#5MinuteFiction: Week 161 Contest Time!

One of the wonderful things about paranormal fiction of any kind is how adaptable it is. No matter what kind of writing you enjoy, it is relatively easy to slip something a little out of the ordinary into the storyline.

Our guest judge Willa Blair enjoys a wide variety of reading topics and is looking forward to seeing how varied our interests are here on #5MinuteFiction. Let’s see what kinds of stories you would build around a quote from her book Highland Seer.

For today’s writing prompt: Use the phrase “The only voice he wanted to hear was hers” in your story.

*Remember, the photo is only here for decorative/inspirational purposes.

photo by psyberartist (creative commons)

A Few Notes:

  • In the interest of time and formatting, it’s best to type straight into the comment box or notepad (the comment link is just below the title). 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.
  • 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.

Go, go, go! You’ve got until 7:45p CST to submit your entry in the comments section of this post.

I’ll see you back here around 9p CST with the finalists!

Wendy Strain

My entire life is full of writing and creativity. Whether copywriting for exciting new projects, crafting web content for creative companies, ghostwriting, editing, coaching, or exploring my own imagination as a fiction writer, I am constantly engaged in stretching boundaries and exploring possibilities.

26 thoughts on “#5MinuteFiction: Week 161 Contest Time!

  1. He hadn’t realized he’d stopped. Thank goodness the blackberry bramble snagged his pants or he’d have stayed standing along the roadside, daydreaming, wondering…
    She was beautiful. She was captivating. She was everything he’d ever dreamed of. Yet, still he hesitated. Yesterday she had made it clear that she returned his interest and his feelings. Her hands had traced shivering circles on his tender wrists. Putting her arms around his firm waist he’d felt an electric connection, that went far beyond simple physical attraction. So why was he avoiding her today? Why hadn’t he returned her phone call? He looked up at the deep blue sky, thinking there might be an answer there, but no; just a few wispy white clouds.
    Shaking his head free of this confusion, he strode forward. Walking faster and faster to get home, to pick up the phone, to call her…
    From now on, he would not acknowledge doubt or indecision about her existence in his world. It was all about her and hers was the only voice he’d listen to from now on.

  2. There were benefits to being Deaf, he supposed. He didn’t have to worry about hearing those annoying telemarketers. He was never awakened by crying babies on long flights, and he always had peace and quiet when he wished.

    Yes, Scott thought as he flipped a page on his book, it was fine being deaf. Plus, sign language was beautiful in its way. Hearing people rarely comprehended how much their body language spoke more volumes than the longest of speeches. But the Deaf… yes, they read the body much like he was reading his book. Oh, body language could lie, he supposed, but not often. And when people “spoke” to him with their hands, it was amazing. Conveying thoughts and ideas with their movements…. Scott rather thought that sometimes, it was like magic.

    People often asked him if he would want to hear. Hear? Hear that annoying alarm clock ringing in the morning (although, to be truthful, the flashing light alternative was just as annoying), and the screeching voice (or so he’d been told) of his supervisor? No, he’d rather not, thanks.

    But… sometimes, when he was all alone, like now, he thought he might like to hear HER voice. Molly was beautiful inside and out, and he was sure that her voice was just as lovely. She started to learn sign language for him, and while she “stuttered” a lot, her thoughtfulness and open face was beautiful in ways that modern society couldn’t quite understand. Forget the popular actor who all of his Hearing friends thought had the most wonderful voice. The only voice he wanted to hear was hers.

  3. “So, you’re the head man, yes? The ringmaster?”
    “Yes,” he answered. He shifted his top hat from one hand to the next and glanced over at a group of dwarfs who stood nearby.
    “And you knew the deceased well, correct? Both of them?”
    “That is correct, detective.” The ringmaster shifted his weight from one foot to the other, his gaze casting all around the bodies without looking directly at them.
    “And was there anything going on between the two of them? Any kind of relationship, a dispute, anything at all?”
    “I believe there was in fact a strained relationship that she had tried to end.”
    “Was there a history of abuse or arguing between the two?”
    “No,” the ringmaster said. His voice lacked conviction.
    “But,” the detective queried. He bent low enough to catch the ringmaster’s eye. “But there was something, yes?”
    “Yes,” the ringmaster confessed. “The only voice he wanted to hear was hers.”
    “I see,” said the detective.
    “Yes,” the ring master continued, “and as you can see, well, she’s a mime.”

