Five Sentence Fiction #16 – EXQUISITE


Happy birthday to Five Sentence Fiction on one year of awesomeness!

This week take a look at the words from the past year, and choose whichever one strikes your fancy to use in your post.

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What it’s all about: Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week the hostess will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction

Every item, accessory and wall hanging was perfectly positioned, from the leather suites and various ottomans which appeared brand new, as if they had never felt the pressure or warmth of human bodies reclining in the luxurious depths; and my wandering eyes which had darted non-stop, from left to right, in an attempt to absorb the magnificence, finally succumbed… and my gaze came to a standstill, captured by a delicate Chinese porcelain vase (probably antique), which was in a carefully designated spot, at just the right angle, not a centimetre out of place…

The room was a stunning image directly out of Interior Decor 101, faultless… yet cold and uninviting, devoid of atmosphere…

I felt a wave of homesickness and longed for the comfort of my cramped living quarters, with its faded couch purchased at a garage sale, the threadbare carpet that had seen better days, the entrance mirror which reflected a distorted image courtesy of the diagonal crack from right-hand top to bottom, the once-powder-blue walls crying out for a lick of paint…

And as I gazed around the magnificent showpiece which was to be my temporary home, I wondered whether the airy, pine-scented room had reverberated with the warmth of human laughter; whether the perfectly painted ochre-tinted walls had ever experienced the smudges of tiny mud-caked hands; whether the glossy oregon-pine floors adorned with Persian rugs had borne the weight of hordes of teenage sneakers traipsing in and out.

Not likely, was the final summation!


  1. Andy Black on October 9, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Life and aesthetics are miles apart! Nice rendered.

    • michelle on October 9, 2012 at 8:42 pm

      That's for sure… thanks Andy!

  2. Elise Fallson on October 9, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Happy 1 year 5SF! 😀
    Nice descriptions Mich. Give me an old comfy couch over a sterile interior anyday! 

    • michelle on October 9, 2012 at 8:46 pm

      Absolutely! You have to feel free to kick off your shoes, put your feet up… although these types of homes probably have a seperate "casual" lounge where you can do just that… 🙂

      • Elise Fallson on October 10, 2012 at 2:24 pm

        Yeah, I think it's called the garage. 😀

        • michelle on October 10, 2012 at 2:33 pm

          Ouch! Love the snark… 🙂

  3. Tonja on October 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Those are some long sentences!  Happy anniversary.

    • michelle on October 9, 2012 at 8:48 pm

      And for me, that's part of the appeal of 5 Sentence Fiction – you can alternate sentence length as required or as the piece dictates…

  4. Alex J. Cavanaugh on October 9, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Sounds uncomfortable. I prefer the comfortable, lived-in look.

    • michelle on October 9, 2012 at 8:50 pm

      Exquisitely uncomfortable… LOL. Simple comfort wins hands down!

  5. Sarah Mac on October 9, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    We chose the same word and used it in very different ways – I love your descriptions and eye for detail and, although I may admire opulence, Id rather have comfort any day too!

    • michelle on October 9, 2012 at 8:59 pm

      I also admire opulence, to a certain extent… but sometimes it's so overdone, that it borders on ridiculous…   and your piece was exquisitely intense… reminiscent of a "phoenix rising from the ashes"…

  6. Julie on October 9, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    What a creatively detailed piece! I felt as though I was right in the room with you after I carefully took off my shoes, and found a comfortable place in the corner to stand, as I wouldn't want to put a dent in the furniture!  Happy Anniversary!

    • michelle on October 9, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      Well, to be honest, I'd join you standing in the corner, rooted to one spot for fear of accidentally knocking over a priceless antique… LOL 🙂

  7. The Golden Eagle on October 9, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    I always wonder if the fancy interior design you see in promotions would actually be nice to live in.  Love your descriptions!

    • michelle on October 9, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      I think that if you are born into that lifestyle, then it's what you are accustomed to. Thanks G.E.

  8. Sherry Ellis on October 9, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    Those are long sentences – but they're fantastic!  Happy one year birthday! 

    • michelle on October 9, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      I love to experiment with sentences of different lengths. And 5 Sentence Fiction allows for this.Thanks Sherry!

