[Help me pick a name for this piece?]

[Didn’t name it when I wrote it for the last of my dys fem flash fic pieces. Suggestions welcome. I’m considering ‘Grit’. Wrote a longer version before trimming it down, and foolishly didn’t keep it.]

[TBC (Grit?)]

My father told me I was a fighter, just before he lost his own fight. ‘The most beautiful fighter he’d ever seen.’ He imbued in me not only his resilience, his spirit, but years of training. I clip my hair short to mimic his own style. Joining the Forces seemed natural. I sailed through the Academy despite the snickers of my male peers, and graduated with the highest distinctions… then I asked to fight. They said no but I pushed back, then the media got involved. General Barnett, head of the Eastern conflict, publicly condemned my request: “No girl will fight while I’m in charge.”

So I’ve gone off the grid. Disappeared. Dad was gone anyway, who else cares? Now I fight alongside my brothers, albeit from a distance and under a cloak of anonymity. The soldiers tell stories of the ‘Shadow Sniper’, a brilliant rogue marksman. Little do they suspect. I lead the Forces’ best men by 14 kills. The desert is unforgiving, but my ‘weak’ female body survives. My father’s spirit, his training, lives within me.

I bide my time. The kill count rises, and the story finally breaks in the media. I’m a household name, once more in the papers. Who is this ‘strong, mysterious figure’? Strong. Too right. My crosshair falls upon its final target. General Barnett collapses to the ground and I smile. A week later, I walk into camp, to turn myself in…to a hero.

 

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Glass Houses

[More dystopian feminist flash fiction. But it’s not really, is it? Nah, fair play to Alan, who told me it wasn’t. I still think it’s a neat little story though.
Confused? Click here.]

Glass Houses

We proved it. The claims stood up. Our trap had worked! My friend Mike and I had put two years into this. We got jobs at the same company, and matched each other stride for stride. We posted the same sales figures—if he had a bad month, I’d ease up in the next one, and vice versa. By the end of the two years, I’d even clinched 2% more sales than him. Our records were virtually identical. We made sure we both chatted with managers, attended the same number of work functions, even our ‘sick’ days matched.

And yet Mike was shortlisted for the new managerial role. What’s more, he was apparently ‘top of the list’. I was not on the list. Surely I should’ve been joint-top, at least second? We made sure to compare everything. Nothing separated us but a Y chromosome. Maybe ‘Felicity’ just isn’t a managerial name? They interviewed eight internal candidates, all from our level, and I was nowhere to be seen. So we took them to court. And we won. It was a landmark victory, and swathes of new legislation followed. I was a feminist icon.

The pay-out was good, and we both left the company with its reputation tattered. I got offered a strategic position well above my experience level. Mike doubled his pay moving across town to a rival firm. We kept an eye on our old employers. Things went downhill for them. Mike and I were walking past months later and saw employees leaving. They’d just announced serious losses and had cut dozens of lower-level jobs in their ‘slimming’ process. Admin staff, receptionists, cleaners…all women. I looked at their tear-streaked faces. What a great job I’d done.

Dream Lessons: #22 – Fishing for Likes

#22

There are ingenious ways to catch fish.

Like throwing a tennis ball into a net that then forces water out of an organ-like array of pipes, into other pipes which may or may not contain fish.

That can catch fish!

Not particularly efficiently, but it worked somehow – one girl caught three in one go!

Food and drink you need for a party

[The following list has been compiled from empirical evidence gathered by the author during recent study in the field of annual vivocelebratory hosting of young adults. The information given represents informed conjecture and has yet to be statistically proven.]

1. Spirits. Like way more than you think. Let people B their own B when it comes to beer and cider and wine, but make sure you have copious gin and jäger and vodka.

2. Chocolate cake. Healthy salads are great and all but Point 1 of this extensive and exhaustive list means people will develop strong feelings about chocolate cake over the course of the evening.