Monday, February 13, 2017

WEP - ARE YOU READY?



A SEMI-MONTHLY FLASH FICTION/ARTISTIC CHALLENGE

ARE YOU READY?

Jenny threw her keys on the credenza and stormed upstairs to the attic where she kept her luggage. She’d just lost her dream job, and when she called her boyfriend, Hugh, he claimed to have car trouble. Except, Jenny heard a woman giggling in the background. Jenny’s heart sank. Recent doubts verified. Hugh was seeing someone else. Jenny knew it was time for a change!

“When the world decides to dump a load on you, why not on your twenty-fifth birthday?” Jenny shouted to the dust bunnies scurrying across the floor as she trampled to the back of the attic. She sneezed as the disturbed dust tickled her nose and decided maybe less frenzy would be wiser. She stopped. Closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths, behind her sleeve, to calm her rage.

Eyes open, she spotted her Grandmother’s desk. It looked pristine, not a speck of dust anywhere. She pulled out the chair and sat down. Running her hands across the hand-hewn wooden planks, she remembered doing her homework while sitting at this small but impressive work of art. Instead of placing this part of her inheritance in the living room, Hugh had put his stereo in the chosen spot. “That will change.”

Jenny opened the drawer in anticipation of finding hidden treasure, but there was nothing. Disappointed, she closed the drawer, but it wouldn’t shut. She wiggled it, tried again, to no avail. She pulled the drawer out and stuck her hand inside.

“Aha!” She pulled out a stray document. Her name was written across the envelope.  Jenny recognized her grandmother’s stationery.

White with pink flowers. She held it close to her heart. “I knew there’d be a surprise!” She carefully undid the flap and pulled out a crisp sheet of stationary. She read.

Dearest Jenny:

          “Happy 25th! I’m sorry life has failed to meet your expectations, but I’m also glad. Because at this moment in time you’re ready for a new adventure. Am I right? (Smiley face) I’m always right!”

Jenny laughed.

It was as though her grandmother was right there in the room with her, and knew her thoughts and emotions. “Yes, Grandma, you’re right!”

Jenny finished reading:

          “Pack, go to the airport, and introduce yourself to the gentleman at the information desk, and he’ll take care of everything. Do you trust me?

          “Well, what are you waiting for?”

Jenny laughed. “Exactly! What am I waiting for?” She did as instructed.

The man at the information desk smiled when he heard her name. He took her by the elbow and led her through the airport.

“Welcome to Galaxy Airlines, Miss Evans.” He hurried her to a private jet. Your flight is ready. Enjoy.”

Jenny boarded a converted 747 with all the comforts of home.

The pilot announced, “Please be seated, Miss Evans. You’re welcome to take advantage of the bedroom once we’re in the air. We’ll arrive in Antarctica in nineteen hours.”

          “Antarctica?” she said in surprise.

          “Yes, Miss,” the pilot responded. “Please fasten your seat belt.”

          Jenny scrambled into a seat and buckled up.

          “If you need anything just use the intercom. Enjoy your trip.”

*****

The plane landed between two snow-covered mountains and taxied into a large structure. The pilot opened the exit door for her and bowed.

“Thank you,” she said, and descended the steps. A man in a tux greeted her. She felt underdressed in jeans, boots, and sweater.

“Miss Evans, welcome. Please, follow me.”

He didn’t offer her his hand, and she quietly said, “Thank you.”

He led her to an elevator and down a long hallway. She gasped when he opened a door into a large room filled with shelves of books at least twenty feet high. In the center sat a large desk, and behind that a sitting area with a massive fireplace.

The fire crackled, and Jenny was shocked to see her grandmother moving toward her. “You’re dead, this isn’t possible.” Jenny backed away. She felt joy and fear all at once.

“Don’t worry, dear. I’m just a hologram. You can put your hand right through me.”

Jenny reached out. Her grandmother's image fluttered but didn’t disappear.

“How? Why”

“Questions, so many questions. Please, sit. They’ve provided tea and a snack. That plane is comfortable, but there’s nothing like being on solid ground, is there? How do you feel?”

“Fine. Curious. What is all this?”

“Your inheritance.”

Jenny’s mouth fell open. “Inheritance?”

“You’re an immortal, dear. A descendent of the Galaxy Sisters. It’s time to fulfill your destiny.”

“Immortal? Galaxy Sisters? Destiny?”

“Yes, you’ll live forever, looking just as you do today, all to serve the cause. Unless you decide to marry and have children, then and only then, will you begin to age in a normal progression just as I did. The universe has nine populated planets. The role of the Galaxy Sisters is to guide each planet to be its best.”

“What cause?”

“Before man took over the earth it was ruled by women. Their insistence on making women a slave, a servant, and a whore took years to achieve, but they won the revolution, and we’ve fallen far because of it. Your job here is to rebuild what men have corrupted.

“My major contributions included the Russian Revolution of 1917, the strike for ‘bread and peace’ and Suffrage. And no, you won’t read about my contributions. Your role is to help those who will make change happen. In no way, do we make headlines.” She laughed. “If you’d turned twenty-five sooner we might’ve had a woman for president instead of a clown. Sa la vie, it is what it is, but our attempts at equality just took ten steps backward. So, my dear, what do you say? Do you accept the challenge?”

“I have a choice?”

