Saturday, March 14, 2015

Flash! Friday: Two Girl's Names

by Michael Seese

I didn't set out to write two Flash! Friday stories with girl's names as titles. It just happened. Though I suppose it's not surprising considering that the character prompt was the "girl next door." Then we were given this picture.


Remember, though, the photo only has to serve as an inspiration. I came up with the first two lines of the story below, and originally titled it "She Is Guilty." By the time I finished, though, it was "Eve."

She is guilty.
                 She is just a child.
She is amoral. Loose. Wild.
                 She is free.
She is a temptress. A harlot. A whore.
                 She is giving. Nothing more.
She is evil in the flesh.
                 She is wholesome. Apple pie. Pure.
The serpent used the apple as a lure.
                 What about her scares you so?
Wisdom does not fall from a tree. Wisdom must be earned.
                 And so you cast aside all she has learned?
She is Purgatory. Or worse.
                 She is the Heartland. Cornfields. A white picket fence.
Beware of implicating yourself through her defense.
                 Are you now putting me on trial?
A trial suggests a jury.
                 I don't understand your concern. Your worry.
We are not afraid of a naif.
                 Yes. She strikes fear in you. She threatens your ivory tower.
You'd be wise to realize who holds the seat of power.
                 Bigot. Hater.
Lies! Lies! LIES!
                 Honesty is her only vice.
Hold your tongue! You're dancing on thin ice.
                 Open your eyes. You'll see the light.
Revolutions begin with a spark.
                 You cannot live forever in the dark.
Playing with fire is never safe.
                 She holds the key to untold riches.
Guilty by association. We will burn two witches.

Then came (fairly quickly) "Molly."

Molly's the best babysitter. EVER! When she comes over, she always brings M&Ms.

"Ssh!" she says. "Our little secret."

We play checkers. But she's so bad at it. I ALWAYS beat her. We play superhero. I get to be the superhero. She's just the President, calling me for help. Molly says she'd like to be the President some day. She also lets me watch anything I want on TV and play games on her phone when she's upstairs. When she kisses her boyfriend goodbye, that's our little secret, too.

Last night, Molly told me she has to go away soon.

"Are you going to learn how to be the President?" I asked.

"Something like that," she said. She was crying when she said it.

I'll miss Molly.

I wanted to see her before she left. I wanted to ask her what a whore is. I'm not sure. But it didn't sound like something good, the way her Dad yelled it at her. I also wanted to ask her what pregnant means.

But I won't be able to ask Molly anything. Ever.

Superman is faster than a speeding bullet. I wish I was Superman. That way, I could have flown over there in time to stop her Dad.

Originally, the narrator was going to be a grown man waxing poetic about the neighbor girl as he watched her grow from an infant to a young woman. (Don't worry... it was going to be completely non-creepy.) Then the final line would have been something like, "All I could do was dial 911 after I heard the shot."

But I came up with the line "Superman is faster than a speeding bullet," and immediately I started writing from a child's POV.

What do you think?

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