Five Sentence Fiction – Perseverance

The Workman

It was just after sunrise when they kicked in our doors and hauled us out of our houses at gunpoint.

None of us ever saw our families again.

I survived because I could work, survived despite the efforts of one guard who made breaking me his life’s mission.

I was still working when the Americans came to set us free and after the war I continued to work for twenty years, just to preserve what was left of my sanity.

My old friend the guard thought he was safe in South America but I found him, found him and allowed him to see me, whole and unbroken, before I turned my back and walked away.


Posted on July 28, 2012, in Five Sentence Fiction. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. YOWCH. O my. This is beautiful in a gritty, painful sort of way. Excellent work!


  2. Ouch, indeed! Gritty & real…great job 🙂


  3. This makes me want to go watch my copy of Band of Brothers. Very nice post. I’m kind of torn over the ending because I want the narrator to have some kind of revenge (in fiction, we can do things that aren’t allowed in real life,right?), but the way you wrote it is so beautifully subtle.


  4. Ive to agree with Regina. Was he able to have his revenge on the guard? Or did he just walk away?

    I love the second sentence. It’s short but it has so much sadness.


  5. My thinking regarding the end was that in the end surviving and thriving is the best revenge. If I had a sixth sentence to work with it probably would have involved a call to the Simon Wiesenthal Foundation…


  6. This is very good, I liked it, there’s a sense of dignity throughout the piece.


  7. I really like this… especially because he walked away instead of getting revenge! Awesome!


  8. I was expecting him to take revenge but walking away just shows his strength. Well done! x


  9. Wow! Your character shows such strength in this piece, and I love that he chose to have the strength of mind not to take revenge. Wonderful writing!


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