“Of course, dear. This sort of thing isn’t for all women, even some descendants of the Galaxy Sisters enjoy their subservient role. The universe is made up of all kinds. Are you ready for an amazing adventure?”

Yolanda Renee © 2017
1000 words / FCA



45 comments:

  1. Sure a great premise to a full fledged book, nice dig at Trump too haha, Would be rather neat to find out you were immortal and rich.

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    1. Would be so cool, Pat, especially at 25. But I'd just turn around and make the same stupid mistakes, unless foreknowledge is given too! :)

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  2. Accept the challenge!!! Fantastic piece, and I agree with Pat it would make a wonderful book.

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    1. Yes, you would! Thanks, Christine! I hope I can get it there!

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  3. That's a much better way to spend her 25th birthday than dealing with a cheater! Three cheers for strong women.

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  4. I definitely liked the clown comment!

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    1. Thanks, Ken, afraid I couldn't resist! :)

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  5. Love this Yolanda! '...our attempts at equality just took ten steps backward'. Great dig! As Pat says, you could turn this into a book. Great fun. We do like our humor! Can't trump that!

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    1. Hi, Denise:
      Yes, they did. It's why I cried that night! Felt so hopeless, sometimes, watching what's happening now, I still do. But we aren't beat yet! We have the Galaxy Sisters! :)

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    2. Okay. Your next book is called 'The Galaxy Sisters.' No question.

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  6. Great cause, Yolanda. I'm all for liberating women and installing them on top. That granny would've deserved an applause if she had only left Russia alone. Speaking from personal experience, the Russian Revolution of 1917 didn't liberate women, or anyone. It just created a different class of masters, mostly men, all of them cruel, while the majority of the country remained slaves. They still stay that way.

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    1. Most definitely, Olga. All the women in my life have been strong, and one stronger than any 10 men I've known put together! We can do this! Even if it means taking a few steps backward, we still push forward!

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  7. Now that's a cool origin story. Would to read more about the Galaxy Sisters.

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  8. That is one cool way to celebrate a 25th! Loved this unique take on the prompt, Yolanda - and the reference to the current political scene made me smile, cleverly done, very enjoyable. Hope she will right the balance in a few years of work.

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    1. It would be wouldn't it. I still remember my 25th, best birthday ever! I couldn't resist making it current, I hope we all find the right balance.

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  9. That took an unexpected turn! ☺ Interesting premise and so timely. Loved the little dig at Donald Trump. Wouldn't it be fabulous to take a trip on that luxury plane? Dream on, dream on...

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    1. Oh yes. That bed! Would love to fly the world like that, and live in the Antarctic!

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  10. Nice. That was a fun adventure. 25 is just about the perfect age to become imortal. How did men make us women so subservient?

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    1. We let them! It wasn't always so, then someone wrote all the rules down and said it was straight from God. Uh, huh!

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  11. Loved it!

    As many have pointed out, it's like an origin story or prelude to an epic adventure! I'd love to know more about Jenny's adventures, righting wrongs, ushering in change and meeting a whole galaxy of interesting people!

    I was kind of hoping one of the stories in this challenge would throw in a little political commentary, given the current lunacy in the White House, so thank you for that! If this story is set shortly after the election, maybe Jenny can help orchestrate the Women's March. :)

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    1. Thanks, Arpan! Appreciate your kind words, means a lot coming from the master of the unusual!

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  12. I am going to take it that Jenny said yes and took over her job to oversee her share of planets. A very interesting and engaging take on the theme.
    I enjoyed it and had big smiles as I read it.
    Excellent job.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G

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    1. Of course, she did. What has she to go back to? Thanks, Pat!

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  13. Hi Yolanda - what an amazing story ... now this could be a few books ... brilliant story telling. The galaxies would be open to much ... but earth needs a lot of attention - now she mustn't fall in love! She'll have her work cut out for her - but her grandmother will provide escape routes and wise advice ... loved this - cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi, Hilary, thanks, appreciate that. Loved your story too! Intriguing! Love, grandmothers!

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  14. Yolanda,

    This is wonderful! And I agree with some of the other comments above: this could definitely be a premise to a novel or a series. The Galaxy Sisters has a fun ring to it! I love how you effortlessly wove social justice and current concerns into your fantasy. Very well done!! I enjoyed it :)

    ~Jen

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  15. Very well written. I was immediately drawn in. The world you created felt real and impressive. A most interesting. Take on the prompt.

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  16. Oh yes,I agree with the other comments. It is lovely to imagine that there is someone out there trying to help us all.

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    1. We all need to out there trying, then it will happen! Thanks, Sally!

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  17. Hey, I want to be a Galaxy sister, but I'm a little past 25. . .darn! And Immortal, sheesh, this is a great story, Yolanda! I suspected some type of scifi or fantasy would be involved when I saw your banner. Go Sisters!! (also like the subtle reference to 'the clown')

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    1. I know me too! :) Would it be delicious!

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  18. I've just posted my entry, I hope I'm not too late, it's still the 15th here!
    I love your story, definitely didn't see that coming!

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    1. So glad you stuck with it. Sorry, you've been ill! Thank, Laura!

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  19. Ha! That was fun. The clown is in for a rude awakening. Loved it.
    Nancy

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  20. hi miss Yolanda wow! cool story. i love scifi. for sure this could be the start of something big. i hope i see a lot more of galaxy sisters really soon. thanks for a neat read.

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    1. Thank you J Lenni, I appreciate your kindness!

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