Five A Day

Written by Charli Mills

Charli Mills, a born buckaroo, makes literary art accessible at She writes about the veteran spouse experience and women forgotten to history.

November 30, 2017

Five a Day by the Rough Writers & Friends @Charli_MillsEat your veggies, eat your fruit. “Five a day,” they tell us. That’s more than an apple a day to keep the doctor away! What else warrants five a day?

That’s what writers had to ponder. And as you expect, the flash fiction collected varies widely and creatively. Settle in and read at least five flash fiction stories a day to keep your mind sharp and open.

The following are based on the November 23, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about Five a Day.


Five a Day (Jane Doe Flash Fiction) by Deborah Lee

Jane exits the stall, already anticipating another cup of coffee. This one weekday, she’s got almost unlimited fluid intake.

Part of her vagrant reality is having no decent, or even very private, bathroom. In the morning she heads immediately to the gym, before she’s even had tea. The homeless newspaper office, but often with a long line. McDonald’s requires a receipt within the last 30 minutes. The college. The public library on her way back to Tent City. Five stops a day. She’s learned to coordinate her hydration accordingly.

Who could imagine a college ladies’ room as a luxury?


Glory Be by D. Avery

Three is a mystical number, and seven, for sure, but five, the mean of the two, five can be trouble. It doesn’t have to be, but it can be.

Those five fingers, are they clenched into one fist? If so, trouble; something might be struck, nothing can be held. Be mindful of what those five fingers grasp, more mindful of what they let go of. Stretch those five fingers skyward, press against the other hand, doubled power, decadal symmetry, two hands pressed in prayer.

Count on one hand the blessings you have reaped. Use both hands to sow more.


S.L.E.E.P. by Juliet Nubel

Heather pulled the pink woollen hat over Emily’s curls.

“What do you need to do at school today?”


Emily knew their routine by heart. “Smile. Laugh. Enjoy… I can never say the fourth one.”


“Yeah, that. And play.”


Heather prayed hard that her daughter would taste these five ingredients every day of her life, both now and later.

The yellow bus arrived and Emily skipped aboard, grinning at the driver. She turned to wave.

“Sleep well, my petal-face.”

“You too, Mummy. You must try hard too.”

Heather smiled. It was a start. A very good start.


A Better Five a Day by Charli Mills

Five a day, Mama says. Doesn’t she know how awful they taste? Crunchy raw spindles and squishy flavorless lumps. Good for you, Dad crows. Honestly, I prefer the mash the neighboring farmer drops by our house. Mama says it’s not organic.

My skinny legs chase after tastier treats. Beyond the place where parents coop my culinary dreams I have a secret spot to dream. Beyond our scratch existence meanders a brook with a magical bush. That’s where I found the round globes sweeter than any clover.

Blueberries! I’m in chicken heaven! Better than five insects or worms any day.


Mr Potato Head by Norah Colvin

Jamie’s head shook, and his bottom lip protruded as tears pooled.

Mum sighed.

“But you love Mr Potato Head,” coaxed Dad.

Jamie lowered his eyes and pushed the plate away. This was not Mr Potato – just a stupid face made from yukky stuff.

Dad moved it back. “Just a little try,” he urged. Mum watched.

Jamie refused.

Jamie visited at meal time. Mum was in tears. “He won’t eat anything.”

Jamie considered the unappetising mush. “Who would?” he thought, as he replaced the cover and opened dessert.

“May as well enjoy what you can,” he said. Dad smiled.


Five a Day by Ritu Bhathal


“Yes sir, five.”

“So, Doctor, I have to take five of these little beauties a day?”

“That’s right. Five of these golden capsules every day.”

“Wouldn’t it be easier for me to just move to a country full of sunshine?”

“If only it was that easy, Mr. James.”

“Wow! Shake me and I’ll rattle!”

Jack laughed to himself as he left the surgery with his prescription.

Another addition to his daily cocktail of pills. Vitamin D3.
Sat behind a desk all day, earning good money but not seeing daylight, meant losing his health instead…

The price we pay…


The Dreadful Five a Day by Parinitha

The wedding invitations on my desk reminded me of my impending situation. With a month to my wedding, the unavailability of ready-made gowns of my size was frightening. November being peak wedding season, placing an order for a gown was ruled out. Tossing the chocolate muffins into the bin, I phoned my therapist, after two months of No Show. “Five a day is the only way!”, she harped. Once again, I began the five-miles-a-day run. As I grumpily ran the fifth day, I chanced upon Gowns for All, a new Plus-Size Wedding Store. This discovery called for a dessert!


