Five Sentence Fiction – Freedom

Five sentence fiction – Freedom


“Freedom is a curse,” he smiled as he spoke through yellow teeth, pushing back strands of yellowing, gray hair.

The smile faded from his face, his eyes glazed and he began to shake.  He dropped a faded Polaroid.

I picked it up and stumbled backwards when I saw it was a picture of me. I looked up and he was gone, but I was wearing his clothes.


Author’s Notes

Ahh, the old switcheroo! Always a classic. This time with a twist on freedom. You see, I didn’t want to do the patriotic freedom thing, or “freedom isn’t free,” which I anticipated would be popular. Ever the contrarian, I steered clear of the easy answer and went with my fave, scifi.

Five Sentence Fiction – Spark

Five Sentence Fiction – Spark


“A spark is a flame that couldn’t make it,” she said to the night, to me, to the fireflies.

The campfire billowed its smoke towards us, away from us in its meandering way. The wood popped and she jumped, startled back from her reverie.

She looked at me and burst into a million sparks. She always has to be dramatic when she leaves.


Author’s Notes

I’m trying to keep these stories a little mysterious, engaging the senses, and without run-on sentences that I see so often from other people doing short fiction challenges. It’s hard to keep it short, but that’s why it’s a challenge. Seriously, it’s not the run-on sentence challenge!


Five Sentence Fiction – Silver

Five Sentence Fiction


The scratching at the door hadn’t stopped. I shot it 6 times, emptying the revolver. SIX TIMES!

My eyes got huge and I held my breath when I figured it out. Those bullets weren’t silver.


Author’s Notes

Silver. In mid-December. I see lots of bells and Christmas. Good tidings and presents under the tree. Joy to the world.

Nah, fuck that, I’m not going there. I’m going full werewolf, bitches.

Five Sentence Fiction – Alone


“I am just a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy, ad infinitum.” Jack studied his red eyes in the mirror and felt a draining sense of panic at being alone in the epiphany.

He raised his hands up and brought his fists down onto the man in the mirror. He watched himself shatter into a million fragments, a million copies, a million copies of copies of copies.

The world pulled away as Jack sank to his knees and grabbed at his shattered identity, finding only a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy.


Author’s Notes

Hmm. Perhaps too much listening to music late at night is to blame for this one. But seriously, pondering infinity and feeling alone at the same time, that’s fodder for timeless teenage angst right there.

Five Sentence Fiction – Letters

Five Sentence Fiction – Letters


Steve opened the first letter and was struck by her perfume. The smell of memories and sadness.

The second letter was covered in bloody fingerprints. Her cursive was uneven and rushed, though Cassie had always been proud of her penmanship.

The third letter was taped to a box, dripping red at the corners, addressed to him in his own handwriting.


Author’s Notes

Success is found by trying, failing, and trying again. You can write and rewrite, but eventually you have to stick a fork in it and call it done, good or bad. And the only way you get better is to work at it, even if it’s just 5 sentences published on your blog each week. Put it out there, stand back, and admire that you’ve done more than 80% of other writers.

Five Sentence Fiction- Dancing

Five Sentence Fiction: Dancing (unrequited)


“Well, okay, I suppose, if you insist,” he had a sly smirk and a grin. She looked at him and grinned back, glancing up at him a couple of times as she wrote down her number and email.

She popped up and extended the scrap of paper to him. “There you go! Call me anytime!”

But he never did, he couldn’t, he wouldn’t dare, he could never cross the line, not with HER…


Author’s notes:

Unrequited, indeed. Except, you know, that things that you longed for in the past, you would be very disappointed if you got them now.  That wonder, that belief, that dance that you get into with that other person…you wonder if that person knows it, you wonder if she’s toying with you, you wonder and wonder, and then you move on, left to wonder at what was never to be, what was destined to be left unrequited.

The Gate in the Woods

If you’re ever walking deep in the woods in an old New England town, hope and pray you don’t come upon a gate to nowhere. But if you do, whatever you do, do NOT open it.


I wanted to, but was afraid. I’m always afraid. Poor ‘fraidy cat Freddy, that’s what they said. Before I did what I did. But that’s not to say that I am not afraid. Because I am.

