Five Sentence Fiction ~ Delicate

Baby Face

Black Eye 9

Black Eye 9 (Photo credit: diongillard)

“Sweet Baby Jesus, what’s this?” Nurse Brenda Jarvis said as two 300-pound men in tracksuits lumbered through the swooshing sliding double-doorway of the hospital emergency entrance.

“The bell, the bell,” roared the one whose right eye was swollen shut in what looked like an impression of a purple and red desert sunset and who seemed a little wobbly on his feet.

“You’ll have to pardon my friend, he caught himself a terrible shot — well, I actually I caught him a terrible shot, my bad — downtown tonight and I’m afraid he’s a little loopy and been ranting like this since he looked at his phone,” said the other behemoth, sporting a bruised cheek, scarred forehead, and swollen hands with which he held his friend steady as best he could a ranting bull.

As Nurse Jarvis took the arm of the injured man, with an assist from his wingman, to lead him and to Treatment Room 6, he jerked free from both and bolted for the stairwell, roaring, “Coming, baby!”

Fifteen minutes of frantic, lock-down searching later, security found Mickey Karpinski, who wrestled under the name Awesome Dawson Dare, in the room of his wife Cathy, tenderly their holding hours’ old, pink-swaddled firstborn, Bella.

Here is my latest Five Sentence Fiction offering, based on a prompt from Lillie McFerrin. This week: Delicate.

Lillie McFerrin Writes

Five Sentence Fiction ~ Devotion

Nick Barbara


Distance (Photo credit: las – initially)

“You’re a hopeless case, you know, and not even a Lourdes of Love will ever make her give it up for you,” I said to my love-struck and somewhat drunk buddy Nick.

“Now that’s where you’re wrong,” Nick said, his face taking on a beatific—or insane—glow, “and when I tell Barbara again how I really, really feel, she’ll have to come back to me.”

Nick flung the apartment door open and ricocheted down the stairs, leaving a doorknob-shaped hole in our wall and tracks of any sane sense of propriety behind him.

I knew where he was headed, so I followed Nick’s path to Barbara’s folks’ house, where they told me he’d already left to find Barbara…at her new place.

And I found him sitting with Barbara, his chin firmly fixed to his chest, her hand leaving his shoulder, there on the steps of St. Stephen’s Novitiate, and I could tell the paths to their respective objects of devotion had crossed and moved on forever.

© Joseph Hesch 2012

Lillie McFerrin

Here is my latest Five Sentence Fiction offering, based on a prompt from Lillie McFerrin. This week: Devotion.

If I Could Write Short

I wish I could write short.
I’d pen you polished little gems
you’d breeze all the way through,
even holding your breath.
And, when you finished,
you’d let out a “Wheww!”
take a deep breath
and read it again and again,
“Wheww! Gasp! Wheww!”
I’d write you a book of
poetic aerobics,
and maybe you’d feel
the burn of my words
in your chest.

Sky Blue Pudding

It always looked so smooth and soft
when I watched others enjoying it,
that sky blue pudding with whipped cream clouds.
I would stare at it up there on the tall counter,
my arms never long enough to find if it
was as sweet as it looked.
I climbed on chairs, scaled open cabinet drawers,
dipped my finger into bowls, sampled them,
found nothing sweeter…and always fell hard to the floor.
Even when I finally got a bowl, I lost my grasp,
dropping it to shatter all over creation.
I had gotten lost in it, cloud-bound, blind,
bumping into shards of Oreo mountaintops and
jagged pieces of others’ skinned-over sky blue pudding.

Why did mine become so hard, separated
into runny messes of azure bark and spoiled whey?
Didn’t I deserve the good stuff?
Then you came along, inviting me to your kitchen,
offering your recipe for my longed-for prize.
Now I feast on it, sneak into your fridge at night
and steal some (even though you said
I could have it anytime I wished), and
get all sticky lipped and happy.
You’ve even let me lick the spoon and bowl
while we make our own batch every day,
with whipped cream clouds but no Oreos.
It really is smooth, soft, sweet and sky blue.
It’s heaven, don’t you agree?

I sure wish I knew where this poem and its motif came from. Because I don’t. But I’m pretty sure I know where it went. I hooked it up with dVerse Poets open link night.

Peace in the Desert

English: Leaving traces on soft sand dunes in ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Peace reigns in this treeless desert of quiet.
Here I don’t worry about the philosophical
or metaphysical question of a falling oak,
redwood, or even a palm if I don’t wish to.
Many will never understand my affinity
for the neatness of the seemingly
dust-cursed and barren wastes of alone.
I don’t mind. The desert protects its own.
Always shifting, always the winds of time
giving me new geography to chronicle
and erasing the needless old steps,
always the sound of my own voice
when I wish to listen to it.

And there are plenty of others here.
Just very, very far apart.

My wanderings have crossed paths
with some of these nomads
and I have fallen in with another.
Sometimes we go off, each of us alone,
to listen to the desert,
take comfort in its cleanliness
of thought and deed and spirit.
We always seem to come back
to share our discoveries
and keep one another warm on cold nights
of what once was just one voice,
one heartbeat wandering
in that wind and the blessed quiet.

For One Night Only

By Joseph Hesch

She’s finally the star, the honoured one,
first name on the program, the role for which
she tore at the spotlight and her peers
for years,even her sister.
Here on the grandest stage,
she stretches long and luxuriant
in the floral glory of forever-Spring,
every eye on her without her usual
strained performance.
But she doesn’t enjoy that glow,
the audience’s buzz, the glory,
the honour coming with this position,
center-stage, at the front of the house.

Our star can’t appreciate being the jewel
in the mahogany box with all eyes on her.
One night only, in her ultimate role
— SleepingBeauty —
judicious application of cosmetics
and stageccraft have returned
some of her benign youthful allure
for those brought to tears by her final bow.
If she only knew it was so easy
to win this attention, this reverence,
this love.
All she had to do was die.

© 2012 Joseph Hesch

Hiding in Plain Sight II

By Joseph Hesch

I have reached a point at the final crest
of this autobiographic thrill ride,
before the long slow descent to its end,
where I can look back and see
how much of it I’ve missed
by being the close-eyed loner in this seat,
the dust-shrouded outsider,
the look-no-hands clown,
the genderless confidant. 
I realize my pioneering work in camouflaged,
hide-in-plain-sight isolationism
is today’s normal.
And all the other seats appear empty.

These new virtual hermits  
live in their in their cars and cubicles,
behind desks and counters,
and under the covers in thrall of TVs,
computers and smartphones. 
They hide behind avatars, masks and
sullen defenses so the real them
is kept undiscovered –-
a secret for their eyes only. 
If they even open them.

Now on my downhill glide, I’ve started to knock
some of those defenses down – my own and others.
Even if I never make that ultimate connection,
warm form to warm form,
I think the ride will be pretty splendid
in its own right, the bandwidth wind in my hair.
Of course, my greatest fear in this quest
is that I really am alone in this world
of click-to-connect friendships. 
Or worse, I’m just naïve enough
to think I’m not.