I’ve decided to have a stab at “Five Sentence Fiction” – a weekly challenge from Lillie McFerrin. Each week she posts a word on her blog and the objective is to write a short story in 5 sentences based on that word. This week’s word is “FACES”. Enjoy!


The pastor looked out from his pulpit. In front of him the congregation strained to hear the words that, like most other Sundays, would be listened to with intent and forgotten within moments.

Gazing down upon his flock he considered their faces; the farmer’s son with his wild red hair and freckled cheeks, the two sisters in the back row both in their nineties with expressions wizened through years of unrelenting toil, the happy fresh-faced young couple waiting to be married – and a sudden realization occurred to him – he had failed.

Now in this moment he became cognizant that the passion he held within for his faith was something he was unable to effectively communicate and he would never truly reach the souls of those he was charged to save. A small tear slowly trickled down the old man’s face as he took a long breath and began to read his sermon.


Lillie McFerrin

17 thoughts on “Faces

  1. Thank you so much for joining FSF!! Look forward to reading more of your writing. This piece was so heartfelt and real. Excellent!!!

  2. I agree with Lillie, this was wonderful, more please 🙂

  3. I’m really glad you joined us this week. I hope you’ll continue this weekly writing challenge. It’s surprising how unexpected the stories can be that come from the prompts. Well done on this!

  4. Sandra says:

    Welcome! What a brilliant start too. I wonder how many other religious figureheads entertain the same notion.

  5. Mike says:

    Welcome to FSF.
    What a great piece of writing to start off with and a great take on the prompt.
    I can just imagine his despair as he looks on those faces and realises his words can’t help them.

  6. This is wonderful, Andrew. So nicely layered with emotion. And what sadness at the end. After his life’s work, it’s come to this. You’re a natural at the FSF stuff. Welcome! Look forward to reading more from you.

  7. TheOthers1 says:

    Did well communicating his emotions. I’ve always been told that you never know who you reach because sometimes you can’t know, but we all have the ability to reach someone. Great story.

  8. I have read this several times, and am impacted strongly with each re-reading – touched by how the man’s realization of his plight (and theirs) thuds inside him, perhaps bringing into question everything he has stood for. It would be interesting to read more about his journey going forward. I’m impressed, Andrew, by this excellent first 5SF.

    I’m joining the “more please!” crowd.

  9. lisashambrook says:

    I loved that…sometimes our passions are so strong but we’re unable to articulate them. My heart aches for this man, who fervently wants to help, but can’t. Beautiful poignancy…

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