#5MinuteFiction: Week 122

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!), so here is your prompt:

Your entry must start or end with “October third was a Friday.”

NOTE: the photo is not part of the prompt–it’s decorative/inspirational only!

MUHAHAHAHAHA - black and white
This week’s judge is A.E. Howard. Her novel Flight of Blue is a middle grade fantasy, and the overall winner of this week’s 5 Minute Fiction wins an e-copy of the book!

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 Chris Dodson.

{ 24 comments… add one }

  • Tisha October 16, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    October third was a Friday, which meant there wasn’t much time to plan the Halloween party. So many things to get ready! The Bloody Bloody Mary’s, the brain muffins, and let’s not forget the intestinal spaghetti, complete with “meat” balls. Her mouth watered as she thought about the delicacies that she planned to prepare.

    After making her grocery list, she picked up her keys and a shovel, and headed to the cemetery to start gathering ingredients.


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  • Meredith October 16, 2012 at 8:42 pm


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  • drmagoo October 16, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    That was from me, @drmagoo.

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  • Gwendolyn Wilkins October 16, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    October third was a Friday. That was good, that gave her four whole weeks until “the Big Day”.

    “Are you really going to do it this year?” Pamela asked.

    Susan nodded her head and wet her lips. “I’ve been holding off long enough. I know what I want out of life now and I want to do this.”

    “I’m so proud of you!” her friend said, wrapping her in an enthusiastic embrace. “Do you want help making your dress?”

    Susan shook her head, “I don’t want anyone to see it until that night. It really means a lot to me.”

    Pamela grinned like a maniac and scooted out the door.

    “It’s really been too long a wait,” Susan sighed, looking out the window at the fluttering leaves – all painted in their bright autumn colors. A thrill of excitement rushed through her. Four weeks to make a dress and get ready for the potentially most pivotal moment of her life!

    Most people think of October 31st as “Halloween”; to Susan and those closest to her it was something else: The Third Harvest, Samhain night – the night when the veil between worlds was the thinnest. A night of magic and mystery. A night new witches were initiated into covens.

    Susan turned to the bolt of white satin tucked inside a mundane plastic shopping bag hiding under the kitchen table. She was going to make it into her initiate’s dress for the night she was to become a witch!


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  • Meredith October 16, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    October third was a Friday. Ella didn’t know why she cared so much. Nobody else did. She’d tried to tell them the stories of the roads surrounding their cul-de-sac, but mostly they just nodded their heads. Today was Thursday, the second. She thought about blowing Friday off, leaving town, just disappearing. But then she figured, well, that was just what they expected her to do and she couldn’t give them that. Maybe she would stay up all night and see the day in at 12:01.

    Ella was sad to feel so alone, but after all the youngsters with families moved into the area, she held the neighborhood secrets, just her. She shivered as she remembered when her parents found out about the roads. They had just moved there and refused to be chased off by some “nutjob’s” idea of a prank, as they had called it. After the third Friday, October third they didn’t call it a prank anymore, but they didn’t move either. They just stayed in on those days. After all, they didn’t happen every year.

    It was 20 years ago when her parents decided to end their lives. They took the road way out. They knew it would work and no one would be the wiser. How could they know how people would treat her after that, as if she’d killed them.

    It was getting late and Ella decided to turn in rather than stay up.

    At 12:01, Ella arose from bed, put on a black hooded cloak, grabbed her tire iron and headed out the front door. She always liked to start with the first cross street. When she reached it, she gently tapped the middle of the road with the tire iron and spoke a few words. Pretty soon, the road began rippling at a steady pace. “There we go now. Rise and shine,” she said.


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  • drmagoo October 16, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    October third was a Friday that year, which made Halloween a Friday. I’ve always been good at remembering that kind of thing, since the third was my birthday. I was going to a “Bones and Cones” party – the hostess was odd, but everyone had to bring some sort of meat to share and an ice cream dish, homemade preferred.

    The skeleton outside the front door didn’t scare me off when I arrived, covered with Rocky Road, Pistachio, and cherry sauce as it was.

    By cherry sauce, I mean blood, of course. I told you she was odd.

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  • Geri L. Bressler October 16, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    October third was a Friday.

