It’s 5 Minute Fiction time! You know the rules (and if you don’t, check here — and make it quick because you’ve only got a few minutes!). A reminder–don’t forget your Twitter address if you’ve got one!
Here is your prompt:
Your entry must include the phrase “She was determined to look the part of…”
NOTE: the photo is not part of the prompt–it’s decorative/inspirational only!
A Few Notes:
- In the interest of time and formatting, it’s best to type straight into the comment box or notepad. 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 8:45p EST (on the dot. Yes, I’m serious) to submit your entry in the comments section of this post.
I’ll see you back here at 10p EST with the finalists!
*photograph courtesy of Nic Stewart
Her hand was shaking so hard she had to stick the mascara wand back into the tube. Laurel looked at her face in the mirror and took a deep breath. She held it so long her head started to feel like it was going to float off her neck. Focusing hard she managed to apply the mascara without further mishap. She was even going with the regular kind – not the waterproof. Straightening her new black skirt Laurel fastened her small silver earrings, only stabbing herself once. Then she squared her shoulders and opened the bathroom door. She was determined to look the part of the calm and reliable one. Her mother was a mess and her father not much better. She’d been in such shock since the policeman rang their doorbell that night that everyone had taken it for strength. Fixing her face into a small, sad smile she went downstairs to meet the family arriving for the funeral and tucked away the screaming, sobbing, angry self. There would be time for that later. Right now, she had a role to play.
Eep I forgot! @SonshineMusic
Potently written. I esp love your phrasing–shock taken for strength. This is really good.
I’m seconding Rebekah on this one… I’ve been in that situation and I’m definitely identifying with the state your narrator is in.
This portrays her grief perfectly. Nice piece.
She was determined to look the part of the devoted sister. Standing at the alter, clutching two bouquets, she smiled wide. Underneath the ugly yellow taffeta, her heart thumped feebly and began to splinter.
She’d known this was coming. She’d had seven months to prepare for this. She thought she had.
The photographer click-clicked away, his lens pointed straight at her. She forced her spine to stretch tall, forced herself to keep smiling. She shifted on her gold stiletto heels–they were uncomfortable, and clashed horribly with the dress, but she wore them like squished toes and aching arches would atone for her sins.
Looking at him, it wasn’t so hard to smile. Looking past the layers of white tulle, she could pretend the adoring look on his face was aimed at her, that the tear that slid its way down his cheek was for her.
If she just pretended her sister wasn’t standing between her and the love of her life, she could be happy.
His eyes met hers for just one moment. Flickering across her face before he focused again on his bride.
And that’s all she was. That one moment. That one tipsy-sloppy kiss, before he met her sister and fell head over heels, taking her heart crashing to the ground with him.
Shell, this is gorgeous, top to finish. What a tragic, tremendous piece of writing.
That last sentence is a killer, Shell. Absolute killer.
One tipsy sloppy kiss.. Love that line.. Very tragic but she is so brave..
“So, Janey Jane, are you having fun at the party?”
“Don’t fucking call me Janey, Richard. It’s best if you just leave me alone tonight – I’m known to be dangerous on Halloween. Ask Sean’s balls, if you don’t believe me.”
“Oh Janey, do you have designs on MY balls?”
Jane looked him up and down, glitter scintillating off of Richard’s pale skin as he smirked under his Robert Pattinson hair. Richard was pretty to begin with, but the effeminence was glaring with the Twilight garb. “I’ll let you know if it ever looks like you get some of them.”
“Oh Janey Janey Janey… Just because you haven’t seen them doesn’t mean they aren’t real. You may not believe in them, but they believe in you. What are you supposed to be anyway? Some sort of Helena Bonham Carter lost in the woods?” He wrapped an arm around her, his hand less-than-accidentally brushing against her slightly-visible cleavage.
She wheeled away from him, eyes shooting daggers as he froze in the fire of her wrath. His eyes grew wide as she advanced on him, before they grew still in fright. She gave him a nudge and he tipped over, shattering. She was determined to look the part of the rubble pile that most closely resembled his head in the eye. “No,” she snarked as she brushed stone dust off of her shoes. “Medusa.”
Clever use of the prompt. Nice story. I like “…he froze in the fire of her wrath.”
Oh yes.. Very clever. Liked a lot.
She was determined to look the part of a happy woman.
The white, fluffy dress, tiara and huge bouquet of flowers helped. Honestly, it was like wearing a very expensive Halloween costume. Her job was to trick the world into thinking getting married was a treat.
At least for him it was.
If she married him and gave him a son within the next ten years, he would inherit his great-grandfather’s most coveted fortune.
She’d have never agreed to marrying him and becoming his incubator.
But he knew her Achilles heel.
And apparently he wasn’t beneath using it against her.
Blackmail: the way to any girl’s heart.
