#5MinuteFiction Week 75 #NaNoWriMo Edition!

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!

And to celebrate NaNoWriMo, for the month of November, all the prompts will be designed to feature YOUR main characters in your WIP. (If you’re not participating in NaNoWriMo, no worries. Just use the prompt with whatever characters you wish.)

The Rules

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

* You must directly address today’s prompt: Your main character encounters a demon.

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

* Post your entry as a comment to this post.

I’ll close the contest at 12:45. 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, R.B. Wood@rbwood author of The Prodigal’s Foole, released yesterday, 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, usually nothing. But since we’re celebrating our guest judge’s new book, there are PRIZES! How’s this sound:

This week’s winner: Signed copy of The Prodigal’s Foole and a 5 page critique from me.

One finalist chosen at random: E-copy of The Prodigal’s Foole

One participant chosen at random: E-copy of The The Prodigal’s Foole and a 5 page critique from me.

(That’s right, the second-best prize is just for being here and playing with us!)

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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23 Responses to #5MinuteFiction Week 75 #NaNoWriMo Edition!

  1. Jake stared at the short, red man in front of him.

    “You’re what?”

    “An honored minion of the Evil One. A demon, if you will.”

    “A what?”

    The demon sighed. “This is all so much more difficult with you enlightened types.”

    “What is?”

    “Oh, soliciting the surrender of your soul.”

    “My what?”

    The thing glowered.

    “Surely you know what a SOUL is.”

    “Ummm, something about magic spirits?”

    “Of all the– Wait, what year is it?”



    “I’m sorry, what?”

    “You don’t even know what a church is, do you?”

    “Sure, museum. Place for statues and paintings and those fancy windows.”

    The thing threw up its hands.

    “I’ve done it again. I am NEVER going to live this down.”

    “Done what.”

    It growled.

    “Never mind, mortal. I’ll be going now, back to a century with PROPER levels of superstition and credulity.”

    With a pop, it was gone.

    Jake shook his head.

    “I need to get more sleep.”
    Leah Petersen recently posted..RELEASE DAY!!!!! The Prodigal’s Foole by RB WoodMy Profile

  2. DL Thurston says:

    I’ve seen it every day for the last month. If it started earlier than that, I can’t remember. It was hardly distinguishable from human at first, but I learned what to look for. The tell tale signs.

    I tell people I’ve seen a demon, and they laugh. Religious friends think I’m making fun of them, other friends think I’m making fun of religious people. I’ve actually been to see several priests, working my way through denominations, a rabbi, an imam, even a few spiritualists and faith healers I found in the phone book. I describe what I see to them. None want to admit it’s a demon.

    Funny those points that belief fades away.

    I may have to start my own denomination. Demonination.

    It watches me. There’s a hunger in its eyes, nasty black pinpricks that poke out from above its human eyes. I saw them first. Then the mouth, right in the thing’s neck, full of teeth that glimmer with starlight and dread. I’ve seen it open that mouth, I’ve seen right down inside. I know what it has planned for me if I can’t get away from it.

    Last night it started whispering to me as I tried to sleep. Horrible words in a horrible language. I don’t know what it is saying. But I know what it means.

    I don’t think I’ll be sleeping anymore.

    My last chance it to confront it. There, where I always see it. Face it down, let the whole thing end, let it be either it or me.

    And so I go to my mirror.

    DL Thurston recently posted..State of the Writer: November 2011My Profile

  3. John Hancock says:

    Your main character encounters a demon. Turn left 8 paces.

    prompt: invesigate left hallway. what do I see?

    You see corpses.

    prompt: human corpses?


    prompt: Has the demon killed them?

    Be more specific.

    prompt. crap.

    I don’t understand.

    prompt: never mind, ok, is the demon moving?

    Yes. He is chewing on your left foot.

    prompt: Damn!


    Prompt: What happens if I stab the demon with my magic dagger?

    There are no magic daggers.

    Prompt: no, I have one right here.

    You have no magic daggers.

    Prompt: what happened to my magic dagger?

    The demon ate it.

    Prompt: I attack with any weapon.

    The demon is now eating your right foot.

    Prompt: I run away! quickly!

    You have no feet. You cannot run.

    Prompt: I scream loudly!

    No one hears you but the demon, and he seems very invigorated by your screaming.