    Marilyn normally looked forward to Fridays, along with every other student at Warner High School. Their football team was playing, and they’d been on a winning streak. Most of her fellow students would be at the little football field eating funnel cakes and paying only the most cursory attention to the actual game.

    But not this Friday. Because it was October third.

    “Marilyn, do you want me to pick you up for the game?” Marilyn’s head jerked around at her best friend’s question.

    “No, not tonight. Thanks, though.” She’d worked to keep the tension out of her voice, but the change on Evie’s face told her she’d failed.

    “Crap. Marilyn, I’m sorry,” Evie’s eyes swam with compassion.

    “It’s no problem Evie, seriously. I’ll see you…I’ll see you on Monday. Okay?” She worked up half a smile as she climbed out of her friend’s car.

    The walk up to the house was twice as long as it usually was. Marilyn knew it was her imagination, but the house seemed darker somehow. When she reached for the latch to open the door, her hesitation made her feel ashamed.

    She took a breath and pushed the door open, calling as she went, “Dad! Dad I’m home!”

    Turning into the living room, she met her dad coming through from the kitchen. He gave her a smile and grabbed his jacket.

    “Okay baby girl, let’s go visit your mom.”

    Together, they made the trip to the cemetery in comfortable silence, just as they’d done every year since her mother’s death. So tonight wouldn’t be about football, funnel cakes, and who talked to who about what. Tonight would be about remembering.

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  • M. A. Fink October 16, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    The horizon steamed
    the sun a color close
    to Darjeeling tea, no green
    flash tonight.

    You drew a bath, hot
    face red from the fight
    screaming at each other
    over broken glass.

    But now there is a blue
    a fundamental hue, better
    than any fitful burst of green
    you’ve left the driveway

    “I’ll be back by the weekend”

    you said

    And the first star peeks
    like a bashful indiscretion
    I raise my head, a hand
    to that point arrival…

    Two short weeks ago
    I watched you drive away
    knowing full well, dear light,
    October third was a Friday.


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  • MissSherrie October 16, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    October 3rd was a Friday.

    That left exactly 4 weeks until Halloween.

    28 measly days to save the world.

    I double-checked the worm-eaten, ancient documents carefully. I painstakingly recalculated every equation. I made adjustments for the shifts of tectonic plates and land masses that have shifted from their original positions over time. I considered again, for the umpteenth time, what the chances are that I’ve made the exact required adjustments to the location of the ritual to optimize its effectiveness. A few hundred thousand years can make some might large changes in geography.

    The milling about of minions and servants barely registered in my periphery. I catalogued each required element and located the required sacrificial woman. I had already befriended her, gained her trust.

    I donned my military jacket, rescued from a thrift shop, altered by my seamstress to fit my lithe form and died black as night. It’s many pockets made stashing my knives, needles, vials and talismans simple and each was easily in reach for ease of use at the optimal time.

    I perfected the application of makeu-up to complete my disguise before slipping my feet into custom-made, steel-reinforced stiletto knee-high boots and slipping out the hidden doorway into the alley.

    Once I reached the street, I gave my honey-blonde hair a shake and fluffed it out to complete the effect.

    No one ever suspects the pretty girls.

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  • Michael D. Hansen October 16, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    October Third was the first day that I crossed off my calendar. I have, over the course of my life, accumulated several days that simply do not happen. The list includes December Twenty-Seventh, April Nineteenth, July Nineteenth and August Twentieth, as well as the aforementioned October Third. You might ask how someone simply vanishes a day from their year without getting entirely out of sync with the rest of the world and having awkward collisions during the holiday season. I had thought about a rotating schedule in which I simply got along with my year faster than the rest of the world, but it came down to a concern over leap year – if February Twenty-Ninth ever made the list, the sync would just get ridiculous during leap years.

    Instead, I have ruled that vanished days may still occur and happen, but I simply will not exist on those days. Not that I will be a shut-in, mourning the day’s passing and wishing for the stroke of midnight. But that I will simply be someone else for that day. I always do something that I would never do. And I do not answer to the same name that I do on other days of the year. On the vanished days, I am Carl Ruthers. And Carl Ruthers is a bastard.

    In past vanished days, I (being Carl) have stolen a Camaro and totaled it on a street light at four in the morning. Carl has even set up a fake daycare for children and obtained several sizable deposit checks for enrollment. So, when the police officer asks me of my whereabouts on October Third, I have to think back. What would Carl have done that day? I shake my head and curse under my breath. October Third was a Friday.


