Writing Prompt: 5 Within 5

I decided to use this prompt for writing creatively stolen from Collectivus. The prompt is “5 within 5” and entails choosing 5 objects within 5 metres and using them in a story. I haven’t written creatively in story form for a long while, and I find it a challenge to separate myself from the narrative, but here goes and I hope to continue.


Running is an abject curiosity to me. I imagine it to feel akin to the freedom of the sea; the sea has no barriers, no restrictions, only those inflicted upon by man. I put on my trainers, some joggers and gear up mind in to a state of anticipation of what the result of this run could entail. The mirror showers me with confidence, a quietness resides in the reflection I see. Run the pain away.

The air is thick with hot sea salt, my hair becomes matted as the sound of distant waves are subdued by the music that filters through shiny, white earphones. I jog on the spot to warm my muscles, as I’ve seen others do, in their tight lycra bottoms and ever so pristine stretch maneuvers. The memory of him as he’d bend down and tie his laces, the intent plastered on his face, the focus and grit. Lyrics sing to me Loving just ain’t for me but it’s creeping up so slowly.

I begin.

The pressure is building in my calves as each foot thumps the heated paving, to the right is the sea in all of its glory, its cries of joy a whisper against the lyrical flow that streams to my ears and bypass everything to the heart. This was mine and his song; one night he returned home and I greeted him with a meal, the song played and whipped romance around us like a noose. His smile was gentle on that evening, his caress was soft and his silence all empowering.

My chest becomes tight.

Is this from the memory of him? How can he still be having such an effect? My breathing picks up pace, a weight feels as if it’s been placed in between my lungs. Before I realise what’s happening my knees meet the ground, as if slow motion as the attack tightens. I reach for my inhaler and take puff after puff after puff; I lay dazed staring up to the sky when a blurry human silhouette eclipses the sun.

“Are you okay?”

Is it him? My vision starts to retain focus and I realise that the 80 year old lady staring back at me, with a squint that alludes worse sight than mine, is all but an illusory version of the one I love.

What a disaster. My attempts at running, to take in the lessons he taught without speaking, have failed catastrophically. I can’t be like him. The lyrics sing You have captured me.

The sun is setting as I return home, limping and still recovering from the rope around my lungs. I reach my front door and bow my head until it lightly thuds against it, a man defeated by an ambitious idea. As I enter the door, I see next to the flickering candle light my phone lit up in neon green.

It reads: “She’s away. I can come around if you’re free? x”

As I consider the request with a toiled warmth, the lyrics finish up my thoughts with This may not be a bad thing, this love, this love, this love, this love.


Below is the song that weaved its way in to the story.

  1. This is great, I am sharing this with a friend of mine who can totally relate. Love!

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