Mikey and Scott went into the woods that day with me. They said they found an old Hustler, a half a cigarette and a spilled bottle of beer in the woods that some older kids must have left in there; good thing the dumbasses didn’t light the whole place on fire, the fucking ‘tards.

I went with them to their Hustler, and we bet that whoever got a boner first had to smoke the rest of the cigarette. I cursed and swatted at the gnats. Scotty held back a branch just long enough for it to hit me and laughed.

And then Mikey found something.

We were in the woods and we heard Mikey yelling and we ran after him, wondering if a wild coon got at him or something, maybe a bobcat or coyote. My heart was pounding as we crunched the leaves on the way to the clearing. Nope, not a coon: it was a gate. A gate in the woods.

Now, if you’re not from these parts, you have to understand something. You see, there are old walls running randomly through the woods. Back in the early days, they used to come through and farm these lands, and when they did, there were so many stones that they had to figure out what  to do with them. So they built great stone walls around the farms with the stones they hauled out of the land as they tilled it up.

So it’s not unusual to see a stone wall in the woods.

Well, that’s not to say it’s not unusual to see what I seen there that day, that gate. This one was a couple of raised stone pillars to which were attached two iron gates. Closed. With a lock and key. The iron was laid in a pattern that looked like a bird’s wings, only fancier.

But the strange thing, you see, isn’t that this existed. It’s that there was just a high pillar/post thing and then that was it. No stone wall. Just a stone support on each side of the gate. And the gate was LOCKED. Now what in the hell would someone come out in the woods and do that for?

Mikey was grunting and sweating as he tried to jimmy it open but couldn’t get it. Scott tried hitting it with rocks, but it just sparked and echoed. Then Scott had an idea and came back with an old master skeleton key that his granddad gave him. It was a rusty old thing that was supposed to be a family symbol or some shit, I didn’t know, what’s the fucking difference?

Anyway, that key, it worked.

Scott put the key in, grabbed it with two hands, and unlocked it with a grunt. A crow took off from behind us and scared me; Scotty called me a wuss and punched my arm. We pushed open the gate and one side swung all the way out with a groan. It was quiet in the woods just then.

Mikey went through first and disappeared as he walked through the gate. We ran around the other side and he wasn’t there. We threw a rock at the opening and it disappeared without a sound.

Well, what else do boys do? We ran.

We got to talkin’ and didn’t know what to do. At first. So we told our folks, who told his folks. Then his folks and the cops were asking lots of questions and we didn’t know what to say; they’d think we were smoking some funny stuff up there in the woods, which ain’t to say that it was too far fetched, but we really hadn’t been and I don’t know what I could have said otherwise, so we told the truth.

Nobody believed us, of course, and they figured Mikey was hurt and we got scared and left him.

As the search teams got together, we went up ahead with them and then we branched off toward the gate. It was getting dark. We got brave. Or we got stupid, same difference.

Standing in front of the gate in the twilight, we shook on it. We decided to go through together.

With a flash of blue and a whooshing sound, Mikey fell back through the gates. Only it wasn’t Mikey. It was a ghost of Mikey. Scratch that, it wasn’t really a ghost, either, it was Mikey but he was laughing in a raged panic and his hair was bright white and he just thrashed on the ground for a while before we decided to hold on to him and get him to the search party.

Only they didn’t know what to do, either. So we told them about the gate again. Old man Hicks, he fell back, pissed his pants, and just sorta stared off into space.

“I seen it before,” he said and looked up at us with trembling eyes. “I seen it and I didn’t think it would come back. You boys don’t know what you did. You don’t know…”

I realized that Mikey had stopped laughing and was glaring at me. Sweat was running down his face and his left hand was clenched in a fist. We all turned and looked at him as he made his move. He was running back towards the gate.

“Let him go, ain’t no use,” Hicks was staring at the ground, talking to nobody. He was shaking and crying. “Ain’t no use!”

We got back to the gate just in time to see three tall, dark, crowned figures standing in front of the gate. One lifted a hand, pointed at Mikey, who just fell forward and landed face-first in the leaves.