  9. JazzBumpa on October 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Jane Austen would have been impressed by your first sentence, despite the lack of semicolons.  The long 3rd and 4th sentences don't seem as forced.
    I do like what you've done here.  I makes me want to know more about your unnamed protagonist, and how she got into this situation.

    • michelle on October 9, 2012 at 9:08 pm

      Oooooh, Jane Austen is MAJOR league!! I did get a bit carried away in the first sentence so that it doesn't really flow as naturally as the 3rd and 4th… Thanks for the feedback JB. 🙂

  10. Karen Lange on October 9, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    There's a lot to be said for a comfortable and inviting place to call home, isn't there? 🙂

    • michelle on October 9, 2012 at 9:10 pm

      You are so right about that, Karen. 🙂 Being surrounded by all that magnificence does not guarantee happiness. Home must be a place of comfort…

  11. Jemi Fraser on October 9, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    I'd live in the house with the cracked mirror any day! Can't stand the stuffiness. Nicely done 🙂

  12. michelle on October 9, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    A cracked mirror reinforces the imperfections and "cracks" which form part of humanity – the reality of life is that we are not perfect, although some people hide behind a facade of perfection… just some thoughts… thanks for the visit and comment, Jemi… 🙂

  13. Emily R. King on October 10, 2012 at 2:43 am

    Great details! It makes me very grateful for my home. 🙂

    • michelle on October 10, 2012 at 10:48 am

      Yes, there are thousands who don't have a safe place to call home, so it makes me grateful for what I have! 🙂 Thanks Em.

  14. Nas on October 10, 2012 at 3:36 am

    Happy 5S anniversary! Great post. Home is for living in and not a showpiece.

    • michelle on October 10, 2012 at 10:50 am

      So right, Nas. Home is where we go to relax… unwind… chill out… put our feet up if needs be. 🙂

  15. tara tyler on October 10, 2012 at 10:44 am

    wonderful celebration, congrats to your inspiration!

    • michelle on October 10, 2012 at 10:51 am

      Thanks Tara! 5 Sentence Fiction really inspires me. 🙂

  16. PK Hrezo on October 10, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Nicely done! It's tricky packing a punch in only 5 sentences. But fun trying! 🙂

    • michelle on October 10, 2012 at 11:21 am

      …with the emphasis on the FUN bit… I really enjoy it! 🙂

  17. Rose on October 10, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    I could smell the leather. Very nice!

    • michelle on October 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm

      Thanks Rose! 🙂

  18. Shelly on October 10, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    I noticed a comment about long sentences….which are well done, indeed. I'm also sure you're pretty much writing this off the cuff. As a rule of thumb, short sentences mixed in a paragraph with longs ones totally work,
    Hugs and chocolate,
    Love yuor writing voice.

    • michelle on October 10, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      That's what I try to do with FSF… different sentence lengths every week. Sometimes I alternate long and short sentences. Once I tried 5 very short sentences. It just depends on the prompt and my mood. I often let the idea stew for a day before I attempt to write anything… thanks Shelly! 🙂

  19. Charmaine Clancy on October 10, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Great description, the exercise sounds like a great idea for using brevity without losing descriptive text.

    • michelle on October 10, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      It's a great way to practise lean, tight writing!

  20. Carol Kilgore on October 10, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Love the contrasts here!

    • michelle on October 10, 2012 at 7:50 pm

      Thanks Carol!

  21. L. Diane Wolfe on October 10, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    I can tell you right now, that is not our house!

    • michelle on October 10, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      Said in a tone of adamance? Relief? LOL

  22. Nick Wilford on October 11, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Very rich writing. I like the dots(…) gives a nice flow and makes it seem quite dreamy. I definitely prefer the lived-in look, too! You did a great job of conjuring up a picture.

  23. michelle on October 11, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Thanks Nick. The dots(…) are my favourite punctuation. But I think that I over-use them because I constantly throw them into my writing, even in places where they don't belong…

  24. Medeia Sharif on October 11, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    I'd rather be someplace lived-in.
    Great piece. 

    • michelle on October 12, 2012 at 10:20 am

      I feel the same way, Medeia.

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