Who’s Counting? by JulesPaige

Trying to get five fruits and veg in a day, Claire added to her
salad. Dates, avocado, dried apricots, to the already blended
greens of spinach and young spring greens mix. Cucumber,
tomato, onion, celery and colorful peppers got chopped up
too. Add some tuna and peanuts and you got a whole meal.

Or did one portion of that mix equal just one serving? There
had to be a way to lose the extra five pounds from Thanks-
giving. Half of a large grapefruit was waiting to be a mid-day
snack – as well as those cute little peelable oranges.


A Writers Creed by Bill Engleson

“You’ve got a stick up your butt about this, right?”

“I don’t know how you do it.”

“It’s quite easy once you get the hang of it.”

“I’m sure it’s easy. But I’m more interested in why you bother?”

“Wilde once said, ‘Lying, the telling of beautiful untrue things, is the proper aim of art.’ So, I lie at least five times a day.”

“For art?”

“For my art, yes. Fiction’s about assembling a selection of lies. Most writing has elements of falsehood.”

“I’ll never be able to trust a word you say.”

“Then my work here is done.”


Five a Day by Graeme Sandford




Add picture




Look around





Put to one side for later.






Add funny picture

Resize picture



Resize picture from first post


Copy link to YouTube video





Reblog quirky post


Just one more…

Five should be about write

Or right

It’s a rite of passage

Or alleyway

Which is just me being silly

Anyway, I should stop at five

I should

But, will I?

Then I can go and wash up the breakfast things…

…and go to bed.


Five a Day by Robbie Cheadle

I need to read something interesting at least five times a day.

When I was a girl, my Mom used to invite our friends to our house for the afternoon. On these days, I used to disappear into my bedroom at intervals throughout the afternoon to read a page of my book. It wasn’t that I didn’t like spending time with friends, it was merely that I needed a distraction from the conversation

As a grown up, I haven’t changed. I need to read a blog post or two during the day. It helps relax my body and mind.


Morning Blessings by Liz Husebye Hartmann

Wake up. Open your eyes. Or not.

Stretch from the tip of your chilly nose, through the arms and shoulders, down your back, deep into the gluteus max, into the length of your calves and out through the end of each toe.

Snuggle deeper under the covers and melt into the mattress. Breathe. Through your nose.

Deeply inhale morning blessings, those present just before the day’s demands flood in, the ones just an eyeblink away, if only we remember. Exhale all bad dreams, all anxieties.

Repeat this breath four times more. Rise, and refresh as needed throughout the day.


Five a Day by Irene Waters

Essie stared at the doctor telling her what to eat. “No I won’t eat from the five food groups. I know my body. Dairy gives me phlegm, fruit – gout, carbohydrates bloat me. I’ll eat protein, fat and veggies. I’ve five things I do insist having each day to keep me healthy.”

The doctor now stared at Essie. “Mmm?”

“Yes. A cuddle in the morning before I get out of bed is a must, and my hand held when we walk, a kiss goodbye, a kiss hello and a cuddle before sleep – these five keep my heart and mind healthy.”


Hugs by Kerry E.B. Black

The compassion of enfolding another within loving arm can heal wounds unseen. Thus our days begin with a hug, and God willing they end the same way. After a hard day at school, I greet my children with a cup of warmed cider and open arms. As they traverse the pitfalls of homework, I use cuddles as encouragement. After dinner, when they clean their plates and complete their chores, I give them a big embrace of gratitude. Soon they’ll be too grown to understand their value, so while I have them within arm’s reaching, I’ll share with them hugs.


Five a Day by Michael

The old sage looked up at me: “Five a day?” he asked as if the thought had never occurred to him before.

“Well let’s start with life. See what’s around you, then live a life, don’t take anything for granted.

Love the people around you, you can never do enough of that.

Be creative, people won’t think you boring.

And lastly, reflect on all you have done. Reflect so that the next time you can improve on your five a day.”

He looked away signalling our time was over. I left invigorated. Stepping outside, I took in the view.


