Sunday, March 22, 2020

Janet Flash: Words

by Michael Seese

To stave off the current world malaise, super agent Janet Reid decided to cheer us with a flash fiction contest.  In her own words, she needed to "wrap my head around the new reality, which we hope is temporary of course, and flailing about." 

To that end we had to incorporate:

froward (not a typo)

in a 100-word story.

"Froward," which I had to look up, means tending toward disobedience. I immediately had an image of a little boy, sitting in the Principal's office, awaiting punishing. And the rest of "Words" just jumped out.

My eight-year-old feet, well short of the floor, kicked only air as she talked about me in absentia, despite my presence.

"As has happened too often, his froward antics disrupted the class." Sister Scissor-Tongue liked big words. Even the ones she only pretended to know. "I question, and I'm certain you and Caleb ask, how he could be your offspring." 

I didn't even merit a name.

Clearly, she didn't grasp the ease with which sharp words can lathe a young soul. Shape it. Etch it.

Mar it.

I think of Sister Scissor-Tongue each and every time the needle finds vein.

I'm not sure from whence this darkness came. But I have to say, I'm rather fond of some of the language, specifically the opening sentence and the name "Sister Scissor-Tongue."

How about you? How are you coping with the new world order?

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