    Prompt: How do I get out this?

    You don’t. this is hell. You don’t get out.

    Prompt: but… but…

    haha. and here you thought this was a computer game.

    Prompt: who are you?

    I’m the demon.
    John Hancock recently posted..Grokdad: http://twitpic.com/78gb5a @TheActorJPayton here is your pic! if you like it, please retweet to your followers. Thanks for our chat! 🙂My Profile

  4. Jen DeSantis says:

    Leteh slunk around the side of the dilapidated building, trying his best to blend into the surroundings. He was close to the epicenter of demon activity, too close. If anyone spotted him and realized he was alive, it would be a death sentence for sure.
    He turned quickly, and the breath left his large frame in a whoosh of fear. Across from him, Raxaceth had just turned down the path to enter the building. There was nothing between him and the demon he used to call friend. Panic, a foreign emotion, filled his chest. What would Rax do when he saw Leteh, alive and well instead of charred and blown to bits as the demons expected him to be?

    Fear freezing him, he waited for the inevitable cry of discovery. It never came.

    Rax’s red eyes passed over Leteh’s form without any acknowledgement.

    Could it be that Rax held some affinity for the friend he hadn’t seen in three centuries? The friend he’d helped imprison all those years ago for betraying all of demon kind?

    Even if that were the case, wouldn’t Rax do something to show that he’d seen Leteh?

    Instead, he did nothing, entering the building that served as Head Quarters without so much as a nod in Leteh’s direction. Exhaling in minor relief, Leteh was only too eager to get away from the old building. AS he turned to flee, he saw the annoying, small fey woman who seemed to be intent on following him.

    “What do you want, Eleth?” he asked, sighing, knowing the creature wouldn’t leave him be without troubling him some more.

    She smiled, and crooked her finger, beckoning him into the cover of the forest. He followed, after giving one last look at the demon head quarters. What could it hurt, really? She was no match for him, after all.

    Jen DeSantis recently posted..#NaNoWriMo Changes EverythingMy Profile

  5. Monocle says:

    “Go on, you know you want to.”

    It wasn’t just the voice right behind my ear that made me almost jump out of my skin, it was the tone.

    “WHAT? Who said that?” I almost shouted, but kept my voice down. I _did_ jump.

    “Me. You. Does it make a difference? I’m the little demon on your shoulder. We’re not metaphorical you know.”

    “This is creeping me out.”

    “It usually does, but really, that doesn’t matter, does it? I know what you want. I know you can get it. All you have to do is decide to. I’m here to help you make that decision.”

    I looked at her, sleeping peacefully. Oblivious.

    “It’s wrong.”

    “Of _course_ it’s ‘wrong’ – if you’re going to shackle yourself to external moralities. But you don’t need to do that.”

    “Why not?”

    “Free Will, my man. Free Will.”

    “…Where’s the angel supposed to be on my other shoulder talking sense?”

    “Heheh. What is this, some kind of New Testament parable? Angels don’t exist. Or rather, you get the ‘angel’ that reflects you. That’s me.”

    I stood there like a fool, unable to move. No, not unable. Not really.

    “Come on. You don’t have much time, you know.”

    Free Will. Was I that easy to convince?

    Monocle recently posted..1/11/11 – wearyMy Profile

  6. DeJean Smith says:

    Slowly, a man crept forward, cautiously metering out his steps so as not to trip any potential hidden traps. The map had been very specific, complete with paces and turns and spells to ward away any evil.

    How clever, those mystics had been. Arranging a map through engravings on keys. Only if the keys were placed in a proper order would anyone ever find this place. And it was quite necessary to keep this sanctum hidden. The treasures within were well beyond the comprehension of any man.

    Three steps.

    Two steps.

    One step.

    Beads of sweat trickled down the man’s forehead as he cautiously approached. Even with the key and the map, it was possible the readings were wrong.

    He placed a tentative hand on the seal in the center of the door.

    A low rumble rose from the rock. His eyes widened as a swirl of dust blew from the edges of the door, panic filling his heart.

    What would he find? What terror would be revealed?

    The sands cleared and where the door stood was a book and a watch.

    Damn. The mystic reader had said something about making a choice. Which was the right one? Which was the wrong one?

    With a trembling hand, the man reached forward and made his selection.

