Five sentence stories

Self determination

Two elderly ladies talk to each other on the bus into town.

“She said to me “what do you want to do today?” and I said “I don’t know”. I’m used to people saying “you need to do this, oh you must, oh you should”. So when she asked me what I wanted to do I told her, I wanted to sit on the swing. So I went into the garden and sat on the swing.”

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The sleepwalker

“You called me a monster.”

“A monster?”

“Am I?”

“Do you only listen to me when I’m sleeping? …

 … Yes, you are.”

Poolside

“Whvat avre yvovu dvoivng novw?”

I took out my earplugs.

“Drying myself.”

“After?”

“Going out.”

Snow in Oberon

It never snowed in Oberon. When it did the locals had no tire chains or toboggans. The children used boogie boards and had colds for weeks after. No one in town minded much. Neither did the doctors.

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Gravity

“Where do we go when we die?”

He maneuvered his body slowly away from the hatch door.

“C’mon man. No where.”

He let go and drifted out into space.

Radio war

You’re listening to 88.9 Power FM. The heart of Dallas Fort Worth. Today’s headlines in just a second but first. Elaine Gallagher. You claggy little bitch.

Carjacker

I waited in the car while my girlfriend went in to the clinic. It was kinda overcast. One of those cloudy grey days that aren’t too miserable. Some brown leaves blew against the car in front like a carjacker trying to break in, then fleeing. It was hard to feel like I would’ve stopped them that day.

The encounter

Two hitchhikers sit under an overpass.

“Life is three F’s my friend. Feeding. Fighting -”

A car pulls up before he can finish.

Digging

She stood watering the lilies barefoot in a white maternity dress. Her eyes dug miles downward, boring somewhere deep past the fat ploshes of water and her shadow on the grass, the tang of wet earth, the musk of her cigarette…

Her husband spotted her from the window.

“Honey you’re killing them. Would you stop already?”

Guilt

In 200m take exit on to Hospital Drive.

Take exit on to Hospital Drive.

Recalculating.

Perform U-turn in 300m.

Recalculating.

Therapy

“I feel like there’s something else I could be doing which is much more important. I feel like that all the time. I just don’t know what it is.”

“Sorry sir did you want that in a meal?”

“No just the burger.”

Alpha male

The silverback ambled slowly, purposefully, through the stalks of green wheat toward the dropped wooden hoe.

“It’s come from that mountain. Go inside, tell mama.”

I’d never heard my father speak so silently. I’d never seen my mother shoot an ape.

The riverbank

I remember half squatting in black rubber boots, one hand holding my father’s, the other in the river, tracing small circles in cold white clay. I was four.

I said something like “my hand is very very cold”, and then my father tucked the fishing rods under his arm and said something like “here”, then picked my hand out of the river by the wrist and held it in his two warm hands. I stared at him with both my eyes and asked him why his hands were so warm, and whether I could keep them in my pockets.

He laughed and said something like, “but if you had my hands, how could we fish?”

Ferris wheel

nd up and up. Look dear can you see mummy? Wave to mummy. It’s okay dear we’re going down now. Down we go. Down and down a