Friday, January 21, 2011


The other day I (once again) participated in Leah Petersen's weekly Five Minute Fiction exercise. This week's writing prompt was "unexpected."

And before I share the story I came up with, a quick mention for the CONTEST she is now running. She's trying to grow her blog and, if she gets to 100 followers, she'll be giving away books and a hand-knitted item of your choice. I, for one, am always up for a new scarf. So head over and click on that little box on the right hand side to become a follower and enter the contest.

Meanwhile, here's my story.

She’d watched it hundreds of times. In fact, it was the first thing of theirs she ever remembered seeing, way back when she was 8 or 9, staying overnight at Debra’s house, watching TV later than she’d ever been allowed to at home. Strange, sometimes unintelligible to her at that age, but always and forever, somehow, funny.

“Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!”

She and Debra played out the sketch on the playground, to their friends’ bemusement.

“Tie her to the comfy chair,” she’d shout, and Debra would comply. Soon their friends joined in the game and they’d rush around the playground, shouting about their “chief weapons” and poking boys with imaginary Soft Cushions.

And then, soon enough, they became more concerned with teasing the boys, and acting aloof, and, much later, competing for the boys.

And she moved to another town, found a new group of friends and a gruesome new group of boys and then college and then a move to the big city, alone.

And then, one night, alone as always, she saw the sketch on TV. And she thought about Debra. For the first time in years, she thought about Debra. And she smiled.

She found Debra on Facebook. They posted on each other’s walls. They rediscovered the many things they had in common. They realized that they only lived a few miles apart.

And they reconnected. And the bond was even stronger than before.

And now they’re not alone. And the Soft Cushions only signal the beginning.


Steve Green said...

A feel-good circular short story, I too remember Monty Python's 'Spanish Inquisition' sketch, brilliant.

"Oh no! not the comfy chair" :D

Mike Robertson said...

Oh! A riff on a Monty Python skit. It took Steve's comment to clear up my puzzlement.

Nice one Neil, if way too short for my taste.