    A shriek unheard of on this side of Hell echoed down the hall as the man fell dead upon the floor, a demon, blood still dripping down his chin, smiled with fire blazing in his eyes.

    “You chose…unwisely.”


  7. Wavy hid behind the trees as she approached. She could tell that there was something more wrong with the boy, beyond the apparent injury that knocked him unconscious. He was witch, she could sense that about him without a problem, but there was something more, something darker.

    She sat next to him in the dirt on the bank of the river. His breathing was steady, his pulse strong. She leaned down into his hair and breathed in his scent. Yes, definitely a witch. But there was something else here.

    She looked at his face, so peaceful is sleep. Then she touched his cheek. His eyes shot open and she knew instantly what that other thing was: a demon.

    Wavy raised her hand to utter the protection charm, but the boy threw himself upon her, sitting on her chest and covering her mouth. She cursed herself for neglecting her mental work. Aunt Pea would kill her if she died because she was unable to produce magic with her mind alone.

    “I need to speak to Amber McClintock,” he said. His voice was deep and raspy, the voice of the devil. Whoever was speaking through this boy was not of this world.

    Wavy wanted to nod or signal her willingness to help him, anything to get him off of her chest. She could barely breath.

    Then she saw what he held in his free hand and it froze that though before it turned into action. Her had her dead mother’s locket.

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  8. Tauisha Nicole (@shells2003) says:

    Jamal couldn’t help but laugh at his cousin, Taj.

    “What’s so funny? She’s the devil itself!” Taj shrugged. “For some reason, you decided to marry it. Brililant.”

    Jamal shook his head and readjusted the phone on his shoulder while chopping onions. “It may have started off as a mistake, but…Taj, it’s not going to end that way.”

    “You’re crazy,” Taj seemed to be having an epiphany. “That’s it. You’re crazy. Insane. Not with us entirely. What other reason could there be for wanting to be with Darci, of all people?”

    “She’s always been-”

    “A pain. A severe pain. Am I the only one who remembers how she treated you in school? Who was there trying to save you? Yeah. That’s right. Me.”

    There was a sound at the door, a rattling of keys.

    “She’s back. Gotta go.”

    Before Taj could even respond, Jamal disconnected the call. He turned and smiled at the seething woman walking through the door.

    “Why? Why are you still here?”

    Placing the sweetest of smiles on, Jamal replied, “Because, that’s what husbands do. And we are married, right?”

    “We don’t have to be.”

    “It’s not a matter of choice I’m talking about,” Jamal put down his knife and walked over to her. “It’s a matter of fact.”

    She rolled her eyes. “Go. Home.”

    “Already there.”

    Darci growled and threw her shopping back at his face before storming off.

    Jamal laughed. Taj was right: she’s definitely the devil. But, he’d soften her up soon enough…

  9. Monocle says:

    Yep. Forgot the @_Monocle_ again. Sorry. The devil made me do it.
    Monocle recently posted..1/11/11 – wearyMy Profile

  10. MLGammella says:

    Alana was terrified as she stared at the demon that stood on her front step. First the whispers and the man following her and now this? What could she have possibly done to deserve what was happening to her? Sure, David explained a bit about what her family was and what they represented but she never expected this.

    “What do you want from me?” she cried out weakly.

    “Your life and all the life you can create,” the demon uttered, its voice deep and gravely.

    Alana took a step back and grasped her spiral pendant tightly. It had no effect on the demon. She looked wildly around for anything to defend herself against the creature, but to no avail.

    The demon stood just outside the door, waiting for something it seemed, but she had no idea what. Suddenly, the house began to shake, slowly at first but with increasing vigor. Alana had no idea what to make of this latest development until she heard the cracking of wood.

    The door frames and window sills with the engraved shepherds crooks were starting to splinter and shatter, destroying the protection they offered. The demon smiled and finally stepped through the threshold.

