Flash Fiction Friday – Five Minutes

This week’s flash fiction has an adult theme.

If I’d not taken five minutes, my eleven-year-old son Billy would now be dead.

It could have been so different if I had not decided to do what I promised myself for the last five years. Just five minutes, that’s all it took.

The world of technology had taken over my life. Like most of humanity, I had my head buried in a screen. Morning, noon and night, I couldn’t resist it.

I was missing out if I wasn’t checking my social media accounts or email every five minutes. I was missing out on a new world! A new world that just five minutes could change.

The distant sound of crying coming from Billy’s bedroom forced me to bring my head up from the screen of my iPad. Why was he awake and sobbing at this ungodly hour?

When the familiar sound of a ‘ping’ came from my iPad, I could feel myself being pulled into the online world again. I’d made the mistake of looking down and seeing the notification on the screen telling me that Rachel was online.

Aroused by the thought of Rachel, my finger hovered over the Skype button, where I could instantly connect with her, while my ears picked up the sobbing coming from Billy’s room.

What should I do? Check on Billy, or find out if Rachel wore that sexy nurses’ uniform.

Thank goodness I chose to take those five minutes wisely.

If I hadn’t used them to check in on Billy, I’d never have discovered he’d been contemplating suicide. Not only had the death of his mother, five years earlier, taken him to the edge of a cliff, but my new online world and the neglect it had forced upon him had also taken him there.

The self-harm images he’d been looking at online were worlds apart from those I’d watched when Rachel was online. Ready to blackmail me, she’d had the camera ready to record me that night.

Not only had those five minutes saved my son’s life, but they’d also saved mine.

Photo of an old broken clock on a building
Five minutes.


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Flash Fiction Friday

Enjoyed this piece of flash fiction? Then you’ll love ‘More Glimpses.’


32 short stories and flash fiction pieces take readers to the edge of their imagination.

More Glimpses

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