Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Transgression Smackdown

Copyright © 2011, By C.L. Smith
Word count: 200

Your blue-jeaned legs were too long for your boy’s torso. You were hot to prove to everyone how high you could roundhouse to kick the top of Mrs. Johnston’s doorway.

“I take karate,” you puffed.

Your eyes were as pale as your skin, as still as your soul as you budged desk after desk aside with your hips. Occasionally a scrape skittered across the floor, a small stab of mouth pouching open, then a sudden shush.

The nearer you prowled, the more your mitts parted the folds of forgiveless air around a girl-shaped space.

Six, seven, eight times you tried. Target moving, gone; low center of gravity, your reptilian brain labored, and you susurrated as you tried connection from behind, in a gambited vise.

Then, as a balloon ooooking out oxygen, your breath is denied you. An arrow-end upends you below the sternum as the power hourglass flips in front of your ineffectual face.

While you’re bent over, your quarry glides tête-à-tête with you. After another vicious knee-kick--with compliments to your self-described sweet spot--her victory is iron-willed.

The breach that you intended to spread wide has held. And your lips forevermore trap the tale of your toothless puissance.

This is an entry for the Mookychick blogging competition, FEMINIST FLASH FICTION 2011. Enter now.

Girls Run Wild

Copyright © 2011, By C.L. Smith
Word count: 200

As we stretched, I overheard Jason chiding another guy: “You run like a girl.”

That’s when the girl who was once so helpful as to be verbally savaged by a blind man surged into vigilante mode.

“Oh, yeah? That’s a compliment.”

In some cross-country events, both genders blast off simultaneously. This was one of those races. It was also one of those races that makes people outside running wonder “what the frack makes them do it?” That is to say, it was a hellaciously hilly course and a wet slurp of a day.

I sprung my trap as mile two bloomed nearly into mile three. Jason and his friends--hell, let’s just call them the Argonuts--were bunched together like sheep until the last hill. As I powered up, I knew he could feel somebody close. It was a quick, narrow-pathed hill, then we descended and the way flared. It got guttural as I sprinted him down—and gazelled past.

“You run just like a boy,” I taunted after he’d heaved himself across the line 21 seconds later.

Truth is, I never ran as fast as when I carried, proudly, on my shoulders what it means to be a woman.

This is an entry for the Mookychick blogging competition, FEMINIST FLASH FICTION 2011. Enter now.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Our Canvas Runneth Over

We heart art. We're daft for crafts. And we most definitely have a crush on the paintbrush. But if the kids receive one more coloring book--thankful though I am that you have given pause to consider the rug-art-rats--I just may be able to wallpaper the entire house in a pastiche of princesses, Potato Heads, and pandas. And, if driven hard enough toward the starry-nighted precipice (some might snicker that it's a short journey), I might even be compelled to do my own Salvador Dali "Persistence of Memory" impression. (Think melting clocks. Substitute coloring books [or my head, on a bad day] for clocks, et voilà!)

Just when you were thinking Edvard Munch might be more apt for my frame of mind, yes?

Parenting Epiphany #103

First, let’s make sure the kids’ bedroom doors are shut. You ready to roll yet?
Good. Now, I'll share an epiphany that’s little known in any hood besides the parent one.

Coloring books breed like Tribbles. If you’re not acquainted with Star Trek or close, personal friends with a geek . . . what the Spock are you waiting for?

I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas

It all began about 2006 B.C. (before children, that is). Somehow I acquired a Mr. Potato Head coloring book. Then generous relatives and friends, bless their hearts, began to chip in as the babies dropped.

Flash forward to 2011. Now that Mr. Potato Head has sprouted eyelets of Sesame Street and Toy Story, Bambi has begat Fancy Cats and Chuggington the train, and the pandas of Animal Planet have lent a tear or two to the feel-good teddy bears of the Chicken Soup coloring book (complete with some inspiring aphorisms, to be truthful), I am ready to declare a moratorium on coloring books.

If you knew me in real life (aka, Facebook), you’d know I’m incredibly cheap thrifty. Yes, that was me in the story about the woman who saved her kids’ bottom-of-the-bowl, breakfast-cerealy milk and strained it into her morning coffee.

So it ain’t for nothin’ that frugality and green are intertwined. The more frugal you are, the greener you are (and vice versa), and this premise includes your purse or wallet.

Though I’m not certain that the charity to whom I intend to give the stack of unused coloring books will be able to make use of them, I certainly hope they will. That goes doubly for the kids who receive them. In my mind, I see them sitting with a favorite adult and imagining new worlds as they discuss colors, tones, shapes, numbers, or whatever’s on the page or caught up in their emotions.

For the holidays especially, I wish them all as large a gallery
as possible--even if ‘only’ a super-cool Louvre like we have.

Caption Credits: First photo falls under Fair Use, I believe. I used the small, unintrusive, and not-intended-for-profit, screen-grabbed image found at Wikipedia for this infamous original Star Trek episode. All other photos courtesy of the author.