Marie hadn’t been a quadriplegic her entire life; the water-skiing accident had created her new existence for her, momentarily flipping her body and her world upside down and putting her in harm’s way as she headed toward the boat and a new existence at an insane velocity; destiny approaching, hurtling towards her at life-changing speed.

Now some months later she was beginning to see the possibility of a life ahead of her, something that might just have value after all, although being honest she was having difficulty seeing that future as she sat frustratedly on the floor trying to dress herself.

“Get a grip, Marie!” she said to herself as she pulled the zipper up with her teeth and used what remained of her torn and battered ligaments to wiggle herself into her outfit, the same outfit she’d been wearing for almost a week now – why couldn’t she just buy more of them and be done with it instead of pretending that she’d just wash it when she got a chance?

It wasn’t that Marie didn’t like shopping – far from it, it was having to deal with all of the strange, uncomfortable looks from passers by, the nervous disposition of the shop assistants – not sure whether they should ask her if she needed help or leave her to her independent self.

The bottom line, rationalized Marie, was that people found her awkward, and that made them feel awkward; she resolved to form the opinion that in fact it was they that had the problem and not her, and with that thought she headed out into the brand new day – it was time for some retail therapy.



Lillie McFerrin


He had been thinking lately that he couldn’t quite remember the lines in her face any more; the criss-cross patterns that uniquely identified her to him were losing their clarity as he sought to recreate her likeness in his consciousness.

Ever since she’d been gone he had felt that he was losing a little fidelity every day,  it was all a little softer – less defined, and the thought occurred to him that perhaps losing one’s mind might be like this.

In truth his mind was as clear as ever, it was time that was playing tricks on him, making him second-guess his recollection of her, subtly smudging the edges in the same way that a raindrop mellows the characters on a piece of paper.

He glanced at a photograph, dog-eared and faded by the years, the monochromaticity of her features suddenly brought into sharp relief – he was back, staring into her eyes as he had done for nearly forty years; now he remembered her.

Putting the photograph down he settled back into his chair and closed his eyes, a quiet smile on his face; it would not be long now.



Lillie McFerrin


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