55Friday: The “New Years Day” Edition

The next time I prattle on about orgies, nanofiction and Fridays, there will be a “six” marking the days of our lives instead of a “five”. :) I didn’t know what would happen the first time I posted about daring to write short-shorts; I certainly had no expectation that fiction-filled Fridays would become a much-loved tradition here at the Mutiny. Now, I can’t imagine an SM without tiny stories, each exactly 55 words in length.

Thank you for writing so regularly, so publicly, so generously. You have become some of my favorite authors, and reading your creations is something I look forward to all week long. For those of you who lurk, doubt or hesitate…make one of your resolutions a promise to yourself that you will write. Almost everyone I know lists “write a novel” when answering one of those silly numbered/question-riddled memes, specifically when asked about “things you’d like to accomplish eventually”. Baby steps. Fifty-five of them. You can do it, we’ll be thrilled to watch you try.

Happy New Year, writers. :)



All is quiet on New Year’s Day. A world in white gets underway.
I want to be with you, be with you night and day.
Nothing changes on New Year’s Day.
On New Year’s Day.
I… will be with you again.
I… will be with you again.
Under a blood-red sky
A crowd has gathered in black and white
Arms entwined, the chosen few
The newspaper says, says
Say it’s true, it’s true…
And we can break through
Though torn in two
We can be one.
I… I will begin again
I… I will begin again.
Oh, oh. Oh, oh. Oh, oh.
Oh, maybe the time is right.
Oh, maybe tonight.
I will be with you again.
I will be with you again.
And so we are told this is the golden age
And gold is the reason for the wars we wage
Though I want to be with you
Be with you night and day
Nothing changes
On New Year’s Day
On New Year’s Day
On New Year’s Day

20 thoughts on “55Friday: The “New Years Day” Edition

  1. Asante sana (thank you very much) Anna for giving us the nanofiction bug. I for one appreciate that it gives me a creative outlet that allows for my crazy schedule until I have time to write the stories I want to write.

    55 to follow

  2. So much work, decisions, so little time. Pressures of now and this moment pressing on her, she marched, one foot in front of another. Suddenly, her shoulders hunched from the weight of her fears and what-ifs shifted—today was Friday. So in two days . . .

    She straightened. New day. New year. Clean slate of renewed hope.

  3. We look back on 2005, wondering what new horrors await us in the year ahead.

    Someone said “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” Another proclaimed “Man proposes, God disposes.”

    I say “Himmat-e-Mardan, Madhat-e-Khuda*, let us never lose hope” Victory must always belong to the righteous, whether it takes years or centuries.

    *Himmat-e-Mardan, Madhat-e-Khuda “With the courage of Man and the Grace of God”

  4. Since I lack the verbal dexterity and hate the mental calisthenics of paraphrasing the conflicts raging within me into 55 words; trust me, I have tried..I reach back into childhood memories to quote my all time favorite poem. Hope everyone has a great year ahead!

    Where The Mind is Without Fear

    Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; Where knowledge is free; Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls; Where words come out from the depth of truth; Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection; Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit; Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action– Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

      -- Rabindranath Tagore
  5. As the days became hours, and the hours became seconds, he began wishing that time would just stop. The celebrations around him only served to emphasize the prolonged breaking of his heart.

    All he knew was that a slate – more so, his soul – cannot simply be wiped clean by the turning of a day.

  6. The seconds were ticking byÂ…as she awaited the changeÂ…anticipating great surprises her way this new yearÂ… will it bring hope, travels, love, and laughter? The simple turn of the clock bringing in the joys of a new beginning was enough for her to smile and turn toward the crowd and smile in glee and happiness.

  7. Her heart was beating loudly against her chest. She stole a glance and saw his hand, limp against the remote. The pills had worked.

    The clock chimed twelve just as she slipped outside. It was a new start to her life. Her feet were light and her heart was open.

    She was alive again.

  8. On this stretch of beach one year ago, he lay on his face, praying that the waters would return and take him as well. They never came. My, God why have you forsaken me? He was left to go on without wife and children. How and why, he hoped this new year would show him.

  9. The clock announced the approaching midnight hour. A pumpkin and mice stood in front replacing the stagecoach and horses. She started to run with one slipper on. Then the realization struck her that it was New YearÂ’s day.

