Five Sentence Fiction #9 – COMPOSURE

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.

                                                              posure. composure. compose.

Svetlana sucked deeply and blew a series of rings into the air.

She was right on time, to the minute, as always, and proceeded to the final phase, which fed her vanity and was by far the most satisfying moment – the finishing touches and a post-operational appraisal of her handiwork.

Lowering the half-smoked cigarette, to stub the glowing tip on the lower half of the torso and then grind it deep and firm into the exposed portion of tender, pink flesh, always produced the familiar, adrenalin-pumping stench and added the well-recognised "designer" trademark.

Hurried footsteps and urgent voices in the outside corridor signalled knock-off time…

It was all in a day's work.


  1. Ryan Derham on July 16, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    So she marked her work with a cigarette burn? Ha! Nice setup of her character and attitude. Nice work, M!

    • michelle on July 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm

      She wants to leave a lasting impression… make her mark… in more ways than one! LOL!

  2. Alex J. Cavanaugh on July 16, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    She's vicious!

    • michelle on July 19, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      Now that's putting it mildly!

  3. injaynesworld on July 17, 2012 at 12:29 am

    My guess is she works in a funeral home doing hair and makeup on the bodies.   This one is really creepy, but such a great tease.   And yes.  She certainly is composed.  

    • michelle on July 19, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      *chuckles* Mmm… a possibility!? I'm not telling… 🙂

  4. Donna B. McNicol [@donnabmcnicol] on July 17, 2012 at 12:54 am

    Whoa! Dark character….puts me in mind to tackle the outline for my mystery novel. Really good!!

    • michelle on July 19, 2012 at 12:34 pm

      Mystery novel… that sounds awesome! Happy tackling! 🙂

  5. Sandra Crook on July 17, 2012 at 8:36 am

    What isn't explained in this piece simply adds to its horror.  Really well done. 

    • michelle on July 19, 2012 at 12:35 pm

      My intention was to horrify the reader, so it seems like it worked… sort of… thanks Sandra!

  6. Mina B on July 17, 2012 at 11:28 am

    "All in a days work!"   Lol! Love it. Well done.

    • michelle on July 19, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      I tried to reveal her matter-of-fact approach and composure, and just couldn't resist the cheeky ending! Thanks Mina.

  7. Elise Fallson on July 17, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Oh what a great teaser! This character is so deliciously compsed and dark, love it. Makes me think of a cold assassin of some kind…Will there be more to this? Please…… (:  

    • michelle on July 19, 2012 at 12:39 pm

      Yes! Yes! Yes!  🙂 Cold assassin is exactly what I was aiming fore this time!

  8. Britton Minor on July 17, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Good and creepy.  Nice use of the prompt!

    • michelle on July 19, 2012 at 12:39 pm

      Thanks Britton – glad you were creeped out!

  9. Lexa Cain on July 17, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Yikes! That sure was creepy, and certainly exemplified the prompt. I've written some flash fiction, but I don't think I could manage a story in 5 lines. Good for you!

    • michelle on July 19, 2012 at 12:42 pm

      I'm sure you could manage a story in 5 sentences if you put your mind to it! And it takes practice. I don't know whether my 5 sentence stories fit the flash fic profile, but I'm trying… as often as possible.

  10. Julie on July 17, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    There are so many possible scenarios, but I think this is a case about a med student with issues. Perhaps after spending too much time working on cadavers, she got a little carried away. "Post operational," and the "corridor" are clues that this could be taking place in a hospital, but Jayne and Elise's suggestions also make sense. In any event, this is brilliant, edge of your seat writing! I hope you tell us the real meaning behind the story Michelle, and I also hope that this is not the last we've heard of her!

    • michelle on July 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm

      Elise's suggestion was spot on! Though the above scenario could play out in a number of different ways… 🙂 Thanks Julie! I appreciate the comments!

  11. Carolyn Brown on July 17, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Wow, heavy! She is one intense character! I liked it Michelle.