5 a Day by FloridaBorne

Sherry looked around the musty home. Beige curtains. Grey carpet. Cheap 1980’s couch. Her fiancé didn’t mind his mother’s boring décor. Sherry, as an interior decorator, believed calling this place dreadful was kind.

“Are you going on a diet?” her future MIL asked.

“I have an average build,” Sherry replied. “You’re skinny”

“Nonsense,” his mother said dismissively. “Try eating 5 small meals a day.”

Sherry chuckled. “I know how to cook 5 meals.”

“Can you give me the recipes?”

“I’ll have to look on the box,” Sherry said. “Jack does the cooking.”

“Don’t say it, mom,” her fiancé frowned.


Five a Day by Pensitivity

Love is the Diet of my life.
Without it, I would be empty and hunger would be paramount.
My first portion of every day is a kiss when I awake.
The second part is a hug for no reason.
Sometime during the day my third is a passing touch.
The fourth is a helping hand to steady me, and the fifth knowing he’s there.
They can come in any order of course, but Number One will always be number one.
Kisses are abundant all day, but as the experts say, it has to be five different portions a day.


Flash Fiction by Rugby843

Five times a day, yep, no matter if there are tornado winds, an earthquake or flood, she gets a call from me. Five times a day, every day, all year, for the past five years.

Everyone loves their momma, right? But when daddy died, she turned into the neediest person you could imagine. If the world dissolved around us both, she would still expect me to call her at least five times a day. I think my daddy was a patient man.

It just occurred to me, he was a traveling sales man…

No wonder daddy lost his job!


Keep Counting by Reena Saxena

“Have ten?”

“Yeah, maybe … kind of twenty. Depends on how you count.”

“I don’t need to count. I need only five.”

“I might need ten plus two. And yours are not needed.”

“Why two more?”

“Larger and stronger ones, for support.”

“And what will you achieve with those?”

“A dead body.” Karen’s voice was stern, and the expression menacing.


“Yes. Your dead body, after I asphyxiate you.”

Mom turned around with a jerk.

“What are you two talking about?”

“Fingers and toes and two strong wrists. Allen is my twin brother, but he irritates me no end.”


Five a Day by Pete Fanning

It was a manic compulsion that drove Barry Bingham to lick the five fingers of his right hand every morning. The urge struck first at dawn, when he gripped the worn door handle at the gas station where he got his morning coffee. Turning the sports page in the breakroom, Barry’s fingers were just begging for a dip. And again at lunch, when Barry finished off the cheese puffs and eyed his furry fingers. By afternoon Barry was slurping away again, flushing the toilet, checking his hair, and hustling back to work.

Barry took a lot of sick days.


Five a Day by Judy Martin

“Eat your vegetables you two. Connie, you’ve hardly touched those sprouts.”

“But Mum, you know I hate them, anyway, they make you blow off!”

To reiterate her point, Mark her brother let out a loud PARP, and both children giggled.

“MARK!” That is enough of that, leave the table at once!”

“Pooh, that stinks, Mum I can’t eat any more now, Mark has put me off.”

Jenny sighed, the pungent aroma wafted over her; some Christmas dinner this was turning out to be.

Pouring herself a fifth glass of wine, she braced herself for the rest of the day.


Food Inflation: When Five is the New Two by Geoff Le Pard

Penny eyed the menu with a frown. ‘Can’t I have some peas?’
Mary leant across. ‘Come on love. There are some lovely sides.’
Paul laughed. ‘When I was Penny’s age I’d have been the same. Spinach with cream and nutmeg. Stuffed savoy leaves with ricotta and walnuts. Grated sprouts with bacon. Puréed parsnips Madras. Braised celery in a pistachio jus. That’s just tarted up rubbish veg, masquerading as five a day.’

Mary nodded. ‘Just meat and two veg, eh.’

Penny looked from one parent to the other, bemused. ‘I’ll have the fish and chips.’


Five Chores a Day by Susan Sleggs

“Mom, I found these in the picture drawer. What are they?”

A tear formed when I saw some of my mother’s hand written lists. “Grandma didn’t feel like she accomplished anything unless she could cross five chores a day off a list.”

“But this just says; wash dishes, do laundry, clean cat box, write notes, get hair cut. Aren’t those normal things?”

“That’s when she got older. Read another one.”

“Finish quilt, write blog, edit flash fiction, write some poetry, get necessary fabric.”

“Was she always so busy?”

“That’s not busy, those were the hobbies she did every day.”


