I have to admit, I got a little misty typing the title for tonight’s post. My very last 5 Minute Fiction. Huge thanks to everyone who has played over the last year–whether just once or every week. It’s fun to run a challenge like this, but it wouldn’t be fun without you. I’m excited to see what Wendy Strain does as she continues 5 Minute Fiction next week at her website (or on her temp website, if her regular location isn’t fixed by then). But enough of my maudlin antics–it’s time to announce the winner of this week’s 5 Minute Fiction! An that winner is Michael D. Hansen. Huzzah! He wins a copy of my novel and our hearty congratulations. Plus, you know, bragging rights. Here’s Michael’s winning entry:
“If you wanted to be remembered, you pulled the strings and gather the rope and lash yourself to a beginning or an end. Most of the off-Broadway plays would never be remembered, likely to be forgotten even by those who had been in it, let alone the audiences who had been tricked into buying a ticket. If you wrote for off-Broadway, you were planning to go somewhere or trying to fill the time until you died.
“With that mindset, I wrote the play, ‘Only Death Was Inevitable.’ It was not optimistic – even the sunshine was tinted a few shades away from gray to give it the sterile feeling of a body ready to be dressed and presented. It was brutally honest, and so close to life off-Broadway that you might have thought you were just watching the street outside an audition had the chairs been less comfortable. There were scenes in there that every actor, actress, stage-hand and director knew by heart before they were ever put to paper. The desire to be loved. The desire to be remembered.
“It was only natural that I would leap at the chance to cast Charles in the lead. He had acted with every actor that had ever been in New York and continued on to greatness. Some of them had tried to take him with them, but he always slipped right back to Broadway. And then, off-Broadway. He took the lead gladly, and he hit every line like it was the chance that got away.
“He never told me about the cancer though. The last day of the run, he just gave me a soft smile, and bowed his head bashfully, as he always did when someone paid him compliments. I told him that I’d see him later. He told me he hoped it wouldn’t be soon. I called him a bastard, inside my head. A brilliant bastard. But there has never been a more beautiful soul, or a more honestly-delivered role, than Charles. Only Charles… Was inevitable.”
Congratulations to Michael, and thanks to all of you for playing #5MinuteFiction over the last 12 months.
I’ll be posting a reminder next week about 5 Minute Fiction’s big move. Thanks again for the great fun!