  4. “Doctor Winslow, open the door please. Doctor Winslow?”

    The technicians and researchers pounded on the door and pleaded with their muffled voices. George ignored them and focused on the machine before him.

    A static filled the chamber and a voice came on over the intercom speakers. “George, it’s me. It’s Ellen. Come on now. Open the door. There are better and saner ways to deal with grief than this. We haven’t tested anything yet. Don’t do this.”

    George flipped a switch and turned a dial. The floor started to shake and the walls buzzed. The hair on his hands and arms stood straight up. Up the ramp in front of him, the apparatus began to spin, slowly at first, and then much faster until it spun so fast that it appeared to be motionless.

    “Doctor Winslow,” a voice boomed over the intercom. “This is General Hillis. Open the damn door or we’ll have you shot. This isn’t your pet project. This is government property you’re messing with. You…don’t you dare walk up the ramp. Don’t you dare do it.”

    George started up the ramp towards the giant spinning ring. A white light appeared in the center of the ring and spread until its light covered the ramp entirely.

    The voices continued to beg and warn him, but he tuned them out. The only voice he wanted to hear was hers.

    “You’re in there somewhere,” George whispered before he stepped into the ring.


  5. Brad had spent the entire day dealing with hospital staff, insurance people, and hospice care, and had had nothing decent to eat all day. Everyone’s voice grated on his nerves. It had just been a terrible day no matter how you looked at it. What with his mom going through this illness, and him helping to get her affairs in order, there was no break in the day to sit down and talk with her.

    He doubted she would talk to him even if there was time.

    He doubted she even remembered who he was anymore.

    Once he finally had everything done that he could handle, he went back to her room and dropped into the chair, exhausted. A few minutes later the nurse entered and told him, “I’m sorry, but it looks like she likely won’t regain consciousness again.”

    He nodded that he understood, hoping she would not speak further, and the nurse left.

    What he wouldn’t give to have one last chat, one last hug.

    The only voice he wanted to hear was hers.


  6. Alex shook his head and looked around. The place was strangely familiar. It looked like home, but something was wrong, though. He couldn’t decide what it was.

    He got up gingerly, his head still throbbing. He didn’t know what had hit him, but it had hit hard. As he walked towards where he thought his home should be he noted familiar landmarks. There was the old Smith place. They must have been out of town for awhile because the weeds were overgrown. They never let it get that bad.

    “Alexander!” the voice cried. “Alexander! Where have you been?”

    He turned around quickly and was rewarded with a dizzy spell. He took a deep breath and fought it off. There was John, but why was he so formal? “Hello John. What are you doing tonight?”

    John looked at him strangely. “Since when have we become so informal, Alexander?” He pointed ahead, “I’m headed to the meeting of course. You are walking very slowly. You do not want to be late.”

    Alexander was puzzled. Informal? This was John. What did he mean? What meeting? Seeing John’s earlier reaction, he decided he didn’t want to rock the boat. “Sorry, I’ve got a terrible headache. I’ve got to walk slow. I don’t want to make it worse.”

    Jonathan looked at him strangely, then shrugged. “Well, you need to be there. Helen is starting the meeting. She is going to be reading from her latest book.”

    Alex smiled. The only voice he wanted to hear was hers. “I love hearing her voice. You can bet I’ll be in the front seats!”

    Jonathan smiled back, “Yes, she dedicated the book to our love. The wedding is only a month away and things are getting so exciting!”

    Alex stopped, his jaw dropping. “Wedding?” he said as his eyebrows raised.

    Jonathan looked back at him, “Yes, wedding. Of course we would not live together.”

    Alex frowned. This wasn’t right. Helen was his girlfriend, but they weren’t ready to get married yet. He shook his head and wondered what was really going on.


  7. He ran through the trees trying not to yell, “AAAAAAMY!” He knew he had to be quiet, but he had to know where she was and if she was ok. His pack was getting heavy and he’d been running over an hour. They got separated only about five minutes ago and he could hear the flapping wings. He wasn’t sure how far away they were, but he daren’t look back.

    He glimpsed the water down the ravine and wondered if Amy might have headed in that direction. He stopped, breath moving heavily in and out of his lungs, and thought but also listened.

    Krish, krish, quiiich. krish, krish, quiiich. If it was Amy, she must be hurt, he thought. The sounds were faint, fainter than he wanted them to be. But at least they gave him a direction, or so he thought. He turned toward the sounds and ran some more trying to get up to speed so the wings wouldn’t catch up to him.