    “Your guardian cannot help you now,” it said.
    Bring on Nano!
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  11. Alli (@Slytherin_Pixie) says:

    David sat on the empty stage, idly playing his guitar. He’d already given last call and locked up, now it was just him and the performance area of the bar he worked in. Well, him and the dreams he had for being a rock star.
    “You’re pretty good.” He jumped, nearly dropping the guitar out of his lap. He looked up through the fringe of his bangs, blinking at the blonde woman standing in front of him. The really, really attractive blonde woman. It took him a moment to register anything else beyond the blue dress that hugged her figure, accentuating it in ways that made his brain short circuit.
    “I’m sorry, we’re closed for the night. I don’t know how you even got in-”
    “Oh, just wandered in. Heard you singing, couldn’t resist.” David felt his mouth run dry as she walked toward him, hips swaying seductively. “Tell me, David. What would you give to be famous? To have fans screaming your name, to have women throwing themselves at you?”
    He usually would have asked how she knew his name, but something made him seriously answer her question, rather than ask the logical one for her. He barely felt when she slid her hands up his thighs as she leaned in, her face an inch from his.
    “Anything. I’d sell my soul for that,” he answered, his voice a shade huskier than usual. But, then, he didn’t usually have a knock out like her so close to him. He froze when she closed the distance between them, her lips meeting his in a fiery kiss.
    “Done.” David blinked as her eyes turned black as she backed away from him, disappearing in a torrent of fire, leaving behind the stench of brimstone.
    “Well… shit.”

  12. sorry for all the typos!!
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  13. Nicole says:

    “But, Janet, what if something goes wrong?”

    “What could go wrong?” I asked, my finger tracing the spiky cursive flowing over the page of the spell book.

    Violet paled, her carefully applied blush standing out on the apples of her cheeks. “I don’t know — but when you mess witht his kind of crap, bad things happen! I heard Steve Pinner invoked some kind of demon, and a big whirling hole opened up in the middle of his kitchen and sucked his entire family in. That’s how his dad died, you know. That story about him taking off in the middle of the night was just a front.”

    “Whatever. That’s a load of crap.”

    “It’s not.”

    “It is.” I glared at Violet, hoping to convey the fact that I wanted her to shut the hell up. It must have worked because her lips sucked closed, chin dimpling with the effort. “Okay, let’s begin.”

    I read the words, paying careful attention to the accent marks and hoping I wasn’t butchering the language to badly…whatever language it was. I couldn’t be sure — I’d never seen it before, but what did I know? I was a high school senior with three years of Spanish under my belt.

    The second my last syllable died away, Violet whimpered, and the dog — a tiny brown furball of a thing — darked out of the room as though I’d lit his poofy tail on fire. The air grew heavier, an almost oily breeze eddying around me. I dropped the book on the coffee table and waited.

    Violet wrung her hands.

    I pretzeled my arms across my chest.

    Violet covered her eyes with her fingers.

    I shifted my weight from foot to foot, impatient and irritated.

    Ten minutes later, the living room door…well, it didn’t really fling open, so much as it exploded inward, and in its place stood — nothing.

    “What the hell?”

    A mouse squeak of a voice emanated from the doorjamb. “You have invoked me, Hruuglen the Demon of Small Places! How dare you disturb my rest! There will be consequences, human!”

    I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. It was just a wee thing with purple skin and long black hair only two inches high.

    It didn’t matter — my father tread squarely on its head on his way into the house after work. “Is your mother home?” he asked.

    “No, Dad.”

    He continued through the room, leaving a red-purple splotch behind.

    “You’re right, Violet. Bad things happen.”

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  14. A smile slowly crept across the old man’s face from one side to the other. It was crooked like the peaks of ragged mountain peaks, and as grey as mountains as well. He laughed a throaty gurgling laugh that became a fit of coughing.

    “Perhaps I shouldn’t have made a deal with this man,” Orson thought to himself. The man had never looked trustworthy to begin with, but he had said he knew of a way to the other side of the Wall.

    The man stopped coughing, “Let’s go then. No time to waste.”

    Orson followed the dirty man down back alleyways where shadows seemed to reach out to envelop passersby in the night in eternal darkness. A man in white robes, lean and handsome of face appeared before them, almost dispelling the darkness around him.

    “Do not go,” the man in white said, “Instead follow me.”

    It was all the encouragement Orson needed to change directions. He had regretted it ever since. Who knew a demon could appear so godly?

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  15. Tauisha Nicole (@shells2003) says:

    EEEP!!!! bag! Shopping bag!!!! Can you fix that?

  16. Emailed entry:

    I would have screamed if I could have, but no, that was not possible.

