The Power of Ten Seconds

Submitted into Contest #74 in response to: Write a story that takes place across ten seconds.... view prompt


Fiction Inspirational

Ten Seconds.

The world ages a little more. 

Life breathes that much longer. 

What can happen in such a short amount of time?

In unison, coming into existence all over the universe, ten seconds make their impact. 


Eyes adjust in a room lit dimly. 

A loaded mousetrap springs shut behind the dresser. 

Grass, straining to grow green and tall, is plucked from the ground by horse’s lips. 

Long fingers press a piano key.

A gunshot rings out, its victim unknown.

One second changes everything. 

Some will thank, some will mourn. 

You might forget to notice.

Time moves forward quickly for many, slowly for thousands.

It never looks back.

One second might love, it might hate. 

All it took was a single moment. 

In a crowded street, a toddler leaves his mother’s side. 

Strangers brush past and remain the same. 

Fear grips a chest, questioning, planting, demanding more.

A loosely tied shoelace quietly slips apart.

A dream is dreamt in a mind deprived of sleep. 

Loud voices compete for attention.

An idea forms. 

The pencil scrapes out a word.

New to the world, a baby cries.

Feelings are felt, in all sizes of color.

A future is imagined.

The love that was always there, becomes most realized.


A second passes, then two. 

The second is only a continuation of the first. 

The separate signatures listen and compliment each other. 

Number two begs not to be overlooked, as it is usually has the smallest voice. 

Eyes adjust in a room lit dimly and a shoe leads the way inside. 

A loaded mousetrap springs shut behind the dresser. The trapped mouse squirms.

Grass, straining to grow green and tall, is plucked from the ground by horse’s lips and the grazer moves on to the next patch. 

Long fingers press a piano key and shoulders straighten while a deep breath is taken. 

A gunshot rings out, its victim unknown. In a most fragile form, a glass bottle is shattered. 

In a crowded street, a toddler leaves hir mother’s side. A women’s hand gropes for something missing. 

Strangers brush past and remain the same while their shuffling feet blur into one.

Fear grips a chest, questioning, planting, demanding more. A moment of uncertainty comes. 

A loosely tied shoelace quietly slips apart. A three-year-old trips and falls with no one to catch him.

Like I said; life misunderstands the importance of the events held between the first and second moment.

The hesitation, reactions, and instincts come during that time. 

A dream is dreamt in a mind deprived of sleep. Inspiration rises in a tired man. 

Loud voices compete for attention but the shy one is heard this time. 

A stammering idea speaks, but doubt boos. 

The pencil scrapes out a word. An eraser is chewed in concentration. 

New to the world, a baby cries, and soft arms comfort.

Proud parents look at a tiny pink face.

Life is happy to add another to its ranks. 

Teary eyes sparkle with joy.


Drawn curtains allow the sun to light a dark room.

A broom removes a dead mouse from under the dresser.

A boy calls his horse. 

Peaceful, melodic music clears the air around it. 

A girl lowers a gun that allows her to feel strong and be in control. 

After two seconds pass, a third brings new opportunities. 

It is essential, but without it’s older siblings, it would not exist. 

The third moment is more forgiving than the first. 

The third moment is more decisive than the second.

I want you to understand how the three make both a competitive and cooperative team.

A loud cry from a fallen child allows him to be noticed.

A kind friend (a newcomer to the story) helps the child stay safe. 

Protective eyes scan a crowd

Left, right, right, left, searching. 

Change was born in thoughts of an assumingly unimaginative man.

Provoked by a dream, fantastic notions that had been dismissed were finally allowed to take the stage. 

Excitement breaks down barriers built years ago. 

The skeleton of something brilliant takes form. 

Warm and welcome, the newborn baby is safe. 

Feelings are felt, in all sizes of color. 

A future is imagined and promises are made. 

The love that was always there, becomes most realized. 


You might get bored here. 

You might want to leave the story at 3 seconds.

Here is a good place to stop and still feel satisfied. 

However, if your feeling curious, maybe a little invested…

I found surprises, some disappointments, other expected endings.

Who knows what you will find. 

A sick man struggles to sit up.

Steady hands place pillows under his weak back.

The horse eats an apple from his boy’s hand.

The sick man listens to a piano ring out in soothing chords.

A girl missing her father stares at glass shards on the ground.

Eyes that make contact say a quiet greeting. 

A good samaritan, as the saying goes. 

“It’s okay, I am here for you.”

A four-year-old remembers his mothers warning around strangers.

If somethings happens slowly, 4-5 seconds is all the time it needs.