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  • Rob Brunet October 16, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    October third was a Friday. I got up, shaved, ate a bowl of blackberries and yoghurt and stared out the window until it was dark. Outside the pavement still pulsed enough warmth that I carried my jean jacket over my shoulder all the way to work. Friday night shift suited me fine. People buying cigarettes and mixers on their way to party never stopped to chat, leaving me loose to watch Kojak on Hulu on my phone.

    October tenth it was cold, blustery. I wore the jean jacket, buttoned up, and this couple hung out by the cash for ten minutes waiting for a cab. Drove me nuts. I had to replay the episode three times to hear all Telly’s lines.

    I was sick on the seventeenth and by the 24th, with the time change, I never even saw the sun between my yoghurt and the door.

    Tonight, I had to wear a sweater under the jean jacket. I wouldn’t have minded if the sleeves hadn’t stuck out so far. Looked a bit gooney. Last minute shoppers kept running in for bags of mini Mars bars and things didn’t really get calm until nearly nine.

    I was into my second episode when he showed up. Fat guy lighting a match with one hand. Showing off. I knew he must have been there before. Knew what turned me on, I guess, unless he just recognized the theme song. But how could he, a good thirty years younger than me.

    Twice I tried to ask him to leave, but finally turned the phone toward him and we watched together. Eating Mars bars and picking our teeth. In rhythm. Waiting for the night to end.

    Twitter @RRBrunet

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  • David A Ludwig October 16, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    October third was a Friday, which meant that pretty much everyone except Yuuko wore regular clothes to school that day. In theory, she really liked casual Fridays. In practice, she couldn’t keep straight which day of the week it was and wore her uniform every day. On weekends she would usually realize there was no school and change into something more comfortable, but sometimes not until after having walked to campus with her book bag.

    October third was also the day of the total solar eclipse. Those sorts of celestial events were different for her now that she’d seen them from other perspectives. It wasn’t just the moon passing in front of the sun to her. It wasn’t something different that you didn’t see everyday.

    October third was an opening; the kind of opening that let things from the Dark World into Reality. While her classmates were making plans for the weekend, Yuuko was sharpening her sword.


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  • Alana Garrigues October 16, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    October third was a Friday.

    Roxanne knew that to the rest of society that didn’t mean anything. Growing up she’d always heard that Friday the 13th was the day of doom, the day for mix-ups and missed opportunities and bad luck and the thin veil to expose its weakness between the living and the dead.

    But Roxanne had been born ten days early. Everything in her life was ten days off – even her tarot card revelations could be counted on to slip by a few days. And in her life, Friday the third was always the day from hell.

    She’d had her first kiss on the Friday the third. Her long hair had twisted and curled in her boyfriend’s braces, and to pull herself away, she’d had to accept a bald, pink bit of scalp. He’d walked home with long hair dripping from his teeth, looking like a cat with a long-haired fur ball. Her mother had died on Friday the third, some said of a broken heart. It was March 3. Her beloved dog had died the month prior, on Friday, February 3rd. She died in her sleep, clasping the stuff animal made to look like him.

    So when Roxanne pulled into her driveway to broken windows and a yellow tape across the front door, it was hardly any surprise at all.


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  • warren October 16, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    October third was a Friday.

    Which meant the fifth was a Sunday.

    Which meant she’d be late on rent.


    Even dead girls have to pay bills.


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  • Rebecca Grace Allen October 16, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    October third was a Friday. The day that I met Sam. I didn’t know then it was also the day that he died.

    It seems impossible now to think of. It is impossible that a man so full of life, so full of passion, could have his final breaths stolen from him before he was ever actually mine.

    The coffee shop off campus was nearly empty when I walked in and found him staring out the window into the dark night. Dark hair harassed by the wind, as wild and untamed as the look in his eyes.

    “What are you looking at?”

    He didn’t turn from the glass, but Sam’s eyes–oh those eyes, a portal to something hot a desperate–found me.

    “Before? Nothing. Now? You.”

