#5MinuteFiction Week 81

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 directly reference today’s prompt: new year

(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, Carol Morgan, @CounselorCarol1 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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18 thoughts on “#5MinuteFiction Week 81”

  1. “In the new year I’m not going to sleep around so much.”

    Steph barked a laugh. “Yeah right.”

    “Hey! I can do it.”

    “Yeah, OK. If you say so.” She was still laughing behind her hand.

    “Some friend you are,” Katie huffed.

    “I am,” Steph said. “I’m not encouraging your delusions. You should make a resolution you’ll actually keep.”

    Katie still pouted but she was considering.

    “Well, fine. OK. New resolution. I’m going to gain 100 pounds.”

    “Ohhh, good one.”

    “Yep. And think about it, if you do it too, maybe we’ll be eligible for upgrade next year!”

    “Upgrade,” Steph said dreamily. “It would be a lot of work. Think of the diet we’ll have to go on. Just thinking of all the elements and parts we’ll have to consume. Ugh. I feel nauseated already.”

    “Wimp. It’ll be worth it.”

    “OK, yeah. We’ll so it.”

    They laughed and hugged. “Here’s to being new bots in 2013!”
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  2. Pain.

    Earth-shattering, mind-numbing pain.

    The kind of sensations that made Clive Barkley and Stephen King go ‘EWWW….gross!”


    “I can’t do this!”

    “Shhhh,” came a soothing cluck as another round of tasteless ice chips neared her mouth.

    Like a petulant child, she turned her head away with a growl.

    “You promised!” she shouted at the top of her lungs before another bolt of searing pain wracked her body.

    “And the baby decided it was in a hurry and they can’t give you anything.”

    “I am so…going to hold this over him or her until they’re 40,” she hissed.

    “Almost there,” came the way too calm voice of a doctor between her legs. “I see the head and the shoulders are … here we go!”

    With a scream and a groan, a sigh and a grunt from too tightly held fingers, and the cry of a newborn…

    “Time of birth … 12:01 am.”

    “Happy New Year, baby,” he smiled, pressing a light kiss onto her sweaty temple.

    “Happy New Year,” she sighed, watching as the nurses whisked away her newborn baby…

    “Girl,” the doctor smiled through her shield. “A healthy baby girl.”


  3. Art’s wristwatch beeped as he clutched his pulse rifle against his chest armor. Muzzle flashes from a Tibernaught airship strobed across Miriam’s face as she gave him a weary look.



    Art lifted his watch.



    A round of concussion grenades detonated several meters from their trench. Art tucked and rolled, balling himself against Miriam as rubble pelted their armor.

    Miriam tapped his helmet as the last pieces of shrapnel rained into the trench.

    Art coughed and straightened up, checking his rifle.

    “So, Happy New Year.”

    “What now?”

    “It’s the New Year.”

    Miriam shook her head wearily, and reached down to plant a kiss on his forehead.


    The Tibernaught’s hull careened through the atmosphere overhead, blasting the trench in heated air as it ascended to rejoin the flotilla. Art exhaled and moved back to his side of the trench, giving Miriam a wink as she secured the magazines on her belt.


  4. Every January Cynthia made the same damn resolution for the new year – lose weight, lose weight, lose weight. Every December 31 Cynthia stepped on the scale for her annual weigh-in and found that she had gained weight, effectively destroying her sense of self worth and diminishing anything she had accomplished throughout the previous year.

    This year, it would be different. Forget weight loss. Cynthia’s resolution this year was to eat. She’d go to the best restaurants, order the most delicious food, forget about calories and portion control, travel to exotic locales just to try their unique cuisines, and she’d enjoy it. This year, Cynthia would finally come to accept the jiggle jaggle of her curvy bits as she walked along and really live life.

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  5. It was a new year. A new Terran year that is. On Antilles Beta Prime the new year was a long ways off.

    Kronton stopped weeding the row he was on and stood up. He rested his hands on the hoe handle as sweat ran down his sides and back. The low light of the afternoon cast an eerie pall to the landscape giving everything a slight reddish tint. On the horizon he could see gibbous Antilles Alpha Prime with her majestic rings filling a full third of the sky.

