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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 – 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.

Crossed Paths

“Hey, Billy, you want to take this with ya?” He was grisly and ugly, fat and loud. But he was a nice guy, an informant that I could trust.

“Yeah,” I looked at him and he knew what to do with it. He put it in a box. In a bag, in a box. Then he slapped a label on it and laughed, his frame shaking as he handed it to me.

“Jesus, Frankie, you get any fatter, you’re gonna explode,” I looked at him, the greaseball.

“Hey,” Frankie said, raising his shoulders, “You get outta here now, kid.” I loved that guy, Frankie.

I left and let the door slowly close behind me.

The rumble knocked me to the ground.

“Damn it!” he said and crossed his arms. “It’s really cold out there.”

“Yeah, and the girls are wearing skirts!,” she was probably about twice his weight, her hips twice as large as her chest. At least. Gave saddlebags a new meaning.

“So! That’s their problem! Gaww…” Steve pulled on his jacket and stormed out the front door, back to gathering the carts in the snow.

The rumble knocked the carts over, pinning him beneath a train of 17 carts.


“What do you like?” She smiled and let a few strands of hair fall into her face. She was already leaning over and rubbing the inside of his thigh, her head angled down so that her eyes were looking up at him.

“Shut it, bitch” Lenny said, as he grabbed the back of her neck and pushed her head into his lap, looking out behind the car, scanning the area. He took another swig of his beer, resting his bottle on back of the seat..

She bit down on him when the rumble came and knocked the car into the ditch on the side of the road.

“Ain’t got no luck, pa,” Jimmy looked up at his dad, back at his worm.

“You got to set him on there right,” his dad said and went to work re-threading the worm.

Jimmy grabbed a beer.

“You don’t be lettin’ your ma know about that,” Pa pointed at the beer and raised an eyebrow and cocked his head towards the cooler. “Now, she thinks I’m drinkin’ all that.”

Jimmy and Pa began to share a laugh until the rumble came and knocked the boat over, spilling beer and worms and fish guts into the lake.

This gravity machine wasn’t quite worth it, he thought, and he ran his hands through his hair, raising the bottom of his lab coat, revealing his Eagle Scout belt buckle.

It wasn’t working, but he didn’t know exactly what it was. The numbers were right, they were analyzed by the best team.

That bitch never got back to me.

Then they got that award. Those fucking assholes! Taking that award when it was him that had done all the work!

The tenderoni from the bar gave him a bad number.

He slammed his fist on the table. What was going wrong. Wait. If he remembered correctly… that meant… he could just… he had to try.

Furiously writing, he went through six pages before he came up with a reworked number, including five pages that he crumpled and tossed into the basket.

“But this means…” He stared again, this time incredulous not that this didn’t work, but that it didn’t work because of such a small mistake. Error carried forward. Now that he adjusted the math, redid the calculations, he had to try again.

“Raymond!” Derek was always rescuing Raymond from himself. He peeked in the doorway. “Raymond! Let’s go! C’mon, man, that can wait.” Derek was always sweaty, didn’t walk much, and was always pushing for lunch.

That speed dating service was a crock of shit. “Three dates guaranteed, my ass,” he twirled his pencil in his fingers. “Go away, Derek.”

He reached over and flipped the switch. Worthless? Fuck you. I’ll show you. I’ll show all of you.

A light. A flicker. A rumble.


The air clapped as Billy flashed in, steadied himself.

Steve fell three feet and landed on his back, bounced an inch and arched his back, putting his hand on it as he moaned.

Lenny tried to jump back but fell over because his pants were around his knees.

Jimmy splashed in with 10 gallons of water. Billy jumped back and eyed them all suspiciously.

Raymond laughed as he sat, watching them arrive. He spoke first.

“So,” he laughed again and pursed his lips, “So, you’re the miracle team. God fucking damn it.” Raymond shook his head and put his forehead on the table and said, “We’re doomed.”


Author’s notes

I was reading a novella by Robert Wilson about waking up and being one of the last people on earth. Then I was reading the opening chapter from a popular author, Sean Platt, which started off similarly (though Robert Wilson is a MUCH better writer). Both of these reminded me of Stephen King’s The Stand, where groups of people arrive in Las Vegas after a mystery bug wipes out most of the earth.

