out purposely running people over and laughing manically as their bodies smashed apart in front of me, but I ended up that way. Got into the wrong crowd, did some things I wasn’t supposed to do… Ended up stealing a bus and trying to make a run for it.

    My own fault, really. Homicidal tendencies and illicit substances don’t exactly go well together. And in my defence, the violent death that was the start of my race through the streets of my hometown in a bus I used to get on every day for school, was not my fault.

    But you know what they say; what goes around comes around. So when I tried to turn the corner, too fast, too sharp, it didn’t really come as much of a surprise that there was a brick wall there to stop me.

    My violent end after a violent start. Fitting really.

    twitter: @michellebirbeck
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  4. Alana says:

    In my considerable experience, drug dealers are more likely to die a violent death than get hit by a bus.

    At least that’s what all my books tell me. I wouldn’t know, really. Just a small town girl on a farm in Iowa, but when life gets boring, true crime books are the place I turn to. One time, two years ago, three boys from down the road got hit by a train. That was pretty violent I thought, but I never knew anyone who got hit by a bus.

    Some of the other kids at school do some drugs, and I suppose one of them is the dealer, but I don’t really think podunk town reeks of violence for drug dealers.

    But big cities, New York, LA, they’re full of dealers. Swindlers, mobsters, guns, crooked cops. That’s why Mama and Daddy say I’m stuck here, where it’s safe, where I am more likely to get hit by a train than see a dealer succumb to death in a terrifically violent fashion. But one of these days, I’m going to board a bus. I’m going to head straight to the big city and into the rough parts. If I have enough money, maybe I can make it to Compton. If not, Detroit is close enough and I hear that’s a pretty rough place to be.

    I’m going to hide out in a bus station, covered in blankets, pretending to sleep and watch all the dirty underground world unfold before my eyes. And when no one is around, I’m going to write it all down. The guns, the knives, the fights, the cursing, the tweakers, and I’m going to write the best crime book the world ever saw. That will be my ticket off the farm.
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  5. spbowers says:

    “In my considerable experience, drug dealers are more likely to die a violent death than get hit by a bus.” I said and flicked the TV off. “

    “Your considerable experience huh? From watching NCIS and Law and Order?”

    “Maybe.” I smirked at him and he laughed. I loved to watch him laugh. His eyes crinkled up and the sound make my stomach turn to liquid goo. He lay stretched out on the couch an arm behind his head. I sat scrunched in the uncomfortable chair, the one we usually made Grace Harlan sit in in hopes that she didn’t stay long. I didn’t mind though, I liked to look at his long body and wish he was mine.

    A door opened and closed and he jumped from the couch, a light in his eyes that made my heart thump painfully and the breath leave my body. If only he’d look at me like that. “Hey baby he said and ran to the front hall. It was silent for a long time and I tried not to imagine the kiss, long and deep, his lips soft and tender. Maybe my roommate would get hit by a bus.

  6. redshirt6 says:

    In my considerable experience, drug dealers are more likely to die a violent death than get hit by a bus, which is of course why she chose this course of action. To anyone watching, it would seem an accident and nothing more. But that was her goal.

    Of course, something would probably go terribly wrong, it always did. Anything she tried to do seemed doomed from the start.

    Like starting a family! That sure as hell didn’t work. Fairy tale marriage, an honeymoon in Europe, and then settling down in a swanky neighborhood right on the golf course. Such a wonderful start! But of course it didn’t last.

    And of course, she had been blind to it all. The cheating, the dishonesty, all of the sneaking around. That had been really terrible and it had all come to light so fast! If she had realized her shrink was in on it from the beginning she never would have fallen for any of it! But she got wise to them! She got wise to them all!

    Oh yeah, she had finally realized that she wasn’t the one with a problem. It was all of them. If she had realized the medicines they had her taking were really designed to hide the truth from her earlier she could have avoided all of this.

    But too late. And now, he child, her sweet and beautiful darling. Only two years old. But sadly he was destined to be a gang banging drug dealer. High end of course, but still.

    A moment of clarity and an insight into his future. That was all it took. She couldn’t stand by and watch that happen to him. Not as a loving mother! Of course she couldn’t stand for it.

    As the bus sped down the hill she waited patiently. When the time was just right, she tossed the child under the front wheels, as any sane and loving mother would do.


  7. In my considerable experience, drug dealers are more likely to die a violent death than get hit by a bus.

    “Considerable Experience… my ass.” She muttered. He was still asleep, and she didn’t dare risk waking him. He’d be furious if he found her messing with his precious manuscript. But that was the very reason she’d #WinedDinedSixyNined him in the first place.

