5X5 Short Stories

A great challenge that John Avery tweeted about @AaronQuinnBooks - can you write a short story in just 25 words, 5 sentences long with 5 words per sentence?
You can find some of his on his blog
Here are some of mine!

'The Affair' by Susie Medwell
He dressed quickly, in silence.
She gulped back unwelcome tears.
‘Don’t go’ her eyes pleaded.
Unwritten rules forbade begging words.
‘I must, she needs me.’

'The End' by Susie Medwell
'Do you still love me?'
He paused, just a second.
'Too long' she said sadly.
'We could have been happy.'
'I am now' he said.

Campaigner Challenges 2011

The Challenge entries below have been posted previously on my blog, but I thought it would be nice to repeat them here.

First Campaigner Writing Challenge

I have just been lucky enough to come across Rachael Harries's blog  Rach Writes.. .  She's just launched the First Campaiger Challenge - and I just can't resist a challenge!

The rules of the challenge:
Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open” These four words will be included in the word count.

If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: "the door swung shut." (also included in the word count)

For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!

Why not check out the other entries and vote on your favourite?  Mine is below (I'm #57)... and yes, I managed to hit the 200 words!

'Secrets' by Susie Medwell

The door swung open silently; just far enough for her to see the red stiletto.  New, shiny, with four inch heel.  She edged forward, unable to stop herself.  She didn’t need to see any more, but she had to.

The legs were long.  Longer than hers.  Black stockings stopped short to reveal strong toned thighs.  The straps of the red suspender belt making a vivid statement against the pale flesh.

She realised that she was holding her breath, time frozen for both of them.

Her eyes widened as she took in the satin knickers, her satin knickers stretched taut over strong buttocks.
Something between a gasp of horror and hysterical laughter built up in her throat, threatening to burst out and shatter the brittle air.  She could hear the blood thundering in her ears.  It couldn’t be happening. It couldn’t be true.

The mass of red curls tumbling down the slim back clashed horribly with the scarlet red of the undies and shoes.  That was more of an insult than anything.  Not even matching.  No taste.
The sound of revulsion escaped from her lips.
He spun round in horror;  wig spinning free.
‘Darling! Wait.’
She fled.  The door swung shut.

The Second Campaigner Challenge!

Yes, the second challenge is up on Rachael Harries's blog  Rach Writes.., and I had to grab a dictionary to complete it!
Write a blog post in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should:
  • include the word "imago" in the title
  • include the following 4 random words: "miasma," "lacuna," "oscitate," "synchronicity,"
If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional and included in the word count), make reference to a mirror in your post.
For those who want an even greater challenge (optional), make your post 200 words EXACTLY!

So here is my attempt, 200 words exactly (ignoring the title). Hope you enjoy it!

If you'd like my entry it would be great if you'd 'like' it!  I'm #20 on the list (likey list here!), if you leave a comment please let me know where to find your entry.

'Death of an Imago'

I find you there, sprawled on the couch. My couch. A miasma of stale cigarettes and beer hangs heavy in the air around you.

I fling the window open wide, wanting to clear the stench of your despair.

I can still see so clearly that picture in my head of you, the best father in the world.  The man I wanted to be when I grew up. What happened to him?

What did I miss? In what part of my memory is the lacuna that I never spotted? That fault line. That sliver of space which the evil part of life crept into, spreading all pervading gloom.

Is it coincidence that as I become a father, you become the child? Some weird synchronicity? But our lives always were in step weren’t they?

I look in the mirror and I see a younger you, but I don’t want to be you now. That dream is gone.

Who do you see Dad? A man to love, or a man to hate? A father, or a stranger? Does your future oscitate before you? Does some black chasm of nothing stare back?

You stir. I watch helpless. Oh Dad, I thought you were perfect.

'Campaigner Challenges 2011' ebook

If you've been reading my posts, you may be aware that I've been participating in Rachael Harrie's Campaigner Challenges.
Katharina Gerlach (Cat) had the wonderful idea of collecting the entries and compiling them into an ebook - donating all proceeds to Harry Moseley's cancer research fund ( Help Harry Help Others). Harry single handedly raised over 85,000BP (roughly 137,000USD) for Cancer Research UK. He died October 8th aged 11.

The eBook "Campaigner Challenges 2011" by Katharina Gerlach is now available on Smashwords:
and on Amazon:

It contains 176 flash fiction stories, poems, and essays from 81 participants of Rachael Harrie's Blog Building Campaign 2011. Everyone donated their stories freely and willingly for this worthy course.

Please check it out if you'd like to donate - the standard and variety of entries is amazing!