17 Aug

Lillie McFerrin is the person behind ‘5 sentence fiction’.  Lillie offers up a prompt each week, and issues a challenge to compose a 5 sentence narrative that responds to the prompt.  The prompt this week? MAPS.  Below is my attempt to compose a story that responds to this prompt.


It is history class, and twenty four students reach into their bags for their maps; photocopied images of countries and cities, towns and terrain, battles lost and won.

One student sits staring at her hands.

Venomous words drip from the teacher’s tongue, each phrase lamenting the student’s disorganisation, berating her lack of application, expounding upon her lack of respect.

Melting beneath the teacher’s glare her words tumble from her lips in a rush:  “I too am a sovereign nation, with borders that ought to be secure but instead seem permeable; I too am a victim of war, my natural resources drained by an unwanted and unwelcome trespasser; I too am an aggressor, the battle lines etched into skin like trenches in fields; I too pray for peace but fear that it may not come.”

“We may not be able to change the past,” murmurs the teacher kindly, her eyes welling with tears, “but history teaches us that by knowing the past we can alter the future.”



3 Responses to “‘Battlefields’”

  1. Sisyphus47 August 17, 2014 at 8:10 pm #

    So true, and too many battlefields on those maps…


  2. Pat August 18, 2014 at 3:13 am #

    This certainly has many layers to it — and it is very touching and poignant. Well written as the voice changes and the tone set by the words, shines through admirably. Great job!


  3. Ruchi Chopra August 18, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    Nice narrative & poignant. Good wishes.


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