    He had seen plenty of busses growing up, but she seriously doubted he knew anything about drug dealers. Or violence in general. He was the most sheltered, selfish, annoying…

    A sound from the bed prompted her to freeze in her tracks.

    He didn’t move.

    She had another chance… to prove that his so-called editor, the one he took to all the *nice* events, was cheating on him. Not sexually… well, maybe she was. But professionally…

    “I am a huge, wanking fake, and my editor shows way too much clevage.” she inserted into his document. It was a really long, boring paragraph, and she knew that neither he nor his so-called professional editor would catch it.

    She slipped back into bed just as he started to wake.
    “Oh, darling, tell me more about your genius…” she whispered, and distracted him again.

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  8. In my considerable experience, drug dealers are more likely to die a violent death than get hit by a bus.

    I thought this as I was looking down at my own body, crushed under a bus.

    “Funny, isn’t it?” a voice said from behind me. I turned to look, reaching for a gun that wasn’t there.

    “Who are you?” I said.

    “It is funny,” the apparition continued speaking. It was wispy, yet held the form of a man. A very thin man, to be sure, one in a robe or maybe a hooded sweatshirt. It was difficult to tell. “You, a very successful drug dealer, one who has managed to avoid the violent end many of your kind enjoy for years, taken down by a simple bus. A school bus, nonetheless.”

    “Who the fuck are you?” I said again, pushing my finger at him. It passed through his form, and I backed away. I was scared, but I couldn’t feel my heart race, as it should have. I was really dead.

    “I think you know who I am,” the figure said. It moved forward, and it started to come in more clear. “I’m here to take you to your final resting place.”

    The hood was attached to a robe. A long, dark robe that covered most of the thin body. And the face under that hood came into view at last. A skeletal face.

    I screamed. I fell to my knees and started pleading. I didn’t want to die.

    “It’s too late for that,” the figure said, chuckling. “You don’t have a choice in this matter. Now, get up. You’re embarrassing yourself. Take my robe.”

    I hesitated.

    “Where are you taking me?” I asked.

    “Why, to the same place I take all the recently dead,” he said. I could swear I hear a smile in his voice. “To the Judgment Fields.”

    I started to pull back but he reached out and grabbed my arm. His grip was like iron, and I couldn’t pull away. I screamed again as he yanked me into the void, away from my body, away from the world. Towards my judgment.

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  9. “In my considerable experience, drug dealers are more likely to die a violent death than get hit by a bus.” I said.
    The rookie stared at me dumbly. “But he didn’t get hit by a bus, he got hit by that sheet of glass from the construction site.”
    I didn’t want to have to explain what a ‘figure of speech’ was to this snot nosed, fresh out of the academy, maggot. I shook my head and continued with my search of the scene.
    Lee Petersen was a well known dealer, not the street level kind either, no, he was the dealers dealer, he was one of the big three, a group that brought drugs in from South America and the Middle East and distributed them all through Wichita. This was Karma. I had been tracking him and his cohorts, Trace Hansen and Steve McCoy for years. I would have loved to have been able to bring Lee in alive, but this splattered and flattened specimen would do.
    “What do you think happened Rookie?” I asked my new partner.
    He looked at me dumbly again. “Sir, a piece of glass fell from up there and hit him, I believe it was an accident.”
    “You’re a smart cookie son, just remember, smart cookies don’t get eaten.” He stared blankly at me. I bent down and inspected the glass. A palm print. Odd, maybe he didn’t get ‘hit by a bus’ after all.
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  10. Christie Fremon says:

    “In my considerable experience, drug dealers are more likely to die a violent death than get hit by a bus.”

    “Yeah, but rattling off some statistics don’t make the bus go any slower. It’s not like the bus is going to say, ‘Oh, yeah, you’re right. My bad. Why don’t I slow down so you can move outta the way?’ Besides, going flat under a bus is pretty violent, you know?”

    I chuckled and nodded.

    “She probably would have wanted a chance at the violent death, though. She would have felt like she’d have a better chance of getting out of it.”

    “Probably felt downright gypped about it. If she had time to feel gypped, anyhow.”

    I nodded again. That was Amber for you. Always felt like she had another trick up her sleeve. She’d always had a sense of entitlement, inflated by a history of proving that the rules didn’t need to apply to her. And an ever present sense of immortality. Nothing ever touched her.

    Except the bus.

    But then again, in my considerable experience, people like Amber were never likely to die from anything other than freak chance.

  11. Jessica Olin says:

    “In my considerable experience, drug dealers are more likely to die a violent death than get hit by a bus. That’s why, when I saw Megan (sweet, innocent looking Megan who was really dirtier than a mange-infected dog who’d just rolled around in filth at a municipal dump) get mowed down by the cross city express, it was a refreshing change. And that’s why I did nothing to stop it.” My supervisor’s eyebrows shot up so high that I thought his hair-line would eat them.

