Thursday, January 24, 2013


While there had been considerable opposition to the idea of using the older children as sentries, the settlement’s leaders had, at last, conceded they had little choice but to do so. As the aliens expanded and consolidated their territory, fewer and fewer refugees were finding their way here to the Badlands and so survival demanded everyone contribute to the bastion’s defenses. 

Carlos scanned the horizon, his slim hand shaking with the weight of the heavy iron bar he clutched. As their resources dwindled, the refugees had been forced to forego the use of tech in favor of the simple expedient of a large brass bell to warn of impending danger.

As his eyes drooped closed in the hot afternoon sun, the alien sniper’s beam struck him down and he died with his trembling fingers mere inches from warning the others that death had come for them as well. 

This story was written for the weekly Five Sentence Fiction flash fiction prompt: ringing.


  1. A great story.
    So close, yet so far. The gap between life and death can, at times, be very narrow.

  2. Hello from the Five Sentence Fiction story hop! This is incredible. I don't think I expected the ending, yet at the same time I feel like each sentence (and the picture!) point to that single point. Well done.

  3. Captivating in your creation of what was occurring, we could feel the struggle. Well done!

  4. Very well written piece. Well thought out and written.

  5. Incredible poignant - the split second of inattention leading to disaster.

  6. Wow. Such a desperate tale of making do and doing whatever it takes in the jaws of defeat. The ending is really sad, not just for him but for everyone. . . . A very well told story. x