“Mikey!” I shouted and ran towards him, but Scott caught my arm and pulled me down onto my ass. “Hey, what the-”

Scott was staring at the figures. A loud, rumbling sound was growing and pulsing against me. They turned towards us, their blue eyes had fog like dry ice wisping off of them.

“Choose,” the first figure said.

“What? Choose what?” I said, pushing myself up and brushing the dirt off my butt. When I looked back at them, they were right in front of me.

One time, I killed a rat with a bb gun and kept it in a box in a tree. After a couple of days, it smelled real bad. REAL bad. That’s the smell these ghosts had and it just about knocked me back on my ass.


I looked over at Mikey, face down in the dirt, then back at Scott, his face pale and fixed, and heard the rest of the group coming up behind us.

I looked at the ghost and chose.


Author’s Notes

I haven’t written any flash fiction for a while, but I wanted to get my 50,000 words this month for NaNoWriMo, so I went back to some of my story stubs, which are ideas that I save as drafts on my blog so I don’t forget about them. Some of them are pretty bad when I put some time between me and them, and others are okay, and some are stories that I’ve had in my head for a really long time.

This story is based on an older story of the first wormhole travel. I remember reading this story in the seventh grade, way back in the mid ’80s, but I don’t remember who wrote it. Maybe Bradbury? Seems like one of his. Anyway, the story is about the first travel via some sort of portal and you can travel safely as long as you don’t open your eyes, or you age hundreds of years in the instant between entering one side and exiting the other side.

I must have really liked the story because it stuck with me all these years. I wanted to do my own twist on it, an homage to one of my favorites, and so I had this stub of a story written out for about seven months now. It took me a while, but I finally got back to it. Life, it seems, has a tendency to get away from you at times. You’ve got to kick yourself in the ass and get back on the path before you end up wandering aimlessly down the Lost Path. Which is another story.


The story that inspired me was a Stephen King story in Skeleton Crew that I rediscovered while re-reading the book in early 2014.

Five Sentence Fiction – Erased

Tabula Rasa


“I don’t know, it’s like someone’s standing at a chalkboard with an eraser,” he said, leaning forward. “Like, you know, I knew something one second, then suddenly didn’t.”

She looked at him, smiled, and put her hand on his, “You could never forget me after all we’ve been through.”

“You’re right. But who are you?”


Author’s Notes

I tried to go for a sort of backwards story where the protagonist’s memories are slipping away, sort of like that blank slate movie where everything is happening backwards.


Six Months Rule

I stumbled upon this post about programming:

It’s equally true for writing, drawing, painting, or underwater donkey fellatio. Look at what you’re doing today, compare to 6 months ago. If you think your older stuff isn’t half bad and you haven’t changed much, time to pack it up. You’re done. You’ve stopped progressing and you don’t really give a shit about your craft anymore. You’ve gone tits up and it’s time to dump Goldie in the crapper.

I went back to some old writing. Old writing that, at the time, I was like, “Aw, yeah, I’m the shiznit, bitches!” Today, I’m like, “WTF? Did *I* really write this swill?” That’s good. It means you CARE and you are progressing. Don’t feel bad.

Well, feel bad about your swill, but remember that in six more months, what you think is pretty badass today will make you barf in your mouth a little bit. And this pattern will continue for a long time. This is called “progress” and you should stop beating yourself up over it. You should, in fact, celebrate with a little masturbation and perhaps a finger up your ass, tickling your prostate. Yeah, I went there. Fuck off.  You deserve it. Now wipe it off and get back to getting better at what you do.


Five Sentence Fiction – Celebration

Happy Birthday – five sentence fiction


“Happy birthday, you old goat,” she said, staring into his eyes. She fumbled with the lighter as she lit the candle.

She shook her head and forced a half smile through the streaming tears. She sang to him in the dim light until the crying blurred the words. Sniffling and wiping her nose with the back of her hand, she pinched out the candle and turned the picture face-down.


Author’s notes

It’s my dad’s birthday in a couple of days (Oct 10). I try to imagine dark moments in the lives of everyone as they deal with grief in their own way, even years later. I think time doesn’t heal all wounds as much as scab and scar them over, and you have to push your attention away from them as you go about your life.

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