My idea was an experiment gone wrong, rather than the overdone theme of a post-apocalyptic world. Also, I’m very interested in how gravity affects time (time dilation), how people nearer to larger objects experience time differently – for example, satellites around the earth are further from the gravity of the earth, so they don’t experience time as slowly as we do, and we have to keep adjusting the clocks to keep in sync with the terrestrial clocks.

What if someone finally figures out how to control gravity? Can they invent a time machine? Can they create wormholes? And, if so, what would this person do with that machine? Gather a team, of course. But for what? That’s for the reader to imagine in this case!

Pushing Through the Shadows

“Are those fingers?” I said. On the floor in front of me, as I sat on the toilet for my morning pee, I saw fingers coming out from under the scale.

At first, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing – what the fuck is that? Fingers coming out from under the scale? I was stuck on the pot and didn’t have anywhere to go and I was, as anyone would be, freaked. I stood and backup up a bit, knowing that I’d have to pass by the scale to get out the door to get away from the hand. Instead, I kicked the scale, pushed it six inches.

There was a squeal and the fingers disappeared. I picked up the scale and checked it out, checked out the floor – nothing to indicate a way for the hand to come through, for the phantom fingers to grab at the floor.

The adrenaline faded and I came back to my senses and felt my heart pound and my breath labored. I was sweating.

I rubbed my eyes and shrugged it off. Maybe I was still sleeping – I flicked the light switch on and off a few times, then pinched my forearm as hard as I could. Nope, wide awake.


I leaned forward and rinsed the shampoo out, rubbed the water out of my eyes and caught a black streak run across the bathroom. I wiped the glass door and looked around – nothing but me and the rush of water, billows of steam collecting at the peak of the slanted ceiling.

“I’m going fucking crazy,” I said out loud, turned back and grabbed the washcloth.


The pantry door squeaked as I opened it, and I reminded myself for the 100th time to spray some WD-40 on that damned thing, and there were eyes behind the cereal box.

I jumped back and the Peanut Butter Crunch hit the floor, rolling into untold crevices. I looked down at the mess and then back up at the pantry. The eyes were gone, but now I felt a bit of panic.


Before the motion sensor could click on the lights in the garage, I saw a black streak flash across the garage, over towards the far bay. The lights came on and there was nothing but the cold and the stacks of boxes. And the fog of my breath.

I crept over to the third bay – my motorcycle is there and nobody better be fucking with my bike – and, in the shadows of the workbench, I saw a full arm clawing out on the concrete floor. But the arm didn’t have a body attached to it, as though the shadow was a boundary, a portal, and the arm was moving inches in and out of it, reaching for unknown treasures.

I have a 6lb sledgehammer that I keep for odd construction jobs around the house and yard, and it’s come in handy more times than you’d think. I grabbed it and did a full swing down onto the arm, hitting at the elbow, the crack of bone exciting me before the splash of blood and meat hit my face. I caught myself before I puked on the floor, lifted my shirt up to wipe the mess from my face, and stumbled back to the washer and dryer.

My eyes watered from the stink.

I heard a whisper in the dark. I squinted my eyes, craned my neck, and crept slowly towards the sound.

“Get on the bridge, get on the bridge, get on the bridge,” it repeated. The voice was human, or at least I thought it was. I moved over and began to see more – every shadow was bulging out, some of them had fingers poking through, some had eyes, wide and shifty, panicked even, staring out.

As I walked over, the whispering began to fade as I heard the screaming. The screams of a thousand people in torment, first a rumble, then a roar, then a cacophony.

I put my hands on my ears and felt a tremble in my body, the shadows pushing and pushing, bulging, noises louder, louder.

The automatic lights timed out and turned off. The noise stopped.

I put my hand up to trigger the lights back on, but they didn’t respond. I turned to go back, and it was pitch black. I reached out for the bench, but it wasn’t there. I took a few steps and reached out for the dryer and a hand grabbed my arm and pulled. I pulled back against it but I wasn’t strong enough. My feet slid on the floor even as I leaned back and grabbed at the darkness with my other hand. The blackness tore and spilled a hot, orange light onto me, revealing the demon’s face, which grinned and pulled me through.

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