Posts Tagged ‘five sentence fiction’

The Possibilities Are Endless

In Fiction on October 4, 2012 at 11:18 pm

The Possibilities Are Endless

Thousands of papers, tiny strips the size of fortune cookie fortunes, whirled about him in a shrieking vortex — nipping, biting, and opening his skin, driving him to a hopeless delirium.

“You must choose, Mr. Burgess, or eventually you will bleed to death,” the voice from the loudspeaker said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dead Man Walking

In Fiction on September 20, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Hospital

Dead Man Walking

It wasn’t until I died that I finally saw my life clearly – not until this morning, that is, when I woke up on a cold gurney with a Y-shaped scar on my chest, a bitter taste in my mouth and a lipstick stain on my cheek. Read the rest of this entry »

Five Sentence Fiction: Story Time

In Fiction on August 19, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Caleb set down his drink and gave the negro a hard, searching look; in the silence, the sounds of the night seemed to swell outside the window, pressing in on the cabin.

“I ain’t saying I’m ungrateful for the offer, doc, or for what you’ve done for me here, but you’ve gotta look at this thing realistically: a negro and a cripple against an army?  What exactly would your plan be?”

“First I’d educate you on my name, so you can stop calling me negro,” the negro said sharply, but he smiled just the same, “and then I’d tell you how I come to find myself in this place, at which time I suspect my plan will be clear enough.”

Caleb sat up in the bed and propped his pillow at the small of his back, never once taking his eyes from the doctor: “Well go on then,” he said at last, “I ain’t going nowhere.”

***

The Story So Far…Five Sentences at a Time

Chapter 1

The fog crept across the plain, wispy and wavering like a line of ghostly scavengers stooping low to inspect the dead. Caleb felt the dew it had deposited on his eyelids – cold, liquid coins — and awoke, sorely disappointed to find that he was still alive.

Read the rest of this entry »

Walkin’ in the Old South

In Travel on August 15, 2012 at 1:54 pm

If you’ve been following my Five Sentence Fiction story over the last couple of months, you’ll know that it takes place in the Civil War-Era South. And if you’ve been stalking me lately, you’ll know that, coincidentally, I’ve also just moved to Atlanta.

Well, over the weekend my girlfriend and I got out of the city and went for a hike at Sweetwater Creek State Park, where the trails took us on a bit of a historical tour – one that turned out to be oddly relevant to my story.

Sweetwater Manufacturing Company, Georgia

Read the rest of this entry »

Five Sentence Fiction: Freedom

In Fiction on August 11, 2012 at 5:57 pm

“I’m your enemy– why would you ever want to help me?”

“Death is my first enemy, Confederate – with injustice a close second, on account of my humanity; that puts you at a distant third, and figurin’ on what I heard in the street – before your Colonel tried to cut you in half, that is – you’re no more a friend to the Southern cause than I am.”

The negro poured two tumblers of a copper-clear drink as he spoke, stoppered the bottle and handed a glass to his patient.

“I’m no traitor,” Caleb urged, taking the smoky-sweet bourbon nonetheless, “and the Colonel’s cause ain’t the Southern cause; the Southern cause is freedom.”

“If four million in chains is freedom to you, then could be you’re my enemy after all.”

***

The Story So Far…Five Sentences at a Time

Chapter 1

The fog crept across the plain, wispy and wavering like a line of ghostly scavengers stooping low to inspect the dead. Caleb felt the dew it had deposited on his eyelids – cold, liquid coins — and awoke, sorely disappointed to find that he was still alive.

Read the rest of this entry »

Five Sentence Fiction: Enlisted Men

In Fiction on August 4, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Caleb thought on that: to kill the man would be sweet, he had to admit, but one death would not make a victory; Colonel Grammar had allies, not just in the south but in the north as well, and their plans would go forward whether the colonel lived or died. Meanwhile, the death of every landowner, every distributor, every manufacturer, was a boon to these men. The battles would rage and countless innocents would die as the traitors waited, north and south, writing up their contracts and parceling out the future spoils.

“One hand doesn’t make a soldier,” Caleb said at last, defeated, “any more than one sword makes an army…”

“What about two swords?” the doctor asked, and he smiled.

***

The Story So Far…Five Sentences at a Time

Chapter 1

The fog crept across the plain, wispy and wavering like a line of ghostly scavengers stooping low to inspect the dead. Caleb felt the dew it had deposited on his eyelids – cold, liquid coins — and awoke, sorely disappointed to find that he was still alive.

Read the rest of this entry »

Five Sentence Fiction: The Healer

In Fiction on August 1, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Caleb stared long at the mangled limb, the wrappings nearly black with dried blood; he could feel his pulse throbbing there, thrashing inside the stub like an animal fit to burst from its cage.

