Five Sentence Fiction: “What It’s Not” [Fearless]

The prompt for this week’s Five Sentence Fiction from Lillie McFerrin is MEMORIES.

Once again (and keeping with my posting schedule), I’m using it to tackle some backstory for Fearless. Part of this is an effort to get back on-track…and part of it is because I think the conflict is an interesting one to examine.

“What It’s Not”

At four, he simply hadn’t known; “love” was but the smell of Christmas roast filling the kitchen, or cold ice cream sliding down his throat, or the rush of seawater between his toes.

By the time he was twelve, he’d come to understand it a bit more, though still not very much: Mum’s warm embrace, and his sisters’ gentle teasing; the joy of rolling waves to ride, and the blow of ocean air against his face.

By sixteen, though, he knew, he understood, even if he wished he didn’t. Because love like in stories was glorious and loud, full of honesty and trust, not hushed and hidden and kept secret in his breast, whispered only to the wind and the soft goose feathers stuffed in his pillow; it wasn’t a wicked laugh and a crooked smile, nor the shine of golden hair and sun-drenched flesh stretched beside him in the sand day after day. It was Antony and Cleopatra, Tristan and Isolde, Paolo and Francesca…not this, not them, not him: Neville, and the beautiful, oblivious boy who filled his dreams.

A bit of a tortured Neville, here, but teenagers tend to be filled with angst.

What MEMORIES did you take a look at, this week?

22 thoughts on “Five Sentence Fiction: “What It’s Not” [Fearless]

  1. It’s my first time here so I don’t know anything of Nevilles story. However, this stands really well as a piece of flash fiction in it’s own right. I love the the way you have shown different perspectives on love as he matures.

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    • Thanks, Sarah, and welcome. :)
      Neville’s an intriguing character for me to examine, as his motives and sensibilities are so different from my own. But I’m glad he resonates with readers, too. :)

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  2. Very poetic and dreamy. I really felt like I was in his thoughts.

    What I especially liked was as he grew older and changed, so did his enjoyment of experiences . At 4, he loved the rush of seawater between his toes, but at 12, “the joy of rolling waves to ride”, and then at 16, “the shine of golden hair and sun-drenched flesh stretched beside him in the sand day after day.”

    Even without you giving us his ages, we would know he is older simply by those descriptions. Great job.

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    • Thanks, Kate.
      I wasn’t entirely certain I could make the “Memories” theme work without mentioning the specific ages, but it’s so wonderful to hear the piece does convey the proper emotions. :)

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  3. This actually explains a quite of bit about why Neville and Ross are inseparable as surf brothers, if that is indeed whom he has noticed. It ties back into some of the earlier posts you did of those two, with the one way flirtation between Neville and Finch.
    Excellent work Mayumi!

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    • Thanks, Shade!
      Neville’s rather a jumble at this stage of self-awareness, but he’s starting to come into his own. It’s been interesting tracing him through the years. (And, yes, that’s definitely Ross beside him.)

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  4. Pingback: “Onward” [Fearless] | Even More BonusParts!

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