The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

16 September 2014

Waiting leads to Conflict

Five sentence fiction recently gave "Waiting" as a writing prompt. I immediately had a particular scene in mind, but was unable to put it to paper. A week passed and the next prompt came along, being "Conflict". The idea that came to mind was a natural follow-up to the first scene that I wanted to write them as one.  But by now so much time has flown by that I can't bring myself to post the result as an official FSF construction.  And since it isn't official, I'm bending the rules a bit by not counting the sentences exactly.  This is a short description of a scenario we're probably all familiar with.


Ugh; why is waiting so hard?  I chose the express lane (12 items or less, the sign admonishes) thinking it would move much faster than the next one over where a careful husband is handing a month’s worth of soup and cat food one tin at a time to his wife who just as carefully places them on the conveyor belt. I was wrong. I must have been standing here for at least an hour (at least an hour as I’ve wrung all possible entertainment from the gossipy magazine covers, admired the polish on my toes, and practiced counting backwards from one hundred. In German. By twos.) when I come out of the fog of boredom to pick up on an ambience of tension: people in line behind me are grumbling and throwing significant looks at one another. Is there going to be an uprising at the NoFrills?


I lift an expressively puzzled eyebrow at the lady behind me; she in turn nods to the fella taking his turn at the cash. Having sussed out the situation I look back to my informant, mouthing an exaggerated, “Wow!” She plays along with an equally exaggerated and appalled, “Twenty-three!” To which the lady behind her contributes an affronted nod to confirm her awareness of the injustice taking place right in front of us. But other than the cashier casting significant glances at the admonishing sign, we none of us do anything to prevent this blatant flouting of the rules. We are Canadian.  


  1. Considering the number of run-on sentences found in many of the Five Sentence Fiction entries, I'm certainly willing to overlook a discrepancy between the requested and physical count in yours.

    The slow-moving express line - could there be a more universal experience?

    And, yes, Canadians can be far too polite at times.

    Well done!

  2. Ha! I am guilty of stitching several sentences into one and hanging them all on the obliging semicolon.

    Argh - the slow-moving express line; it is an experience similar to finding yourself sitting in the wrong lane of a traffic jam.

    Thank you for stopping by, K.