She smiled, standing next to her husband, playing the role of the blushing bride. He slid his arm around her and pulled her closer, playing the loving and doting groom.
“Don’t worry, we’ll only have to be here another hour or so,” he whispered in her ear.
Through a tight smile, she answered, “Doesn’t matter. Nothing could make this day anything better than the worst day of my life.”
“You want your father to get his surgery, don’t you?” his smile was just as tight and barely reached his eyes.
She looked down briefly at her 2 karat diamond that weighed about as much as the world on her shoulders. “I’ve married you. There’s no need to be this way.”
His soft fingers were decieving as they held tight to her chin and forced her eyes on his. “You’ll grow to love living my life. We’ll make each other as happy as we need to. There’ll be no love, but that doesn’t matter.”
“As long as you know I’ll never love you.”
He smirked. “Love wasn’t what got us here. But you do need to remember that just because I’m paying for your father’s much needed heart transplant, that doesn’t mean you get to leave when he’s well. This is your life: get used to it.”
He pulled her close and forced her to dance with him. All his friends and family smiled and laughed, enjoying what was supposed to be a glorious occasion.
It was probably why they assumed the bride merely cried tears of joy the entire event.
PLEASE tell me the end of the story involves him getting punched many times in the face. It does, right?
For you, of course!!!
Not liking him at all.. reminds me of someone I recently read about. Hope he gets what’s coming to him.
Hair, dress, make-up. It all had to be perfect.
No mistakes. No going back.
She was determined to look the part of the rich widow. It was the chance of a lifetime, a one of a kind opportunity, and he had chosen her.
Not just chosen her, but selected her, groomed her, rehearsed with her until she knew the look, the walk, the talk, and every nuance. She had practiced every waking second, even out in public, parks, the library, even restaurants. She had fooled them all.
But today, today was the big day. The grand performance.
One last look in the mirror (he did demand perfection, with good reason) and now it was time. She had to be at the bank precisely at 2 o’clock. She left her crumbling apartment, for the last time.
Her part was simple really. Fool the manager into thinking she was a rich widow, and make sure to be in the vault with the manager right at 2:20.
That’s when her man would show up.
And when they were done cleaning out that bank, they would jet off into the sunset and never be seen again.
You made it! hurrah! great job, Curtis!
I did! Thanks.
A tango came on on my playlist as I read this, and it turned out swell! This feels like the seed for a great movie.
A touch of the Bonnie and Clyde here.. Loved it..
She was determined to look the part of the good sister. After all, it wasn’t every day her older sister got married. But in truth, she’d rather be anywhere but here. She was craving like mad…the drug addiction that befell her father was a demon in the family once again. But she’d made a promise to her sister and most importantly her father that she’d be clean and sober for the wedding…it promised to be a very long day.
“I’m proud of you, Priscilla.”
She looked into her father’s clear blue eyes and nodded, clutching the wrap that went with her dress. Her girlfriend Randi had insisted on the dress, to show off her new figure, which was finally filled out. She impulsively hugged her dad, looking into the dance hall where the ceremony would take place.
“Thanks. I’m glad I’m alive to see this.”
Nothing more was said as Jimmy held out his arm and she took it, letting him take her to sit with the rest of the family. Three months of sobriety down…she wondered how much longer she could last. Sitting next to her girlfriend, she took Randi’s hand.
“I love you…thanks for making me get clean.”
Randi nodded, placing a kiss on Cill’s cheek. “Any time, love.”
The small details and the in-between actions speak clearly in this piece. Very nicely done!
Yes there’s a definite undercurrent here. Nice piece.
She was determined to look the part of a professional writer, even though she was terrible with deadlines.
OMG I screwed up again… this time because my 5yo suddenly decided she was sleepy and wanted an early bed time! Ack!
Yeah, I was determined to look the part of a writer whose computer hadn’t crashed at 8:26. But determination only gets a girl so far.
She didn’t care who saw her cry. In fact the more people who did the better. She gave consideration to wrapping an onion in her hankie but on second thought decided the smell may well be detected.
Her clothes had been chosen very carefully. Meeting the family of your husband for the first time was an all important occasion, whatever the circumstances and she was determined to look the part.
She expected at least one or two condolences but the hostility with which she was met was enough, nearly, to make her cry for real.
In all honesty she had very little, no, absolutely nothing to cry about. If anyone should be crying it was them but there fury out weighed their grief.
Turning to the bespectacled solicitor she bowed her head, thanked him for coming and accepted his very kind words.
She really didn’t have the patience for this. She wanted done, out of here and away to blue horizons.
The man was ninety four, for fucks sake. Did they think he would live forever?
They should be happy that he had a few weeks of happiness with her and she felt no guilt over their brief marriage. Why would she?
Marry a man fifty years older than you and you couldn’t expect him to be around for long. Could you?
Am obviously brain dead and can’t read… Came late to the party… Sorry.. Note to self .. Must try harder…x