    Mine is a strange tale but if you will bear with me for but a few moments I will try to relate the horrible incident as best I can remember it. If you are squeamish, this may not be for you.

    It was a cold November evening and the wind tore through the sky, its voice wailing and howling as I walked. I had spent a normal evening at the tavern, as was my wont of a Thursday. The weekend has yet to begin but there is energy in the air as workman and noble alike anticipates the coming joys of the weekend.

    Having just come over a slight rise, I was astonished to see a young girl, a child really, standing by the side of the road. She wore only a slight summer weight dress and the wind threatened to shred even that.

    I approached her and called out but perhaps my hail was lost in the wind; I’ll never know for sure but it really doesn’t matter. What happened next is was something I could never have anticipated.

    She looked at me and her eyes stung my soul. I could feel my heart lurch as her eyes flared and flashed a dark, burning amber. Immediately my legs locked up and try as I might I could not get them to heed my desire. My desire to run.

    She approached me slowly and held out one delicate hand. She pointed at my hands and I watched, spellbound, as my arms both rose up and extended towards her face.

    She then put her mouth on my index finger and bite. And she continued biting until she had separated the finger from my hand.

    I tried to run, I tried to scream, I tried flail, to fall down, anything, anything at all! But alas, I watched in horror as my body betrayed me and I stood as a manservant would, duty and honor bound to fulfill his master’s wishes no matter how horrid.

    And then, after she had thouroughly consumed the first digit, she moved on to the next.

    As you may imagine, I am not writing this tale but instead it is being taken down by a friend. I know that you must think me mad but it is true. Every last word of it.
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  17. Kit risked a glance over his shoulder at the young boy who was reloading the Winchester. His face was resolute, but his hands trembled, “Don’t go all beer and rattles on me, Darnell. We got this. You understand, boy?”

    Darnell nodded, his gray kepi still new enough to see the CSA emblem, “Yes, Sir.”

    Turning back, Kit dared a glance over the edge of the bluff quickly emptying both his pistols. He passed them back to Darnell, taking the Winchester in their place. He setit easily against his shoulder and fired. Again and again.

    All round him gunfire sounded. They’d been shooting against the massive red creature since before dawn when the strange blue fire had erupted in their campsite in the valley below coalescing into a massive red muscled monster – a demon. Only a handful of men had made it to the bluffs.

    More rounds hit the creature squarely in the chest. It rocked back only to begin anew its inexorable climb up towards them. The grizzled war veteran watched the demon’s progress. Never taking his eyes from the twisted monster, he refilled his pistol, “Pray.”


  18. The creature slithered out of the cauldron, dripping broth to sizzle in the fire. Mehna tightened her grip on the ladle, but gave no ground. Her ruined stew had left its mark upon the intruder–its dark scales were slimy with beef fat, the tendrils that wreathed its head were tangled with leeks and vever’s root.

    It opened a mouth filled with fangs and forked tongues and hissed.

    Mehna’s skin crawled and nausea clutched at her stomach. “You have ruined my dinner,” she said. Her voice cracked. She jabbed at the leftmost cat-slit eye. It bobbed its head out of the way. A clawed hand snatched at the bulb of the ladle. Mehna yanked it back, but long deep scratches had cut through the iron.

    Iron was no weapon against demons, for surely that’s what this was. The lore of the Fair Folk her mother had passed down bespoke of iron defenses, but despite the new priests and their new lore from books Mehna couldn’t read, it appeared that demons were not the same as the creatures that made mischief among the hills. Still, she had one or two more tricks to defeat the creature that had followed their foreign iron-makers north.

    She backed up slowly. It matched her steps, sliding out of the bubbles and over the hearth-fire without noticing the steam and flame that met its dripping form. Mehna was not wealthy, but her village still held to the old ways, and they respected her hedgecraft. Her hand stretched behind her, she fumbled through the jars on her shelf until she found the right one, the one of glass, the gift from the elders who’d bargained the terms of their surrender to the foreign swords.

    White crystals meant for seasoning stew and protecting the spirit. White against dark. She opened the jar, flung out her arms, and believed.
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  19. Nestor finished his diagnostic checks, he could find no reason for the sudden outage in the gravity propulsion systems. Everything seemed to be back on line. He had traveled through all the circuit paths and meticulously checked each wire.