    Kronton thought back to the last New Year’s Eve he had experienced on Earth. He could hear the sounds of noise makers and feel the sharp, grabbing edges of plastic confetti as it stuck to his cheeks and his neck, almost cutting when he turned his head. He could even smell the bouquet of the champagne.

    But that was a long time ago. Enhanced biology had allowed him to travel the light years in statsis and it allowed him even now to live a life far longer than the average human. All in the name of preserving Humanity.

    He could smell the rot of the decaying cities of Earth even now in sharp contrast to the warm, fertile soil under his feet.

    With a sigh he thought, “Happy New Year, Humanity. Happy New Year.”

    Kronton took up his hoe and returned to weeding the row of vegetables.


  6. The New Year brings excitement and interpretation. It’s a time for new beginnings, but it is also a time for new monsters to crop up.

    I didn’t used to worry about monsters, until Marcus asked me to work with him a year ago. He runs a paranormal investigation service. I thought we would mostly prove that people didn’t have ghosts. But the creatures we encountered were much worse. Demons, succubi, vampires, griffins, chimera, and many others that fill old stories.

    But the worse for me was the werewolf. Travis was his name. I met him at a local bar and we hit it off. The months we dated were amazing. It was Marcus who got suspicious when Travis would have to “travel” for work once a month. Always around the full moon. I told Marcus that his work with the paranormal had made him paranoid. Travis was just an ordinary man.

    I was proved otherwise. Travis and I were walking around the city park late one night when we were attacked. Not by humans, but shifters in the form of cats. Travis changed to a wolf right before my eyes. After keeping me safe from the shifters, he took off in to the night. I have not seen him since.

    You never know what the New Year will bring. All we can do is wait for it to happen.
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  7. Edna Butterfield woke on the first of January to an aching back.

    “Jimmy,” she muttered. “Where you greeting in your sleep again? I swear you bruised me from here to Friday.”

    Silence greeted her, and when she groaned and rolled over, the bed lay empty. The very air missed the scent of her husband of ten years: chewing tobacco and armpit sweat. Sniffing deep, she bolted upright. His hunting rifle was missing from the corner. No stained underwear drooped off the rickety chair by the bureau.

    What was this — new year, new Jimmy? Had he cleaned?

    She scurried into the bathroom. Gone was the ratty stuffed deer head hanging above the commode. She glanced into the toilet. Lid down, flushed. Her eyebrows caterpillared up her forehead.

    The living room was neater and cleaner than her own dear mother’s house. No cigarette ash burns in the couch. No half-eaten sandwiches attracting ants on the counter in the kitchen.

    Now she was worried.


    “Yes, dear?”

    She whirled to find a man of twenty striking a pose behind her in the hallway, a thin pair of pajamas accentuating a perfect body. His full head of brown hair and bright blue eyes weren’t anything like Jimmy’s bald and scaly head and bloodshot eyeballs.

    Edna considered screaming but rethought it right quick. “What’s your name, sugar?”

    “Jimmy Butterfield, sweet girl. Now what can I make you for breakfast?”

    Her knees buckled, sending her to the couch. The last thing she remembered from the night before was making a wish: “No more dead weight in 2012.”

    Eyes widening, she whispered, “Well, ain’t that a miracle?”

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  8. It did not really sink in until the professor said it the fourth or fifth time. “It’s a time machine,” he said again shaking me out of my daze. “We can go anywhere in time. We can see history as it happened. We can go to the future and watch the progress of mankind.” There was only really one thing on Martin’s mind.

    “1986?” Martin asked.

    The professor furrowed his brow. “What about 1986?”

    “Can this thing go back to 1986, Doc?” Martin’s eyes were wide.

    “Of-of course. It’s a time machine. It can go anywhere,” the professor said. “But what’s back in 1986?”

    Martin did not hear the question. In his mind he was already living a life of new decisions and new and better outcomes. Back in 1986 was where his future lay. It was going to be a completely new year.

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  9. Title: The Difference A Year Makes

    It was a new year. A new day. A new chance.

    Would I waste it as I have years before?