    “I know what you’re about to say. It’s an awful thing to root for someone’s death, and even worse for me, but I couldn’t help it.”

    “Now, Jonathan. Maybe you don’t understand…,” Luke’s conciliatory tone was one of practiced condescension. Just because he’s been here forever, he thinks he can treat the new kids like dirt.

    “Don’t give me that, Luke. I know that someone in the central office is out to get me. Why else would I have gotten Megan as my first undercover assignment? She wasn’t redeemable. A quick, painless death for someone like here is preferable to anything else life had in store.” I was nervous, but I hoped my tone didn’t betray that fact.

    Luke took off his glasses, rubbed the bridge of his nose, and looked up at me. He sighed and got out of his chair, coming around to sit on the edge of his desk right in front of me.

    “As I was saying, I know you’re new here, so maybe I need to explain things again. We’re not supposed to give up on our assignments. Jonathan, when they get referred to our department it’s their last hope. That’s what we do.”

    I knew he was right, so I looked at my hands folded in my lap. I felt ashamed, but I didn’t want to admit it. Then I felt his hand on my shoulder so I did glance up at him. He was handing me a binder.

    “Read this and come back to me tomorrow. We’ll give you one more chance, okay?”

    I took the binder, one I’d seen before and thought I was done with. I looked at the title and groaned. So You’re A Guardian Angel Now was for beginners.

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  12. Monocle says:

    “In my considerable experience, drug dealers are more likely to die a violent death than get hit by a bus.”

    Marcus gave me that warning before letting me set up my own corner. He’d somehow managed to do it, though. 30 years on the street, he’d seen his little stoop change hands a dozen times as gangs rewrote the turf boundaries in the neighborhood. Even when the Cartel swept through in the late 90’s, they let him keep is regulars. So, naturally, I didn’t believe him, and decided to carve out my own niche, just like him. Not so small that I can’t get me the nice things. Not so big that I have to worry about the sharks.

    But still, it’s pretty weird. When your nice ride stalls out (fuck you and your shop, Xavier) in the intersection running the red, and the the Crosstown #20 comes barreling towards you, you realize that getting hit by a bus is actually a pretty violent death, drug dealer or not.

    Not that it does you much good at that point.

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  13. “What the hell?”
    “That’s it?”
    Tim blanched, his eyes radiating confusion as we stared at him. “There’s got to be something more.”
    “You dragged us 500 miles for this?” Randy was clearly ready to explode. “It’s a freaking question mark, Tim!”
    “Actually, it’s a sign with a question mark on it.” As usual, Tim failed to choose the right moment a snarky reply.
    “In the middle of nowhere!”
    I put my hand gently on Randy’s arm. “Look. We’re here now, so let’s look around and take a deep breath.” The sweltering heat oppressed my lungs as I breathed, and I felt a trickle of sweat rolling down from my forehead across the arch of my nose.
    “The air is fetid, dry, hot. It’s totally desert. Oh look! Another cactus. It’s totally unlike the other six I saw in turning to discover it!” Randy expelled breath loudly and pushed away my hand. “Waste of time, gas. Half a day gone!”
    “Where there’s a question, there’s an answer,” Tim said. “Remember what pastor always says?”

    “Hmph. I’d like to see him out here in this heat after a long drive preaching that crap.” Randy shook his head.
    Tim and I looked at each other and started to laugh.
    “What is so funny?” Randy frowned, arms crossing over his chest as he shot darts at us with his eyes.
    “You are, man. Chill out. We all wanted to come. Made the decision together.”
    “Don’t you start, too,” Randy snarled at me.
    I shrugged. “Just speaking the truth.”
    “With love,” Tim added, grinning. We both laughed again.
    “You two are idiots.”
    “Maybe, but what does that make you?”
    “Shut up, Bryan,” Randy rolled his eyes at me, but a grin forced itself onto his face.
    “Well, since we’re here, we might as well take a picture.” Tim fumbled with the camera case as it dangled around his neck.
    The piercing West Texas sun cut into the skin on the back of my neck like a blade. “Hurry the before we all fry.”
    “Just follow the signs, you’ll find the answer,” Randy grumbled.
    “Hey! We know never to waste our time on those signs again, don’t we?” Tim said as he attached the camera to the tripod and set the timer.
    “I was hoping for a more profound answer than that.”
    “Stop whining and smile.” Tim slipped in on the opposite side of Randy, our arms around his shoulders as we smiled and waited for the familiar click.