    We talked about the purpose of life and love and pain. All the things that new lovers talk about until they turned off the music, baristas sweeping us out the door with the night’s trash. We walked the streets until dawn, laughing, but all along Sam was looking over his shoulder, as if something we after him.

    He only stopped when I brought him back to my bed.

    His eyes never left mine. A sharp green even in the darkness, they found me. Drove inside me in time with his body. Found and touched where I’d always been left wanting. When no one else had ever truly see me, Sam did.

    “They gave me one more day,” he told me afterward, in words I didn’t understand but have come to treasure now. “I’ve watched you for years, Lisa. Waiting. Wanting. But you never saw me.”

    “You wanted me?” Tears streaked down my face. “But I never knew you.”

    “I know.”

    He passed a fingertip over my lips, a soft goodbye, silent as butterfly wings.

    “But now, I finally knew you.”

    He kissed me. Lulled me to sleep. Held me in his arms.

    In the morning he was gone.

    My radio alarm flipped on, reporter talking about the car accident that had claimed a young student’s life. The one that had happened on October third. Friday.

    352 words

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  • Rebecca Grace Allen October 16, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Damn, another mistake! “After something WERE after him!” 🙁

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  • Tauisha Nicole @shells2003 October 16, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    October third was a Friday, which means October second was a Thursday. It was a day that went way better than this day did.

    Is it true that terrible things happen in threes? Apparently they also happen on the third day of the month, too. Make it more complete, it should have been March.

    It started like any other day did. My eyes opened to the sun pouring through my open windows. Got out of bed and headed straight for the bathroom. After a ten minute shower and brushing my teeth, I pulled my hair into a pony tail and sat down with a mug of green tea and my laptop. The life of a writer on a mission.

    When did this manuscript have to be finished? Today.

    How much did I have left to finish? Meh…about two chapters at this rate.

    Hopefully, my characters didn’t try taking any more detours or my editor was bound to kill me. She called at least three times a day every day this week.

    Well. There you have it. Another set of threes.

    And while that happened, here’s the point of the worst third in the history of October. Call number one from my editor was to see if I had awakened. Satisfied that she didn’t have to come over, we hung up. Call number two of the day came from my ex husband.

    “Any chance of me stopping by?” he asked, his voice low and unhappy.

    My eyes slammed shut. “You know, I see more of you now that we’re not together. If you stuck around me as much as you do now back then, maybe we’d still be married.”

    “Don’t know what it is about married women,” he replied. “They repulse me.”

    “Including the ones you’re married to?” my eyebrow rose.

    He chuckled. “Well, Stephanie appreciates me not being around. Maybe if you did, we’d still be together.”

    “Maybe I should marry again,” I slammed my laptop shut. “Then you’d still not want to be around.”

    He sighed. “Not right now, Marian. Can I stop by or not?”

    I sighed and opened my laptop again, remembering the task at hand. “No. I have work to do.”

    “You won’t even know I’m here.”

    “Did I let you in my apartment?”

    He stammeered. “Well, yeah, but…”

    “Then, I’d know,” I answered, satisfied with my logic. “Goodbye, Louis.”

    Finally getting to the end of my manuscript, call number three came through.

    Had I already known what happens in threes, I’d have never answered.

    “Miss. Marian Keen?”


    “We need you to come to the General Hospital as quick as you can.”

    I leaned forward, pushing my laptop from me. “What? Why?”

    “Seems your husband was in a car accident and-”

    “Husband!” I jumped up. “I’m divorced!”

    “Did you divorce a Louis Keen?”

    “Well, yes but…”

    “Then, you’re his next of kin, and we had to call you. How soon can you be here?”

    I sighed, looking down at my laptop…down at my feet…down at anything that wasn’t this moment. Anything could come and pull me away right now.

    But, that’s not how it works on third Fridays in October, is it?

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  • Lisa McCourt Hollar October 16, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    The Beginning]
    by Lisa McCourt Hollar

    October 3rd was a Friday that year. I’ll never forget it because we had snow. Snow in October isn’t that unusual if you live somewhere like Ohio, but I was in California at the time. I remember thinking that hell must have frozen over and it turns out I wasn’t that far from the truth.

    “No School, no school!” My oldest daughter Jana came screeching down the stairs, running for the front door.

    “Not so fast,” I said, grabbing her by the tail end of her shirt. “Where do you think you’re going?”