    It seemed as each year went by, I could only see the missed opportunities and missed chances. I never looked forward, only backward.

    If I had only took that one job … if I only said yes to that date … if I had only turned left instead of right. The list went on and on, always second guessing myself.

    My psychologist said it was a lack of confidence. I questioned it, wondering if going to see him was the right choice.

    Apparently I just proved his point.

    This year was going to be different. The past was in the past. I couldn’t change what has already happened; I could only change what could happen.

    This year was going to be different. I was tired of living in the shadow of my past, both good and bad.

    This year was going to be different, and the change was starting today … with me.

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  10. Michelle didn’t really feel up to it, but she came to the bar anyway. Only because her friend, Jessica kept prodding her to.

    “And, make sure you look nice. You have to look nice.”

    Michelle sighed. “Be happy I’m even going.”

    “It’s New Year’s, Chelle,” Jessica pushed on. “It’s against the law for you to stay inside.”

    “Says who?”

    “Me. So there. See you at ten.”

    Michelle sat at the bar thinking she had nothing really to celebrate. A new year…whoopee. Plenty more where that came from. Why people felt the need to go out and get plastered once an old year closes makes no sense to her. Still, Jess wanted her here, so she came.

    “You made it!” Jess ran over and hugged her friend. “Great! This is the first step over Ethan.”

    Chelle froze. “Why’d you have to bring him up?”

    “Cause he’s the reason you’re a couch potato these days. Live a little!” Jess tossed her arms up. “It’s a great night to get over a few things. Ethan is one of them.”

    So, Michelle tried to get in the spirit. She even had a beer. Someone randomly gave her a 2012 hat to wear, so she put it on. Didn’t make her feel festive in the least, but at least she blended in. By eleven, Michelle had all she could stand.

    “I’m gonna cut outta here,” she told Jess, who seemed to make friends with a geeky redhead dude.

    Jess frowned. “C’mon, Chelle.”

    “No,” she shook her head. “It’s too happy in here. Let me go sulk on my couch. Nite.”

    Before Jess could say another word, Chelle turned and headed out of the bar.

    Walking down the street alone, she thought of all she’d lost that year. The biggest thing on her mind, of course, being Ethan…how did she do that? He was so easy to love, yet so easy to lose. It broke her heart every time she thought about it.

    Just as she turned the corner to reach her doorstep, she froze in place. Sitting on the stoop was…


    He turned, his brown eyes flashing under the street light. He smiled and walked over to her.

    “What are you doing here?”

    He smiled a little and slid his arms around her. “I’m sorry.”

    Her eyes closed, she smiled loving how he always cut to the chase.

    Ethan continued, “I’ve been such a jerk. You shouldn’t forgive me, but I wish you would.”

    Michelle smiled and slid her arms around his neck. “New Year; new beginnings?”

    He smiled, happy to start over. “New beginnings.”

    Even though it wasn’t midnight, they shared a kiss on her doorstep.

  11. Kellan held a secret about the new year.

    He wasn’t sure what the secret was, but he knew it was very important. He kept the secret – a coiled metal ribbon etched with a mysterious scrawling script – hidden inside a leather pouch that hung from his neck.

    He withdrew it and unraveled the coil. He rubbed his finger across the etched words. His lips quivered as he read, as if he were whispering the secret to a friend. But he knew better than to read the secret aloud.

    The clock counted down to midnight. The new year was almost here.

    Kellan sat on the edge of his bed, watching the dazzling globe of light reaching toward its final destination with hungry eyes.

    10 seconds left. The secret began to burn. The edges turned red and shriveled as the gray metal snake came alive. Kellan dropped the secret, too hot to hold, and it hissed and popped on his orange shag carpet.

    The countdown ended. The new year was here.

    The secret engulfed his room in flames. Kellan crashed through his bedroom window and landed on the barberry hedge lining his front entryway. He ran to the middle of the street and shivered in the bite of the cold winter wind.

    When the firemen arrived, Kellan offered only one explanation for the fire, “Secrets have a way of revealing themselves, no matter how hard we try to keep them hidden.”