    She turned around and went back in. Time to drink some champagne and kiss a wonderful prince.

  10. if you come to my table as i wish you would,

    youÂ’ll find my okra in rich gumbo my saag expressed with collards

    my fish wrapped in tortillas with my chilies

    for channa black eyed peas, creole auguries

          of fortune

    if you come to my table as i wish you would

    on new yearÂ’s day.

  11. An Inappropriate New Years Greeting

    We will sing in twenty oh-six And bid goodbye to oh-five With bubbly, cheese and Chex-mix. If I get truly pickled, I might even try to jive.

    We will ring in twenty oh-six, Wish it works out just fine-y. Sure there’ll be messes to fix - But problems tend to bounce away Like quarters off your heinie.

  12. Fasting than the speed of light she’s flying….. This comes in three parts.

    I. I remember that New Year’s Eve: Maurizio and I saw a play in Old Town. Theater filled with men and women in good coats. Ancient types with thinning, falling strands of hair, gray on black cloth. It seemed crazy that anyone would age, we were young and the New Year was ours. We owned it.

    II. I had dinner with Massimo and his wife in Chicago the following New Year’s eve. I wore shoes that were too tight and my head ached from fake-smiling at the other party-goers. The clock turned, glasses clinked, champagne was drunk, and finally, I left after a quick kiss good-bye. In the cold, I walked.

    III. New Year’s Eve (later): I had dinner with Maurizio and friends. We had mussels in garlic. China cups held black shells. We argued. A woman from Germany said, “his love life is his own.” Her vehemence startled, I couldn’t care less. Maurizio caught my eye and winked. Startled, I thought, this is an interesting development.

  13. Her middle finger hovered insistently at his lips, waiting for them to part. His tongue slid over it confidently, surprisingly adept, unnerving her. A vicious jab to his throat. He gagged and her finger slipped out unscathed. She turned and walked out of the year with him in a smouldering rustle of sunset Maheshwari silk.

  14. okay, I finally had time to read the other 55′s: very nice :) Jai Singh, as usual, your contribution is clever. Nice work siddharth m! DesiDudeinAustin – cheeky! (sorry). aranyi – I like the detail about the silk. badmash, that’s some serious stuff!

    More 55 (sorry for the length ANNA :) )

    A Desi New Year among the cornfields, circa 1982. A Fictionalized Account in multiple 55 word parts.

    I. Polly is married to Prem. Every New Year’s Eve they have a party in the party room – a paneled rec room in the basement. Women in saris sit in a row on the davenport, across the room on folding chairs sit a group of men in suits, ties loosened. Music plays from a cassette player.

    II. Polly gets up, crosses the room, asks one of the male guests to dance. He declines, with a little embarrassed smile. Defeated, she returns to her side of the room, adjusting her sari. Prem smiles at her across the room and she smiles back, mollified. Prem gets up, crosses the room, and asks his wife to dance.

    III. Upstairs, the children (aged 4 to 14) are playing in the living room. The teenagers, aged 12 and 14, sit and watch Dick Clark on television. The 14-year-old has brown fuzz on his upper lip and wears ripped jeans. He’s a rock star, at least to the 12 year old, who adores him.

    IV. Outside, a car refuses to start. The air is frigid and empty corn-fields lay silent and snow-covered. Ranch-style houses are arrayed on either side of a street that is straight as a ruler. All the houses have colored lights and Christmas trees in the windows, save one: the house with the party.

  15. Ah! MD, that was beautiful – very Jhumpa Lahiri (I mean that as a compliment). Kudos for your “in-parts” innovation – I must try this next week!

  16. MD – Thanks for the compliment, your contributions this week have been very good too. I agree with Badmash in that it reminds me of another author’s style of writing, although I can’t quite remember who. Splitting it into parts is a good option too — I had to do the same thing with my last James Bond story during the “Red” theme a couple of weeks ago, because my “full” version ended up being too long to fit the word limit ;)

    Kenyandesi – What happened to your 55 ? By the way — I meant to include your name in the list of “shout-outs” I mentioned in my message on the “Season’s Greetings” thread last week — Happy New Year to you. I knew I’d forgotten someone, dammit ;)