    • michelle on July 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm

      Thanks Carolyn! I was aiming for a dark, heavy and intense character, but not too sure if it hit the mark…

  12. Susan Kane on July 17, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Sooo many possibilities with that one.  I don't think she is a nice girl one would bring home to Mother.

    • michelle on July 19, 2012 at 12:47 pm

      Definitely NOT your take-her-home-to-momma kinda girl *shudders*

  13. tara tyler on July 17, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    love it! so cat and mouse. what a fierce cat!

    • michelle on July 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm

      A feline who loves a challenge and is top of her game! LOL!

  14. sjp on July 18, 2012 at 4:54 am

    Great character, calm and collected killer delighting in their work

    • michelle on July 19, 2012 at 12:52 pm

      Spot on! You hit the nail on the head! 🙂

  15. Kate on July 18, 2012 at 7:05 am

    Definitely sparks the imagination! 

    • michelle on July 19, 2012 at 12:53 pm

      Yes… it certainly does… allows the imagination to run riot!! Thanks Kate! Welcome to my place.

  16. Lisa Shambrook on July 18, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Very cool…I fear she's done this so often, she won't get caught… Lovely character study!

    • michelle on July 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      I was hoping to create the impression that she's done this often… I'm glad you thought so… thanks Lisa!

  17. perle champion on July 18, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Love this piece and the whole idea of this 5 sentence limitation.  I  like the tight framework which  is probably why I'm currently obsessed with Haiku. Thanks for stopping by my blog – Act 2 is up now.

    • michelle on July 19, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      Thanks for the visit Perle! 🙂 I also love haiku writing, but don't have enough time to indulge myself… I do try the haiku challenge from time to time… yes, it's certainly a great way to practise concise and tight writing…

  18. Sherry Ellis on July 18, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    What a personality!  All in a day's work…  I don't think I'd like to run into her!  Great writing, as usual.  

    • michelle on July 19, 2012 at 12:58 pm

      Thanks Sherry! I'd be terrified at the thought of crossing paths with such a personality…:)

  19. Nutschell on July 18, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    a total vixen!

    • michelle on July 19, 2012 at 12:58 pm

      Now that's a lovely word! When last have I heard the word vixen? *chuckles*

  20. Claudia Del Balso on July 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    WOW! That's really something. The shortest story I've written was 200 words, so that's definitely longer than five sentences. Kudos to you!

    • michelle on July 22, 2012 at 9:53 pm

      Thanks Claudia!

  21. Mike Jackson on July 19, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    A great story.
    This is definitely a lady you would not want to meet on a dark night, or in fact any night!
    Mind you it sounds as if she enjoys her work.

    • michelle on July 22, 2012 at 9:54 pm

      Thanks Mike!   She's a nasty piece allright…  Yes, she REALLY enjoys what she does!

  22. Jocelyn Rish on July 20, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    First off, 'Svetlana' is THE perfect name for the woman in the photo.  And second, whoa, super creepy!  Chilling character created in just a few sentences.

    • michelle on July 22, 2012 at 9:57 pm

      She definitely resembles a Svetlana… and it's the first time that I didn't battle with a character's name. I suppose it's because I had the photo to work from. I usually struggle with naming of characters.

  23. Medeia Sharif on July 21, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    This is a dark piece written real well. I have a true sense of the character from these sentences. She's creepy.

    • michelle on July 22, 2012 at 9:59 pm

      I'm so glad that the creepy factor worked, because that's what I intended for the character. 🙂 Thank you Medeia.

  24. David P. King on July 23, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Nice one! Sucked me right in. 🙂

    • michelle on July 24, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      I'm glad you were caught up! Thanks David. 🙂

  25. Leslie Rose on July 26, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Svetlana is definitely NOT someone I'd pull off the "needs a roomate" board.

  26. michelle on July 27, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Ha! You'd have to sleep with one eye open… 🙂 Thanks Leslie!

  27. Nutschell on July 30, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    oh my! what an interesting character to be sure!

  28. michelle on July 30, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Yes, never a dull moment with this one! he!he! Thanks for visiting, Nutschell.

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