Five Sentence Fiction — Empty

Monday is 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 Empty.

blank book
Here is my offering:

Dave couldn’t think of the word. He had an idea of what it might be but it was just hovering out of mental reach as he pulled the dictionary from the shelf and flipped to the R’s. When he lifted the book up to get a closer look, the words slid—as if unfixed—piling into his lap where the letters mixed and scrambled into unintelligible combinations leaving the pages empty. The black letterforms, shiny, beetle-hard and lacquered, began to writhe and click against each other before suddenly scampering up his chest, coursing into his mouth and lodging in his throat making it nearly impossible to breathe or speak. He awoke, bolt-upright in bed, still clawing at his throat as the remnants of his strangled bark faded like a late morning fog. His wife asked what was wrong, kissed his cheek and rubbed his back with concern, but having Alzheimer’s Dave couldn’t find the words to describe his nightmare.

Got five sentences? Share them!


21 comments on “Five Sentence Fiction — Empty

  1. Wow, Andy! This is amazing. Your imagery blows me away, and what an ending. I can think of little sadder than losing oneself in this way. Excellent!

    • Thanks fo the kind words. I have been watching my father lose his ability to communicate but he still does a pretty good job of it. I’m glad he still knows who we are and what is going on, but his vocabulary is slowly being eroded…

  2. absolutely wonderful!!!! *MY GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD!*

  3. Absolutely loved this, did not expect that last sentence at all. You have inspired me to write my own five sentence fiction. hope to have something just as creative by next Monday.

  4. A great piece of writing. So much story in just five sentences.

  5. The dream is so vivid, and for some reason, I was expecting a comic ending.

    So the real ending hit with a lot of force.

    A good friend of mine is in an advanced state of dementia. It’s a horrible thing.

    Courageous writing, and really well done.


    • Thanks so much. This resonated with me so I guess it has resonated with a lot of you. I appreciate the feed back and thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

  6. You made me shiver with that last sentence…I was so absorbed! Wonderful description and one of my favourite pieces of yours. You caught the complexity of lost words and foggy thoughts so well, and yes, I’m watching someone close through something similar. Brilliant Andy!

    • Lisa– Thanks so much. Everyone’s comments mean a lot. While my father finds himself further and further away from the words he would like to use he is still a happy and vital man who has a pretty good idea of what is going on around him. He is always glad to see me, and for that I am thankful. I hope that you are coping with your situation as well.

  7. Fabulous imagery you created, drew me in completely wanting to know more. Love the description upon waking, and then the sad ending. Great piece.

    • Miranda– Thanks so much for your comments. This piece really poured out of me as my father fights against Alzheimer’s. I appreciate your stopping by and taking the time to comment.

  8. A great piece of writing! The description of lost words is brilliantly done. Reminded me of a friend’s struggle with dyslexia, capturing the confusion and frustration so well. x

    • Lizzie– There are days when I am right there: walking into the kitchen and then wondering what I was planning on doing there or wracking my brain for 15 minutes to come up with the last name of someone in our neighborhood. Thankfully it is a temporary condition (for now). Thanks for stopping by and playing in my sandbox!

  9. The imagery in this piece is absolutely amazing!! Such an insightful representation of a truly horrendous disease.

  10. Fantastic! One of your best since I’ve been reading these!

  11. Incredibly poignant and well told. Excellent. I really like this!

  12. Nightmare indeed, I cannot fathom the loss of ability to find the words for what I feel compelled to write or say. You described this very well with powerful imagery!

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