  14. Oops that was @BryanThomasS
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  15. John Hancock says:

    In my considerable experience, drug dealers are more likely to die a violent death than get hit by a bus. Of course, bus drivers are more likely to use drugs than drug dealers are to drive buses.

    Its just one of those things that keeps running little circles inside my head. Bus drivers. Drugs. Death. Violence. Kittens.

    Circles in circles. I forget to breathe. Somehow I got here, somehow I got strapped in this metal bed and cranked up with tubes and IVs running in my arms. I know if I could think straight I could remember how, or why but Buses and drug dealers run Curly Joe running circles on the floor, and the patterns in the tiles keep shifting into moving images of death and people and corpses and buses.

    Bang! That noise keeps running along with the circles too. Bang! Bang! Bang! And blue haired old women hitting the floor like bowling pins. And one young man with braces snaps backward like being pulled with strings. Marionettes. Marionettes of Death. Caught in Circles.Circles spin and spin again.

    “How are we doing, Mr. Seben?” a homely nurse asks me. For a minute, the circles won’t let me off. I’m caught in them like escalators in dimensions gone amuck.

    “What can…. how… what is this medicine?” I think I ask her. I must not have succeeded though, because the poodle she walked in with jumped up and started ripping out whole chunks of her throat. She didn’t seem to notice.

    “Its experimental” she throws out as circles come back to snag me again.

    Bang! Bang! go the bullets and then I slide on the circles and the circles become handcuffs and I’m handcuffed to the bed and the bus drivers tell me I shot someone.

    but I can’t tell. Are these my shoes?
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  16. Jen DeSantis says:

    “In my considerable experience, drug dealers are more likely to die a violent death than get hit by a bus.”

    “Back up,” a girl in the back of the classroom called, her head popping up as she eased herself out of the low slouch she’d been employing. “What considerable experience?”

    “Well … the experience—that tells me drug dealers generally die violently,” I said, annoyed at my stammer.

    “And you don’t consider getting hit by a bus violent?” she asked, tapping her pencil on the side of her thick framed glasses.

    I eyed her up. Spiky hair, dyed a deep violet. Pale skin and bright eyes outlined in thick, black liner. And the glasses—don’t get me started on the glasses. They had thick, green frames, dotted with sparkly rhinestones. The frames alone probably cost her parents upwards of five hundred dollars. She probably didn’t even need them for vision correction. God, I hated my job and the new generation.

    “Violent, but not in the technical term,” I clarified.

    “Technical term? I’d call it violent, technical or not. I mean, it certainly wouldn’t be an easy death, now would it?”

    “Well, no … but you know what I mean. They’re more likely to, you know, meet their demise on the other end of a gun or a knife, then they are to die accidently.”

    “All I’m saying is you should have said “accidently. Getting hit by a bus is violent, and it doesn’t make any sense to call it otherwise..”

    I swallowed the bile rising in the back of my throat. Back in the day, kids would have just sat and stared vacantly, no questions asked. Of course, back in the day, who had to talk about drug dealers and violent deaths to a class of incoming freshmen? But here we sat, 2011, with respect at an all time low and me talking about drug dealers to a class of kids who thought I was an idiot all because some teeny-bopper anology nazi in sparkly glasses disagreed with my terms. I missed the old days.

    “It really isn’t that important,” I said tersely.

    “The drug dealer might disagree,” violet-hair mumbled from the back.

    I rolled my eyes and looked at the clock. Only seven more hours to go before the end of the first day.

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  17. Time’s up! See you at 3:00 with the finalists!
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  18. Jen DeSantis says:

    Forgot the twitter handle: @jend_author
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  19. oops fail. I guess I got the prompts mixed up. I had the question mark sign in my head. Oh well.
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  20. Pete Morin says:

    Thanks, Leah – that was a blast. So many good entries, and all over the map too. I chose the 5 I did either because they took the story in an unusual direction, exhibited a strong voice, or in a few cases, BOTH.

    For anyone who’s curious, here’s how MY opening went:

    In my considerable experience, drug dealers are more likely to die a violent death than get hit by a bus. So, when I was summoned to Ernesto Chula’s party house on Long River shortly after 11:00 p.m. on a Saturday night, finding him with a hole in his chest the size of a Thanksgiving turkey was no surprise.

    The cause of my anxiety was not the grisly murder, but the mountains of evidence that a party had been in progress when Ernesto met his untidy demise. That raised the practical certainty that his usual party guests would eventually be identified. Professional acquaintances of mine, you might say. People who shouldn’t have been anywhere near the place.

    But I am a homicide detective. If the evidence happens to ruin people I know, that’s their problem. I leave the politics to someone else. At that moment, the someone else was the first man I saw when I entered the house. District Attorney Frank Falvey.
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