Not a Vindictive Man…


“I’m not a vindictive man, Joanna, but understand me when I say I can make your career – or break it,” said Edward Pennington Bradford IV, accepting a second whiskey.

Saying nothing, Joanna watched the silver-haired executive knock back his drink in the privacy of her small apartment and then, ever the king, hold out his glass for a refill.

“You’re rather quiet for a girl who’s decided to be charming,” he began, but stopped when a sudden, violent coughing fit consumed him.

When he dropped the glass and fell gasping to the carpet, Joanna still said nothing.

Instead, fingering the packet of powder in her robe’s pocket, she smiled.

Author’s Note: This story is written in response to Lillie McFerrin’s ‘Five Sentence Fiction Challenge.’ This week’s challenge is to write a five sentence story based on the word ‘vindictive.’ Lillie’s challenge can be found here.

About Kate Loveton

Aspiring novelist. Avid reader of fiction. Reviewer of books. By day, my undercover identity is that of meek, mild-mannered legal assistant, Kate Loveton, working in the confines of a stuffy corporate law office; by night, however, I'm a super hero: Kate Loveton, Aspiring Novelist and Spinner of Tales. My favorite words are 'Once upon a time... ' Won't you join me on my journey as I attempt to turn a hobby into something more?
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59 Responses to Not a Vindictive Man…

  1. Tessa says:

    Great story, loved the end. He deserved it!

  2. Pingback: Make an Offer and Then Get Out | Odyssey of a Novice Writer

  3. It’s amazing what a good writer like yourself can do with a few sentences. If the requirements were different you could even have got away with four sentences by changing the end of the fourth one to something like, “Joanna smiled but still said nothing.” I think it would still be obvious she did it.

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Malcolm, thank you for the kind comments. I think you have a point that Joanna’s culpability would be apparent even if the sentences were pared down to four. I’m glad you enjoyed the brief story. 🙂

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  5. I almost feet guilty, enjoying this short short by you so much. It is MARVELOUS.

  6. JunkChuck says:

    If you want my opinion, Bradford was been asking for it for a long time. I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner, but more surprised it was Joanna who delivered justice in the end.

    I felt like I knew this guy when he said “You’re rather quiet for a girl who’s decided to be charming,” Nicely done.

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Joanna – at least from Bradford’s viewpoint – seems a rather compliant individual, so it is surprising that the lady delivered her own form of justice.

      You picked up on a key line in the flash fiction. I needed to get across that Bradford was forcing Joanna into an untenable situation – that’s why I went with the ‘decided’ to be charming bit.

      I keep thinking about Joanna. I think I’m going to bring her back in another story at some point.

      Glad you enjoyed the story.

  7. Ooh…chilling! It’s so hard to write great flash. You did it!

  8. Faith Simone says:

    Ever the king….um, I guess not anymore. Great story!

  9. And they say that Hell hath no fury like woman scorned! 🙂

    What a wonderful way for the arrogant Edward Pennington Bradford IV to get his just deserts…

  10. Margaret says:

    Coldly calm woman as opposed to an arrogant, cruel man, and the woman won – just brilliant, and the picture perfect for the story. I knew I was not going to like this man. He deserved what he got.

    • Kate Loveton says:

      The woman did win! But I have a future story in mind for her… there is more to Joanna than meets the eye.

      Thanks for reading, Margaret. It brought a smile to my face to have you comment. I like knowing you’re reading my short fiction attempts. 🙂 ❤

  11. i b arora says:

    this too is cold blooded

  12. A brilliant twist 😀

  13. Oh Danny Boy says:

    My story took the same turn as yours. I did not read yours first; promise! Both our ladies took care of their males.


    • Kate Loveton says:

      Hello! I will have to read your story – I like ‘meeting’ authors I haven’t yet had a chance to read and interact with!

      As for any similarities between the turns out stories may have taken, that is bound to happen among all authors from time to time.

      It was just a day for the ladies to take care of business, I guess! 😄

  14. noelleg44 says:

    Ooo, I like a decisive woman with murder on her mind. And who is being vindictive?

  15. stacilys says:

    Awesome Kate. You sure have a way with words for these eery/murderous type of stories. Are you going to publish a book one day with these?

  16. jan says:

    Ah, the vindictive man met with a proper ending! Nifty bit of writing!

  17. I like the turn around the bend where he – Whose World Is His Footstool – drops suddenly. After asking for the refill.

  18. Naomi Harvey says:

    Yet more reason to love your work. Your Flash fiction is always among the most compelling I ever read.

  19. Excellent – complete and amusing

  20. Ooh! Another unexpected end to the story- a sting in the tale.

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Keith, I really appreciate your comment. I was concerned the ending might be too predictable when I wrote the brief tale and almost didn’t post it. Having you say the ending was unexpected relieves my mind. Thank you!

  21. jamborobyn says:

    I absolutely love this, so cheeky… really well done Kate!

  22. W. K. Tucker says:

    Nice little story…nice ending. 😀

  23. pattyalcala says:

    Hmmmm. Interesting!

  24. Susan Langer says:

    Very good for being restricted to 5 sentences. I really liked the story. 🙂

  25. wildbilbo says:

    Nicely done – in a few short sentences, the reader can already tell that Edward Pennington Bradford IV deserves what he gets (heck, the name *alone* builds the character).


    • Kate Loveton says:

      Good! I’m so glad you remarked on the name. I was hoping to convey his pomposity and cruel sense of entitlement with that over-inflated name. Glad it worked. Thanks for reading – I’m such a fan of your fiction that it means a lot to me to have you weigh in. 🙂

  26. Wicked good as a friend of mine says when he sees or reads something he really likes and i really like this, Kate. Yes!

    Bless You!


  27. Why does my heart throb so? No. Nothing to do with vindication but maybe you should check both sides. 😀 😀 😛

    • Kate Loveton says:

      I mentioned in another comment that I had played with the idea of ‘Vindictive or Vindicated?’ for a title, but then decided to let the reader decide whether Joanna was vindicated in her actions. Probably not – but I’m sure she received a few moments of delicious satisfaction – at least until the cops came! 😀 😀

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