Saturday, August 1, 2015

Flash! Friday: Not Like Them & The Delivery

by Michael Seese

For this week's Flash! Friday we head to Russia. Rebekah decided that our novel prompt should be the classic Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy’s tale of a socialite in Tsarist Russia who struggles between her desire for happiness and loyalty to her family.

The story elements to work in were:

* Conflict: man vs self
* Character: unhappy socialite
* Theme(s) (choose one): tradition, social progress, the value of family/marriage
* Setting: Tsarist Russia

We had to option of using a photo from the 1914 Russian film of the book by Vladimir Gardin.

I wrote the first and last thirds of "Not Like Them" in the shower.

"Look at them. Common tramps. I could never be like them," Courtney sneered, wrinkling her surgically perfected nose. She could muster no sympathy for the girls, despite the fact that they sagged visibly beneath the weight of the most significant decision of their young lives as they filed silently into the clinic, their fears and guilt not helped a phalanx of rabid religious fanatics waving "BABY KILLER" signs in their faces.

She wondered, but only for the briefest of moments, what they must be feeling.



Unloved equally by their own too-young parents and the selfish bastards who had no qualms about putting an unprotected penis inside them.

"I could never be like them," she repeated.

Courtney locked her Mercedes and melted into the queue. But she was not the same as them. She was not a whore. Even if the protesters were screaming it at her.

Then "The Delivery" at the gym.

Elizaveta struggled to make her way through the thigh-deep snow. Freezing pellets pelted her eyes, and weighted down her hair. Weighing her down more, though, was the burden borne of her mission. She had to see the package, bundled securely in her stiffening arms, delivered to safety.

Winters in St. Petersburg are not for the faint of heart. Some days, there simply are not enough layers of clothing. But once the spring thaw arrives, love blooms as sweetly as the flowers that adorn the tilia trees lining the Neva River.

Just short of her goal – the main thoroughfare ahead – Elizaveta collapsed. The cold would soon consume her. This, she knew. Quivering lips prayed that a passerby might see her in time, investigate, and find it in his or her heart to pry the bundle from her frozen arms, take it home, and raise the child as she would have.

As has often been the case of late, there also is a Janet Reid contest today. Check back tomorrow, friends.

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