If something happens in a series of one second four times, that is when more time is needed. 

Drawing, designing, writing, carving, painting, creating. 

“This is what my hands can do. This is what I can do.” 

A busy mind thinks to himself. 

When keeping yourself company, there is an endless amount of freedom. 

A name given will always need a purpose; a reason for that name.

Sometimes all you need to do it wait for the perfect one to come.

She pauses to listen to a heartbeat. 

He pauses to remember to breathe.

Baby pauses to take in the world.


Pale skin surrounding sunken eyes. 

Illness prevents a sick father from seeing his three children. 

His only company a doctor confined to silence in the corner. 

It’s fascinating, really, how friendships are made.

Trust is gained from body language, facial expressions, and words. 

A lost child trusts easily. 

A kind stranger wants to help.  

I hope you are able to keep up. 

5 seconds is where times goes faster.

No more walking, its a race. 

No more remebering, there are choices to be made. 

Confidence is only a decision.

To believe in your own abilities takes courage.

This is the accomplishment of the sorry man.

Given a gift from God is equal to no amount of money.

A memory seals itself in apt minds.  

A family is made. 


There is nothing special about the sixth second. 

And there is nothing to note.

However, it is important to acknowledge the events leading up, and events not yet seen. 

Although separated, a father was able to pass on to his children something of his own. 

He gave his love for music, he gave his strength.

He cherished animals and forwarded even that. 

She saw them hand in hand.

She too trusted. 

She sent a prayer of thanks to those watching above. 

A confident man sat up from a dream.

It was an empowering dream

And it brought hope. 

Red lips and a kiss on a cheek. 

Brown eyes meet blue.

A mothers love, a fathers love. 


He knows they will be okay. 

They know what he taught them. 

He wants to say goodbye but fears the sickness would take them too. 

A hug. 

A handshake.

And names to be exchanged. 

With surety, a confident man calls an old friend. 

He doesn’t need to plan what to say.

“She will be Bailey.” 

“We will always by her side”

A firstborn child with attentive parents. 

We’re near the end now. 

That doesn’t mean the story will be over.

It only means that our ten seconds are up. 

Maybe by the end you will understand what I am telling you.


A finally breath.

Peaceful and quick, still no one was prepared. 

A saddened doctor shakes his head in mourning. 

Their meeting came from what was planned as a scenic walk.

With a single mother and her toddler son. 

“I changed my mind, who cares what they think.”

A simple line said into a phone, but still a brave one. 

A hero refuses to give in. 

Her tiny hand circles tightly around a finger. 

Every movement celebrated.

Every noise treated as wonderful and intelligent. 


As if lamenting a life lost, the trees still their leaves, a bird bows its head, and the breeze rests in flight. 

Three young souls ache and don’t yet know why. 

A new cloud is spotted in the sky. 

I will allow a minute for you to catch up.

Take it in. 

What have you learned?

No, I’m not done yet, we have a second more.

Please, tell me, where do you think this will it take us…

Initiated by her lost son, strangers cross paths.

It doesnt last long. 


One glance over a shoulder is an implication of more to come.   

A weight has been lifted from his chest. 

He was still afraid, still unsure; but he was inspired. 

No one would dare use such confining words to describe him now. 

In those happy seconds, a picture is taken.

To be viewed in years to come, 

Possibly refreshing fading memories. 


The End

Im just kidding. 

You’re here for number 10. 

The one you have been working towards to since you began reading.

 Or was it after you committed to reading past 4-. 

The death of a father is sad, 

It brings pain.

But as he spiraled into the sky, 

The father watched his children with pride. 

The mother and her son walked away down the street.

Realizing the opportunity he couldn’t let slip,

The friendly stranger chased after.

He had fallen in love with the mothers obvious devotion and gentle presence. 

There was a man burdened with the stereotypes and the limiting prisons others placed on him. 

For so long he followed, dragging his feet behind. 

He knew what he was capable of, but he didn’t believe in it. 

Because of his dream, he made the first step. 

He chose to have faith in himself. 

A baby is the bridge between father and mother. 

There is plenty of love to go around. 

But what happened next?

A family was created that would never be broken.

A promise was made to protect, love, teach, care, support, guild. 

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

10 seconds. 

It’s not just a phrase anymore. 

There is meaning behind it.

Throughout the world,

Everyone, everything is changed in only 10 seconds. 

It might be a huge like death or life.

It could be somthing small like a thought. 

It could be the start of something new.

Choose to be grateful for it.

Time has a power nothing else holds.

Living only takes 10 seconds 

If you are willing to 

Make each second count.

December 31, 2020 21:44

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