Tales from Gilead: Story 1

Tales

Below is a quick story sketch that was inspired by the book and TV show, The Handmaid’s Tale. I guess you can consider it fan fiction. Enjoy, and leave comments below.

Note: I do not claim any characters as my own.

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      I cannot stand this room, even though the soft blue color scheme is supposed to be calming. It’s quiet except the creaking of the bed. The Commander doesn’t make eye contact. Good. I can’t look him in the eye anyway. I feel disgusted with this procedure, which is not the name for it, but who gives a shit. I have to have some power here. 

     My partner in this is silent, looking at everything but me. She hates me. I hate her, but here we are. We’re stuck together on this bed as he “gets the job done.” While he is going about his business, I have to occupy my mind. Most of the time, I just let it go blank and go numb until he recedes and exits the room. 

     Tonight, my mind goes elsewhere. I think back to before, when there was love in my life. We had love for each other. There was no doubt to that, but I don’t know if he still loves me. I don’t think I will ever know. The man I loved is gone. Instead, this newer man stands in front of me, pumping in and out of this woman I hold onto. They said it would help bring more children into our world, give women like me what we wanted. 

     Nope. I am forced to hold this woman’s wrists as my husband fucks her. He cannot touch me like that or we break the law. We used to kiss, touch, talk, argue before everything. Now, it’s just this.

     This thought causes me to dig my nails into the flesh I hold. I suddenly feel pain as she digs into mine, and I swivel my head down. For a brief moment, our eyes lock. Her red shoulders and white-capped head are surround by the blue of my skirt. We just stare at each other, still digging our nails in. For a brief moment, she looks like she could laugh at the absurdity of this moment. I feel the same. At least, she looks like she hates this whole thing. 

     My gaze is broken as I hear my husband make a small noise as he shutters and stops thrusting. He doesn’t say a thing as he turns away and walks out of the room. She and I just stay there on the bed. I look back at her and release her wrists as she releases mine. She still has a small smile on her lips. I want to smack that smile off her face. The longer I stare, the more the hate I feel for her creeps back up to the surface and makes me sick.

     “Get out,” I say and yank skirt out from under her head. She sits up and turns toward me. She seems to want to say something, and she struggles with it. I want to say something, but I can’t. We are enemies on the battlefield, and we have both lost. She stands, smooths her skirt, and quickly leaves. I sit on the bed and wonder where did it all go wrong. 

 

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Trying to figure it out

I have been working on and off on my first novel, and it has been rough. I only have around 14,000 words, but the story doesn’t seem to be working. This has left me at a crossroads. Should I plow through the rest of this supposed plot, or scrap it and start over from the original short story?

My original story, “My Co-Pilot, Jessica Tandy,” is the cornerstone for my hopeful book. An earlier version of it was published in 2016 as part of Storgy’s short story anthology, and an updated version is a quarterfinalist for Screencraft’s Cinematic Short Story Contest, so it has gotten some notice. I know there is a story to tell. I am just stuck at what.

So a brief synopsis of the story. Tandy Buchanan, the protagonist, is an up-and-coming comedienne with mental issues and suicidal tendencies. Her voice of reason and imaginary friend is Jessica Tandy, who has been dead for over 20 years. So there you have it. Where to go next?

As of now, I am looking at her past (age 12 and up) and seeing her mental health deteriorate. That is not working. It feels forced. My new possible path involves focusing on Tandy as an adult and her dealing with her celebrity world and her “insanity.” Readers in workshops I have attended have wanted me to focus on the adult side of her. I may be heading that way.

So now what? Scrap about 9,000 words (saved on standby,) or keep going. Thoughts?

Random First Post

Soooo… I feel so lazy. I can’t seem to work on my short stories or novel, exercise, eat healthy, do dishes, or just do anything. It seems that I only focus on my job (teacher) and remaining a clean person. In fact,  most of my evenings look like this (minus the blog page):

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First, let’s put a face to this post. Yeah, I know it is silly, but I recently discovered Snapchat.

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So now I am on here, trying to write a blog post while hoping for a miracle.

Reasoning for Blog Post

  1. Trying to jumpstart my creativity
  2. Keep from falling asleep on the couch
  3. Combat boredom
  4. It’s the thing to do. (Not so sure about this one…)

I should probably have more, but this is all I could think of.

It is kind of fun to sit here, writing whatever comes in my head. The dogs, Libby and Idgie, keep staring at me. I am not sure why.

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(Idgie is kind of hard to see.)

Anyway, this year has been interesting in the writing field. I got my first short story published and wrote three more stories. This is a major thing for me. You can read the magazine issue, STORGY Short Story Anthology Vol. 2, on Amazon. That was an accomplishment.

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Screen shot of cover art for my 1st published story

I may publish one or two on here just to get them to the masses and to allow for commentary and such. I love writing short stories, but lately, I have been just stuck. No stories. No imagination. It is not fun enough about that.

I know that this post seems all over the place, but that is how my brain is right now. Hopefully, I can jumpstart the old creativity centers. This blog should help.

If you have any suggestions or comments, let me know. 🙂

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