  12. I’ve always thought that the best way to celebrate the New Year was to stay as far away as possible from large groups of drunken people wearing silly hats and numbers on their faces. Until Sasha–she whom I loved in the way that makes one susceptible to persuasion–decided that yes, indeed, it would be worthwhile to drive to the train station, find the last parking space left available by everyone else who’d had the same idea (and by the twenty-foot mounds of plowed snow that dotted the lot like scattered miniature Everests), wait in the cold for a packed train, wait in the cold again in Hoboken for yet another packed train that would take us into the fetid mess of the New York subway system.

    The superstition is that New Year’s Eve can set the tone for the year to come, and I try to avoid paranoid magical thinking as much as I can. Sasha and I spent the train and subways rides crammed on seats next to strangers, separated by the crush of people. We did eventually make it to Times Square. No one vomited on us, which was nice. And during the mass migration home after the ball dropped and the revenant of Dick Clark mumbled a few words, we were once again fortunate to have seats, but not next to each other. The drive home was quiet.

    This year, I’m staying put, because there’s no one to convince me to go anywhere. I’ve got some hard cider. Some pizza. The television’s on, being flickering and mindless. In the bedroom closet, half the bar is occupied by the empty hangers that used to hold her clothes.

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  13. Oh, count this one too. Emailed entry:

    Arlo leaned back in the rocker. His hip was aching something fierce, but he hated the beds with their white sheets and beeping machinery. He gently rubbed the offending area with knarled, arthritic fingers. Arlo glanced at the display in the hospital room – 2 minutes to go. A new year, a new month, a new day, a new me.

    The I.V. was in and the medication started. The family had already come and gone. The docs didn’t like having too many people present for the transformation. It tended to upset folks. But Roddy had stayed. He was sitting in the corner of the room, an ancient eReader in his hands. Roddy didn’t like to let go of things. Tall and dark, with broad shoulders and work-roughened handss; Roddy was only just beginning to show grey in his hair. Then again, Roddy had been born only a couple of centuries ago.

    I almost can’t remember how it used to be all those years ago. Crackers and horns and ball drops and resolutions; and of course, the parties. It was a celebration of transition. Like the face of Janus looking both forward and back. I’ll be honest, I miss it.”


    “Because there was something to hold on to. Change meant something. You’d get excited about it. You’ll understand when it’s time for you to ReGen.”

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  14. “I should never have come here,” Kimberly thought as she willed her frozen legs to push her above the suffocating crowd. Every part of her body was numb, or achy, or both. The bright lights of Times Square that had seemed so charming when they first arrived now seemed to glare and burn.

    Where the hell were Betsy and Greg? Panic began to take over, as she saw only unfamiliar faces in every direction. She felt for her cell phone beneath her heavy coat, but could barely move her arms to access it with the crowd jostling her from every direction. Why had she worn such tight jeans? Why was she here at all?

    Betsy and Greg were probably off making out in a porta-potty or something. And Kimberly was alone with the thought she’d fought to push away ever since they arrived in New York: he is here. Somewhere.

    She had no idea where in the city he lived, but his presence seemed to follow her everywhere the three of them had gone on their whirlwind tour of the Big Apple. She’d been able to keep it at bay, despite being the third wheel with her friends, but now that she was lost and alone in the world’s biggest party, tears came to her eyes as she realized how desperately she’d missed him.

    The crowd began to count down the apple, and she saw people all around her reach for one another to prepare for a New Year’s kiss. Her eyes burned, throat threatened to close, and tears welled.

    Suddenly, there he was. It was as though the past fourteen months had never passed. He slipped his hand around her waist and said, “I’ve been looking for you for hours.”

    “Well, you found me.”

    “Our timing has always been a little magical, hasn’t it?”

    She threw her arms around his neck and felt the Square, the city, the world, wash away around her.

  15. Carol Morgan commented on Leah Petersen:

    AND THE FIVE FINALISTS ARE: (drumroll please…)


    It was a very difficult choice–so congratulations to everyone!

    thanks so much for allowing me to read.


  16. The crowd began to count down the apple, and she saw people all around her reach for one another to prepare for a New Year’s kiss. Her eyes burned, throat threatened to close, and tears welled.
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