    After another ten minutes of running where he thought Amy might be, he hit a snag. Literally. Wham! He hit the ground face down so hard he couldn’t breathe for a minute. What was that? he thought.

    He slowly became upright and walked back to where he’d tripped. His eyes widened and his knees buckled. Amy! he gasped without sound. He didn’t want to even talk. The only voice he wanted to hear was hers.


  8. His mother was talking loudly to her sister – his aunt. Little cousins were scampering about laughing and squealing. His father was laughing uproariously with his brother-in-law. The house was full with the sound of human voices but the only voice he wanted to hear was hers.
    Grant’s eyes darted around the bustling house, looking for an opportunity to escape. A tug on his shirt tail offered just the opportunity.
    “Grant, I have to use the bathroom!” six year old Junette whined.
    The teenage boy smiled, “It’s right up here,” he said, leading her up the stairs to the relative quiet of the second floor. After depositing his little cousin at the appropriate room with instructions on how to get back downstairs, he slipped quietly into his room and locked the door.
    He leaned against the door briefly, savoring the welcome quiet after enduring a week so far of his aunt and uncle’s over-long visit – sharing his room with eleven year old Blake.
    He knew he wouldn’t have much time; he dashed over to his dresser and pulled out the mirror casually hid under a waded up tee-shirt.
    “Mists and Magic, Power and Might, Grace me now within your Sight,” he murmured at the ordinary-looking hand mirror.
    At once the pristine reflection cloudied and swirled.
    When it clear, a young-looking woman with long, curly red hair looked back at him.
    “Grant!” she declared with happy delight. “I’ve been waiting for you, where have you been?”
    “It’s a long story,” the young wizard-in-training replied. “Do you think I’m ready yet to try a transportation spell?”
    “Oh?” she asked, a bit surprised. “That’s pretty advanced. It’d be better if I worked it on this side and brought you across if that’s what you were thinking.”
    “It was,” he whispered urgently. “Get me out of here.”
    She smiled mischievously.
    “You’ll need to put a drop of your blood on the mirror first.”

  9. It was no good. He’d tried everything. Every channel, every station. In month, he’d regret the money he charged at itunes, trying album after album and song after song. Then, audiobooks. Speeches. Spoken word artists and performances. Not a goddamn one made a difference.

    He drove to the center of downtown, parked his car in an overpriced lot, and walked through crowded streets. For five and a half hours, he haunted clubs, bars, coffee houses, restaurants, even a fucking AA meeting — anywhere that women would conceivably gather to talk, to laugh, to make the noises that women make.

    Once, maybe twice, something came close. A cadence that was just right, a timbre in with exactly the right pitch. A laugh that was just a little too loud, a little too free, and so close, so very, very close. But ultimately, nothing.

    He walked to the other side of town, the bad side, and hired a skinny, blonde whore. In the ratbag hotel room she led him to, he handed her a well-worn stack of letters. “Read. Just read.”

    He snatched them back from her before the second page and threw cash on the floor as he left.

    The sun was rising by the time he made it back to his apartment. He sat on the floor, cell phone in hand, speaker on.

    “To repeat this message, press the star key.”

    He was gentle every time he pressed the star key, to make sure he didn’t break it. The apartment was silent but for the speaker, and that was just fine with him. The only sound, the only voice he wanted to hear was hers.

  10. For today’s writing prompt: Use the phrase “The only voice he wanted to hear was hers” in your story.
    There it was again.

    That sweet voice. It carried over everything else. The birds. The droning of men and women. Even the turn of the earth itself. Time. All of it.

    It was there, those dulcet tones. Calling to him. Making him ache with a longing he’d never experience. Had never expected to.

    Not him. Not with the iron that ran within his blood, passed from master to master. Chiefs and kings and servants; he counted them all father. And mother. They were all behind him. Nothing was ahead of him.

    Until he found her. Or heard her, rather. That was the truth of it.

    It is a simple truth, but with simplicity comes complexity. Hard truths that can only be admitted in the dead of night and only to oneself in a steeled, tight whisper. The only voice he wanted to hear was hers.

    The only voice he could hear was hers. And now there was only one thought.

    Find her. Have her. Take her.

    Find her.


  11. Please excuse pingback. Forgot to copy and paste text for my blog and still had the link in the clipboard. That is not my literary blog and will post finalists on that one.

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