Smiling App by Frank Hubeny

Bernard set an alarm on his phone to ring five times a day with the message “Smile”. This annoyed some around him which helped him smile.

When Bernard’s lips froze into a crescent moon pointing up that was when he annoyed the maximum number of people and puzzled the rest.

Eventually his brain got the memo. His heart relaxed. Even people he annoyed stopped being annoyed. Bernard’s pleasure in annoying them waned like that moon on his mouth since what’s the point? When they heard the beep, they’d smile and say, “Smile, Bernard, you idiot!” He no longer minded.


Five a Day by D. Avery

“Why ya grimacin’ Kid?”

“I’m smilin’. They say smilin’ can change yer mindset. But I tell ya, Pal, I’m strugglin’ with Shorty’s 5 a day prompt.”

“So keep smilin’. Five times a day.”

“Hmm. Five laughs a day would be good an’ good for ya.”

“Seriously! Contagious giggles, love those, almost as much as a real good belly laugh.”

“Gotta be in the right company fer those. How ‘bout laughin’ aloud at yerself fer doin’ somethin’ stupid, or even fer doin’ somethin’ right?”

“Yeah. I also like the ‘Ha!’ of revelation and recognition.”

“Five laughs a day then. Ha!”


The Boxer by Jack Schuyler

“Five a day, that’s how I keep these.” The boxer flexed his bulging forearms and then resumed twisting his mustache.

“Five steaks a day, am I hearing you right?” I furiously scribbled the information on my notepad. Back at the Times, the boss told me to get more on Little Toni’s sudden success. This article could be my breakout piece, but who would believe Toni could eat five steaks a day?

“First I punch em’ (makes em’ tender), then I grill em,’ then I eat em.’”

Oh well, it’s just news. Put it on paper and they’ll believe anything.


Five a Day by Kate Spencer

Marcy took a deep breath. She was about to launch her presentation to the Scrooge of all clients at the ad agency.

“Mr. Wroth, Christmas is about rekindling hope and joy—”

“Nonsense. It’s just a day in the calendar. I’m tired of campaigns where our cookies light up children’s faces with Christmas voodoo. Got something else?”

“I do.”

“Humph. Go on then.”

“I’m suggesting people buy your amazing cookies and when they share five of them a day with others it will take their blues away.”

“Christmas Prozac. I like it!”

Marcy couldn’t help but roll her eyes.


Five a Day, No More No Less by Anne Goodwin

Gabe was heading home when he saw the loot. His duty was clear, but he’d already met his quota and he didn’t fancy the extra paperwork. Luckily, Mike happened along.

“That yours?”

“What mine?”

“That heap of glorious booty. Wanna split it?”

Hell’s teeth! Take half to the poor? Leave it all for Mike to distribute? Either way, it would be his sixth good deed. Unless.

Gabe spread his wings, spun around, knocked out Mike with the force. Stepped over his body, confident that, when he came round, Mike would find the treasure and forget he’d ever been there.


Five a Day by anuragbakhshi

“These are only four, I can’t give you any money today. You know you’re supposed to deliver five a day, or return empty-handed,” said the officer rudely while checking the sack I had handed over to him. “My kids will go hungry today, please have mercy, ” I begged, but he just wouldn’t relent.

Seeing no other way, I took out my sword… and swung hard. And as the officer’s head rolled to a stop near my feet, I picked it up and told his assistant, “That completes five rat’s heads for today. Can I have the bounty now please?”


Five a Day by Hugh Roberts

It was getting harder and harder to get my five a day.

Why had I even come here? It was the worst place I’d ever visited, yet they kept me here because I couldn’t find them anywhere else.

However, time was now running out and I’d soon have to find another place for my fix.

Maybe I should leave now? Yes, that was probably a good idea.

Then, just as I was about to leave and head for the stars, I heard the cry of the human baby. One last meal, and then I’d leave this almost inhospitable planet.


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  1. Ritu

    Always such a great varied response!

    • Charli Mills

      That’s the tastiest portion of the challenge!

      • Ritu


  2. Sherri Matthews

    Very tasty! <3

  3. Lisa A. Listwa

    Good stuff, as usual!

  4. robbiesinspiration

    Some really lovely contributions, Charli

  5. Norah

    What a variety of responses. Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to read them all in the compilation. That’s a well-balanced meal. Or two! 🙂

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