Monday is (now) when I tackle some Five Sentence Fiction. Feel free to take Lillie McFerrin’s challenge to write a five sentence story based on a single word prompt. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just used for direction. This week’s word is Cherish.
A beefy armed woman brought the file box down the aisle and set it on the scarred, metal table with little effort, then nodded towards it, a wordless signal giving me permission to work my way through the contents. The box was the first of three representing 1997—the year of his disappearance—the tabs on the file folders had no names, just numbers; this was an archive of Johns and Janes who had all been given the same surname: Doe. All of the folders contained site photos of each individual as they had been discovered, recorded in a crude and straightforward documentary style, yet served as a grim but final portrait; the pictures were accompanied by a typed inventory and a baggie of any retrievable personal affects. File 26 lay open before me, the enumerated list cataloging the items in the baggie: comb, keys, charm, bottle opener; and when I opened the baggie the sharp and pungent stink of death rose in a mix of rotten meat, sour milk and sun-baked seaweed even after all those years. The collection of items clattered onto the table under my pinched nose with eyes flooding not from the stench but with the realization that all these trinkets were familiar to me, especially the cherished, lucky rabbit’s foot which evidently had not served my son particularly well.
Got five sentences? Share them!