    “To make a snow angels.”

    “Not dressed like that.” She was wearing shorts and a tank top. We did live in California after all. “Get back upstairs and put on the clothes you wear when we visit your Aunt Janie.”

    “Fine,” she grumbled, running back up the stairs. I was still puzzling over the sudden change in weather when she came back down, this time wearing jeans, sweater and a coat. And thick boots. Turns out that was a good thing.

    “I’m outa here,” she said, reaching for the doorknob.

    “Have a great time.” I sipped at my coffee listening to her and the other kids in the neighborhood. I had to admit I missed the white stuff and was considering going out and helping them build a forte. Then the screaming began.

    Rushing for the door, I flung it open. The white on the ground had been replaced by crimson. People I had known for years, friends and neighbors, were attacking each other. Laura Simpson was chewing on Greg Hanson’s face. And Jana… Oh my God, Jana! Old man Thompson was trying to rip her leg off with his teeth. I didn’t even think, just reacted. I grabbed the baseball bat my husband insisted I keep by the door and charged towards the old man, splattering his brains across the yard. Then I ran for Laura and bashed her head in too.

    “Are you okay?” I asked Greg, but the boy snarled and lunged for me. Good thing I am quick, his head went flying too.

    I grabbed as many kids as I could and climbed into the car… still in my night clothes, and we fled. The dead were all over the place… I couldn’t believe it. The zombie apocalypse had begun.


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  • Nicole October 16, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    And TIME!

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  • Rebecca Grace Allen October 16, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    The line about his eyes should read “a portal to something hot AND desperate.” Sorry – no time for a reread!

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  • J. C. Gregorio October 16, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Submitted after deadline

    October third was a Friday. Running in to Wally-World for some cheap cereal and a container of coffee bigger than my head I had to do a double take. It looked like the jolly old elf and his minions had moved down south and set up shop. Skeletons were juxtaposed against a cabin of Cokes, stockings hung above the faux fireplace. My lip twitched and I had to shield my eyes from the holiday mashup from hell before I ran back out before completing my mission. I was halfway through the semester and this was the first weekend I’d be free of my roommate. I intended to laze about in my PJs, sans bra. Living the crazy life. Well as crazy as a book nerd like me gets. I snatched up the coffee, grabbed a box of Oops all Berries, and was headed for the register when I decided to treat myself to pumpkin flavored creamer. My roommate only drank tea and chided me on drinking coffee. Good God, the day I had brought flavored creamer home for a treat she’d nearly had a stroke. Having grabbed my goodies I ran for the register and my weekend of debauchery.

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  • J. C. Gregorio October 16, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Haha! Kids derailed me and my story shows it. Heh. Good luck everyone!

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  • A.E. Howard October 16, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Hey all! Just wanted to stop in and say hi! I’m having a blast reading through all your creative entries. Thanks for letting me be a part of the fun 🙂

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  • AmyBeth Inverness October 16, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Submitted after deadline.

    October third was a Friday.

    “Why is that important?” She asked herself. The voices in her head were strangely silent.

    “Oh…or was it the third Friday in October…no…wait…WAIT! It’s today! I haven’t missed it! It’s the third TUESDAY in October.”

    A tiny angel poofed into existence on her left shoulder. “Sorry sweetheart. It is the third Tuesday in October, but you DID miss it. Five minute fiction starts at 8:30. It’s past 9:30 now.”

    A tiny devil poofed into existence on her right shoulder. “Rules? RULES? Screw the rules! You HAVE to write something… you MUST WRITE!”

    Her hands went to the keyboard. She found Nicole’s website. She started reading her friends’ entries.

    “See?” said the little angel. “There’s already one marked “Submitted after deadline” and that was almost an hour ago. You’re not trying to slide in under the wire here… you’re too late.”

    She skimmed down, seeing the cursor already blinking in the comments section, her name and info already filled in, a story forming without her asking it to…”

    The little devil took out a pocket watch. It said 8:29. He swung it just barely in her peripheral vision, chanting “You are a writer… you must write…resistance is futile…”

    Her fingers moved over the keys, and a story was born. Responding to a little itch on her ear, her hand swatted away the tiny annoyance.

    Her focus intent on the virtual words, she never knew whether the devil or the angel won their final wrestling match.

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