Gender Bender (Jane Doe Flash Fiction)

Jane holds up a flash card with a dress on it.

“La vestido,” Chelsea says promptly.

El vestido,” Jane corrects. “It’s a masculine noun.”

Chelsea blows out an exasperated breath. “Women wear dresses! How is a dress masculine?”

Jane shrugs. “I didn’t invent the language. Try learning the article along with the word, and don’t look for male or female quality about the object itself. A pen may look phallic, but la pluma is feminine.”

“Well, it’s stupid.”

Jane picks another flash card. “The test is tomorrow. Be glad you’re learning Spanish and not Polish. Polish has five genders.”

WikimediaImages
WikimediaImages/Pixabay

Every week at the Ranch, Charli Mills hosts the Rough Writers and Friends flash fiction challenge. This week’s prompt: “In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about gender. It can be fixed or fluid. Explore the topic on your own terms and open your mind to possibilities and understanding. Go where the prompt leads!” Fun flashes are at the link. Join us; it’s fun!

Contest (Jane Doe Six Sentence Stories)

“Jane, have you done this week’s supply order?” Michelle barks, snapping her fingers.

Jane feels that familiar ice creeping down her spine, and with Herculean effort looks steadily at her screen and keeps typing. “It’s on my list to get the supplies ordered as soon as I finish these court letters.”

Fingers snap again. “It needs to be done.”

Jane calls up a steely stare to meet Michelle’s molten one, and the contest is on.

 

When images of women giving that don’t-you-even-think-about-fucking-with-me stare come up, my mind goes straight to Game of Thrones. I couldn’t pick just one, so here are all of these intrepid ladies.

Every week, Denise at Girlie on the Edge hosts the Six Sentence Stories flash fiction blog hop. The rules are few: 1) Write a story in six sentences, no more, no less. 2) Any genre. 3) Use the cue word; this week’s was CONTEST. Fun sixes from other writers are at the link. Join us!

The 7-1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (Book Review)

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn HardcastleThe 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a delightfully muddy, time-twisty-turny breath of fresh air!

Sebastian Bell comes to himself in the woods, hearing his friend Anna call for help and hearing the gunshot that kills her. But that’s not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is that he is not Sebastian Bell, Anna may or may not be his friend, and she isn’t the woman fated to die.

The description “Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day” is accurate to this story of Aiden Bishop, caught in a kind of limbo/purgatory/country-manor-locked-room-puzzle where, trapped in someone else’s body, he knows Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11 o’clock that night. If he fails to find the murderer, Evelyn will die and he will wake up tomorrow morning in the body of someone else, facing the same challenge as the game is reset and everything starts over again. He gets eight strikes and he’s out; if he fails to use the skills, mindsets, and resources of each of his eight hosts to save Evelyn, they will both be lost forever.

Grammar discussion time. One phrase used throughout this book is “I was intending on speaking with…” I realize that “intend on” (as opposed to “intend to”) has become a sort-of correct, somewhat-accepted colloquialism, but it sets my teeth on edge and grammar authorities contend that it is not correct. I’m surprised an editor let this pass. Your thoughts?

Beyond that very minor annoyance, the writing flows and is quite evocative at times–Turton can certainly turn a phrase. Being inside the minds of so many different personalities requires extraordinary character development, and Turton meets that challenge admirably. I commend the intricacy of the story and what a deftly woven, highly complex murder mystery this is. I hope he has more books in the works.

Bookshelves: locked-room-mystery, murder-mystery, time-twisty, brit-lit

Join me on Goodreads!

Fire (Jane Doe Flash Fiction)

Again. AGAIN. She can’t do anything right. It’s the 50-50-90 rule: If she has a 50-50 chance of choosing the right thing, there’s a 90% chance she’ll choose wrong.

Anxiety rushes through her veins, ice water for blood. She sidles up to Greg’s desk, opens her mouth, knowing she’s hanging her desperation out for all to see.

On second thought, the whole floor heard the shouting anyway.

Fight or flight.

Barely keeping her voice steady, she asks, “Does Lesley ever fire anyone?”

Greg’s glance is sympathetic. “Sometimes,” he says. “But usually they get fed up and walk out first.”

geralt
Photo: geralt/Pixabay

Every week at the ranch, Charli Mills hosts the Rough Writers and Friends flash fiction challenge. This week’s prompt: “In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about fire. It can be a flame that burns or a light that inspires. Follow the flames and go where the prompt leads!”

Type (Jane Doe Six Sentence Stories)

Jane’s rear end hasn’t quite hit the camp chair when Henry holds his hand out: stop.

“Did you read the new notice at the entrance?”

“Oh now what,” Jane replies crossly. “I came in through the back and really, how many notices are necessary in a tent city, for Pete’s sake?”

“Something to do with the port-a-potties that you’ll definitely want to know,” Henry assures her. “And trust me, only the regulation of our most private bodily functions would be so critical that somebody went to the Herculean effort to actually type it.”

derRenner
Photo: derRenner/Pixabay

Every week, Denise at Girlie on the Edge hosts the Six Sentence Stories flash fiction challenge and blog hop. Three rules: 1) Write a story in exactly six sentences. 2) Any genre. 3) Use the prompt word; this week’s is TYPE. Fun sixes from other writers are at the link. Join us! Sounds easy, can be kinda hard, and it’s a lot of fun.

Eminence (Jane Doe Flash Fiction)

The house is a lovely lakeside pile on a low eminence above its neighbors, cocooned among trees. Jane lugs her few belongings up the slope easily, eagerly. Hangs her few clothes, arranges her few toiletries.

Hers, hers, for six whole weeks, in exchange for being present and tending to the animals while Audrey is in Europe.

The kitchen gleams, the den lulls, the shady deck beckons. But, she decides, luxuriating, paradise is a bathtub. And it hits her, making her sit up so abruptly she sloshes wine and bubbles. Is housesitting something she could do as an actual career?

NGSOFT
Photo: NGSOFT/Pixabay

I haven’t been writing much and it feels good to be back in the saddle. Every week at the Ranch, Charli Mills hosts the Rough Writers and Friends flash fiction challenge. This week’s prompt: “In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that uses the word eminence. It’s a rich word full of different meanings. Explore how it sounds or how you might play with it. Go where the prompt leads!”