    “Nothing to report captain.” He said. “I don’t understand it, there is nothing here whatsoever.”

    “Just a glitch then Nestor.” James replied. “It happens, it’s an old ship.”

    “No sir, not even a glitch. The slightest hiccup would leave a trace somewhere, this left nothing. It was as if what ever happened intentionally erased all trace of itself.”

    “Like a ghost?” The captain said sarcastically.

    “I assure you I had nothing to do with this, and if there was another ‘ghost in the machine’ I would know.” Nestor was stymied. He didn’t like not knowing what had caused the error. Ever since they had passed through the Giant Split-Atom strange things had happened.

    The lights dimmed again. This time he was on it. He caught a surge of energy, a pulse, it went right through him as it raced along the electric current. He immediately felt cold and icy. “A demon.” He said aloud.

    This indeed was a strange part of the universe. Why were there demons here? They must be close to The Beyond. He had felt it, it pulled at him too, nearly as strong as the hold the ship had of his bodyless soul, but why demons?

    Another came. This one sensed his presence, it stopped.

    We have come for the ship. It did not say it, it was more of a thought implanted into Nestor’s mind. We shall take all of you with us to see him.

    “See who?” Nestor asked, testing to see if the entities were indeed communicating with him.

    Our Lord, you have come to see him, yes? It replied.

    “No, we are merely passing through, we seek nothing but a safe place to land and passage back to our homes.” Nestor hoped that they would leave them alone.

    You do not have his permission to pass, you must see him to gain permission. They said.

    Nestor knew that no good would come of that. “Must we all go? Can I alone meet him?”

    Perhaps. You are one of us. Semantics, he was not a demon, merely a spirit, but if anyone could make the journey and returned unharmed it would be him. He must report the encounter to Captain Styne immediately before they took them all.

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  20. Time’s up, folks! See you at 2:00 with the finalists! The random-participant winner will be announced tomorrow with the contest winner.
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  21. Kit risked a glance over his shoulder at the young boy who was reloading the Winchester. His face was resolute, but his hands trembled, “Don’t go all beer and rattles on me, Darnell. We got this. You understand, boy?”

    Darnell nodded, his gray kepi still new enough to see the CSA emblem, “Yes, Sir.”

    Turning back, Kit dared a glance over the edge of the bluff quickly emptying both his pistols. He passed them back to Darnell, taking the Winchester in their place. He setit easily against his shoulder and fired. Again and again.

    All round him gunfire sounded. They’d been shooting against the massive red creature since before dawn when the strange blue fire had erupted in their campsite in the valley below coalescing into a massive red muscled monster – a demon. Only a handful of men had made it to the bluffs.

    “What do we do Sir?” Darnell’s voice cracked. They were out of ammunition.

    The last rounds hit the creature squarely in the chest. It rocked back only to begin anew its inexorable climb up towards them. The grizzled war veteran watched the demon’s progress. Never taking his eyes from the twisted monster, he refilled his pistol one last time, “Pray.”


  22. Ah well. 🙂 Almost. Realized I’d missed a couple of things. Then again, that is the rush of 5 Minute Fiction. -d

  23. N.R. Brown says:

    The weeds and bushes had grown so unruly there was only a suggestion of a path from the road to the porch of the mansion. Sync followed it faithfully, though, and was rewarded by a small brown leafed tunnel that led her to the front porch with little trouble at all.
    Once there she looked around. The porch was filled from one end of the massive house to the other. News papers, unfolded and stacked neatly, decayed into melting piles of grey sludge. Cans rusted into red-brown creatures that shivered in the wind. Stray bits and bobs of metal and wire and trash clumped together, smallest to largest, a graduating mountain of crap. It seemed so orderly and yet chaotic.
    It made her head hurt.
    She closed her eyes.
    “Hello? Can I help you?”
    Sync looked up, the woman standing in front of her wore a full-length mink coat gone threadbare from age. She carried a cigarette in one hand, it smoldered half-heartedly.
    Sync swallowed.
    “I’m so sorry. I was looking for someone.”
    “Your grandmomma just stepped out. Come in and have a cup of tea.” The woman turned toward the interior of the house, without waiting to see if Synch followed.


    (Sorry, was having some trouble getting this to post.)

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