Image by Daniel Páscoa

The Silver Lining


The following story was written for the Furious Fiction contest for May 2020.


The guidelines were as follows:

'May was another huge month for our spritely little Furious Fiction competition – with our second highest entries ever (highest was last month!). It just shows what great word of mouth and marketing–cough cough lockdown pandemic cough— can do!

Being the fifth month of the year, or maybe because we just miss high-fiving you all, we gave everyone FIVE as the first word of their stories this time – along with a few other intriguing requests…

    • Each story’s first word had to be FIVE.

    • Each story had to include something being replaced.

    • Each story had to include the phrase A/THE SILVER LINING

Entries arrived thick and fast in bunches of fives, all offering a silver lining in these uncertain times.'


Image by Darren Halstead

The Silver Lining

By S. W. Stribling






‘We’re Live.’ The voice in his earpiece said.

‘Hi. I’m Will Strief, and welcome to the celebrity edition of ‘The Silver Lining’. The only tv show on the air that looks for the best in the worst. It’s a show where we like to believe that even the darkest clouds have their silver lining…

‘Today on the show, we have Donald Trump, Sean Connery, and Greta Thunberg. I’m sure we all know who these influential people are, but for those of you that don’t, let’s make a few quick introductions.

‘Mr. Donald Trump is the current and 45th president of the United States and billionaire that is best known for his slogan ‘Make America Great Again.”

‘That’s right, Will.’ Trump said. ‘I’m not only the richest man in the world but also the most powerful. So, I’ve already won. Isn’t that just great? Absolutely. Fantastic.’

‘Well, we’ve just started Mr. President and I’m not quite sure either of those statements is true, but let’s continue.’

‘It is true.’ Trump said. ‘Amazingly true. Fantastically true.’

‘Sure, Mr. President.’

‘Hey, Greta.’ Trump interjected. ‘What does a dyslexic see when they see you?’

‘Be nice, Mr. President.’ Will cautioned.

‘Great!’ Trump exclaimed. ‘Like America when I’m president.’

‘Old people ruin my life!’ Greta wailed.

‘Yours and every other teenager’s, Greta.’ Will said. ‘Moving on, we have Sean Connery, best known as the actor that played James Bond and as the illegitimate father of Alex Trebek.’

‘I am James Bond.’ Connery announced. ‘And you may not want to find out who your real father is either, Strief.’

‘Easy, now.’ Will warned.

‘And last, but surely not least, we have the inspiring climate activist, Ms. Greta Thunberg.’

‘Thank you, Will. It’s great to be…’ Thunberg said.

‘Great!’ Trump interrupted. ‘Who attacks more elderly and does more for the climate than you? The Coronavirus!’

‘I hate you!’ Greta shrieked. She jumps to attack Trump.

Connery does a quick roll out of the way and pulls out the golden gun.

It doesn’t fire.

The secret service drags Greta and Connery away.

‘Well, that was exciting.’ Will said. ‘Can we get replacements on the show?’

Will listens to his earpiece.

‘Well, it looks like we do have replacements coming, but they won’t make it until the next show.’

‘Did you see the way I handled those assailants, Will?’ Trump said. ‘Pew pew. Pew pew. It was fantastic’

‘Well, technically it was the secret service and there were no shots fired. Was Sean even the 007 from the Golden Gun movie?’

‘No, he wasn’t.’ Trump added. ‘And I told you I would win.’

‘You set all this up, didn’t you, Mr. President?’

‘That’s the silver lining, isn’t it?’

‘I don’t think you understand what the phrase means.’

‘Well, the silver lining is, I won.’

‘I still don’t think you’re getting it.’

‘I just made your show great again.’

‘And that’s all the time we have for today. Thanks for stopping by ‘The Silver Lining.”