“You did this… you took my hand… you – you had no right.”

“The flesh was dying,” the negro said, too calm for Caleb’s liking, “necrotic, as they say, like a crop without irrigation; did I have a right to save your life?”

Caleb fell back in the bed and squeezed his eyes shut, no longer caring to see, no longer caring to live, but then the negro spoke.

“I am a doctor, Confederate, not a soldier, so maybe I don’t understand,” he sighed, “but seems to me you can learn to kill a man with your left hand as well as with your right, if that’s what’s troubling you.”

***

The Story So Far…Five Sentences at a Time

Chapter 1

The fog crept across the plain, wispy and wavering like a line of ghostly scavengers stooping low to inspect the dead. Caleb felt the dew it had deposited on his eyelids – cold, liquid coins — and awoke, sorely disappointed to find that he was still alive.

Read the rest of this entry »

Five Sentence Fiction: Loss Remembered

In Fiction on July 23, 2012 at 10:44 pm

“Who are you,” Caleb asked, “an escaped slave? Why are you holding me here?”

“I didn’t escape and I ain’t no slave,” the man said quietly, turning from the mirror, “and I ain’t holding you so much as you’re holding me: I shoulda been well north by now, but when I come to find you in the shape you was in…”

The man’s gaze drifted slowly to Caleb’s side, and suddenly Caleb remembered what had happened – the sharp bite of Colonel Grammar’s sword and the hard crack of the dusty ground, wetted by scarlet blood. He struggled to sit up, to see what the man could see, but pain blazed across his chest and down his arm…down his arm, but not all the way down… not to the wrist and not to the hand.

“It’s gone, Confederate,” the man said, almost sadly.

***

The Story So Far…Five Sentences at a Time

Chapter 1

The fog crept across the plain, wispy and wavering like a line of ghostly scavengers stooping low to inspect the dead. Caleb felt the dew it had deposited on his eyelids – cold, liquid coins — and awoke, sorely disappointed to find that he was still alive.

Read the rest of this entry »

Five Sentence Fiction: In Friendly Hands

In Fiction on July 18, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Chapter 2

Caleb’s dreams were dark and ribboned with terror: the faces of the dead (his mother, his father, his brother Gabe), rose to greet him as from a deep, clouded pool, flesh falling from their corrupted cheeks and peeling from their now lidless eyes; fires burned ungodly hot across fields of barley, devouring cattle and villager alike, blackening the sky with horrid smoke and searing his skin; severed hands groped toward him through the ashes as beetles and worms poured from their ragged ends; and all the while, Colonel Grammar’s bubbled face watched gleefully from behind a mask of swirling smoke.

When at last he awoke it was to a sharp, ripping pain deep within his arm, as though a hot nail were being drawn slowly through the marrow, rending the bone. He was fevered and weak and could scarcely move.

“Rest now, Confederate, less’n you take chill again and I lose you for truth this time,” a voice said beside him, deep and calm and sure.

Caleb twisted on the bed to find a man composing himself before a shattered mirror — eyeing him as he pulled a necktie tight to his collar, flashing white teeth in a smile — and suddenly Caleb’s fluttering heart grew quiet and still, for the man at the mirror was a negro.

***

The Story So Far…Five Sentences at a Time

Chapter 1

The fog crept across the plain, wispy and wavering like a line of ghostly scavengers stooping low to inspect the dead. Caleb felt the dew it had deposited on his eyelids – cold, liquid coins — and awoke, sorely disappointed to find that he was still alive.

Read the rest of this entry »

Five Sentence Fiction: A Sharp Retort

In Fiction on July 8, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Colonel Grammar’s sword was out of the scabbard before Caleb had finished speaking, moonlight glinting on its honed edge – winking in the eyes of the skull etched in its ivory pommel.

“D’ya mean to frighten me, boy?” he said, stepping closer, dragging the tip of his sword on the hard ground. In an instant the blade flashed, and Caleb felt it bite, first at his left hand and then at his right, deep as bone, cutting a line up his forearm and across his chest.

Blood seeped through his linens, and Caleb staggered.

“Let me offer you a piece of advice,” Colonel Grammar said, circling as Caleb sunk toward the blood-speckled ground, “when you aim to kill a man, don’t give him so much as a word of warning, let alone a goddamn lecture.”

——————————————————————————-

The Story So Far…Five Sentences at a Time

The fog crept across the plain, wispy and wavering like a line of ghostly scavengers stooping low to inspect the dead. Caleb felt the dew it had deposited on his eyelids – cold, liquid coins — and awoke, sorely disappointed to find that he was still alive.

Read the rest of this entry »